Unlimited Online Image Storage

Data Centre Racks

I now provide free of charge with every photoshoot long term cloud storage, back up and gallery review for all your licensed images and low resolution image files.

This means that you can be sure of safe and secure storage of your images with 24/7 access.  If you lose your images or you need to review a past photoshoot, you can quickly find your organisations galleries or collection. To view historical shoots you simply need to log in to your Client Area.

You will find listed in the Client Area all the collections/galleries available to you.
Navigating the site is through a secure connection via HTTPS provided by SSL security. The benefit to the client is knowing your images are in one place accessible from any location. If time is short it’s not necessary to download all of a shoots images at one time but as and when they are needed. Image file sizes are only going to get larger with time and so downloads will take longer. Making sharing large images with colleagues easier.
The key advantages to online image delivery and storage:
  • Fast Secure access
  • Available 24/7
  • Sharing is made easy between colleagues
  • Options to change the level of security and permissions ( From fully secure login requiring an email address and password, password only, complete open access hidden from public view or publicly viewable.)
  • Proofing tools enabling easy collaboration and selection of images between colleagues and the photographer.

The service is operated and maintaned by a US based company called Photoshelter. In its 12 year history, Photoshelter has had 100% durability. Never losing a single bit of data. With a reliability track record of greater than 99.99% uptime. Every aspect of PhotoShelter’s infrastructure has redundancy, from the network level to the server level to the individual drives that store photos and videos. They have multiple data centers and multiple network providers at each data centre. Which is why some of the world’s most prestigious brands and organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, health care organizations and federal agencies, with extreme security and reporting requirements trust Photoshelter to hold their data.

Since adopting online image storage and delivery I have always wondered what a data centre is and how it operates to provide vast unlimited storage and redundancy. I had seen images of server rooms with vast corridors of server cabinets with bright colourful LED’s but I had no idea of the infrastructure which surrounds and enables these small black boxes we have all now become so dependant on to operate 24 hrs without missing a beat.

Data Centre - Security

I decided to visit a local Data Centre to understand better where the internet lives. They are extremely secure with two and even three stage entry requiring Photo ID.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data Centre - Climate ControlThe data hall where the data lives is dust free and climate controlled with hot air being pumped out and replaced by cool air.
Data Centre Hall

Centres will often have power back up with fuses and circuits duplicated. Should the mains electrical power fail UPS (uninterrupted power supply) batteries kick in until the onsite generators start up.Data Centre Circuit Backup

Finally the entire site is protected by a huge fire suppression system using inert gas to reduce oxygen levels to a safe level to suppress a fire but also allow personnel to escape safely.

Fire Suppression

Portrait Post Process styling and Colour Grading

Colour grading and toning provides a look similar to the many social media images found on instagram and elsewhere. This is not the same as applying a filter as you would in Instagram but a process that can be tailored to your specification and unique to a particular image or set of images. A few example options to colour grade and stylise images the non graded image is top left.

Colour Grading and toning corporate portrait london Warm colour grade corporate portrait london city Blue Colour graded corporate portrait Black and White Corporate Portrait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Portrait London City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original image – no grading applied

Searching for multiple filenames in Lightroom.

I knew it was possible to search for multiple filenames in Lightroom. But recently when I went to search for about 20 filenames I could not get this simple but very powerful time saving search to work. Here is what I did wrong and how the search should be carried out.

My workflow from low res to processing full res selects involves the following. Before sending low res files to client they are renamed with the suffix LR.jpg. e.g. xxxx_xxxx_LR.jpg. So I know that this is a low res file and is easily distinguishable as such. After a client has made their selection of images to process, I am usually sent a text list either in an email or Word document from which I must mark the corresponding raw files to process and supply as full res jpg or tiff. So I usually end up with a text list of filenames not necessarily in numerical order and with the suffix LR.jpg. In order to perform the search of corresponding raw files I need to remove the suffix and add either a space or comma between filenames. I usually use a basic text editor or Apple Pages to do this. This new list can then be copied and pasted into the text search of the Lightroom Grid module.

When a search of multiple filenames is undertaken in Lightroom it is recommended the following parameters should be set:

Text search set to Any Searchable Field & Contains All

This is where things are not as simple as you would expect.

When you use a text editor invisible elements like carriage returns (¶) are added to the document and so when you cut and paste these invisible elements are also copied and pasted along with the visible text. In  my case this would happen and subsequently Lightroom would be unable to search.

This is what I did to remove the hidden returns and add space instead.

From within Pages

  1.  Set View to Show Invisibles
  2. Open the Find and Replace dialog. Tick Whole Words.
  3. In the Find field, insert the return character by typing option-return. You should see “/n” added and all the ¶ highlighted.
  4. In the Replace field, insert a space, then click All. This replaces all newlines with a space, so you’ll have one long line of all your text.

I could then copy and paste this new line of text into Lightroom and find all the correct corresponding filenames.

With large numbers of images and sometimes across different job files this can save a lot of time.

Image Delivery Online

I have been supplying digital images to clients for many years, using a mixture of optical discs (CD/DVD’s) sent by post or by uploading to a server such as YouSendIt or Dropbox. For me online delivery provides speed, a guaranteed delivery time and a reduction in the use of environment damaging plastics and paper.Alex Orrow Photoshelter Download

 

 

Photoshelter

As a commercial photographer I need online delivery, proofing and storage. These are essential elements to my workflow. Having a service provider like Photoshelter has enabled me to provide a consistent, secure and adaptable solution to send images to clients. Along with tools for proofing and collaboration there is also long term storage of image files in almost all formats.

Access & Downloading

Clients can access image files by a secure link accessible only to a specific user login or a password. The default for all client galleries is no access, this makes galleries very secure. From this starting point I have to manually select those who have access. I never provide password only or open access to galleries unless this is requested by the client. Permission to access and download images is setup initially by entering the recipient client’s email into the Photoshelter address book. I then send a link to the client, which directs them to a login page. An email and password is requested at this point. Clients who are receiving access for the first time will have to create their own password by creating an account.

Client Area

Clients set up with a Photoshelter account can access all the galleries I have shared with them. This can be achieved by viewing the ‘Client Area’ from here its possible to see a list all of galleries and gallery collections. Its also possible to see shared light boxes as well.

Tools

  • Lightbox –  A lightbox is a way of collaborating on selecting images and sharing specific images with either myself or another collaborator.
  • Proofing Tool – Streamlines the process of viewing and selecting images to be shared with me for the purpose of processing and optimising.
  • Downloads – From the gallery page its possible to download images as a batch or individually.

Photo shelter has continued to advance its technology and provide better tools and value for money. It is now possible to store images long term online in the cloud. There are plans to integrate the Lightbox and Proofing Tool to make the whole system more user friendly.

Full instructions for each aspect of the Photoshelter service are provided here.

If you are interested in joining Photoshelter please use the following link to save money on sign up. http://www.photoshelter.com/referral/AL9XR29M79

 

 

 

 

RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 or 10 – Image Editing – Part 2of2

After considering the options I opted to configure the 4 drive R4 Promise Pegasus unit with RAID 10. Despite losing half the available storage I felt this would suit my image editing workflow best. Providing fast throughput while providing a good level of redundancy should I lose one drive or even two, I would still be able to continue working. As soon as the R4 begins to get near to full capacity I will remove images which will already have been backed up.

A little about the unit and my initial experience.

The R4 ships ready to use configured with a RAID 5 logical drive. As soon as you plug the unit in, it begins the synchronisation process which takes several hours. The drive comes with the Promise Utility app already installed so you just have to drag this to your applications folder. Once the syncronisation had completed I decide to go ahead and change from RAID 5 to RAID 10. The process of configuring a new logical drive using the Promise Utility application is straight forward once you discover how to do it. As a first time user of both a RAID drive and to Promise, I didn’t understand the need to delete both the logical drive and disc array in order to change the RAID level. Helpfully the Promise utility app provides a wizard for simplifying this process however it does not automatically delete the array and drive when you want to change raid level in fact no options are available in the wizard until you have deleted those two elements. I was puzzled by this at first and disappointed that the Promise Pegasus Utility manual did not feel the gap for new users and explain the need to delete the disc array and logical drive.

It took some quite extensive research via the net to discover exactly what was needed. I also contacted Promise support although this proved to be a complex and unhelpful process.

RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 or 10 – Image Editing – Part 1of2

Which RAID level should I use for image editing?

Going to invest in a Promise Pegasus 4 disk RAID array for the purpose of keeping much of my image editing work away from from my main on board computer hard drive. I would like to also have a large volume where much of my recent work can be kept in order to access it quickly. I currently store job images on my onboard computer HD while editing and processing. This work gets backed up daily to three external hard drives. Two are  kept on site and  eventually archived, with the third kept off site . I also back up my onboard hard drive to a bootable copy. While also backing up other important files to cloud storage.

This has worked as a great backup system for many years until the release of the new Apple Mac Pro. On this computer onboard storage is limited to 1TB maximum. Because of this I very quickly have to move job images onto the external hard drives in order to make room for new work. This is fine although often I need to access the work on the external drives for a quite a long period. Finally it would make sense to have the current active work mirrored, so that if I do have a HD failure I can continue to work, while the failed drive is replaced.

The options for the best RAID levels are a choice 0, 1, 5, 6, or 10. Each provides advantages and disadvantages with respect to performance and security. I am not going to provide an explanation of each. A good explanation of the different RAID levels can be found here by this excellent blog post by Pre pressure.com http://www.prepressure.com/library/technology/raid. or on wikipedia.

So the question is which RAID level would be most suitable to provide performance and security with 4 discs?

MIT develops Lighting Drones for Photographers

Seems like drones are going to become part of everyday life from weapon of war, pizza delivery, expensive toy, police surveillance and now the drone lighting assistant. MIT researchers have developed autonomous lighting drones. Which can be deployed to continuously adjust to a photographers movements presumably providing the optimum lighting during a shoot without having to pause to readjust lights etc. I suppose the next step will be drone photographers.

Screen Sharing using Apple OSX and Messages

Screen Sharing using Apple Mac is straight forward however both parties wanting to share a screen will need the latest version of OSX, Messages and an apple me.com or icloud email address.

My method is as follows:

First you will need to add your apple email as an AIM account in Messages.

In Messages Goto Preferences > Accounts > Add new account by pressing the plus + lower left of window.

  • Choose ‘other messages account’ from the list.
  • Select AIM as Account Type.
  • Type your apple me.com or icloud.com email username and password and create the new account.

Now that you have an AIM account you will need to add the person you wish to share your screen with as a buddy to this account. To do this goto the menus at the top next to the apple icon make sure your still within the Messages app find Window > select the AIM account you just created.

A new window should appear on screen titled with your AIM account name and should include a a list of online and offline Buddies. From this window you can add a new buddy who is also using an AIM account. Add them using the Plus sign at the bottom left of the window. Once a buddy has been added you can then request a screen share by using the screen share icon at the bottom of this window. It looks like two overlapping rectangles.