Doug McLean

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  1. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

    Personally, I don't trust cloud storage. Too many times I have seen "The Cloud" rain users data all over the planet. All it takes is one skilled hacker with nothing better to do and your data is public.
  2. show your best-selling photo

    172 downloads so far, and still selling regularly.
  3. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

    In real life (when I'm not playing at being a photographer), I am a network and computer technician (25+ years experience), so I'll throw my $0.02 in. Assuming that the USB cable is ok (they very rarely go bad), there are a couple of possibilities. First, with some external hard drives, the USB interface is built directly on the hard drive instead of having a SATA interface on the drive. With other drives, the hard drive inside is a SATA drive, in a case with a USB to SATA adapter. In the first case, either the interface is bad, or drive itself is bad. If the interface is bad, then a good data recovery house should be able to get the data back. If the heads or platters in the drive are damaged, they *might* be able to get some, but not all of the data. The best place to use would probably be the recovery house operated by the drive manufacturer, most of them offer this service. In the second case, if it is a SATA drive in a USB to SATA bay, the only problem may be that the adapter in the bay has failed. If this is what happened, it could be as simple as putting the drive inside in a new bay, these are relatively cheap. And decent computer shop should be able to help you with this if you aren't comfortable checking this yourself. Otherwise, the comments are the same as above, see if the drive manufacturer (probably either Seagate or Western Digital?) can recover the data. Note that data recovery such as this can get expensive. Sometimes it can be as low as several hundred dollars, but in some cases it can run many thousands. A data recovery house should be able to give you at least a rough estimate before they do the actual recovery. Another comment, and other people with laptops and external hard drives should heed this: Frequently at work we get clients bringing us laptops with bad hard drives and external hard drives that have failed. Regular hard drives are very delicate, and many people don't realize exactly how delicate they are. Bumping them or moving them while they are powered on can damage them, with the loss of all data. I tell people when your USB hard drive is powered on, don't bump it or move it. If it has a power switch on it, turn it off without moving the drive. if it doesn't (powered by the USB port), don't pick up the drive to unplug the cable, carefully unplug the USB cable from the drive (or better, the computer) without moving it. Then wait 30 or 60 seconds for the drive to spin down before moving it. I also tell people that if they want to move their laptop, turn it off or put it to sleep, and wait 30 or 60 seconds for the drive to spin down, then move it. Turn it on or wake it once it has been moved. The above doesn't apply if your laptop has a SSD, these have no moving parts, and while they have their own problems, movement while powered on is not one of them. If your laptop has a SSD (many newer ones do) it is perfectly save to move it around while using it. I'm not saying that moving a hard drive while powered on will always damage it, or that is what may have happened in this case, or that this is the only cause of hard drive failure, but it is a very common problem, and I hope everyone reading this will heed the advice above and hopefully save themselves some grief. One final comment: external hard drives are relatively cheap, and I would encourage everyone with critical data (including pictures) to keep at least two copies on external drives. Another option is to keep one copy on an external drive, and burn another copy on a series of DVDs. Blank DVDs are dirt cheap, and a spindle of 50 will hold roughly 200 GB. If you have too many photos to make this practical, a blue ray burner and a stack of blank blue ray discs will get you much more date on each disc.
  4. SOS! Why I have low sales

    As Sarah2 said, they are all very similar. Ask yourself, what would a buyer use them for? Do you see a lot of pictures like yours on web sites, blogs, in magazines, corporate reports, etc? That is where many of the pictures sold wind up. Most of your photos are flowers, trees, or light blurs. If you search "flower" on Shutterstock, there are 98,761 pages of results. Light blur gives 21,190 pages, and tree 118,639. Your photos are getting lost among millions of others, the market for the types of photos you have is very saturated. The best way to sell photos is to look for something that few other people are doing. If you can do that, and do it well, you'll get more sales.
  5. amazing drop in sales

    I never sell a lot, but this month is a bit up for me so far, 42 sales for a total of $69.94.
  6. Has this ever occurred to you ...

    Correct, if you assume that film is analog and the coating is uniform and infinitely small. Light is analog, so there are infinite color variations for a dot of light, and that dot can be an infinite number of sizes. A digital camera converts analog light into a digital signal, and each dot is a fixed size pixel, and each pixel must have one of a finite number of colors. For example, if you assume 8 bits/color (this would be JPG, raw would be more but the theory is the same), a digital camera might see a single pixels color values as 120, 130, 200. But (simplifying things greatly) the actual values might be 120.2, 130.1, 199.8. Or, they might have been 119.7, 129.9, 200.2 A digital camera will record both of the above as 120, 130, 200, but an analog camera does not record these as numbers, it just measures the values of the light. An analog camera doesn't break the light down into discrete pixels with digital color values. Think of an analog camera as a bottle with water. It can have 1.0 liters, 1.001 liters, 1.0000000000000001 liters, etc. Now think of a digital camera as a digital device that can measure the water in steps of 0.01 liters. If the bottle holds up to 2 liters, then there are only so many readings you could get for the water level, 0.9999 liters and 1.0001 liters would give the same reading (1.0). Is is a similar concept with a digital camera. There are other considerations involved with analog film, such as film grain, grain on the photo paper (if you aren't shooting slide film), sensitivity of the film to various wavelengths of light, etc. But the basic physics is that the set of data that a digital camera can record is finite, and it depends on the number of pixels in the sensor, and the number of color values each pixel can have.
  7. Has this ever occurred to you ...

    Whatever. My degree is half math and half computer science (with an engineering diploma thrown in) so I know what I am talking about. With a digital camera you are dealing with a finite amount of possible data combinations. That's the way digital data works, whether you understand it or not..
  8. Has this ever occurred to you ...

    What you see is endless because scenes are analog, so there are infinite possibilities. Sensors are digital, so what they can record is limited by the number of pixels, and the number of colors per pixel. There is a finite numner of photos that they can produce. It is simple math.
  9. Has this ever occurred to you ...

    No, the luminance is part of the color. For gray, a luminance of 0 is black, and 255 is white. For color, 0,0,0 is black, 255,255,255 is white. There is no extra value for luminance. When you see luminance in a photo editing program, it just manipulates the RGB values.
  10. Has this ever occurred to you ...

    A single pixel can have one of a finite number (16,581,375 colors for 8 bit/channel, or 255 or 8 bit grayscale), and the hypothetical sensor size is finite, so there are a finite number of pictures that can be taken (although a very large number). One pixel does not represent numerous subjects, it is just one specific color in the overall scene.
  11. Photo retouching don'ts!

    I saw that on Facebook, it has to be a joke, right???
  12. Has this ever occurred to you ...

    If your hypothetical camera shoots JPG, then each pixel has a red, green and blue value, so you will have 16,581,375 possible colors per pixel. at 1024x768, you will have 786,432 pixels. when you look at 786,432^16,581,375, you get a number that is too big for my computer to even calculate. I'm guessing that you would need a super computer to even figure out how many possible pictures there are. If your camera is grayscale (only 256 colors) then there are about 1.94653 * 10^1509 possible photos. This is roughly 9.28178 * 10^1052 TB of data (at 0.5 MB/photo), which is many magnitudes greater than the total storage capacity of all data devices in the world, and even at the rate technology moves forward, I suspect it will be hundreds or thousands of years (or more) before the planet as a whole has that much storage capacity, let alone the computer capability to produce the photos. And that is just for grayscale, color would be much much more. So, you won't have to worry about it.
  13. Tripod Stability Test

    Muck of the shake was due to the mirror, so that will affect the shot. Don't know exactly when the shutter shake occurs, but I would guess part when it fires, and part when it stops. It might be possible to test this with a very good laser (small dot) and a longer exposure?
  14. Tripod Stability Test

    For $15 worth of parts from ebay, you could find out. You could even glue a laser pointer to a hotshoe cover, but laser pointers don't allow you to focus the dot, so it spreads more. A laser pointer and hotshoe cover should only cost you $2-$3 on ebay, shipping included. A laser head that focuses and cheap flashlight costs more, but you can test over longer distances. Worth the $15 in my mind.
  15. photos rejected for "Sensitive Information"

    I heard back from support, the "sensitive information" was the address on the label. In the property release I attached, I stated that this information is fictitious, made up by me. The address I used does not actually exist, in fact, the town/city doesn't exist either. 30 seconds on Google will confirm that there is no such address. Do reviewers actually read the property releases???