SBCC Photo Exhibition at El Camino College


The South Bay Camera Club will have a photo exhibition in the Library of El Camino College beginning March 3rd. Everyone is invited to come and view some truly outstanding works of photographic art produced by club members. The photos will be on display the entire month of March.

ECC 2014 exhibit Poster 8x11

 

 

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Photoshop Elements Users – Carbonite Does Not Back Up Your Catalog


I am a long time user of Photoshop Elements, especially its Organizer to help me manage my very large Catalog of photos and videos. This use includes relying solely on its Backup/Restore commands to protect both my pictures and my Catalog file.

Recently I have begun to also use Carbonite as part of my overall backup process. I am still learning about this popular program for backing up your computer files to the Cloud.

After my system completed its initial Carbonite backup (two months in my case due to the extremely large number of files and requires storage space) I discovered that after all of that, it had not backed up my Photoshop Elements Catalog file.

CarboniteFiles that Carbonite has backed up and will keep current have a very tiny green circle in the lower  right corner of their file name when viewed with Windows Explorer. Here is what you do to verfy that your Catalog file has been backed up.

  1. Within in the Organizer, click on Help > System Info.
  2. In the dialog box that opens, the Current Catalog  section shows the filename of your Catalog and the path to it. Note it leaves off the file extension which is .pse12db if you are using PSE 12. The 12 is the PSE version number.
  3. Using Windows explorer, navigate to the Catalog file and verify it has a tiny green dot in its lower left hand corner.
  4. If it does not, right click on the file, select Carbonite > Back up this file as soon as possible.

Add File to Backup with Carbonite

Now the next time Carbonite syncs your backup, the Catalog file will be backed up.

As it turns not, for a variety of reasons, my Catalog is not stored in the default location. That could by why it was not backed up during the initial Carbonite backup of my system.

If you like many of my students do rely on Carbonite or a similar cloud-based or local  automatic backup program, make sure your PSE Catalog is part of that backup. If it is not, add it manually. Otherwise all of your tagging, captions, and other information that  you have added in the Organizer will not be backed up.

 

Carbonite Has Completed!


Sometime around midnight of December 31st, my initial backup using Carbonite was completed. I actually started the initial backup in mid-November as I commented on in this post.

https://don26812.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/carbonite-slow-but-steady/

As the initial backup was being done, I really did not notice any performance hits in using my computer. I did leave my computer on for the most part, which is my usual practice.

So as of right now, I am backing up 148,940 files that consume about 486 Gb of cloud storage. The bulk of those files and the storage space they consume are due to photo images.

Now that I have completed the initial backup, I will find out a bit more about Carbonite itself. For example, my video files, which also take up a lot of local space were not part of the initial backup, but I understand  that I can back them up manually using Carbonite.

As I said earlier, Carbonite is kind of my doomsday backup. I will continue to back up my data files and photos/videos in my normal manner. But it is nice to know that Carbonite has my back.

I am interested in your experience with Carbonite, especially how it worked out for you for recovering destroyed local files. Please share your experience and thoughts in the Comments below.

The Case for Multiple Photoshop Elements Catalogs


My general advice to my students is to use only one Catalog. Do not be tempted to organize your photos into different Catalogs. The Organizer of Photoshop Elements provides a number of ways to help you. The obvious one is to use Categories as a way to separate your media. For example, you could define one high level Category to business photos and another one for your personal photos. And then use Sub-Categories, and Keyword Tags to refine your organization structure beneath each of your two Categories.

Another possibility is to use folders to keep your personal pictures separate from those devoted to your business. Given the significant improvements made to the Folder View in PSE 11/12, this approach has some real merit, especially if you are comfortable using folders and files to organize your other documents. Even Albums and Album Groups can be used.

Any of these methods or a combination of them can be used to organize your media, so that you can find a given item quickly, without the added complications arising from using multiple catalogs.

Well, I’m afraid I do not always practice what I preach, is illustrated in the figure below from clicking on File > Manage Catalogs in my installation of PSE 12.

Blog post 12-5-13-2

I rationalize my use of multiple Catalogs in a variety of ways. After all, I teach Photoshop classes and sometimes I need a Catalog devoted to that. At some point, I felt I needed a separate Catalog just for my video files, or one just for testing. I even have a Catalog that only contains MP3 files I have downloaded over the years – this one has proven quite useful, by the way.

But by and in the large, I have more Catalogs than I need and this has made my life more complicated than need be. Granted, one large Catalog does require long back-up times when using the PSE Backup command. And there are certain dangers of putting all of those photos into the same basket.

All that being said, I recently made yet another Catalog, and it has worked out quite well. Recently, my high school graduating class celebrated our 50th Reunion, and I volunteered to produce a DVD to commemorate the reunion weekend, as well as highlighting what life was like back in the early 60s for us. As part of this project, several of my fellow classmates submitted their pictures to be part of the DVD. Additionally there were photos from our high school years, as well as Super 8 movies. All and all, I had over five hundred files from which to choose for inclusion on our DVD. The project grew to include more than seven hundred items by the time the DVD was completed.

 Blog post 12-5-13-1

I have been active on this project for a couple of months. During that time, I have also been taking a ton of personal pictures that I import into my prime photo Catalog. Using a new Catalog for the photos, videos, and music files for my reunion project made keeping everything straight much easier. I used the Backup command quite often throughout the project, since I was constantly changing the content and versions of the photos and video clips quite often. Backing up my prime photo Catalog (about 40K items) takes between three and four hours, while backing up my project catalog takes a matter of minutes.

Now that the project is winding down, and the DVD is completed, another advantage of using a separate catalog is becoming apparent. I have already begun to delete a lot of the content that I did not use to make the DVD. I will retain the photo CDs that were contributed by fellow classmates. Also, the pictures/videos that I took that became part of the project were Exported from my prime Catalog, so they are still part of that. As part of my final wrap-up of this project, I will Move all of the media in the reunion catalog to a DVD or Blu-Ray disk, using the File > Copy/Move to Removable Drive command. I will retain the Catalog, but the disk space it takes will be quite small. If I ever want to resurrect the project, it will be quite simple to get the media back.

So, there is a time and place for using multiple Catalogs. Just don’t overdo it as one could argue I have.

An Aside: As of right now, my initial backup to Carbonite is 56% complete with about 7,550 files to go. See my prior post on this subject.

 

I’m Giving Carbonite a Try


11-10-2013 6-44-56 PM

If you have followed my blog, you know I have a large collection of pictures and videos that I manage using the Organizer of Photoshop Elements. And I use its Backup/Restore commands to back up my media and the Catalog itself. This has worked well for me over the years. I’ve even described my process in previous posts. Here is the link to one of those posts.

https://don26812.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/photoshop-elements-catalog-file-the-critical-link/

You can find other related posts by searching my blog using the “Search My Blog” text box located further down the page in the right hand column.

I also use an old program called Karen’s Replicator for periodically backing up my other important folders and files. It also has worked well for me.

A couple of weeks ago, the C Drive on my “business” computer (in contrast to my “photos/videos computer) went belly up. This computer contained the data I use in Outlook and Quicken. Because of the crash and my frequency of using the Replicator program, I lost about three days of not-too important data. For some reason when I restored the Outlook data, some data was missing. I think it was more my improperly using the Outlook restore steps rather than the quality of my Replicator backup.

But the whole episode got me thinking about my backup process and whatever vulnerability I have in this area. I decided to give Carbonite a try. I won’t really describe it here, but you can click on the link to find out more about it. Suffis it to say that it basically provides unlimited backup storage on the cloud for $60 a year for a single computer and its internal drives. For additional features and multiple computers, higher price options are available.

I started my initial backup of my photos computer yesterday, which will be about 450 Gb. If I did my math right, considering what has been backed up so far, it will probably take most of a month to complete. But after that, it will only take a few minutes a day to keep the backup current.

While it is doing the initial backup, I have not noticed any measurable slowing down of my computer. I continue my normal backup practices using Elements and Replicator, so I am not too concerned with the length of time the initial backup takes.

Reviews and a few friends that have been using Carbonite have been positive.  I do know that the company has been around for a significant length of time. I’ll keep you posted regarding how the initial backup is progressing.

Comment and let me know what your experience has been using Carbonite or a similar cloud-based product.

Paige Sliding Animation


This is a three image GIF animation of Paige sliding into third base during last weekend’s All Star Tournament in Irvine. Click on the photo to animate it.

 

6784-6786-Anmation

Paige’s team took second place in the tournment after playing six games over the weekend, four of them on Sunday!

Off Topic


Normally, I post articles about something related to digital photography or video making. But this post is different.

If you live in or near the South Bay area of Los Angeles, and you like the music of Bob Dylan, you need to come and thoroughly enjoy yourself  at the 23rd Annual Bob Dylanfest in Torrance.

This annual event is hosted by two talented local singer songwriters, Andy Hill and Renee Safier backed by their band, Hard Rain. This all day festival generally features over fifty artists singing songs from Dylan’s huge collection of work, with no song repeated.

This year the almost eight hour festival is on the Torino Plaza at the Torrance Cultural Center on May 5th. Click on the link below to find out more about this great event.

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