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Technical notes


I used a Canon 5D Mk 3 camera with a 70-300mm f/5.6 zoom lens,a 16-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens, and a 400mm f/4 prime lens. The 5D is a "full-frame" camera and so the focal length factor is just 1.0. Some of the wide-angle images were taken with a polarizing filter to bring out the clouds in the sky. I did take a tripod although it was awkward on the 'plane. The tripod was essential for the star trails.

I used an adapter on the camera that records GPS co-ordinates in the metadata of each image. Lightroom will then display the location where the image was taken on a Google map. I found this very useful.

I used a 32GB "600x" UDMA CF card and a 64 GB SD card (the camera takes both at the same time). I mainly used the SD card which fits the card slot in the laptop computer. I downloaded the images to the computer nightly and imported them into Lightroom. I always shot in RAW and viewed the images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. I had time on this trip to rank, label and process some of the images during the trip. The Microsoft pro 2 laptop computer that I used is relatively small and light but handled the basic chores well. The internal solid-state hard drive is fast but didn't have much room for photographs (the 5D Mk3 produces RAW files of 28 to 30 MB each); so I used an external SSD hard drive for the images. For backup I used a mechanical external hard drive.

Lightroom ran very well and it was easy to add keywords and captions to the images, and rank and develop them when time was available. When we got home, it was easy to copy the images and their metadata into Lightroom on our desktop computer, by connecting the external SSD hard drive to the desktop computer.

I do not delete many images, either from the camera or the hard drive, unless they are a total disaster. I do not have the time to examine the photos carefully (nor a large screen – the laptop is quite small compared with my desk-top monitor at home) and I also find that my opinion of some images changes over time. However, with experience, I am getting better at deleting images that I don't see a use for.

I leave the images in the Canon RAW format, as they come from the camera, and write metadata changes to separate files. At home, when I have finished processing and labelling, I archive the images with their metadata as DNG files.

I took two rechargeable batteries, with their charger, for the camera; this was satisfactory.

Overall, the trio of digital camera, MS Pro computer, and hard drive worked, for me and my needs.

Once home, I import the images from the external hard drive to a desktop computer and use Adobe Lightroom to sort out any "duds" and rank the remainder. Those that I plan to post to the Web are moved to a Lightroom collection and developed using the develop module in Lightroom. Where necessary, I use Adobe Photoshop CC to make additional changes. Finally, images for the Web are resized and saved as jpegs using Lightroom's export feature.

I wrote the Web site with Dreamweaver and manage it with Dreamweaver CC. I used Adobe Cold Fusion programming to simplify reusing code from exhibition to exhibition.

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