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Check out Feedspot- I get an email every day with all the photography blog posts that I have selected that I can quickly get to. It's really useful. You can try it out here.

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Just a quick post today - tomorrow is publishing day on Improve Photography.

 

 

 

Rick McEvoy Photography - Photography Blogger

Rick McEvoy Photography – one of those periodic recaps

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Things have not gone quite as planned. Nothing disastrous, just other things that have arisen along the way, with some additional work that I have been doing on my website.

And some new ideas from things that I have learnt recently. The new ideas have changed my plans going forward, hopefully for the better.

There are things that I want to do, and things that I was planning on doing that I will be deferring for very good reasons.

The latest rethink

I am therefore having a bit of a rethink about the content of my photography blog and what I am going to be doing over the next three months.

My photography blog

My photography blog is still the core of my photography business, being the daily update of content on my website which gets shared into the outside world on a daily basis.

And to be brutally honest the core of my SEO work. One day I will rank highly in Google for the search term photography blogger!

Whats coming up on my photography blog in April then?

The completion of the editing of my Santorini photos. As mentioned on my blog the other day, Lightroom appears to be behaving itself much better these days which is great news for all of us Lightroom users, and there are a lot of us.

I ordered 16GB of RAM from Crucial the other day, which I will be fitting myself. With this doubling of the memory in my Dell PC I should be benefitting from the latest performance increases introduced in recent versions of Lightroom Classic, now on version 7.3.

I decided to leave the image editing until I had plucked up the courage to order the additional RAM. At the time of writing this I have ordered it, have received it, all I need to do now is pop it in my PC. I don’t want to say anymore as I don’t want to tempt fate.

My hope is that with the new external hard drive, the significant clean up of the files on my PC, the speed improvements in Lightroom and the increased memory in my Dell PC that I will find photo editing a joy once again.

And if this works a new SSD will be ordered next month – one IT upgrade at a time!

And the image processing I will be doing?

This is the schedule of sets of travel photography images that I want to produce

I want to carry on with my travel photography work, which is an area of significant interest to me going forward.

To be honest if I can make a living as a travel photographer I would be quite happy! And I could easily combine my photography with writing to achieve my ultimate aim - travel photographer and travel blogger!

New web page

Staying with the travel photography theme, I will be adding a new set of 12 images to that web page, with optimised images but no text. Lets see how that performs along with everything else I am doing. When I say perform I mean in SEO terms – do I need to do any more work or is the metadata on the images combined with the other things I am doing all that I need to do?

This is a trial of how I produce web pages in the future, which will hopefully transform how I work.

Updates to my website pages

In addition once all the computer changes are in place I want to add new images to each and every page of my website.

Yes - every page.

Why? I have just worked out that I can automate the import of Lightroom Metadata into my Squarespace website. This is a good time to do this, and I have scheduled time each week to go through my pages one by one and renew all the images. They may be the same images as are already there, but with the metadata rewritten and imported into the correct field on my website for consistent optimisation.

And I have been waiting until the time it takes to do such work is less, which is right now for the reasons above.

And while I am there I am going to review the metadata on each page and update it – this is quite a quick job now that I know what I want in these fields – it makes sense to do this at the same time as the images.

The metadata will reflect the content of the image metadata and the keywords pertinent to each and every page.

And the good thing is that all the images will be prepared for publication on any external channels, as all the metadata will be there.

My website needs a refresh in places!

I have looked at some of the older pages and they are looking dated. I have updated a lot of the images on many of my web pages, but never finished this exercise properly.

New material

There is the inevitable additional material that this exercise will produce which will feed directly into my photography blog – all the bits working together nicely.

Page text and content will be reviewed at the same time, but not actioned yet.

I will continue with some back of house website work, and will be trialling this in conjunction with a variety of web page constructions and contents.

I am hoping that other things that I am doing will negate the need for lots of additional work, but this is something for long into the future, possibly next year.

Is the work I am doing with my blog and website working?

I think so - I am experiencing a significant increase in traffic to my website – my target is to achieve 1,000 visitors per month by the end of the year – at this rate I might reach this target sooner.

I am also experiencing an increase in enquiries – this is the real benchmark. If I get 10,000 visitors to my website but no enquiries so what?

The content of my blog posts

I will also be continuing with my regular varied set of blog posts about all things photography. The mix of posts will include

  • Long in depth posts
  • Information about articles being published on Improve Photography and other websites
  • Images old and new
  • Videos
  • Image processing
  • Business news
  • Website news
  • Gear
  • Opportunities
  • Things that have happened to me that others might find of interest
  • And anything else that fits in with my photography business and the world of photography in general

Planning my work

One other bit of news is that I have now allocated half hour chunks of time to specific tasks in the week. I am trying a new approach to getting things done, having successfully transformed the former nightmare that was emails.

New resources that I recommend

How to be a Productivity Ninja – Graham Allcot

Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business And Influence – And How You can Too - Gary Vaynerchuk

And my next piece of light reading

The 7 habits of Highly Effective People

And finally

One final point for today which has just come to me as I finish writing this post is this.

What percentage of time in a photography business is spent taking photos? In my case I would guess 10%. 20% on a good week.

Blimey. I never thought it would be like this. But the truth is that I really do enjoy all this other stuff.

I love taking photos, and processing them in Lightroom. I get a real buzz when I receive feedback from a client – that is the best feeling.

And I am enjoying the writing about photography and my photography work – the more I do it the more I enjoy it, and hopefully the better I become.

Now its time to cross my fingers, install that RAM and get back to those pictures of Santorini.

Rick McEvoy Photography

There are some new black and white profiles in Lightroom Classic 7.3

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There are 17 different looks in the black and white profiles in Lightroom. And you can view them very quickly by just hovering over them.

I have to say I am loving this change in Lightroom Classic 7.3, and am looking forward to playing around with these black and white “profiles” on a variety of images.

Will this new feature in Lightroom sort my black and white image processing software problem out? 

Well hopefully it willl - if I can keep this all in Lightroom then great - this will make life much easier for me. 

I used to love Nik Silver Efex Pro, but this was killed off by Google last year. It is being revived by DxO in 2018 which will be interesting! 

I have just added myself to the DxO mailing list - lets see what they come up with. 

In the meantime I am going to have a good old play with producing black and white photos in Lightroom - I will post some photos once I have done them.

Rick McEvoy Photography

How do I organise my images in Lightroom? Problem number 1 in my attempt to sort the 3116 images in my Lightroom Catalogue from 2008

I set all the images as rejects in the 2008 Collection. I have removed that flag. There are a couple of reasons why.

Firstly, I guess I am impatient. When I have decided I am going to delete some images I want to do it there and then. And I do not want to decide to delete some images then find that I have lost the selection later.

There is no way I can delete the rejects out of 3116 images in one go at the end.

So I have removed the rejected flag. And now I am back to pick or reject, or on my IPad swipe up to pick and down to reject.

Another issue was that it took a while to get rid of the first 200 images. I had decided that 200 images needed deleting, but could not hit delete as all the other pictures from 2008 were selected as rejects, so I went to the first image I had not reviewed, and then scrolled down to the last image and selected all of these and removed the reject flag.

That left just the rejected images which I had decided were rejects.

So my plan did not work.

Which is fine.

We all have to try these things.

And now I am going to continue with my image culling. I am going to work by logical collections of images, say of a trip, or a single shoot. Just do them one by one, then hit delete.

And that way I will go through this big chunk of my Lightroom Catalogue in a logical order, breaking the task down into logical manageable chunks.

My target is to reduce the number of images by a half, and to have 5% of images to edit out of that lot.

This will mean I am going from 3116 images in no order whatsoever to circa 1500 images sorted, rated and keyworded, and no more than 75 images to edit.

That is my target, lets see what happens.

Sorry that this seems to be dragging on, but this is something you only do once, and is rather important!

Rick McEvoy Photography – lost in Lightroom!

Wednesday 14th December 2016

www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk

How to organise your photos in Lightroom – 2008 – the difficult year!

This was always going to be a challenge. 3119 images. And I wanted to go through them in one go. I guessed that is not going to happen, and that I would have to do this in bits. I have too much else to do at the moment.

So this was my approach.

Firstly, I added all the images to a Collection called imaginatively 2008. Well it works for me.

Next I synced this Collection with Lightroom Mobile.

Now I have this collection available on my phone, IPad and on the web through the Lightroom Mobile browser.

Side note – or point of digression more like!

I have 33,393 image synced in Lightroom Mobile, which is incredible. I can access the Smart Previews of all of these images on my phone!

Sorry – I just find that amazing.

Where was I? Oh yes.

Next I selected all the images in the collection, and pressed X. I rejected every image. This meant that when I went though the images all I had to do was to select an image as a pick and move on to the next image.

That’s all. Nice and easy.

The problem is that I had to do this 3119 times!

Looking ahead 2009 will be a piece of cake – only 2645 images.

Once all this was done I could go through the images anywhere, so I decided to set aside a day when I would endeavour to get from start to finish in that day. Over the course of the day.

This is what I was looking for.

To reject rubbish.

To get rid of duplicate images, old edits, copies, that sort of thing.

To only have images that I want to do something with, or personal stuff I want to keep.

Having done the initial cull, I need to then do the following.

Rate the images with stars, using my rating system.

  • 0 stars – unrated
  • 1 star – to sort
  • 2 stars – no edit
  • 3 stars – to edit
  • 4 stars – edited
  • 5 stars – edited best

I also need to keyword every image.

And then, only then, I can play with the images.

Ok ok I know – I will do the first cull, get bored and start editing stuff. Just like I did with 2006 and 2007. I have still have not keyworded these images, nor rated them. I just jumped in impatiently and started editing stuff.

This is how I am though. That is the good stuff.

This is my plan for organising my images in Lightroom, one year at a time. Pop back to my blog in the next couple of days to see how I got on….

Rick McEvoy Photography Blog

Friday 9th December 2016

www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk

Another picture of The Shard in London – a dramatic view looking up with a plane flying by

Black and white picture of The Shard, London

Black and white picture of The Shard, London

The colour version of the picture of The London Shard

The colour version of the picture of The London Shard

This is my second favourite picture of The Shard. The view looking up from the ground. The plane helps and for me places this spectacular

picture of a skyscraper in London.

The Shard is a fascinating building.

The structure is very modern, hard and graphic. A black and white picture should work really well, as these are elements that black and white photography naturally works with really well.

The colour image works well. I have made the image punchy and contrasty. I need my black and white processing in Nik Silver Efex Pro to continue this good work.

Preset

Full contrast and structure

Filter

Blue filter

Dynamic Brightness

Dynamic brightness + 24%

Vignette

Vignette lens fall off 1

That is all I did. I can produce great black and white images using the Nik software so so quickly. Every photo shoot I do I convert a couple of images into black and white versions. Sometimes all I do is add a preset and save back to Lightroom. I am spending more time on these black and white images as working in a black and white portfolio, but still not a huge amount of time. I write about my processing as I do it which obviously takes longer, but I would be surprised if any image took more than 5 minutes of straight editing time.

If you haven't tried the Nik Collection you can download it for free at https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

Yes you heard me right. Free software from Google. Free great software from Google.

And as well as The black and white software there are lots of other cool things to try out, including colour effects and HDR.

It is well worth giving a go – you never know what will work for you.

Rick McEvoy Photography Blog

Tuesday 27th September 2016

www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk