Understanding Exposure – One Day Photo Workshop

Saturday January 18, 10am—4pm
Technology Engagement Center
306 Minerva Drive
Murfreesboro, TN

Fee $75

Are you 100% confident you’re making the best exposures you can? How about 75%? Or maybe, like many photographers, you just don’t really know. 

Feeling confident in your exposures is a core skill. Once mastered, it frees your creativity because you aren’t always worrying “did I expose it right?”

This one day workshop will help you feel more confident in your exposure choices by giving you a greater understanding of just what “correct exposure” really means. 

We’ll dive into things like ETTR, reading histograms, blinkies, RAW processing, bracketing, exposure latitude, highlight and shadow detail, and more. We’ll go beyond what you see in youtube videos to learn how to apply these tools with greater precision.

We’ll also talk about strategies for better metering, as well as determining what “good enough” exposure is in different photographic situations. 

This is a hands on class so you’ll need to bring your camera with you, and know how to change shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. We’ll be making test exposures during the workshop and evaluating them on the computer. 

Signup at Eventbright using this link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/o/rich-seiling-17868389260


Bad Reviews for Drobo on Amazon

I’ve been doing a lot of articles lately on the Drobo. These came out of my experience working with a friend to upgrade his storage system and replace a 5 year old Drobo that failed. While I don’t own a Drobo, I understand the underlying technology and how to manage its RAID like storage from owing a Synology and previously managing Mirrored RAID servers for a long time.

My recent PetaPixel article have several comments from Drobo users who had bad experiences that piqued my curiosity. I dove into this thinking the Drobo just worked well based on the positive things I’ve heard about it, and peoples acceptance of it. And on paper it looks like a good DAS option that should be easy to use.

So I dove into the Amazon reviews (and B&H) to get a bigger sample of users, and I’m not too excited by what I see. The percentage of 1 and 2 Star reviews is pretty high for the rock solid reliability I want in a storage device.

I didn’t read every negative comment, and it’s nearly impossible to measure the experience level of every person commenting. But 25% plus total 1&2 star reviews stands out to me. Based on this new knowledge, I don’t feel comfortable recommending the Drobo. It might be a good device, it might not. But I don’t want to deal with the risk that those reviews are correct.

Even with a solid backup system, dealing with storage failures is a nightmare. I’ve been there enough to know I want to eliminate as much risk as possible. The time and stress to fix faulty storage is just too high a price for me to pay, let alone the experience you need to troubleshoot. I had thought the Drobo would be a perfect solution from non IT savvy photographers, but I guess I was wrong.

I still have a couple more Drobo articles I’m going to post, with links to this article. And then I’m going to work on some articles about SoftRaid from Other World Computing which I have considerable first hand experience with over nearly 20 years using it for mirrored raids on hundreds of drives. OWC also sells some excellent drive cases, some with built in RAID. They take a little more experience than the Drobo to use, but my experience with OWC is that they produce excellent kit. I’ve also used them as my RAM supplier for my businesses (at least 35 Macs upgraded), and my laptop has been running a 1TB SSD drive from them for the last 4-ish years.

If you are putting together a storage upgrade, I encourage you to give OWC a look. And look at my consulting services if you need some more in depth help.

Storage System Consulting

Need help ensuring your photos are properly stored and backed up? Losing the time, energy, and effort spent making your photographs, let alone the potential revenue they represent, is not an option.

 Let me help. I’ve built systems to serve the single photographer all the way to 20,000 clients and a million files. I can put together a simple but robust system that works for your individual needs. I focus on cost effective solutions because I don’t like wasting money on things you don’t need. 

Email me and let’s start securing your archive today. 

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/

Will PC drives work on a Mac?

Sometimes you’ll see a great deal on a external hard drive, but pass on it because it’s labeled “for PC” and you are on a Mac.

These drives will work on Macs too, you just have to re-format them.

What they mean when they say “for PC” is that it’s been pre-formatted from the factory to work with a PC with no additional configuration. Since most users aren’t IT people, that’s makes life easy for them. But all us Mac users have to do is use the Disk Utilities application to reformat that drive to Mac format and it will work exactly the same as a drive sold as “for Mac and PC.”

If you are not familiar with the Disk Utilities application, take some time and get to know it. It’s one of the basic tools you need to master to manage your storage. It’s a “dangerous” tool because you can completely erase disks, but no more dangerous than how you format memory cards in your camera. Just like formatting your memory cards, it’s a basic skill you need to master. So practice with it next time you have a new drive with no data on it, and always take your time to think things through.

Drobo volume/partition size recommendations

A drobo is like a regular external hard drive in that it can be split up into smaller volumes or partitions. Just because you have 20TB of storage doesn’t mean you actually want a 20TB volume.

I recommend your volume size be based on the size external drive you are using for backup, so that each volume can be easily backed up to a single external drive.

For example, if you are using 8TB drives for backup, you might want to make 6TB volumes on your drobo. You want the backup to be bigger than the “master” volume on the drobo because backup software can allow you to keep snapshots of old data that allows you to go back in time if you accidentally delete , erase, or overwrite a file, or if it becomes corrupted. The more extra storage on your backup drive, the further “back in time” you can go (no DeLorean or flux capacitor needed.)

This means you’ll likely have multiple volumes/partitions on your drobo, and you should consider how you use them.

I recommend separating “hot” or frequently changed data from “cold” or seldom accessed data. Hot data is things you are regularly using, like your lightroom catalog, your latest photo shoots, etc. Cold might be where you sort older shoots that you are not accessing, as well as files that don’t need frequent modification. For example “2019 Raw Captures” might get it’s own volume.

Really cold data could be moved to an external drive to free up space on the drobo.

There are lots of ways to play this, but I’ll leave those details up to you.