“e-mail” – Week 4, Computer 52 Fun weeks………

The fun 52 Challenge isn’t so much fun, as a lesson in sheer bloody minded determination to produce a respectable image matching the theme each week that’s a little out of the box. As it turns out, the Flickr group that this belongs to are probably the most diverse bunch of people I’ve come across as not once so far in the 4 weeks, has anyone posted what I would have had as the ‘safe’ shot. It’s pretty inspiring, but I am beginning to wonder if we can all keep it up for another 48 weeks…….

It’s been really hectic this week with work and this weekend with life so had to take a flyer and decide whether to just submit the original concept shot or actually finish the idea that I had to start with. I went with the latter and although there’s room for improvement as always, that’s what keeps us all at it I guess. Otherwise quite happy with both the idea for this and how it turned out.

Emails - Week 4 Computer

Tutorial wise I’m not entirely sure what I did myself, but it did involce Photoshop’s quick select tool, a layer, a layer mask or two and some rubbing out. Then some adding back in again to fix the bits I messed up.

With regard to actually taking the photos, a very important lesson I (re) learned this week is that before every shoot you should always check your camera settings, particularly the white balance. In fact, it’s a good habit to get into to set your camera back to how you normally shoot before you put it away (eg Drive from self timer to single shot, white balance back to auto, manual focus back to auto and so on).

Anyhow – This is it for this week. Got a cracking idea for next week, but not sure if it will work as I don’t own a smoke machine………. yet.

All good, eventually – A lesson in why you should back everything up – Twice

Ah…. The wonders of the internet. Circumstances beyond the control of mere mortals such as us, caused largely by inefficient controls on our great banking industry had led my Hosting re-seller down the path of doom and knocking at the liquidators doors. Whilst my selfish mind tends to bypass minor details such as this on a fairly regular basis, this one stuck as it meant that come the end of February this site, my musings and by default, my on-line presence would have completely disappeared.
After much searching I found a great deal from another re-seller, signed up, paid my cash and waited patiently for my account information to arrive in my inbox. After a few hours I started getting a bit twitchy, at the end of that day, the alarm bells were well and truly clanging. After a couple of emails to customer support the guys at the new host plled out all the stops and discovered that because my account was still ‘active’ at the old re-seller, it couldn’t be transferred across the back end to reside on their end of Heart Internet’s system. The options were £36 for an internal migration (Heart’s charges to change a few records and copy some files) or have the existing account deleted. Simple. save £36 and see if I could get the old one canned. I had a backup of the site itself, from a week ago and a copy of it running on another server somewhere under a different url (check out www.davefrostphoto.co.uk !!) and had intended to do another one if it could be deleted.
Unfortunately, there was a bit of a communication error and someone, somewhere mistook my enquiry as a request. Within 30 minutes of me sending the email I was gone, deleted, backspaced and never existed. Great ! – Not really. I hadn’t backed up my emails, at all, ever.
I use various Mail programs to access my mail, the iphone, webmail or Apple’s mail.app. They’re all IMAP accounts, leaving the server to cope with the difficult stuff like running out of space and allowing me to effortlessly while away my day reading all my adoring fan mail (or more realistically, the spam suggesting I’m less than well endowed). This is great, till the server disappears and you’re left with nothing. Not even a copy of a draft you were planning to send. 4500 emails, gone, in an instant. Just like that.
Some of them were important, some of them weren’t but that’s not the point. I’m anal when it comes to looking after my photos. 3 backup discs, stored offsite when I’m not in. That’s anal, but then again, I’ve never accidentally lost a photo !!

Thanks to the terrific support guys and girls at www.websoftnet.co.uk I’ve got the site sorted in no time whatsoever. They’re good, reasonably priced and offer a great service to boot. But the email has gone forever. It won’t happen again, I now keep 3 copies of every email I send or receive as well.