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MM35 – Monochrome Madness 35

Here we go again, another week of Monochrome Madness, week 35 now. There does seem to be a bit of a theme happening in this weeks MM, and I bet you can guess it is Halloween.  We don’t do Halloween in Australia, though many of the younger generations are trying to make it happen, not sure how much luck they will have with that.

Don’t forget that this challenge is all about challenging yourself to make monochrome images, they aren’t judged and it really is all about participating.  So if you think you could benefit from doing more monochrome work, then consider joining us. The instructions on how to do it are list at the bottom.

mallee-cottage-stone-abandoned-old

 

When I was trying to get an image for today I thought I was going to use one of the ones that I had taken of a rainforest that I visited recently, but after doing five of them and not being happy with any of them I saw an image that someone else had done on another blog and I remembered this image.  This image I took over two years ago while on a trip to the Mallee, and I was never totally happy with the way I processed it, so I dug it out and tried to see what I would do if I were to make it Monochrome.  I like the result, and in the end knew this had to be my image today.  I have put the other ones up on my other blog and you can see them here, Trying More Black and White Photography.

fuzzy

Laura Macky has sent in this image this week and if you would like to hear more about it then go to her blog, Laura Macky and her post Forgiveness – Monochrome Madness

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

 

MM34 – Monochrome Madness 34

Here we go again, Monochrome Madness 34.  Quite a few of you have been talking about how fast it comes around each week and I have to say, I agree.  I feel like I have just recovered from the previous week and then I have to start thinking about the next week.  I never know what image I will do until it is done.

marysville-steavensons-falls-water-monochrome-100-2

I took this image on Monday morning when I was taking photos at Marysville with a friend.  We had planned on photographing something else, but we didn’t think much of it, so in the end we decided to go to Marysville and take some photos of Steavensons Falls.  The last time I went there the sun was shining on it, but this time it was earlier in the morning and it was much better to take photos of. I have written a post on it over at my other blog.

construction

Laura Macky has sent in her image for MM34, and if you want to find out some more information on it, then please go to her blog, Laura Macky.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Weekend Wanderings – Getting Dark in the City

Yesterday I was in the city doing some photos with someone.  We started in the late afternoon and took photos until just after 9pm, it was really getting dark in the city then, so I thought I would do some of those photos as my Weekend Wandering post today.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-101

Melbourne Town Hall, it is looking rather ordinary at the moment, but in a month or two I’m sure it will be decorated for Christmas.  I like photographing the same buildings over, they are always different, whether it is the light, or what they have on them.  I would like do a great fine art architectural shot of this building.  I realised yesterday that I will need to use my wide angle, otherwise I can’t fit in the tower.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-103

Stopping at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade is almost something I can’t stop doing.  I didn’t get many photos as by the time we got there they were clearing the window.  I might have to try getting a shot of that one day.  I did ask some questions about the window, so will try some more photos soon.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-110

Can you see the bright lights in the water, something reflecting off the bridge.  It was really strange, but we had fund trying to get photos of it.

These two photos look the same, well they are really. except one has a blue sky and the other one is browner.  Maxwell International Australia has let me keep the filters a little longer so I could experiment a little more.  The sunset we got in the city was terrible, really, not much colour, so I thought it would be interesting to try the tobacco graduated filter.  It really warms the image up.  I have been playing around more and on Tuesday will show more photos and talk about the kit a little more.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-118

We saw the gas going off outside the Casino.  We got there hoping it would happen at 8pm, but then some other people who were there looked it up and said that it wouldn’t be on until 9.  We thought, oh well, and just kept taking photos of other things, and then all of a sudden, on they came.  I hope the people who thought it came on later still saw them.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t think it was going to happen, and so weren’t really prepared, still we got some shots, I just wish I had got a little more of the reflection.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-120

Then it was time to do some night photos of the city.  I love photographing the city at night.  I love seeing how it looks.  So I love it when people say they want to do it. I especially love doing One on One Photography Lessons for people who want to learn night photography. I don’t know that I will ever tire of it, there are always different places along the river to go.

I am going to leave you with a gallery now, I need to start planning a driving trip today for my daughter to get in some more driving hours, but also so I can go somewhere to try out the filters again.  Have a couple of ideas, but you will have to wait and see.  I hope you have somethings planned for the weekend.  I am back into the city tomorrow for Social Snappers, we are doing architecture along Collins Street, should be great.

 

Up for Discussion – Backing Up

This post today is written by me and has come out of something that recently happened to me.  It was something that was scary and has reminded me of how important it is not to keep all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.  Today’s Up for Discussion is going to address how important backing up can be.

I started taking photos seriously with a DSLR, I don’t know about 5 years ago, when I was taking photos of cycling.  My daughter was cycling, so I started taking photos of her and a few other people, then it progressed to me taking photos nearly every weekend at some cycling event or another.  During the weekends it could be nothing for me to take two or three thousand photos.  I think the most I ever toscmu2-4hpm2487-7-3ok in one day was three thousand.  I was also selling them, so I had to have a back up of all my photos.  I became very concerned about it.  About 10 years ago I had a hard disk in a computer die.  My husband, Dave, had never felt my stuff was worth backing up, so he never put anything into place.  It isn’t a good feeling, I think it is a bit like being robbed, for months you remember new things you lost. He changed his tune after that.

So  for the cycling photmurraysunset-pinklades-salt-bush-wateros, he bought two external drives, one the main one, the other the back up. Then they started filling up, so he did some investigations and decided to get a NAS.  Now don’t ask me to explain what it is, but it sits near the tv, has 4 drives in it, and is connected to the network, so anyone in the house can have access to it.  I can see photos from it from either computer.  When I am done with photos, I back them up onto the NAS, the images go on one disk and then they are automatically backed up onto another one.  It has been a great system, though I have worried about something happening with the NAS, like the house burning down, or it being stolen.  I have been trying to decide what to do.

We have 4 TBs of storage in the NAS and we filled them up.  Not just with my photos, but other things as well.  That is what caused the problems, we think.  We had purchased some more space in it, but Dave had been waiting for me to get LeanneCole-citylight-1404054920_HDRthings done first, and I was slow, I admit it.  Then when he finally started looking at the NAS, he made an announcement, “the NAS was dead”.  Who said men aren’t melodramatic?  I told him it better not be because I had 5 years of work on it, and I didn’t want to lose any of it.  He was a bit flippant about it, I have to say, not really sure he takes what I do seriously.

After putting in the other disk we had purchased, and a bit of mucking around he was able to get all my photos from the back up and it looks like I didn’t lose anything.  I think sometimes being married to a programmer can be more of a burden, they can do things in more complicated ways, and really if something happened to him, well, I would just about lose everything any way, I don’t knoleannecole-thea-20131116-1477w how to do things on the NAS.

Now, sorry, it is a long post today, but the end of it is that I really need to make sure I have better back up systems in place. I had quite a few sleepless nights last week, and I don’t want that to happen again.

I have been thinking, that while I have the NAS, I need to look at other things as well, so I don’t have all my eggs in one basket.  I have now purchased a 4TB external drive, and my photos are on it as well now.  I am going to leave that with a friend at her house.  Then in about a month I will purchase a second one, and then start swapping them over.  That way if something happens here, then leannecole-klara-7353-4she will always have a fairly up to date drive with my photos on it.  So far I have filled over 2TB.  I think I also need to be pickier about what I save.  I shouldn’t save everything, some of the photos are no good and I know I will never use them.

The other thing I have been looking at is the possibility of using some form of internet storage.  I haven’t made up my mind, though if I do, I will just start it from now and possibly only put photos that are really important to me.

I thought I would ask some people here on the internet what they thought.  I asked 4 guys who I think take a lot of photos.  I also thought that sometimes men and women do think differently about this and it might help to get a different view on it.

I asked Victor Rakmil.

My back-up system is relatively straight forward. Here’s the explanation:

“I put effort into taking my photographs and processing them. I worry about the possibility of losing them. To solve the back up problem I use external mobile drives, not my computer hard drive. I import my photos into Lightroom in the DNG format, with copies in the original Nikon NEF format, to a second external drive (that way if by chance DNG is no longer a viable format I have my original Raw files). As I work on my files I copy the DNG drive to a third back-up drive and put that drive in a safe place. In the end I have three copies of all of my photos. With one set off-site.  Which reminds me, I have a drive to copy and take to the bank.  :)”

Victor also gave me a link to a page talking about this and it had a survey asking people what they do.  Photo Backup Survey

I asked Robin Kent.

On the subject of back-up, my approach is not particularly exotic, but it is one way to protect one’s image files from various disasters.   The cost of storage is relatively cheap today which helps because the size of my inventory is approaching4 Terabytes. My starting point is the computer platform which has three internal hard drives, and four external drives.  I no longer use a NAS solution, although I do have an Ethernet network with NAS capability.

laurent-melbourne-littlecollins-building-monochromeOne of the two internal drives is a 512 MB solid state drive (SSD) where Photoshop resides and processing occurs.  All image files, whether processed or not, are stored on the second internal hard drive, a 4 TB hard drive which is the Master Drive.  At this point I have 1 copy of my inventory.  From here the tactic is to create additional copies in case the prime drive fails.

The Master Copy is backed up using the standard Apple Time Machine back-up software. This is the Back-up drive (3rd internal drive) and would be used if a file restore is needed.  However, some experts feel that the Apple system is not totally reliable, so I don’t consider this drive as one of my copies.  I also have a simple back-up software application with an automatic schedule to make copies each day of my image files on two separate external 4 TB hard drives.  It adds new files since the last copy and records any changes made in existing files.  So at any given point in time, I have three connected copies on-site, two of which are no older than 24 hours.

The third step is off-site storage.  Mechanical failure is not the only danger, only the most likely one.  It doesn’t matter how many copies you have in your building if something happens to the building.  If I happen to be here when that event occurs, I could quickly detach the two external drives and leave, not something I could have done with my rack-mounted NAS drive.  But chances are I won’t be here.  So I have two additional 4TB drives which are stored in a separate location (my wife’s office) office about 10 miles away.  They are refreshed once a month.

I don’t use any of the “Cloud” services as a back-up solution because they are not reliable, nor secure despite their claims, and are subject to policy changes at any time.

I ask Benjamin Rowe as well.

Backing up files can become an obsessive compulsive, although there is no perfect solution, anything can go wrong. I happen to work with two computers and part of my back up process lets me share the files across the two.

On my main computer I import my raw files to my second drive. When I have finished editing those files are archived on to an external hard drive. DNG copies of my raw files are also backed up on my cloud storage where I have access to them on my laptop. Also once I have finished editing I export full size Jpegs to a different cloud storage service and burn them onto DVDs.

LeanneCole-Alannah_AliceWhen traveling I pack two external drives; one that I can download images to while out shooting and another that I can copy the files to. I will also download them onto laptop for organising and editing. Backing up also takes place on my phone with all my pictures being backed up to the cloud and then once a month backed up to a hard drive. In case drives fail I have a recovery program that I can use to help rescue my files.

I tend to use different drives as well as different cloud storage services because if one fails there is another. I haven’t started using multiple drives backing each other up automatically, but I can see myself doing that in the future. What I need to work out is how to have access to files when there is no electricity.

Finally I asked Ray Laskowitz.

I was exchanging emails with Leanne when she mentioned that she almost lost five years worth of work when her backup system failed. Luckily, her husband is a computer analyst so he’s been able to help her recover her files.

That’s scary. Very scary. And, I completely understand. I’m a Hurricane Katrina survivor. No. I didn’t go through all the scenes you may have seen on your news stations. I left a day prior to the storm making landfall. Even back then, I backed up my work on multiple sources. At the time I used external hard drives and CDs. I packed the hard drives into small Anvil cases and packed them securely in the car. I thought that was the right thing to do. It wasn’t.

Every one of of those external hard drives broke. I didn’t lose the data. But, the software that provides the connection to the computer was damaged. The computer could not find the hard drives when I tried to mount them. I was able to retrieve the data at a rather large cost.

I vowed that would never happen again.

Here’s what I learned. External hard drives are great… if they are portable. There’s a big difference between external desktop models and a small portable hard drives. Desktop hard drives are essentially the same hard drives that are used in a desktop computer. They are meant to stay in one place. Portable hard drives are very similar to the ones the are used in laptops. They can to be moved. I learned one more thing. Bigger is not necessarily better. For instance, according to statistics kept by the folks who monitor such things, 4 TB hard drives are almost three times likely to fail than 1 TB hard drives. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has to do with the heat they generate as well as length of time in hard service — being used every day.

I also looked into RAID and NAS systems. They actually have pretty high failure rates. That’s fine if a hard drive breaks since they are supposed to be redundant. But, if the main link breaks, you run into the problems that Leanne had.

Of course there are CDs and DVDs, but they corrupt a lot faster than anybody anticipated unless you use gold media. That’s costly and you still really should back up your files twice. Besides, hard ware changes. You should reborn discs every few years.

Of course there are clouds, which are really just offsite servers. I use them, but don’t really trust them completely. Electricity can fail. Internet service providers can fail. I use them. But, not exclusively.

milkyway-sorrento-stars-back-beach So, here’s what I do.

I mix and match. I use two portable 1 TB hard drives at the same time. Once they are filled — not to their maximum storage capacity because that can cause problems too — one goes offsite to a safe deposit box, the other stays with me. I also use two clouds only for master files, one from Apple. The other from Adobe.

Here’s why.

It’s about workflow. There is no one correct workflow. What you organize depends on what photograph and how you work in the field. I download my RAW files to both portables. I put a third set of files on my desktop. Those are the ones I curate and edit. Those files become my masters. They also are uploaded to both portables and the clouds. Once that’s done, they are the files I experiment with… the ones that you might see on my blog, Storyteller. They go onto both hard drives as well.

When I’ve finished with everything, I have two sets of RAW files. Three sets of masters and two sets of experimental files. The funny thing is that I come from the film era. In those days, we had one set of “files.” Negatives and slides. Collections were big and bulky. They were very hard to move in the event of some disaster. Today, we have multiple back up methods. Use as many as you need.

Thank you to those guys, they have similar things, and some things are different.

I know this has been a long post, but it is an important post, and it is something that all of us photographers should be thinking about.  Do you want to risk losing everything? Do you have a backup system in place?  Is it good enough? I will try and answer questions, but I am hoping that Victor, Ben, Robin and Ray might pop in from time to time and answer questions.  I might even be able to get Dave to give some advice, you never know.

The photos I have put in this post are some of the ones I would have lost if I had not been able to recover my images.  They are some of my favourites, and some you have seen a few times.

 

Quiet Thursday’s – New Beginnings

As always I don’t want to talk too much today being a Quiet Thursday’s post, but I think I am about to embark on a new beginning and I really want to shout it out, but will do it quietly.

leannecole-banyuleflats-20140525-9393

I got the grant.

For those that aren’t aware, a month or so back I put in an application to my local council for an Environmentally Sustainability Grant, the grant proposal was to produce a book on Banyule Flats.  The book will be about the history of the Flats, and where it is going in the future, with the hope that it will help prevent a freeway from being built in this area, and especially not where Banyule Flats is.  I want to show what an important area it is.

I thought an image I did earlier this year would be work, a sunrise I took.  It is, so far, the only one I have gotten from there.  Not sure about anymore for the next few months, I’m a bit worried about snakes.  Anyway, a beautiful sunrise image to show the start of new adventure for me.

Part of the grant application was to get a macro lens, so I am also excited about that.  I will be able to get macro images of the flora that is growing in the area.  I will also being given Banyule City Council royalty free use of my images that I take under the premise of the grant, is that the right way of putting it?

I am so excited about doing a book.  It will be my first and already there seems to be a lot of interest in it, so that is even better.  I will keep you all informed of how it is going.  I have twelve months to do the project, but with a file full of photos already, it should take me that long to do it.

Just on another note, I heard from Parks Victoria, and it seems the special permit I have means I can do books with images from the parks here, which is a relief.  I really want to do one on the Mallee as well.

I hope I wasn’t too loud.

MM33- Monochrome Madness 33

Slow it down please, I can’t believe it is time for Monochrome Madness again and we are up to Week 33. It is an interesting thing this whole thing with black and white photography and how popular it is.  I am still loving it, and enjoying doing the images each week.  It always surprises me what people send in, but also never really knowing what I will have either. Some people got emails and some didn’t, sorry, but I have been flooded with entries, and it has been hard keeping up with them all, hopefully I have got them all there.  I think this week is the biggest week we’ve had so far, or close to it.

full-moon-eclipse-clouds-lunar

This image has been all over Facebook, Google+ and Flickr this week.  It is an image I got the other night when I was trying to photograph the blood moon, the night where we had lots of cloud cover. Of course it is almost impossible to get an image like this in one go, so it is actually two images.  The clouds are from one image and the moon is from another. I have got the original images I used over on my other blog if you are interested.

preservationhouse3-2

Here is Laura Macky’s entry this week.  You can find out more information about this image on her blog, Laura Macky, Prelude to Halloween – Monochrome Madness.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

 

 

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

 

MM32 – Monochrome Madness 32

Wow, how quickly does it each week come around?  It is amazing that we are here again, and it is week 32 of our Monochrome Madness.  Another big week, so shall we start?

lake-albacutya-sand-dune-wood

My image for this week, it is one I took up at Lake Albacutya on my last visit to the Mallee.  I just loved the textured wood, the way the dry country brought the grain out.

Laura has decided to not participate this week, she hasn’t had a chance to get out, but judging from the email I just received, she will back into the swing of taking photos all the time in no time.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

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