Oh, Baby.

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Blurry goodness.

After falling head over heels with shots Heather Champ made using the original Lensbaby way back in 2004, I had to add this unique little lens to my kit. I still have my original, plus the 2, and the Control Freak.

But over the past five years or so I’ve been using the Composer Pro, in MFT and K mount versions, with the Sweet 35 Optic. It’s a great little combo. The locking swivel barrel, the aperture ring, and focus brought all of the goodness of the simpler, earlier versions but allowed for greater control overall.

There’s something magical about the images this combo makes, and I’ve felt comfortable shooting pretty much any subject.

Here are a few recent samples and some shots from years past.

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Walkin’ with the G-town crew.

Gary

A stroll around Pioneer Farms.

I had a great time today participating in a PhotowalksGTX adventure at Pioneer Farms in North Austin. David Valdez lead the Georgetown crew and for as hot as it was, we were 10 strong for this outing. There were even a few folks from the PhotowalksATX crowd in attendance.

Pioneer Farms is really pretty cool. There are six themed historic areas open to self-guided walking tours and in between the heat of the morning sun we were able to take momentary and inspirational refuge in historical buildings and shady wooded areas along the trail that cuts through some 90 acres. A lot of good picture making!

We shared the trail with other groups, young families, and a few older folk, as well.

I got to see a Longhorn up close today, another Texas first. 8^)

There was so much to see and photograph and conversation is always easy with folks interested in photography. I enjoyed this particular photowalk quite a bit.

A hat-tip to David for having a cooler filled with ice-cold bottled water waiting for us at the end of the walk. Quite refreshing and oh so welcome!

Back-up Strategy.

fuschia.jpg

Avoiding a lose-lose situation.

When it comes to photography, I like taking pictures first, processing pictures second, and doing back-ups last. Well, that’s not entirely true… hunting for new gear is probably pretty high on my list of photographic priorities.

So, yeah, one of my least favorite parts of photography is doing back-ups. And I’m a tightwad, and I really don’t want to spend a bunch of money on annual cloud storage subscriptions. Instead I’ve invested in a series of external hard drives for mirroring my back-up system.

I also have a disaster recovery system in place with 3 bare hard drives that involves moving 2 off site on a quarterly basis.

The main part of the scheme is how I organize the files.

I create a separate folder for each batch of photos based on camera and date. Each batch folder contains 4 subfolders, one for the original files, another folder for processed files, one for images sized for web use, and one for images sized for web use that are watermarked.

As I mentioned above, the top level folder is named using date and camera, and to make the folders easy to sort numerically I start with the year, then the month, then the day, with a dot between. Like so > 2017.06.04

The camera used, again separated by a dot, follows > 2017.06.04.lx100

The four folders within this main folder are named originals, processed, sized, and branded.

The original files I leave untouched.

The processed files have been opened in Photoshop, tweaked to taste, then titled.

The sized files are knocked down to 72 ppi and roughly 900 to 1200 pixels in width, depending on orientation.

The branded images are just sized files with an added watermark, placed 20 pixels from the bottom of the image and centered.

file structure

At least once a month I copy files to the other hard drives. Once a quarter I swap the off-site drives.

I also do complete card dumps on 5 external hard drives. I often go back and look through those archives to see if I missed any gems, like the Fucshia at the top of this post, originally posted in July of 2006. It’s one of my most popular shots on Flickr and a shot that I initially passed on, only to go back a few weeks later and rediscover. You never know what gems you may have overlooked.