Teaching Tip – bring on the bad!

Getting to the issue when teaching

Whenever I am teaching I always ask students to bring me their bad images.  If I am critiquing work to help improve someones photography I ask to see the unedited images.  WHY?  Because anyone can luck out and get a great image, or spend enough time in Photoshop to fix an image.  But seeing the bad or unedited images will show what a person does most of the time.  This is true in other areas as well.  I don’t care what you are like when everything is going perfect, but what are you like when things are going bad?  You may be a great wedding photographer when the temperature is 20C and there is no wind or bugs, but what are you like in -10C and a 100k wind, or with a bride that is in a miserable mood?

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Owning a business can be ……. Work, Work, Work

If you thought owning a business was a lot of work you should try having to maintain your own web site and blog.  You leave it for a week or two and when you come back there us so much work to do to keep it up.

A windy day is perfect for doing the behind the scenes things like this!

SOMEDAY I will get into a system to keeping my blog up-to-date!

Strange things customers have said…..

To help break up winter lets looks at some strange things that happen in the photography world! If you know me you will know one of my sayings is ‘There are no stupid questions” but sometimes people say things that cannot be explained as being anything other than really strange.  A couple weeks ago another photographer stopped in and we got discussing some of the strange things that people have said over the years. Seeing that it is so cold outside here are a few laughs to warm you up….

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What bird is that?????

Help to identify birds

If you have ever been out shooting with me you know my skills at bird identification is a little off. I know a few – Canada Geese, Robin, Crow and maybe a couple more but really that is it. This post is from 2015 and the program works AMAZING!!

Bird Shoot
Common Goldeneye, Lethbridge Alberta © Paterson Photography

I was sent this link by one of my clients to help identify bird species.  I gave it a try and was very impressed!!  It did miss a couple different birds, but I’m not sure if it was the type of photo I was trying to use or if the birds are not in the database yet. I was able to identify several different birds that I had photographed over the past couple months.  I thought I knew what they were and this programmed confirmed my suspicions on one, and corrected me on the other.

Bird ID

Give it a try and let me know what you think?

Safety first when on-line

Always back-up – even your passwords!!!

I have written many times about making sure that you back-up your digital files but I also want to remind you to back-up your passwords and as well to use passwords that are not easy for others to guess.  I know that many say you should never write down your passwords but lets be realistic, how many people can remember all those passwords.  As a quick tally I looked and found over 100 passwords that I have to remember and I am sorry but I cannot memorize all of them.  I know that there are many more but I cannot even remember the sites that require a password let alone the password that they all need!!!.  If we are all using 123456 or similar easy to remember strings then really there is no sense in having a password, I know many people that do this as they say they can never remember all their passwords so they pick a really easy one and use it every place they need a password.

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Lethbridge City Hall Build

This is another event that I wish I would have taken the time to photograph more.  Here are a couple photos from when #Lethbridge city hall was under construction.

Build 1
Lethbridge City Hall Build #1 © Paterson Photography Ltd. Lethbridge
Build 2
Lethbridge City Hall Build #2 © Paterson Photography Ltd. Lethbridge

 

 

Some more from days gone past

In the process of cleaning up some old files and came across some more old negatives.

Coaldale Alberta

Removal of the water tower, shot on film then scanned

WTR1
Coaldale Water Tower Removal #1 © Paterson Photography Ltd.
WTR2
Coaldale Water Tower Removal #2 © Paterson Photography Ltd.
WTR3
Coaldale Water Tower Removal #3 © Paterson Photography Ltd.

Always back-up – even your passwords!!!

I have written many times about making sure that you back-up your digital files but I also want to remind you to back-up your passwords, as well as to use passwords that are not easy for others to guess.  I know that many say you should never write down your passwords but lets be realistic, how many people can remember all those passwords.  As a quick tally I looked and found over 100 passwords that I have to remember and I am sorry but I cannot memorize all of them.  I know that there are many more but I cannot even remember the sites that require a password. Also if we are all using 123456 or similar easy to remember strings then really there is no sense in having a password, I know many people that do this as they say they can never remember all their passwords.

So I advocate something a little more secure than 123456 and that is to record your passwords in either a secure data base (see below) or even easier a recipe box with cards listing all the sites that have passwords. Honestly how many of us have people visiting that are going to be searching for passwords?  If we are concerned with people accessing these cards then get a fireproof locked safe and put the box in there.

Another way is what I have been using in addition to the recipe cards is an app. A number of years ago I installed an app on my tablet that helps with keeping track of my passwords.  It is secured with a password (yes another one) and you can even set it so after a number of wrong passwords are entered the program will erase the entire database, a little extreme in my opinion but I guess if you are a fan of 007 or other spy thrillers then this would interest you.  I do like this system as I can carry it with me on my tablet but this company keeps asking me to buy the “free” program so it makes me nervous that some day they will not allow me access to the app without me paying so I also use the above recipe card idea at home and lock it up in a safe for even safer keeping.

I did hear of a new (at least new to me) program that also allows you to secure your passwords, and again is free, and it is installed on your own computer.  I need to investigate more into this before I recommend it.

But even if you are not going the more high tech route of a program lets take some time today, or this weekend, to make our passwords harder for others to guess and at the same time to record them so we do not loose them!!!

There’s no free lunch!!

There’s no free lunch is a saying that I’ve heard since I was a little boy, and it rings as true today as it did those so many years ago.  I was just doing some work on one of my blogs and updating a few of the programs and I found what was called a “free” app that I thought I would install.  So I installed the app, activated it, and then I got the request for extra information that they require before I could use this “free” app. So what is all this information that they require?  First they wanted my e-mail address, then they wanted my name, my age, occupation, sex, country of residence, then they wanted me to sign up for their “free” newsletter.

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Beware of the frauds!!!

It almost seems like every time the phone rings or I get an Email, either at home or at work, it is someone trying to sell me something or trying to rip me off.  I know it is not that bad but some days it seems like it.  The problem is that it is getting harder and harder to figure out what is legit and what is a fraud.  Had a call the other day from a nice sounding lady that started with talking about the weather and photography, she had me thinking that she was calling about photography and was on the phone for just about 30 seconds till I heard in the background more people talking on phones.  This was my first clue that something was up.  Then she started talking about one of her interests and that she was so concerned about this area (will not say what it was as it may put other groups with the same purpose in a bad light). Then she asked in the course of a long ramble if I agreed to be charged for a undetermined sum of money to support them.  If I was not listening carefully I could have agreed to this charge.

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