• Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • This is day 31 of our Writing for 31 Days series. Today we are going to talk about backing up your photos since this topic is often overlooked. I'm often asked if I back up my personal photos. While I may not back them up as extensively as I do our client's photos, I still back them up. I thought I would share with you our back up process for clients, as well as what I do personally.

    First off, backup your photos! Why? Your computer will crash at some point and you will lose everything. We recently had a "when it rains it pours" situation. One PC completely died (mother board was fried) and not a week later, my other PC had a drive issue. Luckily for me, for clients I have an extensive back up process and was able to get things going again relatively quickly.

    Step 1: Back up Originals - I back up all the originals before we even begin to cull photos (whittle down to only our favorites) to an external drive.
    Step 2: Back up Originals after culling - to a different external drive than what we did on step 1.
    Step 3: Back up photos after any photo editing/processing has been performed to same drive as step 2. And, copy these completed photos to yet another external drive. Lastly, I copy client photos to the USB drive (used to be CDs) that they eventually receive.

    While this is cumbersome for just a personal photo, this is what I do for our client work. For personal photos, I tend to skip step 2 and I don't copy to a USB drive. So I still have my originals and my final edited photos.

    Another method for backup is using online sites such as Flickr and creating an album on Facebook. These may be low resolution photos, but at least you wouldn't completely lose them if your computer crashed.

    Do you back up your photos? I'd love to hear your process!

  • Backing up your photos

  • You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post. I hope you have enjoyed this month's series and if you have any questions please let us know.

    To continue to receive Memory Journalists blog posts as emails and to hear when my Healthy Living Happy Home website is up and running, be sure to sign up now! Sign up HERE to have each post delivered to your inbox.




  • Mai
  • posted by Mai

  • Rain or shine, let's go and get some candy. The Memory Journalists Team would like to wish everyone a safe, and Happy Halloween! Have fun, and let the holidays begin.

  • Happy Halloween



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Today we are going to talk a little more about why you shouldn't use auto white balance. We've talked about color cast, setting white balance using your presets in your camera to overcome color casts, and color temperature.

    In auto, the camera guesses what white balance to use depending on the available light. In 95% of these instances, the guess results in a nicely colored photograph. This is a perfect setting for times when you're unsure what white balance to choose.

    Certain subjects create problems for a digital camera's auto white balance - even under normal daylight conditions. One example is if the image already has an overabundance of warmth or coolness due to unique subject matter. For example, if the subject is predominantly red, the camera mistakes this for a color cast induced by a warm light source. The camera then tries to compensate for this so that the average color of the image is closer to neutral, but in doing so it unknowingly creates a bluish color cast. Some digital cameras are more susceptible to this than others.

    A digital camera's auto white balance is often more effective when the photo contains at least one white or bright colorless element. Of course, do not try to change your composition to include a colorless object, but just be aware that its absence may cause problems with the auto white balance.

    Photos taken indoors while cloudy outside can pose a problem too. Way too blue and ugly! 99% of people take this shot and never think anything more about it. If you think about these mixed lighting conditions, as in this example, indoors with tungsten bulbs near large windows where's it's cloudy - the camera has to determine your kelvin setting to be someplace between 2500-7500 which is a very broad range. And if you slightly change your subject direction, this setting will be completely different when on auto.

    In this example of Mike and Nicole, we were shooting indoors, and I purposely placed them facing the natural light coming from windows. However, you can totally see the warm light coming from the indoor lights at the bar behind them. In this case, I used a manual setting to get the look I wanted. Can you cheat by looking at your image preview to see how your Kelvin setting looks? Sure you can and then adjust as you see fit. In this case my Kelvin temperature was set based on the natural light being my primary light source on their faces, and not based on the indoor lights behind them.

  • manual white balance

  • If you are shooting RAW (which we've never talked about yet, and by the way we do not shoot in RAW still, yes I know I get a lot of slack about this from my photographer friends), you should be able to set the correct white balance while editing later. However, when using auto white balance it does not provide shot to shot consistency, and it makes editing later more difficult.

    The bottom line is that auto white balance is only as good as the camera guess-timates. When possible, be sure to set your white balance yourself on the appropriate light setting. You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Today we are going to talk about the temperature of light, and why you would want to manually set your white balance. We talked about color cast and we talked about white balance and using your presets in your camera to overcome color casts.

    According to Wikipedia, color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that of the light source. Color temperature is conventionally stated in the unit of absolute temperature, the kelvin, having the unit symbol K.

    Color temperatures over 5,000K are called cool colors (blueish white), while lower color temperatures (2,700-3,000 K) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red).

    For lighting building interiors, it is often important to take into account the color temperature of illumination. For example, a warmer (i.e., lower color temperature) light is often used in public areas to promote relaxation, while a cooler (higher color temperature) light is used to enhance concentration in offices.

    As an introduction, here is a chart of light sources and where they fall on the spectrum of Degrees Kelvin.

  • color temperature in photography

  • In film cameras, where we can't set the degree kelvin that we want as our white balance, filters on a camera lens, or color gels over the light source(s) may also be used to correct color balance.

    In digital cameras, there are a few reasons why it's best to set your degree kelvin for your white balance verses using a camera's presets. Not all cameras presets are the same so using degree kelvin would be more accurate. And if you are shooting in a team, as we often do at The Memory Journalists, and if using different model cameras, using degree Kelvin is precise over the built in presets to ensure that all our photos are of the same white balance. Even if we are off by a bit, at least all photos will have the same color cast and in can be fixed more quickly in post production.

    Start looking through your owner's manual and find how to set your Kelvin for white balance! It's enough to learn a few of the basic numbers such as indoor incandescent (tungsten) lighting, florescent lighting, full midday sun, cloudy, full shade. From there you can start to enhance your photos!

    You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Yesterday we talked about color cast and I mentioned that we would be talking about white balance and color temperature. Today we'll be addressing how you can use white balance to overcome color casts.

    According to Wikipedia, a white balance is the global adjustment of the intensities of the colors (typically red, green, and blue primary colors). An important goal of this adjustment is to render specific colors correctly, particularly neutral colors; hence, the general method is sometimes called gray balance, neutral balance, or white balance.

    What's important to know is that the acquisition sensors (your cameras) do not match the sensors in the human eye. What this means...is that what we see as white....isn't recorded as white in your camera depending on the ambient viewing conditions and lighting. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the "color temperature" of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light.

    For example, in this first series, when indoors, tungsten lighting is warm in color - giving off a yellow/orange color cast when recorded in "auto" white balance mode. But when I modified my white balance setting to use the preset of Tungsten light - it takes into consideration the yellow cast and adds blue, making the whites seem white. "Tungsten" is the name of the metal out of which the bulb's filament is made.

  • white balance example

  • One thing to remember however, is that when you set your white balance for indoor settings with Tungsten lighting conditions, and then you go outside, if you forget to change your white balance to say the daylight mode, you'll have a very blue photo. Remember the camera is adding blue when you are using the Tungsten setting. I did just this on Sunday while at the Dream Wedding Show, but luckily I knew exactly what I did and fixed it immediately. It's so easy to forget until you get used to setting your white balance with each photo you take.

  • white balance example

  • It's important to note that when shooting in a condition that has more than 1 type of light source, it's best to use a white balance setting based on the main light source.

    Here are some of the basic White Balance settings you'll find on cameras:

    * Auto - this is where the camera makes a best guess on a shot by shot basis. You'll find it works in many situations but it's worth venturing out of it for trickier lighting.
    * Tungsten - this mode is usually symbolized with a little bulb and is for shooting indoors, especially under tungsten (incandescent) lighting (such as bulb lighting). It generally cools down the colors in photos.
    * Fluorescent - this compensates for the 'cool' light of fluorescent light and will warm up your shots.
    * Daylight/Sunny - not all cameras have this setting because it sets things as fairly 'normal' white balance settings.
    * Cloudy - this setting generally warms things up a touch more than 'daylight' mode.
    * Flash - the flash of a camera can be quite a cool light so in Flash WB mode you'll find it warms up your shots a touch.
    * Shade - the light in shade is generally cooler (bluer) than shooting in direct sunlight so this mode will warm things up a little.

    (this list was borrowed from www.digital-photography-school.com)

    Try using your white balance presets on your camera. We'll be talking about Degree Kelvin and manual white balance in future posts.

    We'd love to see what you come up with! Please be sure to send in your photos as you try out our tips. Email your entries to info@memoryjournalists.com or post to our facebook page.

    You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!


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