eGPU's, external graphics cards connected over the relatively new Thunderbolt 3 connection, are fascinating pieces of hardware that enable Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops to use high performance desktop graphic cards. With an entry price point of around $400 for a plug and play system for both Mac and PC, you might want to see if it's worth the money for your laptop. These devices range in sizes but are typically smaller than the average desktop computer and come either prepackaged with a graphics card or come as an enclosure only. The latter … [Read more...] about eGPU: Why you should or shouldn’t get one
Docking your MacBook to a screen at your home or office gives the best compromise between portability and performance! I've been docking my MacBooks to monitors at my home office since my first MacBook Pro from 2010! So, why wouldn't you? The MacBooks are fantastic little machines that can pack a punch while being so portable-- but the 13" or 15" screen can leave one desiring more real estate to play with. So why not get the benefit of having a desktop setup with a laptop and bump up the performance while you're at it with a SVALT Dock? Things … [Read more...] about Dock & Cool Your MacBook for Max Performance!
Neutral Density Filters There are times when there’s just too much light! Sometimes it’s too much for our eyes, and we need sunglasses. Sometimes, it’s too much for our photography or cinematography. For these times, we can employ neutral density filtration, which is like sunglasses for cameras. Filtration normally suggests allowing some things to pass, and some others to be turned away or eliminated. Color filtration does this by allowing one or more colors to pass (the filter being transparent to those frequencies of light) and blocking … [Read more...] about Tech Corner: Neutral Density Filters
It's the age old question since we've started to shoot digital. How can I make my workflow faster? More efficient? Or more importantly, how can I get more free time and peace of mind? Well, here's where I hopefully can help out a little. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the DROBO 5D with a couple of Seagate 2TB SATA HDD's to do some long term testing for my photo and video production workflow...and the short answer to the question? As much as we can get our hands on! The Nitty Gritty / Tech Details The Drobo 5D is a USB3 and Dual … [Read more...] about How Much Speed Does a Photographer Need
When it comes time to edit your video or photos, the hard drives you use are going to have a huge impact on the performance of your system. No matter how much RAM you have or how powerful of a video card, you just won't get real-time performance if your drives are a bottleneck. Important Factors There are three factors when choosing a disk for video and photo editing: Speed. The speed of drive is the biggest factor on what media you can play off it. Drives like internal laptop drives or bus-powered USB drives are generally not fast … [Read more...] about Selecting Storage for Photo and Video Editing
As a kid, I remember my parents asking me to pick up some RAM for our business while I was on a family vacation...I don't remember how much it cost...but I do remember that the 16k of ram that I had picked up was on two boards about the size of a Wacom Small Tablet each! So when I stop to think about where we've come from and where we're going with the amount of memory we're able to compact in these Hard Drives and Memory Cards now just blows me away. Looking back at some old articles about the first computers, it's pretty clear to see how … [Read more...] about Transcend’s New Ultra High Speed SD Cards
I've had this card for over 6 months, and I get so baffled every time I think about it. 200GB in a microSDXC card! That's just ludicrous! Every time I think about what I could do with this card, I kind of freak out. It shouldn't really surprise me in this day and age, but I can't help it. A little tiny chip, the size of your pinky fingernail that weighs as much as a paperclip, can hold more than a base model MacBook Air or Pro and the top of the line iPhone at 128GB right now! Really, that's ridiculous. With this kind of storage, many people … [Read more...] about Lexar’s 633x 200GB microSDXC Card
Our eyes have a fixed refresh rate of about 1/30th of a second. Modern cameras today have shutter speeds that range from 30 seconds to 1/8000th of a second. The shutter is the third component of a photographic exposure. It controls the amount of time the sensor receives light. Creatively, the shutter can freeze a moving object or let it blur. The longer the shutter is open, the more movement will show. A faster shutter speeds can stop action. Shutter speed & the amount of light In previous posts, I've explained that an f/stop is a measure … [Read more...] about Photography’s Basics: Shutter Speed
A previous post on Photography's Basics: Shutter Speed, I promised a post on using long shutter speeds to make abstractions. When the world blurs together on a memory card or film magic happens. Thing we see in real life are reimagined when the shutter is open for a long time. Light streaks. Motion blurs. Water becomes glistening snowflakes or diamonds. Stretching time One of my absolute favorite things to play with in photography is a moving camera with an open shutter and colorful lights. This all started when I was shooting film. I would … [Read more...] about Long Exposures for Abstract Art
Sometimes you just need to turn around images really quick when photographing an event like a wedding or party, maybe a concert or show…even just a quick portrait session. Waiting for Lightroom can feel like an eternity, so we can use another program called Photo Mechanic to quickly browse and rate our images. Photo Mechanic is a lightweight piece of software that actually displays the same JPEG preview image that your camera shows on the LCD screen. Lightroom’s raw processor is what generates the previews, but Photo Mechanic doesn’t have a … [Read more...] about Stop Waiting for Lightroom to Preview your Images
Most consumers don't know that there are differences between memory cards besides the obvious capacities and different formats that are available. There are several identifiers to know to help you choose the right memory card for the type of shooting that you do and that can be crucial since not all cards are created equally. Before going out and buying new cards on sale... 1. Consider this What type of photography do you do? If you're an action and sports photographer or even a videographer, having a memory card with a fast minimum write speed … [Read more...] about Write Speeds – Memory Cards Are Not Created Equal
Dang it, why isn't there a universal tech language out there?! I mean seriously, as photographers and videographers, we already have to deal with all sorts of random vocabulary to understand our craft, why must there be even more to decipher? Now that my rant is slightly over, let me share the super secret code that may help you understand the write performance of the card you have, and the cards you'll perhaps end up buying in the future. First and foremost, we're going have to understand what "x-speed" is -- Companies note the maximum … [Read more...] about X-Rated – The Solution to Understanding X-Speed Memory Card Speeds.
Fix #1: Optimize If Lightroom has been running great then suddenly you notice it has been slowing down, your first task should be to optimize your catalog. From the File menu select Optimize. A dialog box appears informing you when the last time your catalog was updated. If it has been a while, click Optimize. Fix #2 Preference Settings Usually optimizing your catalog does the trick but if you really want to gain speed a few adjustments to your preference settings will really speed things up. From the Edit menu select Preferences. 2. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip to Speed Up Lightroom
Editor's Note: Be sure to check out part one of this article too. I, like many of you, have dealt with technology for quite a long time. If you haven't dabbled with all this tech, I can understand how confusing (or even difficult) it can be upgrade or a replace an already expensive machine, but let me tell you that now is the time to upgrade! Today, we're going to supplement some information from all previous parts and talk about some more things to think about when you upgrade. Today's subject? RAM! Random Access Memory (RAM) This won't be a … [Read more...] about Upgrade Your Computer! Upgrade Your Performance! Part 2: RAM