macOS Catalina causing problems with some storage devices

statement from Rod Harrison, VP of Engineering at StorCentric, parent company of Drobo:

macOS Catalina has reported issues with multiple external devices from various manufacturers. We have reported this to Apple in regards to Drobo specifically and we are still awaiting an update from the company. We will share an update with all of our customers as soon as we receive this. However, as this is a broader issue across multiple external devices, we do not believe that this should prevent Drobo users from upgrading to Catalina.

This is why it’s good to let major OS updates get the bugs worked out before installing it.

More info here:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/macos-catalina-warning-dont-upgrade-if-you-rely-on-a-drobo-8d/

Hard Drive Costs November 2019

Current hard drive costs at a glance with links to purchase from Amazon. I recommend Seagate hard drives because they continue to test as some of the longest lasting drives.

Highlight for November is that 10TB external drives are a big savings over 10TB Internal drives. Also, on a cost per TB basis, 10TB drives are getting close enough to the sweet spot of pricing to make them attractive. But I generally don’t recommend buying more than a year’s capacity at a time, because 10TB drives could be $100 by next November, and will erase any “savings” from buying more than you need now. Also remember that a properly backed up “storage set” requires three drives, so buying more than you reasonably need (over provisioning) can suck up a lot of money.

Sometimes external drives are less expensive than internal drives. Advanced users may want to explore “shucking” external drives to save money as the external drives are often, but not always, SATA drives that can be used as an internal drive.

EXTERNAL

2TB $59.99 ($30 per TB)
4TB $89.99 ($22.50 per TB)
6TB $99.99 ($16.60 per TB)
8TB $139.99 ($17.50 per TB)
10TB $179.99 ($18 per TB)

INTERNAL

2TB $49.99 ($25 per TB)
4TB $89.99 ($22.50 per TB)
6TB $131.99 ($22 per TB)
8TB $149.99 ($18.75 per TB)
10TB $249.99 ($25 per TB)
12TB $312.99 ($26 per TB)
14TB $439.99 ($31.40 per TB)
16TB $476.99 ($29.80 per TB)

I’m an Amazon affiliate so I receive a small commission from each sale.

Freemium Content

I’m experimenting with adding a “Freemium” section to the members site. It will be free content, but you’ll have to be a registered user to access it.

If you’d like access to the Freemium section, send an email to rich (at) richseiling .com and I’ll send you an invite to create your free account.

The first Freemium is in depth article explaining how to make sure your photos are protected from hard drive failures. Once you are registered, you can read it here:

https://members.craftingphotographs.com/simple-storage-and-backup-plan.html

i1Studio Update Alert

I’ve been having issues with the latest i1Studio software version 1.5 and 1.5.1. It doesn’t let me successfully “save session” which means I loose my work if I close the app or start a new profile , and that interferes with allowing extended drydown time. Till I hear from X-rite, my solution was to roll back to the 1.1.1 version which is working properly and I know produces good profiles.

Finding the right version can be a little complicated because x-rite spreads their content across several URLs, but these links should work for you.

https://xritephoto.com/i1Studio

https://www.xrite.com/service-support/product-support/calibration-solutions/i1studio

As a side note, this is why typically turn off “auto update” on my software and I don’t install updated unless I have the time to troubleshoot and validate that the software has not changed the behavior of my printing or viewing environment. I’ve been bit too many times by updates messing things up while on deadline projects. This was one of those times, said, what the heck, I’ll update” thinking it would be no big deal, but it turned into a multi-day setback.

New Name – Make Better Prints is now Crafting Photographs

As this blog and my ideas for it have grown, I realized that it’s about more than just making prints. Photography is an encompassing process, that starts the moment we click the shutter. Making better prints requires working backward through the process to the moment you click the shutter, and working forward from the shutter click to the final output. Everything that happens between those to moments decides how good your final photograph will be. 

A large part of making better prints is making better exposures and learning to process precisely. So if I want to help you make better prints, I need to talk about the whole process. 

I’m realizing that “printing” is one of those loaded words that can have multiple meanings. To some it means literally just hitting command P and the settings you use on the printer. But to me, printing is this encompassing process that starts even before I take my camera out and click the shutter. So I want to ditch that loaded word to avoid confusion. 

The irony is, I went back and forth in naming this blog between “Make Better Prints” and “Crafting Photographs” as I’ve blogged before under the Crafting Photographs name. I went with Make Better Prints in the hopes it would let me stand out in a very crowded blog and youtube community by emphasizing a skill I’m well known for. But in the process, I believe I limited the audience despite the fact the content is applicable to any photographer. 

Crafting Photographs has always been a good expression of my approach to photography. In setting out to make work that captured the beauty I saw in the work of other photographers I admire, I learned that photographs are carefully crafted through hard work, study of the craft, understanding of the materials, and application of them through inspiration to achieve photographs that evoked uncommon levels of awe and wonder.  The goal of this blog has always been to help share that knowledge and appreciation, and that’s better reflected in the new name. It’s about more than just making better prints, it’s about learning how to use your tools and materials to express yourself as clearly as possible to tell your stories. 

With that bit of housekeeping done, the only thing left to do is start putting up new posts. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog as much, and more than before. 

Rich

Pattern Noise in new Fujifilm GFX100

Clean, smooth tones are one of the hallmarks of an extraordinary print. Particularly in landscape photos, smooth tones in skies are essential. Pattern noise in a digital sensor can destroy those smooth tones, and there is no post processing trick to remove it. So I’m really discouraged to see Lloyd Chambers’ report that the new Fujifilm GFX100 is having problems with this due to the inclusion of Phase Detect Auto Focus pixels on the sensor. Check it out at:

Fujifilm GFX100: those PDAF Pixels Make Me Wish I Could have a GFX100 Without Them

I hope Fuji can find a fix for this because it could be a amazing camera for landscape photography with new 4×5 quality.

It seems to be limited to the new 100MP camera. I have a couple clients using the 50MP Fuji and haven’t seen or heard of in in those cameras. The 50MP cameras are excellent, and make beautifully detailed prints.

Sony A7RIV – Megapixel Size Chart

How much print resolution will you gain using the new Sony A7RIV? This chart will give you an idea. Print height and width are listed across the top, and the columns show the ppi file possible from a specific megapixel sensor.

A quick look shows us The 61MP sensor of the Sony A7RIV lets you make a 20×30 with 316.8 ppi of data, a 51 ppi increase over a 42MP sensor at 265.8 ppi, or about a 19% increase. Both will make exceptional 20×30 prints, but the 61MP sensor will resolve more fine detail.

Printing is a Process

I’ve been working on client work the last two weeks, along with a presentation and a workshop, so posting has slowed, but I wanted to share some thoughts briefly from my morning printing session today.

Making museum prints is truly a process. Yesterday I fought a difficult client file for an hour trying to find what direction it would go in. The nature of the scene was such that I had to work with it, and I could only exert so much of my will upon it before I departed from the classic photographic look I want to give this client. I tried about three different approaches, and suffered through 2GB photoshop files saving, multiple variations on RAW settings, masks and more. By the end of the session I was mentally tapped, and it’s important to realize that expressing yourself through a print is often a mentally taxing process. I left the process frustrated that I had not achieved what I somewhere deep inside knew was possible. But I was tapped and had nothing else to give it. So I sent a jpeg to the client and closed up shop for the day.

The client gave me a thumbs up last night, but this morning I wanted to revisit the file to make sure that in the rough sketch approach I often use on first attempts at a print, I could actually refine my masks into a final print. Starting with fresh eyes, some good music playing, and a handful of chocolate covered coffee beans, I started looking at the file, and in the moment of clarity a nights sleep created, it became obvious what was missing. Well, actually it was the thought that “wow, those snow fields really look gray…man that is going to look ugly. What if I just made the snow brighter but left the rest of the image the same?” A quick color range mask isolated the snowfields, a curve brightened them, and like magic the whole print came alive in a way I could achieve the day before. That dissatisfaction from the day before vanished instantly, and the print became something that achieved both my personal expectations, and what I wanted to deliver for the client.

That kind of process is pretty typical when working. Making a beautiful print doesn’t always happen all at once. It’s a process, with many layers. Each time you peel one layer, more becomes apparent. Its a series of refinements, frustrations, insights, successes, disappointments, and sometimes victory. It often takes time, a fresh perspective. Brute force only takes so much. I’m reminded of the quote “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” It’s a process, and only by continuing to chip away at it do you ever get to a resolution.

Newsletter Signup Error Fixed

I just fixed my email newsletter signup widget. Seems one setting was incorrect and that stopped people from subscribing. Give it a try and see if it works so you can get my monthly newsletter. I work to keep each newsletter high signal and low noise so that you want to read it every time. It’s a great way to keep up to date on the blog and on my latest workshops and events. Thanks for subscribing!