Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Category Archives: Photography Equipment

Cloud Storage

When I am teaching I am often asked about cloud storage as a means of backing up images. It seems to me that most people shoot a lot and backing up to the cloud is OK if you have a fast broadband connection but there is the additional issue of cost. We have been seduced by the likes of Google and Amazon offering free or cheap storage but when that free storage is say 30GB that is not much use when you are regularly filling 32GB cards with images. Then came the options of unlimited storage, Amazon were one of the first in on this and it seemed a good deal but as we now learn from DIYPhotography this is coming to an abrupt end and if you have Amazon as your storage you have to look at what you are using because otherwise it might all disappear.

Clouds above Sydney Opera House

Clouds above Sydney Opera House

 

Google have been pushing people towards Google Photos as a means of cloud storage and you get 15GB free, less than one card! a 1TB of storage is $10 a month. Currently I use 3TB external hard drives to back up my images, so that would cost me maybe $30 a month with Google.

Cloud storage is fine if all you do is back up your phone snaps but for any serious photographer the cloud is adding to the expense. So you say external hard drives connected to the computer cost too, this is correct, my Western Digital drives cost about £70 so in 3 months or so I get free storage and the peace of mind knowing Google etc are not tracking my images.

I still like Flickr you get 1TB (1000GB) free and if you want a more pro feel you can upgrade for about £32 a year. It allows for RAW file storage unlike Google and although 1TB is not enough for all my images I use it for my personal work. The trick would be if you want more than 1TB then have more than one account, break your storage down into subject areas.

 

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10 Remarkable Traits All Photographers Have (According to Hollywood)

From the good ship Lightstalking

Yes these are all true, it sums up my life perfectly…..

Ever seen a photographer in a movie? Well, we’ll leave out the likelihood that it was a male photojournalist in a war zone exposing the “truth” (like no other type of photographer exists) and move straight onto the golden cliches that Hollywood likes to push. Here are a few things that our new hero almost certainly has:

Rugged Good Looks – Well this one goes without saying. We are all a remarkably handsome bunch of people. No arguments with that one! Let’s move on…

bradd

An Infinite Travel Budget – When you hit the road in a movie, it’s all about the story and the shots. Now the photographers in any movie, in addition to being remarkably handsome and incredibly stylish are also able to travel basically forever. Without thought. Or presumably cost.

I guess that means they are all really rich. Which is great, because the reality is that most photographers earn about half the average national income. Personally, I’d be taking the movie gig any time.

An Uncanny Ability to Find Awesome Bars and Hotels in the Third World – Anybody who has ever been to a developing country will know that the chances of finding a good bar in or near a warzone can be somewhat limited. Hell, finding clean water is often a pretty challenging experience, let alone a traditional Parisian Sidecar cocktail made to specification by a barman wearing a tuxedo who was trained at The Ritz.

A clean toilet – now that’s something a lot of us would actually settle for.

Many have horror stories of arguing with a dreadlocked Aussie backpacker who was “finding himself” by working for food at a crappy hostel with bed bugs and trying to charge extra for a shower. I honestly wish we could have this superhuman ability to find the amazing war hotels of Hollywood legend. I’d probably move in………READ ON HERE or should that be rock on

All Fun Aside, Here are Some Great Movies With Photographers

 

6 camera settings photographers always get wrong (and how to get it right)

Want to avoid some of the more common mistakes made by photographers? In their latest guest post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventure came up with the 6 camera settings that many get wrong along with some advice on how to get it right.

6 camera settings photographers always get wrong (and how to get it right)

Common mistakes with camera settings: 1. White balance

white-balance

The vast majority of photographs are taken with the camera’s white balance set to the Automatic option.

It’s an easy choice that gets it right most of the time, but it’s not completely foolproof and many systems have a tendency to correct natural variations in light colour so that images look a bit too neutral.

Warm early morning or evening sunlight, for example, can be made too cold.

When shooting outdoors better results can be achieved in many cases by switching to the Daylight or Sunny setting.

It can even produce better results than the Auto setting in shady or overcast conditions.

SEE MORE: Find out how Canon’s Project1709 platform can simplify your photo management workflow

Most cameras also have Shade or Cloudy white balance options that inject a bit more warmth into images.

In some situations this colour-shift can be excessive, but it’s worth experimenting with your camera to find out how each white balance setting performs in a range of conditions.

For the ultimate in control, use the Custom or Manual white balance option and set the value manually.

Your camera’s manual will explain exactly how to do this, but fundamentally it involves photographing a white or neutral grey target (a piece of card works well) in the same light as your subject and telling your camera to use this image to set the white balance.

If you photograph the white or grey card again after the manual white balance has been set in camera, you should see it rendered neutral.

If you wish, you can use your camera’s white balance adjustment controls to warm or cool the results – or experiment with a non-neutral calibration target. READ MORE HERE

Best monitor for photo editing: 4 top models tested and rated

In class, any of the classes I teach, eventually the question comes up, why do my prints not look like what I see on screen. Well there are a number of reasons but the first is that professionals use monitors designed for graphic purposes. We don’t use the default that came with the computer we bought, and often the monitor costs as much as the computer. We need to be able to calibrate our monitors so that they look like other professional outfits who use professional monitors, these should be your local high street printer, the digital book publisher you use and the bespoke lab you prefer. We usually recommend looking at Colour Confidence as a start point

What is the best monitor for photo editing? Colour-accurate monitors offer true-to-life reproduction of photographic images, but price and performance varies. Digital Camera World tested four of the top models available to see which monitor is best for photographers.

Best monitor for photo editing: 01 Eizo ColorEdge CG243W

Eizo Monitor

Price: £1,200
Buy it: http://www.eizo.co.uk
This thoughtfully laid-out monitor has a versatile swivelling screen, which makes fitting it into your workspace a doddle, even with the (included) hood in place.

The menus are sensibly laid out, with icons popping up above the buttons so you always know what to press, even in a darkened studio.

The included calibration software enables you to build an ICC profile quickly, and the 1920×1200-pixel display offers high-end reproduction, but this doesn’t come cheap and, at 24 inches, this is the smallest monitor on test.

Pros: A high-end, flexible monitor with rich, consistent colours
Cons: Only 24 inches; functional rather than stylish design; pricey

Score: 88%

See the other recommended at Digital Camera World here