Weight and Stuff Report – 15 January 2018

Weight: 225.4 pounds (16 stone 1.4 pounds, 102.2 kg)
Steps: 2,416

Down again today…

This is, apparently, the second oldest preserved lifeboat in the UK, the oldest being the Zetland at Redcar.

Tyne Lifeboat

Tyne Lifeboat

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 16.5mm
ISO: 640
Taken: 13 January, 2018
Location: 55° 0.0675′ 0″ N 1° 25.3194′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 14 January 2018

Weight: 226 pounds (16 stone 2 pounds, 102.5 kg)
Steps: Not a lot

Up just a few bit, on another inactive Sunday.

My Cunning Plan with Lightroom that I mentioned yesterday seems to be working well – when I looked on the iMac this morning, all the images were where I expected them to be and everything worked. Woo hoo.

Somehow, I’d never noticed this doorway in South Shields before. Obviously I can’t have missed it, so despite it looking like it’s been there unchanged for decades, it must have appeared in that state very recently, having dropped in from a parallel Earth or something.

Time warp?

Time warp?

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 22mm
ISO: 1250
Taken: 13 January, 2018
Location: 54° 59.9214′ 0″ N 1° 26.0156′ 0″ W


More on Lightroom on two computers

Having got the catalog sorted with Dropbox, today was the first test of my new system. And after importing the photos, I had a thought. Yes, I know, I should be careful about doing things as risky as that, but I just couldn’t help it.

My thought was this: while keeping the whole photo library on Dropbox wasn’t going to be a good plan (it’s too big for my 1TB plan, for a start), how about just keeping the current year’s photos on Dropbox? This works for me, because my images are arranged by date (Images – Year – Month – Date. So all I had to do was create an Images folder within my existing Dropbox Lightroom folder and move the 2018 images (just those taken today, basically) into there. I thin told Lightroom where to find them and could then get on with editing on my MacBook while Dropbox gets on with synchronising them to the cloud where they’ll also sync to the  iMac.

The advantage of this approach is that it cuts out the step of having to move images imported to the MacBook, as they’ll already be in the right place. At the end of the year, I’ll move the 2018 images to the iMac and start a 2019 folder on Dropbox.

So long as I don’t create more than a few hundred gigabytes of images in any given year, this should work just fine. Of course the “make sure you wait for it to sync” thing still applies, though if there is a lag, the worst you’ll have to deal with is Lightroom moaning about missing images rather than a borked catalog.

Weight and Stuff Report – 13 January 2018

Weight: 225.7 pounds (16 stone 1.7 pounds, 102.4 kg)
Steps: 7,409

After the usual shopping, despite it being a dull grey day, I took myself and the X-T2 out. Well, it had been giving me accusing looks and muttering about feeling shunned, so it had to be done.

I took the Metro to South Shields and had a bit of a wander. I did have vague notions of going somewhere else, but decided that it was getting a wee bit too cold, so I got a bus to Sunderland. I decided against a more advanced wander and got the Metro back to Newcastle, and a bus home.

This lion sits outside the South Shields museum



Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 640
Taken: 13 January, 2018
Location: 54° 59.9398′ 0″ N 1° 25.8997′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 12 January 2018

Weight: 225.8 pounds (16 stone 1.8 pounds, 102.4 kg)
Steps: 2,555

Down again today. Busy day at work, getting some things organised for some things happening next week. Which is all I’m saying on the subject.

This is a view of one of my favourite bits of public art.

The Journey

The Journey

Camera: X-E1
Aperture: ƒ/5
Shutter speed: 1/140s
Focal length: 28.9mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 3 August, 2013
Location: 54° 46.6827′ 0″ N 1° 34.4977′ 0″ W


Weight and Stuff Report – 11 January 2018

Weight: 226.2 pounds (16 stone 2.2 pounds, 102.6 kg)
Steps: 4,440

Down a bit on returning from Leeds.

I had the usual hotel breakfast (sausage, bacon, scrambled egg, hash brown, beans, fried egg, mushrooms), with plentiful quite drinkable coffee. Rumours that a couple of small croissants may have accompanied the last of the coffee will be unconvincingly denied.

Then it was back to work, which involved going up and down stairs. A lot. And doing some setting up of things, fixing other things, replying to emails and the like. As the trains are a bit disrupted this week because of engineering work at Newcastle, I’d planned to get an early train back, and even managed to catch it. And get my reserved seat. In a totally shocking development, it arrived at Newcastle on time. But as it was late enough in the day that going back to the office would have been a bit pointless, I didn’t and was home nicely early for the first time in ages.

And on that positive note, here’s another. Surely Spring can’t be too far away:

Spring is coming

Spring is coming

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/3.6
Shutter speed: 1/3000s
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 26 March, 2017
Location: 55° 1.0374′ 0″ N 1° 25.1267′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 10 January 2018

Weight: 226.7 pounds (16 stone 2.7 pounds, 102.8 kg)
Steps: 4,944

Up a teeny bit today, which was a bit different from the usual. I had a late start for once, as I had a routine medical appointment at 9:30[1], then popped home and then out to catch a train to Leeds at the far more civilised time than usual of 10:42. Then worked till about 6:30, checked in at my hotel and had a beer (yes, just the one) and a pizza with a colleague and someone who’s doing IT-related things for us. Then back to the hotel, which is where I’d be typing this if I wasn’t actually doing it tomorrow.

Here’s another from the archives – some IR trees

The trees are bright tonight

The trees are bright tonight

Camera: X100S
Aperture: ƒ/2
Shutter speed: 1/30s
Focal length: 23mm
ISO: 3200
Taken: 3 June, 2013

[1] Apparently I’m still alive. Thought you’d like to know that.

Weight and Stuff Report – 9 January 2018

Weight: 226.6 pounds (16 stone 2.6 pounds, 102.8 kg)
Steps: 2,287

Oh dear, up again….

I haven’t managed a day out with a camera for a while, so it’s back to the archives and a bit of fresh editing of old images, starting with the Angel of the North:

Angel Revisited

Angel Revisited

Camera: X-E1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/1200s
Focal length: 14mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 4 July, 2013
Location: 54° 54.8336′ 0″ N 1° 35.3576′ 0″ W
Exposure bias: -33/100EV

Using Lightroom on two computers

I’ve been using Lightoom as my main photo editing and managing system for a long time now – it even precedes my Macification. In all that time, I’ve worked in a particular way. I keep my main photo library – that’s the actual image files and the Lightroom catalog – on my iMac and a separate library on my MacBook. When I go away, I take the MacBook[1] and import photos into its library. When I get home, I do an “import from other catalog” on the iMac, so all my new images and any edits I’ve made join the main library.

This works well enough, but it does mean that while I’m travelling, I have no access to my older images. And as the MacBook doesn’t have the capacity to carry a copy of my images, that seemed like an unavoidable thingy.

But several versions ago[2],  Adobe added a feature called Smart Previews to Lightroom. These are sort of medium quality versions of the images – not in the full resolution of the original files, but good enough for most editing work, and large enough for exporting to websites (though not for most printing jobs). You can tell Lightroom to create these when importing images, or you can get it to generate them for your existing library. The former is a good idea – note that if you have a lot of images, generating the Smart Previews is a “go away and let it get on with it” kind of job. You should also note that they will take up a moderately significant amount of disk space, though crucially, much less than the original image files – as an example, my library of just under 73,000 image files – a mixture of JPG and RAW – ended up needing about 60GB for the Smart Previews. Sounds like a lot, but compared to well over 1TB, it’s not so bad.

Now comes the clever bit – Lightroom can happily work with Smart Previews if the original image files are offline, so if you were to get the catalog and associated previews and smart previews onto a second computer, you’d be able to view, edit and even export images without having access to the original files.

No, now comes the clever bit – if you were to move your catalog and its associated files to a nicely synchronised cloud service such as Dropbox[3], you’d be able to open that catalog from your other computer, work on things and have access to all your images. All you’d have to do when returning from a trip is to copy your new images to the main computer and tell Lightroom where they live in the usual way.

So, I decided to give it a try.

Generating the smart previews took a while, as did copying the catalog and its associated files to my Dropbox folder. An interesting point is that, on macOS at least, you’ll see what appears to be a file called <catalog name> Smart Previews.lrdata. This is actually a folder containing numerous subfolders which eventually contain the images. And the size displayed for that file may be a wild underestimate (it was originally showing as around 4GB on my iMac). Once it was copied over, it was a matter of waiting for it to complete uploading to Dropbox. And then I could test it, and woo, hoo, it works.

So, I now have a Lightroom catalog on my MacBook that lets me see any of my photos.

Things to be aware of – you must let Dropbox sync changes made on one computer before attempting to use the catalog on another, otherwise Bad Things may happen  to your data. And make sure you back up regularly. You do back up, right?

Just to prove it, here’s an image that lives on my iMac, edited on my MacBook, and it never felt a thing.

With fronds like these, who needs anemones?

With fronds like these, who needs anemones?

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/4.5
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 2000
Taken: 2 December, 2017

[1] The iMac is a bit awkward on trains
[2] I take a while to catch on sometimes
[3] I’m not convinced iCloud Drive will play nicely with this, as it’s a bit too “clever”. Dropbox does work as it syncs the individual files in the smart previews folder