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Adobe update to Photoshop CC 2014 fixes export from Lightroom

Posted by on 1:21 pm in Featured, Software, Troubleshooting | 0 comments

Adobe update to Photoshop CC 2014 fixes export from Lightroom

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Edit In > Photoshop CC 2014If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber who recently updated to Creative Cloud (CC) 2014, you may be having issues.

The relationship between Lightroom and Photoshop broke with the update. Sending an image, or multiple images for HDR or Panoramic processing to Photoshop from Lightroom stopped working. Fortunately, Adobe released an update yesterday that fixes this issue.

The issue occurs when you select an image, or images in Lightroom and navigate to the menu Photo > Edit In > Adobe Photoshop CC 2014. The images remain selected, Photoshop launches/becomes active, but nothing else happens.

Furthermore, the Creative Cloud Installer does not show that an update is available, so we’re left to believe that there is no fix. In order to find the solution we had to contact Adobe directly. Here’s the fix.

Adobe Photoshop Update Software
To fix this issue:

  1. Launch Photoshop CC 2014
  2. Go to the Help menu
  3. Select Updates…
  4. Run the updates

When you restart Lightroom and Photoshop, the Edit In function should work again.

This will hopefully save you a Chat with a Adobe Tech Support and get you back to photo-editing.

Happy Shooting


Join us for our Lightroom workshops with Illuminate Workshops.

If this has helped you comment below.

The Story Behind the Image: Night Photography Trimming

Posted by on 8:05 am in Featured, How to..., Night Photography | 2 comments

The Story Behind the Image: Night Photography Trimming

This photo from the August 2nd [free] Night Photowalk became a topic of inquiry on Facebook, so I thought it might be a good idea to describe how it was made.

Every month, we host a free night photowalk. We’ve been hosting these events since the launch of Illuminate Workshops, in 2008. One of the things we look forward to during the photowalks is taking a photo of the group. It thus falls on our organizers to create a group photo that represents the theme or location of the event. For the August Night Photowalk, we the focus was on light painting. We thought that the group photo should incorporate light painting.  Here’s what happened next.


[free] Night Photowalk - Night Crawlers Group Photo

[free] Night Photowalk – Night Crawlers Group Photo



We needed a spot that represented the area of our night photowalk. This was easy enough, since it was held in a park, the playground seemed like an obvious choice.


Because everyone was excited about starting the earlier fire portion of the evening, we postponed the group photo until the end. Because we waited, we wound up losing some of our group to early bedtimes and work/family responsibilities. The remaining Night Crawlers had to coordinate to make this image possible.

We needed the following components:

  • Camera operators
  • Trimmers and
  • Ensemble Characters

The Ensemble Characters would have to pose in such a way that their outline would have shape; the more unusual the better. The Trimmers would then trace the Ensemble Characters as close to their shape as possible. The camera operators had to… operate the multiple cameras.

Exposure and Trimming

Generally, you can take an exposure up to 30-secs without having to manually time the exposure with a stopwatch. The camera can count down from thirty. However, the Trimmers needed enough time to trace up to 4-Ensemble Characters each. This meant that a 30-second exposure time would not be enough time. We needed an exposure that was over 60-seconds in order to get everyone traced.

We calculated the exposure to be around 1-minute at f/5.6 at ISO-100. We then let the Trimmers and Ensemble Characters do their stuff.

In all, it took about three attempts to get the image you see here. For the first image, the Trimmers were given a change to practice and get their technique down. For the second exposure, the main camera didn’t stay open for the full 60-secs. By the third image, all the bugs were worked out and we captured this final image.

Trimmers: Match G, Scott S, Michael M.,

Camera Operators: Sara H, Efrain Cruz

Ensemble Characters: Dillon S, Amee S, Daniel H, David S, Lisa D, Cynthia D., Ashley S., Jane,  Vic B, Brad M., Jerry S., Mary B.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this months’ [free] Night Photowalk. Thanks for your great energy and enthusiasm.

Renting equipment for wildlife photography

Posted by on 6:08 pm in Advice, Camera, Camera Tech, Featured, How to..., Insurance, Landscape, Lenses, Lenses, Style, Tripods, Wildlife | 0 comments

Renting equipment for wildlife photography

600mm lens supported by gimbal head

Even a professional photographer may not necessarily own a super-telephoto lens. Let’s face it, a super-telephoto lens is a big, big, big investment; upwards of $8,000. With that kind of scratch you could outfit a small studio with a mid-tier DSLR, a 24-70mm, f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and a decent set of lights. For anyone but the most committed wildlife photographers, a 600mm f/4 is strictly a once-in-a-while lens. For equipment that you use infrequently, it might be a better solution to rent what you want.

Last week we discussed considerations when choosing a lens, camera and teleconverter combination for wildlife photography. In this post, we discuss supporting all that weight and where to go to get it.

The Right Tripod Head

A 600mm lens weighs almost 9-lbs/4-kg, you will need a system that will not only support your gear, but also allow you to control it easily. The most popular style of head for this type of photography is a Gimbal head.

The Gimbal head is designed to support large lenses on a tripod and gives the photographer a range of motion on two-axises: vertical and horizontal. Moreover, a good gimbal head makes it easy for you to setup and frame your image.

It’s important to select a tripod head that’s easy to use. If you don’t like using it, it’s likely that you may not use it and try to shoot handheld. This is not a recommended approach.

WH-200 Wimberley Head Mark II

The Tripod

Once you’ve selected a lens, camera, and tripod head, it’s time to mount the whole rig to your tripod. This is where a strong tripod becomes important.

All this equipment can weigh up to 20-lbs/9-kg and cost about $20, 000/€14,000 your tripod has to be able to support the weight comfortably without wavering. Check your current tripod to see if it’s up to the challenge. If not, add a better one to the shopping list. If you need help choosing a tripod, check out this video we made on the subject.

Why Buy When You Can Rent?

Now that you have a list of what you need for a successful wildlife outing, it’s time to collect it all. You could go out and buy the gear and rack up a bill of over $20,000 or you can rent. That’s right, you can rent camera gear.

Camera Rental Houses

There are a number of companies which rent camera equipment around the country. Some are even here in Denver. As a consumer, you have plenty to choose from. Here’s a short list:

BorrowLenses, LensRentals and ProPhotoRental will ship the equipment you need to your home. Some will even ship to your destination. This convenience saves you from wasting a rental day while you are traveling.

Is Everything Covered?

As a precaution, make sure that the equipment you rent is covered against theft or damage. Most rental houses will recommend (and sell) a damage waiver. Check with your home owners/renters/business insurance agent to see that you are covered against theft and damages of any equipment you carry with you. Nothing can ruin a great photo trip more quickly than the loss of some valuable gear.

Checklist for Wildlife Photography

  1. Stable Tripod Legs
  2. Strong and Flexible Tripod Head: Gimbal
  3. Quick Release Plate for Tripod Head
  4. Lens(es)
  5. Teleconverter
  6. Camera
  7. Memory Cards
  8. Camera batteries and extras
  9. Cable or Remote Shutter Release
  10. Weather Protection
  11. Damage Waiver
  12. Correct Shipping Address and Delivery Dates

Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below. We hope you have a safe trip and that you will visit our Destination Workshops sites:
Moab Photography Workshop: Shoot, Edit, Create
Yellowstone Landscape & Wildlife Workshop
Capturing Fall Colors Around Crested Butte



Choosing Lenses for Wildlife Photography

Posted by on 10:17 am in Advice, Camera, Camera Tech, Featured, Landscape, Lenses, Wildlife, Wlidlife | 0 comments

Choosing Lenses for Wildlife Photography

Long Lenses for Wildlife Photography

Our Yellowstone Landscape & Wildlife Workshop is approaching and we would like to get our students prepared for the trip.

Canon 600mm f/4L ISFor wildlife photography, your lens selection can be the difference between getting mauled or safely making a photograph of an apex predator. It can be the difference between capturing a Grizzly Bear full frame or getting a little black dot in a landscape.

Wildlife isn’t necessarily courteous of human interlopers. It’s important to maintain a safe distance, both for your safety and that of the animal. Acquiring a lens of reasonable effective focal length becomes necessary in order to capture images like those seen in magazines.

If you’re planning on photographing wildlife this spring and summer, you will likely want a long focal length lens. Since few photographers own a super-telephoto lensA lens with focal length of 300mm and longer. the option to rent one becomes very appealing.

Wildlife photography requires a range between 400mm – 1,800mm


How long of a lens do I need?

A long focal length lens uses magnification to allow you to “reach” your subjects. If you’re not sure how long of a lens you need, here’s a link to a calculator to figure it out:

Use the following example for starters:

  • Subject Distance: 100-yards. the National Park Service requires that park visitors stay 100-yards from wolves and bears.
  • Subject Size: Between 2-feet and 8-feet. An average Grizzly bear is 6.5-feet long, whereas an Osprey is 24-inches long (add 50-inches for wingspan).
  • Camera Type: This depends on whether you will use a full-frame or cropped-sensor camera.


Long lenses need support

Combinations: Lens, Camera and Teleconverter

Camera and Lens

There are a number of ways to achieve various focal lengths. Many cameras utilize a crop sensor. When paired with a long lens, a cropped sensor camera can greatly extend your focal length for wildlife photography. 

A full frame sensor cameraAn camera with an image sensor equivalent to 35mm film: 36mm x 24mm. will represent a 600mm lens as a 600. However, when paired with a cropped sensor camera,An camera with an image sensor smaller than: 36mm x 24mm. the 600mm will behave like a 900mm. Cropped sensor cameras will have a magnification factor between 1.2x – 1.6x, depending on the camera model (see your camera manual for magnification factor). When you multiply your camera’s magnification factor by the focal length of the lens, you will determine the effective focal length.

Magnification Factor x Focal Length = Effective Focal Length example: Mag Factor 1.5 x 600mm = 900mm

Now the teleconverter

After you have calculated the effective focal length of your camera and lens combination. You can start looking at teleconverters.

A teleconverter is a device which mounts between your lens and camera effectively extending the focal length. There are pros and cons to using a teleconverter.


  • Inexpensive solution to increasing your effective focal length.
  • Easy to convert from a long lens to a short one.

  • Will reduce your maximum aperture by the same factor as focal length.A lens that opens to f/4 when paired with a 2x teleconverter will only open to f/8.
  • Will magnify a lens’ inherent distortion.
  • Slower focusing.

In order to reduce the negative effects of using a teleconverter, it’s important that you start with a lens that has both a large maximum aperture and is very sharp with few imperfections. Therefore high quality lenses are essential. There are two basic teleconverters offered by most camera manufacturers: 1.4x and 2x. The more you magnify the lens, the more distortion you will introduce. Therefore a 2x teleconverter will add more distortion than a 1.4x.

Despite it’s shortcomings, a teleconverter can give  you the benefit of two lenses in one. When paired with a 600mm lens, a 1.4x teleconverter will give you an effective focal length of 840mm. If this pair is then mounted to a cropped sensor camera, the effective focal length becomes 1260mm. You can see how this system can give you the flexibility of at least two focal lengths (three with an additional full frame sensor camera)  for more bang for your buck.

600mm on Full Frame Sensor Camera

Effective Focal Length= 600mm

600mm on Cropped Sensor Camera

Effective Focal Length= 900mm

600mm with 1.4x teleconverter on Cropped Sensor Camera

Effective Focal Length= 1260mm

One downside of using a teleconverter is the loss of aperture. With a 1.4x teleconverter (TC) you can expect to lose one-stop of aperture, while a 2x TC will lose 2-stops. Your 600mm f/4, becomes a 900mm f/5.6 and a 1200mm f/8, respectively.

When it comes down to it, my recommendation is to “be prepared”. If your spring and summer plans involve taking wildlife photos, it’s a good idea to prepare with some research into a super-telephoto lens and a teleconverter.

In next week’s blog we’ll discuss how to support this gear and the option of renting.

We hope you will put this information to good use before we see at our Yellowstone Landscape & Wildlife Workshop in June.



Best Cloud Services for Sharing Large Photo and Video Files

Posted by on 11:55 am in Advice, Featured, How to..., Software | 2 comments

Best Cloud Services for Sharing Large Photo and Video Files

Limits to email file sharing

One day you may find it necessary to share files with your friends, family or clients.

You may have already discovered that your email client will not allow you to send files larger than 10MB. One exception is Gmail, which allows for files as large as 25MB. However, your recipient may not be able to access the files due to limits imposed by their email service.

Using a cloud service to share files is a great way to circumvent the limitations of email sharing.

Cloud Storage Services with Sharing

We have compiled a list of services which can handle the transfer of large files below.

WeTransfer is a great way to transfer photo files, especially if you’re sharing files with clients. They offer a free transfer of up to 2GBs. You can send your files to multiple recipients and get a confirmation email when your files have been downloaded.

Their Plus service ($10 per month) allows you to increase the transfer size to 10GBs. You can customize the landing page with your own images, password-protect the transfers, keep the files in storage long-term and get a customized domain name.

Dropbox is currently the most recognized if not the most used cloud storage service. It syncs well across all of your devices and allows users to share files through Public folders.


Box is very much like Dropbox, but it’s geared more toward collaboration and businesses. Due to the security needs of business, Box has more robust encryption from end-to-end than Dropbox. However, Dropbox is committing to better securing your content.

Zenfolio and
Zenfolio and SmugMug are the complete package. You can create a website, have multiple password-protected galleries and sell your images (either in digital or in print form) directly from the site.

You can share large files with friends and clients directly through Zenfolio. It’s not as easy to use as WeTransfer; you would have to upload the file, edit the access features and pass along the share link to your clients. It’s more laborious, but the landing page will be customized and branded for your company.

If you would like to make your digital files available for sale, Zenfolio and SmugMug allow you to attach pricing. They take care of the file transfer, collect payment and send you your fees after a deduction for their service.

SugarSync is both a file sharing service and a syncing service. One of best and most unique feature about SugarSync is that you can ‘tell’ the service which folders and files you want to sync across  multiple devices and it will take care of the organization for you. This is different from some of the other services because of how they handle syncs. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and OneDrive all ask you to place the files you want to sync into their master-folder on your computer. SugarSync allows you to keep your files where they are and syncs them directly. Plans range from $7.49/mo to $55/month.

MediaFire is a file transfer service which emphasizes the transfer of media, including images, video and audio. Further they highlight sharing through Social Media and gives users control over who can access files. The interface on both the web and mobile devices is pretty slick. Files can be shared from your mobile device or from your web browser. A free account starts you off with 10GB, a Pro account gets you 100GB for $2.49 per month.

Bitcasa has a few cool things going for them, they’re offering much more free cloud storage (20GB), they offer an Infinity Drive for unlimited storage, your files are full encrypted and you can share files privately.

If you visit their About page, you just might melt from all the cute doggies.

Best Practices

If you have more than one file to share with your client, it’s a good practice to compress your files into an archived ZIP file. Compressing many files into one, keeps things simple for the recipient. Taking this extra step helps to reduce confusion and keeps files organized.

Create a client-friendly directory and compress to a ZIP file.

Organize the files to be delivered into a single folder before compressing. I use client-friendly directories which make it easier for the recipient to find the files he/she needs. Once your files are organized in master folder, you can then compress that folder.

How to Compress Files


  1. Right click on it and select “Send To”
  2. Choose “Compressed (zipped) Folder”

  1. Control+Click or Right-Click on the file.
  2. Choose “Compress …” from the drop-down.

Storage and Backup Strategies for Photographers – pt 2 of 3

Posted by on 8:54 am in Advice, Featured, How to..., Software | 0 comments

Storage and Backup Strategies for Photographers – pt 2 of 3
Glossary Term

Redundancy: Used to describe a component of a computer or network system that is used to guard the primary system from failure by acting as a back up system.1

Where Redundancy is Preferred

In most aspects of your life, redundancy is not something to aspire to. You wouldn’t, for example, want to be redundant at your place of work.

However, when it comes to backing up your important data, redundancy is key. You need to make sure that your data is backed up in at least two locations and that those backups are current. Today, I want to communicate the importance of having a auxiliary, offsite backup of all your digital assets; including your photos, videos, documents, music, Lightroom catalogs, everything.Drobo Data Robot


In last week’s post, it was mentioned that there are three types of events which could affect the continuity of your digital data:

  1. Technical Failure
  2. Theft or Loss
  3. Natural Disaster

Having a local backup is great in the event of Technical Failure. If, however your data loss is a result of Theft, Loss or Natural Disaster, you would be no better off than having no backup at all.
It is therefore wise to have an auxiliary backup offsite. Depending on where you live, the distance of your auxiliary backup will vary.

A thief may steal your computer and any attached hard drives. A tornado, fire or hurricane may sweep away all your valuables. Having an offsite backup will help protect you from data loss in these situations.

Where to keep you offsite backup

Backup to Multiple Hard DrivesDifferent areas of the country experience varying regional weather phenomena. The location of your offsite backup depends largely on the scale and scope of the weather in your region.

If you live in a tornado-prone region, have your auxiliary backup at least 2-miles away from your primary computer and primary backup. If your area of the country is flood-prone or fire-prone, keep your auxiliary backup in a non-flood or non-fire area. If you live in an hurricane-prone zone, your backup has to be stored either a) far away or b) in a water-tight enclosure inside of a solid structure, like a safety-deposit box.


Plan to have backups in at least two separate geographic locations.

Online Backup Solutions

There are services that provide backup solutions for computer users. They are convenient and would satisfy the need to store your data remotely. However for users with large amounts of data to protect, these services may be unfeasible.

Pros of Online Backup Solutions;

  1. Offsite backups
  2. Automatic Daily Backup.
  3. Inexpensive


  1. Internet Service Provider (ISP) monthly bandwidth limits, usually 250GBs per month2Your ISP puts a limit on how much data you can send and receive from the Internet. That limit averages about 250 gigabytes per month; 150GBs per month with CenturyLink. Truthfully, it's a lot of data if you browse the web, send and receive emails, and stream music and movies. Most users only use a very small percentage of this. However, if you have more than 250Gbs worth of data to protect, your ISP will either charge an overage fee or shut down your connection altogether.
  2. Services will only backup internal hard drives.Attached drives are not included in base subscriptions. Only the hard drive in your computer will be backed up. Any hard drives connected to your machine will not be included in the backup process. To include external drives you must upgrade from the basic service.
  3. Not a foolproof solution.Most Terms of Service agreements liberate the backup service provider from responsibility in the event of data loss. Should the backup facility experience a catastrophe, your data is not 100% guaranteed from

If you’re interested in online backup solutions Tim Fisher has reviewed 26 online backup services on He also has a  comparison chart.

Software Alternatives

There are software alternatives which would be more robust than Time Machine or Backup and Restore. A benefit of alternative backup software is the ability to choose which files, folders, and drives are backed up. You can schedule your backups to occur at those times of day when you are not using your computer. I use ChronoSync to schedule my backups for 2 a.m..

There are too many to cover in this brief blog post. If you are interested in alternative backup software, be sure to research carefully for your operating system and needs.

Checklist of Offsite Backup:

  1. Use at least one (two preferred) external hard drive dedicated to offsite backup. Alternate Offsite Drives on a regular basis.
  2. Use software to backup Offsite Hard Drives.
  3. Choose a safe location within a reasonable distance from your main computer.

Next week: What if the worst happens?


  1. Webopedia:redundant
  2. Which ISPs are capping your broadband and why?
  3. 26 Online Backup Services Reviewed


Storage and Backup Strategies for Photographers – pt 1 of 3

Storage and Backup Strategies for Photographers – pt 1 of 3

Posted by on 4:46 pm in Advice, Featured, How to..., Software | 0 comments

Storage and Backup Strategies for Photographers – pt 1 of 3
Glossary Term

Backup (BUP): a duplicate copy of a computer user’s data on a secondary storage device. A copy of your digital assets.

Scared into Action

Today, I’m here to scare you. I don’t want to scare you of the boogeyman, of werewolves or of vampires. No, I want to frighten you of something much more serious and much more likely. I want you to become afraid of a catastrophic computer crash. I want you to wonder if your computer is successfully and completely backed up. I want to encourage you to implement a backup strategy right away.

In computer science there is a saying; it’s not IF your computer will crash but WHEN will your computer crash.

It’s not if but when:

Rugged ©2013 Efrain Cruz

All computers are machines and like all machines, computers will eventually fail, perhaps catastrophically. If your machine fails before you have had a chance to backup it’s contents then you’re in for a world of pain and frustration; not to mention cost.

Why you should back up

If you’re the happy owner of a new computer, you may feel somewhat invincible. My suggestion is, don’t get too comfortable just yet. Computers are machines and machine fail. Here’s a brief rundown of what may befall your beloved new tool.

What is your digital life?

It’s everything that you store on your computer(s). It’s your photos, your movies, your financial documents, your music collection, it’s your memories, your treasures, your…life.

Technical Failure

No matter how new or old your computer may be, it can always fail. Although the likelihood of a new computer failing is less than that of an older machine, it’s still possible. Technical failure may be due to a bad batch of hard drives or logic boards from a manufacturer, or it may come as a result of a poorly placed glass of Chardonnay. In either case, a technical failure of your computer can cause great calamity to your work.

Theft and Loss

Your computer may be a common item to you, but to someone with sticky fingers it may be a much sought-after prize. Here’s an interesting fact, over 12,000 laptops are lost in U.S. airports every week. 1   That’s over 600,000 per year in the U.S. alone. If your machine were one of those 600,000 and you didn’t have a backup; you could expect some long nights making up for lost data.

Natural Disaster

Drobo ©2013 Efrain Cruz

I’m from the South, and in the South we have hurricanes and floods. Now that I live in Colorado, there are fewer floods, but now we have tornados, fires and blizzards. Should you become the victim of some natural disaster, you would be very glad to have you entire digital life backed up.


What you will need:

  1. First make sure that you have an automatic backup software installedMac users have Time Machine (OS 10.5 and newer)PC user have either Backup and Restore or Windows Backup (Windows Vista or newer)..
  2. Find or Buy a hard driveMake sure that your new backup drive (aka. BUP) is at least as large as the drive or drives you want to backup. that is at least as large as the hard drive you want to backup.
  3. Connect your backup hard drive to your computer.
  4. If you are using Windows Vista or newer; Mac users, version 10.5 or newer, your backup software should prompt you to start a backup. Otherwise launch Time Machine [Mac] or Backup and Restore [Windows].

Next week: Where to keep your backups.


1. Airport Insecurity: The Case of Missing & Lost Laptops [PDF]

Signup for People’s Fair Photographers

Posted by on 4:09 pm in Events | 0 comments

Signup for People’s Fair Photographers

VIP All Access People’s Fair Photographers

Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) has honored Illuminate Workshops with the role of Official Photographers of People’s Fair. (more…)

Adobe Drops Price on Creative Suite

Posted by on 1:22 pm in Advice, Featured, Software | 0 comments

Adobe Drops Price on Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite Price Drops

Adobe has dropped the monthly price of the Creative Suite; from $49/mo to $29/mo. Click here to see other editing options.


Tripod Advice: Heads

Posted by on 3:15 pm in Advice, Camera Tech, Featured, Landscape, Night Photography, Tripods, Videos | 0 comments

Tripod Advice: Heads

We discuss the differences, benefits and limitations of various tripod heads.

Tripod heads come in different varieties, this week we’re looking at Ball heads, Fluid head and 3D heads.


Fluid Head

Manfrotto Fluid HeadA Fluid head, also known as a Video head, is designed to prevent jolting the camera during a Pan or a Tilt when shooting video. It’s not as maneuverable as other heads because it’s main purpose is to hold the camera horizontal for video. Some designs allow you to change the Portrait/Landscape orientation of the camera. This extra adjustment makes it a good compromise for still photographers who also shoot video.

3D Head

Manfrotto 3D Head3D heads are best for architectural, macro, landscape and astrophotography. They take a little longer to set up but give you a great deal of control over discrete tilt and rotational adjustments. For more control, look into a Geared 3D head.

Ball Head

Induro Dm23 Ball HeadBall heads are easy to adjust and are capable of supporting higher loads. A good ball head can be framed up quickly by locking a single knob. Ball heads with drag control are convenient when you need to make minor adjustments to composition without releasing the ball head entirely.



Some features you may look for in tripod heads are a spirit level and quick release system. The spirit level helps you level your camera when composing landscapes and architecture. A quick release system allows you to quickly mount and release your camera from the tripod without the need to thread the camera every time.
We hope this tripod advice has been useful. If you like these Tips, share them with friends.


Make Better Photos: Use a Tripod
Tip of the Week: Gear Advice Tripod Legs