Tag Archives: flash

Speeding Up Lightroom

YouTube is a fantastic way to lose track of time.  It may well have an abundance of crap but it also has lots of informative material.  More importantly, watch one thing and you get recommendations of other things, many of which are actually quite useful.  I was watching a video by Tony Northrup on building a computer for photo processing and he was talking about putting the Lightroom catalog on an SSD.  This got me thinking about something.

When I built my system, I installed an SSD to be the drive on which the OS is installed along with the applications.  I have traditional hard drives for the data storage.  One of these was set up with the Lightroom catalogs keeping them separate from the image files to make the response time better.  At the time of the build, a 250Gb SSD was affordable but not cheap so that was what I went with.  With everything installed, that doesn’t have enough space for the catalogs.

I never thought more about it until after this video.  I started thinking about some old SSDs I have and looked at whether the catalogs would fit on either of them.  It turns out that, with all of the preview files, the SSDs were not big enough.  However, I did then have a look at the price of a drive that would be large enough such as another 250Gb drive.  That would have plenty to spare to account for future needs.

While looking at these, I was also able to see 500Gb drives and they are only about $150.  I was unaware just how much the price had fallen.  Consequently, a spare drive bay now holds my Lightroom catalogs.  I only have a relatively small amount of experience with the new configuration but it is safe to say that things are positively zipping along compared to where they were before.  I was wondering whether the system might be in need up upgrade or replacement but this one change seems to have made things significantly better.  I will report further if I discover more but, if you have a similar configuration, this might be the upgrade that makes things noticeably better.

These Things Are Tiny!

wpid5455-AU0E4768.jpgI shouldn’t be so old that I find some of the technological developments amazing but every once in a while you see something that impresses you.  I have been shooting with cameras that use compact flash cards for a long time now.  The form factor hasn’t changed in all of that time.  The SD card was seen as the way ahead but somehow the Compact Flash has always remained ahead of it.  The XQD card now seems to be the next step but we will save that for another day.

My cameras have a compact flash and an SD slot.  I have SD cards in them as backups if I suddenly need a little extra capacity but they aren’t used much.  The Compact Flash has always been faster to write to.  I do use them in my GoPro.  Recently B&H had a special on cards and, since I am about to buy a new GoPro and it uses the micro SD card, I took the opportunity to pick one up cheaply.  These things are small.

In the above picture you see a Compact Flash (16GB) and the adapter for the micro SD to fit in a standard SD slot.  Then you see the micro SD in the middle.  It is a 32GB card.  Am I the only one who thinks that thing is tiny?

Flashing at the birds

While hanging around up in Door County in Wisconsin, I have been taking a bunch of pictures of the local wildlife. Mainly a lot of birds in the vicinity of our hotel and that is always a fun challenge. To add to the challenge, one of the afternoons that we were back at the hotel, the weather closed in and it began to rain. There was a patch of grass outside our balcony that seemed to be a popular spot for some robins so I started taking some shots.

As you are probably aware, robins are quite bold creatures so, with a little patience, you can end up with them coming reasonably close in. However, with the light having faded fast as the weather deteriorated and the natural shade of the area, it was not looking good to get a good shot. I started out by bumping up the ISO but that was only helping so much and, without a tripod, I was still going to get mixed results.

At this point I decided to try something that everyone who shoots wildlife a lot probably does to some extent but that I had not tried before and that was using some flash to boost the excitement. I had no idea how much to use so experimented with a little extra FEC, then zero and ultimately one stop under on FEC. The latter seemed to have the best results judging by the quick view on the back of the camera – always such a reliable indicator!

I was using the flashgun straight with no boost like a Better Beamer (if that is the right name) so it was a bit of a raw experiment but the results seemed to be be pretty pleasing so this is something I will have to think about further in due course.