Save Precious Studio Space With This Strip Light Rack

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I recently moved into a new studio. It is bigger than my last one, so I absolutely had to get more gear to match its size. Here is something I learnt in the process. While softboxes and stripboxes are small when folded if you want to have them readily available, they take up quite a bit of space.

My solution to this problem was to build a Striplight rack where I could easily store any unused striplight in its natural state, while not taking too much real-estate in the studio.

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A Nifty Cabinet To Hold Your Photography Gear

I have started taking photography seriously over the past year. I graduated from a point and shoot Fuji used mostly in Auto Mode to an entry level Nikon DSLR and have mastered Manual mode.

Having accumulated quite some photography gear, my camera bag (Lowepro Flipside AW400) was starting getting heavy. I was somewhat unwilling to shell the cash for another small camera bag and I needed a place to store my gear and avoid having to lug it all over when on the field. I came up with the idea of combining my other hobby of woodworking to come up with a solution.

The result is a 3 drawer cabinet which I keep inside my bedroom wardrobe.

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How To Use A Business Card Book To Keep Track Of Gobos And Gels

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Some ideas are simple. Simple to the point of how didn’t I came up with this… Such is this clever repurposing that Eric Krügl  gave his business cards book. Those little black books are slowly disappearing from our world and being replaced with the contact app on our smart devices…

But then you look at all your Light Blaster Gobos and Gels that you cut for your strobes and you realize that it is that book that can bring order to them all. It is the simplicity of the solution that makes it so good so I am going to let the photos talk:

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4 Ways You Should Be Storing And Backing Up Your Photos If You Want To Do It Right

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If you’ve ever lost an entire catalog of images to hard drive failure, you probably know how important it is to properly and securely back up your data. If you haven’t run into such a speed bump just yet, congratulations, but just because it hasn’t been an issue in the past, doesn’t mean you’re not prone to a hard drive failure in the future. Losing your images can be devastating, especially if you shoot a lot of paid work. Thankfully, a little forethought and planning can help prevent such a catastrophe.

In the video below, Matt Granger talks about a few options photographers have when it comes to photo storage and backing up image files. Very important stuff! Here’s a quick list of 4 ways Granger backs up his data, then be sure to watch the video as he explains the process he uses both at home and when shooting on location. [Read more…]

Backup Workflow using BitTorrent Sync and Crashplan

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Backups! We all need them, we hardly make ‘em!

Over the years, as a digital artist, I have on occasion lost bodies of work. I lost them when building a new PC, I lost them when my drive crashed, fell, burnt, and I even lost them while watching in horror as I mistakenly said yes to “are you sure you want to format drive D”?.

Data keeps piling up, and to keep everything archived we need at least double the amount of drive space.

Luckily I don’t do animation anymore so my projects aren’t that super large anymore, but I have been photographing and editing work for a couple of years now and the data pile keeps growing. Next to that I kept running out of space locally, and kept buying new drives for my Drobo to accommodate my expanding archive. The problem with new drives to store your projects is that you need to copy your data over and over, you get sloppy, you forget projects, you ignore folders, and in the end you lost some precious pictures in the transfer process.

I’m a creative artist, and even though I have OCD tendencies, I get bored with tedious tasks and mistakes are easily made.  I needed a better backup plan to safeguard my body of work, without having to spend too much time on this task.

Now there are numerous ways to maintain a backup, but I’m going to share one that has been working for me the past few years, and makes me feel secure about my data.

here’s my hardware setup:

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How To Convert Scrap Flooring Into A Lens Drawer

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Over the last week or so, I moved into a brand new office. It used to be a print house, so the floor was tainted beyond repair. (we actually took some floor tiles off and they had ink on the bottom). So we covered the entire thing with laminate flooring. Now we had some tiles that we cut in the wrong lengths spare flooring ,which was great because I needed something to put my lenses in. And so was invented the laminate flooring lens drawer.

The idea is quite simple – place all my lenses in a drawer but still maintain some order and safety, and not have them roll onto each other. This really quick step by step tutorial will show you how it was done.

I was using a 5 drawer IKEA ALEX unit, but the same thing probably applies for every other drawer unit in the world.

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Synolocker ‘Service’ Demands 0.6 Bitcoin To Decrypt Your Photos

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Any system has its vulnerabilities. But as we get more and more connected, we sometimes expose ourselves to new threats that did not exist before. Many times on this site (and others) we recommended to backup your photos to a safe location. One of the more popular solutions is the Synology disk station.

k.salo at the Synology forums reports that his Disk station was hacked by a ransomeware, his files encrypted and that he is asked demanded to pay 0.6 bitcoins to restore the system.

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StreamNation Introduces Shutter, an iOS Photo App Offering Unlimited Cloud Storage for Free

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With how much of a push companies are making these days toward cloud-based storage, is it really a wonder that phones are still being sold with an infuriatingly small 16 gigabytes of space? When it comes to the actual cloud storage itself, we have to worry about the payments those storage services ask for as well; missing one could inevitably mean that we’d lose what we’d have stored for good. It’s a business model that I’m starting not to like, and I feel like it’s a poor way to ensure the safety of our backed up pictures.

StreamNation is a cloud-based service that’s deciding to do things a little differently; they’ve recently released Shutter, a camera app on iOS that promises us unlimited cloud storage for pictures absolutely free of charge. The app itself is simple: another point-and-shoot interface, but with a different method of storage.

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Build Your Own Inexpensive Transport Equipment Cases

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Basic tools and carpentry techniques can save you a lot of cash when protecting your valuable hardware! Like a lot of video producers on a budget I’m always looking for ways to save cash while moving forward with the realistic hardware needs of various projects. The recent purchase of a pair of vintage Colortran 2K Fresnel lights nudged me to seek some type of protective storage and transport case option that wasn’t insanely priced. These are big fixtures and they call for big cases. [Read more…]

PSA: Have Photos Backed Up On CDs? You May Wanna Move Them!

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To be honest, I have not backed up images on CDs for over 10 years now. But back in the days when a D70 RAW file was about 5MB it made sense. You could fit about 140 RAW photos on one CD. Or if you back up a few years earlier, photo labs would provide film scans on CDs, with the average size of 3MB per scan, a CD would hold over 200 photos.

Any why not? CDs were cheap, easily stored and cataloged and they would last forever. Right? Wrong. It turns out that the lifespan of CDs is not as long as everyone initially thought. And it also turns out that CDs are more susceptible to the elements than we thoughts. And your old photo collection stored on CDs and DVDs is probably dying s you read.

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