Working from home introduces you to sounds from the street that you never normally hear when you are there outside working hours. Nancy knows all of these things since she hears them all the time but they are new to me. However, we were both taken aback by something that sounded like a roaring noise. I had to investigate. It appears that the power company was doing some work digging up the road outside our street. I guess they had to cut in to a gas line and they had set up some device, presumably to burn off excess gas before continuing their work. It was only a brief event but a noisy one!
This is a tale of a problem I got in to with Lightroom. I Googled solutions for this and got a bunch of suggestions but none of them worked. In the end, Adobe sorted out the issue but I wanted to share what happened in case anyone else experiences the same issue and ends up Googling like I did. Maybe this post will help someone out. The source of the problem was an MP4 video file that apparently had some corruption within it. This screwed up stuff within Lightroom that needed some detailed work to fix. First, I shall tell you what the main error was. This might be what someone is searching for.
Dynamic Link Media Server Failed to Launch
The result is that video files don’t import and then you seem to struggle to preview videos at all. When you are in the Import dialog, the video preview doesn’t show and an icon of a camera comes up instead. Some of the recommendations online were to delete the Dynamic Link Media folders in the App Data section of Windows and restart but that didn’t help. I also tried that and deleting the media cache but no luck. Next was to delete the Preferences folder for Lightroom which can often be a solution for unexplained problems but that didn’t work either. That is when I got Adobe involved.
The support engineer tried a bunch of things. Eventually, he created a new user on the machine and opened up Lightroom in there. We tried importing a new video file from the same camera and that worked. He then set about deleting the Lightroom related app data in my user profile and replacing it with the data from the new User. We then tried importing the new file and it worked fine. Next was the previous file and that caused the same problem as before. Now we knew the file was the problem we could isolate that from everything we did afterwards.
Of course, I had damaged Lightroom again but now we knew what was required, it was a simple task to copy the folders across again. The only downside to this was that all of my presets and information got deleted. However, I had copied the old Lightroom folders before starting all of this. It wasn’t too tricky to replace my camera profiles, develop presets and plugins. At first I thought I had lost some functionality that I really like. I have a plugin called LRInstagram which allows me to post from Lightroom to Instagram directly. Facebook has turned off the ability to do this so, if you install the plugin now, it won’t work. However, something about my legacy setup meant I had still been using it. When I tried to set this up again, it failed to work. However, my old Lightroom folder had a sub folder for the plugin which contained something like a cookie and, when I copied this across, I was back up and running!
All of this is to say, if you have a similar problem to me, there is a solution. I won’t lay out the files that are involved because it is a bit tedious and there are some other things to bear in mind but, if this happens to you, get in touch and I will talk you through what we did.
If you take a garbage truck and attach it to a power pole that you aren’t supposed to attach it to, you are likely to cause some trouble. We had a blackout as a result of such an event. The pole ended up punching a hole in the roof of a nearby house (thankfully it wasn’t raining) and power to our area was cut off. I got home as the light was fading and got a few shots of the damage. The power lines are strong and they had succeeded in taking down two lamp posts as well.
I popped back out to see how things were progressing and to watch the teams at work fixing the situation. Making the initial pole safe took a lot of time as bits of it were removed. A new pole was put in place and the old pole lifted back up and attached to the new one. I assume this was a temporary fix. Focus then shifted to the next pole which was leaning at an angle that suggested it had taken a bit of the load too. This one just got straightened up and didn’t need to be replaced. I gave up watching after a while since I preferred to be indoors in the warm. Power came back on at 9pm so we were able to sort out the things that had been cut off before turning in for the night.
Here is the latest update on the 100-400 saga. As reported here, I got the 100-400 back from Canon and they had indeed found something wrong with it. This was, as I noted then, a relief as I wasn’t imagining things or just not being able to use it properly (although that is still a real issue with my photography as a whole!). However, until I had been able to get out and about and given the lens some significant use, I didn’t know whether I would really see the difference.
Now the jury is in. I went out over the weekend and shot a lot of stuff in some nice conditions. Over the last couple of days I have been going through the images from the shoot. Let’s just say I have a very big grin on my face. The problem I was seeing before is gone and now I am seeing some really nice image quality all across the frame when shooting wide open. This is great news. After having the lens for a year and feeling less than happy, it is like I have got something new to use. I am a happy camper! Expect some of the shots from this shoot to make their way on to here over the coming weeks.
Nearly a year ago I got the new model of the Canon 100-400 EF lens. I had it on back order when it first came out and it arrived just before Christmas so became an impromptu gift to me! Almost everything about the lens I liked. However, if you read my initial thoughts on the lens which I covered here, you will have seen I had a concern about softness in one part of the image. I have used the lens extensively since then and, while I have not always had an issue, I have continued to be concerned about the output in one area – particularly when compared the the excellent sharpness the rest of the image was displaying.
I sent the lens to Canon earlier this year for a service. I explained my concerns and they took a look and told me it was functioning properly and returned it. I took it on another shoot and got more shots which did not look right. This time I emailed CPS and provided them with some sample shots. They suggested it didn’t look right and told me to send the lens back in with a description of everything to date along with more sample images on a card.
I now have the lens on its way back to me. Here is what they found.
Your product has been examined and it was found that the optical assembly was broken causing the auto focus to operate improperly from time to time. The 6th group lens and 2nd group lens were replaced. Product functions were confirmed.
It is nice to know that I wasn’t imagining things but a little disappointing it took this long to get to the bottom of things. Of course, I could have done some of this sooner if I had been more certain of the problem. In future, I will be a bit more willing to trust my instincts. Now to get the repaired lens in my hands and test it!
As I mentioned before, the first piece was free. I hadn’t planned for a time lapse. I had no idea I was going to time my visit for when this happened, nor that it was going to happen so soon. However, I was there with the camera on a tripod so I manually shot a sequence and cut it together. It is short but you get the idea. I left town shortly after this so missed the new section being put in place. I shall hope to be around when the second span is worked on.
I headed back to the work site later the same day to see how things were progressing. I wanted to know how fast things were moving but I also wanted to see the work at night. The cutting torches they are using provide a great shower of sparks but, during the day, it is hard to make that impression since they are not very conspicuous. If they were cutting at night, I figured the effect would be more pronounced. That certainly was the case.
Moreover, they had got a lot further than I had expected. The section was almost totally cut free. It was now rest on the barge ready to be moved when the final cuts were made. As you can see from above, it wasn’t long before this happened. They really had made swift work of the first stage of the task.
The start of the bridge replacement program I mentioned here was swift. One of the first things they did after getting the trains shut down was to open the span that wasn’t being worked on. This provided room to move the barges around with their loads without obstruction. Then the team got to work on cutting loose the section that is to be replaced. There was plenty of structure to be cut free first before the main section could be removed. Teams were busy cutting and removing all day. The project is underway around the clock. Some of the shots are in the gallery below.
A major engineering activity is underway in the city at the moment. The Chicago River is crossed by many bridges. Most of them are bascule bridges and they are part of a cycle of maintenance with each bridge getting refurbished periodically. Metalwork repair and repainting is usually the order of business but, sometimes, they need more significant work. The Wells Street Bridge is undergoing just such a work program. Part of it is being repaired but some of the metalwork needs replacement.
This bridge is more complex than some. It has two levels with street traffic on the lower level and the “L” on the upper level. Replacement is, therefore, more problematic. Shutting down a line on the “L” is not done lightly. The street traffic is more easily diverted so, having that closed is easier to handle and it has been shut for a while now as the preparation for the repair was underway. The bridge has two spans and they are being done one at a time. The south span is first. They have prepared the section that is remaining and now they are cutting off the rest.
A new span has been constructed offsite. This is floated to the location, the old section is cut off and the new section bolted on. That makes it sound so simple, doesn’t it? It obviously is a little more complex, not least because it has to be done in just over a week including replacing the train tracks and electrical systems. These shots show the site in preparation for the big task. I will provide updates as the job progresses. Sadly, I have to be out of town during some of the work but will show what I can.