Episode 101: Auto Is A Feature Too

The Topic:

Katrina Kennedy from Capture Your 365 joins the panel to discuss their biggest photography problems and what the fixes are.

Joining the Discussion:

Katrina Kennedy
Peppermint Granberg

Katie Nelson

Show Notes:

ScanMyPhotos (negative scanning)
Southtree (negative scanning)
Almost 100 Ways to Get Sharper Photos
Life of A Photographer

Picks of the Week:

Katrina: World Wide PhotoWalk
Peppermint: BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro
Katie: After Light
Steph: Lacie CloudBox



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This entry was posted in Katie, Katrina Kennedy, Peppermint, Show Post, Steph. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Episode 101: Auto Is A Feature Too

  1. Lahni says:

    I’m just listening to the scanning question. I’m not sure if this is something you’d be interested in but you can get scanner for not too much that will scan negatives for you. My brother has one that I’ve used lots – it actually does a pretty decent job and will do some cleaning up for you. He’s out of cell phone range right not though so I can’t ask him for the exact model he has. I’m pretty sure it’s a canon though. I’ll try to remember to come back and let you know exactly which one he has.

  2. Barbara says:

    Just listening and had to pop in with a comment. I have an Epson 6600 (I think that’s the model number! I’m not at home.) it’s a flat-bed scanner and I’ve been using it to scan our heritage photos. It does not only pictures but also comes with inserts for both negatives and slides. I’ve done over 6,000 photos in total in all three formats and it works like a champ.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Great show! I recently purchased a new camera (a Sony NEX7), and I think I may go take that class before it becomes unavailable.

    I have a couple of basic questions/issues about my camera. Maybe you guys can help.

    (1) How do I clean the lens? The manual says to “use a soft cloth.” But I’m afraid to intentionally touch the lens with anything. My camera came with a soft cloth, but I’ve used that to clean oil of the LCD … so the cloth would be dirty now, right? Do I wash that cloth? Will soap leave a residue on the cloth that would get wiped onto the lens?? We were at the ocean last week and now I’ve got salty spray on the lens, and I really want to clean it. But I’m afraid to try!

    (2)I only have the kit lens for now. Can I just leave that on my camera indefinitely? Or should I take it off when I store it away and won’t be using it for a few days?

    (3)How do I store/carry it? I got a freebie Adorama camera bag with my camera, so that is what I’m using. Does it matter in which orientation I place it?

    (4)When we were at the aquarium I was constantly turning the camera off after taking a picture… I didn’t like the idea of leaving it on when I wasn’t actually taking pictures, but then I got worried that constantly turning it on and off would wear it out?!

    I guess my biggest thing right now is that I have no confidence that I can use/play with my camera without damaging it. And I feel like I don’t even know how to take care of it properly. It’s so precious and delicate, I’m afraid to really use it.

    • Hi Tiffany! So glad you enjoyed the show! Here are my thoughts:

      1) I wrote this post /prepare-your-camera-for-summer/ about how to clean your lens.

      2) It is better to leave your lens that to take it off and on. I always suggest to avoid removing your lens unless you absolutely have to.

      3) I would place it in your bag so that the weight of the camera doesn’t fall on the lens. KWIM?

      4) Most newer cameras time out and turn themselves off so that you don’t have to. They will also then turn back on when you press the shutter. You can typically adjust this in your camera. I’d check your manual for your particular camera.

      It’s meant to be used :) Keep it strapped on, don’t drop it, but use it! The more you play with it the more confident you will become!

  4. StudioWendy says:

    A bit more about scanning… You can use Photoshop to invert a scan if your software won’t do it. You just open the negative image in Photoshop and choose IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>INVERT. If your negative image has an overall orange cast, you can try to adjust that out with your levels before inverting. Many scanners these days have a slide or negative setting. The tray Peppermint referred that comes in the slide or negative scanner kit is helpful for keeping the negative off the glass so it doesn’t distort. Most scanners that have the capability now invert the image as it scans and removes any orange tint from the film as well. But, if you ever do have to convert a negative image, it’s really easy to do in Photoshop!

    That said, I’ve scanned enough photos and negatives in my day that I’d gladly pay to have someone do it for me. The last batch I needed done, I sent to a local pre-press print shop to do for me. So worth it!

  5. n foz says:

    Another great show! and you introduced me to a company that is in my corner of the world – Southtree :) I haven’t used their service (although I will try it-I can drop my negatives at their door) but can explain the technology hub of the south thing – Chattanooga was the first “Gig city” in the US (infrastructure in place even before Google picked a city for Google Fiber if I remember right). Standard consumer internet speeds are 50 mbps – 1,000 mbps through the Electric Power Board, and it’s symmetrical, so upload/download are the same speed. That’s a ton of data that can move very, very quickly. I’m about 4 miles from the coverage area in N Georgia, so I don’t have personal experience but apparently it’s kind of a big deal :)

    I’m off to dig up some old slides and negatives and see if Southtree can take care of them for me – Thanks!

  6. Sarah R. says:

    Hi gals – great show! I wanted to comment on Peppermint’s issue with Back Button Focus (BBF). I used a D7000 for a year before upping to a D600. The way you were describing it, I wondered if you are using BBF but also still recomposing? My understanding is that focus/recompose is the method to use if you focus with the shutter button but with BBF you just constantly are pressing the AE-L button whenever you change your focus point.
    Also, the focus lock beep always annoyed me so I turned it off. After dealing with soft focus issues, I turned it back on and have noticed a difference. (You can also adjust the volume of the beep). I’m noticing that at times that I would’ve taken the shot, I’m not now because I haven’t heard the beep.

  7. Aino says:

    Hi there ladies,

    I am just listening to your show and when I heard Peppermint’s comment on her BBF issue… I wanted to ask her: Is your camera set to Continuous (AF-C) or Single (AF-S)?
    If it is set to AF-C and you use your back-button it will continually focus until you release it. If you set it to AF-S, then it stops focusing once it reaches focus. This is when you hear the beep, if you have set it to beep. (Beep is automatically cancelled in AF-C).
    I shoot with a D800 and used to shoot with both D50 and D90, all the time using BBF, so I know this issue well.. but I don’t know D7000. Just wanted to throw in my two cents….

  8. Melissa says:

    This was a great show! I was kind of like Peppermint in that a lightbulb went off in my head when Katrina talked about how our standards have changed after we’ve taken classes. I also know that for me, when I look back at pictures I have gotten rid of the hundreds and hundreds of duds that I took while practicing for a class assignment. So the pictures are left are the ones that were “aha!!” moment pictures. I love them because I finally had a photography breakthrough, and it’s pretty easy to forget all of the times that I didn’t master the technique.

    I’ve been relying on my iPhone a little too often recently and am resolving to pull out my own D7000 more often.

  9. Fantastic segment on the importance of digitizing your photos (35mm slides) and film negatives. So appreciate the mention of ScanMyPhotos.com and we are eager to help provide added info for your listeners. Happy to be a guest on the show to address all those questions you raised about digitizing photos.

    Here are some helpful news links that explain how we help digitally preserve your generations of nostalgic legacy photo memories at ScanMyPhotos.com




  10. Angie G says:

    Hello digi girls great news read this:


    Adobe has a new program for photographers I guess they really listened to us!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ?? The link doesn’t seem to work… can you tell us more about what you saw? Sounds intriguing!

      • Angie G says:

        Sorry Melissa try this one:

        During today’s keynote at the Photoshop World conference in Las Vegas, Adobe is showcasing how photography workflows will evolve to take advantage of an increasingly connected world. This includes a tour of how easy it is today to use Creative Cloud to make your content and creations available anywhere, plus the power of Behance to showcase work. We also highlight some of the exciting new technologies that we’re working on for Photoshop CC and Lightroom; our roadmap for making our photography products even more connected; and a peek at how we’re planning to bring advanced Adobe digital imaging technology to mobile devices. You’ll see these products and services become available in the not too distant future.

        If you missed the keynote, you can watch the replay here, which should be posted within about 24 hours. Throughout this week at Photoshop World, we’re demoing some great digital imaging innovation and I hope you’re as excited as we are about what’s available today and what’s coming soon, thanks to our talented teams of engineers.

        Since introducing Photoshop CC, we’ve listened to feedback from a spectrum of our customers, from advanced professionals to casual enthusiasts. One common request was a solution specifically tailored for photographers. We listened, and at Photoshop World we’re announcing a special offer for our loyal Photoshop customers. Beginning today, customers who own Photoshop CS3 or higher are eligible for a special Creative Cloud membership offer that includes all of the following for just $9.99/month:

        Photoshop CC
        Lightroom 5
        20 GB of online storage
        Behance ProSite
        Access to Creative Cloud Learn’s training resources
        Ongoing upgrades and updates
        To be clear, $9.99 is not an introductory price. It is the price for those of you who sign up by December 31, 2013. This offer will be available at the same time we introduce the new version of Lightroom 5.2 in a couple weeks. Visit the FAQ to learn more and follow Photoshop on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to find out when the offer goes live.

        All of us on the Photoshop team look forward to continuing to build on our 20+ year relationship with our loyal community.

  11. Tammy says:

    I’m (finally) listening to this show and I had to stop it and just second what Peppermint said about scanning slides… Let a professional do it! My scanner has the slide-in thingy (yes, that’s a technical term ;) ) for negatives & slides. I bought the stuff to clean them and the little cotton gloves so I didn’t put fingerprints on them… The little bit that I got done took FOREVER! And, they still had pieces of dust & junk that had to be corrected in PSE even after they were cleaned. It’s nice to have what I did get done, but when I get back to that project I will definitely take (or send) mine somewhere! I know Costco does scanning at a fairly reasonable price.

  12. Megan (glumirk) says:

    Steph, I hope this helps, but this has kind of been my rule of thumb for shooting:

    -Choose the aperture based on the story and/or how much light there is.
    -Choose a minimum of 1/125 shutterspeed (because I’m typically shooting small children. I will go a little lower for still-life, and try to always go higher with the kids)
    -Adjust ISO using Zone metering (If I don’t have a good midtone, I usually choose the darkest or the brightest thing that I want captured and adjust accordingly)

    I was always afraid of ISO because I heard it would give you grain. The truth is that a well-exposed photo at a high ISO will have less grain than a photo that had to be brightened in post-processing because you didn’t use the high enough ISO. I didn’t believe it until I tested it out one morning on on some farm-fresh eggs I wanted to capture before I cracked them. I set my aperture to wide open, my shutterspeed to 1/125, and then took ISO 1600, 3200, and 6400. There really was less grain at ISO 6400 than at ISO 3200 once I edited to correct exposure, because I nailed the exposure at ISO 6400.

    If I were you I would figure out what your minimum shutterspeed is by taking an afternoon with the kids just shooting and start at the minimum for your focal length (1/50 for 50mm, etc) and then get faster and faster until you figure out where you need to be to account for your lens and your hands. Then you can know your rule of thumb for nice sharp photos, and will have a starting point each time before you raise your ISO. I prefer grain to blurry/not sharp pictures.

    Also, if you shoot in RAW make sure and do the noise reduction in RAW. Jpegs already assign noise reduction, so you need to take care of it when shooting in RAW.

    Thanks for a fun show! And I’m totally sending this out to a few people who have asked me about scanning recently.

  13. You can use PSE Organizer on a network drive :) but only on a PC. Adobe says with Mac OS You cannot access catalogs on a shared network.

    So maybe it’s the Mac issues? I know they didn’t used to natively support TCP/IP networks, so perhaps it’s a hangover from those days.

    With wireless networks the packet drop rate is probably too big that right now it would take minutes to update large photos your are handling in LR.

    PSE doesn’t do the image adjustments/edits so possibly that is why it will work over a network when LR doesn’t?

  14. Becks says:

    Will you upload or link your photos that you sent to Katrina for critique? It’d be super helpful if we can see what she was discussing about. If you’re comfortable with it, that is!

    Peppermint, I have D7000 and my back focus button works right, meaning when I hold it down it doesn’t refocus. In my custom setting menu, under “f control”, “F5″, I have AE/AF lock selected. What do you have selected? If you have “AE lock (hold)” I think it’ll recompose when you hold it down which doesn’t make any sense…

  15. Anna Forrest says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on the scanning guys. I am not going to go the scanning myself route – I just don’t have the time or the patience for that exercise, but I’ll check out Sharp first since it’s local.

    The 35mm prices seemed reasonable on south tree at least (~$.35 frame?) but since the photos in question were taken by our professional photographer they are the medium format negatives which were considerably more expensive.

  16. LeslieM says:

    Scanning-I’ve used Scancafe for years. At first I paid a bit extra to keep everything in the United States. I had so much to scan that I finally signed up for the cheaper value packs they send overseas. I’ve not had any problems with them and am happy with the quality.

    The closest Archivers to me also scans media. I’ve not used them but my friends have been satisfied with the quality. I don’t know what it costs but I think sometimes Archivers has coupons.

  17. Gary Ratajczak says:

    Great photo tips! I have been working on shooting more manual this summer so all tips in that area are welcome. I have gotten some of the best shots ever out of my camera!

    I looked into the LaCie Cloud drive mentioned in show. Steph indicated all data is cloud backed up. As far as I can see from site, you only get 10gb of online backup. There is an option to purchase more, but it appears to be hosted overseas as cost is in €.

    All 4Tb of data is “cloud” accessible meaning you can use an app to gain access to your drive over the web.

    One option I am exploring is a dual drive raid setup NAS as that would provide a mirror image of drive one to drive two. Having a single drive NAS is to risky for me unless it is only used as a copy of data stored on another drive.

    • steph says:

      Thanks for this info., Gary! I’m also interested in doing something similar to the dual raid NAS. Are you going to do an offsite backup as well? The offsite is what is causing me the most issues because I’ve not been happy so far with my experiences with a data restore from sites I’ve used.

    • Anna Forrest says:

      I have a raided NAS – my big problem is I really want an online backup option for it too. All the usual suspects for backing up your externals usually specifically exclude NAS drives. :(

  18. LisaCP says:

    I just wanted to popin and share. I had (still have) a bunch of old family slides from both mine and my husbands childhoods. I have scanned a few, but it is really a time sucker.. A few months ago, we had family visiting and set up the slide projector to view them. I ended up setting up my camera on a tripod and snapping photos of the projections. They are not perfect, but they are captured digitally and we had fun reviewing them together. Here is a layout using one of the jewels in the batch


    And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say how much I really enjoy your show each week.

  19. Soraya says:

    Hello DigiShow Ladies,

    I have a photography pick that will knock your socks off! Get ready to change how you post-process your photos:

    Damien Symonds’ Photoshop Tutorials & Blog:

    This guy is absolutely BRILLIANT at Photoshop, and an amazing teacher. He has a way of making complicated material seem intuitive and obvious, and the time I spend editing my photos has been cut in half. I wanted to cry when I read his “The Role of Masks In Cloning” tutorial because of all the hours I’ve lost doing it the hard way. I’ve been using masks for years and yet I never thought to use them quite this way. He also answers questions on his free Facebook Group, Ask Damien. I’ve learned a ton just from following the group — though make sure you read the Rules of the Group before posting.

    He also teaches several post-processing classes. I’ve taken both his RAW class and his Fundamentals of Photoshop class, and they made a world of difference in how I edit. He shows you a comfortable, consistent method for processing RAW photos in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (which he prefers) so they are ready for perfecting in Photoshop or Elements. I have been using Photoshop and PSE for years for scrapbooking, but only now did I really learn how to use them to edit photos (instead of fussing with actions or plug-ins that I can’t really tweak myself). The magic is using adjustment layers and masks for Selective Editing. He teaches a “non-destructive” workflow so that you can go back and make changes to your Photoshop or PSE elements without having to re-do them (which is perfect for someone like me, who is endlessly rethinking and tweaking when I edit). If you do a lot of extractions, I think the Fundamentals of Photoshop class would be worth it for what he teaches you about how to make super fast selections — I’ve never seen it done that way anywhere else, and personally, that alone was worth the price of the class. Katie — I thought of you when I saw that the classes are available for BOTH Photoshop and Photoshop Elements users. :-) The only potential downside for some people is that he makes you calibrate your monitor before you can join the class (it’s part of his mission to calibrate the photography world, and he will totally hold your hand through it if you have trouble). But I truly believe you won’t regret it — the time you will save editing is worth it, and if you check out the free tutorials you’ll know what I mean.

    Happy editing!

  20. Soraya says:

    Whoops, I meant to post the link to the online classes as well: http://www.damiensymonds.com.au/training.html

  21. Peggy M says:

    just finished listening to this episode. One thing I thought of at the beginning was one thing that wasn’t mentioned. However, it’s only in reference to printing photos. Sometimes a print can be great on screen, but the print is a little fuzzy. A friend was uploading all her photos to a print service & they looked fine on screen. Then the prints came back and were always just off. She was convinced it was something she was doing and couldn’t see on screen. Not. Some services may not have someone manually checking. She tried a different service and problem solved. Needless to say, she won’t go back to the other service.

  22. Katie (sakura-panda) says:

    Great show! It reminded me that I haven’t been taking any pictures and should dust off my camera and get back into it.

    My Black Rapid strap arrived yesterday and I tried it on this morning. The kids were not impressed by it, but I was. I was surprised that I can’t leave the strap on it all of the time — because of the way I set it down when I’m not using it — and I hope I don’t forget it when I go places.

    One reason I bought a new strap is that I carry around my camera without a bag; it makes my family nervous the way I carry it in my hand, with the neck strap freely dangling, or the way I put the strap on my shoulder and toss the camera toward my back so that I can bend over. They always expect me to drop it, bang it into something, or set it down and leave it somewhere. I can see where the Black Rapic strap will eliminate *all* of those concerns.

    (You didn’t talk about camera straps *this* time, but I ordered it based on an earlier recommendation/pick. It seems like an appropriate place to rave about it.)

    Peppermint — and maybe Katie too — I’ve heard good things about the “Master Your Nikon” book series by Darrell Young; he doesn’t have one for my camera, so I don’t have any personal experience with it, but I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for the books. There is one for your camera: “Mastering the Nikon D7000″ and it is available both in paper and as an ebook. http://www.pictureandpen.com/NikonBooks.asp

  23. Rachel M says:

    Oh, I am going to buy that LaCie Drive ASAP! It is just what I’ve been wanting. Thanks for the pick.

  24. Hi ladies,

    I just finished listening to this episode this afternoon, and I wanted to comment on the Lightroom issue Peppermint mentioned near the very end of the show. I am by far a novice in using Lightroom, but I think that I have managed to be able to use a networked drive with LR. Here’s how I do it…

    I recently had to move a large number of my photos off of my laptop and onto an external hard drive so that my laptop could have a bit more hard drive space. I still wanted to be able to access them in my Lightroom (version 4) catalog. Since I didn’t know otherwise, my husband helped me to set up a network drive situation. We hooked an external hard drive up to his computer, which is always on (never sleeps). We then shared that hard drive over our local network via his computer (full permissions). Once it was shared, we came onto my laptop and mapped it as a drive on my computer.

    **Within LR4**, in the Library module, I moved folders of photos into an “Archived Photos” folder on the networked+mapped hard drive. It took a bit of time, but as far as I can tell, I am able to work with these photos in LR4 on my laptop– and they no longer are stored on my laptop.

    I don’t know if this is exactly what you were talking about, but I thought that I would come and leave my “solution” just in case it could help!
    ~Natalie (an avid paper-scrapper listener!)

  25. Hello from London, England! Yes, you have reached across the ocean :-)

    I’m slowly catching up on all your shows (they make my boring morning bus rides much easier to bear!)

    I’m a relative newbie to digi scrapping (I was a paper scrapper from 2002 to 2008 – had to stop as small, fiddly embellishments and sharp cutting instruments do not mix well with an inquisitive toddler). I then stumbled on Project Life in January this year, bought some paper goods but was frustrated at not being able to adapt them to the colours/content of my photos. I bought a few printables from Etsy-based designers, then stumbled on Sweet Shoppe and The Digichick – and the rest is history. Since May, when I bought/downloaded my first kit, I have scrapped 144 pages and ‘acquired’ 96GB of kits, word art, freebies, vectors, brushes, overlays, photo masks – do you think I might (just possibly) be addicted??

    Anyway, I wanted to particularly thank you for picking After Light. Awesome is an understatement – my iPhone is my only camera and I have spent hours playing with it since I downloaded this app . Love all the colour filters and instant photo effects – just way too much fun. Thank you – it’s helping take my photos to another level :-)

  26. Christine M says:

    Regarding the Lightroom catalog issue Peppermint mentioned at the end of the show:

    I store my LR catalog on Dropbox and have dropbox installed on each of my computers. My photos are stored on one drive (with backups, of course) which can be accessed over our home network. Because Dropbox shows up as just a folder on your system, you can use the catalog, and once you close it, it automatically syncs across all your machines.

    If you move to a different computer to work, all you need to do is tell the Lightroom catalog where the missing data folder is. Easy Peasy with no complicated work arounds or transferring on your part. I hope that makes sense.

    Thanks for all the hard work you put in to producing the show. I’ve learned a lot over the years.

    • steph says:

      This is brilliant!!!! Now I can start using LR on my Mac too! Yay!!

    • Christine M says:

      One caveat I forgot to mention is that you must make sure your Dropbox is done synchronizing before you open your catalog on a different machine. If you don’t, your catalog files will turn into a mess with conflicting backups. (Personal experience)

  27. Carole says:

    Just now listening to this show in February 2014 & it looks like Katrina Kennedy is offering her class “Your Life Captured Thru The Lens” again beginning February 24 for $74! I just bought my first DSLR last month so this is perfect timing for me!

  28. AmberMcB says:

    Katie, I’m not sure if you see these comments on really old episodes, but I am just now listening to this one more than 6 months late. Bottom line – it IS the camera, not your mom or the settings!! And, it’s funny I listened to this now because just last week I was wondering if your mom is still happy with her Canon.

    I’m the one who got the same camera your mom did back in December 2011. In recent months I’ve been more & more dissatisfied with the quality of my pictures and also wondered if my own ‘shake’ attributed to that. It got to the point that I bought a photographer’s kit with tripod, lights & a light tent for photographing my hybrid projects used in my CT commitments. I’ve tried every setting and I still can’t manage to get a completely crisp shot of my projects and it is killing me. :( I realize now I’ve taken at least 25,000 shots with this camera. Is that a good lifespan for a P&S or should I expect it to last longer?

    I’m researching again. At first I wanted to go back to a Kodak P&S because all 3 that I’ve had took consistently crisp shots forever… then I remembered the reason for my switch to Canon is Kodak is sooo slow between shots.

    Now, I’m trying to figure out which is more important. The ability to take multiple shots per second with no limit on the # of shots (for the fast paced kids’ playing) — or taking more carefully planned shots and hoping to capture the right moments.

    If your mom has found (or does find) a suitable replacement — please let me know ;)

    • Soraya says:

      Amber, have you considered a Nikon? To be honest, I don’t use a point-and-shoot anymore — I use my iphone for the photos I’m not taking with my dslr (something to consider if you haven’t already; the photo capabilities of many phones today are pretty amazing, maybe invest in a set of lenses for your phone instead of a new point-and-shoot?). But the last point-and-shoot I bought was an inexpensive, entry-level Nikon, and I remember being pretty happy with it. It was a Coolpix; I can’t remember the model. Good luck!

      • AmberMcB says:

        Thanks for your input!! I’m keeping my options open & will look at Nikon too. ;)

        • Courtney M says:

          Peppermint has a point and shoot that she loves, I think it was a pick of the week one time?