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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX USA
    Posts
    193

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    Jason,

    Good questions. I know nothing about the specific camera you mention, but post processing is pretty much universal unless you are shooting RAW and need a program which supports RAW output from the camera you are using. I'm an IT guy so I put a lot of emphasis on my answer to your second question only because I've seen and experienced the fallout from a poor backup plan.

    1) I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. I like it both for the organization and the simple fact that it is extremely powerful and easier to use than full blown Photoshop CS5. I own both but do 90% of my edits in Photoshop Lightroom rather than full blown Photoshop. As others have noted as you are using a Mac, Apperature is an excellent choice and has most of the features found in Photoshop Lightroom (and a few that aren't found in Lightroom). Presently Photoshop Lightroom is $240 from Amazon; while Apperature is $180. I know Photoshop Lightroom has a trial available, if Apperature does you may want to download both and see which suits you best. If price is a consideration Photoshop Elements 9 is an excellent choice as it has many of the features found in Photoshop Lightroom but for $79 vs. $240.

    2) I use a multi-method storage system for all of my pictures. First, the pictures are downloaded to my laptop where I do all of my actual editing work. I then copy them to my Windows Home Server which uses a RAID array (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) to ensure that the data is protected in event of a single drive failure. Once a month I backup my home server to a USB drive which is then stored off site at my office. Every few months I then backup all of my photos and other important documents to DVD which I then store off-site at a bank (safe deposit box). I should also note that my laptop is backed-up nightly to my home server as well, so I have backups of backups on a regular basis. In any event I highly recommend a multi-method storage system for your photos (and other critical data for that matter). USB hard drives do fail and they tend to fail at a higher rate than in system hard drives so don't depend on them as your sole backup method.

    3) Kelby Training (http://www.kelbytraining.com) is an excellent website for both photography, Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom. Downside is it is not free and a year's worth of access runs around $199 (they run sales from time to time). That being said it is completely worth every penny you spend if you use the products they have training for. You can review their training catalog for free, which should help you make your decision. The founder of Kelby Training, Scott Kelby, also publishes a large number of books on the subjects of digital photography, Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom. His books are excellent, extremely accessible and I can't recommend them more highly. Another great site is Digital Photography School (http://www.digital-photography-school.com/) out of the UK. The site has great content that is constantly being either updated or added to. I checked Amazon and there are no books written about the CoolPix P500, but any generalized digital photography book should be helpful. However, the best advice I can give is shoot, shoot shoot! The more you use your camera and the more pictures you take the better a photographer you will become.

    4) In Photoshop Lightroom I use the "Export for Web" process. This scales the images down to postable size on this site. Otherwise you can use a site like Flicker (http://www.flicker.com) or Photobucket (http://www.photobucket.com). For printing I use Shutterfly (http://www.shutterfly.com) for snapshots and the like, or MPIX (http://www.mpix.com) for shots I'm framing, but those sites don't allow linking so they can't be used for posting here.

    For what it's worth there is my .02. If there is anything I can put a higher priority on, it is save your stuff in multiple places. USB hard drives do fail and if that is the only place you have your priceless memories stored the $5-10,000 for data recovery will seem like a small price to pay at the time, but today an extra USB drive is like Bill says $100 or less.

    Brian
    Last edited by Brian Moffitt; 06-28-2011 at 03:25 AM.
    "My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things - trout as well as eternal salvation - come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy." Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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