Tag Archives: tips & tricks

Pro Tip: Rename Your Image Files

Use Lightroom Classic to create meaningful photo file names automatically during import

Your camera automatically names image files using the convention: DSC_1234 (or similar). The problem with this naming format is that when your frame counter hits 9999, it rolls over and begins again at 0001. This means that over time, you’ll end up with many images on your computer all sharing the same filename. That can create headaches over time, especially if you’re trying to locate specific images on your computer outside of Lightroom.

In this video, I’ll show you how to rename your images upon import using Adobe Lightroom Classic. The convention I use combines my initials (JPO) with a sortable date (YYYMMDD) and then the frame number from the original image. This technique only works if you’ve set the date correctly in your camera. The advantage of this technique is that if you’re looking for images on your computer, each file will have a unique name that includes date information to help you locate it. Once you’ve set up a file renaming template in Lightroom, you can use it to rename images that are already in your Lightroom catalog.

Photographing Fall Colors

Fall colors adorn the mountainsides in Teller county, Colorado
Fall colors adorn the mountainsides in Teller county, Colorado

Pro tips for photographing fall colors and foliage

As summer starts to fade, it’s time to turn our thoughts to the approach of autumn. The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, and soon the leaves will be turning. If you want to photograph the changing leaves this year, it’s good to have a plan, and have the right approach. Here are my tips for getting outstanding photos of fall colors.

Continue reading Photographing Fall Colors

Reminder: Set your Camera Clocks back for Standard Time

It’s quick and easy if your camera offers a DST function

Daylight Savings Time (DST) ended in North America on Sunday, November 3rd. That means, we’re back on Standard Time until March 8th, 2020. You probably forgot to change the clock on your camera, though!

Having the correct date and time set in your camera is important because the time stamp that’s embedded in your digital images can be used for record-keeping, and to sync up with GPS track logs.

Most cameras today offer an easy way to set the clock for Daylight Savings Time

Changing your camera’s clock is easy if it has a Daylight Savings Time function (Nikon Z7 shown)

First, find the “Time and Date” menu item in your camera’s settings. Next, see if there is a Daylight Savings or “DST” option. If so, simply set it to OFF and your camera’s clock will “fall back” one hour. If it was already set to OFF, then you’ll need to manually adjust the camera clock. In spring, when DST returns, change the DST setting to ON.

In the fall, set DST to OFF. Change it to ON in the spring!


How to Post to Instagram from a Desktop Computer

Post to Instagram from a desktop computer!

Post to Instagram from a Desktop Computer
By making a quick tweak to your browser’s User Agent settings, you can post directly to Instagram on your desktop computer.

Instagram is a great social media platform for sharing photos, but it’s designed for mobile devices. In fact, there is no “upload” option when you view Instagram from your desktop browser. When you want to post a photo that you’ve edited on your desktop computer, it’s really annoying to have to transfer that photo to your phone simply to upload it to Instagram.

Fear not! With this easy trick, you can set your browser to fool Instagram into thinking your desktop web browser is really a mobile device. The trick involves a setting called “User Agent” which you’ll find hidden in the advanced Developer controls. Here’s how to do it:

As long as you’re at it, how about following me over on Instagram?

Exploring Infrared Photography with the IR Queen

The "IR Queen," Deborah Sandidge, taught me some cool techniques in Virginia.
The “IR Queen,” Deborah Sandidge, taught me some cool techniques in Virginia. Here she is, captured in all her IR glory!

I had the chance to play around with an infrared DSLR while teaching a workshop in Virginia. I’ve never used IR before, and I’m glad that the “IR Queen,” Deborah Sandidge was there to show me the ropes.

In the past, IR photography was something most people really didn’t do. Options for IR before digital came along were to either use IR-sensitive film or an IR cut filter on the lens. Neither of these options were particularly ideal. IR sensitive film was a real pain because it had to be kept cold and had to be loaded in complete darkness to avoid clouding it. IR cut filters, which only allow infrared wavelengths to pass, make shooting tough because they block all visible light… meaning you can’t see through the camera with one attached to your lens. Moreover, exposures with IR filters needed to be on the order of minutes to capture anything.

With digital, the game has changed. You can send your old DSLR or even a point and shoot camera in to a company and have the optical low-pass filter removed and replaced with one that blocks most visible light. Depending on your ambitions, there are several “flavors” of conversions, including some that allow certain visible wavelengths to pass through in addition to the IR ones. Once you’ve converted your camera, you’ll need to explore the art of processing IR images. Continue reading Exploring Infrared Photography with the IR Queen