Photo Management. My personal workflow for beginners.

Are you like many people out there who enjoy taking photos? Some of you might be new to photography and find yourself in a very common situation where you have way too many images on your camera or phone. The next logical step is to put them on a computer, the cloud, or somewhere else but you are not too sure how… well let me help you by explaining my personal photo management workflow.

I take thousands of photos a year and have developed a system to manage and safely store them. It took a while to find and buy the right gear, so I am hoping that I can save you some time and money.

First thing you will need is a photo software program for you computer. There are a lot of options on the market that offer a free trial. So fear not, you will find one that works for your wallet and level of knowledge. Why a photography software program? Well, they will help you visualize, manage, edit, and erase your images. I personally use Adobe Lightroom Classic. It has been my favorite and primary platform for a decade. Here are a few options for you:

  • Mac OS Photos: Free with your Mac operating system. Good file management but very limited editing capability. The positive is that you can add plugins for editing.
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic: Part of the the photography plan. It includes Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Cloud storage and more. Subscription is $10 US/ month.
  • Luminar 4: An excellent photo management and editing platform. A one time purchase!
  • Capture One: Professional grade software for file management and editing. This is a solid software program at a premium price.
  • Picktorial: Affordable and is an advanced file management and editing software program for Mac users. It won’t break the bank and will work like a charm.

At this stage you will need to create a folder structure that make sense for you. I personally have a primary folder for the year, then sub folders for different events. I will have an ongoing “Best of” images for personal use throughout the year.

The next step is to backup your photos so that if your hard drive on your computer breaks down, you’ll have a backup of all of your favorite and important images. There are two ways to do this- you can buy and use a external hard drive or store your photos on the cloud. I personally do both, that way I have multiple copies of my photos. The Adobe photography plan offers cloud space with the subscription. There are also a lot of free and paid options out there, just make sure to use a reliable one as the company might suddenly go out of business and leave you with a short amount of time to transfer your photos somewhere else.

The last stage is to archive your photos. Now what is the difference between backing up and archiving photos?

  • Backing up photos is an ongoing process. I usually shoot lots of images and put them in a folder on my computer for editing and deleting. Occasionally, I don’t have the time to do it all and have to leave the folder alone for a bit. I will also introduce more photos and folders throughout the year. I backup those folders as I go on my devices and leave them on my computer for future use until the end of the year. That way if something goes wrong, I’ll have a copy of them. The down side is I have more files that I need as I haven’t deleted all of the bad ones and it takes way more room that it should.
  • Archiving photos is the final backup at the end of the year. I do this when I know I am done editing and deleting most of the images I imported to my computer. I will then have a well trimmed collection of images for the year. This is when I copy my year onto my devices for the last time. I will overwrite the folder as the one from my computer only has the files I want to keep and I no longer need the previous larger ongoing backups. This allows me to have a reasonable size of photo folders on my external hard drives. I can always bring back a folder or some images to my computer if I need to do more work.

Here’s a list of my devices.

  • NAS Qnap T451+: A network attached storage unit. This unit is my own personal cloud. It has room for 4 hard drives and can run different RAID combinations. This is the perfect solution for a small business with multiple users. It can work at home for the family as well. I use this unit for ongoing backups and archiving.
  • Western Digital My Book: A simple but efficient hard drive. I use this one for ongoing backups and archiving.
  • LaCie Rugged Portable Hard Drive: A solid unit that can run RAID 0 and 1. Mine has a Thunderbolt 2 and transfers files at a very good speed. I can edit 4K video from it. I use this unit when I am on the go for immediate backups. I don’t keep files long-term on it.

I hope this will help you create an organized and efficient backup and file management system.

How To Shoot Tethered With The a7III In Lightroom Classic CC.

Lightroom Classic CC have been my go to platform for years now. I have done commercial tethered work with my Canon setup in the past without any issues. But I did find myself a little at lost the first time I tried to shoot tethered with my a7III. It seems like the two didn’t want to communicate or at least find one another… So I did some research and found a solution that involve downloading the free Imaging Edge Software. Let me take you step by step.

  1. Get the Imaging Edge software from the Sony a7III page.
  2. Go to Menu/Setup 4 on the a7III and set to USB Connection to PC Remote.
  3. Create a new folder for the photos and make sure it is empty.
  4. Double check that no software is using the a7III. Open Imaging Edge and connect and power on the a7III to the computer using the cable provided to charge the camera.
  5. Once connected to the Remote software go to the menu Remote/setting and click Display Preview with the selected program. Choose Lightroom Classic. It will prevent the Viewer software to open every time you take a photo.
  6. Then go to Remote/Save Folder and choose the folder you created.
  7. Open Lightroom Classic CC and go to File/Auto Import. Click Enable Auto Import. Choose the folder you created as the watch folder and destination folder. Add Metadata if desired.

That’s it you should now be able to see your images you take in Lightroom. The Remote software will be the one to use for taking the images and Lightroom will be the one to review and edit. Hopefully this will save you time!

5. Remote/setting and click Display preview with the selected program.
7. Open Lightroom and go to File/Auto Import.

Godox XPro-S Review- 3 Ways To Use The Trigger

Take a look at all of the specs on the Godox official website.

The Godox XPro-S is a well built and easy to navigate trigger. There’s a lot you can do with it and it can command many flashes and modelling lights at the same time. There are 16 groups and 32 channels to setup your lights and it can control them up to 100 meters away. It supports all flash modes- M, TTL, Multi. This unit is light and a must have to setup a great Godox environment. Take a look at my current Godox setup here. I highly suggest this $80 cdn trigger for anyone looking to expand their lighting capabilities.

Luminar 3.1 Composite

I was looking forward to try the new Luminar version 3.1. The improved Accent AI Filter 2.0. and the performance upgrade was on top of my list to test. I did a composite combining 3 images and let me know that everything went smooth without a glitch. The software responded well and fast while working with a few adjustment and image layers. I created a quick time lapse tutorial video on how I created the image.

Interested in Luminar 3.1

The Update Deal will be available April 25 through May 14.
• Luminar 3.1 can be purchased for US$60 (US$50 with coupon code: MANUEL) instead of US$70
• Luminar 3.1 + Photography 101 video course by SLR lounge (worth US$99) bundle can be purchased for US$69 (US$59 with coupon code: MANUEL) instead of US$169
• Luminar 3.1 + Aurora HDR (worth US$99) + Photography 101 video course by SLR lounge (worth US$99) bundle can be purchased for US$129 (US$119 with coupon code: MANUEL) instead of US$268

Luminar – Action Sequence Tutorial.

One of my Youtube Channel follower asked me to create an action sequence video for Luminar.  It is possible to work with layers and therefore create some complicated photos.  Take a look at this video and see how to create an action sequence image.  This tutorial was created on Luminar 2017 but the concept should stay the same no matter which version you are using. 

Canon Speedlite 580 EXII – Review and Tutorial.

This is 6 parts series on the Canon Speedlite EXII.  Every video covers a different topic.  I should also mention that I created these videos a few years ago.  The content is still relevant to the other and newer Canon Speedlite.


Tamron Tap In Console

I purchased the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 G2 version late last year and I have been super impressed with the build quality and how sharp the lens is.  Unfortunately the lens needed some AF adjustments when I first got it.  So I went ahead and spent $80 to purchase the Tap In Console.  I created this video to help anyone out there trying to figure out how to adjust their Tamron lens.

Bring on Cloudy Skies! Learn a Few Tips for Rainy Days.

Some people get discouraged taking photos outside when the weather isn’t that great.  Too many clouds or poor lighting tend to have a negative spin for some.  I say let’s get out and enjoy gloomy weather in all of it’s glory.

I personally like creating images with cloudy skies.  I think it can bring photos to the next level or even be the catalyst of a great project.  All you need to do is understand how to properly expose the image and learn a few quick editing tips.  Let’s take a look on how to take the image.


First, compose your shot.  I suggest not shooting directly at the sun, but to take the image with the sun behind you.  I know that we are talking about cloudy conditions but keep in mind that the sun can penetrate through a thin layer of clouds and be somewhat problematic in some cases.  Next, take a look at your histogram on your camera.  A quick tip is to use the live view mode and display the histogram in it.  Then you can adjust the exposure using either the shutter speed,  Aperture or ISO.  Try to keep all of the information within the histogram.  The secret is not to over expose your sky by making your sky too bright, as you could lose important details.  The overall image might look too dark but we will correct this issue on the computer later.


Secondly,  use the built in flash or an external flash to light a subject.  Keep in mind that we are trying to keep the image in an overall darker format than you would like for now.  This will include any people you are trying to photograph as well.  Try to use a flash to light the subject and be careful not to put too much light on them.  You want them to look good but not too bright.

To finish,  open your editing software of choice.  Most of the modern photo editing programs will have the features required to do the job.  Keep in mind that there are a lot of options out on the market, spending a few dollars could make the difference between great and ok results.

Ok that being said,  look for the Highlights slider.  This is by far the best tool to bring details and drama in a cloudy scene.  Make sure to play with the slider, move from side to side so you can see the difference and find the look you want.


Then go to the Shadows slider.  This tool will bring back details that were too dark before.  Your image should look better now and have more balance.


After that, a look at the Exposure slider.  You might want your photo to be a little brighter or darker at this point.  I only play ever so lightly with it mainly because it will affect the whole image versus targeted areas.


The last slider I use is the Vignette.  I like to apply a mid to strong vignette to my cloudy image because it will direct the viewer to the middle of the image and will give
a little more drama to the edge of the image.


That’s it!  No need to go too crazy on the editing part to create a great image.  So I encourage everyone to get out there and explore mother nature on stormy days…

Great editing software ideas for MAC users:  Adobe Lightroom,  Macphun Luminar,  Picktorial.


Want to see how to edit in Luminar?

I just finished two new Luminar tutorials.  I wanted to demonstrate how to blend two images together and simply use Luminar to enhance a single image.  I want to say that I am very pleased with the editing capability of this new software.

How to create a HDR Image using Mac Photos and HDR Efex Pro 2

There is no way to create a High Dynamic Range images if you are only using the Mac Photos software. The only solution I have found is to use a third party software like the free HDR Efex Pro 2 from the Google Nik Collection with the help of the External Editor for Photos.  It is not an easy task…  This is why I created this video.  Feel free to watch if you want to learn how to import and export your pictures in order to create and unleash the power of HDR photography!

Learn how to connect your WordPress site to your Youtbue channel

I am surprise on how difficult it is to connect a second website to your Youtube channel.  I had previously connected my main website to my channel and was looking to connect my new WordPress photography journal as a second site to my account.  I had to do some serious research to make it work.  I don’t know why this process have to be so difficult.  This is why I am now writing about it and created a video a few hours ago.  I hope this will save you the headache.


Learn how to edit a night picture with Mac Photos and the Nik Collection

I have received a request to edit a picture with the Nik Collection and MAC Photos.  I chose a night photo so I can explain how to play with the white balance and change the exposure in Photos.  Then I will go to the Nik Collection to sharpen and de noise the photo.  I will quickly touch on how to had some effect to your image using Color Effect Pro.

Here is how you can create a .JPEG image from your RAW file in MAC Photos.  Click on the RAW photo you want to convert.  Once selected go to File in the top menu and choose Export, the shortcut is shift+command+E.  Then a menu will appear asking you details on your export.  Choose these settings:  Photo Kind:  JPEG,   JPEG Quality: Maximum,  Size:  Full Size.  Then click Export and choose a desire location for the new file.  After you will need to import your new .JPEG image to MAC Photos.

Get the most out of Mac OS Photos.

I have been looking lately for a friend into the default Mac OS photo editing software.  Mainly looking how to use it and what type of extensions or plugins would project this basic editing software to the next level.  I believe that it is one of the best sharing platform between all of the Apple devices.  It is very easy to organize and share photos.  It’s editing capabilities are very limited but the interface is user friendly.  All and all I found that Photos works great but could benefit from some help from other third parties applications.

I did a little research on the Apple Store and found some very cheap options.  It look like Photos is only compatible with applications downloaded from the Apple Store.  Well there is a way around it.  You can buy External Editors for Photos for around $1.50 cdn.  This software will let you use plugins that wasn’t working with Photos.  This way you can work with the free Google Nik Colletion.

Here is a list of extensions worth looking into:

  • Google Nik Collection free
  • Filters for Photos from MacPhun LLC free
  • External Editors for Photos $1.50
  • DxO OpticsPro for Photos $13.99

Please look at this video if you want to learn the basic on how to use Mac Photos to edit a waterfall picture.