Software Updates Stats and Listener Q&A

In Master Photography Roundtable by Jeff HarmonLeave a Comment

Software Updates Status

I am finally giving my Photo Taco seal of approval on the most current releases of Lightroom, Photoshop, and even MacOS Catalina! You can always find my most current Photo Taco status updates on which software updates are “safe” to apply by going to my page dedicated to tracking that information at

The one caveat I will add for MacOS Catalina is to check any software besides the Adobe products to validate that an update compatible with Catalina has been provided.  Same with any peripherals you use. I also want to caution anyone who does a lot of tethered shooting that you will want to check to see if things are working for others with your same equipment because there have been a ton of issues related to that.

Listener Q&A

Will pull the best questions just before recording

  1. Liam Maroney: Top places you want to photograph this year.
    Jeff: Create Photography Retreat in South Carolina!  Hawaii in April.

    Brent: Slight chance for India, fell through.  Lattitude photography school is consuming. Looking to explore locally.  This summer applying for artist in the park in a national park.

    What new gear do you have your eye on?
    Jeff: Canon 5DM4, because the price has come way down and it isn’t too much more than a 90D and they aren’t making a 7DM3.  Though I am waiting to see what the next couple of R cameras are because the rumors make it sound awesome. Problem will be that I am sure the cost will be too high for me and my hobbyist budget.

    Brent: Holding pattern as well.  Now have Sony a6400. Great cameras.  Might switch to Sony full frame. Price of Sony plus 64 megapixels is just a lot of pixels to push.  Want to see what is coming.

    What does the future of the Master Photography Podcast hold?
    Jeff: Weekly podcast episodes sharing more tips as well as news stories that catch our eye.  Maybe the better question is what would you like to see in the future of Master Photography?

    Brent: Photo Taco and Lattitude are there too.  Master Photography is where we come together. Seems to be a nice setup that listeners are enjoying.
  2. Sandy Glenn Brown: How to blend ambient light with flash for more natural, outdoor photography? Or how to create a backlit portrait with the use of speedlights or strobes? Can you guess what my focus has been lately? I’ve used flash (AD200) for the last three portrait sessions and so far, I’ve booked 2 more sessions and I think it’s because of the lighting advantage which is setting me apart from the rest of the photographers in this area.

    Jeff: Congratulations on the sessions Sandy!  I met Sandy at the Create Photography Retreat last year and I hope to see her there again in October at the Retreat.  As to her question, here is the process I use to mix ambient light with flash. I first set my exposure with the shutter speed at the highest it can go in max sync speed.  On my cameras that is 1/250th of a second, and if you don’t know what that is then check out the “Flash Shutter Sync with Levi Sim” episode.  A safe shutter speed would be 1/160th of a second if you don’t know what the max sync speed is for your camera.  You can go above that speed if you have high speed sync in your flashes (which the AD200 supports) but let’s not worry about that right now.  I set the ISO to 100, though I will revisit this after getting my flash going if I have to get the flash above ½ power and take my ISO to 400 so that I can have my flashes at lower power and get them to recycle faster.  Then I meter something in the background and I set the aperture so that I underexpose the background by ⅓ of a stop using spot metering. Next I set the flash to ⅛ power and give it a test shot to see how it compares with the ambient light.  If it isn’t enough I up the power until I am happy where it is at.

    I made sure what Sandy meant by backlit, she meant faking the sun in the background.  Not something that is going to be very easy in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is intense and in the wrong spot.  I think it is possible with a few AD200 (easier with their bigger lights like the AD400 or AD600) and using high speed sync.  But this will work much better after the sun has gone down. For this you most likely want two lights, though you could see if you get enough using one light in the background and a reflector in the front.  Put a yellow gel on that flash to give it that sunny feel. I like doing this with the MagMod stuff. The MagMod MagGel and the MagMod MagSphere. Then using a second flash in front of the person to light them.  I prefer to use a softbox here, but the MagMod MagSphere does a pretty great job here too. Probably need to have the background flash at full power and then start the front flash at ⅛ power and move it up until you get the look you want.  
  3. David Patton: I started shooting film again, mostly for fun since I have a digital camera that I primarily use, but do you know much about different films? I have some Velvia 100 to shoot, but I don’t have experience with slide film. For black and white I have a roll of Ilford Delta 100, but again I don’t know much about the differences in films and what works best in different situations. I’ve mostly just used whatever color negative film is cheapest and available, but would love to hear other people’s experiences/thoughts.

    If you do have info, I’d love to hear it! If not, I’ll try and post the pictures once I go through a few rolls, and my thoughts on the films if anyone is interested.

    Brent: When I shot film I loved Velvia. The 100 was amazing as the original was 50 ISO. Having a full stop extra did wonders to the subjects I was shooting. And Delta 100 was excellent as well. I loved the detail available with this film.
  4. Braedyn Brosda: I am having my first portfolio review for my work and I am wondering if there are any tips for picking my images as I shoot a whole bunch of different things (should i just pick one genre of photography or get a sample of images from across genres) as well as any tips for the review itself.

    Jeff: My advice is to 1) find out how many photos you can submit and make sure you submit the maximum number you are allowed, even if some of them you submit are not your very best 2) select the photos that you think are really close to being good but you aren’t quite happy with so that you can see what a trusted mentor would do with them to make them better, and 3) don’t be defensive as you go through the review.
  5. Breanna Miller: How to encourage printing with clients without sounding pushy? Should I include prints in my packages?

    Jeff: I am not the best person to give advice here since my model is totally opposite this.  Printing the photos is my least favorite part of the process and I offer it but honestly prefer it when my clients just want the digitals.  I know, I know, I am leaving a ton of money on the table and in-person sales is the way to go. What I can do is refer you to a really good episode where I talked with a friend of mine, Aaron Taylor, about it.  The episode is called In-Person Sales with Aaron Taylor.
  6. Randy Gemar: Top 5 Techniques you must use Out in the Field to capture images for Large Fine Art Prints with exquisite detail.  Off the top of 2020 wish list…😎

    Brent: Solid Tripod, Manual Focus, f/8 or thereabouts, Prime lens (test your lens for sharpest zoom setting if a zoom), Lower ISO.
  7. Paul Carpenter: Is it safe to remove Photoshop 2019 from the CC update portal and the 2GB of memory it consumes? It appears some have tried and ended up losing PS 2020 as well. Do the plugins like Lumenzia that you purchased whilst using PS 2018 need to remain in those old 2018 folders? Cheers Paul

    Jeff:  I tested this just today actually.  Yes, you can safely remove older version of Photoshop using the Create Cloud app, just make sure when you are asked if you want to keep your preferences that you choose Keep!


Jeff: MagMod MagBox, MagRing, MagShoe.  I got this kit for Christmas and I used it for the first time this past weekend.  Absolutely incredible. Put two AD200 flashes on it and I had plenty of power to play with.  The downside of the two flashes in there was the weight. It was pretty heavy. But the light that it produced was just stunning.  Better than the other softboxes I have used. It is pretty pricey at $500 for the MagBox Pro Kit, but I really love it.  I wouldn’t suggest it as the first softbox you get if that price tag is like 5x too much for you, but if you are looking to upgrade your softbox and get better light on your portraits, it is worth it.

Brent: Book (Why Photographs Work)

This is a text book I use in my advanced digital photography class. It’s a great read that helps you understand what works, and doesn’t, in a photograph.


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