Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 28 PPOC Workshop in Alliston

Yesterday I enjoyed the fruit of a lot of labour, watching the workshop which I had helped organize unfold.  This was one of the events that we regularly arrange for members and prospective new members of Central Portrait Branch, the local branch of the Professional Photographers of Canada of which I am vice chair.  Once a year we arrange a full day event like yesterday’s.

The many hours that I had spent organizing yesterday’s sponsors, models and stylists; getting up at 5AM yesterday; driving the three hour return trip; replacing two models who either got sick or had to cancel at the very last minute; slinging burgers on the barbie under the noonday sun … seeing our efforts and plans come together well yesterday made all of that worthwhile. 

Several dozen of my professional photography colleagues were there.  They had signed up to spend a day learning from some very talented expert photographers, and then photographing models on four different sets that we created at the scenic and rustic Stevenson Farms

Unfortunately those of us who were running the show yesterday were kept too busy to sit in on the instruction or do photography.  Well, I was nearly too busy for that.  I did manage to break away to visit the boudoir set during the open photography period, where I spent ten minutes photographing lovely model Shannon.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

My File Backup Strategy & Another Good Deal for Digital Photographers: 50% Off GoodSync Pro, July 1 Only

saf=503339[2]Devising a reliable, redundant, automatic file backup procedure is one of the challenges that professional photographers face.  I take a multi-pronged approach. 

To date I have chosen to keep to all of my archives live and local, rather than move old files offline.  My Z: drive is a virtual drive that is several terabytes in size, which contains all files related to all projects from the past five years.  That drive is an external 4-bay Drobo unit.

I also have a Windows Home Server (WHS) based file server on my network.

My essentials of my backup strategy are:

  • Files for active photography projects are on my desktop editing workstation, an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU based system with 8GB RAM, running Windows 7 64-bit.
  • These active project files are synched hourly to a mirror “Active Projects” folder on the Drobo.  The file sync tool that I use is GoodSync Pro.
  • The system partition, other system files, and email databases on my main workstation are backed up daily to the Drobo-based virtual drive.  The disk imaging tool that I currently use is Macrium Reflect.  I have tried many disk imaging tools, and frankly I have yet to find one that I am totally happy with.
  • As mentioned, all of my archived project files are on the Drobo virtual Z: drive.  These are organized in folders, by year.  The “Active Projects” folder, as well as the set of annual project archive folders, all residing on the Z: drive, are backed up onto the WHS file server on my local network.  There are daily jobs defined on the GoodSynch Pro application that keep the backup folders in sync with the primary folders.

Click for Larger Screen Shots As you can see, GoodSync Pro is a key part of my backup strategy, and it has been for several years.  Beyond the uses listed above, I also use it for regular backups of my websites, and to keep various files synchronized between my laptop and my desktop. 

Rather than me going on about why I think GoodSync Pro is such a good file backup and folder synchronization tool, I suggest that you give it a try.  Discount software site Bits du Jour will have GoodSync Pro available for $14.95 on July 1 only.  That’s 50% of the list price.  You can download the demo here.  Be reminded of the deal on July 1 by signing up here.  Purchase GoodSync Pro at the discounted price on July 1 here.

If you follow my link to make your purchase, a small amount flows back this way to help support this blog and Lumacraft Photography.  Thanks!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

50% Off Lightzone Image Editing Tool, June 24

saf=503339[1]Fellow photographers and photo enthusiasts, follow this link for a great deal, today June 24 only, on Lightzone, a unique image processing software application. The discount is available through Bits du Jour.  Read their review of Lightzone here. Download the demo here

I have found that I can achieve some unique and striking effects with Lightzone that are difficult to impossible to achieve with other tools -- and believe me, as a hopeless software junkie, I have them all.

If you follow my link to make your purchase, a wee bit flows back this way to help keep the SS Gilmour afloat.  Thanks!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Possible Email Problem?

Apparently Netfirms, the company which hosts the web and email servers for lumacraft.com, has been having intermittent issues for the past two days which have disrupted email communication.  As far as I know, we have not been affected by the problem.  However, if you have sent any messages to a lumacraft.com email address during the past couple of days and have not received a reply, please resend your message to my backup address, lumacraft [at] gmail [dot] com.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tom’s Finished Headshot

Tom selected the first preview that I featured in my blog posting yesterday as the one that he wanted me to finish.  Here is the completed portrait that I delivered to him.  True to my usual finishing style, the various subtle enhancements are intended to elevate the portrait and help the subject look his best, without my technique drawing attention to itself. 

Photographer Pick, Best of the Session

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tom Fleming, Real Estate Agent

Photographer Pick, Best of the Session

Hamilton based real estate agent Tom Fleming needed an updated portrait for a new ad that he will be running in a particular publication.  We talked about the image style that he had in mind.   I designed the lighting and directed Tom to come up with a contemporary, masculine, inviting look.  Even with Tom trying several wardrobe options, he spent just a little over half an hour under the studio lights yesterday.

These are my favourites from among the previews that I delivered to Tom today.

My executive portrait package is just $195 plus tax.  That is all that you need to invest to have me produce a high quality, distinctive head-and-shoulders portrait for you, styled in accordance with your needs.  Normally within a couple of working days after photography, you will receive your finished portrait in the form of a high resolution image file, which you are welcome to apply as you wish.  I also include a properly optimized, web scaled version of the finished portrait, perfect for your web profiles.

Crop 2, Photographer Pick Photographer Pick Photographer Pick  Photographer Pick

Monday, June 14, 2010

Varied Engagement Portrait Session

Erin and Gary were unsure whether they preferred studio or environmental engagement portraits.  Since my studio is immediately surrounded by a number of scenic spots, we decided to split their session, working under the studio lights for a while, and then stepping outside.  Here are some of the highlights from among their previews.  These were all photographed yesterday, June 13, in a little over an hour.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Prom Portraits

We were  unable to arrange to do these portraits with Sam and Mike before their prom.  So yesterday we gathered at the studio to recreate a part of that day.  After a wardrobe change, we also made some casual portraits, both in the studio and at the park.  Here are some of my picks from among their previews.         

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Remembering what it's like to be seventeen, I should note that the following is definitely NOT a picture of Sam making a huge public statement! This is just the photographer trying to get some fun colours into the picture.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Preview My New Art Portfolio in High Resolution

I have recently discovered a new album supplier, and I am very excited about this company’s products.  High quality and reasonable cost means greater value for both me and for my clients.

To put these albums to the final test before adding them to my product line, I have just ordered several samples.  All of these are being custom made and will contain new collages that I have designed for this project, in the style that I typically produce for my clients. 

One of the albums that I designed for this project is a new sample portfolio of my more artistically styled work.  It includes digital paintings, collages, and mosaics, along with some photography.  Some of the artworks that I have included in this portfolio are several years old, while others were produced just for this album.

Would you like to see a preview?

For a high resolution viewing of eleven of the collage spreads that are contained in the album, click on the image below (or here) to activate my zoomable image viewer.  Once the viewer launches, be sure to click on the images that it displays, or to use the slider below each image, in order to zoom in and see the detail.


While the viewer displays in high resolution, this is still only one quarter of the resolution of the images as printed in the album!  The album style that I used for this art portfolio is the same album style that I intend to recommend for my clients for future portrait album projects.  If you would like to arrange to view this new album style I am offering, in the form my new art portfolio, let me know.  I will contact you know when I receive it from the factory in a few weeks.

I hope that after seeing these samples that some of you will be inspired to ask me about commissioning an artistic portrait or portrait album, for yourself or as a gift.