Tag Archives: Christmas

New Year’s Resolution: Organizing Your Digital Photos

Bergen County, NJ- The New Year signals a fresh start, a chance to start over or begin a new project. Unfortunately, when it comes to managing our growing digital photography libraries, it seems the only thing we know to do is simply buy a larger hard drive. The idea of sorting and organizing photos can seem a daunting task, but you’ll find that once you have a strategy and get started, it’s a pretty simple process.

If you’re thinking that there has to be a better way, you’re right. We’ve got a plan designed to help you tame and organize your digital photographs so that you can find your favorites and free up some well-needed hard drive space. The steps below are designed to be done on your schedule. You can even break them up into different time slots, such as one step per week. Just make sure to finish the job so you can enjoy the reward of knowing you can now find those favorite images on a moment’s notice.

Step One: Hunt & Gather

Most families have multiple compact cameras and camera phones scattered about, and many of those devices are full of photos yet to be transferred to a computer. It’s time to get everything in one place, including additional memory cards, USB drives and any other media containing photos. You may not want your kids’ camera phone images but ask them if there any special photos that they’d like to have included in your master library. They can simply email or text those photos to you.

Step Two: Create a Master File Structure

Keeping photos organized means having a file system in place that can be easily duplicated and maintained over time. For example, many people choose to create sub-folders for each year under the master Photos folder. From that point, you’ll need to decide if the subfolders for each year should be monthly, seasonal, by event or a combination. There’s no right answer here. The only right answer is what works for your particular situation and habits. Don’t try to force something that you feel won’t fit your lifestyle. As an example, your file tree may resemble My Photos>2013>January or My Photos>2013>Winter or My Photos>2013>Family Retreat.

Some software programs will automatically create a folder system for you but you still may need to create subfolders to keep images organized. Otherwise, they will be placed in one large master folder, which can become difficult to sort through down the road.

Once you’ve made a decision, make sure you have a folder established before transferring additional photos to your hard drive. To keep the system working, your photos need a place to land in advance, even if you create the folder immediately before transferring.

Step Three: Mass Photo Exodus

This step may take a bit longer so consider carving out a little more time for this task. Settle down with a cup of coffee, play some music and get ready for a trip down memory lane.

When moving photos from multiple devices, you can handle this in one of two ways: you can either transfer all the images into a master folder and them sort and organize, or you can organize them as you go with each device. If you’re short on time, it’s better to transfer everything into one location first, but this may draw out the process and take more time down the road to manage.

Some digital cameras may have months of images while others may have images from a recent event, such as a birthday party or holiday. Start the process of sorting the images and putting them in the proper file folders. As you go through this process, check the images and consider deleting duplicates, blurry images or photos that are too similar to others. Each image can take several megabytes of space on your hard drive, so editing and deleting will not only free up space, but the ‘image clutter’ will be eliminated so that you can more easily find your favorite shots.

Repeat with each device. Once you’ve finished the transfers and verified that the images were safely moved to your computer, reformat your media card using your camera’s format function. Reformatting your card a few times a year will help maintain the card’s efficiency and reliability when handling future photos.

Many of us also receive photos from loved ones via email, so check through your inbox and saved folders to see if any significant photos need to be included in this process.

Step Four: Tagging, Facial Recognition & Favorites

This is an optional step, but one that many photographers find extremely helpful in locating pictures of specific people. Most image editing programs have a tool for marking favorite images, and this can come in handy when you need to create a slide show, a scrapbook or other project. Some programs such as Picasa, iPhoto and others have features that use facial recognition software, and once it’s set up, it does a pretty good job. It’s much faster than tagging each photo individually and you can always correct any mistakes.

As you’re going through the images, use the opportunity again to delete duplicates. After all, you really don’t need ten images of the kids on the park bench when one or two will do nicely.

Step Five: Back Up Your Entire Library

Once your images have been imported, edited, organized and tagged, take that finalized library and copy the entire master folder to a high-capacity external hard drive. If you don’t have one, you can also copy the images to DVD-R but it may require spreading the files among several discs. Today’s external storage media is relatively inexpensive and you’ll get a great deal of storage for the money. To help you select a make and model, you can check reviews and related information on a number of reputable tech sites such as Cnet.com, Techradar.com or pcmag.com (PC Magazine).

Ideally, it would be best to take this external drive and place it safely in a separate location to guard against a catastrophe such as fire, hurricane or other natural disaster. Some people place their backups with loved ones or in safe deposit boxes. If you live in an area that is subjected to intense weather conditions, consider securing your backup drive elsewhere.

Online backup is also an important part of your long-term preservation strategy. There are several companies to choose from including Carbonite, Amazon, Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft Sky Drive and our own Wholesale Photo online processing site. When choosing the right service, a flat rate is best as photos take up substantial space (and videos demand far more). Consider a company that has a stable reputation and check the FAQ section on its site to learn more about the specifics of the process.

You may also want to consider printing your favorite photos because a printed photo won’t crash! In all seriousness, a printed photograph is often overlooked as back-up option but it is a reliable one and very easy to complete. Just upload your favorite images to our site or bring them on a media card and we’ll print high quality images for you. Better yet – order two sets – one for your personal library and a second set to keep in another location with your discs or secondary external hard drive.

Once you’ve completed this organizing project, you’ll find it much easier to keep up with the images throughout the year as the process has now been established. This project takes a bit of discipline but will pay you numerous benefits as you move through this year and beyond. If you have any questions about this process, drop by the store, send us an email or call us. We’d be happy to help you!

Cold Weather Shooting Tip

Bergen County, NJ- Professionals know this and carefully guard their gear against battery drain. Due to a combination of physics and chemistry, batteries work less efficiently in low temperatures, which can result in your having less shooting time than expected. You can take simple steps to combat this issue. First, if you are shooting outdoors, keep your batteries close to you if at all possible as your body heat will help retain warmth. This tactic can help extend the life of the batteries once you begin shooting. Second, keep an extra set of batteries on you and keep those on your person as well. If you notice your power draining, you’ll have a back-up set of warm batteries to help you continue your outdoor session. It’s a simple solution that can help ensure your shooting session ends on your terms.

Downtown Ridgewood for the Holidays & Tree Lighting Celebration

Bergen County, NJ- Downtown for the Holidays and Tree Lighting Celebration Friday, November 30, 2012 5:30-7pm – E. Ridgewood Avenue Shopping, Dining and lots of Entertainment 7-8pm at the train Station (east side) Featuring a special “Rock around the Christmas Tree” theme Performances by: From the Top Music Studio, Porch Light Productions, Arthur Murray Dance Studio and Art of Motion. 8-9pm E. Ridgewood Ave. and Van Neste Park Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh Santa will be there and live music everywhere.

Family fun in Ridgewood during December 2012.
Saturday, December 1st – – 8:00am-10:00am Breakfast with Santa @ The Office Beer Bar & Grill (reservations required 201-652-1070) – 10Am-2pm Santa arrives at Columbia Bank gifts for all children – 10:30am – FREE KIDS movie at the Warner Clearview Cinema – 2:00pm-4:00pm Santa @ his house in Van Neste Park – 12N-4pm – FREE Trolley Rides for the entire family
Saturday, December 8th, 8:00am-12Noon Breakfast with Santa @ The Office Beer Bar & Grill (reservations required 201-652-1070 *12Noon-4PM Santa @ his house in Memorial Park @ Van Neste Park *12N-4pm FREE Trolley rides for the entire family
Saturday December 15th and 22nd, 2012 *12Noon-4pm Santa @ his house in Memorial Park @ Van Neste Park *12Noon-4pm FREE Trolley rides for the entire family *same hours For Holiday shopping and dining, the Village of Ridgewood is giving … FREE PARKING ON SATURDAYS’ from Thanksgiving until Christmas November 24, 2012 – December 22, 2012. Enjoy Ridgewood! For more details, call 201-445-2600 www.experienceridgewood.com info@ridgewoodchamber facebook.com

Tips for Traveling Light with Photo Gear

Travel Smart

Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a two-week trek across the pond, packing right—and light—is critical to making your trek a success. After all, who wants to lug a bunch of superfluous gear around? Here are a few tips to ensure your gear bag is light, well-equipped and ready to travel:

Think it Through: Imagine your trip for a moment. Think about where you’ll be traveling. Do you need to take your DSLR with you or will your compact camera suffice? Do you really need that extra lens or can you do without it? Making a mental checklist of your itinerary can help you decide which items you need and which can be left at home.

Remember the Essentials: Make sure to pack a lens cleaning kit, extra batteries, your charger and extra storage media. These items alone will help you combat the majority of issues that might occur while you’re on holiday.

Choose the Right Bag: Traveling light means choosing the right bag for the situation. Would a backpack style help you get through the airports more easily, or is something with wheels that can also accommodate your other items be more appropriate? We’ve got designs that fit every need and budget here:
http://www.wholesalephoto.com/bags

Offloading for Longer Trips: If you’re traveling with your laptop, consider offloading your digital pictures on a regular basis. This technique can serve as protection in case your media card is somehow damaged or fails during your trip. Here’s another great solution—take your card to the local photo retailer and print a set or two before your return trip home. You’ll have one less item on your to-do list and your family will enjoy looking at the photos and reminiscing on the return trip. You can even use the pictures as a mini-scrapbooking project to keep the kids entertained while you travel.

Keep Everything Charged: Dead batteries mean an instant end to picture-taking fun and a battery that dies while you’re shooting might even corrupt your digital camera card. Fortunately, we’ve got a great solution! The PROMASTER GO! Charger is a compact multi-function charger that can charge your DSLR batteries and also serve as a charger or power source for your cell phone or music player.
Promaster GO! Charger
http://www.wholesalephoto.com/Go!

Backlit Subjects: A Love / Hate Relationship

“Look where the sun is coming from – then position yourself with your back towards it so that it light up your subject’s face.”

Backlit Plant Bulbs
Cape Gooseberries by Naughton321

This was the very first piece of photographic advice that I was ever given as a child entrusted with the family’s camera for a school excursion.

The intention behind it was good and in many photographic situations over the years it has actually served me well.

However…. sometimes in photography it can be easy to get trapped in a mindset that actually limits the potential of your shots.

My suspicion is that many people are being limited by the above piece of advice – lighting your subject from the front and avoiding back lighting at all costs.

The problem with ignoring back lighting images is that:

  • * backlight can add drama to an image
  • * backlit images can show the delicacy of a subject (think transparent or translucent things like flowers or insects)
  • * backlight can help create real mood in a shot
  • * backlit images can highlight details on the edges of subjects
  • * backlight can reveal textures that might previously have been hidden
  • * backlit images can show off the shape and form of a subject
  • * backlight can create shadows that add points of interest to an image
  • I’m not arguing that backlit subjects are the way you should approach every shot – but ignoring it as an option ca leave you potentially missing out on a very powerful technique.

    Check out some of the following images that show the beauty of power of ignoring the age old advice of always lighting a subject from the front.

    PS: just because your subject is backlit doesn’t mean you need to forget about how they are lit from the front. Using a Fill Flash and/or some sort of reflector is often a great way to get the balance right for a well exposed shot.

    Zest
    Zest by benefit of hindsight

    In her own world
    In Her own Place by ‘SeraphimC

    Cattails
    Backlit Cattails by Limonada

    Horse at Sunset
    Horse at Sunset by Serni

    Capturing Autumn Colors – 8 Tips for Better Fall Photography

    “It’s Fall here and the colors in the leaves in our town are wonderful. How can I capture their vibrancy? Every time I shoot them I end up with muddy and dull images!” – question by Grant

    Fall Colors
    Image by Black Dog Photography

    I love Autumn photography – you’re right the golden and red leaves on a background of lush green grass and beautiful blue skies is a wonderful thing. So how do you capture it? Here’s a few starting points to boost the colors in your Autumn photography (in fact they’re appropriate for boosting the colors in your Spring shots too):

    1. Use a Polarising Filter
    The saturation of colours that you get with one of these is fantastic. It is particularly useful in getting lovely blue skies but you’ll find that it decreases some of the haze that you often get at this time of year also.

    2. Shoot in the Golden Hours
    While you can get great results at any time of the day – I love shooting Autumn colors at the end of the day just before sunset when the light is golden. This accentuates the reds and golds even more than normal.

    Fall Leaf
    Image by Clearly Ambiguous

    3. Don’t ignore the Overcast Days
    Some people keep their cameras in their bags on days where the sun isn’t shining – but they can actually be the best days. I like overcast days because they help create a mood that you can’t get on a sunny day – plus the images are nice generally nice and rich.

    4. Look for Contrasts
    One way to accentuate the colors in your shots is to think about framing your shots in such a way that the different colors contrast with one another. Golden leaves on a blue sky – a red leaf on a lush green grass etc.

    Falling Leaf
    Image by harold.lloyd

    5. Avoid Shooting Into the Sun
    Shooting into the sun will result in shadows, lower saturation of colors and lens flare (which further reduces the impact of colors. On Sunny days – keep the sun at your back. If you do have to shoot into the sun use a lens hood or shield your lens with something to avoid lens flare.

    6. Play with White Balance Settings
    Sometimes Auto mode with White Balance won’t give you the most vibrant results. Warm up your colors by increasing the color temperature a touch (not too much). You can do this by increasing the kelvin numbers or by selecting a setting like ‘cloudy’ if your camera has semi-auto settings.

    Lying in leaves
    Image by ionushi

    7. Warm Up Filters
    I don’t use these anymore (I tend to make changes in Photoshop) but in my Film Camera days I did use a warm up filter on occasion to give my shots a slightly warmer glow.

    8. Underexpose Your Shots (slightly)
    Pull back the exposure on your shots a touch and you’ll find that it gives your colors a slightly deeper saturation. Again – much of this can be done in photoshop – particularly if you’re shooting in RAW.

    Of course keep in mind that once you’ve taken your digital shots that you can always boost your shots on your computer afterward. This isn’t the place to go through it (as I mainly focus upon in camera techniques here) but if you shoot in RAW you’ll be in a good position to do some post production on your shots after.

    Wholesale Photo Video Series: Photography Tips & Tricks

    Wholesale Photo Academy presents a new video series, filled with helpful tips & tricks to improve your photography. To watch an episode now, click one of the frames below:

    New Facebook Fan Page & Video Transfer Special

    Wholesale Photo Cafe & Digital Imaging Facebook FAN Page
    Well we’ve finally done it. We have created a FAN page for Wholesale Photo & Digital Cafe on Facebook. Now in addition to our awesome blog & newsletter, you guys have another way to find out all the great things that are going on at Wholesale Photo. We will be updating the Facebook page with loads of great info, including special FAN rewards (similar to our newsletter only specials) so be sure to go and become a FAN today. You wouldn’t want to miss out on all the great things happening here. Also, as a Thank you to all of you, our great customers, we are giving away a FREE 8×10 print to anyone who becomes a FAN. Use it either online or in our store on one of our great kiosks.

    Speaking of our great Kiosks, we’ve just upgraded them all to the NEW Version 7.0 software. It’s a great new look and feel with the same ease of use (some might say even easier). TONS of new products like great gifting options, loads of new templates for cards, calendars & books as well as the all new Quick photo books which allow you to create an entire photobook without having make sure pictures are cropped properly or edited, it’s all done for you, automatically! Come on in and check them out today!

    FREE DVD DUPLICATION PROMOTION
    Summer heat & humidity can be very hard on Video tapes & Movie films. It can cause irreversable damage & decay while fading away those precious memories. Video Transfer is the solution.
    Going on right now through the end of August we are having a Video Transfer special. On any video or film transfer order you place you will receive a FREE Duplicate copy*
    With all those old boxes of movie film & tapes collecting dust in the closet, now is the time to bring them in.

    *ask for details

    Holiday Cards & Family Portrait Sittings at Wholesale Photo Camera in Bergen County

    Well it is definitely that time of year again. Time to get those holiday family portraits taken and create your holiday cards to impress family and friends. What better place to have all that done than Wholesale Photo. Our portrait studio photographers are ready to capture the best pictures of your family and just in time to make your holiday cards early this year! Instead of waiting till the Christmas rush, why not get it all done NOW? Well Wholesale Photo is giving you the incentive to do so. By booking your portrait sitting before November 1st (sitting must take place before December 1st), we will waive all sitting fees (up to 3 per sitting). Plus, if you are planning on making Holiday cards, we will extend our holiday card promotion, buy 50 cards get 25 more free*, until you’ve picked out that perfect picture of the family!

    So make your Holiday Portrait Appointment today. Call the store and speak to Joyce @ 201-444-0777

    Wholesale Photo Holiday Gretting Cards

    * Holiday cards orders without portrait sittings must be placed by November 1st to qualify for the promotion.