I went solar!

I have always been fascinated by solar since I was a child. The thought that there is this giant fusion reactor in the sky that can provide power freely to the entire planet is amazing. When Tesla rolled out their NEW Solar Roof (actual solar tiles that replace traditional shingles) I was like WOAH! The only problem is that my house is fairly new. It was built in May 2016 and therefore the roof is too new to simply rip off, throw away and start over. I wasn’t willing to take that loss. I went the next best route. I had solar panels installed instead.

I had a solar system installed at the end of 2019

I wanted to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit which for 2019 was 30%. That takes a sizable chunk off the cost of the system and resulted in a tax refund.

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9 Tips for Working From Home

Having worked from home over the past 20+ years the Corona Virus crisis hasn’t had a huge negative impact on my daily work. However, I realize that for the vast majority of people that are used to getting up and going out of the house to an office or place of business each day, this could be quite jarring. Couple that with having small children out of school, elderly parents and pets to take care of while you’re trying to remain productive and positive could be a bit much.

Here are a few tips to make it a little better working from home

Tip 01 – You Don’t Have to Feel Isolated

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My NEW Photography Master Class is off to a GREAT Start

First off I want to thank you all for the overwhelming support of my NEW Photography Master Class on Fridays. The viewership has been amazing and I’m really enjoying the dialog. I’m excited to have a dedicated timeslot to talk about all things photography.

The first five episodes are available for replay

Here’s a playlist that you can subscribe to watch the first 5 episodes and all new episodes going forward. Click the Playlist button in the upper right corner to jump to a specific episode.

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The NEW Lutron Caséta Occupancy Sensor is Great but Unnecessarily Limited

The Lutron Caséta Occupancy Sensor below the Lutron Caséta Dimmer Switch

Motion / Occupancy Sensors can make a smart home that much more smart and convenient. However, most of them suffer from slow response times. What good is a motion sensor if you walk past it and it takes several seconds to actually do what you set it up to do? Or worse it doesn’t respond at all. Walking into a dark room or hallway in the middle of the night and having the lights come on is a wonderful thing. Walking several steps into that dark room or hallway before the light comes on, not so much. I know what some of you are saying…”just hit the switch on the wall. Problem solved.” Yep. That would do it. So would getting up and changing the volume on the TV, yet you use a remote control. Convenience is convenience. Everyone has a different threshold.

The Lutron Caséta Occupancy Sensor has the best response time, but…

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No WiFi Dead Spots PERIOD. Linksys Velop WiFi 6 Mesh Router Review

Linksys Velop WiFi 6 Mesh Router

I can’t believe that it has been almost two years since I moved away from my Apple AirPort Extreme WiFi routers. You can see my original Linksys Velop review from May 2018 here. I grew my original three node Tri-band Linksys Velop network to five nodes that year and it worked pretty well for me. However, I’m a speed freak. I want the fastest possible network speeds that I can get and I zero tolerance for dead spots. I have a fairly large network with anywhere from 110 to 130 devices connected at any given time. I also have a smart home and stable fast WiFi is a must for a smart home to function successfully. This need for speed lead me to look at the NEW Linksys Velop WiFi 6 Mesh Router.

The Linksys Velop WiFi 6 Mesh Router is a BEAST!

It’s not only significantly larger in size, but it also improves upon the Velop Tri-band Mesh Router in every way. The specs are mouth-watering.

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The Wacom One Pen Display is Here and So Is My Review

Wacom One Box

Wacom has had a long-standing history of providing professional-level graphics tablets and pen displays to the creative community. Often with professional tools, there is a professional price tag attached. Wacom products have never been referred to as “cheap.” Reliable, yes. Quality, yes. Great features, yes. But not cheap. That’s all well and good if you work for a design shop and a company is buying them for you. If you’re self-employed or just starting out then the Wacom Cintiq (professional level pen display) probably was out of the question.

That all changed with the Wacom One

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My Live Streaming Studio Setup – 2020

Terry White in his Live Streaming Sudio

Updated 4-13-2020

Live streaming continues to be a big part of my life. I live stream multiple times per week as part of my job at Adobe. I stream live Adobe tutorials regularly to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter/Periscope, and now LinkedIn and Behance as well. Since this is what I do for a living I wanted to continue to improve my production values.

I have been tweeking my dedicated live streaming studio since 2016. Being a photographer I’ve setup a few photography studios and no matter how you equip your studio you can always find more gear that you want and ways to improve it. I’ve been building out this live streaming studio since May 2016. I have everything I “need” to do my streams, but I’m always looking out for ways to improve upon what I have or make it easier to do my streams.

Like a photography studio, your streaming setup can be very basic or very elaborate

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Using One Password is Dumb, Using 1Password is Smart

It’s 2020 and as usual, the list of the worst passwords of the previous year (2019) is released. The top 10 on the list are always the same: #1: 123456, #2: 123456789, #3: qwerty, #4: “password” (my personal favorite), #5: 1234567, #6: 12345678, #7: 12345, #8: iloveyou, #9: 111111, #10: 123123.

The trend you might detect from above is that they are all very basic and very easy to remember. They made the top 10 of the list for a reason; everyone knows them! They are the least secure passwords of all time. Using these and the rest on the list is like not using a password at all. I’m actually glad that most sites now require that you create passwords of a certain minimal length, include upper and lower case characters, at least one number and at least one symbol. This means that you’ll have to put a little more effort into the password you create and it may not be as easy to remember, but at least it will be a lot less guessable.

Someone guessing your password is only part of the problem

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3 Last-Minute Gifts for the Photographer on your List

It’s that time of year and as many of us are still scrambling to figure out what to buy for the special people on our lists, I put together this shortlist for the Photographer on your list.

This USB-C Hub is AWESOME

If the photographer on your list uses a newer MacBook Pro, iPad Pro or PC then chances are this hub will be a welcome addition to their bag. Apple has gone all-in on USB-C and that’s actually a good thing because if everything uses one USB standard then there will be more choices for peripherals for everyone. The transition is slow though. Not all peripherals are USB-C yet. That’s why this USB-C hub is AWESOME. The ALLEASA USB-C hub features an HDMI port, 3 standard USB 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a MicroSD reader, SD Reader and a USB-C port for power. Plug this baby in and you’ll have all the ports you need even on your iPad Pro!

You can get it here.

Music in your studio while you shoot

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Adobe Cyber Monday Deals 2019

It’s that time of year again. This time of year you can usually save the most on your creative tools.

Save 40% on Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan here. It gets even better for students and teachers. Save up to 70% here.

If Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 2020 is more your speed save on this bundle here.

It’s also a great time to get your first graphics tablet!

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