Client alert: Beware of new Western Digital Red NAS drives

Quite an important issue for Photo libraries and photographers who keep their images and data on a NAS device (network attached storage).
I have been using and supplying NAS devices for decades now and helped quite a number of clients solve their image storage issues with them. A big favorite for populating these devices has been Western Digital RED drives. These drives are specially built for NAS use and have been very reliable.
Unfortunately that has all changed as Western Digital have now introduced some of their lower end technology into the drives without telling customers. This technology (SMR) restricts performance and could compromise data during a rebuild, this is not good.
All my customers have the better CMR version drives installed so no panic there (though we need to make sure any warrantee replacements are for CMR drives).
Going forward I will now only be using Seagate Ironwolf drives for NAS use, these drives are as good as CMR Red drives and Seagate have vowed never to put the lower end SMR technology into their NAS drives.
Western Digital are facing a lawsuit in the US over their deceptive (and frankly fraudulent) behavior. Such a shame.

You can read a detailed report on the problem here:


Update: 25/06/2020.
Western Digital have decided to sort this problem by introducing a third tier to their “Red” drives. The only purpose of this development is to get out of the problem upper management created and wished was gone away.

From now on Red Drives mean “avoid”.

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Losing work in Lightroom – dont let it happen!

I have recently had a cluster of new clients who for one reason or another approach me after losing images or other assets in Adobe Lightroom.

Whilst Lightroom is a pretty good program for managing large amounts of images there are certain “quirks” that can cause real problems.

On of the biggest problems comes from mistaking images that are either “deselected”, “selected” or “most selected”.

You can work on more than one image at once, you can tell when one or more images are selected because their colour surround changes to a slightly different shade of grey, if you get these mixed up (easy to do!) you can lose a lot of work.

I helped a client via the Mac screen sharing app this Sunday to help retrieve a book he had been working on for many hours, without the 15 minute intervention he may have faced many hours of work to recover. Fortunately I had set him up to make sure he saved backup copies of his Lightroom catalog as well as have a time machine drive attached at all times, this belt and braces approach makes for a much better ability to recover from a bad situation.

If you have hit a major problem or just want help in setting things up correctly then get in contact with me and we can sort it together.

Help is available!
Stephen Johnson
Mobile: 07776 448621

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Keeping your focus: timely advice from Zoe Whishaw

Zoe is one of my very experienced colleagues from the days of Tony Stone Worldwide and its transformation as the foundation of Getty Images.
She now works with photographers who wish to develop their business and take the steps needed to become more successful.

Zoe has just just written a guide for photographers that touches on the main points of how you can use this time of limited commitments to look at every aspect of your business and improve it so that you are ready for the upturn when it comes.

I think it is a very well written, you can access it on Zoe’s website directly here:

Part of the advice includes how to reduce costs (including retouching), surprisingly (I suppose!) I agree with this, with the right training imaging workflow done in house can be as good as a professional service, most of the photographers I work with use my training to fast track and develop their own abilities.

Spend some time looking through Zoe’s website and see if she could be of use to you.

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Online Imaging Support

Having problems with Lightroom or Photoshop?

Need a little bit of help with a particular image?

if you have Skype you can share your desktop with me and we can get it sorted!

Since I cannot travel to clients as I normally do I’m upping my online support services. Existing and new clients can contact me on Skype – my username is  Copyrightimage.

For new clients: please feel free to skype for a free 10 minute chat to introduce yourself and describe the problem, if I can help I can offer a fixed price that you can agree to before we proceed.

Don’t lose your work, waste time or struggle on your own, ask me and we can sort it together.

Click the icon to send a message

In the first instance (and especially when out of hours) it will be better to message me using skype so that we can arrange a suitable time to call, I am happy to take calls from any Country, please feel free to call from 9am-6pm GMT.

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Adobe fix some Photoshop issues with new update

Photoshop version 21.1.1 is now available on the Adobe Creative Cloud.

This has fixed an issue clients were having where save steps in actions was not working. I have tested this and it does seem to be fixed. No rush to update as there may be new bugs introduced and its best to let things settle for a while if you are not affected.

Other bugs have been reported fixed, you can see the details here:

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Amongst uncertainty I’m investing for the future and my clients

I have just ordered a new main monitor for all the high profile book work I’m doing for clients currently.

My existing Eizo CG303W is a Fogra certified monitor and I’m careful to calibrate and profile it before doing any colour critical work. Its been a very trustworthy monitor for 10 years now but I have noticed that I needed to calibrate more often to keep things within tolerance.

I have decided to invest and purchase the latest equivalent monitor the Eizo CG279X. This is also Fogra certified which means it meets the standards for softproofing for Repro, a feature which ensures I can accurately preview how images will reproduce in print and ensure my clients proofing costs are either minimized or eliminated.

In times of uncertainty I’m happy to keep my standards high and invest in getting things right.

I bought the monitor from Colour Confidence that have a special price until the end of 17/03/2020.

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Ethical retouching and workflow class

Cancelled by Chester Zoo
Unfortunately (but understandably) these classes have had to be cancelled for this year. I do hope that I will be back at some point, when I know for sure I will let you know.

Learn the key components to making your workflow and retouching both easier and better by attending my class as part of a course at Chester Zoo. An ideal present for someone who loves photography and is keen to learn more.

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Client Advisory: Save bug in Photoshop 21.1.0 Actions

I have just had to revert a client photographer back to a previous version of Photoshop (21.0.3) as the current new version has a bug in the code that allows actions to save open files.

This bug manifests itself when saving multiple versions of files also (i.e. like the actions I write to automatically save a tiff, A3 jpg, A4 jpg of each image). You can tell if your action is failing because of this bug as the error message will give a partially repeated save path in the error dialogue.

The only way to fix this until Adobe does is to revert to a previous version using the creative cloud program.

Be aware this will reset your workspace and not reload your actions so save both before reverting.

Current clients can talk to me if they need any help with this.


Many thanks



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