Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

OneDrive Cloud Storage goes unlimited

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Microsoft this week upgraded their OneDrive cloud storage solution to unlimited storage for Office365 users.

It seems to be a multi-stage process, 10TB now and Unlimited later, but that means for £80 per annum you get Microsoft Office and unlimited OneDrive storage.

As someone who uses Amazon Web Services, GDrive and OneDrive, along with local disk drive backups and Backblaze, this is a) very welcome, and b) allows me to streamline my cloud storage needs.

On my current tiers:

AWS costs me $7 per month (averaged)
Drive costs me $9.99 per month (A 10TB tier would cost $99.99 per month)
Backblaze which is a complete computer backup is $47.50 per annum.

I have a feeling that I will drop GDrive when my renewal occurs later this month, and I will review AWS. It is highly useful and has saved my bacon on a couple of occasions, but the disadvantage is that it is that bit harder to access (and costs money to restore). I use Arq from Haystack Software, which I highly recommend, to manage the process.


One thing to be clear on as pointed out by Peter Deegan @dhcphotouk is that OneDrive as only allows a string of 256 ch including file paths.

Backups, for those awkward moments when…

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

As I have been busier in my work life, I have also had less time for photography and photographic management, which meant that my generally doctrinal adherence to organisation and naming got a bit lax over the last year or so. And this nearly came to bite me last week.

I’ve don’t name my imported files only the ones that are ‘keepers’. Keepers being defined as having 1* and above. The next level is Portfolio which would be 4* and 5* images.

Once Keepers have been defined, I rename them in the catalog, convert to DNG, and copy them to a different drive (in Lightroom). The naming structure of these is:


The Keepers folder is normally synched overnight to another drive using Chronosync (with file verification). Somehow this must have stopped happening without me realising, and last week the Keepers drive went kaput.

The cold sweat of worry slowly enveloped me as I realised what had happened. And then it dawned on me that I had one extra trick up my sleeve and that is that my Keepers folder had been backed up to the cloud since April.

I have been using Amazon Web Services with some software on the Mac called Arc $39.99, which manages the process of backing up and restoring. (There is a PC equivalent of Arc called, Zoolz.)

Sure enough there was a full backup of my Keepers folder on the cloud. All I needed to do was find what I needed to restore, click a restore button and wait overnight (in this case) until everything appeared.


The Economics

Using Amazon Glacier is cheaper to store than the full S3 service, the downside is that there is a 3-5 hour delay to restore, but that should be fine for most cases. If you need faster restores then Arc can also handle using S3. Here is the basic difference between Glacier and S3:

Glacier S3
Price $0.01/GB per month $.095/GB per month
Retrieval Delay 3-5hrs 0hrs
Restore Fees $.05/GB per request insignificant

My storage fees have so far averaged at $7 per month, but that has included some other data that I stored on the cloud for a time as well. More recently it has been about $5 per month. All of which means I am storing 400GB for $60-90 a year.

The equivalent Dropbox fees would be a fixed 500GB for $460 per year! I’d have instant access wherever you are, but that isn’t something I need for that price! The next tier up is the business tier which is $760 per year for 1TB.

The Remedy

So with the rather drastic warning from the loss of a drive, I have amended my backup system. Not only have I restored the nightly sync of the Keepers folder using Chronosync, but I have also selected its option to email me when it has performed the scheduled sync. So every morning I get an email with a nice coloured background to tell me details about the backup.

I will add more sychs over the next couple of days, to ensure that other drives have copies of the data too. I’m guessing that verified copies on 3 separate drives, and a cloud backup is a good starting point!

The Moral(s)

  • Always check your backups
  • Have multiple backup strategies
  • Think about Cloud Storage
  • It is not a question of if a drive will fail, but when

Quick Tip: Rename in Lightroom

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Here is a quick tip which is always worth bearing in mind when you are on a trip, or returning from a trip and thinking about merging catalogs or just generally tidying up; always rename files and folders in the Lightroom interface.

This prevents a lot of heartache if you’re tempted to rename files/folders in the Finder/Explorer. Rename in the filesystem and Lightroom will lose the connection to your images. You might then move on to do something else and then wonder what has gone wrong!

Eric Scouten's Catalog Organization 2009

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Eric Scouten, of the Lightroom team, blogs, takes photos and tweets about Lightroom. Last year he wrote an article explaining his workflow methodology with Lightroom. He has just updated this with the new 2009 edition, and his workflow has changed quite radically.

I really like the idea of an Incubator Catalog, and one I tend to use when away on shoots. Some of the deeper aspects are probably more down to how you shoot and won’t be to all tastes, but it is well worth a read.

Graduated Filters

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Jay Kinghorn has a piece at Creative Pro magazine about adding drama to your photos with Lightroom’s Graduated filter.

You can buy an extensive set of Graduated Filters from Sean McCormack’s site. Sean has created a vast number of grads, both hard and soft, horizontal and vertical.

LRB Graduated Filters

Some Interesting Links

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

The Macintosh Performance Guide has published an article with a section on Optimizing Lightroom. This is Mac based but will be of use to Windows users as well.

Thomas Hawk offers his Photography Workflow for 2009. It is interesting but I am not sure if it couldn’t be improved using better software than Canon Camera Window, and he could also use Trails on his iPhone.

Peter Krogh has backed up his new edition of The DAM Book with a new blog.

Nik Software has now added the Sharpener Pro 3.0 Update to its expanding collection of Lightroom software. Whether you see any benefit over the built-in sharpening which is based on the Pixel Genius routines is a moot point.

And last, but not least Wade Heninger posts a Lightroom Tuesday column.

Spot Removal Video

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Sean McCormack has posted a new tutorial about the Spot Removal tool on Lightroom News.

Martin Evening video on the Black Slider

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Martin Evening has posted a video about using the Black slider in Lightroom to optimize your photos.

Colour Profiles in Lightroom 2.2

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

When you upgrade/install Lightroom 2.2 a set of colour profiles are now installed – these are the new profiles which aim to emulate some of the camera manufacturers’ ‘looks’ and are seen in the Calibration panel of the Develop module.

If you had previously installed the beta profiles you will now potentially have multiple profiles to choose from. Matt Kloskowski from Lightroom Killer Tips posts a quick piece on how to remove the old ones.

Weekend Roundup

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Sean McCormack has an interview with Timothy Armes of LR/Mogrify and LR/Enfuse fame over at Lightroom News. Tim’s LR/Mogrify was recently upgraded to include control over borders. Sean’s LRB Portfolio web gallery was recently upgraded to 1.1 and can be found on the Lightroom Blog.

There seem to be some issues with Lightroom 2.2, described by some as a memory leak, but it is more a case of Lightroom overusing memory to help with the performance of Adjustment Brushes et al. You may prefer not to upgrade at the moment or to maybe try 2.2 on your machine on a spare Catalog just to verify if you are having problems. You may find that there are no problems, in which case upgrade away!

Windows users may be interested in the ProShow Plug-in for Lightroom, by Photodex. Users of ProShow Gold or Producer can now quickly and easily set-up slideshows in Lightroom and export directly to ProShow Gold or Producer. From there you can further refine the Slideshow. As ProShow is PC only, the plugin is also only for PC users.