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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DPP Solutions: Set Up For Success

Essential applications for Mac users to keep your business running efficiently

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Now that digital images are everywhere, lens performance requirements have become dramatically higher and more stringent. Photos can be displayed on computer screens and examined at the pixel level, so lens aberrations show up clearly and differences in lens performance are obvious at a glance. This is precisely why we're focusing on genuinely high picture quality, doing our utmost to eliminate lens aberrations at the manufacturing stage, and determinedly striving to ensure that optical data reaches the image sensor with no interference on the way. Ask a photographer what's in their camera bag, and you not only get an insightful look at their personal shooting style, but more often than not, a list of must-have gear to add to your own bag. Usually, you'll find an array of clamps, filters, reflectors and gadgets to complement the obvious selection of lenses and strobes.

Notes And Paperless Office
One must-install for me on every new Mac is Evernote, a permanent, cloud-synced repository for notes, receipts, important documents and all the other ephemera of daily business life. Evernote is where I go to save copies of tax bills, invoices from clients, assignment letters, pay stubs and more. The service automatically performs Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in the cloud, enabling me to search scanned documents and PDFs as easily as if they were Word documents. $5 a month for premium. evernote.com
For photographers in a digital era, one's computer is as much a part of photography as the camera is. With a computer, though, the "must-have" items are as likely to be programs as products. (We'll look at must-have gear in an upcoming column.) A peek at the "bag" of programs used by photographers to improve their work and their lives can be equally as revealing as a tour of a camera bag.

Right out of the box, a Macintosh is impressively self-sufficient, stuffed full of Apple-provided programs to tackle everything from browsing to editing. Preinstalled with apps like Mail, Safari, iPhoto and iMovie, it's possible to begin creating without purchasing a single piece of software. But for the power user, that's not enough. Pro Mac users rely on a host of smart applications in order to speed up, streamline and optimize their workflow. These applications range from small shareware tools to larger packages, but none is particularly expensive.

Here's a look inside our personal computer "camera bag" of programs to help reduce time, improve productivity and tackle any project.

Photographers and designers still regularly turn to FTP to transfer files to clients, and for the Mac, the hands-down best client is Transmit. The program has a clean and dead-simple interface, and the fastest transfer times. Transmit also creates hard drive icons for services like SFTP or Amazon S3, so you can move files around by dragging and dropping them. $34. panic.com
The very first application I install on any new Mac is 1Password, an indispensable tool to create and manage logins across multiple Macs and devices. Password security (or lack thereof) is the biggest threat to your online data, and 1Password provides a single tool to manage passwords and to log in to websites from your Mac, Windows machine or mobile devices.

1Password can create industrial-strength passwords and automatically fill them into websites; it's also able to auto-fill credit card information and store sensitive data like banking information. There are a number of password tools on the market, but 1Password has device syncing and browser integration down with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android versions that stay up to date instantly. $49.99. agilebits.com/onepassword

Storage And Syncing
Another application on every Mac I install is Dropbox. Of all the cloud-storage tools, Dropbox is the one that most seamlessly integrates with the Mac OS. Get a Dropbox account, and anything stored in the Dropbox folder is synced to their cloud service and shows up on any other machine on the same account. Just save a folder to the Dropbox directory (or any folder inside it) and it's backed up to the cloud and available on your other machines.

More importantly for the photographer, Dropbox folders and documents can be shared easily by sending someone a link to the directory, replacing many of the functions of FTP servers. Just email someone a link to a folder of JPEG proofs, and you're done with your job. Free and on up, depending on plan. dropbox.com


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