dPS: 5 Ways To Never Lose Your Photos

Another excellent article from the digital Photography School blog about how to properly archive your photos.

The biggest nightmare of every photographer is the thought of catastrophic loss of their photographs. In the days of film, options were limited and often serious photographers would keep their negatives and slides in fire proof safes or bank safe deposit boxes. Even still several great photographers have had their work taken from them due to fire, water damage and even sub-grade storage supplies. Digital photography provides an additional level of complexity to photographers as they look to keep their photographic work safe. Now in addition to fire and water damage there is the risk of file corruption, failed drives and file format obsolescence. With increased risk comes the responsibility to be diligent in heading off such catastrophes with a solid backup plan. Below are 5 steps you can take to minimize risk of losing your digital photos.

1. Immediately back-up your photos to DVD after off loading them to your computer from your compact flash cards

Here is where procrastination can get the better of you. I have known several people who have accidentally deleted files from their compact flash cards before backing their photos up or deleted files from their computer with out having a backup. These days it’s not too hard to find a deal on a 100 disc spool of DVDs. Have one on hand and take the extra 15 minutes to burn a disc.

(continue reading via 5 Ways To Never Lose Your Photos)

Grand Theft Auto 4 – Vehicle Swingset Glitch Tutorial

YouTube – Grand Theft Auto 4 – Vehicle Swingset Glitch Tutorial.

Much clearer explanation, from the video’s page:

This is a fast and simple vehicle swingset tutorial.

Follow my steps in the video, so you know how to do the swingset glitch.

The steps are also in the video description on Youtube.

This works on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 as of now.
___

This is the location of where the swingset glitch is.
___

This can be done by any vehicle, but it is hard to do this glitch with a motorcycle because there are high chances of you falling off.

You have to go slow onto the swingset with your car.
Once you reach the middle bar, hold X (PS3) or the brake button.
While holding the brake button, hold R2 (PS3) or the accelerate button.
It sometimes works without holding R2.

After a few seconds you will be catapulted across the map.

Flickr: Excellent Photo Advice

One of my Flickr friends, Steve-h just sent me a message today recommending that I read the profile of Bachspics, which contains a wealth of advice on taking better pictures and scoring better in Flickr Explore.

Here’s a clip:

TIPS ON TAKING AND PRESENTING BETTER PICTURES

Here are some tips on improving composition, taking better and more interesting pictures I’ve collected. [Feel free to send me a Flicker Message with your suggestions.] I also recommend Geoff Quinn’s “A few lessons learned the hard (and slow) way on Flickr” at: www.flickr.com/people/gcquinn/ You may also be interested in David Brooks’ Photographic Composition Tutorial and blog about photographic composition theory found here: giant-steps-giant-blog.blogspot.com/ You can see 24 articles mostly about nature photography by Darwin Wiggett, here: www.darwinwiggett.com/articles.html Also check out some Photoshop tips and tutorials here www.tommysimms.com/photoshop.html See “Ten Questions To Ask When Taking A Digital Photo” here: digital-photography-school.com/blog/10-questions/

In the examples below you can click on the picture for a larger view.

* NO FORMULAS: To begin with there are no formulas or recipes for great photographs. But there are matters pertaining to beauty and interest such as principles relating to light, harmony, balance, color and emotion and elements of design such as line, form, pattern, shape, texture and color which enter into making a photograph attractive and interesting. Successful photographs are about knowing and applying those principles when appropriate, but also about perception, thought and creativity.

And more:

TOP TEN WAYS TO MAKE “EXPLORE”

Just photograph….
10. …looking down on a buxom woman from above her head; preferably if she has a low-cut top on.
09. …a flower and/or an insect on or near it; or just the insect will do. [Late in September 07 Flicker averaged about 50 flowers in each day’s 500, or 10%; They had 10-15 insects per day.]
08. …a cat, any cat, lots of cats; and once in a while a dog; or a dog, any dog, lots of dogs; and once in a while a cat.
07. …a sunset [Flicker includes anywhere from 25-50 of these per day.]
06. …a young adult leaping through the air, or one eye of a woman (there was a tie here).
05. …a picture of the “the 275th day in the life of…” (Who started that inane fad?); these are often self-portraits (see # 3 below)

Wow. Excellent advice. Thanks again to Steve-h for the suggestion, and Bachspics for the excellent writeup!

By the way, the rest of the writeup is on Bachspics profile page. =)

dPS: Moving Toward Manual Settings: Understanding Aperture

Excellent tutorial on a fundamental concept of photography from digital Photography School:

In this tutorial Natalie Norton explores the topic of Aperture.

A few months back I wrote an article here at DPS that created a bit of a stir:

4 Reasons Not to Write Off Shooting in Automatic.

I expected to get a lot of naysayers scolding me up and down and all around. I did get a few of those, but what I didn’t expect were the literally dozens of emails (not to mention comments on the post itself) from people sincerely thanking me for taking the pressure off, for helping them see that great photography is great no matter how it’s captured.

I stand by everything that I wrote in that post. I particularly maintain that photography should be FUN and rewarding and that focusing too much energy on the technical aspects of it shouldn’t detract from that.

HOWEVER one can’t argue with the fact that shooting in Manual does give you more control and greater creative freedom. Period. End of story.

So on we go to Manual settings: I know this topic has been discussed a ZILLION times over, and that it’s as boring as dry toast, but we’re going to go at it again. . . in layman’s terms.

(continue reading via: Moving Toward Manual Settings: Understanding Aperture)

ImgBurn: Creating an Audio CD

This one took me a little while to figure out, so I thought I’d share my steps with you:

1) Open ImgBurn and select “Write image file to disc” (or choose “Write” from the Mode menu)

Step 1

2) Click the CD with a music note button (Create CD CUE file)

Step 2

3) Click the top button on the right (Find Files)

Step 3

4) Once you’ve added your files, you can choose the tagging/gap preferences

Step 4

5) Then, click OK, and you can burn the compilation from here.

Step 5

You should be able to burn any audio format supported by DirectShow; if you need M4a/AAC support, you’ll have to download a plugin, such as the one below:

http://www.free-codecs.com/download/CoreAAC_Directshow_filter.htm

And…you can find the official instructions from the ImgBurn forums here:

http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?s=22c67d5cf8ed90447ab85dacfcb532d3&showtopic=5555

Lifehacker: How to Move On From Life-Changing Mistakes

This is a really good read…

I would like to tell you that I was down but not out. That I just brushed myself off and got on with life. I didn’t. At first, I kept myself hyper-busy. That lasted for about three months. Then, I sank into a depression. I’m sure I was in shock for a long time. It was a very dark, confused time in my life. I kept pushing myself to get back to normal. That didn’t happen. I never got back to myself. I became better than I was.

(via How to Move On From Life-Changing Mistakes)

Thomas Hawk: Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr, All Fresh and New for 2008

Great article from Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection about how to get attention on Flickr:

“What is more pleasant than the benevolent notice other people take of us, what is more agreeable than their compassionate empathy? What inspires us more than addressing ears flushed with excitement, what captivates us more than exercising our own power of fascination? What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us? What, lastly, equals the enchantment sparked off by the delighted attention we receive from those who profoundly delight ourselves? – Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”
Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr, 2005.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr that proved fairly popular. A lot has changed at Flickr in the past 2 years though and how imagery is rated and ranked on the site has also changed. That said, I thought I’d write a fresher updated post on the top 10 ways, presently, to get attention on Flickr.

Back in 2006 when I wrote my original article on how to achieve popularity on Flickr my photostream had been viewed almost 400,000 times. According to a Flickr stats page that’s been added since that time, the view count for my pages on Flickr now stands at 9,953,328. It should pass 10 million sometime this week. I’m averaging about 14,000 page views a day on Flickr.

Some of how one gets attention on Flickr has remained the same since 2006. Other stuff has changed.

(list continued at Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr, All Fresh and New for 2008)

dPS: How to Win Friends and Influence People – A Guide to Commenting on Other People’s Photos

Great post about how to effectively comment on Flickr photos. (I’ll admit, I’m guilty of the two-word-comment myself, so this is good advice for me, personally.)

One of the ten things I hate about Flickr is people who don’t know how to comment on photos. In a recent post to my blog, I lamented the number of comments I receive on my photos which consist of only one or two words: “Frankly, I don’t care if you think my photo’s “Awesome!”, I care even less if you think it’s a “Cool photo”. I’ve put a lot of work into it, I’d genuinely like to know what you think of it and why. If you’re going to comment, why not take the extra 30 seconds, engage your brain, and say something insightful.”

In the lively discussion that followed, it occurred to me that these commenters may not just be lazy. Some said they don’t feel confident enough, or have enough knowledge to feel worthy of making a comment. Others said they have a hard time expressing their feelings. And some simply don’t know what to say. I want to help fix that.

Even though a discussion about Flickr prompted this guide, and the examples I use are all from Flickr, it applies equally well to any online photography or art community, where people comment on the works uploaded by others.

(continued at digital Photography School)

The Simple Dollar: 100 Things to Do During a Money Free Weekend

This is excellent advice, and good fun, at that! About a year ago, I offered up the idea of the money-free weekend:

For the last few months, my wife and I have been doing something every other weekend or so that we call a “money free” weekend, in an effort to live more frugally. It’s actually quite fun – here’s how we do it. We are not allowed to spend any money on anything, no matter what. In other words, we can’t make a run to the store to buy food, we can’t spend money on any sort of entertainment, and so on. Since we often do our grocery shopping on Saturdays, on a “money free” weekend, we delay it to Monday or Tuesday. We can use our utilities, but no extra expenses on these utilities. No renting movies on cable, no text messages that aren’t already covered by our cell phone plan, and so on.

I followed this up with fifteen things to do during such a weekend, fifteen more things to do, and fifteen deeply fulfilling things to do during such a weekend. Since then, lots of people have sent me ideas for activities for money-free weekends, plus we’ve uncovered a bunch of our own. At the same time, many readers have asked for a master list of all of these ideas. So, here we go – one hundred fun ways to spend a money free weekend. The list below includes the first forty-five (with duplicates removed), plus about sixty new ones. Print this off and use it as a checklist or a thumbnail guide for your own money-free weekend. Please note that everyone’s interests are different – you probably won’t find everything on this list fun and neither will someone else, but the two lists won’t overlap (I can think of countless things other people find fun that I find utterly dreadful). Anyway, here goes! (continued at The Simple Dollar)

Windows Photo Gallery: Beige Color Fix

This seems to be a pretty common problem in Windows Vista, related to invalid/corrupt color profiles – if you’re experiencing this issue, you’ll see a beige color bleeding through the image from the background where a white background should be. Here’s an example (thanks to matthewrowan.spaces.live.com!):

y1peejIUGYPM8zDoJaegMIgj9nEaEGrjRanJxPnScs5Sp86J0gPCSgjq4-F7gqit588xrwVgylDrYKa16ExRjk-rH7GnOfOvTwy

And, what it should look like:

y1peejIUGYPM8xXMUvoFe67RkGS6QClTfxgodJ5jY8KXI_1qvGbg__j3RMzUqSl2adkwpVBj27SDeswgKQAQqhgVDGBdIRqtaU6

Luckily, there is a fix (again, via matthewrowan.spaces.live.com):

After a little searching for how to change the background color, I found other people with this symptom describing it as an off color, yellow tint, orange or yellowish tinge, beige, cream colored background which, shows through the picture itself, distorts the colours, or bleeds through pictures. In most situations the problem went away in slide show mode. This was an annoying issue, making me avoid looking at pictures whatsoever in Windows Photo Gallery. This wasn’t that much of an issue because I do not use photos or pictures often on my development machine. But before I was going to install Vista on my other computer where I view photos constantly, I needed to ensure that I would not have this issue.

The solution can be found here:
Windows Vista Photo Gallery Yellow Tint Background Problem

(via Windows Photo Gallery background color bleeding through pictures)

dPS: 20 Photography Tips from Our Twitter Followers

Great list from digital Photography School’s blog:

Last week I asked some DPS readers who follow this blog via Twitter (our account is here) to share some of their photography tips with us.

The catch was that they had to do it in 140 characters or less (the limit that Twitter allows per message). Here’s a collection of 20 of their photography tips:

  1. “I would recommend any serious photographer a Tripod. It’s indispensable for any photography & most if your hands won’t stay still” – maniar
  2. “don’t spend your time looking at the lcd screen…you end up missing fantastic moments. The pictures will still be there later!” – burks
  3. “Shoot in RAW mode if your camera has it. Offers so many more opportunities for editing than shooting in JPEG” – PattyHankins
  4. “don’t just stand there. Instead of moving the camera, move yourself…” – XmasB
  5. “Always remove the lens cover.” – fireeducator
  6. “Get closer to the object.” – Celebtur
  7. “Expensive equipment don’t make great photos. Great photographers do.” – quicklunarcop
  8. “Fill the Frame” – ebradlee10
  9. “shoot the magic hours(!!); remember the exposure triangle; look for a new/unique angle on your subject. :-)” – laepelba
  10. “Keep taking photos, look at your photos, then take more photos. Learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to experiment.” – NeilCreek

(continued at digital Photography School)

Know Your DSLR: How to remove dust spots

Great article from knowyourdslr.com about how to remove dust spots from your photos:

Spot Healing Tool
Spot Healing Tool

If you use a DSLR, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself swapping lenses – that kit lens that came with the camera isn’t going to do all the jobs all the time. That means, sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself facing a problem that photographers have faced since the advent of interchangeable lenses: dust.

Dust is a huge problem: it’s next to impossible to prevent, hard to get rid of and it ruins the best of shots. Many recent DSLRs have self-cleaning sensors to try to minimise the problem, and some can have custom dust maps created so that dust spots are removed in-camera, but knowing how to use the heal tool to get rid of those conspicuous dark spots is a must.

(continue reading at www.knowyourdslr.com)

dPS: How to Photograph Fireworks Displays

Excellent article from the digital Photography School blog about how to photograph fireworks displays:

Fireworks

(photo via hupaishi)

Do you want to know how to photograph fireworks? With 4th July just days away I thought I’d refresh this article in which I give 10 Fireworks Photography tips to help you get started.

Fireworks Displays are something that evoke a lot of emotion in people as they are not only beautiful and spectacular to watch but they also are often used to celebrate momentous occasions.

I’ve had many emails from readers asking how to photograph fireworks displays, quite a few of whom have expressed concern that they might just be too hard to really photograph. My response is always the same – ‘give it a go – you might be surprised at what you end up with’.

My reason for this advice is that back when I bought my first ever SLR (a film one) one of the first things I photographed was fireworks and I was amazed by how easy it was and how spectacular the results were. I think it’s even easier with a digital camera as you can get immediate feedback as to whether the shots you’ve taken are good or not and then make adjustments.

Of course it’s not just a matter of going out finding a fireworks display – there are, as usual, things you can do to improve your results. With 4 July just around the corner I thought I’d share a few fireworks digital photography tips:

(continue reading at digital Photography School Blog)

Run Windows Apps from your Existing Windows Partition in Linux « Mohammad Azimi

Found this article from a linkback to my post “Feature: Seamlessly Run Linux Apps on Your Windows Desktop“…

I saw a post this morning showing you can run Windows applications from a virtual Windows install on your Linux Desktop. Although this may seem like it’s not that big of a deal, anyone who virtualizes another OS such as Windows from within VMware knows it can
sometimes be a hassle to switch between your Linux desktop and the Windows one since you only have access to application windows within each OS and your Guest OS is limited to running within the VMware window. The advantage of integrating the guest OS into your existing desktop allows you to easily switch between different applications and use applications side by side regardless of what OS they are on. As you can see in the pic above (click to enlarge), this method gives you access to the StartMenu from your Linux desktop as well as placing guest OS applications in the Gnome panel. The original website provided a method that needed some modification to work for me. Additionally, the following guide will show you how to safely set this up on an existing Windows partition.

(more via: Run Windows Apps from your Existing Windows Partition in Linux « Mohammad Azimi)

How-To Geek: “Terminal Server Has Exceeded the Maximum Number of Allowed Connections” (Remote Desktop)

Great fix for a problem I commonly have at the office:

If you’ve worked on a network with Windows servers, you’ve encountered this error message at least 37,000 times:

“The terminal server has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections. The system can not log you on. The system has reached its licensed logon limit. Please try again later.”

This problem happens because Windows only allows two remote terminal services connections when you are in administrative mode, and you’ve either got two people already on that server, or more likely, you’ve got a disconnected session that still thinks it is active.

The problem with this error is that you have to actually get on the server console to fix the problem if the server isn’t in a domain. (If you are in a domain, then just open Terminal Services Manager and log off or disconnect the sessions)

(keep reading via Command Line Hack for: “Terminal Server Has Exceeded the Maximum Number of Allowed Connections”)

digital Photography School: HDR Photography – What Do You Think About It?

Great article from digital Photography School about HDR photography:

Hdr-Image

There are numerous discussion on HOW to make HDR images in our forums but one recurring discussion that I’m seeing around the web is over whether it’s a form of photography that people like. Some people love the effect and others hate it. Some say it’s not ‘pure’ photography others ask what pure photography really is? Some call it ‘fake’ and others see it as a thing of beauty.

I thought it’d make an interesting discussion. Do you like HDR images? What do you like or dislike about them?

(via digital Photography School: HDR Photography – What Do You Think About It?)

Lifehacker: Learn to Play an Instrument Online

Another wonderful Lifehacker post, about how to learn to play an instrument online

…might be a chance for me to finally learn how to play that guitar… 😉

Chances are at one point or another, you’ve either purchased an instrument or considered doing so with the intention of learning to play it; most of us, however, never get around the learning part. The internet is a glorious fount of freely available information, and it’s slowly filling up with excellent tutorials for getting good at just about anything—including playing a new instrument. Hit the jump for a handful of great resources for getting started with a new instrument online for the low, low price of free.

(via Learn to Play an Instrument Online)