Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: pixiq

World Back Up Day?

I found an impassioned article about Other World Computing, on the excellent Pixiq site, seems they are the proverbial dogs ….. over there, but they do international shipping, anyway as good as OWC maybe, that is not the point of this except that they were the source via Pixiq. Here is that article

“Don’t Be an April Fool and Backup for World Backup Day.

This time last year, we introduced you to “World Backup Day,” wherein you’re supposed to double-check your backups or establish a backup plan if you haven’t already.

Okay… for some of us nearly every day is World Backup Day. Generally, once you’ve had a hard drive go bad on you, you tend to get a little paranoid about backing up important data. Since all of us here at the OWC Blog have had a hard drive go out on us at one time or another, World Backup Day is probably our second-most favorite “alternative holiday” next to Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Fortunately, OWC is your one-stop shop for everything you need to make sure your computer’s data is backed up and safe.

Since good backups involve multiple copies of a file, each on a different drive, a second hard drive is a must. Fortunately, we’ve got a wide range of external Storage Solutions, one of which is bound to be perfect for your budget and needs.

The next thing you’ll want to do is determining how you want to back up. Some people prefer to drag and drop their files manually, but automation is usually easier to do frequently. Automated options vary from a mirrored RAID of all your files to “cloning” software to Apple’s default Time Machine software, to other third-party software like the Novastor NovaBACKUP and Prosoft Engineering Data Backup software packages included with all our external storage solutions. While any of these methods are good singly, they’re even better when doubled up. Using Time Machine? Try using it with a NewerTech Guardian MAXimus; your backups will then, themselves, have two copies.

Once you’ve set up your software and hardware to make regular backups, the only thing you’ll want to do is double-check to make sure it’s doing its thing and that there are no problems with your setup. Believe me, the worst time to find out that your backup software stopped working months ago is when your main drive fails and you need that backup.

So, check it periodically. Boot to that cloned drive; use Time Machine to find some random files. Just make sure that it’s working, and the more important/irreplaceable your data is, the more frequently you should do it, be that weekly, monthly, or once a year on World Backup Day.”

I think the point made in the last sentence is the relevant one, you should back up as often as you download your images, if you need to be reminded to do so once a year you might have missed the point about digital being fallible. Our advice in class to our students is back up often, I tell my class “When people are asked what they would save if their house were on fire, some people say their children, some the dog but everyone says their pictures” You might not need a fire at home to lose all your pictures. What are you going to do about it today?

I download into my Lightroom library, this is an external 2gb hard drive that immediately backs up to a second external (nothing is perfect, I used to use internal drives until a bad experience with a burning smell from the cpu rendered them useless) externals may not be any better but at least they only have one purpose. When I have processed the images and exported them and sent relevant copies to the client I burn a disc with the prepared images. I understand discs are not a long term answer as in say 5 years all the cds I have of work over that last 10 years might be unreadable either because of disc failure or the fact there might be now cd readers anymore. Think about it, how would you read data from one of those 3 in square floppies (that weren’t that floppy) let alone the 5in floppies (that were floppy) of a few years ago? At least in terms of commercial work most of it has a life of less than 5 years, people move on, products change, hell the world changes, I wonder what happened to all those desk tidies that held pens, paper clips, erasers, post it notes etc are now. I photographed many in the years gone by. I digress, so back to my back up, I have recently started to use a cloud service to back up the most important images I have so in the worst case scenario the images I care about are somewhere other than on my electronics. Is this fool proof, well obviously not but I do manage to sleep at night.

So do we need another day to tell us what to do, I wonder sometimes that all these days are just a symptom of bad memory, ours not the computer, do we really need a day to remind us to be nice to our mothers? Well if you do only back up once a year make this a date in your diary, you could put it just below the reminder to have a bath.

Oh and given that OWC are Mac resellers and this article is almost exclusively Mac orientated (except for my central point that back up is a universal problem) no matter what piece of other than Mac junk you use back up your pictures now.


250 photography tutorials

The people over at Pixiq have come up with a list of 250 tutorials you might need. I haven’t been into them all to check them out (naturally) but I am sure you will find something useful. Here is a link to their site

and here is a a taste, the first three, so only 247 left to look at

1 – Digital Basics

It happens rarely that I find an article that seems to cover all the basics of digital photography, but this article hits the spot very nicely indeed. It’s a one-shot introduction to the basics – nearly as good as buying one of my books! 🙂

Get the full skinny at Digital Basics on Photo Pursue

2 – Learn Photography in Five Steps

Panning. I think I cried the first time that I tried it. I might’ve had a better experience with this clear, five-step tutorial to capturing moving subjects.

Find it all on Learn Photography in Five Steps on Step By Step Photography

3 – Working with Models for that Perfect Wide-Angle Photo

So you’ve tried your hand at underwater photography and you love it. Now you want to try something a bit more advanced. How about including a model? Here’s how…

There’s more at Working with Models for that Perfect Wide-Angle Photo on Stephen Frink

4 – Avoiding the evil of red-eye

If you’re using a compact camera, red-eye can turn a portrait of your best friend into a picture of the devil incarnate. This guide explains what red eye is, how it happens, and how to avoid it.

Read more on Avoiding the evil of red-eye on Small Aperture

MORE can be found here

©Keith Barnes

DSLR cameras banned from railway station

This article on the excellent pixiq site highlights again the crass stupidity of those in authority; you would have thought that having authority required some semblance of grey matter. It does make you wonder who advises these idiots, still it does explain their inability to run a decent railway service. Well done Daniela Bowker over at pixiq. Read the whole article here and wonder at how stupid tfl are

Tim’s photo, taken with a compact camera

There is an update to this story that is almost as amusing, here is a link

Speaking to BJP, Wendy Neville, a spokeswoman for the London Transport Museum, which administers the station, explains the ban: “Terms and conditions for the recent sale of tickets to visit Aldwych Underground station clearly stated that digital SLR cameras were not permitted, as these are classed as professional equipment.”

150 unmissable photography sites

so as we know the great thing about the web is that all the information you need is out there, the problem is finding it. I spend a lot of time looking at photography related sites and apart from a problem with categorising them in my bookmarks there are also so many. When a site like Pixiq creates a blog post titled “150 unmissable photography sites” it is worth checking out.

“A few years ago, I wrote a post highlighting some of my favourite photography sites, and it quickly became one of my most-commented posts. It turns out that despite the fact that I included lots of sites, it was never enough. Now, I’m not much of the bookmarking type, and so as time went on, I never really kept a record of my favourite sites.

Until recently, that is. About six months ago, I started a new blog post, tentatively titled “100 great photography sites”, but I quickly discovered that there are many more than 100 fantastic sites out there. Then, the post completely ballooned out of control, as I tried to write descriptions and a bit of information about each of the sites I had collected.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… 150 photography sites that will waste most of your month, if you’ll let them.”  if you want to see this list of unmissables go here

Here is the top 5

1 – Flickr

A fantastic community-based site that enables user to create profiles and upload, tag, and organize their photos to share with friends and family. It also has groups so users can share photos about similar topics, themes, or concepts.

2 – Digital Photography Review

Probably the most viewed website for getting reviews about the latest classic cameras and accessories. Enables users to compare various cameras, and find images and specifications. Members can also comment, ask questions and post topics in the forums. Easily the best place to research your next camera!

3 – Small Aperture

Small Aperture writes about photography ‘stuff’. Anything goes, really, from new cameras to their own monthly photo competition, via the odd rant and tutorial. But they’re as irreverent, unstuffy, informal, quirky, and opinionated as they can get away with, which is a breath of fresh air. It’s pictures, cameras, websites, and exhibitions on too much caffeine and sugar.

4 – Photo Competitions

If you are interested in amateur or professional photography competitions, visit this website to take part in almost all aspects of photography contests like landscape, nature, travel, wildlife, cities, culture, underwater adventure and many more.

5 – The Luminous Landscape

Those who love nature and landscape photography will find vital information, latest news, tips, and tricks on this website. People will also find out some relevant and valuable articles on various topics related to landscape photography.

from William Eggleston’s Guide



250 photography tutorials

A curious thing happened with the advent of the internet – and that is that people seemed to shun photography clubs, classes, books, and even learning from your mates, and turn more towards learning from online tutorials. In some ways, that’s a shame – but given how many hard-working photographers there are out there who are more than happy to share their knowledge with the masses, we’re probably in a better place now that we ever have. Everything you ever wanted to know here