Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What do I do with all these images part 2

In continuation from last post…

OK, now when I get home with all the pictures that I took what do I do with them? This is the same for a long trip with gigabytes worth of images or an afternoon walk with a handful of pictures. I do the same procedure regardless of the number of images. In this case I plugged my external hard drive that I had with me In Maui into my desktop computer. If I only had a CF card or two filled I would insert each card individually and import the images from them.

I use Adobe Lightroom for all my image handling. So I open Lightroom and go to the Library page and click Import. This brings up a dialogue box with a few options that you can choose. First I select that I want Lightroom to import a copy of the files. Again just incase something were to go wrong I still would have a copy on my portable hard drive/CF card. I like to import and organize my photos by date, so I have that selected as how I want them organized upon import. The next thing is where do I want them imported to? I have two external hard drives that I keep all my photos on. I select my main drive to import to. One of the best things about importing you photos with Lightroom is that you can select to have a backup copy of your images also imported to another location. As you can tell I am a big fan of having copies of everything. I once had a hard drive fail on me and if I didn’t have a backup, every picture I had taken up to that point would have been lost. So back up, back up, back up. Like I was saying I have two hard drives that all they have on them is my photos. Each drive is an exact copy of the other but I only work out of one. The other one is turned off and only gets used for backing up.

Next big thing it Keywords. This is another great thing about Lightoom. You can add keywords to your photos. Great when you have 30,000 or so photos and you want to find that one photo of a “bridge” on the “Mississippi river” in “Hastings” Helps narrow it down for you so you don’t have to try and remember where you put those shots. When I am importing photos like this last vacation with multiple days and multiple things photographed I like to keep the keywords pretty vague. You can go back and add more keywords later. So every photo imported this time got “Hawaii”, “Maui” and Vacation” as keyword’s. Next I will import my photos and let Lightroom do its thing. Depending on how many images your importing this could take awhile. I started importing and went and did something else.

Now that I have all my photos on my computer the next thing I will do it to quickly go through and make sure everything looks correct. No missing photos or things like that. I never have had a problem but don’t hurt to check. This next step can be a pain. Rating. I like to rate my photos. Helps me when I want to sit down and work on images. Lightroom has several different ways you can do this. I use the stars. They have 0-5 star rating system. The way that I use them and this might not be how anyone else would do it but it works for me. I have one, two and three star images after import. I also will delete anything that is obviously out of focus or those random pictures of the inside of your lens cap or the ceiling. Otherwise its 1, 2 or 3. I go through them very quickly and don’t spend much time looking at each image. One stars are the one’s that are obviously not very good but you don’t want to delete. My one stars could probably get delegated and I would never miss them but memory is cheap these days and if you rate your photos you can just not select one star images when you go to view your photos. Next are two stars. These are ones that might look a bit soft or the composition is off or what ever. Like I said I go through them quickly. You can always change things later. Than there are the three star’s. These are the ones that jump out at me as being a good photo or ones that have the most potential. I do use the four and five stars.

If I work on a photo I will give it a rating of four stars. So If I work on the raw image in Lightroom or work on a copy of the image in Photoshop I will give it four stars. If I print an image it will get five stars. More on this later. By this point my hands were all cramped and tired from going through almost 3000 images and giving them a rating. Its time for a beer!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What to do with all these images

Well I made it back. To warm, sunny, green grass, flowers blooming, birds singing Minnesota. Oh wait that’s where I came from. I tell you it was hard to put pants and shoes on for our return flight after eleven days of shorts and flip flops. I have had a couple of days to sort of get back in the swing of things. Man its good to be back but…

So I took just over 36 GB of photos when it was all said and done. That works out to 2698 photos. I got them all transferred over to my main computer and now its time to work on the images I took. I thought I would take you through my work flow for when I am shooting away from home. This is my work flow it probably isn’t perfect and it might not work for everyone. But it dose work pretty well for me at this time. My work flow is constantly changing and getting faster, better and more efficient. As should yours. So here we go.

My camera takes CF flash cards. I have several cards from 1GB cards all the way up to 8GB cards. I try not to get too large a card. I like not having all my images on one card in the event that a card gets lost or broken or for what ever reason stops working. If all my images were on one big card and something happened to it than all that days photos would be lost. So my thinking is worst case half my images might be lost. And I say worst case. I personally have never had a card fail. But I have forgotten them in pants pockets and they have gone through the wash and dryer before. Another testament to buying quality gear. The couple of times this has happened all the cards were fine. Images still on them and they reformatted ok and they still work today.

So like I said I format all my cards directly from the camera. Find in the menu where it says format and that is how I erase my cards. I have all my cards in a little CF card wallet that holds 12 cards. I have six cards in the wallet and one in the camera at all times. I have all the empty cards on the left side of the holder and as they get full they get put in the right side. That way I know what ones are ready to go and what ones are full, with out having to load the card in the camera and check. All my photos are shot in RAW format so they can take up some space on a card. I can fit give or take 75 images per GB and I have 19 GB worth of cards. For a total of something like 1425 images possible before I have to download to a hard drive.

At the end of the day I sit down with my full card and a laptop. I have a folder that the photos go in. On this trip it was :Maui ‘09” I then make folders for each day, day one, day two…I copy all photos to an external hard drive that I have. It’s a 180 GB self powered hard drive. It gets its power from the computer so it’s one less cord to try and find a plug in for. Notice I said copy all the photos. Done transfer or cut the pictures from the card to the hard drive, incase something happens while you are transferring your data. Once I have all the photos copied to the external hard drive I will copy that folder to the laptop hard drive. So at this point I have three copies of every photo I took that day. Now I will go and verify that all photos got copied to both the laptop internal hard drive and the external hard drive. Once I have verified everything got copied, all cards get reformatted by the camera and put back in the card holder for the next day. This gets repeated for the length of the trip. Once you get used to making this part of your routine it’s not so bad. You load a card, go do something, copy a folder, take a shower. You get the picture. The best part is you have two copies of all your images and empty memory cards for the next day.

The laptop I travel with is a bit out dated. So I just run Canons Digital Photo Pro. A very basic Raw converter. Basically all it gets used for is viewing images and basic edits on copies if images for posting in this Blog and sending e-mails to family back home. Other than that not much gets done on location. I save all the major editing for when I get home. If I had a newer laptop I would have Lightroom, my main program for photo organization and RAW editing, loaded and might do some key wording and rating of images that’s about it.

Next I will talk about what I do when I get home with 36 GB of images.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day Eleven Maui '09

As I sit here unable to sleep with anticipation for the trip home, I am reflecting on our trip to the beautiful island of Maui. The day we left Minnesota we both never thought we would get here. Now it is time to go home. We both had tons of fun.

Angela was pretty sick the first half of the trip. She was a little trooper. Never complained just went along and tried to have as much fun as she could. I felt sorry for her. It’s hard to see someone you love feeling so crappy when you are having so much fun. We took things slow for the first four or five days until she started feeling better. She fought off her cold like a soldier than she was back to normal. Having fun and making me laugh.

We got to see a lot of stuff this time. When we were on Maui three years ago it was for a week on our honeymoon. We saw a lot then and even more this time. We took lots of sunrise walks on the beach, nether of us could sleep much past 6:00 Maui time. Although it got harder to get up early as the vacation comes to an end. I think we drove just about everywhere you could this trip. There is so much to see that it’s easy to spend a few hours a day exploring a different part of the island.

We got out whale watching twice this time. The first time was great. A calm ocean and lots of whales. The second time, not so much. Big waves (big for a Minnesota kid) and few whales. The boat crew did a good job. It was just so hard for them to see the whales with all the chop and strong winds. It made for a fun boat ride! Thankfully none of us got seasick. I think Angela’s favorite part (other than shopping for new jewelry) is seeing the whales. She is like a little kid when she sees one. At one point we had a whale directly under our boat on the first trip and she was able to put a mask on and stick her head under the water to see the whale in the water. She said it was on of the coolest things she has ever seen. It makes me happy when I see her get so excited about seeing the whales.

The weather was great. As long as you staid on land towards the end of our trip. It only rained two days and neither day was a complete washout. It was nice to have the windows open and hear the rain. Rather than having the house all closed up and looking out side at the snow falling. One benefit of all the wind we have had was big waves. If you never have seen a wave twenty some feet tall come crashing into shore you are missing out. There is no way to describe the sound and power behind these things. I take my hat off to the surfers who are brave enough to go out and face these things head on. We were out in some that were probably six feet and those waves had there way with us. I can hear the waves still as I type this, and we are a five minute walk from the beach.

The food was good. We tried to eat in as much as we could. Our condo had a kitchen, which is nice. But the times we went out the food was great. Our most expensive meal was probably our worst. Horrible service and mediocre at best food. Our best was a cheeseburger and our most fun was a Japanese steak house. The people here are great. Very friendly always a smile, often an aloha. Even when we drove down a road we shouldn’t have the lady that stopped us very politely told us to turn around and that we shouldn’t be here. She even said thank you.

I took a lot of pictures over 30 GB. Not very many from a photographers point but enough when you are on vacation with your wife over you’re anniversary. Ang is really good when it comes to me taking pictures. She doesn’t like it when she is walking along thinking she is talking to me only to turn around and see me taking pictures of something. But when I show her the picture on the back of the camera she usually forgives me. When I do take pictures I try and keep it short. She will often sit and wait patiently for me while I do my thing. I try not to push it and am getting pretty good at telling when she has had enough and its time to move on. Maybe I will do a post on trying to be a photographer with a non photographer spouse. But she is a good little assistant. Carrying a tripod or extra backpack full of stuff when I need her to.

That’s enough I think for now. Next step is to check out of our place and start making our way to the airport for the big LONG trip home. It will be good to see all of you again when we get back. We look forward to seeing you all and moving on to the next stage in our lives. Parenthood.

Aloha from Maui, see you in Minnesota!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day Ten Maui '09

Another big wave day here in Maui. Not as bad as yesterday.
Whale watching was a bust. Just to rough out. We only spotted a couple of whales and only got a handful of shots. We had a very exciting two hour boat ride with a few whales sprinkled in. So we played in the surf at our resort. The waves were big enough to pick you up and toss you where ever. Getting thrown about by big waves is a good way to clean out your sinuses! And get sand in places you didn’t know you could get sand in. It was fun.
Only twelve more hours left in paradise than back to the real world. The real COLD world that is Minnesota. It will be good to get back and sad to leave. We miss our friends and family and our pets. Thank you all for checking out this blog. It made it fun to see your comments and to post a part of our day. We will see all of you in a couple of days. Aloha from Maui.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day Nine Maui '09

They always say that bad weather makes good photos. We did not make it to Haleakala to see the volcano at sunrise. It was raining and way to windy to make the trek. We would have had to leave our place at one in the morning to get there before sunrise. Not worth it today.

With all the wind and storms blowing through, the waves have been great. Got lots of cool wave shots.

Hoping for better weather tomorrow. We are going whale watching again in the morning. Hopefully the waves wont be like this!!! Aloha.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day Eight Maui '09

Sorry no picture today. To tired. We drove past Hana to the Seven Sacred Pools. About 12 hours round trip. We are hoping to make it to Haleakala to catch the sunrise Friday morning. There is a storm warning out for Friday so we will see about making the summit for sunrise. They call the storm that is coming in a "Kona" storm. The storm and winds are supposed to be so bad that they have canceled school for all of Maui county for Friday. We will keep you updated. Aloha!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day six Maui '09

Hey everyone, aloha. Sorry about not posting yesterday but Ang hasn't been feeling good so we had a easy day yesterday so she could recuperate. She is doing much better today. As you can see we went whale watching today. Amazing is all I can say. These animals are incredible. We were fortunate to have some breach for us. The weather continues to be fabulous. We are both tan and not looking forward to Minnesota winters.
Thank you every one for your comments we look forward to them every day. Well we are off to dinner. Its Italian night!!! I wont be posting tomorrow as it is our 3 year anniversary and as important as all of you are to me, there is one special lady that has me all to herself tomorrow night. Aloha from Maui

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day four Maui 09

Rain, Rain. We were woken up to heavy rain and thunder this morning. We waited out the rain than ventured out. We drove around the western half of the island today. Stopping at the Dragons Teeth. This was very cool. Spent some time here. Had to cross a golf course to get to it. I think it was the one that they were playing the Mercedes something or other Maui classic. They got over us walking across there fair way to go take pictures of lava rocks. Anyways It cleared up later in the day and they are talking about good weather for the next few days. Aloha from Maui.

Day Three Maui '09

Just a picture from yesterday. Aloha

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day Two Maui '09

Not to much picture taking today. Had alot of things to do and not much time to explor. We did have a nice walk on the beach at sunrise.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day One Maui '09

Well we made it. We are in Maui!!! Thanks for checking in. Our flight was good. No problems. Seattle was Seattle. It was cloudy and looked like it could rain. Imagine that. Maui is nice, warm compared to the –5 degrees we left this morning in Minnesota! Long day traveling. Now we start our vacation. We don’t have any plans for Friday yet but I should have some photos for you then. Aloha from Maui.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Well as promised I have something for January. I will be in Maui for almost 2 weeks and I am planning on posting a picture or two each day!

I think I have all the camera equipment packed that I can take with me and have the plane still able to get off the ground. When you start out taking pictures with a DSLR and only have 1 ore 2 lenses its easy to pack for vacations. You take everything your have! After many years and lots of money spent on cameras, lenses, Tripods/monopods and all the filters, rain covers, well you get the picture, you accumulate a lot of stuff. More that is possible to take with you when you fly. So what stays and what goes? That’s a hard one. You try and cover all your focal lengths with your zooms. But than you pick up your fisheye lens and think this could make some interesting shots. Or witch macro, 50mm or the much larger and heavier 100mm? Decisions decisions. I think I have my kit trimmed down enough to make it semi portable and still give me options for coming up with some interesting compositions. It’s still probably more than I need or should take but you just never know!

So check back later this week and see some of Maui. If you have never been all I can say is you are missing out. I will try my best to post at least once a day so check back often and leave a comment or two. I would love to hear from you.

Aloha and we will talk to you from Maui starting Thursday the 8th.