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.

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?

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.

 

 

 

Wireless Ipad tethering is here! CamRanger Review

For some time now I have longed to have a simple light weight tethering solution for Nikon cameras, more portable and light weight than a laptop. When the ipad and camera connection kit came along I thought this might be the solution, unfortunately it was not that simple. There is now a fantastic product available called CamRanger that allows wireless tethering to mobile devices and laptops via wifi. Created by Dave Pawlowski and his wife Melissa, who both have a love of the outdoors. They needed a wireless device to control the focus and framing while taking distance shots with both Dave and Melissa in a kayak.

Its a small device about the size of an iphone which plugs into the USB port of your camera and then transmits via an ad-hoc wifi network to your mobile device phone/tablet or computer. It has a range of 50m and is straight forward to setup and quick to use.

I love this device for location shooting and an aid to composition especially as it has the ability to operate the Camera’s LiveView function. Enabling me to leave the camera position and work in front of the camera, positioning objects or directing models while viewing a live image of the frame on an ipad/iphone. It also makes reviewing the frame or image by the client/art director very straight forward especially as the ipad is cable free. The transmitter will fit in a pocket or clip to a belt/tripod in the provided pouch and so its very easy to shoot with the USB cable attached and walk around with camera in hand. Dave and Melissa’s blog provide some other creative ways of attaching the transmitter to a camera

I have not tested the range of the signal yet, but as I do not have a need to be more than a few metres from the camera I am not to concerned with any range limitations.

The camera is controlled via the free software available for mac OS/iOS, Android and Windows OS. Setup takes about 2mins and the interface is well designed and thought out. Once connected to the camera its possibleto view images alreday captured to the camera memory card or to import directly to the tablet/laptop. Obviously its a lot faster to view jpgs rather than raw files and I tend to capture Raw+jpg for this reason.

My drawbacks to the CamRanger iOS application:

  • If the camera is offline and not connected, its not possible to see images which have been saved to the device already from within the CamRanger app. You need to open the camera roll in Photos to see the images. This is fine and makes sense, however I would prefer to remain within one application and be able to view images offline if the ‘Auto Save’ option is on. CamRanger has a very simple but great ratings matrix and the ability to use this is lost once offline.
  • CamRanger app will display captured image thumbnails within the main interface screen during each connection session. So if you disconnect and reconnect a new strip of thumbnails will be created for the new captures. This can be frustrating if you lose the connection. You will then need to reload the entire memory card by tapping the memory card icon to view previous shots. This can be counter intuitive for some clients who expect to jump to a previous shot but also see the latest capture. There is also no option to view jpg only and so if your shooting both Raw+Jpg the scroll through to previous shots can take a while.

I’m very pleased that this device has come to the market place, I think it fits well the photographer who needs a portable lightweight tethering solution for location shooting. It would not be well suited for those shooting very large files or who need the reliability of wired tethering. I have yet to go kayaking with it but its inspiring some great possibilities for self portraiture. I will update this post as I use CamRanger more in the future for commercial work and hopefully provide more insight into how effective its use can be in the field.

CamRanger wifi transmitter

CamRanger wifi transmitter

 

Useful ical subscription calendars for location photographers

Here are two great ical subscription calendars useful for location photographers.

sunrise sunset calendar this site also has a weather calendar.

weather calendar from Wunderground.com. Finding the ical link is not obvious. You will need to first search for your weather location and then find the drop down sharing button at top right.

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 website weather london ical link

 

Control click ‘Download ical’ to copy link, then paste this into ical under the New Calendar Subscription: ical> File> New Calendar Subscription.

You can show or hide these calendars as and when you need them.

 

 

Updating Mac OS Lion to Mountain Lion

I previously wrote about upgrading to Mac OS Lion and the process I used for testing before installing on the main hard drive volume. I have now upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion using the same method of testing before install on the main hard drive. Results on the test volume have been satisfactory with no obvious bugs or problems.

After purchasing and downloading the new OS update for the first time from the App store. Its worth noting that when returning to the App store, it was still asking me to purchase Lion. At first it was not obvious but you can download the update again without purchase by clicking on Purchases in the App Store menu bar. You should see a list of previous purchases and Lion should say Download next to it.

There is a very useful set of articles covering all of this and more from Macworld.

I have included some additional about information about my configuration which might be useful.

 

Hardware Specs:

  • Mac Pro  2008
  • Processor  2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon.
  • Memory  6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC

Main 3rd party Software:

  • Adobe Lightroom v4
  • Adobe Phtotoshop CS5 v12.0.4
  • Filemaker Pro 12
  • Microsoft Word v12.3.3
  • Superduper v2.7.1

 

Switching to Mac OS Lion: My experience testing on a separate drive.

For anyone who is contemplating switching to OS Lion and has been delaying this update. Due to the many negative reviews or for fear of losing important software. I have decided to post my experience with testing the new OS on a separate drive. This is by no means meant to be a definitive guide, review or in depth look at the changes to the new OS. I just thought it useful for those that do not know how to test and install on a separate drive or just want to hear a positive reaction to the experience.  I strongly recommend testing the OS first before installing on a mission critical drive.
The steps I took before downloading the new OS were the following:
• Update all software to latest versions
• Create 2 bootable backups of the main volume. (I use SuperDuper which is very easy to use and straight forward)
• I used an external volume lacie 500Gb hard drive. Connected via firewire to test the new OS.
• After creating the clone or bootable backup on the Lacie drive I then restarted the Mac to boot from the Lacie drive.  To do this you just need to hold down the Option key ⌥ while restarting. When prompted I selected the volume I wanted to start up from which was the Lacie clone.
• Once the computer had restarted using the Lacie drive I then used the App store to purchase and download the new OS Lion 10.7.2. I did the download overnight as its about 3gb and would have taken about 3 hours.
• When I returned to the computer there was a window asking me if I wanted to install the new OS. I clicked install and selected the clone Lacie drive to install to. Installation took 30mins.

I could see straight away in the dock software which was no longer going to work (icon covered with no entry symbol) this included:
Dreamwever MX
Epson Scan software for the 3170 model scanner
The following is a list of my  critical software which all appears to be operating well (latest version unless stated);
Filemaker Pro
Photoshop CS5
Lightroom 3
Epson Print Driver for the Stylus Photo 2100
Epson Print CD
Word 2008 v.12.3.0
Expression Media v1.0.3
Omni Focus
Colour Navigator 6

Overall the finder seems snappier and quicker when changing views. Its also less intrusive all icons now seems to be the same colour for folders, buttons etc.
All my settings have remained intact. Although one noticable change is that the sidebar on open finder windows is now reveresed, so that where before I had all my devices listed at the top below my folders and then favourites.  This is now reversed which was little annoying at first. It is possible however to drag devices into the favourites area so actually this is an improvement over the previous design. I also notice that  scrolling up/down using the  wheel on my Wacom mouse and wireless Apple mouse has reversed. Apparently Apple believe that this is more intuitive way to use a mouse. It is possible to change this via System settings > mouse settings.
So far this is as much testing as I have done, but I feel confident that I will not have problems using the new OS. I have also not looked closely at new features.
Drop me a comment if you have any questions or suggestions!

 

Update ‘How will the Sun affect my photograph’

In conjunction with my previous post I have discovered a great free desktop application, for tracking the sun’s movememnt through the day at any location throughout the world. Thanks to a blog post on David Tejada’s site. You can now use the ‘The photographer’s Ephemeris‘ Tool to see very comprehensive information about the Sun and Moon’s position overlaid on a satellite image map. If used  with the Elevation of Obstacle Calculator you can determine the precise distance of shadow fall from an object with the sun behind.

Lightroom Catalog Import Error Solution Fix

I recently tried to import some old Lightroom 3 catalogs into my current archive and found that I kept getting the same error message ‘Lightroom could not import this catalog because of an unknown error’ After attempting to try and fix the problem, I found this effective solution on Joe Reifers blog. Read more here Lightroom could not import this catalog because of an unknown error

Essentially before importing a catalog, any offline or missing images must either be removed or brought back online in the catalog you wish to import. Offline or missing images can be found easily by using – Libray > Find Missing Images. Once the missing images are removed or brought back online. The old catalog can be imported into a new or alternative catalog.