Category Archives: Tech Tips

Computer Running Slowly?



Is your computer running slowly? There might be a few simple things you can do…

A fellow photographer showed me how slowly her Macbook Pro was running yesterday. A quick look revealed that the processor was plenty capable, but there was only 4 gigabytes (GB) of random access memory (RAM). While 4GB of RAM was once considered plenty, newer 64 bit operating systems (OS) want more. Yes, technology is an ever ascending escalator – 8 or even 16GB of RAM works great with 64bit OS. This is fix #1 that does not require purchasing a new computer.

Next we looked at her 500GB hard drive. WOW, it was full! She is a busy photographer and her drive was jammed packed with a ton of photos.

As a drive becomes full, data must be stored in multiple locations instead of all together. This makes both reading data (think loading your photograph file for editing) or writing data (think saving those wonderful edits you just made to the drive) a slower process because the data is stored here and here and here and, well you get the idea. An easy and inexpensive solution is to add a large external drive and move lesser used (generally older files) to the external drive.

External hard drives read and write data slower than internal drives because the data travels across a USB port. A faster solution is to replace the 500GB drive that you thought you would never fill up with a larger drive like a 1 terabyte (TB) drive. 1TB = 1,000GB. Another inexpensive solution, compared to buying a new computer.

If you use Lightroom and move your files to an external drive, remember to move the files from within Lightroom and your catalog will stay updated. Move them outside of Lightroom and you will get a bunch of these “?”. In which case you can contact me and I will help you fix this.


The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Library Module


We love technology, except when it misbehaves…

Both PCs and Macs from time to time, lose their way. By that, I mean that a program feature may suddenly not work or refuse to operate. Realizing that there are tens of thousands of memory registers in play at any given moment and we usually have more than one program open, it always amazes me that anything works. My advice when things go all pear shaped is to calmly shut your computer down and reboot it while you are making a nice cup of tea. My experience is that it will solve 90% of all problems.

If it doesn’t work, make another cup of tea.



Simple Solutions



Simple Solutions Work Best

Storing you photo files on an external drive is a simple solution to the eventual and dreaded problem of running out of storage on your computer’s internal hard drive and works well with Lightroom. There are however two drawbacks…

Speed – an external hard drive reads and writes data slower than your internal drive because it is connected through a USB port. This can be a real drag to your workflow because we all want faster not slower.

Trash/Recycle – your computer’s operating system cannot put a file deleted from an external drive into the trash/recycle bin. This could be an issue if/when you accidentally delete a photo or worse, an entire folder filled with photos. Yikes!

The simple, yet elegant solution to both of these is to keep your current year photo files on your internal drive and “archive” them to your external drive at the end of the year. This workflow is based on the premise that you access your current work more often than your past photos. Access will be fast and anything you delete will be placed into the Trash/Recycle bin. Ya know, just in case.

The Lightroom Library keeps track of where your photos are and quickly finds them using filter criteria. This is one element of data workflow that you will learn in our Lightroom class on May 21st and 28th. There is a real advantage to learning from instructors that use technology every day.

I hope to see you in class!



A little help…

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 6.50.07 AM


Google made the NIK Collection of photo editing programs available for free and who doesn’t like free?

They can be installed on your computer to work within LightRoom (LR) as “Plug-Ins”. Plug-Ins allow editing from within LR and when you have completed your edits using the Plug-In, your image file will be added to the LR catalog. I will demonstrate how to do this in the LightRoom class on May 21 & 28, 2016.

This version of the collection may be a challenge to install with Lightroom on Mac computers. Fortunately, the folks at Google have a work around.

Here is the work around link.




Sooner or Later


Yup, sooner or later that ol’ drive on your computer is gonna get full. I hope that when it does it is from lots of great photos.

This is a great time to learn how Lightroom has a simple way to move your files onto an external drive – in this case a 3.5 terabyte drive which will keep you happy for a long time.

If you want to learn how to do this, sign up now for our Lightroom class on May 21 and 28, 2016