SXSW 2014 : Lexar & Expodisc – 2 bits of gear that let me sleep

SXSW  is one long, stimulating, eye opening, head expanding, visual treat for the photographer.
It does go from the morning hours all around the clock to the wee hours.
And want/have to cover it all.
When I get back to my hotel room at about 2:30-3:00 AM this is the workstation awaiting me:
MacBook Pro 13″,  Toughtech Duo Qr (portable RAID 2.5″ drive) Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB USB 3.0 timecapsule drive, a lifesaving G-DRIVE USB 3.0 1TB Hard Drive ,A color balancing tool that quickly made a difference in my post workflow, and sleep patterns ExpoDisc Pro White Balance Filter ,an external battery for the iPhone, and the latest post addition: The Lexar Professional Workflow HR1 Four-Bay USB 3.0 Reader Hub

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So here is the simple magic of the Lexar Workflow Tower: Last year at the same event I used a simple Lexar card reader for 1 CF and 1 SD card slots.
The wait time to download all card the images off of a 32 gb card, and it was never just 1 card, lost me at least hour of sleep at the end of a very long day.
Solution: Lexar Workflow tower with modular readers to configure as you like: 4 slots for any combination of SD,CF and now XQD (yeah, it’s here and about to spread.
You can download concurrently with a software like Photo Mechanic, (consecutively to Lightroom) that is you are on deadline. that is the fastest working post tool out there. Download all, do a fast click edit, send em to PS, fast correction, send to editors, catch some Z’s. Or just get it going, go to sleep and you can be downloaded to Photo-Mechanic or Lightroom.
Plus you can use the modules on their own. No need to take whole tower (which uses ext.power) if you won’t need it.
ot an extra hour, at least, of sleep every night. Winner!

Next time saver was the ExpoDisc Pro White Balance Filter

. Have you ever gotten stuck on Auto White Balance? Time to stop it. It’s a middle of the road color correction, and you can do better. And it’s easy.
All DLSRs have a custom white balance setting. take a look. I’ll wait………….
OK what you do is, get a right exposure for a scene, pop the calibrated ExpoDisc on the front of the lens, take off auto focus.
Press the WB button (on Nikon) till you see the custom balance icon flashing in the camera top info window.
Take a shot, and it should say GOOD. The you have set a custom balance..
Who cares? I do, when I have 700 images from a large hall that wasn’t quite incadescent, nor fluorescent or just some combo.
Get it right from the start. And on Nikon you can preset 4 WB settings, so when you move locations, you may already have the correction.
Here is a simple example, shot in my office:

On Auto Balance:with a cooler late day light, the camera read it a bit cooler that I liked.

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Sure, it could be done with color correct button choosing, but still not as good as a custom correction from the start.
Here is the same area, shot with the custom white balance.

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And of course you can further adjust your camera in the settings. I like to start at “0” and custom calibrate.
SO having my images, pretty darn close to final color correction on download, was a huge time savings at night.
Talking about the extra z’s, Sawing logs, shaking hands with Mr. Sandman, looking at the backs of the eyelids.
Sleep, so you are ready to go in a few hours.

One other lifesaver, was the G-DRIVE USB 3.0 1TB Hard Drive

Always carry an extra hard drive in the bag, because you just never know.
Well, this time, the laptops hard drive was getting loaded. Not enough free space to upload, even to another drive! All of the great programs and docs being stored and just everything I kept on the laptop was taking away precious working memory.

With the Reliable G-Tech slim hard drive, I emptied the non-essential materials, freed up an incredible amount space, made the timecapsule stop panting, and sped up the laptop. Plus, with 7200RPM , it was great for editing some vids on the road.
So glad I had it with me. Doesn’t take up room, and the Satechi 4 hub port let me use the materials if needed.

There you have it Part 3 of SXSW 2014. It may be over but we are in the season of festivals. Years of doing this has helped me choose the right gear solutions for my workflow. Maybe it can help you look at yours and see if their are some similar thought processes.

Oh the “Hello” is my business card holder. People still use em.
One last bit, Lexar is my media card of choice, but I do have a mix in the bag of Sandisk, and Lexar. A good sale , is a good sale, n’est pas?

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