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.

Read More

How to find images in Lightroom Classic - Excire Search Pro

I changed the title of this post to How I find photos in Lightroom quickly using Excire Search - click on the title and you are at the new post.

Rick McEvoy Photography - Monday 18th February 2019

 

A dull question but hopefully an interesting answer will ensue.

We all have lots of images in our Lightroom Catalogues. I have other 60,000 images in mine. And I often am faced with the challenge of how to find images in Lightroom Classic – now I have a new plug-in called Excire Search Pro which helps me with this.

cropped-Excire_Logo.png

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.

cropped-Excire_Logo.png

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

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

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

Excire menu close up 20112018.PNG


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

 

Best photography blogs of 2018 – well mines not too bad??

I have changed from daily blog posts to weekly blog posts. Last week I concluded that the best time to post was on Mondays at 4pm BST. That is that sorted.

Photos of Santorini in action.JPG

The next important question therefore is this – what should I write about in my photography blog? Photography stuff. Is my photography blog the best photography blog out there? I wish. But it’s not too bad, even if I do say so myself!

In my photography blog I will be writing about not only architectural photography but also general photography stuff, my images and photography business matters.

So what I hear you say??

This is a significant change for me.

This change is to enable me to produce higher quality, more useful, relevant and meaningful blog posts on a weekly basis.

And that does not necessarily mean that I will not produce blog posts at other times – now that I have a structure, plan and intent for my blog I feel freer to produce other stuff as and when I want which is nice, without the pressure of forcing myself to produce daily content just for the sake of it.

What is the purpose of my blog?

To be completely honest the purpose of my blog is to get more people to visit my website.

That is the bottom line.

Weekly blog posts are new weekly content which Google loves. And the higher the quality of the content the better.

And the more relevant the content is to my website the better too, which is another reason why I have narrowed down my target markets – the focus has benefitted me in various ways.

And to do this I am going to share information that others find useful. If people find my posts useful then more people will visit my blog and I will rank higher in Google for the things that I wrote about.

And if I rank higher in Google more people will find my blog.

And if more people find my blog more people will become aware of me and hopefully enquire about my photography services, photography knowledge, or just look at my photos!

And you never know people might want to actually buy my work.

That is my understanding of how this should work – there you go – if I am right I have virtually handed you and everyone else the keys to the internet!

In all seriousness that is the general principle – give people helpful information and Google will thank you for it as that is Googles’ number 1 role.

Why does Google exist?

Google exists to give you the best answer to the search query you enter in that box on Google.

If my blog content can contribute to this then great.

All I need to do now is to consistently produce content that people find interesting and helpful and worthy of sharing. If I can do that Google will know. Google knows what is going on on the internet.

Which I’m sure you are aware of.

How did I come up with these four areas of content for my photography blog?

Simple – I want subjects that are relevant to my target audience. I want subjects that are relevant to my photography business.

And most importantly for me I want to write about things that I have a genuine interest in. I am a strong believer that we all do a better job of something if it is something that we enjoy and have an interest in.

After all I am building a business based around what was once just a hobby. It doesn’t feel like work sometimes which is great, even though I work very hard developing the various strands of my photography business.

So I enjoy the subjects I am wrting about. And I enjoy writing. This is not quite a labour of love but it is much less of a chore than it would be if these weren’t things that I enjoyed.

What is my target audience?

My target audience is quite varied, but has been narrowed down from everyone everywhere. That is who I was writing to up until a couple of weeks ago when I stopped and thought about what I was doing.

This is my target audience now

  • Architects, developers and product manufacturers wanting photos of their buildings, developments and products.

  • People interested in the general subject of photography, taking photos, processing in Lightroom.

  • Buyers of my photos.

  • Manufacturers and suppliers of photography equipment.

Whilst this section of my target audience is very important to me, I will not be writing to or for them. That will take my writing from being natural and about the subject in hand and drive it down a business marketing route that I don’t want to go down.

I am not writing so Canon UK contact me and ask me to review their latest and greatest. I am writing about subjects, and if that is my Canon 6D then so be it, but the subject is my Canon 6D and not hey Canon look at me!!!

This is an important consideration.

Sure there will be lot of references to products, and Amazon affiliate links, but the content will be genuine content.

There are plenty of people out there who do this kind of stuff, but I am going down a different path of my own choosing.

Advertising and marketing companies related to all of the above.

I have split my target audience down to the following four headings, which has helped me define the titles and content of each of my weekly blog posts.

Architectural and commercial photography

My core business is photographing buildings, and mainly for architects, developers, property owners and manufacturers of construction products. That being the case I want to make sure that I am writing about how I can help these good folks to get the photos they want. This is by a combination of words and case studies of commercial photographic work that I have already done.

General photography

This is a tricky area, the global photography one. I am a writer on Improve Photography, and want to continue sharing my general photography knowledge and experiences on my own website.

I will write about image capture, processing, gear, tips and techniques, photography news, anything really of a general interest to the photography community.

The tricky thing is that this is a pretty competitive area, so I will have to be clever in how I produce this content.

My images

This is the place to showcase my photography work.

At the time of writing I have only one portfolio on my website, which consists of 20 architectural photography images.

I am going to add two more portfolios, one for travel photography, and one for landscape photography.

And I might bring back my product page. The problem is how do I sell images if no-one can see them? And I just got rid of a load of pages having taken very good advice.

My photos are unique, and my USP (unique selling point). No-one else has the photos that I have taken. My images, my vision and my style are me – they are what I an trying to sell to clients.

And they are the products that I have to work with, to trade and to sell.

Clients look at my images and know what they are going to get which is very important.

In posting my images I will be writing lots about the images

  • How I got the shots

  • Behind the scenes photos and videos

  • What I was thinking

  • The technical side of the image capture

  • Processing in Lightroom and Photoshop

  • What I did with the images

That sort of thing

I want people to buy my photos

Photography business matters.

This is an area which I find interesting, and I have experiences which I can share which will help people.

As well as my photography business I am also developing some new websites which fit into the travel industry, and also travel photography. I am combining my loves of travel, photography and writing to produce bespoke niche websties.

And I have learnt a lot along the way.

And there are business and cmemrcial opportunuites that I have not yet explored that I want to look into which I can research and write about on my photography blog.

Or should I say photography business blog – hang on – is that a thing?

Four subjects = 1 subject per week – how convenient

Yes I deliberately came up with four areas, as I wanted four different but ultimately related things per month to write about.

What do I do on a five-week month?

I will worry about that when it happens.

How much will I write about in each post?

Well that is anther question – I think that the posts will vary in length from 1500 – 4000words. These are relatively long posts but I have learned from more than one authoritative source that the most popular blog posts have a length of circa 1900 to 2000 words. So 1500 words will be my minimum.

Another reason why these structured posts will be weekly – they take time after all!

I am not going to think about this too much – the length of the post will be determined by what I want to write, rather than writing to a predetermined number of words.

This is me writing about a subject, not writing 2000 words to gain traffic.

And I will write about new things that I need to know but do not know

This is a new thing to me that I have just started doing on the Improve Photography website. I have picked a topic (we writers have an article title hit list) and then learnt about it enough that I can write about it.

And I have to say I quite enjoyed it, and it has opened up a world of new subjects for me to write about.

Basically, if I don’t know anything about a subject then that is fair game for a blog post. And believe me there is lots that I do not know.

My personality

My blog is my personality in words. I write as I speak. My blog is an online mechanism where people can get to know me by reading about me, and reading about my photography.

This is the thing that will run through every blog post, long or short, serious or not so serious – my personality and sense of humour.

If you don’t like the way I write there is a chance that you will not like me in person. Conversely if you love the way I write when you meet me you will feel like you already know me.

And trust me I am a nice chap honest.

And a quick word on my other websites.

When I say websites they are pretty much wbsites with blog posts.

I am currently working on a new website called Photos of Santorini. And once that is done I need to get on with my other website, Paxos Travel Guide. These need time and once done they are standalone completed pieces of work – and this is the time when I will review not only the content of my blog but also the frequency and timing.

I expect that will be in the New Year – Photos of Santorini will complete October 2018, Paxos Travel Guide by the end of December 2018.

Conclusion

I will be producing a weekly post on my photography blog. I will produce other posts as and when, but these will be the main posts.

I will write in-depth posts about each of these four subjects providing a useful resource and information to clients and general readers, as well as showcasing the best of my photography work.

I will also be writing as though I am speaking, so when you read what I write it is like speaking to me.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, photoblogger, writer

When should I post to my photography blog? What day and time?

This is a question that I really should know the answer to. I have been producing a daily photography blog for over 2 ½ years now. Up to last week that is.

When should I post to my photography blog? According to my research the best time to post to my photography blog is Monday 11am EST. In this not as scientific as I would have liked article I will explain how I have come to this conclusion.

Rick McEvoy Photography Blog

Rick McEvoy Photography Blog

Why am I asking this question?

I have been producing daily posts on my photography blog for 2 ½ years since the start of 2016. I decided that a daily blog was the best way of getting noticed, the best way of attracting the traffic to me website that I was after.

Has producing daily blog posts worked?

No

How do I know this has not worked?

Simple – there are two measures.

Google Analytics

This is the evidence of people visiting my website. This is the bare numbers. This is matter of fact. And there has not been the progression since January 2016 that I was hoping for.

Real enquiries

This is the more relevant measure. Well not true if I get my web traffic to such levels that advertising is an option.

My daily photography blog has not contributed to my website such that the number of real business enquiries has increased enough. And that was the reason I started doing a daily blog – to increase the traffic to my website.

So, what now?

Posting daily posts takes time. I am happy to spend time on my photography blog, but not without a bit more analysis and science as to when is the best time of the week to produce a weekly post. Another way of putting this is that I am no longer prepared to carry on producing daily posts when this has not worked.

Hence this post.

Before I go on a quick word on who I am trying to attract to me website.

What traffic was I trying to attract?

Anyone who wants me to take photos for them, which was part of the problem. I was trying to attract anyone and everyone. I had no focus, no target reader in mind. I was literally trying to attract anyone who wanted photos taken in any sector.

Who are my target readers now?

  • People interested in general photography

  • Potential clients who want buildings photographing

  • Potential clients looking for commercial partners

And that is it. Still pretty broad of course.

Content of my daily blog is another story, another article for another time - this post is about when I should post to my photography blog.

So back to the question in mind.

When should I post to my photography blog?

Where do I begin answering this question? By putting it in Google of course. And hopefully if I do a good enough job I will rank number 1 for this question.

So, what does Google tell me.

This is the first result, from photographyconcentrate.com

Now there is lots of good stuff in this article, which suggests once or twice a week. And as to when, it just says that you can pick the day/ days yourself.

No answer there, which is a shame.

But a good thing as I should be able to produce a post that answers the specific question and rank at number 1. That is the plan

Number 2 on the Google results is titled “How to write a good blog post about your photography”.

In fact, nothing of page 1 for the search query “When should I post to my photography blog” actually answers the question

I will broaden out my search to “When should I post to my blog”

And see what I get

OK – number 1 result is an article titled “When Is The Best Time To Publish Blog Posts?”.

That’s more like it – just what I was looking for.

I guess blog or photography blog is not the issue – this about when to post a blog post, so should be pretty much a universal answer.

OK – lots of info here.

And the answer from this excellent post appears to be Mondays between 9 and 10am EST.

But there are variables – various best outcomes

  • Blog views by hour – Monday 11am

  • Comments by day – Saturday

  • Comments by hour – 9am

  • Links by day – Monday and Thursday

  • Links by hour – 7am

But then I found this - the best general time to post to get the most traffic is Monday 11am Eastern time. Bingo. That is what I have been looking for.

Now there is a problem – the time zone.

I am in GMT – Greenwich Mean Time – well actually BST at the moment. I am in England, but photography is a global subject. Part of my target market is the general photography community world-wide, but also UK based clients. I am not trying to attract clients in the USA to photograph their buildings.

Although having said that….

Let’s sort out the time zones

Is 9-10am UK time the time I should post?

9am BST equates to 4am EST.

I think 9-10am Monday morning BST time might be the right time for me.

What else did I find in Google

9.30 – 11am Eastern time gets a few mentions, but there is nothing UK based.

One point that is mentioned which I think is excellent advice is to trial different times and see what happens.

So, what to do?

It will be difficult to measure the success of a certain time compared to the 11am that I have been working to as the content of my blog will be changing significantly at the same time.

I could just go with 9-10am BST and see what happens. If it works then great, if it doesn’t it can hardly be less successful that what I have been doing for the last 2 ½ years?

This might be a case of just getting on with it seeing what happens.

But the there is the Improve Photography schedule?

My articles on Improve Photography are published at 6am Boise time. Now there must be a very good reason for this.

6am Boise equate to 1pm BST.

Back to Google

Mondays seems to be widely reported as the best time to publish blog posts from lots of sources, so I think I will go with that.

The day will be Monday.

That is half the job done!

So what time?

Overthinking is a frequent problem. There is so much info out there giving lots of times.

Let’s give my Google Analytics data a try

The problem is that there are lots of pages on my website as well as my blog, so I am not sure if this will give me the info I need.

And there is a further problem.

I changed from rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk to rickmcevoyphotography.com in the summer. That means that I do not have the data before July 2018 for rickmcevoyphotography.com, and before then have the data for my .co.uk.

I think I am going to have to forget Google Analytics and dig a bit deeper

Back to Google

The first answer says it doesn’t really matter what time of day you post.

And the next.

And then there is conflicting and less authoritative answers and general vagueness

I need to think about this logically.

I need to publish my blog posts when the people I want to see my posts are online. When is that though? I can see how 9.30 on a Monday morning works in UK timing for the UK market but what about everywhere else in the world? My second target market is the USA I guess – the largest English-speaking country.

But 9am EST = 2pm BST.

Bu if we bear in mind that the Improve Photography articles are scheduled at 6am Boise time for a reason, which is Mountain Daylight Time (which I had never heard of!) then this is the summary as I see it.

And I am rubbish with time zones.

BST 9.00 am = 2.00am MDT = 4.00am EST

If I went with the recommended time in the article with the study, then I would publish posts at 11am EST.

11am EST = 4pm BST = 9am MDT

I think that I will go with that. My logic is as follows.

  1. If you are going to do research then you need to act on the best information – otherwise why bother doing the research in the first place?

  2. I don’t have a problem with using 11am EST – I have been using 11am BST for 2 ½ years now without getting the results I want. It feels good to be doing something different.

  3. 4pm BST is not a bad time to post anyway, as one of my target markets is the architectural professions, who will surely be in work on a Monday afternoon?

  4. I don’t believe that there is a time which will target everyone I am trying to attract ever – people are online all the time these says of course so this is pretty much an impossible thing to nail down.

  5. I can try this and see what happens – if nothing happens I can have a rethink.

Conclusion

I believe I have an answer to the question posed - When should I post to my photography blog? What day and time?

Monday 11am EST, which is 4pm BST.

I will try this for 1-2 months and see if there is any significant change.

Any advice appreciated of course - please get in touch by phone, email or the contact form on my website.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, writer, blogger

I have chosen my new website - now what? Time for some photography questions

Paxostravelguide.com is mine. It does not yet exist on the internet. So no link to it. But this URL is now mine which is exciting.

Paxostravelguide 04092018.PNG

So what next? 

Well this is where I have run into a problem with writing about the production of this brand new website on my photography blog. 

I have signed up to Income School, and more specfically Project 24. Project 24 is a plan to replace your income with a passive income from niche websites within 24 months. 

There is a process within Project 24 which you are meant to follow step-by-step. 

This is information that is available only to people who have paid for the membership for a year. So I cannot describe in detail the production of my new website.  That is information that is available only to us Project 24 members.

So I will have to think of something else to write about on my photography blog. 

I know. 

I will answer some photography FAQs - that will be good. I am going to come up with 20 things that I do not know enough about, learn about them and write about them. 

Sounds like a good plan to me. And if you have any questions about anything photography related then let me know and I will add them to my list.

I will start with this one tomorrow. 

What does DSLR mean in photography? 

RIck McEvoy ABIPP - Photography questions answered

 

How to edit images in Lightroom - photos of Santorini

OK. Things are not going quite to plan. I was meant to have completed editing my photos of Santorini by now but that is not the case. Recent publication deadlines, work and life have got in the way. 

Today I am back to it. I need to complete the editing my photos of Santorini in Lightroom. 

Before I embark on this task I want to explain how I edit images in Lightroom.  I have started work on a major new post, title to be decided but something like

  • How to use Lightroom
  • How I use Lightroom
  • My step by step guide to editing images in Lightroom. 

Back to last Friday I published this image last Friday. I posted the three RAW files in the blog post which you can get to here.

Santorini caldera by travel photographer Rick McEvoy

Santorini caldera by travel photographer Rick McEvoy

I am now going to edit this single image, and I will explain what I have done tomorrow on my photography blog.

Rick McEvoy Photography - Photography Blog

6 weeks on from the switch from .co.uk to .com

And where am I now? To be honest I am back to where I was. I need another week to analyse the data I think, so please pop back to my blog in 7 days if you are interested in knowing the effect of going from a website with a .co.uk to a .com URL.

This will give me another week of the changes impacting which will hopefully tell me more. And also to record what I had to do to make this change, which will hopefully help you if you are thinking of changing your top level domain.

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There is lots to know. Here are the headlines

1 - Website traffic volumes

These plummeted, but came back strongly and my search volumes have gone up.

2 - Keyword rankings.

These went off the scale, but are gradually restoring themselves.

3 - Analytics

Things have changed here - I need more time to analyse and extract the data.

4 - Demographics

I now get more global visitors to my webiste.

5 - Work

The number of business enquiries has gone up. If this does not happen none of the rest matters.

Check back to my photography blog in a week for a full update.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photography Blogger

Why should you choose me to photograph your building?

Now that is a fair question.

Heres why.

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You will find me easy to deal with as I have a lifetime of experience in construction and photography, meaning you are not talking to a photographer who has never been on a construction site.

I understand buildings and construction, and am used to talking to

  • Architects
  • Contractors
  • Suppliers
  • Installers
  • Building owners
  • Estate agents
  • Developers

I even understand the rudimentaries of M&E, but cannot lay claim to understanding acoustics!

Need photos from a scaffold? Roof? Excavation?

No problem - you provide the safe access and I am there.

I can help you get the images you want and make the process as easy and hassle free as I can for you. 

This is what I do - I photograph buildings and construction sites. 

Before I go on - you can contact me by  

Phone - 07772252186

Email - sales@rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk

Contact form on my web page - click here

Here are 10 reasons why you might like to contact me to photograph your building. Well anything related to the built environment at all really.

1 - I am a Chartered Builder - MCIOB

I have proudly held the professional designation MCIOB for some years now. I have over 30 years of construction industry experience

Yes I am that old. And as a result of this experience I am at home working on construction sites of all shapes, sizes and complexities, and more importantly I am more than comfortable working with construction people at all levels (talking of all levels I am fine working on roofs, scaffolding, in excavations – anywhere on site – you just provide a safe place for me and I can be there taking photographs)

2 - I am also professionally qualified in photography – LBIPP.

I was delighted to achieve my LBIPP (Licentiate in the British Institute of Professional Photography) a few years ago.

These two on their own are enough for some people which is why I start with them. It saves time. I know you are all busy people out there so if this is all you need to know get in touch with me here and forget about the next 8 points, as good as they are.

3 - I provide a high quality, personal professional service on every shoot

I pride myself on providing a  high quality service on every shoot. Everything is agreed in writing, and regular updates are provided - this is particularly important with our ever so predictable British weather!

I wont go on about the quality of my images - I am a photographer after all sp that is a given. You can of course check out the images on my website.

I can even provide a next day service if required. I once had to produce a set of fully edited images for a 9am deadline the morning after an afternoon shoot.

4 - I have an eye for this stuff.

I like to think that I am quite good at what I do. I combine my years of construction and photography experience to give me a fairly unique insight into the world of architectural photography. 

I understand construction and architecture, and what is important within a design. OK the least bit the architect tells me but I will be able to quickly understand the key features. 

5 - And an ear too

Whatever you are  - architect, main contractor, property owner, landlord, estate agent, developer, material supplier, specialist installer - I get that your needs are going to be very specific.

And I am in a unique position to be able to understand you r specific requirements and deliver the images required.

I will be able to fulfill the very specific requirements of your brief. I will also where possible provide alternative views and compositions.

But first and foremost I listen to my clients. 

6 - I am a current CSCS card holder

I managed to pass the health and safety test with flying colours recently (phew). So if you want photographs taking on a live construction site no problem. I have been through more site inductions than I can remember so that is all good and familiar to me. And

I have all my own PPE

My collection of PPE is suitable for most construction sites. I had to purchase high visibility trousers recently to complete the luminous clothing set!

8 - My photography gear is designed for construction sites

My photography equipment has evolved over the years and my work in a wide range of live site environments to allow me to quickly and efficiently photograph any construction site. I say any - there must be exceptions to that but I have not come across one yet.

And of course all my gear is durable enough to withstand the rigours of live construction sites any time of the year.

9 - I process all my own images

I am highly skilled in Lightroom and Photoshop. I consistently produce technically accurate and correct images.

No architect likes their building to look wonky in a photo after all do they?

I can also produce images that are consistent in style from different shoots in different locations on different days.

10 - My company is just me

I am the only person you deal with from start to finish - I answer all enquiries, develop the brief, produce the quote, agree the scope, plan the shoot, take the photos, edit the photos, issue the photos and submit the invoices. There is no one else – just me.

And I am a nice chap. 

11 – I enjoy what I do.

I know. This is 11 things. But this important.

I always find that people who enjoy what they do produce better work than people who don’t, and I seriously enjoy taking photographs of construction products and construction sites, buildings, architecture, interiors – anything that is built basically.

I extend this enjoyment to holidays - there isn’t a destination I have been to where I did not photograph buildings, and pop into the local church to get a great interior shot! 

Thats it.

Please check out my work on the following pages of my website.

Architectural photographer

Commercial photographer

Construction photographer

Construction product photographer

Industrial photographer

Interior photographer

Property photographer

And to find out more about me all you need to do is pop over to my photography blog, where I make daily posts.

Any questions, please get in touch with me. 

Rick McEvoy Photography - MCIOB, LBIPP

How to choose your best photos from a holiday or photography trip using Lightroom

How to choose your best photos from a holiday or photography trip using Lightroom

I need to pick up on my Santorini photos.

As I explained the other day, I have realised that I am not able to dedicate two months to my photos of Santorini – the reality is that if I stuck to this I would never get anything else done.

I have decided instead to schedule weekly posts, the first being about selecting the images from the trip. And this is it here.

I want to explain the point of these posts, which is to help people faced with a large number of images from a single trip. I have deliberately titled this post

“How to choose your best photos from a holiday or photography trip in Lightroom to focus my writing to what will be helpful to the most people, me included. Ok I am writing this for me to hopefully spur me on to sorting all my photos from various trips.

In this first post I will write about the process I go through to narrow down over 2000 images quickly and efficiently to the ones I want to edit and use.

This is a change of emphasis on my photography blog – rather than just writing about me and what I have done I want to broaden out some of the posts to be of practical use to readers of my blog. This is the first post written specifically with this in mind.

This is the result of me thinking about what I am doing, and what I want to achieve with my photography blog.

I know – me thinking – dangerous!

What do I want from my photography blog? Of course, world domination of the photography blogging sector is aim number 1. And increased traffic to my blog and website – we all want that after all don’t we?

But I also want to produce information that is helpful to people, that people will find value in, and that people will comment on and share.

And I want to sort out all my photos from all my trips – that is the thing that you will find right at the end of this post.

Have you sorted out all your holiday photos?

I am sure there are many people out there just like me who have been away on holiday, come back, loaded the photos onto their computer and then not much more happens with them.

Seriously I have quite a few foreign holidays where all I have done is just that, and picked out a few nice photos and done quick edits.

So, the point of this post is to break that cycle, and come up with a plan to quickly select the best photos from a trip, which in this case is my photographic trip to Santorini, the lovely Greek island.

My plan for the photos from my holidays and photography trips

I am going to go through this in sections, with the first section being image selection.

At the end of this first post I will produce a step by step action list for you and I to use for other such trips.

Just the image selection bit – this is the hardest bit I find.

My aim before I embark on this image selection process is to narrow down the 2000 images to somewhere between 20 and 50 images for full editing.

Editing will be the next post, so I will restrict myself to image selection here.

The other point is what we all do with the photos we have taken – I have lots of thoughts and ideas about this, but this is all for another time.

How did I get on then? The bit above I wrote before I went through my photographs of Santorini. The next bit I wrote before, during and after the image sorting. Yes, this is not me just writing waffle about how I select images in Lightroom – this is what I actually did.

The starting point is this - I had already imported the images into Lightroom some time ago, and had many a browse of the images on my iPad Pro using Lightroom Mobile.

When I import images, I apply metadata, develop presets, Smart Previews and also create a duplicate copy set on a separate drive.

That is a lot to do on import, and this takes some time. In the case of this trip the photos were spread over 5 memory cards, one per day. I do this so if I lose a card, or if I have a problem with a card, it only affects that day’s images – the rest are safely stored in the safe.

When I import images onto my Dell PC I just let Lightroom them in the folder it chooses – I can sort this later.

The images are on my hard drive – ok? This is where I begin this post.

Get the time right

First thing I do after importing the images into Lightroom is check that the time of the image captures is correct – I have to do this as I normally forget to change the time on my camera when on a foreign trip.

There is an easy way to do this – I just check one of the photos taken on my iPhone 7 Plus, which is clever enough to know where I am always!

Sort out the bracketed sets

My next job is to sort the images into bracketed sets. I have to do this as I take a bracketed set of three images for merging into single HDR images later.

To do this I select all the images by clicking on one image then use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl A, which selects all the images. Next, I right click and the option Stacking appears. Hover over stacking and a sub-menu appears, at the bottom you will find Auto Stack by Capture Time.

I select this, and then click Stack, I leave the default time between stacks at 2 seconds, which works for me. You can change this to whatever works for you by moving the slider left and right.

OK – that is all the images into stacks.

Or is it?

I click on any image, select Control A again, right click and this time choose Stacking, and this time Collapse All Stacks. This does what it says, collapsing the stacks, so only the first image is visible.

This is crucial for me in image selection, reducing the number of images and letting me choose from just the correct exposure.

I check that all images are in stacks of three. There will be the odd single image which is fine – I leave them.

There will probably also be the odd set of three that are not in a stack, for whatever reason. All you need to do is select the three images, then click on the first image, and then use the keyboard shortcut Control G, which adds them to a stack. It is important that you click on the first image, which puts that image to the top of the stack.

Stacking done – what’s next?

OK – I have gone from a screen with 2261 images to a screen with 759 images, making the job of image selection obviously much easier.

If I am not going to be finishing the job there and then I will add this set of images to a Collection in Lightroom, which I can view on my iPhone and iPad.

The bad news is this – that is the easy, technical Lightroom stuff done.

Now for the hard bit – choosing the images.

I am not very good at this, I take too long doing this. I need to be more brutal.

This is how I do it.

I click on the first image, and get rid of all the things that are not the image, by clicking the keyboard shortcut E, which takes you to the Loupe view. If you hit F you get the image on the full screen, but I do not like this, and am happy with the Loupe View. Next, I press Shift Tab and the side panels disappear, followed by L twice which turns off the lights.

I have just compared Loupe View with full screen, and am not sure why I do not like the full screen option, but I don’t, and that is that! Sometimes I keep the film strip at the bottom.

It doesn’t matter – just do what makes you happy.

Now I have the first image on my screen, with no other distractions, it is time to get stuck in to choosing the images.

I have refined my process to this.

  1. Hit P to Pick an image – a white flag appears top left on the image.
  2. If I don’t like an image, I hit X, which rejects the image.
  3. If you change your mind U removes the selection.
  4. And I go through the images one by one, picking the ones I like, and rejecting the rubbish.

It is that simple.

How did I get on with the set of photos of Santorini?

Well it took me 47 minutes to go through the images on a first pass – that is 759 images.

And out of those 759 images I picked how many?

Well first we need to get this information out of Lightroom. If the Filter Bar is not showing at the top of your screen hit the key \ and you will see four words appear.

  • Text
  • Attribute
  • Metadata
  • None

These are very powerful tools in Lightroom. In this case I only want to see the Picks, so I select Attribute, and another bar appears below the filter bar.

Here click on the left flag which you will see to the right of the word attribute on this new bar, and Lightroom, quick as a flash, shows you the picks only.

Ouch – 227 images in the first pass – far too many.

I was hoping for 20-50 picks, but am not going to be driven by numbers, only by the best images. One of my criteria for selecting an image is this – do I want to spend the time editing an image in Lightroom and Photoshop?

Another criterion is this – is the image I am selecting one that I will use in any way other than to look at on my PC and congratulate myself on how wonderful I am?

Hmmmmmm.

Narrowing down the selections

Next thing I do is go through the selection of picks and remove similar images. I am not too careful on the first pass – I just pick what I like and move on. And that takes me long enough!

I need to say at this point that the second pass will vary depending on the images that I am selecting, and what they are for, but this is typical of what I go through on a multi-day foreign trip.

One thing that I forgot to do until I was half way through was to give instantly good images a 5-star rating, just to make them stand out. These are images that immediately hit me as good, which is a good sign. I went back and did this exercise, reducing the set down to 58 images.

Now I have 58 images which are first glance are strong contenders – next thing is to go through the rest.

This might seem like a lot of work, and a lot of time, but this is 5 days of shooting after all, and one thing I never do is rush my image selection. This is very important to me, and the images that I select, edit and use will be with me for a long time to come.

There is a lot of time, money and effort invested in capturing these images, so spending a few hours going through them is perfectly justifiable.

Deleting images

And one other point I need to make – on a shoot like this I will only delete duplicates and complete technical rejects – I keep everything else. I don’t need to, but it makes the image selection easier, and makes me happy!

At the end of the process, if I want to delete all the rejects from my hard drive (and why wouldn’t I?), I have to tell Lightroom to do this. Selecting reject greys out the image and puts a black cross in the top left-hand corner.

First pass took 47 minutes.

Second pass was to look at groups of similar images, and choose the best. I might have five different views of one scene, which is fine, but do I need all images say? Of course not.

But as I said before – my image selection is based on the quality of the images that I want to work on, use and sell.

So, if there are 100 images so be it.

It was a stunning location with fantastic weather after all.

Second pass took me 15 minutes.

I start the second pass in the grid view, which you can get to by pressing the key G. From here I click on image groups, those if the same scene, and press N to bring up those images only, in what Lightroom calls survey view.

I look at these images, and Unpick the ones I do not want to keep from a group, by pressing U. Once I have unpicked them they disappear from view, as I am using a Pick filter.

If I am happy to keep an image as a pick I just remove from view by using Control and left click. It remains as a pick but is removed from survey view. This is about reducing the number of images after all.

Once I am happy to keep images as picks I hit the key G to go back to grid view and move on to the next group of images.

This is how I narrow down the images, just using Picks. I do not use the stars or colour labels or anything else in this process – just Pick or Reject.

This works for me, and is nice and simple.

I picked 227 images on the first pass. After the second pass I am down to 131 images. And here I stop.

131 images.

At this point I normally sort out my filing. For this set of images, I create a new sub-folder within my Worldwide folder called Santorini 2017. Well what did you think I was going to call it?

Next, I select all the images, and add them to a folder called “Rest”. I do this for a reason which I will come back to.

From within the rest folder I select the picks, and add them to a new folder called “Picks”. I also add the picks to a new collection called Santorini 2017, which I sync with Lightroom Mobile. I do not need access to all the images everywhere I go, just the picks are fine.

Once the images are in the Picks folder I remove the Pick flags and any star ratings.

And that is my filing done.

And why did I add them to that folder first? If you add them to the main folder, Santorini 2017 in this case, and then move the picks into a new folder, the main folder still shows the same number of images. It just gets confusing, so I put them into a sub-folder first and then break out the picks.

As I write this I realise if I move the Picks only to a folder called Picks, I can select the rest and add to a folder call rest.

One final word – I might have 131 images but that is a lot better than over 200, and is my starting point. When I am editing images some more will fall by the wayside – committing time to editing images often makes me really question myself and if an image is good enough.

For now, I am just happy that I have made the initial selection of images.

OK - image selection done. Next – edits.

And before I go here are 10 steps to select the images you want in Lightroom

Import images into Lightroom (this is not step 1 by the way)

  1. Sort the images into stacks
  2. Choose Loupe View – press E
  3. Turn the lights off
  4. Go through one by one – press P for Picks, X for rejects
  5. Add 5-star rating to those stunners – hit the key 5
  6. Filter the view to Picks only, go through again
  7. Unpick any that are not good enough – be honest and harsh
  8. Second pass – remove similar images to leave the best
  9. Review the image set – do you want to edit all these images?
  10. File the picks separately from the rest

And then go and edit.

Rick McEvoy Photography

Rick McEvoy Photography - my photography business and photography blog going into 2018

2018 is here. Blimey. Where did 2017 go?

Happy New Year, and I hope 2018 is fantastic for all of us.

What next for me and my photography blog then?

Time to have a think. Having recovered from a wonderful 2 weeks in Barbados with the gorgeous Mrs M it is back to reality.

I am picking up on a post I started writing in December 2017, but never managed to publish.

As I said before Christmas, in the autumn I completed a large architectural photography commission spanning four counties and 10 locations. More on that later.

Apart from loose ends on that commission, and the dilemma of what to do about Lightroom, it is now time to look forward.

Lightroom and Photoshop

I have just checked the Creative Cloud App, having been away for some time, and have to say I am disappointed that there is no update to Lightroom Classic to fix the bugs that still exist. Nor Photoshop.

Improve Photography articles

I have an ongoing publishing schedule on the Improve Photography website, where I publish an article every fortnight.

I wrote yesterday about the latest article to be published this week,

10 tips for planning an architectural photography shoot

And have now started on the next article which will be my review of the Rode Video Mic Me.

I have publication dates going forward and hope to write articles much more in advance – the last one I wrote the bulk of on the plane back from Barbados! I would not have been able to do this without my iPad Pro, which continues to be incredibly useful.

I need to get ahead of myself, so these next articles are not last-minute productions!

And this leads me into the thing I am going to work on in 2018.

Video.

This week I posted a video which I took using my new toy, the DJI Osmo Mobile. Here is the link to the video on my YouTube channel.

In 2018 I am going to work hard on better audio on my ranting speaking videos, sweeping panoramas and smooth moving video walkthroughs, and in general higher quality video output.

Talking of videos, I need to sort out all the videos I have on my YouTube channel, and get them all working for me. They are no use sat on my iPad Pro doing nothing.

Getting all the videos I have on You Tube is a priority. Once I have got the backlog uploaded I will upload new videos as and when I produce them.

I also want to be a lot more systematic about the content and metadata etc of the videos going forward – it was all a bit hit and miss last year.

Well that is the plan!

I have a target for my 2018 videos which I will get onto these later. This has now been pulled from this post and will be in a separate post next week(ish).

Santorini

A photo of me taking a photo on the lovely island of Santorini

A photo of me taking a photo on the lovely island of Santorini

These things aside I am going to spend January working on my pictures of Santorini from the trip from last April.

This was meant to be a relaxing break for me in December, but that did not happen – this now rolls over into January, and February, where it will stay (well into March actually – see below). I am just going to have to do this differently, so am going to write a weekly post about each of the following.

  • Image capture
  • Gear used
  • Image selection in Lightroom – the process from start to finish.
  • Image processing using Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Image processing using Luminar
  • Image processing using Aurora HDR
  • Image processing using luminosity masks
  • Videos – upload and make available for sale
  • Stock – two posts minimum
  • A final wrap up post

This will take me to the end of March 2018.

I have to do this as dedicating two months was not feasible, so breaking it down into smaller chunks with deadlines will focus my mind – I find that if I set deadlines things get done.

Just think how much work you do in the couple of days before you go on holiday – I certainly launch into productivity overdrive!

Barbados

Dover Beach, Barbados - iPhone travel photography

Dover Beach, Barbados - iPhone travel photography

I now have some photos of Barbados to process, write about and share – its never ending! And there are more videos than ever from this trip that I need to get out onto the various channels.

Mixing things up in 2018

I never got round to saying last year that I want to mix things up a bit in the New Year, and very much want to go rogue from convention and do my own thing a lot more – lets see where that gets me!

Photography blog

My writing has improved no end in 2017, and I want to continue to improve the quality of my photography blog posts in 2018, making my photography blog more interesting, amusing, informative and of help to more and more readers.

Another thing I need to do with my photography blog is get up to date with sharing blog posts, and also clearing out my draft folder, which I am now going to get quite brutal about.

I am going to change the content and schedule of my photography blog in 2018, with the content including

  1. Longer text posts every 1/ 2 weeks
  2. Shorter posts with images
  3. Shorter posts offering quick advice
  4. Short posts called Lightroom Quick Tips (or whatever the most useful variation of this is)
  5. Posts with links to my You Tube channel
  6. Videos of me talking about stuff
  7. Gear reviews
  8. New images
  9. Commercial matters
  10. My video production improvements – hopefully!

Social Media

I also need to look at the production of stuff for social media that needs to be thought about – I know I have to do it, but it does not seem to get me anywhere.

Website

I also need to keep on top of my website and webpage content, and have scheduled a review of this for the end of January.

Yes – I am actually scheduling things for the first quarter of 2018. I will schedule a review of my schedule for the end of March and see what happened.

My latest architectural photography commission

Architectural photography West Sussex by Rick McEvoy Photography

Architectural photography West Sussex by Rick McEvoy Photography

This recently completed architectural photography commission was a great challenge, with such variety within the 10 locations that made each and every shoot completely unique.

  • A fantastic range of stunning country residences in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and West Sussex
  • A lovely traditional converted wedding venue in Dorset
  • An extensively extended community facility at a lovely Dorset church
  • Refurbished buildings located on a main thoroughfare in a Hampshire town

I was commissioned by the architects to take these photographs for their new website. I will write more about this later on in 2018.

For now I have another building to photograph for the architect.

And then that major piece of work will be done. I am sure there will be some tweaks and changes to some image sets, not too much hopefully! And I have to say I miss large jobs like this!

Still I have some great images which I look forward to writing about later on in 2018.

Lessons learned

It is important not to forget the last piece of work and jump straight into the next things – there are lessons to be learnt from every commercial job, and I want to take a moment to reflect here.

What have I learnt from my latest architectural photography commission?

In terms of image capture and gear, my go to setup worked a treat.

Here are some good things and some bad things that came out of this architectural photography commission.

Good things

Planning

I planned the shoots meticulously. I prepared a weekly report to my clients, along with an estimated cost confirmation based on the logistics of doing the shoots. I updated the schedule every Friday and issued it to the architects, meaning they did not need to ask me where I was up to after the first issue.

This was a very good thing that I did, which helped me plan my work too.

Gear

IMAGE.JPG

 Everything worked. I was not lacking for anything. Apart from some waders, which I bought from Amazon but never used. I didn’t need them in the end, and wanted to send them back completely unopened. I missed the return date, and they are sat in my cupboard waiting for the next time I need to stand in the middle of a river and photograph a building.

Image capture

My image capture process is pretty well practised now. I didn’t miss a shot. I did however on a number of occasions forget to reset my camera settings – you can read more about this in the article on Improve Photography titled 5 Photography Mistakes I Keep on Making

Processing

Again, my workflow for my commercial architectural photography work is well established and I am quite happy with it.

Every image I produce is fully keyworded, titled, captioned and has a filename with my name in it, so wherever the images appear on the internet I know they are mine and they are hopefully working for me.

My image processing went well, and I am more than happy with the images that I produced.

Lightroom and Photoshop however were a nightmare – see below.

Bad things

Planning

I forgot to send an email to one of the clients, so had to do a quick rearrange to fit one of the shoots around other stuff. Had I clicked send on the email this would not have been a problem. But I didn’t, and it was.

Weather

IMG_1215.large.JPG

The weather was pretty much a nightmare, very changeable and unpredictable – an architectural photographers’ nightmare, literally. I had to reschedule quite a few of the shoots more than three times, but got there in the end.

The problem is in the UK that the weather really is unpredictable, and at the time of year when it is normally settled it was worse that normal.

Swimming pools

I missed out on a great shot as the swimming pool cover had been put on the week before due to a turn for the worse with the weather, which was a great shame. I photographed the rear elevation from lower down, hiding the swimming pool cover with some of the lovely planting in the garden.

Shadows

A problem with working in the winter months is the low sun and raking shadows. I had to make the best of a combination of this and directly overhead midday sunshine, meaning I had to carefully sequence how each building was photographed to get the best light.

Gear

I need to clean my gear more often. I had lots of sensor dust spots. Apart from that all was good.

Image capture

A couple of things.

I did not nail my exposure on every shot. Thankfully the way I work I always have backup images, out of the bracketed set. In the case of these shots they were not the chosen ones anyway, so this was not a problem, but I would rather nail 100% of the exposures.

I lost a couple of night shots due to excessive noise – this is something I need to look into – not sure how/ why this happened. It might be a problem with the HDR Merge that I need to sort.

Leaning on my tripod

Very frustrating. I lean on my camera when I am aligning it. Ridiculous basic schoolboy error that I keep on making which annoys me greatly.

Processing

Lightroom Classic and Photoshop 2018. Where do I start? Absolutely horrendous.

Both were ridiculously unpredictable, forcing me to take every update whenever they were offered in the hope that one of them would fix all the failings with the current version of both.

Which did not happen.

I dread to think how much time I lost due to Lightroom and Photoshop just not working. 

And one last thing;

There is no other viable alternative to Lightroom and Photoshop that I am aware of – we are all basically stuck as we are at the moment.

Stock Photography

Last thing for this post – 2018 is the year I am going to take stock photography seriously. I want, by the end of 2018, for my stock photography to provide a regular and tangible income.

I have a figure in mind, which I will keep to myself if its all the same to you! But I have a target, and am going to get stuck into this, starting with a bit of research.

I am going to be looking to sell both still images and videos, and these are the two separate markets that I will be exploring.

Once I have done this I will upload all the work I have which I believe has a commercial value, and then start incorporating the production of new stock material into my daily photography life.

This is another of those things that I am going to spend some time looking at before I do any work on it, rather than dabbling a bit here and there and getting nowhere.

Look out for lots of info on stock photography and stock videography right here on my photography blog in 2018.

Summary

Right after this little lot I am rather tired (it took me two years to write this ha ha) so I am off to go and look at my Santorini photos.

One final point

I don’t normally do New Years resolutions but his year I am going to make one, and it is this – I promise to try to stop myself beginning sentences with the word “So” – I never used to do this and do not know why I do this now. So, until tomorrow…..

Rick McEvoy Photography – Photography Blogger

So what am I going to be writing about in my photography blog?

These are my initial thoughts on the content of my photography blog going forwards from here.

Weekly content

Web page update - essential to keep the momentum going with the updating of all the pages on my website.

A general photography post - a bit longer about something photography related currently on my mind.

Stock – this includes actually getting my stuff out onto the stock markets. Photos and videos.

Gear - each week I am going to write about a piece of photography gear/ non-photography gear/ something of interest.

  • New images – Building
  • New images – Travel
  • New images – Dorset
  • New images – Hampshire
  • Fifth feed - to be decided.

These 5 new images will form the output to all my social media channels

Image of the Week

Video - after the success of the videos of the Red Arrows at the Bournemouth Air Festival 2017 I am going to add more videos to my You Tube channel. And also add my 4K videos to Adobe Stock. I will explain - trust me it will make sense.

Monthly things

  • Top 10s. I like top 10s. And they are great as pieces of content that work SEO wise.
  • Talking of which - SEO - I will write about that on a monthly basis. 
  • Luminar - I want to get into this new software for the PC. Gently.
  • Luminosity Masks - I need to give these a go. 
  • Photoshop - something new/ useful/ interesting.
  • Lightroom- something new/ useful/ interesting.
  • You Tube - my You Tube Channel
  • Website - news on what is on my website. What I like. What I don't like. WHat I need to do.
  • News - just any photography news that took my interest.
  • On location - pictures of a location where I have taken some pictures. Great to show my photography gear in action.
  • Plotagraph - what I have come up with in Plotagraph this month on my iPad Pro.

I am going to play around with this over the month of September and then 1st October have a new plan. 

And no I have not forgotten those pictures of Santorini.

And another thing I need to do is publish everything in the draft folder on my blog - prepare for a week of completely random posts at the end of September. 

Rick McEvoy MCIOB, LBIPP - Photographer, blogger, all round good chap. 

Now that I have sorted out my Dorset photographer page I am going to post a series of 12 images from my construction product photography page.

Now that I have sorted out my Dorset photographer page I am going to post a series of 12 images from my construction product photography page.

I want to have a bit of focus on one aspect of my commercial photography work, which is construction product photography.

This is one of my specialisms which I have written about many times before.

Now for those of you who are new to me and/ or my photography blog a quick refresh.

  • I am professionally qualified in photography - LBIPP.
  • I am professionally qualified in construction - MCIOB.
  • I have over 30 years experience working in the construction industry.
  • I have over 30 years active experience in photography.

So construction photography is my thing.

I also photograph construction sites, although there is not much demand for this to be honest.

There is however plenty of demand for the photographing of products that have been supplied and fitted on construction sites.

And quite often these photographs have to be taken immediately after, and sometimes during installation. This is where the live construction site photography thing comes in – on some projects once something has been fitted there is never an opportunity to gain access to photograph a product. A hospital ward is such an example where product photography is done just before practical completion.

And this is what I am going to talk about for the next 12 days. Nothing else.

And by the way, I also photograph recently completed buildings, be they new buildings or buildings that have been extended, refurbished or completely overhauled.

I hope that the work that I am publishing and writing about in the next 12 days encourages you to make contact with me and start a discussion about your construction product photography requirement. Or anything construction photography related to be honest.

And if you do need something photographing on a construction site please ensure that you get in touch with me nice and early so we can plan the work together – successful planning is essential to ensure that a photography shoot on a live construction site goes smoothly.

Once I have completed this series of posts I will be moving onto something completely different which I am looking forward to doing so so much it is quite frankly ridiculous.

Rick McEvoy Photography

Construction product photographer in Dorset

Friday 26th May 2017

A general post about the commercial photography work I do and what is coming up on my photography blog – don’t worry it will make sense honest!

I appear to have been writing lots of themed posts recently. I wanted to get back to the nuts and bolts of my photography work briefly for those of you who are new to my blog.

The areas of commercial photography work I specialise in are

  • Architectural photography
  • Construction photography
  • Industrial photography
  • Interior photography
  • Landscape photography
  • Stock photography
  • Travel photography

A lot of my commercial photography work is never published for commercial reasons, so reading my blog you might think that I am just someone who writes about pictures he has taken and that I am not an actual photographer.

Hence this blog post.

So I am a photographer. I also write about photography, Lightroom and Photoshop on my daily photography blog.

Talking of which, there are going to be some changes coming up in the content of my photography blog.

I am going to write a series of posts all about my construction product photography work.

Then there will be a series of posts all about my interior photography work, and the new set of mages on my interior photography web page.

And then after that I am going to be concentrating for some time on one single photography trip I have recently had the pleasure of going on. And at the same time I am going to enter the world of luminosity masks.

I am going to start this piece of work, with the luminosity masks added in for good measure, mid June. I am going to give myself the luxury of six weeks to write about this on my blog. I am very excited to be doing this and giving myself time to completely process a photography trip.

When I say I am giving myself 6 weeks, I must clarify that this is in addition to day to day work etc.

Once I have done this I need a plan for some of my other trips. I need to spend some proper time on the images I have – I might schedule out one month per trip. Hmmm I sense another schedule coming on here. Yet another one. That is the last thing I want!

I am also trying to update my web pages, having updated the following pages

Home page

Construction Product Photographer

Dorset photographer

Hampshire photographer

Interior photographer (see above)

I am going to try to get my commercial photography pages updated, starting with the images on each web page, followed by the text.

All this while working full time – lots to do then!

Rick McEvoy Photography

Thursday 25th May 2017

The final image in my portfolio is this picture of the Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth - Portfolio Image number 40 Monday 12th September 2016. Well it was going to be..

And finally for my portfolio, after a long time, this is how  how I edited the picture of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth featured in this blog post.

Ok I'll stop there.

I changed my mind.

Do I want two pictures of the Spinnaker Tower? As much as I like the spectacular structure no I do not. Pictures of the Spinnaker Tower are not really my core business.

My core business is architectural photography of recently completed buildings.

My interior photography in churches and cathedrals is relevant but personal work for me.

No I want my portfolio to have a strong commercial photography lament to it.

So it is back to looking though my Lightroom Collections. I think my decision to put two Spinnaker tower pictures in my portfolio was a lazy decision. After all the time I have spent I have no problem changing my mind and sticking to my original intentions.

I have 20 interior shots, and 19 exterior pictures of buildings. You can probably guess what I am looking for. Something that fits in with the rest of the images. I need the last image added to my portfolio to be as strong as the first image. All 40 images need to stand alone quality and content wise as the best examples of my work.

So after much debate I am doing something else which will be on my blog shortly. Well tomorrow actually. See you then. Back into Lightroom for me.

Rick McEvoy Photography Blog

Monday 12th September 2016

www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk