Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter

The MacBook Pro Retina Display is the 1st “Pro” Mac to ship without Firewire. However, Apple also announced that they would ship a Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter in July. Although the adapter did ship a few days late, it’s here and no surprises – it works!

I was shopping for USB 3 drives, but I kinda just stopped looking. I figured that I could get by with connecting my existing drives via USB 2 until the adapter shipped. I’m glad I waited, because out of the box I just plugged in my existing Firewire 800 drives and up they came onto the desktop. This makes my MacBook Pro Retina Display complete.

Bonus

One of the downsides with going with the MacBook Air in the past was that you’d be giving up high speed connectivity to external drives. The original MacBook Air only came with USB 2. The last two models included Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt drive availability was far and few between. This adapter also brings Firewire connectivity to the MacBook Air for the 1st time! I plugged in my LaCie Rugged 1TB drive into my MacBook Air via the Adapter and it just worked.

Although I haven’t done any speed tests, the speed should be the same as Thunderbolt is faster than Firewire. It should therefore be able to keep up with Firewire drives.

You can get the Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter here.


Don’t Lose The Shoot

Over the weekend I was working with a model and during our casual conversation she expressed to me how disappointed she was that in one of her recent shoots with another photographer that she lost all but a couple of her images. She described the tale of receiving a CD of the images that he took of her. She was importing the images into her computer and it stopped after about the 3rd image. It seems that the disc was corrupted. At that point she contacted the photographer to perhaps get another disc and he informed her that he had lost the images too. I’m not really sure what that means, but I take it as either he had the same problem with disc corruption (relying on CDs as his method of archival) or some other form of data loss?

Data Loss Happens!

No matter what system you use, hardware you use, services that you use there is the potential for data loss. Physical media is susceptible to all kinds of failure. So the idea is to never ever ever ever ever trust your images (or any other important data) to one single device or thing.  To date I’ve been quite lucky. I’ve never lost a shoot. Nothing would be more frustrating than to spend hours or all day on location doing a shoot only to not have any images to show for it. I’ve been backup paranoid since my 1st hard drive crash in the early 90’s.

Let’s start with the shoot itself

Memory cards these days come in nice large capacities and while I love being able to shoot 1,000 RAW images to a single card, it’s not a good idea! You’re much better off breaking your shoot up onto multiple cards. At least if one card goes bad you haven’t lost ALL of your images. Keep in mind this is when you’re the most venerable. At this point your images only exist in one spot.

Immediately Backup The Shoot – If I’m out in the field and I’m shooting to a memory card then I’m going to backup immediately afterwards (usually while on location) to another device. I’m either going to backup to my iPad, my MacBook Pro or a portable media backup hard drive such as the HyperDrive Colorspace.

That way I still have the original images on the card AND on at least one other device. If I’m shooting in studio then I’m automatically backing up with each shutter release. I’ve been shooting either wirelessly with my Nikon D4 or via Ethernet. That means an image is being captured to the card AND then transferred to my MacBook Pro. That’s not enough for me! I still copy the folder of images to a backup folder on my server before I start working on the local copy that’s on my hard drive.

Yes, even on vacation! Not only do I backup the card via one of the methods above, but I will probably even upload the images to the cloud so that if my gear is stolen or damaged while I’m on vacation I would at least have the images to pull back down when I get home. Before cloud storage was so common I would mail myself a backup DVD.

Image compliments of iStockphoto.com

After it’s all over – even after the shoot is over, images have been retouched and delivered. I still backup EVERYTHING to CrashPlan.com. My computers are backed up locally to other drives via Time Machine, but at the end of the day I still prefer having at least TWO backups and at least one of them being offsite. CrashPlan has served me well thus far. An often overlooked feature of CrashPlan is that it allows you to also choose another location for backups such as a friend’s house or perhaps backing up your studio computer to your home computer or vise versa.

How to start thinking about your own backup strategy – The 1st time I ever backed up my hard drive was due to a total hard drive crash. I learned my lesson the hard way. However, even after that crash and learning the importance of backing up, I wasn’t doing it regularly back then. One day I looked at my computer and said to myself “what if your hard drive crashed RIGHT NOW? What would you lose? I started thinking about all the things that weren’t currently backed up and of course I did an immediate backup. Luckily times have gotten better and our backups are more automated with things like Time Machine and Crash Plan. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use the same method to determine what to backup. Just modify it a bit. Ask yourself if your computer crashed right now, what would you lose? Now ask yourself if your building burned to the ground overnight (no one was there, no one was hurt), what would you lose? If someone stole your camera bag, what would you lose? If someone stole your computer bag, what would you lose? For me, in each of those scenarios I’d lose gear and I’d be pissed off, but my data in each of those scenarios would be recoverable.

The Bottom Line

I’ve never lost a shoot! Sure it could happen some day, but I try to reduce my risk as much as possible using the methods above. I had worked with another model for a couple of years before she moved out of state. One day she sends me an email telling me that she had a small fire and lost all of her CDs (she put them on CD, not me) and was wondering if by chance that I had any of the images we had created together. I had ALL of them! I was able to send her all of our “finished” images that we had ever taken.

“You’ve either lost data, or you’re about to lose data!” BACKUP

If your important data is only in one place then you’re doing it wrong!


Deep Discounts on Lexar 1000x CF Cards

When I was on my Nikon African Safari in Sabi Sabi South Africa, not only did Nikon loan me some nice long glass, but they also supplied me with some Lexar 1000x CF cards for my Nikon D4. To say that these cards performed well is an understatement. When I got home I checked the price of the cards and of course I had slight sticker shock. However, these cards are now on sale with some deep discounts here.



I Added Two New Portfolios To My Site

When it comes to photography my primary focus is Beauty/Fashion, in other words people. However, because I travel for a living I also get to do a fair amount of landscape and travel photography too. While I did have a Landscapes Portfolio on my site, my travel shots were starting to blend in even if they weren’t technically landscapes. A couple of nights ago I decided to break them out and create a dedicated Travel Portfolio.

While I was at it I also was curious to see how many shots I had taken with my iPhone. I was toying with the idea of perhaps having an “iPhone Photography” Portfolio just for fun but I could only think about 3-4 worthy shots off the top of my head that I remember shooting with my iPhone.

I figured that I shouldn’t trust my memory and I decided to let Lightroom show me my iPhone shots by creating a Smart Collection. I was right to take that approach because there were many more shots than I remembered taking with my iPhone and as a result I was easily able to put together an iPhone Photography Portfolio just for kicks.

While I don’t see any smartphone camera replacing my DSLR any time soon, I pretty much do use the iPhone 4s 99% of the time as my point and shoot camera. I’m usually amazed by some of the shots I get considering the small sensor on that thing.

I updated my site using the Turning Gate Plug-ins and Adobe Lightroom 4.1. Also since I’m a Geotagging Freak! Most of the shots in the new galleries will show you the location where they were taken.


How To Repurpose Content In InDesign CS6 With The New Content Collector Tools

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Video Podcast Terry White shows how to use the New Content Collector Tools in InDesign CS6 to repurpose content from one InDesign document to another InDesign Document and make updates.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media



MacBook Pro Retina Display 1st Impressions

Many of you have been asking me about my impressions of the new MacBook Pro Retina Display from a “Photographer’s Perspective” and I’m not quite ready with that review yet. However, I have done my 1st review and given my overall impressions of it, which you can read here. The reason that I’m not really ready to talk about it from a photographer’s or even a designer’s perspective yet is that to be fair we really have to wait for Apps to be updated to take advantage of this (Hi-DPI) display. While Apple did showcase a “future” version of Photoshop CS6 on stage, that version is not quite ready for distribution yet.

 

photo credit – Engadget.com

We’re also waiting on Lightroom, InDesign and Illustrator. What I can say now is that while the current CS6 versions haven’t been updated yet, they do work just fine and I have no problem using them in my daily routine.

As a matter of fact I’ve completely switched over to the New MacBook Pro Retina Display and used it on stage during my Detroit InDesign Users Group meeting last week without any issues. I did my entire demo including Photoshop CS6, Bridge CS6, Illustrator CS6, InDesign CS6, Acrobat Pro X, and Adobe Muse. I figured that there was no better way to really test its capabilities than to do a full blown demo on stage in front of 200+ people :) Crazy=Brave. I didn’t even bring the old one as a backup. It all worked perfectly!

How do non-Hi-DPI apps look?

That’s the question you’re probably wondering about and I have to say that while not as crisp as a native Hi-DPI app would look, these apps don’t don’t look bad at all. At least not as bad as I feared. Sure they are a little “soft” and if you zoom in in Photoshop you’ll see more jaggies around the edges, but even with these annoyances, I have no problem doing my day to day work including photo retouching. I actually feared that it would be unusable and I’d have to keep using my other MacBook Pro until the updates came out. I’m glad that that turned out to not be the case (Y.M.M.V. – I can’t tell you how YOUR eyes will perceive ANY display. You really have to see YOUR work on a display that you are considering and be YOUR own judge! I can only tell you works or doesn’t work for me.)

When these apps are updated for Hi-DPI life will be even better! So stay tuned for an updated review or second look once we have an update to Photoshop and perhaps some of the other apps. As a photographer you’re definitely going to want this USB 3 CF/SD Card Reader by Lexar.


How To Use Photoshop Files in Your Adobe Muse Website

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast Terry White shows how to incorporate Adobe Photoshop (.PSD) files in your Muse Website and how to create buttons with hyperlinks.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media



CLEAR vs TSA Pre

As a very frequent flier I was pleased to no end when the “trusted traveler” Clear Program came on to the scene. I got to use them quite a bit before they went bankrupt in 2009 when the economy crashed. I was saddened by the loss of this service, but life went on. In the last several months TSA has been rolling out their own program that is now branded TSA Pre and this “pres-screening”service offers the benefit of zipping through a TSA checkpoint without having to take off your shoes, belt, liquids or electronics out of you bag. Best of all it’s FREE. Although it totally rocks, it’s not a guarantee. You are “randomly” selected each time you check in at an airport to either go through the TSA Pre line or the regular line. It’s also only for domestic travel. If any part of your itinerary is international you won’t be selected for TSA Pre. My luck so far has been about 90% of the time I get to go through the TSA Pre line and it’s been GREAT!

CLEAR is back!

A while back Clear announced new ownership and that they were making a come back. I for whatever reason, kept my CLEAR card. I guess it was just such a cool looking card that I didn’t want to shred it. When they announced that they were re-opening CLEAR lines, I put the card back in my wallet. Just last night when leaving SFO I got to use the CLEAR line. So far they have only re-opened at MCO, DFW and now SFO.

CLEAR vs TSA Pre

You might be asking yourself at this point “do I even need CLEAR anymore?” My answer to that question is “it depends.” It seems that CLEAR is open at airports that don’t yet have TSA Pre. Also remember that TSA Pre is not guaranteed for every check-in. With that said, my CLEAR membership is good through November 2013 and TSA Pre is at all but a few of the airports I travel through most often. I would be hard pressed to renew it in 2013 and PAY again. While TSA Pre isn’t everywhere yet, it most likely will be by 11/2013. It’s FREE and even with CLEAR you still have to go through the regular screening like everyone else. CLEAR just gets you to the front of the line. There was one trip that I was leaving MCO (Orland0) and MCO doesn’t have a frequent flyer line (or at least they didn’t back then). There were no less than 2 million people in line (OK, maybe more like 200) when I was running a little late for my flight. I remembered that MCO had a CLEAR lane, I ran up to it, got escorted right to the front of the line (sorry 200 people) and had no problem making my flight. So the advantage is “CLEAR” when it’s an airport that doesn’t have TSA Pre or a priority line, but the number of those airports is far and few between.

My prediction is that we may see CLEAR shut down again in a year or so unless they can find more ways to differentiate their services over the FREE TSA Pre program and frequent flyer lines. They have a long way to go in terms of opening up and staffing lanes at all the airports they used to be in vs. all the airports period. It’s now $179/year and I would have paid that without batting an eye before, where as now I definitely question the value. If you fly out of MCO, DFW or SFO regularly then it’s probably worth it for at least this year. After that we’ll have to see.

Last night when I went through the CLEAR lane, it didn’t seem any faster than going through the Delta Sky Priority line, which only had a couple of people in it at the time. However, had the Sky Priority line been packed, the CLEAR would have been better as it’s almost never that busy.  My recommendation to CLEAR is to work it out with TSA so that CLEAR members can also skip the strip down and body scanners!


Last Call for my Nikon D700

Hi All! I’ve upgraded to the Nikon D4 and decided to sell my Nikon D700 body on eBay. The auction ends soon. Last chance to get a great bundle here.


How Many Shots Have You Taken With Your Nikon DSLR? Photoshop Can Tell You!

Every time you fire the shutter of your Nikon DSLR there is a built-in counter that keeps track of these actuations. Most people go on about their daily photography lives shooting away and never really thinking about this count. After all why would you care? As long as the camera is still working you just keep shooting. The only time that this count really comes into question is when you’re selling your camera. I had never heard of an “Actuation Count” until I sold my Nikon D300 way back when on eBay. The perspective buyer asked me for the count and of course I had no idea how to determine it as it’s not really displayed in any of the menus (go figure). I did some research back then and found a Windows only utility that would display the count. I was quite pleased to give the buyer the info he wanted and the transaction proceeded nicely.

No special utility required

This Actuation Count is not only stored in the bows of the camera’s electronics, but it’s also embedded in the metadata of every RAW file you shoot! Since it’s in the metadata that means that Photoshop can see it.

All you need to do is shoot one RAW file (sorry it’s not stored in JPGs according to the stuff I read on the interwebs). Set your Nikon DSLR to RAW, take one shot of anything. I did it with no lens and the body cap on. The image is irrelevant. Transfer the .NEF file to your computer and open it in Photoshop (or Bridge). Do a File Info on it and head all the way over to the Advance Tab. Twirl down the “Schema” folder and you will see your Nikon Actuation Count aka “Image Number”.

I’m selling my Nikon D700 here on eBay and now you know it has 71, 185 actuations :)


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