Apple Photos trifecta of storage eating features

Apple Photos trifecta of storage eating features

Apple Photos has a trifecta of features – Live Photos, Burst Mode and HDR, that while offering some convenience and perks, really are part of a strategy that long-term results in massive subscription fees from ever-expanding iCloud accounts. OK, that sounds pretty paranoid, but it’s essentially true.

Apple has released these cool features over the years, which can unquestionably elicit a few oohs and aahs, but ultimately eats up enormous amounts of storage space while the unaware user has no idea why it’s happening. When you think about the relatively short period of time that iPhones, and in particular these features, have been around, it is staggering to think what 10 years, 20 years and more will bring in terms of these growing storage eating features that keep getting rolled out.

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Our photos are the trophies of our lives

Our photos are the trophies of our lives

For years my mother had old photos of myself and other family members and friends thumbtacked to a corkboard in her kitchen. When I moved my mother out of her home a few years ago I had to remove these up to 40-year-old photos that were now faded and yellow and had multiple tiny holes in them from the repeated thumbtacking. If one didn’t know better you might have thought that I and my other family members were victims of some terrible voodoo ritual. Maybe Mom did have some unresolved feelings she was expressing, but more likely they just kept falling down.

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…scanned from my archive. Posing at Grandpa’s studio

…scanned from my archive. Posing at Grandpa’s studio

I’ve mentioned many time that my Grandfather, Boris Lenoff, owned and ran a portrait studio on the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. It later moved to Ocean Parkway and probably closed sometime in the sixties when he sold off the entire inventory of cameras and photo files.

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Being there - Make sure you have the memory before you photograph it

Being there - Make sure you have the memory before you photograph it

My family and I visited the museum the other day here in LA to see the renowned King Tut exhibit. It will be the last time much of the collection will be able to be seen outside of Egypt, ever! The key word here is “seen”, as in looking at something and experiencing the use of our sensory ability called sight. If I am starting to sound sarcastic it is because as I wandered around the exhibit looking at all these ancient marvels, I also started to notice that many of those around me were not actually looking at the relics, but walking around and taking photo after photos of them with their mobile phones.

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…scanned from my archive. Tim and Nico go out Midwest – 1974

…scanned from my archive. Tim and Nico go out Midwest – 1974

In 1974 my brothers Tim and Nico took a trip out the Midwest to visit their grandparents. My stepmother Susan was originally from Minnesota but her parents had relocated to Missouri and so the family took off for the heartland. Along the way they stopped for a visit to Mount Rushmore.

I love this shot that my father took. The quintessential snapshot would have typically had my brothers facing the camera, framed from head to toe (because we all know how important it is to include footwear in meaningful family portraits), with the four presidents shrunk to minuscule versions of themselves in the background.

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Saving your family photo collection from devastating events

Saving your family photo collection from devastating events

I recently had a chance to visit the fire zone in Agoura and Malibu, this was the wildfire called the Woolsey Fire that scorched parts of LA and Ventura Counties in November of 2018. It burned almost 100k acres, destroyed over 1600 homes and killed three people. Almost 300,000 people had to evacuate their homes, and it was many days before they could return because of fallen power lines and the danger from falling trees and branches. Most were lucky to return to intact homes, but many were not.

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What makes a great family photo

What makes a great family photo

I am always telling my clients that we all need to become the editors of our own life story, but sometimes figuring out what makes a photo worth keeping and adding to our story isn’t so easy. I’ve been a photo editor for years, but the criteria I used for professional editing and what I might consider for editing family photos isn’t necessarily the same.

What they both have in common is story telling, that’s what editing is. But while a professional edit requires a certain level of technical quality, family photos are more about emotional connections to people, places and things, the stuff memories are made of.

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…scanned from my archive. Boris Lenoff, Fire Island 1958

…scanned from my archive. Boris Lenoff, Fire Island 1958

…scanned from my archive. Boris Lenoff, Fire Island 1958. While growing up, there were always certain photos that seemed to be present, either in frames on the wall, taped to cabinets, stuck to the fridge or in one of the several photo albums lying around. My father and my mother’s father Boris, were usually the photographers of most of the family photos, so they aren’t present in as many of the family photos as other family members. Boris was a professional photographer, so like myself, he was usually much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.

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Nixplay blog post - Meet A Photo Organizer: Peter Bennett Of FotoFlow Solutions

Nixplay blog post - Meet A Photo Organizer: Peter Bennett Of FotoFlow Solutions

Nixplay is the producer and seller of some great digital frames. They have kindly featured a profile of me this month on their blog.

https://blog.nixplay.com/2018/09/meet-a-photo-organizer-peter-bennett-fotoflow-solutions/

If you haven’t checked out digital frames yet, they are truly an amazing way of keeping your photos present in your life and home or office.

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It’s wildfire season; do you know where your photos are?

It’s wildfire season; do you know where your photos are?

Depending on what part of the country you live in, natural disasters can strike, and strike fast. While here in California we are bracing for another torrid wildfire season (and it’s always earthquake season), the Gulf States are readying themselves for a hurricane season that seemingly gets more intense each year. Other parts of the country can experience tornados, floods and Nor’easters.

Natural disasters can be horrific, but fires and floods in your home can also cause terrible damage and wipe out most, if not all belongings.

So of course you grab your kids and pets, but what is next on the list, that’s if you even have the time? Many people grab the family photos. But as we are living in the age of digital, the question has to be asked – do you know which hard drive to grab? And what about your older prints and albums?

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Summer tips for taking photos

Summer tips for taking photos

How many photos will you have in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Kinda scary right? And what about videos? Yikes!

Aside from the holidays, summer is the time of year we take a lot of pictures. Taking lot of pictures is great, but taking so many that you don’t even want to look at them, let alone edit them, is not OK. Also ballooning the storage on your phone is not fun, so let’s focus on quality not quantity this summer. Here are a few ways to do that.

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How to take better travel pictures this Summer

How to take better travel pictures this Summer

“Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.” ~ Susan Sontag. Funny, when I read that, I totally related to it, as someone who was a professional travel photographer for over 20 years, that sentiment was right on. But if you read the rest of the passage in Sontag’s On Photography, the collections of writings she did about photography, well it turns out she did not really intend it in a positive way. She was essentially saying that when we travel, we can often use the camera and the act of photographing as a way of limiting our experience of traveling.

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Legacy Project - Mom, circa 1928

Legacy Project - Mom, circa 1928

…scanned from my archive. Mom, circa 1928. Mom just celebrated her 96th birthday last week. She’s here in LA, a long way from her Brighton Beach, Brooklyn roots, but she is close to her family, especially her grandson, and that is more important to her than geography. These are a couple of photos taken in her father’s photo studio which was located on the first floor of the apartment building she grew up in. The entrance to the building was on Brighton 4th street, but my grandfather’s studio was entered to directly from the Coney Island Boardwalk, just a hop, skip and a jump from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

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Is your digital photo collection healthy, under the weather or ready for the ICU?

Is your digital photo collection healthy, under the weather or ready for the ICU?

Sounds like the diagnosis of a patient, right? Well like the human body, a photo collection is really a system of connections, and if all is not well with that system, it doesn’t work quite the way it should.

As a professional photo organizer, when I see a client for the first time, I actually do a diagnosis of their photo collection to see how healthy it is. I’ve seen some pretty sick photo libraries in my time, but thankfully no terminal cases so far.

So the question becomes, what makes up a healthy photo collection? Basically I am looking to see how it works in these six areas:

Is it organized?
Are images findable?
Are images accessible?
Is the collection safe?
Can images be shared?
Is it endurable?

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Apple Photos – Options for setting up on your computer

Apple Photos – Options for setting up on your computer

The Apple Photos app exists both on your computer as a desktop application, and as a mobile app on your iPhones and iPads.

The way Apple Photos typically works is it uses your iCloud account to sync your photos between your computer and your mobile devices. Apple calls it Hand Off, the idea being that if you take a photo on your iPhone, it will then sync (or hand off) that photo up to iCloud, which then syncs it down to your computer (and other devices you may have).

When you edit a photo on one device, it updates that photo on all other devices. And when you delete a photo on one device it also deletes it on all other devices, this is very important to remember.

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Setting up Apple Photos right from the start

Setting up Apple Photos right from the start

The Holidays are upon us and that means we are going to be taking a lot more pictures than usual. All good, except when the storage on our phones or laptops starts to max out and we have to scramble to free up space. Here are some Apple Photos settings that can help you avoid that mess and get you set up the right way.

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Using iCloud Photo Sharing to share your pics with family and friends

Using iCloud Photo Sharing to share your pics with family and friends

One of the questions I get asked the most is “When I’m using Apple Photos, what is the best way to share my photos with others?”

You could use the Apple Family Sharing plan, but that will entail a bit of a set up, plus a subscription fee for iCloud storage (This would be in addition to any iCloud account you may already have in your name).

Some folks have asked me if they could have other family members sign into their iCloud account. The problem with that is everybody who signs in will not only have their photos shared, but also their Contacts, Documents and whatever else they have backed up to iCloud as well. Not a good answer!

The easiest way and cheapest (its free) way to share your photos is to use iCloud Photo Sharing. This is how it works.

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