Packing for a trip

And I’m off to Dubai tomorrow, so just finished packing. I do hope I have everything I need. So there will be no real updates here for the next week, as I’m not taking my Surface with me. I have quite a lot planed anyway, so I don’t expect any time to edit. But you are welcome to follow me on my FB page and Instagram, where I will try and post some behind the camera stuff.

What’s in the bag

So while punting this together, I thought I show you what I plan to use. Just the main stuff, not all the little things, as that would make for a very long list :)

As you can see, I’m using three cameras. My main camera will be the Canon 5D mark IV. Then there is the Sony a7R with Metabones III adapter, which I use as a backup. And in the corner you can see the Sony RX100 that I like to use for the behind the camera stuff and some quick snaps. I prefer it to a mobile phone, as the quality is better and it has a F1.8 aperture.

On the lens side, going from widest to telephoto, there are the following: Canon 8-15 F4 Fisheye, Laowa 12mm f2.8 Zero-D, Canon 16-35mm f2.8, Canon 17mm TSE, Canon 24-70mm F2.8 and Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS II. Yes, that’s a lot of lenses, but I like to vary them, as they give different views. And of course I don’t carry everything at all times :) I would take fewer lenses, like for instance leaving the 16-35 behind as I have a 17 and 24-70, but, I cant put filters on the 17, so I can’t. And so on :)

The last thing visible here in that small Vanguard pouch is the Nisi V5 pro filter holder, with a reduction for the Laowa 12mm lens, standard lenses and a polarizer filter. Yes, the filter holder has a very nice leather case from Nisi, but I find it’s needlessly big.

Btw. This bag is the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW.

Packing for a trip.

Busy Charles Bridge in Prague – Plotagraph

I’m in the middle of packing for my next trip and trying to decide what I need and what I can leave behind. It’s funny how quickly one reaches the airline limits for baggage :). But I’m still here, so for today I have for you another Plotagraph. This one from a photo taken from one of the towers of the Charles bridge in Prague. The clouds, water and the moving people really work nicely here.

You can check out my Plotagraph Pro review here, and a guide how to create them here.

(if you use an older web browser, you may only see a static image, if you are on a mobile, please hit the play button to see the Plotagraph in motion)

Clouds over Dubai – plotagraph

I’s slowly packing for my trip next week to Dubai. And while doing so, I thought I also share a Dubai photo with you. But as I not yet have any new ones, here is an older one, just animated with Plotagraph Pro.

You can check out my Plotagraph Pro review here, and a guide how to create them here.

(if you use an older web browser, you may only see a static image, if you are on a mobile, please hit the play button to see the Plotagraph in motion)

Photo licensing

I have been browsing Pixsy a bit recently. If you don’t know Pixsy, it’s a site to search the internet for you photos. You upload your library of photos, and they search for you. They do even more, but I will get to that in a different post. But what I noticed is, so many people and even companies, don’t bother to comply with licencing rules. Do they don’t know I could easily start suing them one by one and require payments for all the photos? I don’t want to do that, but maybe one day it will be to much to ignore. And since some of my photos are already licensed for exclusive use, I have my own obligations, and they can even create problems for me, which I will not allow.

But until that day, here is a bit of a reminder on how and when you can use my photos for free, and when you have to license them.

All my photos are shared under Creative Commons licence.

So you may download and share them further as long as you follow these three rules:

  • Attribution — Please always when you share my photos, note that I am the author, with my name Miroslav Pertrasko and link back to this site
  • Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes, without my specific permission
  • No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work, without my specific permission

That said, let’s look at it more specificaly

Social media

First, there is social media. On any of them, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, you can share any of my photos, as long as you include the credit and link back to the blog. This is the same for personal accounts and company accounts. As long it’s sharing, anyone can do it as much as they want.

Of course, if anyone pretends they are the author of the photo, they will first get a nice message from me, and if its not resolved, a copyright claim. This I find just insulting and will not tolerate it.

Personal use

Personal use of the images in the sizes I shared on my various sites is free. So if you want to use it on your personal blog, print something small, use it in your photo album, and similar, you are free to do so. Of course with online use, please include my name and link back to this blog.

If you require a full size image, for instance you want to print a poster for your room, please head over to the Shop where you can buy a download copy for personal use, or contact me here.

Commercial use

Any commercial use is not free and requires a license fee to be payed. This is any use in brochures, flyers, promo materials, magazines, company websites, books and similar. Please take into account, that this includes all company websites. If you are a travel company, and want to use a photo on your site, you need a license. If you are a hotel and want the photo on your site, you need a license, and so on.

Even if you create a free promotional product, you still have to license the photos for it. Again, for example a company calendar. You give it to your customers for free, but as with any promotion, you have to carry the cost, not the photographer.

Licensing is quite easy. Either head over to the Shop, where you can choose a download commercial license for the available photos. They are available at different resolutions for different prices. In case the photo is not available, please contact me here.

In any case, anyone is free to contact me if something is not clear here :)

Backing up your photos

With the number of photos I take and many of you also do, it’s very important to have backups. One never knows what could happen, and loosing years of work would be disastreous. So having redudant copies is a must. So here I will show you how I do it, and what I suggest you should do.

What I save

For my photos I save 4 different things:

  • original RAW files, as downloaded from the camera. There are organized by year and date, with each folder named the location or event they are assigned to.
  • edited PSD or PSB file, for all the photos I edited and finished. These tend to be quite big and most photographers don’t keep them, but I like to, as it makes it easy to go back and o tweaks if needed. Also, it makes it easy to show how a particular photo was edited.
  • web sized JPG version of finished photos. This one I added a watermark, and have it ready for uploads to social media or on-line portfolios. This version is sharpened for the web resolution, usually around 1350×900 pixels.
  • full sized JPG version. This one I keep just for convenience. If any of my clients buy a photo, I can sent it to them immediately, as this version is ready. If they do ask for a TIFF or something like that, I have to go back to the PSD file of course.

Not everyone saves everything, and you should decide for yourself what you need. Mostly the RAW and a final edited photos in TIFF or JPG are important, other depends on your preference.

Where to back up

The best goal would be to have a backup copy of all you need in three spots:

  • on site copy. You have a duplicate of everything on an external drive or a local server in your home or workplace. This is for cases when you computer hardware or just the HDD breaks down and is no longer accessible, either to hardware or software failure, like viruses or ransom-ware.
  • off site copy. You have a duplicate of everything on and external drive or server in a second location you either own or have access to (eg. your parents, friends…). It’s best if this location is not in the same building or even better, city. This is for a simple restore in the case of fire, flooding, burglary or similar.
  • in cloud backup. The last backup is with an INTERNET based company, that will backup all you data to their servers. This is great if all you other backups fail, and you need to restore them. This is usually the slowest backup, so it’s best if you need to restore smaller parts, like accidentally deleted file and similar.

How do I backup

Now I will show you how and where I backup my photos. I try to have many redundant copies, and as one says, better safe than sorry.

On site backup

The primary location of my photos is on internal drivers in my PC. With 6, 8 and 10Tb drives available, this is not that hard to archieve, and even after years of taking photos, I have enought space. If this would not be possible, I would use a external drive box for this with multiple hard drivers.

Secondly I use a Synology NAS server with HDDs in a RAID configuration. I use SyncToy program from Microsoft to synchronize the photo folders to a folder on the server every day. Like that I have a local backup of everything without having to do much. I do the sync manually, and its only set to echo (the PC folder changes are copied to the server, not the other way) as I want to have control over it.

Off site backup

For this I don’t backup everything. I have a smaller external hard drive, on which I save all the final photos as 100% JPGs and PSD versions. This is the last rescue for me, so these are the most important photos in my option to keep.

This get updated less regularly, only about once per month or so.

Cloud backup

For clouds storage, you can use a service like BackBlaze or Carbonite. There are many more, but these two seem to be most popular. I right now don’t have an online backup, as I’m in the middle of reorganizing my library, but that will be corrected soon.

These are meant for big backups, that are just there for a case of emergency, not that you access them every-time you need a photo.

I do have a copy of the web sized and full sized JPGs in my SmugMug portfolio. Of course only the web sized are in a public gallery. The full sized, in a private gallery, are great if I need to send one to someone, as I have access from anywhere. This is for quick online access if needed.

I also use few other Cloud accounts, Amazon Drive and OneDrive to be exact, but these are more for sharing and sending out files, than for backup.

Final thoughts

It’s very risky to have no backup. You never know what can happen. It also risky to not have a real structure for how you store your photos. If you don’t know where they are, it’s easy to just delete some accidentally. I still can’t find some of the ones I posted years ago, before I gave more thought into it. And I probably never will. And if you ever need to reorganize a Lightroom catalog, you will quickly find out why that is a very bad idea :)

So keep you files structured, save and backed up, at least once..

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