January 2015 Visual Adventures Newsletter is Posted

Posted January 30th, 2015 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Our January 2015 Newsletter is posted here: http://visadventures.com/newsletters/2015-01-newsletter/

This month we have lots of great topics including a review of the Nikon D750 in Tanzania, a review of the Uplift adjustable height desk, a Lightroom tutorial and more.

In This Month’s Newsletter

- Stuff I Like This Month
- January GOAL Assignment: B-Roll and Secondary Subjects
- Field Report: Using the Nikon D750 In Africa
- Product Review: Uplift Desk
- Digital Tidbits: The Lightroom Solution for Cloudless Skies
- Workshop and Business Updates

Newsletter_Screen_Shot





Adobe Lightroom 6 Will Only Work on 64-bit Operating Systems

Posted January 22nd, 2015 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

Lightroom screen shot

Adobe announced today that the next version of Lightroom, Lightroom 6, will only operate on 64-bit operating systems. This means they are focusing more on performance and features rather than backwards compatibility with older computers or older operating systems. So, if you are currently using Windows Vista, Windows XP or anything prior to Mac OS X 10.8, then you’ll need to upgrade to a newer operating system such as Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 or at least Mac OS X 10.8 or above.

If you won’t be upgrading your operating system, then you’ll be able to use Adobe Lightroom 5 into the future.

Here’s the text from their blog post:

Update on OS Support for Next Version of Lightroom

We are hard at work on the next major release of Lightroom, and wanted to share some information on operating system requirements in order to give everyone time to prepare for the release.

In order to leverage the latest operating system features and technologies, Lightroom 6 will require Mac OS X 10.8 or above, or a 64 bit version of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. Focusing our work on more modern operating systems and architectures allows us to spend more time adding functionality requested by users, including additional advanced imaging features and improving general application performance.

If you are on Mac OS X 10.7, or a 32 bit version of Windows, you will continue to be able to install and run Lightroom 5 and use Lightroom mobile. However, you will not be able to install Lightroom 6 until you upgrade to a supported operating system.

If you are currently running Mac OS X 10.7, Apple offers a free upgrade (here) to a more current operating system. For Windows users, Microsoft has a how-to reference (here) to help you determine whether you are running a 32 or 64 bit version of Windows.





Organizing Files for Lightroom Catalog

Posted January 20th, 2015 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

The most common questions I get from new Lightroom users are how to organize files on disk drives and how to prevent duplicate files in the Lightroom catalog. Over the last few weeks I’ve received quite a few questions about about how Lightroom works with folders. Here’s a series of questions and answers from one reader who wrote a couple of days ago:

Lightroom 5 box

Question 

Mike,

I have been struggling for days with Lightroom 5.7. I am new to LR in that I have had if for quite a while but just in the last two months have downloaded all my photos into a catalog. I have checked in depth online and Adobe forums to get my questions answered but no luck so far. So that brings me to you once again.

I think my question is pretty basic. I just don’t know how to fix the problem other than just dumping the catalog and starting again. LR shows I have 94K photos total in the catalog. However I have really much fewer. Despite having “do not import suspected duplicates” checked upon import, I find I have many, many duplicates (i.e. copy1, copy2), sometimes triplicates of files, the latter being all smart previews. I don’t understand how this happened unless I really didn’t have “do not import suspected duplicates” checked. But even then I don’t know how I would end up with so many, and why 3 smart previews?  And when there are two, the first says the “photo is missing” when I select it in the library and the second says “original and smart preview.” And then, some folders imported fine!

Under my folders panel I have my Mac HD with 94K and within that I have my Users with 44K and Volumes (ext HD) with the LR photo library with 49K. So it seems both were imported but I have no idea how I did that. So…here’s my question: is there any way to delete duplicates at this point? I know LR doesn’t have that capability and there is something called “Duplicate Finder” online that has pretty inconsistent and poor reviews.

Should I just delete everything and start over? And if so, can I avoid the same problem again? In other words, can you diagnose my problem? I haven’t done much work on my files with the exception of a recent trip with around 800 images and I’ve spent a lot of time with those adjustments and definitely would like to save those.

Answer 

Lightroom didn’t import duplicates. Rather, it found all the photos in all the sub folders that you pointed it to. The issue really comes down to making sure your photos are well organized on your hard drive, then letting Lightroom “see” those organized folders. If your photos are unorganized at the outset, then Lightroom will show you that chaos.

In general, I have people start their Lightroom catalogs with a single folder, then add to the catalog from there. For example, let’s say that you have a main folder on your disk drive called “Photos”. Then, under that, you have 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. i.e.

Photos

2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

Start by making sure that the 2015 folder is well organized. Something like this:

2015

150102_New_Years_pics
150110_Charlie_Birthday
150114_Wildlife_Reserve_Birds

Once 2015 looks pristine, then import that entire folder into your Lightroom catalog. Now, your catalog is starting off in good shape.

The next step is to go back to the 2014 folder and make sure everything is organized similar to the 2015 folder. Make sure you don’t have duplicate folders, duplicate “backup” subfolder folders or unnecessary images. Then, import the 2014 folder into Lightroom. The catalog now has all your 2014 and 2015 images and everything is organized.

Repeat this process by methodically going back through all your previous years’ folders. This will take a while, but you’ll be far better off in the long run because you’ll know where everything is located and Lightroom will be organized just like your main disk drive.

Followup Question

Thanks so much Mike. I had come to the conclusion that I needed to start over in smaller steps, as you describe. I have looked through some of my folders and can see where & why some of the duplicates came from, but not all. Regardless I shall start from scratch in smaller batches.

The only folder that I have done a lot of Lightroom editing work in was from a recent trip to Cuba and I really don’t want to lose those adjustments. Is there a way to transfer those adjustments from the backup catalog to the new? Or can I transfer those photos w their adjustments directly to the new catalog by dragging them into the new catalog?

Answer

Keeping your adjustments for the Cuba photos is easy.

1. Once you have your new catalog all set up, go back to the old catalog and select the Cuba folder(s).
2. Choose File … Export As Catalog.
3. Save the catalog somewhere on your computer (desktop?).
4. Close down the old catalog.
5. Open up new catalog (the one that you’re working on in smaller steps).
6. Choose File … Import From Another Catalog.
7. Find your Cuba catalog from the desktop and click OK or Import

—————

On a related note, I’m frequently asked what kind of disk drives I use for my data storage. At this point, I’m using OWC ThunderBay IV enclosures with Seagate 6TB Disk Drives. Here are the links:

B&H PHOTO PURCHASE LINKS

ThunderBay IV Enclosure

Seagate 6 TB Disk Drives

Also, be sure to check out our book on Digital Asset Management here:

Thousands of Images, Now What?

 





Nikon NPS Article on D4s Tips

Posted January 13th, 2015 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

NPS_D4s_Tips

Nikon has just posted a new web page dedicated to D4s Tips. Their tips include:

- Basic AF Settings for Sports Photography
- Recommended Settings by Event (Winter Sports)
- Soccer Shots: Autofocus
- The AF-S NIKKOR 400 mm f/2.8E FL ED VR
- AF Fine-Tuning
- Soccer Shots: White Balance

Here’s the link: Nikon NPS D4s Tips

Also, check out our setup guide for the Nikon D4s here: Nikon D4s Setup Guide





New AF-S Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR and D5500 DX

Posted January 6th, 2015 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink
300mm f/4 PF ED VR

AF-S Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

Nikon just announced the newest generation AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. This new lens uses a new optical technology for Nikon called PF, or Phase Fresnel that allows the lens to be much smaller and lighter weight than its predecessor. In fact, the lens is 3″ shorter and 1.5 pounds lighter than the previous generation 300mm f/4. The new VR (Vibration Reduction) technology in this lens adds a setting for sports scenarios and allows a 4.5 stop increase in shutter speed for improved sharpness. Sounds pretty good to me.

The downside of the new lens is that it will cost twice as much as the previous lens, at an estimated $1996.95 versus about $1,000. Canon currently has a fresnel lens in their lineup called the 400mm f/4 DO, or Diffractive Optics. Their 400mm f/4 is a great performer, but a few people don’t like the look of the bokeh (out of focus areas) with this lens. It will be interesting to see how Nikon does with the fresnel technology and my hope is the bokeh is creamy smooth. My initial take is that I like the concept of this lens and am looking forward to testing this new technology.

Pre-Order Here: B&H Photo

Press Release Here: Nikon 300mm f/4 PF

Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500 with 18-55mm lens.

During the same press release, Nikon announced their newest DX camera, the Nikon D5500. This replaces their previous D5300 camera with some new features such as touch screen LCD panel, more video options and no optical low pass filter (OLPF) for higher clarity. Pricing on the D5500 will be $897 for just the body and $1,197 for the body and kit lens.

Pre-Order Here: B&H Photo

Press Release Here: Nikon D5500





New Firmware Updates Released for the Nikon D750 (1.01) and D810 (1.02)

Posted December 17th, 2014 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Nikon D750 firmware C:1.01

Nikon D750
USA – https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/19320
EU – https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/19320

1. When shooting with an optional Speedlight and Auto FP high-speed sync enabled with On selected for ISO sensitivity settings > Auto ISO sensitivity control in the photo shooting menu, images were sometimes over-exposed. This issue has been resolved. (Enabling auto FP high-speed sync: Select 1/200 s (Auto FP) or 1/250 s (Auto FP) for Custom Setting e1: Flash sync speed)

2. When menus were displayed with the camera connected to a 4K-compatible TV via HDMI, display in both the camera monitor and on the TV was not correct. This issue has been resolved.

3. Noise that could sometimes be heard when Custom Setting d1: Beep was set to any option other than Off has been reduced.

Nikon D810 firmware C:1.02

Nikon D810
USA – https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/19315
EU – https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/63058

1. When playback zoom was applied to an image displayed in the camera monitor (image display enlarged) while the memory card access lamp was still lit immediately after capture, the image was not correctly displayed. This issue has been resolved.

2. When menus were displayed with the camera connected to a 4K-compatible TV via HDMI, display in both the camera monitor and on the TV was not correct. This issue has been resolved.

3. Noise that could sometimes be heard when Custom Setting d1: Beep was set to any option other than Off has been reduced.





Canada Issues New Drone and UAV Rules

Posted December 2nd, 2014 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Transport Canada just released new rules regarding the use of small UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) like the DJI Phantom/Inspire in Canadian airspace. The ruling is surprisingly low on regulation and limits commercial licensing requirements to larger drones over 55 pounds. Basically, they are allowing operation of small radio controlled drones under 300′ elevation with no further regulatory requirements. This is great news and I hope the FAA in the USA follows suit with similar regulations.

AVweb article

Here’s an article from AVweb: Canada Issues Small UAS Rules

Here’s the link to the Transport Canada ruling: Advisory Circular (AC) No. 600-004





Pictures from 2014 Tanzania Photo Safari

Posted November 25th, 2014 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

This year’s Tanzania Photo Safari was one of the best we’ve ever run. We photographed just about everything possible during our adventure and had a blast along the way.

My kit this year included the brand new Nikon D750 and I’m proud to report that it performed like a champ. This camera is a winner as far as I’m concerned and I kept commenting to my participants how much I enjoyed having it along on the adventure. Highly recommended.

Here are a few pics from the trip. Enjoy!

Lion in tree

Young female lioness in a tree. Tarangire NP, Tanzania. Nikon D750, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

Hippo waking up from a nap. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Hippo waking up from a nap. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Lion cub

Lion cub in the morning light. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

night herons

Flock of black crowned night herons. Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D750, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

White rhinoceros

White rhinoceros in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

Leopard cubs.

Baby leopard cubs at sunrise. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

Lion at Sametu

Male lion at the Sametu Kopjes, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Drinking lions.

Pride of drinking lions at the Sametu Marsh, near the Sametu Kopjes in Serengeti National Park. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Blue Monkey in tree

Blue monkey in tree. Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

Maromboi tent

One of our luxury tents at Maromboi camp, Tanzania. Nikon D750, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Galapagos – South Plaza and North Seymour Islands

Posted October 28th, 2014 by   |  Photography, Travel, Uncategorized  |  Permalink
South Plaza and boat anchorage.

South Plaza and boat anchorage. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

South Plaza is a tiny .13 square kilometer island in the Galapagos that was formed by uplifted lava. It is covered by opuntia cactuses, a tree-like cactus endemic to Galapagos. There are two big draws to South Plaza, the large sea lion colony and the colorful yellow and red land iguana. When visiting the island, you can barely take a step without fear of treading on one of these animals and you have to be really alert while walking along the trail. The last thing you want to do is step on a resting bull sea lion and have him get angry at you.

Sea lion lounging on the rocks.

Sea lion lounging on the rocks. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

galapagos land iguana

Land iguana posing on a lava rock. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

There are multiple sea lion colonies that call South Plaza their home. Each colony of 15-20 females is ruled by a bull male who is “king” for about three months. After his exhausting tenure is over, he returns to the bachelor herd and gives up the strenuous task of mating to another bull.

Some of the colony, resting on the soft green foliage. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Some of the colony, resting on the soft green foliage. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Nearby is North Seymour, a small island in the Galapagos that is also home to an amazing density of wildlife.  Photography is especially fun on this island with easy and direct access to all of the animals. The visitor trail around the 1.9 square kilometer island is a short 2 kilometer (1.4 mile) loop that takes you along cliffs, shoreline and interior regions teeming with wildlife.

Land iguana eating a cactus.

Land iguana eating a cactus. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

Land iguana waiting for the morning sunlight.

Land iguana waiting for the morning sunlight. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

One of the interesting stories about this island involves the land iguana. In the 1930s, Captain G. Allan Hancock noticed that the island didn’t have a population of Galapagos Land Iguanas. Thinking he was helping out the population, he brought over a small population of land iguanas from South Seymour. A few years later, some of the other islands in the Galapagos where the land iguana was native went through a drought and the population died off. North Seymour didn’t suffer through the same drought and the land iguanas thrived there. They were able to use the remnant population from North Seymour to repopulate the other islands in the Galapagos.

Mmm, cactus.

Mmm, cactus. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

These days, wildlife managers and resource managers are very careful about moving species of animals from one island to another because they understand that animals in the Galapagos have specialized to live on specific islands. In fact, specialization animals adapting to distinct environments is what makes the Galapagos quite unique. In the case of the land iguana though, Galapagos wildlife managers use the North Seymour’s iguanas for their captive breeding program throughout the island chain.

Opuntia cactus detail

Opuntia cactus detail. Nikon D600, 24-70mm f/2.8.

Dead land iguana.

Dead land iguana. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Opuntia cactus

Opuntia cactus panorama. Nikon D600, 24-70mm f/2.8.

 





Nikon D750 Setup Guide Posted

Posted October 1st, 2014 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Nikon D750 Setup Guide

We’ve just posted the new Nikon D750 Setup Guide here: Nikon D750 Setup Guide.

After using the camera for a few days, I can honestly say that it is a winner. Truly, a great camera in almost every way. I’ll be writing more about it in the days and months to come.

Our Nikon camera setup guides are designed to help users setup their cameras for different shooting scenarios such as sports, action, landscapes, travel, portraits, weddings, and point & shoot. You can download a PDF for free, or order a laminated version for $6.50. These guides have been used by thousands of photographers across the world to help make sense of their camera systems.

Nikon D750

 





© 2015 Visual Adventures | Site Policies | Web by Works Development