Lightroom Issues

Well after battling with our Lightroom software over the past few weeks we think we have found a solution to the extremely poor performance we have been experiencing lately. Although it is not the solution we had hoped for. It appears that besides the fact that we have the latest and greatest MacPro Tower, it still is not capable of handling a Lightroom Database of over 50,000 images (we are currently around 62,000) So the suggested solution from Adobe is to create multiple smaller databases, which is not the optimal solution when you are trying to organize all of your imagery in one place. But the performance otherwise was completely unacceptable. So we are in the process of building our group of small databases and we’ll let you know next week if it worked or not!

I’m Back… I Think…

Well, sorry, it’s been a few days since I have posted, mostly because I have been down and out (sick). Still a little out of it but trying to come back. We have been struggling here with some software issues. Our Lightroom (the software we use for all of our asset management) database seems to have gotten “bogged down” by something. So we have been spending the past few days trying to rebuild the database without loosing any info. I think we might have succeeded. Today will tell. So hopefully we will be back on schedule here with daily posts. Will share more tomorrow!

Maybe Not….

Well, I was supposed to be on a plane to Nigeria right now. But.. “best laid plans…” etc. Instead I am grounded due to being sick. Nothing major, just enough to prevent me from going. Oh well, all things for a reason, right? This does give me the opportunity to better focus on the upcoming round of photography for United Healthcare which puts my mind at ease as it was going to be a bit much to come back from Nigeria and go directly from the plane into full production! We are really looking forward to this round as the folks at Deutsch continue to come up with some great ideas for imagery. Meantime we are wishing the documentary crew safe travels and look forward to seeing the fruits of their journey upon their return.

On the Road AGAIN!!!

Well we are off to Nigeria for a documentary project and will return on the 5th of September, so have a great week and we will tell you more about both the documentary and the WSIFF Campaign that we just completed when we get back!

August 2007

Kay Warren Book Cover Image

This summer we have been working on a pro-bono project for the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Every few years the City of Pasadena holds and “Arts and Ideas Festival” and the next one is this October. The theme chosen by the Pasadena Arts Council for this year is “Skin”.

As part of their contribution to this city-wide creative festival, the Conservatory hired us to produce a series of 10 Black & White images that spoke to the interaction between skin and musical instruments.

We opted to do this gratis as the Conservatory is one of the great local institutions supporting and furthering The Arts in our community and we wanted to support their efforts.

So over a series of four days of photo sessions we did a variety of visual studies of the interaction between musician and instrument and will ultimately print ten 20 x 24 Black & White Fine Art Prints that will be framed and hung in exhibition at the Conservatory during the Arts & Ideas Festival in October 2007

White Sands, Here We Come!

Well as we have said in several other posts, we are heading out of town for a week of shooting. We’re off to Alamogordo NM, home of the White Sands International Film Festival. Next years festival is March 16th – 22nd. We attended this years and had an exhibition of the 14 Days in Great Britain images and also did a half-day workshop. This year we’ll be back again and will probably be doing a full day workshop.

At any rate we have been hired to produce imagery for all of the campaigns for the Film Festival this year and so we are heading out to do just that. So no posts again until the 27th! Have a great week and we’ll share some pics with you when we return!

WSIFF Key Image Photographed by Los Angeles Photographer Dana Hursey
(First Shot for the Campaign)

Shooting in the Heat….

We are heading off to NM to do a shoot for a week and a friend of mine advised to grab a couple of bandanas to wet and wear around our necks to keep us cooler which I thought was a great idea! I went off to the local sporting goods store to grab some and while I was there a kindly sales woman pointed me to (and highly recommended) “blu Bandoos” which are these little neck straps that are filled with gel beads that when moistened stay wet and cool for hours and we saw some skateboarding product reviews in their magazines. While maybe not the most fashionable accessory, what a great find!

Mac or PC? …(As If!)

I have been working on computers since 1980. In those early years it was an Apple II. In 1986 I started working on “PC’s” all in DOS programs. In 1993 I started to work with newer Mac’s and almost immediately became a “dual platform” office.

PC’s have historically been really good with “data” while in my opinion Mac’s have been the undisputed king of the hill for graphics. And for the most part that is how my office ran.. PC’s for data (bookkeeping like Irenas Xero Cloud Services, databases, scheduling, etc.) and Mac’s for graphics (Photoshop-ing, film editing, design, etc.)

A lot of this had to do with the fact that there was simply a broader range of software available for PC’s that was not available for Mac’s. Well, with the resurgence of Apple over the past decade, I have been waiting (anxiously) for the software that I relied on to handle my data to catch up on the Mac side.

Frankly I feel the Mac is a much more elegant and simpler interface and user experience. So I have been hoping to migrate to a totally Mac office at my earliest reasonable opportunity. The last two programs that I was holding out for were;

  1. A reasonably equivalent Mac version of Quickbooks. Early Mac versions were not nearly as sophisticated as their PC counterparts and I rely heavily on this piece of software. In fact they current Mac versions still lag behind but are close enough for me to have migrated over.
  2. And an online postage option. Endicia was that solution.

About a year ago I bought an Intel Mac and was running Parallels & Windows on it and was fairly satisfied with the results, but once the “last two pieces” were in place, which was late last year, I finally made the transition.

I Love It!

Compatibility and networking are stupendous and I have only had the need to open Windows on my Mac a couple of times to check web issues on MSIE (Microsoft Internet Explorer) Other than that DHP is 100% Mac. I never anticipate going back. I like everything about Macs and miss NOTHING from Windows.

It Never Ends..

We are getting ready to head out of town for a week’s worth of shooting in Alamogordo NM.

You know, I have been accumulating equipment and supplies for over 20 years, and it always seems that you need just “one more thing” (or more likely three more things!) In going through our checklist today, we need yet another equipment bag. If you’re a photographer (be it pro or hobbyist) I am sure I am preaching to the choir, but it just seems to never end.

Today’s purchase is going to be another Lightware Case. We already have 8! You would think that would be enough! But you get all this equipment and then you feel obligated to drag it all along with you … just in case!!!!


Today I am writing a quick post to recommend a wonderful place for backdrops; Schmidli Backdrops. They have a wide array of backings to choose from and can also paint custom drops for your project. I have used other backdrop services and have been disappointed in the quality of the drops (wear and tear) when they were delivered. Schmidli’s have always looked great and photographed well, so I would highly recommend them for your next shoot! They have an extensive online catalog of their various backings, so check’em out!

Apple Stock

One of the best investments I have ever made in my life was buying Apple Stock. I have gotten more return for each dollar invested with Apple than any other thing I have ever invested in (including my home, which was a GREAT investment). I only wish I had sunk more $ into it back when I first invested. But the more I think about it, I may be the cause for my own success with this because I am pretty sure I spend more money on Apple Products than anything else in my life (except my home which I spend A LOT of money on!)

My Favorite Digital Paper

I have done a lot of comparison printing on my various Epson Printers. Currently we are using both a 7800 for lager prints and a 2400 for smaller stuff. A while back I purchased a large variety of papers (50+) and printed the exact same image on all of them. One that had a broad range of color and tonality and was indicative of the type of real world imagery I would be printing. When I started this process I had no bias towards any product but was simply looking for the best thing out there. I will say that despite the fact I tested ALL kinds of surfaces I was specifically looking for a matte fine art paper on which to print my portfolios. But I did want to see how all kinds of papers performed so that I would have my favorites on hand for various other uses (i.e. client proof sheets, hi-res proof prints, etc.)

I am a “cut-to-the-chase” kind of guy so I won’t bore you with all of the details. The Winner is…. Hahnemühle Photo Rag. This paper surpassed anything we tested or have seen since for a Fine Art Matte Paper. A close runner up was the Moab Entrada. We were using the Moab for about two years as they were a Corporate Sponsor for the 14 Days Project, but since they are no longer supplying us with , what is really a very good paper, we are falling back to our true favorite. The clarity, depth, richness and saturation of the Hahnemühle is simply beautiful.

For those of you looking for a Glossy Surface, we recommend two… First place in our book goes to Pictorico’s High Gloss Film, but not far behind is good ‘ol Epson’s Premium Photo Glossy.

Everyone is looking for different things in their printing so you may like papers that are completely different but for what it’s worth, these are ours.

Digital Printing Paper

Tomorrow I will tell you a bit about a couple of papers I use for digital printing and why I use them. But in preparation, today I will point you towards my favorite supplier. has one of the best selections of digital papers around. Their pricing is also very competitive. They have a great staff of folks who are very knowledgeable about what is out there and what might be most appropriate for your individual printing needs. They also offer a great selection of sampler packets, which is a wonderful and relatively inexpensive way to try out a variety of surfaces that you might be interested in. Check out their site and see if you don’t find something new or different!

Camera Research

My sister and my graphic designer just bought new cameras. In fact they both bought the same camera. But while talking to them I found myself going to the same site for specs and reviews. Digital Photography Review is a great place to check out cameras and get fairly objective reviews. It’s actually where I did a lot of research on the Leica M8 that I recently purchased. Sorry if this is getting old, but I am wanting to fill out the Photo Related Links over there on the right, so you’ll probably see a few more entries over the coming week about photo resources. Hope they are helpful!!

And the Resources Keep On Comin’

So we’re on a roll here…

Today’s resource is Breakdown Services. If you are shooting any kind of project involving people, this is a great resource for casting. It is a free service where you can put out casting calls for your projects and they will distribute the casting to all of the major talent agencies as well as individual actor/models who subscribe. It is like a one stop shop for talent.

There are two ways into the site. The home page where you can find out about their services and members can sign in, and
the page where you can post your casting calls.

Again this is a free service to those putting out casting notices and you can specify the exact type of talent you are looking for and the compensation you are offering and you’ll get submissions either electronically (through the site) or mailed to you, or both.

The Link will always be over in the right column. ->


Since we’re on the topic of Resources, I thought I might continue…

Another resource I use quite often when producing shoots is LA 411. Both this and The Workbook started out in printed form but these days it is much easier (at least for me) to use the online versions.

LA 411 is really a resource created for the film and TV industry but there are obviously many crossovers to Commercial Photography. And being a Los Angeles Photographer, there are tons of resources for “Hollywood” that benefit us local photographers.

It’s all pretty self explanatory… If you go to their home page you will see a listing of all of the types of resources you can find.

So another valued resource that will be added to our links on the right. Check it out!!