GoodSync: A Good Option

GoodSyncI work on photographs on two different computers. I find myself constantly wishing that I had a file that’s on the other machine, having to hunt down a thumb drive and move it over. Network folders have helped, but what I’ve really been looking for is a solution that requires no help from me. I’m lazy — I want my files to always be in the right place, but I shouldn’t have to move them myself.

That’s where GoodSync comes in. It takes a few clicks to select folders that you want the software to keep synchronized, and then you’re done. GoodSync does all that hard work I’ve been complaining about: if you drop a file in a synced folder, it’s available on that other machine.

Installation and set up was pretty simple. GoodSync runs on Windows 2000 through Vista. I downloaded the executable file, agreed to the terms and had GoodSync up and running in under a minute (mileage may vary, depending on the speed of your internet connection). The interface is easy to use, especially considering some of the file management systems floating around out there. I especially like the automated features. You can set synchronization for any number of times, such as before you log off. It’s flexible enough to fit into anyone’s work schedule.

Furthermore, you don’t have to limit your synchronization to your photos. Anything, up to and including those many gigs of MP3s you’ve downloaded, can be synced between your computers. It’s pretty much an automatic backup made better by the fact that GoodSync protects against data loss without filling up your hard drive with duplicate files.

My only question for GoodSync is when they’re going to release a version that will let me sync with files on my Mac. It may be wishful thinking, but it would be nice.

You can download a free trial version on the GoodSync website, or purchase a license for $29.95.

More on the Getty and Flickr Partnership

As we’ve reported, Flickr has announced a new partnership with Getty Images, the well-known seller of stock imagery that will allow photographers with Flickr accounts to make some money. Getty can now browse images hosted on the site and contact Flickr members directly about sharing their images in Getty’s new Flickr-branded collection.

Photographers will be paid for the use of their images, on the sliding scale that Getty Images uses for all photograph licensing. Photographers will be expected to sign a contract allowing for the use of images once Getty has selected their work. There is no way to notify Getty that you want your Flickr photos considered, however. According to a CNET article, you’ll just have to wait to be contacted.

Firmware Update for the EX-F1

The Casio EX-F1 is getting a firmware update that allows photographers to prerecord movies. We’ve all missed a few seconds of that perfect moment, but with this update, the EX-F1 will start capturing video five seconds before you fully press down the movie button. If you get your finger in the general area, you’ll still be able to catch those great videos.

Firmware Version 1.10 for the EX-F1 will be available as a download on Casio’s website. It will be free. This firmware update is a follow up to April’s Firmware Version 1.02, speeding up start-ups and enabling high speed zooming when fecording video.

New UK Limits on Photography

Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, has sent a letter to the British Journal of Photography. It’s a very worrying letter, affirming that while there are no legal restrictions on photography in public places, local chief constables are allowed to restrict photography in their jurisdictions.

The letter is a response to earlier correspondence from the BJP expressing concern about ongoing police surveillance of journalists, specifically photographers.

If the British government cares so little for the rights of photojournalists, it’s scary to even think about their views of photographers with less clear credentials. What are artists, hobbyists and grandparents wanting to record memories supposed to do in such situations?

Photograview Interviews Thomas Hawk

Photograview is a site that focuses on interviewing great photographers and this week, they caught up with Thomas Hawk. Thomas is a prolific photographer — his Flickr account boasts just over 14,000 beautifully executed shots. He’s also the CEO of Zooomr, a good alternative for photo hosting.

What truly intrigued me about the interview, though, is the equipment Thomas uses:

Currently I own two digital camera bodies, a Canon EOS 5D and a Canon EOS 10D. I also own 5 Canon L Series lenses, the 135 f/2 (my favorite lens), the 24 f/1.4, the 14 f/2.8, the 50 f/1.2 and the 70-200 f/4. In addition to these lenses I own the Canon EF100 macro. I also own various accessories to go with this Canon setup, Speedlite, batteries, CF cards, card readers, tripods, etc.

When it comes to digital photography, I have to agree with Thomas’ buying habits. Canons are good cameras. Now to work on getting the same quality of image out of my photos as he gets out of his.

Never Stop Exploring Challenge

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the North Face is sponsoring a photography contest in partnership with Brickfish. The deadline is only three days away — July 7.

To enter, all you need to do is submit a photograph of yourself “posing triumphantly” — standing on a mountain’s summit, completing a trail run, pulling an extreme stunt or setting out your next big expedition. The winning photographer receives a complete gear package from The North Face. Other prizes include North Face gift cards.

To enter, submit a photo through the Brickfish website. To have a good shot at winning, you’ll need to ask a few friends to visit Brickfish and vote for your entry.

Nikon Updates D3 and D300 Firmware

Nikon D300 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)Nikon just released the D700, but they seem to want to keep their name in the headlines. They just released new firmware for the D3 DSLR . The biggest improvements were made to the autofocus and the white balance. The D300 also received a firmware update — this one fixes incorrect battery indicators.

If you want to update your Nikon, firmware updates are available for download on Nikon’s website. While it would be nice to get your hands on one of those nice shiny new D700s, these firmware updates will enable your older D3s and D300s to keep up with those young whippersnappers.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Photography Essentials

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Photography Essentials (Complete Idiot's Guide to)The folks at the Complete Idiot’s Guides picked the right guy to cover Photography Essentials. Mark Jenkinson is a photographer of the first order, routinely shooting for big name magazines like Maxim, Time and Vogue.

You might think that Jenkinson would jump to advanced concepts based on his own work, but he’s done a wonderful job of putting together a beginner-to-intermediate manual for photographers. Even if you have a certain level of photography experience, this book will still have plenty to offer.

The table of contents reads like an exceptionally user-friendly textbook:

  • Basic Equipment
  • Optics
  • Exposure
  • Formats
  • Rules & Conventions
  • Light
  • Photographing People
  • Photographing Events
  • Travel & Landscape Photography
  • Still Life Photography
  • Arching
  • Next Steps

The writing style mirrors that approach, without suffering from the condescension many photography textbooks seem to ooze. Instead, this guide is a friendly manual. An added bonus is that Jenkinson does not assume that every beginning photographer will have a bag full of expensive equipment. He offers practical advice that does not require spending a fortune.

Take light meters, for example: Jenkinson gives a great overview of the average metering options on an SLR. He also makes mention of handheld light meters, but doesn’t make them an integral part of his discussion of the subject.

There’s an added bonus with Photography Essentials. The book is full of beautiful color photography, illustrating Jenkinson’s points. It’s always easier to learn a photographic technique when you know the end result you’re aiming for. The photos in this book making it an excellent teaching tool.

Despite my own photography experience, I feel like I learned plenty from his tips on shooting in different types of light. I have a feeling I’ll be dragging this book out as an essential reference for quite a while to come. I’m also asking my photography professor from back in the day to replace his textbook with Jenkinson’s book — it’s a much better introduction overall.

Camera Raw Plugin Available For Photoshop

Adobe Labs made the Camera Raw 4.5 plugin for Photoshop available at the end of last week. This plugin gives Photoshoppers easy access to raw image formats, the format in which most professional and prosumer digital cameras shoot.

This version is only a release candidate. The plugin is well tested but needs more community testing to put it through its paces on multiple platforms and various hardware. Eventually Camera Raw will be distributed to all Photoshop users, according to the Adobe site.

You can download the plugin for either Macintosh or Windows through the Adobe Labs site. You must already have Adobe Creative Suite 3 or Photoshop CS3 installed on your computer to use Camera Raw.