All posts by Mike Goldstein

Nov. 1 meeting info

The photo sharing theme for our November meeting will be “hard light”.  We will also discuss our favorite lenses and the pros and cons of prime versus zoom lenses.

Paul Schmitt will share highlights of his recent Alaska trip concentrating on bubble feeding Humpback Whales and Brown Bears fishing the salmon run.

Our successful exhibit at Kendal will be removed on October 31 (or  earlier if necessary).  It is worth seeing if you haven’t yet been there.

October 4 meeting info

The assignment for our next meeting will be three images on a personal project you have been working on this summer (but not the theme for the Kendal show). It could be a particular camera technique, improving your skill with Lightroom, working with a new piece of software, a trip, or anything else.

We are working on a separate field trip in the local area, probably a Saturday or Sunday in mid-October to catch some fall color. More info soon!

September 6 meeting and Kendal photo show

Our September meeting will be next Thursday, Sept 6, at 7:30 at Kendal, Conference Room A.

A large number of CNP members worked to hang images for a really great display of our art. We and Kendal residents were impressed with the quality of the display. We will devote our Thursday meeting  to a critique of the printed images and discussion of issues related to printing, mounting, and displaying images. Most of our time will be spent in the gallery space.

We will assemble in Conference Room A and proceed to the gallery to talk about the images displayed.

July 12 meeting and Kendal photo show info

The theme for our July 12 meeting is “water”.

Please let Brian know if you would like to participate in the fall CNP show at Kendal. Kendal has offered their first-rate exhibit space for September and October. At our meeting last week we decided to have an overall theme of “New York,” meaning images taken in NY.

Each exhibitor should then have a theme that links their images. The exhibitor individual theme can be your choice.

The gallery space can accommodate quite a few images. We may be able to display as many as five images per exhibitor.

Please let Brian know if you plan to participate or if it is a “maybe” right now. If you know what your theme will be, please let him know that too.

May 3 meeting info

The meeting theme will be “Getting Closer.”  At the request of several members, Mark Malkin (pictured here) will be leading off with a presentation on macrophotography. This will include some of the specialized equipment Mark uses in his work. Following this discussion, we will share up to three images on the theme of Getting Closer.

Backup strategies and recovering from hard drive failure

It’s not if, but when your C: drive will fail   by Paul Schmitt

The day before I left for Death Valley for a Canon Live Learning program, I awakened my desktop computer to be greeted by the message “Boot menu unavailable” and “repair failed”.    A quick call to my computer tech confirmed the obvious; my two year old solid state C: drive had failed in arguably the most critical sectors.   The idea of returning home with five days worth of new images to process and no high-end computer to begin processing with was, well, a source of discomfort.  The trip went smoothly and flights were all on time, so early the day after my return I packed up the computer and headed to PC Solutions in Elmira.  Jason quickly confirmed the situation and ordered a new 500 GB SSD from a supplier who usually gets packages to him the next day.  He confirmed the next morning that he had the SSD and hoped to have the PC to me that day.  At 5 pm, I picked up the PC.  The rescue drive worked and only my BackBlaze backup had to be reinstalled.  Sweet, mostly.

Rule 1: Make a rescue disk

Looking over my documents and photo files, I could see that some recent files were missing.  After reinstalling the link to BackBlaze (off-site backup), I went into their controls and learned how to “inherit” the backups I had created beginning in October 2017.  I located most of my missing files there.   The number of files was not very large, so I had BackBlaze create a ZIP repair file which arrived by email in less than an hour.  I only had to drag the restored files into their correct locations.  Still, a few items were missing, like the last three CNP newsletters.   I also run SyncToy (a PC-only utility) weekly  to make copies of all my documents and, separately, of photo files.  They are in a large 4TB internal drive.  I searched and found the newsletters there.

Rule 2: Have 3 copies, 2 at home, 1 off-site

Lightroom was a little different.   I had all the images, but the catalog had lost track of most beginning around November 3, 2017.  I found them in File Explorer. They were  sitting in the correct folder, but the catalog has lost the location.  How to get them displaying in Lightroom?  My approach may not have been elegant, but it has worked.  I started in LR Library and did an IMPORT action.  The dialog comes up with a complete directory of the computer, and I went to the folder name I had located in File Explorer, selected the folder and set the import location to the correct location in the right hand menu.  This restored the catalog integrity.  The only hitch in the process is that I have not yet recovered the virtual images and associated editing steps used.  Since all of those edited images have been exported to my catalogs portion containing edited images, it is not at this point a critical issue. I have the original plus a finished copy exported  at maximum resolution.  I will troll Adobe FAQs for ideas to revive the virtual images.

Rule 3: Next make a new backups

BackBlaze has already updated my off-site backup. I am presently running a new set in SyncToy now.  Now I can begin to write my blog on the Death Valley trip.  Canon put on the best workshop I have ever had.  I got home safely, and Jason came through admirably.   I am feeling good.

Are you ready for the “when”?

CNP at the Bailey Conservatory

by Paul Schmitt

Five CNP members were at the Bailey Conservatory on Saturday.  It was so nice to be shooting indoors while it was snow covered and damp outside.  I know several members were away and some had other commitments so I wanted to remind everyone that they are also open for visits at 10:00 am each weekday.  I’ve usually used the meter parking at the Nevin Welcome Center, and walked up to the greenhouse during weekday visit.

Our host, Craig Cramer, is always welcoming to our visit and quick to give us some publicity.  Several images from our visit are online.

Notice in his post that I was using a black velvet background to clean up the image backgrounds.  Nancy Ridenour also used this method.

I learned a good trick on Saturday. Since it is humid in the conservatory, I’ve often had to deal with condensation on eyeglasses and camera lenses. The eyeglasses are no big deal, but lenses are different.  On Saturday, I placed a thermal heat pack inside my LowePro camera pack.  It kept the lenses warm enough that there was no condensation.

There are some nice subject in the conservatory right now.  Give it a try.

A cautionary tale of memory card failure

by Paul Schmitt

Perhaps you recall the statement “It is not if a your computer hard drive will fail, but when”?  This was a foundation of my talk on a reasonable backup process.  No, I have not had a hard drive fail, but something near to it.   (But the hard drive in my spouse’s DELL did fail last week.  Put a new SSD in the C: location.  Yes, all her documents were backed up on a flash drive.)

The memory cards in your camera are really just a solid state version of a hard drive. Perhaps they are more reliable given that they have no moving disk whirling at several thousand rpm’s.

Earlier this week I shot some birds photos in my backyard and came inside to download them.  (Over 400 images.)  When I inserted the Lexar 32 GB  UDMA 7 card in my computer reader, I got this pop-up.


Never had this before.  I did the scan and the images came up on my FastRawViewer software. All the images seemed to be there. I use this software because it is ultra fast, has focus peaking to show if the bird is in precise focus and avoids some of the color errors of a JPG preview.  All was going swimmingly, and then FastRawViewer froze.  I restarted and re-inserted the CF card, feeling confused.  Same cycle of repair, working and then freezing.  It repeated this twice, telling me something was fishy.

I pondered this,and decided to test this again on my laptop with a different card reader and different software, LIghtroom.  Same result. Not the card reader, computer or reader.

Talked to my computer maintenance man, and he came to the same conclusion.   This CF card is failing. I researched the web for an app to test the Lexar card.  Lexar has an app, but it is targeting image recovery and not fixing.

Not worth chancing the loss of photos in the future. It’s the end of the road old friend.
If this ever happens again, I won’t hesitate to blame the card.  A good lesson to learn without any damage done.
Enjoy the weekend.
Paul Schmitt