Photo Article 94 Keep Your Digital Photos Safe

Photo Article 94
Keep Your Digital Photos Safe!

By: William Wade

In a previous article on this site (What to do with all those digital pictures) I wrote about handling digital photos. Like myself, many folks take hundreds or thousands of photos and some organization is needed to know what pictures you’ve got, and where. That information was covered in detail.

After reading that article, a reader contacted me via my web site (thank you!) and asked about photo security. What happens if your computer hard drive crashes. Wouldn’t all the electronic photos be lost?

Consider following my plan if that’s a concern of yours.

All of my photos are categorized by month in a larger folder for the year, and those folders are in a picture directory on my computer. What I didn’t say in that earlier article is that the larger directory is regularly offloaded onto an external hard drive that I use for, among other things, backing up client data to separate it from the main computer storage, for additional security. That gives me one level of redundancy in keeping my digital photos safe.

I also make slide shows of all my stored photos, whether featuring a particular topic, or just as a photo time line for the year. In 2006 I had twelve photo folders, one for each month of the year. At the end of the year, I turn all of the photos that I wish to keep into a monthly slide show and those shows were burned onto CD’s, which are stored elsewhere from my computer. So, now I’ve backed up my main computer picture files onto an external hard drive, and I’ve created slide shows of all of the previous years photos.

Then, when the slide shows are complete, I then burn all of the original pictures from that year onto a CD as .jpeg files, so that should I ever want a hard copy or use one of the digital photos again, I can get just the one photo. The slide show software captures the photos, making it impossible (almost) to get one shot from the slide show after it’s complete. Keeping all the photos as .jpeg’s means I can get an original when I want it. That’s another level of digital photo safe-keeping.

The reader also commented that if there were a catastrophe (house fire or some such) that my photos would be gone. Yup, I guess they would. When I travel overnight, I usually take my external hard drive with me. I’m more concerned about a break-in and thieves taking my computer than I am about a house fire, and I heat with wood.

Folks that have thousands of paper photographs stored in boxes and drawers in their house face the same problem. Should they have a catastrophic house fire, their photo memories would be burned to ash. Losing my home and everything in it (including my computer and CD’s with my family and business photos and files) to fire hasn’t been a worry for me. The question is, should it?

The reader’s question prompted me to look at alternate data storage, and I found some services. Interested in off-premise data storage? Just Google “data storage services” and have a look at the results.

My next article deals with how to make slide shows for your family to share by showing them on your computer screen or TV set. It’s entitled “Now that I’ve got my photos on my computer….”. Have a look for it, would you?

Mr. Wade has parlayed a passion for computers, the internet, and digital photography into diverse activities including his own web site that discusses web site building, creating digital slide shows, and crafting Ebooks. He can be contacted via that site:

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Photo Article 92 The Photo Creative Zone Thinking Outside the Box

Over the years of learning about photography certain lessons stick out in my mind.  One of these was the Mailbox Assignment.  The assignment was simple; 36 shots of a mailbox.  It had to be the same mailbox, oh, and by the way . . . each shot had to be uniquely different.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, let’s see . . . there is front, back, left side, right side, shot from above, or shot from below.  That’s six, only thirty more shots to go. You could shoot with the flag up or the flag down, or shoot just the flag itself.  You could shoot with the mailbox door open or closed or somewhere in between.  Congratulations!  You are now up to twelve shots, only twenty four more to go.  You could shoot with a little mail in the box, or a whole lot of mail, or somewhere in between.  As you can see the first 15 or even 20 shots aren’t that hard, but they aren’t the point of the assignment. At some point, when you have taken everything you can think of and realize that you still have half a dozen shots to come up with . . . something changes.  You start thinking differently.  You start thinking outside the box.  This way of viewing things does not come easily.  There may be a little frustration or even anger with yourself before you get to this point.  That’s ok, as long as you push through and make it to your creative zone. The human mind is a lot like an iceberg.  What you see above the surface (the conscious mind), regardless how massive (or intelligent) it may seam, only represents 10% of what’s really there. Just below the surface 90% of your mind (the subconscious mind) waits to be put to use.  It’s within the subconscious that we find the creative zone.  This is the area that allows us to perform at our VERY best without even seeming to think about it.  Someone who spends hours practicing the piano; can often play beautiful music, without having to think about it.  Is this statement true or false?  While he or she is practicing, they are most definitely thinking about it.  They are using their conscious mind.  But once they step on stage and their fingers touch the keys, then what happens?  Something else takes over. “Wait a minute,” you might say, “but I’m not into music or I’m not a great athlete.”  To this I simply say . . . so what?  Do you know how to walk?  Did you at first?  Do you have to think about it now?  Do you really have to think about every step you take today?  Why?  Because you did it enough, that the subconscious (or creative zone) took over. (My apologizes; for any handicapped people reading this, it was the best example I could think of at the time.)

Call it what you will; instinct, the law of attraction, karma, spiritual forces . . . they all have one thing in common.  What you put in is what you get out.  It’s like the great bank account of the cosmos.  A person who only takes pictures once or twice a month and wonders why they can’t get more jobs, just doesn’t get it.  If you want more, do more.  If you want to get better, shoot more, LOTS more.  With the advent of digital cameras and digital media there are no excuses.  If I were starting from scratch in photography, I would do two things.  A) I would read an hour a day about photography.  If I had a particular interest (like flowers) I would read an hour a day about flower photography.  B) I would shoot an hour a day.  You don’t have to keep every picture, you don’t even have to like every picture . . . but you do have to keep yourself looking and learning.  That’s it.  Two hours a day, every day for two years.  That’s 730 hours of actual study and 730 hours of actual taking pictures.  Motivation comes from doing.  Inspiration comes from have done so, again and again.

For those who say to themselves “but I wouldn’t know what to shoot”, that’s the point.  The more you shoot, the more you know.  You learn what worked and what did not.  You learn what you liked and what you did not.  You learn what time of day looked better and what did not.  You are not going out to be the greatest photographer every day . . . you are going out to become a better photographer everyday.

In the example I gave at the beginning, here are some of the most memorable winners from that assignment (all of which) were after they put hours of thought into it.   A)  Mailbox at sunset, door part way open, with a glowing light coming from inside.  They used a candle, but shot at an angle so you could not see the source. B)  Picture of mailman’s hand delivering mail from the mailbox’s perspective.  They put the camera on a self timer, pre-focused the distance, and set it inside the box. C)   Shaft of light, highlighting the envelope from “Publishers Clearing House” sticking out of their box.  They waited until dusk, shot on a tripod, and used a light tied on top of an eight foot ladder. The kids that only gave themselves half an hour to finish the assignment never got it.  The ones who struggled, and went back again and again, did.  The magic to thinking outside the box is to look inside the box first.  What’s inside you, depends on what you put into it.

Tedric Garrison has done photography for over 30 years.  In college Tedric was an Art Major, and now firmly believes that “Creativity can be taught.”  Today; as a writer and photographer he shares his wealth of knowledge with the world, at:


Photo Article 91 Size Does Matter Creating a Visual Reference

When you shoot your subject with things going from big to little, or even from little to big, it creates the illusion of depth. The deeper your image appears, the more three-dimensional it appears. The more three-dimensional you image appears the more likely your viewer is to experience at least part of what you did when you took the shot. After all, isn’t that why you take photos to begin with? I take photos not to remind me of what happened, but to share with others who were not there. Maybe I’m strange, but I believe in order for someone to get the big picture, they need to see the small details, (like having something in the picture to visually compare everything else to.)


Photo Article 88 A Great Lesson From McDonalds

Photo Article 88
A Great Lesson From McDonalds –
On Marketing Your Photography

By: Danny Eitreim

McDonald’s fast food chain is arguably one of the most successful franchises in history. The number one reason for that success can be easily applied to marketing your own photography.

The whole reason for McDonalds success is (in my opinion) their systems. They have developed a system for everything from how much a hamburger patty should weigh, to how long to cook the fries, to the various management duties.

When we order a burger in Los Angeles, it will be exactly the same as the one we ordered in New York. This is important because we – as consumers – know what to expect, there are no surprises. McDonald’s knows that people will pay x amount for a hamburger weighing x ounces. And it’s the most profitable combination of size and cost, so that’s what they sell them. There is no day to day experimentation or deviation. This works – do it.

In other words, when you find something that works – right it down! Turn it into a system! And do it the same way for as long as it’s profitable.

We as photographers know how to create beautiful works of art and we’re constantly trying to push the boundaries. We are constantly trying new techniques, new angles, new lighting. We WANT every shot we take to be totally unique and different.

This is fine – for contests. This is fine – for our own gratification. This is NOT fine for running a portrait business.

Way back in ancient times when photographers actually used film, an edgy new technique was introduced where you shot the film normally and then had it processed as though it were a slide. We call that “cross processing”.

Everywhere I looked, I saw cross processed prints. In all the hip, trendy magazines, on all the billboards, headshots, contests, everywhere! But, not one of my portrait customers ever bought a single cross processed print from me. Or one shot on infrared film. Or any other trendy, experimental fad.

What they want varies with your market age group, education and finances but whatever group you find yourself marketing to, their tastes are all going to be very similar. Keep track of which poses are your best sellers and in a very short time, you will find that almost all of your customers are buying the same basic photos.

Sell them that.

Stop wasting your time, money and efforts trying to be a pioneer! Remember what they say about pioneers – they’re the ones lying beside the road with arrows sticking out of their backs.

Find a marketing strategy that works and pound it into the ground! Stop running around constantly changing everything. Find a system that works for you and milk it for everything it’s worth. Find the poses that your customers want and shoot them FIRST.

Once you start trying to systematize the various aspects of your business, it will run smoother, make you more money and you will have a lot more time to experiment for your OWN amusement.

Dan Eitreim has been a professional photographer in southern California for over 16 years. His data base exceeds 6000 past clients, and he says that selling YOUR photography is easy – if you know a couple tried and true marketing strategies. He’s created a multimedia presentation that can teach ANYONE how to sell their own photography and generate freelance income in as little as two weeks. To learn more and enroll in a FREE photo marketing course, go to:

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Photo Article 86 The Secret Life Of The Flashgun

Most settings on a digital camera are done with menus and, if you have a flash settings menu, this article should help to explain what the different modes are used for. Some cameras don’t have these settings in a menu but instead, they will cycle through their different modes each time you press the flash button. In this case, you need to look at the screen whilst pressing the flash button.


Photo Article 99 ESP Will Improve Your Photographs

When people have a disaster and lose everything, the first thing they always lament is losing their family photos. Let me ask, are they concerned that they will never again see their stunning sunset photos? Or are they thinking of the faces, smiling or not, of their family.


Photo Article 97 Engagement Photography Tips (Article 3)

You shouldn’t have to pretend to be interested in them! I really enjoy finding out details about the couples I photograph. Details such as: how they met, when the proposal took place, when the wedding is scheduled, how the wedding plans are coming along, etc. etc.


Photo Article 95 Engagement Photography Tips (Article 1)

I don’t blame the photographers: most of them are good enough to charge such rates. And I know, from having shot engagement sessions before that the sessions can take quite a bit of time. For me, an average session would take about 6 hours of total time (initial contacts/communications with the couple, driving to the photo site, taking the photos, downloading/processing the raw images, and then processing the couple’s order).


Photo Article 93 What To Do With All Those Digital Pictures

I take hundreds (OK, really thousands) of digital shots. Family, friends, renovations, pets, wildlife, nice trees, beautiful fall leaves….all the time my digital camera’s clicking away, and it seems that I’ve always got batteries for it on recharge.