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Messages - Drizzt321

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1021
Technical Support / Re: Best Methods For Long Term File Storage ??
« on: November 16, 2012, 12:37:56 AM »
The biggest problem I see with this idea is that after 100 years no one will remember what USB is or have anything that will read it!  You'll have a wonderful silver paper weight.   Kind of like all of these 3 1/2"  drink coasters I have now.

http://www.sandisk.com/products/usb/memory-vault/



Even beyond that, the real information on how it keeps your data from bit-rot via cosmic rays and such is non-existent. What type of parity/crc protection is built in? Is it using SLC or MLC NAND flash? What kind of write durability does it have? It also doesn't have any provision for data recovery. If you have to send it off for data recovery, will they let you RMA it? This seems like mostly a marketing tool, although I believe it will _physically_ last more or less as long as they say. But even assuming USB50 is backwards compatible with this (doesn't even say if it's USB2 or USB3!), you need it to be more than physically intact, you need to know that cosmic rays, marginal soldering, etc won't have corrupted the data or rendered it impossible to read off certain NAND dies, or even that the controller will still function fine.

1022
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Blinking Red AF Point Information
« on: November 15, 2012, 06:39:15 PM »
I don't get this whole problem.  How hard is it to move your thumb one centimeter and touch the focus selection button?  It lights up and you can see what is selected.  If you need confirmation of AF, then use one shot. I have a 7D and it isn't significantly different in practice than my 5DMKIII.  If you are in that low of light, I would use center focus anyway and not be using AIServo.  5D is really a great camera as witnessed by this nitpicking.


Why should I be using center point and AI-Servo when I have 41 cross-points (maybe not as great as the dual cross, but still damn good). I wouldn't have been able to get some of the shots here, which are of someone surfing, at night, next to the Santa Monica Pier with the Ferris wheel providing some light. With him moving, I needed to keep it on AI-Servo the entire time, and it was impossible to see which AF points were currently tracking him. I had to use the AF point select button to get the AF point highlighted to put over top of him to start the AF-Servo tracking. Frankly, it shows how amazing the system is that once I got it to lock after a second or two, it kept tracking him with surprising accuracy in such crappy and changing lighting conditions. But. I still would have liked to have gotten the feedback that the AF point that was currently locked was still over the subject. Would have been much nicer.

1023
Canon General / Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 15, 2012, 04:34:46 PM »
An amature that just wants to make a few bucks so he works cheap, is the same guy we hear some Pro's complaining about all the time that they think mess the market up and take work away from them.

If I wanted to go cheap, I'd say $50 and I'll give you everything hi-res and do whatever you want with it. I honestly don't know what the normal, fair-market rates would be, which is why I asked it here.

I understand, you mentioned hobby rates though and that is why I said that.
Nothing wrong with doing work on the side like this.
Be fair to yourself though, price close to what the market goes.  If you price fairly then you can't be the guy they complain about.
$50 sounds cheap unless you see a way it will generate some more cash with prints etc....
Unless your doing it for friends and family then pricing doesn't matter at all.

Heh. Nowhere did I mention _actually_ charging $50, I was saying if I wanted to be that kind of cheap amateur photographer the guys who actually need to make a living from hate, I'd charge that.

1024
Canon General / Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 15, 2012, 04:22:50 PM »
An amature that just wants to make a few bucks so he works cheap, is the same guy we hear some Pro's complaining about all the time that they think mess the market up and take work away from them.

If I wanted to go cheap, I'd say $50 and I'll give you everything hi-res and do whatever you want with it. I honestly don't know what the normal, fair-market rates would be, which is why I asked it here.

1025
Canon General / Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 15, 2012, 04:03:40 PM »
Lots of good advice here.

Since you have ready access to a CPA, you are very fortunate because he can help you with a sharp-penciled approach to what is realistic. That's something that too few small business people consider when starting out and why so many small businesses close down the road.

Of course you have to balance out your need to make a profit and the ability or willingness of your clients to pay. It's very easy for others to say that you should be charging more, but very hard for you, at this point, to turn down opportunities to learn and gain experience because your clients can't or won't pay what your services should be worth.

Ask yourself if this is a hobby or a business. Right now, you are charging hobby rates. Are you content to continue charging hobby rates knowing that it is unlikely to ever lead to earning enough to operate a business? Would you be happy joining your Dad's accounting firm for your day job and then continuing the photography work on weekends and evenings?

Your Dad will have better advice, but here are a couple of quick exercises: Let's say you continue to charge $75 for a live shoot of an hour or less. Multiply that by how many shoots you can reasonably do in a year. Three gigs a week, year round, at $75 each – that's less than $12,000 gross.

Now, what's the most you realistically believe you can earn in the foreseeable future?   Let's say you could get $500 per shoot and score the same three jobs a week. That's pretty aggressive, but even at that rate, you'd be grossing less than $80,000 a year. That's a living, but it is never going to make you rich.

Finally, something to consider. If you really feel you cannot charge more than $75 a job right now (possibly your clients can't afford any more than that), consider setting a higher, more realistic rate and offering a discount of some sort. That could give you some headroom in the future. "I'm planning on turning pro next year, but right now I need to build up my portfolio, so I am offering a special 'starving artists' discount. The catch is that I retain the rights to the photos and I'll need a signed release from all band members. You can use the pictures to promote your band, but not to earn money from t-shirt, poster or other sales. I will sell you the rights to all the pictures, but that will cost you quite a bit more."

Well, right now I am charging hobby rates, or at least rates where I'm not doing it full time. My Dad runs his own, semi-part time practice, and it's back home which is 3000+ miles away. Leaving that aside, I do software development, and I'm quite well paid. I'm not thinking (at this time) to turn this into my full time job. But, if I can get a couple of grand a year, or more, and buy an extra lens or two and be able to offset the money earned against my photography purchases, that'd be pretty nice. And as time goes on, if I'm getting 2-3 bookings a week constantly and booked out a few weeks or more, I'd certainly look at upping my rates some. Supply and demand, right?

Good point on the rights, I should have to 2 parts, first is normal, promotional materials (flyers, web, etc) and a higher rate for sellable items (t-shirts, posters, etc). Hmm....gotta think on that a bit more.

1026
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Blinking Red AF Point Information
« on: November 15, 2012, 12:58:27 PM »
So...them not implementing a user-changable focusing screen is coming back to bite them when trying to work on this fix. Why couldn't they just give us the user-changable screen? They had it on the 5d2!

1027
Canon General / Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 14, 2012, 08:40:08 PM »
You both have given me quite a bit to think about, especially from the rates side. I don't want to start it out too low, but I don't want to come out being too expensive. All a balance I think.

1028
Canon General / Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 14, 2012, 06:55:56 PM »
At that rate, how long would it take you to pay for your gear after you pay for other expenses, gas, your time, etc?  Do a ROI, typically, you should pay off purchases of  gear in 3 but no longer than 6 months, or your losing your shirt.

Well, I've already bought my current gear. This would all be as a side job/pay for my gear type of thing. No clue how frequently I'd get gigs either, as I have not been promoting/marketing myself much at all. At least currently, maybe I'll try doing something in the near future. Right now I imagine I'd be shooting smaller/emerging bands, not well established playing at large venues and able to afford significantly higher rates. If it was a headliner at the Greek or something, I'd expect probably 4 or 5 times that, at least.

How about in terms of the rights release? Does that seem about normal for what bands would expect?

I'm thinking I'll follow my fathers advice (registered CPA) and get a tax id, a dba, and start keeping track of those sorts of things/expenses so I'm prepared if this starts being even 2 or 3 times a month.

1029
Canon General / Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 14, 2012, 05:48:02 PM »
So, I've been doing some live band photography for a while, a ton of one particular artist whom I love her music, and she got me in touch with a DJ which I got some shots, and he's looking to pay me for the full res shots (already offered what I consider a reasonable amount). He also has links within the music industry with some bands, and possibly send me some more work. Yay!

However, I need to define my rates, rather than just play it by ear. Here's what I was thinking of telling him, for me to start at. What do you guys thing? Am I giving too much away in terms of releases?

I was thinking $70 for 45-75 minute performance (plus any venue fees, if required), which includes delivering non-watermarked 7-15 web size (1200px long edge like I gave you) images, and up to 3 full resolution images of any of the delivered images with full release other than a credit requirement for things like magazines/album covers/social media/etc. Additional full resolution would be $15 per image with the same releases.

1030
Technical Support / Re: Best Methods For Long Term File Storage ??
« on: November 14, 2012, 01:32:12 PM »
With respect to all of these ideas I wish to comment in that how are you backing up?  Is it a straight copy without verification?  Possibly a bad move.  After using several different backup programs I found that Paragon's Hard Disk Manager Suite was an excellent product based on the what the product offers, their client base and tenure in the business and cost is a mere $50.  There are other tools in the suite as well for partitioning, etc.  You should be doing a data verification at the very least if using a copy method.  Without verification you've got no way of knowing whether the file(s) were copied properly for a variety of reasons.  Paragon will actually tell you if a drive is faulty as it checks the drive before backup.  I do IT for a living and this actually happened at a client's.  Ultimately I replaced her drive.  In addition, I use Diskeeper.  When files are created fragmentation takes place.  In NTFS you have 4096 bytes in each cluster size.  Each RAW or JPG or TIF (etc) can have numerous clusters which are tossed about the drive in no apparent order.  When a file is called up to be read the drive spins (unless solid state) to assemble the file which creates heat, wear and tear, etc which all shorten the life of the drive.  Solid state drives are not excluded from fragmentation of course.  Diskeeper keeps your files defragged both in read and write mode and places your fave files and folders at the front of the drive (it does a lot more).  It runs real time, small footprint and no performance impact.  All HD drives on a single PC are kept at 0% fragmentation.  You can run all kinds of reports on the drive.  There are various indicators that will tell you the drives health as well.  Images / Videos due to their size (IMHO) have the one of the biggest impacts on a drive's performance.  I minimize my risks with both of these software tools and have yet to have an issue losing with my personal data or a client's.  I've got a link to disk keeper on my site if anyone is interested drop me a note.  I can get you a demo. PS they are now called Condusiv Technologies.  Sorry if this sounded like an ad but its my personal experience and using these products daily.  Been using Diskeeper for approx. 9 years and know it well.  It's on every server I manage.

I've used diskeeper in the past, worked fine. Generally if it's a single large disk that  you simply dump photos onto without deleting, chances are you won't get much, if any, fragmentation. Paragon seems like simply a quality backup solution, but there's nothing inherently unique about it. Doing basic S.M.A.R.T. checks, there are a bunch of tools out there, and you can always use something like rsync and/or par2 parity blocks and checks which are F/OSS. However, Paragon is likely to do all that in a much easier to use, nicer to use, prettier package that will probably be well worth the cost since it seems fairly inexpensive.

That said, data at rest on a HDD is, over time, likely to experience bit-rot, which is where a proper backup solution will include some form of parity generation which can at worst detect a problem, and most of the time actually fix/recover the missing data. This you get automatically with a filesystem such as ZFS, but not NTFS, Fat32, Ext2/3 (not sure about Ext4, I don't think so). You can generate that information from my previously mentioned par2 generated parity blocks, or I'm sure there are other tools out there. Not sure if Paragon would do that or not, something to look for in the feature list anyway.

1031
Technical Support / Re: Best Methods For Long Term File Storage ??
« on: November 13, 2012, 08:03:57 PM »
Sync is a great thing, but it can be your undoing - a corrupted file would be a 'changed' file so the good copy is then over written.  A lot of times you can't tell if a file is corrupted until you attempt to open it.  This is a downfall of NTFS/FAT32/HFS+/EXT2/3 (not sure about 4).  ZFS does a good job with this, but would only be used on a NAS type of setup.

Too bad!  ZFS does not apply on Windows system.  That's the file system I really want for Windows environment.  ReFS is the only solution for Windows system.  I will try Windows Server 2012 next month after I return from my vacation.

You can still use tools like Par2 on Windows, which will generate the parity information alongside the regular file. This would let you get a higher level of confidence and reliability. You'll still need to scrub the files regularly to ensure the parity is still good, which ZFS has built in and you just cron it, as well as keep it on a separate, not always connected media, and then on a separate offsite location.

If you are going to have a NAS style machine at home for this (I'm guessing by your reference to Windows Server 2012), then why not have it running FreeBSD/FreeNAS or something similar that DOES support ZFS?
I used to have FreeNAS as my NAS.  However, my wife complains I had too many systems.  Thus, I have to reduce my toys.  I have already phased out two systems.  We still have few systems at home.  My target is to have only one desktop(server) and two Windows 8 PRO tablets.  If I build another server, I will get trouble with my wife. ;D

Hmm...maybe have one big honkin' machine that you run virtualized Windows on for your Windows needs? I've recently had the thought that maybe I'll do that for my Lightroom/PS needs...still haven't made up my mind on investigating that yet, but it's crossed my mind.

1032
Technical Support / Re: Best Methods For Long Term File Storage ??
« on: November 13, 2012, 06:39:06 PM »
Sync is a great thing, but it can be your undoing - a corrupted file would be a 'changed' file so the good copy is then over written.  A lot of times you can't tell if a file is corrupted until you attempt to open it.  This is a downfall of NTFS/FAT32/HFS+/EXT2/3 (not sure about 4).  ZFS does a good job with this, but would only be used on a NAS type of setup.

Too bad!  ZFS does not apply on Windows system.  That's the file system I really want for Windows environment.  ReFS is the only solution for Windows system.  I will try Windows Server 2012 next month after I return from my vacation.

You can still use tools like Par2 on Windows, which will generate the parity information alongside the regular file. This would let you get a higher level of confidence and reliability. You'll still need to scrub the files regularly to ensure the parity is still good, which ZFS has built in and you just cron it, as well as keep it on a separate, not always connected media, and then on a separate offsite location.

If you are going to have a NAS style machine at home for this (I'm guessing by your reference to Windows Server 2012), then why not have it running FreeBSD/FreeNAS or something similar that DOES support ZFS?

1033
Technical Support / Re: Best Methods For Long Term File Storage ??
« on: November 13, 2012, 02:13:38 PM »
I don't use any optical media (DVD/Bluray) because they become unreadable after a few years.

How many is 'a few'?  I recently listened to The Cars Greatest Hits, a CD that I bought in 1985.   :o

That's also a pressed CD, vs a burned CD/DVD. The material in a burnable CD/DVD is, generally, at least partially organic and over time degrades. Some of them are 'archival' quality, but I believe that's generally only guaranteed for only 40-50 years. Not sure, I'd have to look that number up, but I know it's not forever.

1034
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8
« on: November 12, 2012, 09:29:46 PM »
Wow...absolutely beautiful!!

Might I ask your camera settings for those images?


Thank you!

The Northern Lights shot was a 13s exposure at ISO 10,000
The Milky Way shot was a 30s exposure at ISO 16,000

Both were shot on a 5D Mk3, and were probably at either f/2.8 or f/4. Unfortunately I'm lazy about taking notes these days

Isn't it chipped or something so it provides the correct EXIF info? Or is it completely dumb like the old vintage lenses in a simple adapter without any electronics?

1035
Canon General / Re: Suggestions for website hosting?
« on: November 11, 2012, 09:35:18 PM »
If you need FTPS/SFTP supported client, WinSCP and FileZilla both are very good, high quality clients.

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