How I find photos in Lightroom quickly using Excire Search

A dull question but hopefully an interesting answer will ensue.

I have well over 70,000 images in my Lightroom Catalogue. How do I find photos in Lightroom quickly? Using Excire Search is how. In this post I will tell you what Excire search is and how I use it to find photos in Lightroom quickly.

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What is Excire Search?

Excire Search is a Lightroom plug-in which searches the images in a Lightroom catalogue using the content of the images – that is the point – Excire Search uses the content of the images in the Lightroom Catalogue, and searches using an example image to find similar images with similar content.

Is Excire Search going to help you find images in your Lightroom Catalogue? Read on and you will find out.

By way of a spoiler the answer is yes, it will help. Quite a lot.


Before I go on, full disclosure

I was approached by Excire Search to trial this product, and I am an affiliate member, so if you click on my affiliate link here and buy Excire Search I get a commission.

Of course, I have an incentive to write good things about this plug-in. What you will find in this blog post though is my honest opinions on Lightroom and Excire, and their relative search capabilities.

This is not an advert for Excire Search, this is me writing about a tool that, now I have it, I will use regularly in my photography work.

OK now that is out of the way back to the subject in question.

What are the different versions of Lightroom?

I need to give you a bit of background to Lightroom to start with.

There are three versions of Lightroom. Lightroom CC, Lightroom Mobile and the one I use, Lightroom Classic.

What is the difference between Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile?

Lightroom Classic

Lightroom Classic is the version of Lightroom where the photos are stored locally on a hard drive (of one sort or another). Lightroom Classic is the current evolution of what was Lightroom. This is what the standalone version starting with Lightroom 1.0 released in 2007 has evolved into, which is now obtained through the Creative Cloud and a monthly subscription.

Lightroom CC

Lightroom CC is the newer cloud-based version of Lightroom. Photos are stored on the cloud. This is not the full version of Lightroom but has features which you will not find in Lightroom Classic.

Lightroom CC was released in 2017

Lightroom Mobile

Lightroom Mobile is the version of Lightroom that is used on mobile devices. Photos are accessed from Lightroom through collections which are synced via the internet.

Lightroom Mobile is free but you need actual Lightroom Classic or CC to get the photos into collections.

For completeness there is also a web based Lightroom, which you can access at this link.


Which version of Lightroom do I use?

I use Lightroom Classic – the original full version now available through the Creative Cloud.

I do not use Lightroom CC as this is the cloud-based version, where your photos are stored by Adobe in the cloud.

I have no doubt that at some point in the future I will move over, as we all will.

That is why this article is about advanced searches in Lightroom Classic.

What are the search capabilities of Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile?

Lightroom Classic

There are various search tools and filters in Lightroom Classic that I use all the time.

I use the following

  • Star rating

  • Picks and rejects filters

  • Other metadata in the tool bar

Having said that my images are organised in a very logical, comprehensive but simple file structure meaning that I know where most of my images are.

Lightroom Classic has face recognition technology, but to be honest I do not use this as I do not photograph people, only buildings and nice places.

Read on for the good bit.

Lightroom CC - has Adobe Sensei technology.

I don’t have Lightroom CC, so not being at all familiar with it I decided to let Adobe explain Sensei search technology. This is what Adobe say on their website on their excellent help pages

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/lightroom-cc/using/whats-new.html

 “Start typing in the search bar, and Lightroom CC automatically offers suggestions to help you quickly find what you need. Search for cameras, locations, and other metadata with ease. Also, your enabled filters are kept neatly organized in the search box. You can even search for a filter using its name (try 'camera:').

But does Sensei analyse the content of an image?

No.

It does carry out some form of auto tagging, but it is mainly intelligent search functionality.

Why do I not have Lightroom CC?

I should explain this. I have evolved from Lightroom 1.0 – yes, I was there at the very beginning in 2007 – to the Lightroom Classic that we have now.

I have heard that there are potential conflicts if you have Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic installed.

Now I do not know if this is true, but I am not going to risk it. I don’t want Lightroom CC at the moment as I do not want to pay for cloud storage. I don’t actually want or indeed need this as I have my own arrangements in place.

So, I, like most photographers so I believe, use Lightroom Classic.

Lightroom Mobile

I nearly forgot about Lightroom Mobile. I use this on my iPad and iPhone. All the images are organised into collections, so searching for images is not something that I do – it is done before things are added to Lightroom Mobile.

I use Lightroom mobile as my mobile working folders.

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What is Excire Search then?

Excire Search is a plug-in for Lightroom Classic. It provides advanced search capabilities using a content-based image retrieval engine.

Or to put it another way it searches using the content of images in my Lightroom Catalogue.

Why is Excire Search different from the search capabilities built into Lightroom Classic?

Basically, Excire Search uses the content of an image. I know.

I thought this was just another clever piece of software with no practical use but just think about this for a second.

How does Excire Search work?

Once you have installed Excire Search you have to initialise it. This is basically the process by which the software analyses all the images in your Lightroom Catalogue.

This took two overnight sessions to analyse the more than 60,000 images in my Lightroom Catalogue.

I wondered why it took so long. But I was soon to find out.

What does Excire Search do?

The plug-in analyses the content of images. Yes, I know.

Let me jump straight into some examples which demonstrate the point wonderfully well.

 

Example 1 – The blue domed church roofs of Santorini

This is one of the things I am working on at the moment – a collection of architectural travel photography images.

I want to get a set of similar images, and my starting point is one of those famous blue domed church roofs you find on the wonderful Greek Island of Santorini.

If you want to see more of my work about my photos of Santorini check out my website called, erm Photos of Santorini.

Sorry had to get that plug in.

This is the example image that I use as the basis for the search.

Blue domed church roof, Santorini, Greece

Blue domed church roof, Santorini, Greece

And this is the results of the first 50 images that Excire found in my Lightroom Catalogue.

50 photos of blue domed cgurch roofs

50 photos of blue domed cgurch roofs

Not bad. Now the search did produce a couple of shots of the domed roof of the church in Altea, Spain, and also one house on the Greek Island of Rhodes which has part of the roof with a sort of dome, but other than that pretty good search results.

Lets try something else

Example 2 – The white buildings of Santorini

Next, I am going to use the famous white buildings of Santorini – another theme that I am working with at the moment.

This is the example image

Copy of White buildings and blue church roofs on the Greek Island of San

And this is the results of the first 50 images that Excire found in my Lightroom Catalogue

50 white buildings screenshot

50 white buildings screenshot

Example 3 – The interiors of churches and cathedrals

This is the example image

The spectacular ceiling of San Sebastian Cathedral

The spectacular ceiling of San Sebastian Cathedral

And this is the results of the first 50 images that Excire found in my Lightroom Catalogue

50 church ceilings

50 church ceilings

Example 4 – Buildings with scaffolding

This is the example image

HORNDEAN 003 230315.jpg

 And this is the results of the first 50 images that Excire found in my Lightroom Catalogue

50 scaffolding photos

50 scaffolding photos

Example 5 - Sunrise with boats

This is the example image

Copy of Poole Quay and boats at sunrise by Poole Photographer Rick McEvo

 And this is the results of the first 50 images that Excire found in my Lightroom Catalogue

50 sunrises with boats

50 sunrises with boats

That should do for now. You should get the idea. Pretty cool eh?

I know that the search results included a few oddities but that is always going to be the way. I have to say that these are typical of the searches that I will use Excire Search Pro for in my daily work.

Well I will now that I have the excellent search tool to use.

What about keywords?

This is the one that I needed to spend some time and work out. Check back to my photography blog in a few months to see how I get on with this feature.

Me and keywords

I am not a great one at keywording images. I add keywords to images when I export them anywhere outside of my hard drive. This is always the last thing I do before exporting images out of Lightroom.

I was always going to keyword images on import, but it never happened.

And now that I have over 60,000 keywords I think that ship has sailed.

Or has it?

What does Excire Search Pro do with keywords?

It adds keywords to every image during the initialisation process.

Yes – it does this based on the image content.

And that is how I keyword images prior to exporting – as well as adding some essential data I add keywords that describe the image.

This sounds to good to be true.

By the way as I am writing this, I am following a video tutorial on the Excire website and checking Lightroom to see what is going on.

Where does Excire Search Pro put the keywords?

In a separate place. They are not in the Lightroom Catalogue.

Excire Search Pro can assign up to 535 keywords to images in your Lightroom catalogue. The non-pro version 120.

I tried this quickly but need more time before committing to adding the keywords Excire Search Pro has assigned to my images.

I have spent a long time assembling my Lightroom Catalogue and this is not something to rush into.

And there are also the Dominant colours

During the initialisation process Excire Search also identifies the dominant colours in an image – this is another thing that I am definitely interested in.

 

How do I get Excire Search?

You can get Excire Search from this link here – this is my affiliate link, so if you buy the software from this link I get a commission. You don’t pay any more that going direct to the website.

You can also get a 30-day free trial here.

 

How much does Excire Search cost?

99 Euros for the Search Pro version, and 49 Euros for the Search version. I have used the Euro prices for now – we have not left yet after all!!

When I write an update post I might be showing the price in £s though.

This is a one-off purchase and the software is installed on your Mac or PC hard drive.

Oh yes, you don’t need the internet to run this software.

The price includes bug fixes and minor updates and improvements, but not version upgrades and major additions.

 

And the other features

I have not tried out all the features of Excire Search Pro. I need to look more at

  • Keywords

  • Search by dominant colour

Actually – here is a screenshot of the options available in Lightroom

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Summary

I was approached by Sol at Excire Search to work with them on the promotion of their new plug-in.

At first it sounded like one of those things that was very clever but would be of little use to me, but I agreed to work with Excire, and committed to write about the plug-in on my blog and also on the Improve Photography website. I am a freelance writer for Improve Photography, producing fortnightly articles on all things photography.

Little did I know that I would find the ability to search my entire Lightroom Catalogue by an example photo so useful – this is something that I have used a lot in the two weeks since I installed Excire Search.

I am interested to see if I use Excire Search in the future once the novelty has worn off. I think I will, it has a place in my workflow for certain specific work that I do.

You can read my introduction to Excire Search on Improve Photography. I have scheduled a review article on Improve Photography for Feb/ March 2019. I will write an in-depth update on my blog in the spring where I will describe how much I am using it, what I use it for and what benefits this search tool has given me and my photography business.

Basically, if you need the things I need when searching for images in my Lightroom Catalogue then Excire Search Pro is an excellent choice. If you don’t need these search capabilities then fine – it is not for you!

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, blogger, writer

 

My First Travel Photography Website – Photos of Santorini

My passions are travel and photography. Well it took me a while, but I eventually got there.

I am delighted to be able to announce that my first travel photography website is now complete – it is called Photos of Santorini. It was completed when I finally got around to buying a logo for this website, which is taken from one of my photos. In this post I will tell you all about this website and my plans for future travel photography websites.

Photos of Santorini by Rick mcEvoy

Photos of Santorini by Rick mcEvoy

But first a bit about me

I am Rick McEvoy. I am a professionally qualified photographer, having the qualification of the Associateship of the British Institute of Photography – ABIPP.

I am also a Chartered Construction Manager, with the designation MCIOB.

I have a lifetime of experience working in the construction industry. And I also have a lifetime of experience in photography, with more than a decade of that as a professional photographer.

What has this got to do with travel photography?

Well my wife and I love to travel. Travel is our thing. And I love photography.

Put the two together and travel photography should be, and indeed is my dream job! Sometimes these things are that simple and obvious.

Where have I travelled to?

There is quite a long list of countries that I have visited

  • Barbados

  • Canary Islands

  • Chile

  • Egypt

  • France

  • Greece

  • Italy

  • Maldives

  • Portugal

  • Scotland

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

And then there are the wonderful Greek Islands

  • Corfu

  • Cyprus

  • Kefalonia

  • Paxos

  • Rhodes

  • Santorini

  • Zakynthos

That is quite a few places.

Why travel photography websites?

I was treated by my wife to a birthday trip to remember. A trip to Santorini to take photos.

It was just the best, having unlimited time to take photos. I have never had this luxury before, and even better that it was on the stunning Greek Island of Santorini.

When we got home I immediately imported all the photos into Lightroom and started editing them. The problem was that I did not have a purpose for them – I did not know what I wanted to do with them.

I was editing the photos without a purpose, and without a purpose how do you choose which images to edit?

My architectural photography work

As well as doing my construction consultancy work I was busy carrying out architectural photography assignments.

That and trying to publish a daily photography blog.

I was lacking direction and to be brutally honest getting nowhere.

And then I had the idea – build my own website!

I can’t remember where the idea came from now as there was so much going on. But at some point last year I had the idea to make my own website just for my Photos of Santorini, and that is what I did.

Selling one of my photos for 53p on Adobe Stock was the final insult for the stock photography market, and after that I deleted all my stock photography accounts. I was not happy with that.

And where am I up to now with all of this?

My Photos of Santorini website is completed apart from one big thing – it’s appearance. I am waiting on a new theme being produced by someone I know which I am going to use for this and all my other websites.

What is Photos of Santorini about then?

It is about my photos of Santorini primarily – hence the name. It is about me being on this wonderful Greek Island and how I took each of 20 photos that I have written separate posts for.

These are some of the posts I have made

Where are the best photo spots on Santorini?

Where are the best places to see the sunrise in Santorini

Photo of the cable car in Fira from the path to Imerovigli

There is also a 2-part post which is titled Santorini photography tips. This is a long two-part post where I describe what I have learned on this photographic trip.

And there is also a gallery which I have imaginatively called My Big Fat Greek Photo Gallery.

Why Photos of Santorini

As I said I needed a purpose for my photos of Santorini, and that is pretty much where the name came from. And I know that there are lots of websites with photos of Santorini, and lots of places where you can view photos taken on Santorini.

But the one difference with my website is me. There is only one me, probably not a bad thing. And I have added my personality to my posts, and written about my experiences photographing Santorini.

The content mix is deliberate, with decent length posts about each of the 20 main photos, and the two long posts called Santorini Photography Tips.

As I said all I am waiting on now is a new theme, which should be available to me in a couple of months hopefully, and that will be that website done.

The content of my travel photography website

As well as 20 posts, each one about a single photo, there are pages about me, how to buy my photos and other good stuff.

What is the purpose of this travel photography website?

The purpose is this. This is a niche website deliberately constructed to do the following

  1. Attract enough web traffic to earn money.

  2. Make me a popular travel photography resource

  3. Assist with the development of my other websites

  4. Make my website a helpful resource for people who want to go to Santorini

  5. Make my website a helpful resource for people who want to learn about travel photography

  6. Make my website one of the most popular websites about Santorini

What other websites do I have?

Paxos Travel Guide, which is the website I am currently working on at the time of writing this.

Here is the logo, next to the Photos of Santorini logo.

Paxos Travel Guide

Paxos Travel Guide

Photos of Santorini - PNG (background transparency).png


Do you see the similarity – yes there is the beginnings of some kind of plan formulating here. Paxos Travel Guide is going to be a bigger website than my Santorini one, which I hope to have completed soon. I was aiming for the end of the month of February, but this is looking challenging now.

I have produced half of the initial 30 posts planned for this website – the only problem is that the last 10 posts are the big, in-depth posts, which will take longest to write.

What is Paxos Travel Guide about?

On this website I am sharing my experiences of Paxos, getting there, being there and getting home again. It is a very personalised website where the advice I am offering is all my own. I have not produced the content using Google searches – it is my own knowledge having been to Paxos twice.

Here are some example of the type of stuff that I have written

How do I get to Paxos?

Paxos FAQ

When is the best time to visit Paxos?

What websites are planned for the future?

Well that is something that I am already thinking about. The Paxos website model is the one I envisage going forward, and there is a natural next website shouting out to me to be created. It will be about the Greek Island of Rhodes, which we go to every year.

Once Paxos Travel Guide is done I am going to start work on this website - next time we go there I will have a list of places that I want to go to which will add to the content that I already have. And the website will exist. I might even work on the website when I am there!

And I have a few years’ worth of photos of many places on this wonderful Greek Island.

And after that?

Well that is where I will stop for a while. OK there is one more website that I fancy doing, called Photos of Barbados, or something like that. Based on that idea.

I want to publish the photos I took on Barbados somewhere – at the moment I have a page on my website with a selection of my photos of Barbados.

Ultimately, I want to produce lots of travel photography websites, but there is a limit to what I can do. I have to make a living after all, and if these websites just sit there on the internet without earning any money I have to stick with my paying architectural photography work. Not that this is a problem.

There is a lot of work in creating websites with excellent content.

But if my travel photography websites take then who knows where this might take me?

What camera do I use for my travel photography work?

This is another recent change that I am currently in the middle of. I have been using a Canon 6D for 4 years now. And I found on my last holiday that I was leaving my camera in the boot of the car more and more and taking photos with my iPhone.

As impressive as the iPhone camera is this is not a road I want to go down.

So, I have been looking around for something else.

And this is it.

Olympus OM D EM-10 04022019.PNG

The Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2.

It is a tiny piece of kit, and my intention was to use this for my travel photography. Last week I was on a shoot where I was photographing some newly refurbished science labs in a school. I took some photos using the Olympus camera after taking the initial shots with my Canon 6D.I thought I would give it a go and see if anyone can tell the difference.

I am going to do the same on the other architectural photography shoots I have booked in for this week.

I am quite excited to see how the photos compare.

I need a new lens

One slight problem is that on my Canon 6D I use a 17-40mm lens, and on my micro four thirds Olympus camera the lens is a 12-24mm lens, which equates to 24-48mm on full frame.

Enough of that – this is meant to be about travel photography websites!

The reason I mention this Olympus camera is because this will feature heavily in future travel photography websites. Once I am fully familiar with the camera, and to be fair happy with the images that it produces, this will be the only camera I will take on trips.

The Olympus will be my travel photography camera and will work in tandem with my iPhone.

What content am I capturing for my travel photography websites?

Lots of reference photos of locations, lots of videos and sunsets/ sunrises. Sunrises are my favourite things to photograph, which I have no had a go at yet with my new camera.

The idea is that I can provide a personal, visual guide to a location. I even have a rig set up in my car now so I can video driving – this will be going with me on all my foreign trips and enables me to produce something a bit different.

My writing

My travel photography websites are the perfect outlet for my travel photography work and my writing. I forgot to mention my writing.

I have been a writer for a few years now, starting with my own blog. I have also done freelance writing, including on the massively popular photography website Improve Photography.

Writing, photography and travel all come together in my travel photography websites.

Summary

Travel photography is my thing. It is what I love doing. And if you think about it travel photography is a natural extension of the discipline of architectural photography, which is very much my specialism.

Instead of photographing buildings in the UK I am photographing buildings and their surroundings in other countries!

I will write another post once Paxos Travel Guide is completed, and I will also provide an update on my other website Photos of Santorini. I am not expecting anything from this website for another two months yet – lets see that April brings. Hopefully favourable statistics before my next foreign trips!

Thanks for reading this post, and please get back to me with any questions you may have not only about my travel photography websites but anything at all photography related.

Rick McEvoy - Photos of Santorini

Sunrise Photography Settings That Work For Me Every Time

So, you want to photograph the sunrise? I don’t blame you - this is my favourite time of day to take photos, the start of a new day.

What sunrise photography settings do I use? Typically, I use F8 or F16 aperture, ISO 100 and the shutter speed the camera chooses using AV Mode on my Canon 6D. In this post I will tell you all about the camera settings I use which will help you take great sunrise photos easily every time. I will also tell you the actual camera settings I used to take the 5 sunrise photos included in this post.

What camera gear do I use?

I have been using a Canon 6D with Canon 17-40mm lens for most of my sunrise photography. The Canon 6D is a full-frame DSLR.

I will go through the settings one by one and then describe the settings I used for the 5 photos included in this post.

I will conclude with a brief word about processing sunrise photos using Lightroom.

Before I go on - I must explain this

In this post I am explaining the camera settings that I use to photograph sunrises. They work for me and allow me to concentrate on the sunrise itself and not fiddling with my camera at all. This is not a technical article, I am explaining my sure-fire way of getting great sunrise photos every time using tried and tested camera settings.

There are those who will not agree with my approach – that is absolutely fine – this is how I do it.

The basics of taking photographs – the exposure triangle.

First things first. Every time you take a photo there are three elements that have to be set to ensure a correct exposure.

These are

  • Aperture

  • Shutter

  • ISO

These settings apply to any camera.

The settings I use are as follows

Aperture

F8/ F16. F8 is the sweet spot on my Canon 17-40mm lens, and also my Canon 24-105mm lens. This is my starting aperture every time I go out to shoot.

When do I vary from this?

When I want to change the depth of field, i.e. how much of the photo is in focus. For sunrise photography I will typically choose F16 or F22. F16 is my aperture of choice if I want the maximum depth of field without getting lens-induced errors. If I am shooting straight into the sun and I want a starburst effect on the sun then I will go the minimum aperture of my Canon 17-40mm lens, which is F22.

So, the aperture is set for the composition

Shutter speed

I use the AV mode on my Canon 6D. AV stands for Aperture Value. In AV mode I select the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed for the correct exposure automatically.

Hold that thought for now – I will come back to this after the third element of the exposure triangle.

ISO

I use ISO100. This is the lowest native ISO on my Canon 6D. The lowest ISO produces the highest quality image with the lowest amount of noise.

I will sometimes go to ISO400 if the conditions require, which is normally if there are fast moving clouds or trees blowing around and I need faster shutter speeds.

I always use a tripod, so shutter speed is not a concern with regard to camera shake.

But I can change the ISO if I want to change the shutter speed.

Back to shutter speed

I sort of glossed over the shutter speed. As I always use a tripod I am not worried about camera shake. The only relevance here is if there is something moving in the scene, typically the sea, clouds or trees.

Now I like a bit of movement on my sea, so I don’t worry about this.

I have a range of tripods, normal Manfrotto tripods, a tiny Manfrotto Pixi and also a Platypod – basically a metal plate which I can fix my camera to and place it on the ground to get a great low viewpoint.

All the stuff above applies whichever camera you are using. Now for some stuff specific to the Canon 6D. When I say specific to the Canon 6D you can do many if not all of these things with other cameras, they are just called different things by different camera manufacturers.

I change the shutter speed by varying the ISO after I have chosen the aperture for the composition.

Summary of the basic exposure settings

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO all combine to make an exposure. I choose an aperture, then change the ISO if I need to change the shutter speed.

Metering

I use Evaluative Mode most of the time

Focus Mode

Most of the time I use AF Mode One shot

Back button focus

This is a custom function setting on the Canon 6D. Basically I focus using the AF-ON button on the back of the camera. This post is not an explanation of back-button focus - check out this excellent article on Digital Photography School to find out more.

I use a combination of Live View and the viewfinder to compose the image – it just depends.

And when it comes to focussing as a rule of thumb I focus one-third into the scene, using either Live View or the viewfinder.

Once I have focussed I can take as many photos as I like as exposure and image capture are separate from focussing.

Drive Mode

As I am auto-bracketing and using the 10 second-self timer that is sorted.

Self-timer - my secret weapon!

I use the 10-second self-timer built into my camera. I used to use a remote release, but much prefer doing this as it works a treat and means I have one less thing to carry, go wrong and get batteries for.

And using the self-timer means that all I need to do is press the shutter release button whenever I want to take a photo – I am not sat behind my camera peering through my viewfinder – I am normally sat on the floor next to it.

GPS

I always use the GPS on my Canon 6D. It drains the battery, but the locational information is invaluable to me as a travel photographer.

RAW

I only ever shoot in RAW, never in JPEG. RAW gives me the maximum data to work with in Lightroom.

White balance

As I shoot in RAW I can use Auto White Balance – I don’t need to worry about this till later. Am I being lazy? I would rather say smart – this gives me one less thing to worry about.

Auto Exposure bracketing

When I am photographing the sunrise, I use auto exposure bracketing, where I take three exposures.

The first exposure is the correct exposure – the one that the camera tells me is the correct exposure.

The second exposure is two stops under exposed (darker)

The third exposure is two stops over exposed (lighter)

As I am using AV mode the camera works this out for me by varying the shutter speed.

If the shutter speed for the correct exposure is 1/1000thsecond, the second shutter speed is two stops faster, (1/4000thsecond) letting less light in creating a darker image. The third exposure is two stops slower than the first exposure, (1/400thsecond) which is lighter.

This is what they look like in Lightroom.

Auto bracketing images viewed in Lightroom

Auto bracketing images viewed in Lightroom

I hope that makes sense?

Why do I take three photos?

I take three photos which I merge together in Lightroom later. This is called HDR photography. HDR is High Dynamic Range.

Basically, I get more of the lights and more of the darks than my Canon 6D can capture in a single image, which I can merge together in Lightroom.

My workflow and making life easy

My workflow has evolved over the years to make taking photos as easy as possible. With the settings I have described here and the techniques I use I am able to concentrate on what I am taking a photo of.

All I need to think about with the camera settings is

  • The aperture, which is normally F8 or F16

  • Where I focus

  • Everything else is set before I take a photo.

A word about HDR

HDR photography gets more information from a scene recorded by the camera. And there is another benefit – I don’t need to worry about the exposure of the image capture – I have so much built-in latitude this is no longer an issue?

Some purists might see this as being lazy – again I think this is a smart way to work, which helps me take better photos and enjoy myself much more than I would if I was fiddling around with camera settings.

And this is what I did for years until I thought about it all.

Remember that my workflow is an evolution of a lifetime of practising and learning about photography – a process that is an ongoing one – learning for me never ends!

And with that lets look at some sunrise photos that I have taken, and the settings that I used to get them.

Here are the five sunrise photos that I have taken along with the camera settings used. All five photos were taken with my Canon 6D and Canon 17-40mm, 24-105mm or 70-200mm lenses using the settings mentioned above. The only variables are the aperture, shutter and ISO which of course vary depending on the light in the scene I am photographing.

Santorini sunrise photo from the top of the caldera

I N Ayiou Mapkou church after sunrise with a spectacular view of the island of Santorini

I N Ayiou Mapkou church after sunrise with a spectacular view of the island of Santorini

This was after sunrise, but I included this photo to demonstrate the point I made about the use of the minimum aperture on my Canon 17-40mm lens – this is how I get the sun looking like this.

And using auto-bracketing I can shoot straight into the sun and not have a wildly incorrect exposure.

A word of caution here – be careful photographing straight into the sun!

Camera settings

  • Aperture F22

  • Shutter Speed 1/500th second, 1/2000th second and 1/125th second

  • ISO 400

Why ISO 400? In this scene the clouds were moving very fast so didn’t want a shutter speed slower than 1/125th second.

Sunrise in Loggos on the Greek Island of Paxos

Sunrise in Loggos on the Greek Island of Paxos

Sunrise in Loggos on the Greek Island of Paxos

Camera settings

  • Aperture F16

  • Shutter Speed 1.6 seconds, 0.4 seconds and 6 seconds

  • ISO 400

Yes – long exposures still work with auto-bracketing

Sunrise view of Navarone Bay looking towards the Acropolis of Rhodes

Sunrise in Rhodes - Travel Photography by Rick McEvoy

Sunrise in Rhodes - Travel Photography by Rick McEvoy

Camera settings

  • Aperture F16

  • Shutter Speed 1/25th second, 1/100th second, 1/6th second

  • ISO 100

Sunrise at Cap Negret Spain

Stunning sunrise colours in Altea, Spain

Stunning sunrise colours in Altea, Spain

Camera settings

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter Speed 1/40th second, 1/160th second, 1/10th second

  • ISO 100

I used F8 as this photo was taken using my Canon 70-200mm lens!

Sunrise street scene in Altea Spain

Sunrise in Altea by travel photographer Rick McEvoy

Sunrise in Altea by travel photographer Rick McEvoy

Camera settings

  • Aperture F9, F13 and F6.3

  • Shutter Speeds 1/160th second, 1/320th second, 1/80th second

  • ISO 400

Just to disprove a point this photo was taken with my camera in Programme Mode. This was a mistake. I had been shooting video and forgot to change back to AV Mode. But you can see how the camera has still managed to capture all of the scene!

A word on processing my sunrise photos

All the photos I take are added to a single catalogue in Lightroom.

On import I add an amount of processing to each and every image – this is stuff that I used to do manually to every image I was editing.

My images start off 30% processed when I start to look at them.

HDR Merge

Once I have chosen the images that I want to edit I do a form of batch processing. I carry out an HDR merge on the first set of three images, and if all the settings re ok I select the next batch of three images and us the Lightroom keyboard shortcut Shift Control H. This starts up the HDR merge process. I then move on to the next three, and on and on. I have had Lightroom do 30 HDR merges at once – I go off and do something else and leave Lightroom to it.

This gives me all the HDR dng files to work with, which is an excellent starting point.

I will write another post about editing sunrise photos in a future blog post.

What about sunsets?

Well to be honest I don’t have as many sunsets as I do sunrises. Sunrise is my time – I get up early on my own and get out there and photograph the dawning of a new day. I do not inflict this on anyway else, and that is just fine for all of us!

But sunsets are at a much more sociable time, so I have less of them!

Summary

I hope that you have found my photography blog post “Sunrise Photography Settings That Work For Me Every Time” interesting and of use.

If you have any questions please get in touch – I always reply to anyone who takes the time to get in touch with me.

And while I am on the subject of travel photography check out my other websites Photos of Santorini and Paxos Travel Guide.

Rick McEvoy - Travel Photographer, writer, blogger, all round nice chap

How To Become YouTube Famous Overnight - well sort of!

For some reason this YouTube video I took of me walking on the crunchy ice in my garden has received over 2000 views - it is far and away the most successful video I have ever created.

Hence the title of this post - How To Become YouTube Famous Overnight - well sort of! Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea why this video is so popular. I wish it was something I had done!

So all I can do is promote it as much as possible while it is popular!

Here is a link to the video - https://youtu.be/l4AD8kG90Bw

Rick McEvoy Photography - YouTube Star (I know just kidding)

Professional photographers who use micro four thirds - really?

I have read a lot of nonsense about micro four thirds cameras. So, I have entered the debate.

Are there any professional photographers who use micro four thirds? Well I have just joined the ranks with the purchase of an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk 2. In this post I will tell you what micro four thirds is and why I am giving it a go. And my initial thoughts from the very first trials are that I love it! I expect that after my trials that I am going to fully embrace the wonderful world of micro four thirds, and I would love it if you joined me on this journey.

A bit about me to start

BIPP qualified logo ABIPP White.jpg

If you don’t know me hello. I am Rick McEvoy ABIPP. I am a professionally qualified photographer, having an Associateship in the British Institute of Professional Photography.

I am also a Chartered Construction Manager, also having the designation MCIOB.

I specialise in architectural photography. I photograph buildings, houses, construction sites, developments, land and construction products.

I am also a travel photographer. I have two websites, Photos of Santorini and Paxos Travel Guide. These are the natural extension of my commercial architectural photography work into my other passion, travel. Buildings abroad and he environment they sit in.

And these two websites are the beginnings of something that I hope will contribute to my income in the future.

And related to these two things is my other passion, landscape photography.

I have pages on my website which each contain 12 images from each of my areas of specialism.

Architectural Photography Portfolio

Landscape Photography Portfolio

Travel Photography Portfolio

What camera gear do I use?

Up until this week I have been using a Canon 6D Mk 1 with a Canon 17-40mm lens. I also have Canon 24-105 and 70-200mm lenses.

I also have a Canon 24mm TS-E tilt shift lens. Say this quietly but I rarely use this lens. In fact, the sale of this lens will be entirely relevant to this post. And this lens is currently for sale on Ebay.

Do professional photographers use micro four thirds?

This is what I am exploring. Starting with me.

As I said, I use a Canon 6D Mark 1 full frame DSLR. This week I added a new camera to my toolbox, which I will come onto later in this post.

The point of this post is the title - Professional photographers who use micro four thirds. I was not one but am now. The question is how far am I going to go with my professional photography work?

I will get onto that later as well.

But for now, just let go of all those pre-conceptions about having to have a full frame DLSR to take “professional photos”. In the next three months I am going to explore this myth, and hopefully blow it out of the water.

I want to ascertain what, if any of my commercial photography work I can do with micro four thirds equipment. If I get to the point of proving that this can happen for all my commercial photography work then I am all in with this smaller format ecosystem, and the Canon gear is all going.

If I am not happy that I can continue with my commercial photography work using micro four thirds only then I will have another decision to make.

This is going to be a series of posts over the next three months culminating in a decision about what gear to take on my next trip, which is to Canada no less!

What is micro four thirds then?

Micro four thirds cameras are smaller mirrorless cameras with a smaller sensor than DSLRs and the other format of mirrorless camera which have APS-C sensors.

Let me try and explain this technical nonsense.

There are (principally) three sizes of camera sensors.

  • Full frame

  • APS-C

  • Micro four thirds

What does this mean?

Let’s start with full frame cameras. These have a sensor the same size as a good old 35mm film camera. They are 36mm wide x 24mm high. This is the size of a film negative.

APS-C sensors are smaller than full frame sensors, and micro four thirds sensors are smaller than APS-C sensors.

So, what does this really mean?

Chuck a “standard lens” on a full frame camera and the 50mm focal length is what you see through the viewfinder. That is the benchmark.

This equates roughly to how we see world through our eyes – hence the term standard lens.

OK? The other type of DSLR has what is called an APS-C sensor. That has a crop factor of 1.6 (on Canon cameras). If you put the same 50mm lens on an APS-C Canon camera the actual focal length is 50 x 1.6 which is 80mm.

This is going towards telephoto.

And next is the crop factor on mirrorless cameras which is 2x, which equates to 100mm on a full frame camera.

To get the same view on an APS-C camera as you get with a 50mm lens on a full frame DSLR you need a lens which is (50/1.6) which is 31.25mm

And to get the same view on a micro four thirds camera you need a lens with a focal length which is (50/2) which is 25mm.

I hope that makes sense?

Basically, micro four thirds cameras have much smaller sensors and are much smaller cameras.

And that is the point here.

Micro four thirds cameras are much smaller than DLSRs and APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras.

There is lots of info about this on the web – this post is not an explanation of sensor sizes – I am just trying to briefly explain the fundamental differences.

There are lots of other differences, I have started with the size as that was the thing that got me looking in the first place.

What micro four thirds camera have I bought?

This is it. An Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark ii.

IMAGE.JPG
Olympus OM D EM-10

Olympus OM D EM-10


Snappy name eh?

Why don’t camera manufacturers come up with more interesting names. Like Eric. It would me much

better if it was called the Olympus Eric 2.

Much better.

No, I am not going to give my camera a name – I am not that sad.

The camera I bought came with a 14-42mm lens. Which is effectively a 28-84mm lens on a full frame DSLR.

How much did the Olympus camera cost me?

£312. I bought it second hand from EBay. I am going to use it for three months. And if I love it I will get the newer version and sell this one on.

Three months is the time between now and going to Canada.

I am going to try with the one lens for now.

That is the plan.

At the time of writing though I have some stuff for sale on Ebay which will fund the next lens, and possibly the next level of camera body.

Why am I doing this?

It all started in a blog post I wrote titled How to Choose Your Next Camera.

I know that my Canon 6D will not last forever, and at some point I will be replacing it. But there was a bit more than that to this post it turns out.

I have found on recent trips that I have been using my iPhone more and only using my Canon 6D when I was on a sunrise shoot. I was getting fed up carrying my camera and lenses.

Basically, I wanted a smaller camera for travel photography.

And this is where this is going.

Am I going to get rid of my Canon 6D?

No. I asked the question Is the Canon 6d Mk 1 still a good camera? It’s a yes from me

on my blog in October.

See - I have been thinking about this stuff for some time.

I am not getting rid of my Canon 6D (YET) – I have added to it with the little Olympus camera.

So what next?

I will continue to use my Canon 6D for commercial architectural photography work. And on each shoot I will take a couple of photos with my little Olympus camera and see how it compares.

And I am going to take lots of photos of nice things while I am driving about the lovely counties of Dorset and Hampshire. I have stopped doing that recently, both in the UK and abroad.

I have stopped taking photos for pleasure of nice places and scenes – I think that the full frame DSLR paraphernalia has relegated my main camera to a commercial only tool that I choose not to use for personal stuff.

And for me personal stuff is a significant part of my photographic work.

So that is that sorted.

I now have two camera systems.

  • Canon full frame DSLR

  • Olympus micro four thirds

Do the two compare

No. That is not the point. It is not fair to put a kit costing £2000 against a second-hand camera costing just over £300.

Or is it?

That is one to see. Will my clients be able to tell the difference??

My first photo with the Olympus camera, processed using Aurora HDR 2019

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is it. One cold morning in Dorset.

This is the iPhone photo

IMAGE.JPG

Looking good. I did not take a photo with my Canon 6D which I really should have done, but I will take more photos in the next three months using all three devices.

A word about lenses

As I said earlier I am going to trial the second-hand camera for three months. The intention was to use this for travel photography and personal work, which are one and the same to be honest.

I am also going to try this little marvel on commercial architectural photography shoots, in addition to taking the main photos with my Canon 6D.

Problem is that the lens is 14-24mm, which equates to 28-84mm on my Canon 6D.

To make the trial meaningful I really need to buy a lens as wide as my current widest lens, which is the Canon 17-40mm F4 L lens.

Working this back with the crop factor means I need an 8.5mm focal length lens.

I am going to buy this, again from EBay, and give this a go. As with the Olympus camera I can always sell the lens if I don’t like/ want it, or if I go down a different route.

So back to EBay for me to find a really wide lens. And yesterday I put some stuff up for sale on Ebay to pay for this new addition.

By the way my Olympus camera was funded by my writing for Improve Photography, which has sadly just come to an end.

Choices of lens suppliers

In my initial looking into micro four thirds a pleasing discovery was that there is a standard lens mount that all manufacturers use – so I am really spoiled for choice. I find this quite difficult to get my head round, as I have been used to being locked into Canon mount for so long now.

I am going to enjoy this, shopping for a new lens!

And after a bit of research I am going with the Olympus 9-18mm lens.

Why?

It’s tiny with great image quality. Will it be good enough?

I have to find out.

Taking photos at the footie

IMAGE.JPG

And as an aside in my early trials photographing a variety of subjects I took my camera to the AFCB v Chelsea game, just to see how it performs in those conditions. And I loved it so much it made me want to buy a telephoto lens as well. That will be if I buy the new camera though to be honest.

Anything else I need to buy?

A spare battery is a must.

Memory cards – the SD cards I use with my Canon 6D fit into the Olympus camera so all good there.

A case. The camera came with a case, but I want the smallest case I can to make the most of the small size. And once I have got that wide-angle lens I will buy something to put that in.

Tripod. I have a Manfrotto Pixi – that will be dead handy for this little camera, but I will need something full size.

And then the idea hit me – I will use my Manfrotto 190 Go with a small ball head. I will put the geared head on my other Manfrotto tripod, the Manfrotto 055.

That is that done at no cost.

Camera bag.

I am going to stick with my Peak Design Everyday Backpack for now – I will put all the camera gear in the bottom and use the rest for general stuff, just like I do now when I am travelling.

No No No. I need to get the second lens and then but a bag just for them, with the third lens in mind, which is the 40-150. There is a plan behind this trust me.

Enough about the gear

Video

I will give the camera a go at shooting video, but to be honest I am happy with this on my iPhone with DJI Osmo Mobile at the moment.

How am I going to fund these purchases?

Simple – I am going to sell some gear that I don’t use any more, mainly

  • Canon 24mm TS-E

  • Canon 2x extender

  • And some other stuff stored in boxes in the garage

Summary

Ok – that is my intro into micro four thirds photography. The question posed at the beginning was this – professional photographers who use micro four thirds? I have to be honest now I had to go with that title as that was the most relevant thing that Google told me people were searching for, but hopefully you get the point.

And the point is this – can I do all my professional photography work using micro four thirds cameras? I think that the answer is yes, but I need to prove this before I make the jump. I have to be happy that this format of camera can deliver the same quality or better than my current Canon full-frame DSLR.

I look forward to exploring this, and to taking photos on my travels with new friend which sites nicely in a coat pocket!

Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, writer, blogger, website creator

Problem getting photos from iPhone to pc? How I sorted it

I was getting a new iPhone. That was the start of things. That was the start of the problems.

Transferring photos from an iPhone to a PC is easy right? Well. Problems getting photos from iPhone to PC? Surely not? But yes, I have. And in this post I will explain the painfully slow but effective last resort process that I went through. If all else has failed hopefully this will help you.

A bit of background to the problem

I had previously wanted to get the photos and videos from my trip to Paxos for my new website Paxos Travel Guide. I had managed to eventually do this for my other website Photos of Santorini.

But it was nowhere near as slick as it should have been.

I had tried with the Paxos photos and videos but it never worked properly so I basically deferred this along with the work on this website.

I have never found getting photos from my iPhone to my PC as easy as it should be to be honest. This is the only thing that makes moving from PC to Mac appealing.

So, basically, I have been putting this job off. Putting it off for a number of years. 6 years in total. And now I have 6 years worth of photos and videos on my iPhone/ iPad/ cloud.

This is the problem that I had to deal with.

Chuck into the mix the fact that in this 6 years I also had a works phone for my day job that was an iPhone and the cloud storage/ accounts got very confused so there was a mess there that I had to sort.

A bit about the hardware that I use.

I use a PC. A Dell PC at that.

I have an iPhone and an iPad. And they are quite full, mainly with photos. There are over 10,000 photos on my iPhone/ iPad/ cloud.

And then there are the photos in my Lightroom Catalogue. There are well over 60,000 of these. And these sit on an external 4TB hard drive, not on my PC hard drive.

And I have never put them together.

  • But now I have a number of issues.

  • My iPad is out of memory.

  • I need the Paxos photos and videos on my PC.

  • I am getting a new phone, and I do not want to pay extra money for additional memory.

I need to sort this now once and for all. If I don’t sort this now the problem will just get bigger and bigger.

But I want all my photos and videos in one place.

So that is what I decided to do.

It should be a simple task - transfer the photos from the camera roll to my PC?

Unfortunately not.

I tried using the recommended methods, using the Photos App. iTunes I have never been a fan of, and I could not find an option there.

Photos was the way I should be doing this, according to every search on Google that I did.

I have never used Photos. I do not know why there are some of my photos in there – no idea how that happened.

What was the problem with the Photos App?

The problem was that Photos could not see all the photos on my camera roll. When I say it couldn’t see all I am talking over 4000 photos/ videos that the Photos App could not see, which of course would not be imported.

I use Lightroom and Photoshop for my professional photography workflow. And to me Photos is pretty much a waste of time which I have no reason to use.

How many photos and videos do I have?

According to the camera roll on my iPad/ iPhone well over 10,000 photos and videos. I thought I would start by culling out all the photos which were definite duplicates, mainly photos from Lightroom Mobile that I had saved to publish on social media/ blog posts.

I went through all 10,000 images and deleted each and every image. That brought me down to 8935 photos. I thought it made sense to do this first, meaning less data transfer.

Although it took a while to do as I had to manually go through 10,000 photos and videos.

This was a good and logical start. But there was lots more to do.

I had a bad feeling about this, having never found this as straightforward as it should be.

And that is when the fun started. Not.

To cut a long story short this is what I tried.

  • Downloading the photos from the cloud.

This didn’t work. I set everything to make this happen automatically, but nothing happened.

And when I tried to do this by logging onto the cloud through a web browser some of the photos were there but not all of them.

I quickly gave up on the cloud – it was so incredibly slow even if all the photos were there I would probably still be downloading them now!

  • Importing using Photos - the recommended route.

I tried this numerous times

I tried all the things that I could.

  • Turn off cloud storage on my phone

  • Turn off Wi-Fi

  • Turn off Bluetooth

  • Turn off screen lock

  • Shut down all the Apps

  • Change the lead

  • Change the USB port the lead was plugged into.

  • Reboot everything.

  • Try over and over.

But none of these things made Photos see all the images. I could not fathom out what Photos was/ was not seeing. There was no logic to it.

And this is on my iPhone and iPad. I tried both numerous times.

Windows Explorer - the good old faithful solution

I went down the windows explorer route. This is the last resort, slow, laborious time consuming way of getting all your photos from your iPhone to your PC.

But Windows Explorer I know well and trust.

And it worked!

This is what I did to successfully transfer my photos and videos to my PC

1 - Start again with everything

2 - Reboot my iPhone and PC, and then open up iTunes.

My iPhone seems to work better once connected to iTunes for some reason.

3 - Connect my iPhone to my PC, then select it in Windows Explorer.

4 - Double click on the iPhone icon, and then on the DCIM folder.

What does DCIM stand for? Well I had to look this up – it is Digital Camera IMages, would you believe?

Really.

Seriously this is knowledge you only get when you have to research something that we all take for granted. I had never thought about what that might mean until now writing this.

When I double-click on this icon this is what I get.

Problems getting photos off iphone

Problems getting photos off iphone

And ever more bafflingly the folders are different on my iPad.

5 – Copy the folders

As an aside, the first time I tried this I took the images from one folder and copied them to a new folder. And then I took the images from the next folder and added them to the same folder. The theory was that all the photos would be in one folder.

Fine in theory but there was a problem.

I got a message about duplicate files, and had no idea where I was up to.

This would not work for 9,000 photos. I would have absolutely no idea if all the files had been copied over or not. No idea about duplicates, errors or completeness.

So I needed to have a rethink. And this is what I did.

I decided to break this up into small chunks.

How do you eat a large elephant? One piece at a time.

Crude analogy but the logic applies.

I created a new folder on my PC and copied over each folder one by one.

Some folders had a few images in, 1, 3, 27. And some had lots in – one had 1637 files in it.

And there did not appear to be any logic to the files in each folder.

I had already clocked this – there is going to be a problem at the end called sorting this mess out.

Thankfully I already had the answer to that one, which I will come onto.

Some of the folders copied over fine. Some kept on failing. And failing. And failing.

I ended up with one folder that would not copy over – problem is that this was the folder with the 1600 or so files in it.

I did these in chunks of 20 files to start with, getting up to 100 files once things were going ok. It turns out there was one dodgy file in the middle.

In the end I recorded each folder transfer on Evernote so I could keep a track of where I was up to. After all I was not going to sit there for several hours watching the files being copied.

I wrote down which folder was being copied, then added when this was complete. I recorded each folder, and this helped with the smooth if time-consuming transfer of circa 9,000 files.

Problems along the way

Every time the file copying failed I had to remove my iPhone and connect it again. Sometimes I had to reboot my phone as my PC would not acknowledge it.

And Photos kept popping up every time I connected my phone and then proceeded to not be able to find any of the photos.

I hate the Photos App!

It was a bit of a nightmare to be honest.

But I persisted.

The one problem folder with 1600 images took me about 6 hours to get all the files over.

Once done I decided to check all the folders one by one to make sure all the images had copied over.

And they had thankfully

What about the cloud image folders?

I decided to ignore those and stick to the ones titled Apple1 etc. I thought it best to just stick with these and just see what the outcome was – if I got 90% of the files copied over that would do.

So back to the Apple folders

Having got all the files from my phone onto my PC I had another issue to contend with. How many files did I have?

I did not know – what I needed to do was put them all in one single folder. But before I did that…….

Making a back up.

I have learnt not to just dive in before making significant changes, or moving significant numbers of files. No – I decided to make a copy before doing anything else.

Next job then was to make a backup of everything that I had transferred over, which I put on my desktop.

This folder was 135GB, which I left to copy overnight.

And in the morning it was done.

Putting all the images in one folder

This was just a mechanical process, moving files from one sub folder in effect to a single folder.

No dramas to report here, apart from the fact that I had 8953 images in this folder, and according to camera roll I should have had 7724 images.

Now that is a percentage of about 12%. I said earlier that I would accept 90% success rate (or 10% failure rate!), so I am sticking with that. There are still a few cloud folders to go to be honest.

Lightroom – my secret weapon

I decided at the beginning of this process to add all these files, photos and videos, to Lightroom. From there everything was safely stored, indexed and backed up along with everything else.

I should have done this ages ago, and was glad I was now doing this.

I knew that Lightroom would sort the files by date, and also would not import duplicate files.

Importing into Lightroom

The next job was to take all the images copied over and put them into one folder. This gave me a total of 7724 files. I then decided again to break this down into small chunks, so I created 20 new folders and added 500 files to each folder.

And then once this was done I imported the folders one by one into a single folder in Lightroom.

Again this took some considerable time, and again I recorded progress meticulously in Evernote so I knew exactly where I was up to.

Once done all I needed to do was select all the images from all the sub-folders in Lightroom (one folder per individual date when a photo/ video was taken, and then move them into a folder called All.

There were a load of files that did not move to other folders, which I added to a folder called duplicates.

Lightroom did an excellent job of all of this.

Tidying things up

Then I removed all the empty folders, several hundred of them, and that was that done. I left my computer to do a cloud back up over night, and in the morning there were all the photos from 6 years of using an iPhone all sat in my Lightroom Catalogue where I can do whatever I want with them

I deleted the back up folder with 135GB of data in.

All I have to do now is delete the photos from my camera roll, and delete the originally imported files.

And going forward I need to do this every month, putting things in Lightroom is a good thing for me.

So that is that problem sorted once and for all which is good.

A word about Apple.

I love my iPhone and iPad.

But I do not like the Macbook.

I have used a Macbook lots, and never really got on with it. I have been using Windows all my life, and am used to it now! No amount of funky styling will get me to switch to Mac from Windows.

The only reason I can envisage is to get over this very problem of files syncing.

One final final word

2 weeks on from all this I still have all the photos on the cloud, which I can access using my shiny new iPhone XS.

I haven’t got round to deleting them yet – well everything is working so why would I?

And I still have to check all my cloud folders.

But I am loving having all my images together in one place now – this is the first time ever and is making work so much more productive! Thankfully this all had a happy ending which is good.

Rick McEvoys Lightroom Catalogue

Rick McEvoys Lightroom Catalogue

I am fortunate to be a highly experienced Lightroom user, and the Library Module is a very powerful tool which I use to organise all my photos.

This is all the photos and videos in my Lightroom Catalogue after importing all the photos from my iPhone/ iPad.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, writer, blogger, website creator

Very quick tip in Lightroom - how to preview videos super quick

I have just found this out. Watching videos in Lightroom can be a painful process. But check this out. I recorded this hand held on my iPhone so excuse the poor quality footage but this really is a fantastic timesaver that I wanted to share as soon as I came across it.

The rough video is on my YouTube channel.

In the library module using the grid view all you do is move your mouse across the thumbnail and it shows you the video!

How cool is this?

It does not work, rather bafflingly, in loupe view.

Rick McEvoy Photography

How to commission architectural photography

I hope by now you will be aware that I am an architectural photographer, and that I specialise in photographing buildings and the built-environment.

In this post I am going to provide advice for clients on how to commission architectural photography. I will share my experiences as a working architectural photographer, which should help you as clients successfully appoint the right photographer for you to photograph your buildings.

These are some of the things that I try to address before being commissioned for architectural photography shoots.

This is not a sales pitch – this is genuine advice that I know will help people commission an architectural photographer, whoever that might be.

Here we go with my advice for clients who want to commission architectural photography. But first an architectural photo.

New entrance to the library at the Winchester School of Art

New entrance to the library at the Winchester School of Art

1 - What are the images for?

We have to start somewhere, and this is as good a place as any. What do you need the images for? Most frequent reasons for me photographing buildings are

  1. To record a recently constructed building at the point of practical completion

  2. For advertising/ sale/ marketing purposes

  3. For client/ designers websites

  4. For design/ construction competitions

The most important thing is to know what you want the images for.

Now whilst this might sound obvious I have had discussions with clients in the past where the full potential of the images was only realised following initial discussions which broadened out the scope of the shoot and gave the client much more than he anticipated..

2 – Prepare a brief

Before engaging a photographer it is a good idea to prepare a brief. This is the basic specification, scope of works, call it what you like. It is what the photographer is going to price against.

Well in the first instance it will be the thing that the photographer asks questions about to enable a scope to be agreed, with inclusions and exclusions.

I often receive a written brief with drawings marked up by the architect showing

  • Site location

  • Overall site plan

  • Building floor plans

  • Building elevations

  • Important features of the building/ project

  • North/ South/ East/ West orientations

  • Restrictions relating to the site.

The more thorough the brief to the photographer the better the entire process will be for both parties.

3 - Finding a photographer

If you were looking for an architect where would you look? I would enter the following in Google

“architect professional bodies”

That gives different results than just putting architect in, leading you to all sorts of sponsored websites. This gives you a list of professional architectural bodies.

Taking that logic, if I were looking for a photographer I would enter the following in Google search

“photography professional bodies”

This lists the following organisations

British Institute of Professional Photography

The Royal Photographic Society

The Guild of Photographers

Master Photographers Association

That should be fine.

Choosing a photographer is for me the same as choosing an architect.

BIPP qualified logo ABIPP White.jpg

If you enter something like “architectural photographer in Dorset” you will get some decent results, like me as search result number 2, but that is because I have done lots of work on my website to make this happen.

High Google rankings do not equate to competence!

I would seriously recommend going to any of the professional bodies to find your architectural photographer.

I am of course a member of the BIPP myself - ABIPP no less.

Obviously I am a great choice to photograph your building, being professionally qualified in photography (ABIPP) and construction (MCIOB). But in all seriousness please go through a reputable organisation, whichever one that may be.

4 - Shot list

Make a shot list. Write down the shots that you want. One thing that this will do is help you to think about this a lot more – writing this stuff down definitely focuses the mind and will help you develop a complete shot list.

And this list you give to the photographer you commission – these are your mandatory shots that are required from the shoot.

Now the photographer will take other photos that he/ she feels will be of use to you as the client, but armed with a shot list everyone knows that the mandatory bases are covered.

5 – Photographers’ style

This is an interesting consideration. I have my own style of architectural photography. You can see this style on my website on my architectural photography portfolio page.

Most people like my style, but some do not. And this is fine.

If you do not like my style of images then I am not the photographer for you. But if you do then give me a shout.

Style is a very personal thing, and every photographer has their own style, so please make sure that you like the style of images that a photographer produces.

I have been asked if I can produce different styles, and on some occasions have declined work as it is not the style imagery that I produce.

It would be disingenuous of me to take on work and commit to create a style that I myself have not perfected.

I do the same for wedding photography, family portraits, pet photos etc – i.e. I decline such enquiries.

I do what I do and am very comfortable with this. I will not take on work that I am not able to produce to the same high standard as my architectural photography work.

So - make sure that you engage a photographer whose work you like.

6 – Budget/ Cost

How much does it cost to get a building photographed? The answer as ever is it depends.

Most photographers charge on a time basis – time for image capture and image processing, along with creative and licensing fees.

I charge on a half-day or full-day rate, with a minimum amount of time on site plus expenses.

If your priority is the lowest price then I am certainly not the photographer for you. I have built up my client base, portfolio, qualifications, equipment, reputation and professional standing over years and years of hard work.

So if you are looking to pay £100 for photos of your building then I suggest you look elsewhere.

This is why I work mainly for architects and building owners.

I find that they are people who genuinely value high quality photography of their work/ property, as the photography is capturing in perpetuity their work at that moment in time.

Not everyone appreciates the amount of work that goes into a building, but architects and building owners certainly do.

And they also value the design, design intent and end product.

7 - How many images?

This ties in with the cost of getting your building photographed, and of course the scale and complexity of the project.

There is no number here. For a house or smaller project I will typically produce 20-30 images only. For larger projects sometimes more, but seldom more than 50 images.

This gives me a piece of work to do, getting the edit (of the images taken) right, but if everything else I write about in this post has been done thoroughly and to plan this is not normally a problem.

Normally I produce a set of images that satisfy the brief as I understand it, which I issue to the client fully edited.

This is the normal process.

The other approach is to issue a set of partially edited images to the client and for them to choose which images they want. This normally happens when there is a specific need, such as a specific number of images required, or when I am working for a third party representing a client.

As long as the methodology is agreed as part of the commissioning process I am happy to do whatever the client wants.

8 - Copyright/ licensing/ exclusivity/ time

Copyright normally remains with the photographer.

When I issue images to a client the client is granted the rights to use them for the purpose agreed, for a limited period of time.

There may be other restrictions on use or specific requirements of the client which are included in the quotation and terms and conditions.

Again (virtually) anything is possible as long as it is agreed by both parties.

One thing that I do state in my quotations and standard terms and conditions is that the client is not entitled to use the images until they have been paid for.

9 – Timing day/ year

A bit more complicated this one. Timing needs to be thought about. Time of day and time of year. Let me give you a couple of examples of things that can be affected

Outdoor swimming pools. There is nothing worse than photographing a spectacular garden with a lovely outdoor swimming pool with the cover on.

Bare trees. I love bare trees but who wants a spectacular new building photographing with bare foliage? If there is a substantial amount of evergreen foliage then this is not a problem.

Orientation of the sun. Where is the sun shining? Is there a primary façade?

Do you want sunlight streaming in through the windows, or warming up the significant front elevation?

Sunrise/ sunset - are either of these important to the content of a photo?

Traffic – is there a peak time for traffic/ visitors/ building occupants arriving/ departing?

And one last point on timing is planting. There is a planting season, so if a building is not completed to correspond to the planting season, which is often the case, there may be large unplanted areas which can make the building look unfinished.

10 – Weather

Oh the lovely British weather. This is the bane of my life.

No-one wants their building photographing when it is raining. Well no-one that I have met anyway! So the changing weather causes mayhem with schedules and external shoots.

The ideal conditions for me are these.

Cool, dry, blue skies with some white fluffy clouds.

I can do sky replacement in Photoshop, but that takes time and costs money, and there is the flatness that such light inevitably creates in a photo.

Internal construction product shots are the only thing that I photograph that is not (normally) weather dependent.

This really is a problem, the only positive being that the weather tends to not be quite as bad as forecast normally.

11 - Preparing the building/ location

This is a big thing, which can have a significant impact on the success of a shoot.

Preparing the building for a shoot has many benefits. From a photographers’ perspective, a building that has been prepared is easier to photograph. And the easier a building is to photograph the better the photos and the quicker a shoot can be successfully completed.

And preparing a building, and it’s grounds, means less editing time which means less cost for you as the client.

Think of this as though you are preparing the building for a viewing by a potential vendor – I don’t need the smell of fresh coffee and freshly baked bread (as nice as that would be).

When I say prepare a building, here is a list of things that I ask to be done before I arrive on site

  • Turn all the lights on inside

  • Disable PIRs/ absence detection (if photos are required with all lights on which is normally the case)

  • Light fires so they have that lovely glow

  • Straighten curtains/ blinds

  • Straighten soft furnishings/ cushions

  • Remove dog beds/ food bowls

  • Provide freshly laundered towels and bedding

  • Move vehicles/ skips/ scaffold/ piles of debris

  • Get rid of hose-pipes (which can be really hard to remove in Photoshop)

  • Cut the grass

  • Check for gravel spillage – another real time consumer

  • Sweep paths/ roads/ driveways

  • Chewing gum on paths/ playgrounds?

  • Clear work surfaces

  • Finally, a general tidy up always helps

And once everything is looking all shiny and sparkly a few additions that will finish things off nicely

  • Imagine the building how you want others to view it.

  • Publications on desks/ tables

  • Flowers

  • Colourful features

  • Branding items

I will produce a checklist and publish this in a future post. But hopefully you get the idea.

Sorry I forgot the one intangible in all of this. In my experience clients who have gone through the process of preparing their buildings have found that this has helped crystallise their shot list. It sort of started the thought process.

12 - The day of the shoot

The first question is this – do you want to attend on the day of the shoot? Some clients do, some do not. It depends on many things. If it is a house then of course there will be someone there, be it the house owner or their agent.

And for commercial buildings it just depends.

But there is one thing that I do need to warn you about in advance. If you commission me to photograph your building please remember that I am a man and I only do one thing at once.

So, when I am in the zone and taking photographs there is little point talking to me – I am not listening! I can’t – I just can’t manage this.

So up to you, with that final caveat of course.

13 – Access/ site activities

Are there specific access requirements/ permissions/ inductions that need to take place?

Is there anything happening on site that might get in the way?

Are any permits required?

Does the photographer need to wear PPE? I of course have full PPE which is suitable for most construction sites, and my camera gear is also set up so I can get around live construction sites quickly and efficiently causing minimum disruption.

Does the photographer need a CSCS card, or are alternative arrangements going to have to be made? I am a current CSCS card holder.

14 – Incomplete works

Following on from the point above I have turned up on site to photograph things to find them not complete – very frustrating. Of course, completion of a major construction project is a very busy and stressful time – me turning up right in the thick of things is rarely appreciated by contractors!

This is a common problem when I turn up to photograph completed construction projects. Practical completion has been achieved but there are still works ongoing to sometimes surprisingly significant extents!

The best time to photograph a completed construction project is once everyone has packed up and left site, but immediately before people start to use the building and make it their own.

I rarely get this small window of time.

And more often that not the external works are not completed – these typically get done once the inside of a building has been handed over.

I have often had to struggle through virtual mud baths to get to the inside of a shiny new building!

And a particular dislike of mine is the damage caused by utility companies outside the building plot – so many cuts in footpaths where the different services have been installed all using slightly different routes at different times. Luckily Photoshop can fix a lot of these problems, but this does take time.

15 – Furnished or not

This is always an issue on new build projects. If I photograph the building once completed but prior to being furnished the interior shots look like an empty building, which is not the best to be honest.

There is a time between a building being furnished and occupied which is the prime time for a building to be photographed.

And some buildings like schools do experience heavy use, and wear and tear right from occupation.

16 - People

Do you want people in the photos? Normally not, unless it is a public space or public facility such as a sports centre, where people are preferable.

And that leads to a problem I encountered once – I went to photograph a leisure centre that had just been built but there were no people there at all – it was like a ghost town.

I ended up taking photos with me in them and trying to get the odd person passing by to join in the fun and be photographed!

17 – Contingency planning

This needs talking about. There are many things that can go wrong that can only be dealt with by both parties agreeing on a plan B. I have written about many of the these things in this article, and have a little checklist list of the most frequent problems that I address on every commission.

  • Adverse weather

  • Works not complete

  • Access to areas not possible

  • Furniture not in place

  • Deliveries/ works on the day of the shoot

  • Utility companies on site

  • Decant operations

  • Ongoing site works

  • Additional photos not on shot list

  • Non-attendance of participants

At the very least a conversation needs to take place about these potential problems, and the impact of any such issues documented and the consequences costed.

18 – Image processing/ File types/ sizes

Easy one this. This is for me to deal with.

I shoot in RAW, which is the format most photographers use. RAW image capture allows us to capture the maximum amount of data in a scene. This data is then processed in Lightroom, Photoshop and other software to produce a final edit.

Once the editing is done I convert the files to Jpeg format, which is the universal format that anyone can view.

I do all image processing myself. It takes time to produce the images that you can see on my portfolio pages.

And if there is additional editing over that normally required then there may be an additional cost. I am talking here primarily about having to remove things from images using Photoshop, and replacement of the sky.

I can provide RAW files if required, but there is usually no point as you need software like Lightroom or Photoshop to view images in this format.

Like I say, not something for the client to normally have to worry about, just to be aware of.

Oh yes, nearly forgot - I issue a full resolution set of images and also a compressed set which are great for sharing, emailing and social media.

19 - Data security/ integrity

I have cloud backups of my images, which I store for period of time yet to be defined. This has been added to my standard terms and conditions – I will guarantee to hold copies of data for three years from the time of image capture.

If a client requests a copy of the images within that time period I will gladly provide, but after that time I cannot guarantee having the data. There is a problem with storing such amounts of data – I have over 75,000 photos in my Lightroom Catalogue at the time of writing, and this is growing on a weekly basis.

20 – Supply chain sharing

An interesting one. Are the photos to be shared with the supply chain? As the commissioner of the images it is important that and shared uses are agreed with the photographer as part of commissioning.

Do contractors/ sub-contractors receive copies, or is the photographer at liberty to sell the images to them as well?

As a matter of course I agree with my client that the building owner can be issued with a set of my fully edited images. Quite often this is done by the client, and I see this as a basic courtesy for someone who has helped me photograph their property.

21 – Confidentiality

I have photographed buildings for famous people. Unfortunately I am not allowed to say who these people are.

Client confidentiality is very important to me, and I take this very seriously.

This is particularly important when I am photographing peoples’ homes. I always agree with the client how I may use the images myself.

Whilst I might be the copyright holder as the photographer who has taken the images I have a professional responsibility to respect the confidentiality of my clients.

There are various confidentiality areas that require consideration

  • Commercial confidentiality

  • Client confidentiality

  • Individual/ personal confidentiality

  • Children/ vulnerable persons

  • Security

I quoted for one job where in the end the only way I could guarantee the confidentiality demanded was to destroy all the digital files once the client had been issued with the images and was happy with the edited image set.

22 - My standard terms and conditions

If you would like to receive a copy of my standard terms and conditions please get in touch by email, commenting on this post or by using the contact form – entirely up to you how you do this. Get in touch and I will send you them in a Pdf.

23 – And finally

I hope that this post is helpful to you when considering getting your building photographed.

Please get in touch if you have any questions – my response is not conditional on getting work/ money from you.

If you want to talk to me about a future collaboration then great – if not I would still be delighted to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

I try to put helpful information on my website that people find useful and want to read and share – if this happens then my website is successful, and my readers are benefitting from the content I am creating.

Me in my happy place taking photos in Santorini IMG_8467.JPG

So we are all happy.

Thanks for reading this post, and please check back to my bog next Monday for my next post, which was going to be all about a photo I took on my trip to Paxos last year. Until I needed to get all the photos from my iPhone to my PC. The Paxos photo will have to wait a week.

Rick McEvoy MCIOB, ABIPP – Photographer, writer, blogger, website creator

Everything you ever need to know about Paxos Airport!

Paxos Travel Guide by Rick McEvoy

Paxos Travel Guide by Rick McEvoy

Check out the latest post on my new website Paxos Travel Guide, telling you everything you ever need to know about Paxos Airport.

I know, some of you will know exactly what I am talking about, but some of you may not?

Let’s find out - it is Friday afternoon after all and it has been one of those weeks!

My new website Paxos Travel Guide is the thing that I am working on now. Other things are done and this is the next focus of my attention, scheduled for completion by the end of February 2019.

Rick McEvoy Photography - Paxos Travel Guide

How I created my Top 11 Travel Photos of 2018 - Part 2

I know I said top 10 but I had a rethink – it is my blog after all!!!

What makes these my top 11 travel photos of 2019? Basically, they remind me the most of being there – they bring back that feeling and are the ones that make me wish I was back there right now, not sat here in cold grey England! Travel photography for me is all about making you want to be somewhere when you look at the photo.

So here is the second part of my post in which I describe how I created my Top 11 Travel Photos of 2018. This is images 6-11, all taken on the Greek Islands of Rhodes and Paxos. I posted these photos a couple of weeks ago, and here are the words behind the pictures.

Image number 6 of my Top 10 Travel Photos of 2018 – A person sat on a rock watching the sunrise in Rhodes.

Sunrise comtemplation on the Greek Island of Rhodes

Sunrise comtemplation on the Greek Island of Rhodes

I didn’t know this person was here. I had been up on the top of the hill happily photographing the sunrise thinking I was all alone up there. I have no doubt I was chuntering away and talking to myself throughout this process.

Having captured the photos that I wanted, and by now dying in the heat (ish) I was ready to climb back down to the car when I saw this person sat on top of the rocks. How long had they been there? I of course had no idea, but they must have been there since long before sunrise.

I took a quick photo and was off.

I had the awareness to change the aperture to F22 to get that starburst effect on the sun which is good, even when fading in the blistering early morning heat with nothing left to drink!

Now I know some people think that this (the star burst) is a cliché but that was what the sun looked like to me – a big bright shiny thing in the sky looking just like that.

This is three bracketed images processed using Aurora HDR 2019.

Camera settings

  • Canon 6D

  • Canon 24-105mm F4 L lens

  • Focal length 80mm

  • Manfrotto 055 tripod

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter speed (first image) 1/1000th second

  • ISO 100

 

Image number 7 – photo of the lights from boats in Lakka Harbour before sunrise

Boats moored overnight in Lakka on the Greek Island of Paxos

Boats moored overnight in Lakka on the Greek Island of Paxos

I love this photo of the boats moored in the harbour in Lakka on the Greek Island of Paxos. Every morning I looked at the lights on the boats and thought that they would make a great shot, so this morning that is what I did. The conditions were dead calm which would be vital when taking the image.

I managed to get this photo taken before the sun had risen giving me two photo opportunities for once.

This photo is a single image, taken using my Canon 6D and Canon 24-105mm lens. I used my Manfrotto Pixi for this image capture – pretty impressive really – a 4 second log exposure with my Canon 6D and an L series lens on such a small tripod.

It was so dark I had to use an ISO of 1600 to get the shutter speed up to 4 seconds! And the reason the calm conditions were so important? On other mornings I witnessed the boats gently bobbing about in the water, so much so that they were actually blurred in the photos I took the first time.

This was the calmest day with the least amount of bobbing going on.

Camera settings

  • Canon 6D

  • Canon 24-105mm F4 L lens

  • Focal length 24mm

  • Manfrotto Pixi tripod

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter speed 4 seconds

  • ISO 1600

Processing of this image was done in Lightroom only, with very little needing to be done to this single image.

Yes – 4 seconds using the Manfrotto Pixi – quite remarkable for something so small, lightweight and economical. And hardly designed for work such as this.

 

8 – Picture of a table in striking morning light in the small town of Lakka on the Greek Island of Paxos

Tables at sunrise in Lakka

Tables at sunrise in Lakka

This is something a bit different for me. This is almost street photography! I was on my way back from my epic filming using my iPhone with a pile of rocks – check out the video here. I turned the corner at the back of the Akis Oyster Bar restaurant to be greeted with this scene – bright directional light casting a most excellent shadow of a table onto the paving.

I just stopped, took three photos of this scene and kept on walking to the other side of the harbour.

This is another set of three bracketed images - the reason I do this is get the maximum dynamic range I can from a scene.

These images were merged together and processed in Lightroom.

Camera settings

"             Canon 6D

"             Canon 24-105mm F4 L lens

"             Focal length 24mm

"             Handheld

"             Aperture F8

"             Shutter speed (first image) 1/800th second

"             ISO 100 

9 - Sunrise picture of the boats moored in the harbour at Loggos on the Greek Island of Paxos

Sunrise in Loggos on the Greek Island of Paxos

Sunrise in Loggos on the Greek Island of Paxos

Loving this shot – so many things that appeal to me in this scene.

Having scouted all the locations I wanted to photograph on Paxos, this was top of my list.

I walked around the harbour at Loggos and ascertained exactly where I needed to be to get this photo. I use a tool called The Photographers’ Ephemeris which is a great tool once you get your head around it.

I walk around until I find a view that I like, and then fire up the app to find out exactly where the sun will be rising or setting. It is quite remarkable how accurate and useful these tools are – how did we ever manage without them?

A bit of walking around is normally required to get the perfect location, which is where this photo was taken from.

Sometimes I will photograph the location on my phone, so I have a quick visual reference of the location. For this I did not need to do that as it was dead easy for me to remember.

The other thing that the app tells me is the time that the sun is rising, so I know exactly where I need to be and also when I need to be there.

I get to a sunrise location a good hour before sunrise as some of the magic happens before the sun rises and I would hate to miss that.

So, this was a very easy shoot – I was there as I said a good hour before sunrise, and stayed until an hour after.

Camera settings

"             Canon 6D

"             Canon 24-105mm F4 L lens

"             Focal length 24mm

"             Manfrotto Pixi

"             Aperture F22

"             Shutter speed (first image) 1/10th second

"             ISO 100

 

10 - The number one attraction on Paxos - the magnificient Tripitos Arch

Tripitos Arch on the Greek Island of Paxos

Tripitos Arch on the Greek Island of Paxos

Now this really was a stunning location. Probably my favourite tourist location on Paxos. A magnificent natural arch called the Tripitos Arch.

And to be completely honest the first time I tried to find it I failed. I missed a critical turn on the path, one without a sign. In my defence. I was close, but after a while gave up and went back to the hotel.

I looked at guidance offered on Trip Advisor and recognised where I had gone wrong. I should have taken a right turn down a path. Problem was that it was not signposted, and I had no data signal there.

A very thoughtful Trip Advisor contributor had already realised this problem and photographed the key places and added them to a review of this magnificent natural structure.

So, second time I found it just fine – I will write a dedicated post all about the number one attraction on Paxos (in my opinion) on my website Paxos Travel Guide.

I won’t lie to you – it was a hot sweaty walk from the car but well worth it. And unusually for me I had actually got two bottles of water which were safely stowed in the side pockets of my Peak Design Everyday Backpack.

I photographed the arch, and the stunning views in all directions, but this is my favourite photo.

Camera settings

"             Canon 6D

"             Canon 24-105mm F4 L lens

"             Focal length 24mm

"             Handheld

"             Aperture F8

"             Shutter speed (first image) 1/80th second

"             ISO 100

Processing of the image was done using Aurora HDR – believe it or not this was a super quick edit!

 

11 – The fantastically located Anemogiannis Monument, Gaios, Paxos

Anemogiannis Monument Gaios Paxos

Anemogiannis Monument Gaios Paxos

 OK – the last image in my set of my top 11 travel photos of 2019. This is one of my favourite monuments, and nothing to do with the Olympics or Marathons or anything like that. You will have to wait until I have completed the post on Paxos Travel Guide to find out more about the Anemogiannis Monument.

If you walk down the wonderful front of the capital town of Paxos, Gaios, you will eventually get to this monument. It is at the opposite end from the ferries that bring all the day-trippers in.

I had finished photographing the sunrise from the hills above Gaios and went into the town and a walk along the waterfront looking for things to photograph in that wonderful directional sunlight.

I grabbed a quick coffee and walked to this monument.

There was a bit of a problem. Other people. Even at 6.50am there were people around. A couple were sat at the base of the monument, who thankfully moved when they saw me with my camera obviously trying to get a photo from a certain view.

Then a chap wandered into the scene completely oblivious to me, even though he walked right in front of me.

He stood right in my way, then sat down to the left. I removed him in Photoshop – I had no option – he wasn’t going anywhere. Of course, when I drove away from Gaios he was gone, but that is the beauty of Photoshop when needed.

This is of course a very deliberate composition, with the sun sitting right on the top of the monument. I wanted the starburst effect, so used F22.

The difficulty with this shot was that I really could not see what I was looking at through the viewfinder, as the sun was so bright. I ended up using Live View to take this shot.

This is a single exposure image edited in Lightroom and then the chap removed using Photoshop.

 Camera settings

"             Canon 6D

"             Canon 24-105mm F4 L lens

"             Focal length 84mm

"             Handheld

"             Aperture F22

"             Shutter speed 1/4000th second

"             ISO 400

Not sure why I keep the ISO at 400 – 100 would have been fine. And had I been trying to bracket the exposure the second shot would have been at 1/16000th second – a bit beyond the capabilities of my Canon 6D!

My photography gear

As you will see I have not talked about much gear in these two posts. I travel light for my foreign trips, and only take the minimum gear, most of which will get used. There is no room for luxury items on my travel photography trips!

Everything has to fit in my Peak Design Everyday Backpack – if it doesn’t I don’t pack it.

You can see my full photography gear list on my photography gear page.

Summary

I hope that you have enjoyed reading a little bit about my Top 11 travel photos of 2019. I certainly enjoyed going through my travel photos and choosing 10, then 11 images to edit.

You can see more of my travel photography work on my travel photography portfolio page, and also on my new websites. Photos of Santorini is done and online to view, Paxos Travel Guide is very much work in progress.

And there will be other travel photography websites produced in 2019, as I ramp up my online presence.

Next week on my photography blog I am back to my core business of taking architectural photography images.

Rick McEvoy Photography – photographer, blogger, writer, website creator

Aurora HDR vs Lightroom - which is best - one more thing

IMG_3043.PNG

I wrote a blog post titled Aurora HDR vs Lightroom - which is best.

I forgot to say what the updates were!

Basically I had problems with blurriness on some of the images.

And that was basically my fault anot the fault of Skylum or Aurora HDR 2019.

And this reminded me - I need to produce the next post so hopefully will get this done next week and have some lovely new photos on my blog.

Please let me know what you think of Aurora HDR, and don’t forget my discount code MCEVOY which you can use with the link above.

Rick McEvoy Photography - photographer, writer, blogger, website creator

Aurora HDR vs Lightroom - which is best - update

IMG_3043.PNG

I wrote a blog post titled Aurora HDR vs Lightroom - which is best.

Today I have updated the post, pending me writing a completely new post. I have had a problem with two incompatible pieces of tech gear which I am currently battling with, putting my trials with Aurora HDR 2019 on the back burner which is disappointing.

But that tale of woe is for another time.

Check out this post and if you fancy giving Aurora HDR 2019 a go you can buy it using my affiliate link. And I can offer you a discount code which will save you circa £9-10 off your purchase - just add my surname MCEVOY.

And please let me know what you think of Aurora HDR.

Rick McEvoy Photography - photographer, writer, blogger, website creator