Check out Mylio!

Since starting my blog, there's one category of question I get more than any other.  Matt, people say (cause that's my name), what do you do about backing up your images?  This is a question that is near and dear to my heart.  I take it very seriously and I have about four different ways I back up my work.  You can search my blog for back up solutions using the box in the upper right corner,  cause I've written about it before, but now I have another options to add to the list and it's a unique and frankly, a pretty awesome product that's a whole lot more than just a back up solution.  It's called Mylio and it is a new way to see, share, organize and protect your photo life. All of your photos. All of your devices. Viewable, shareable and most importantly... backed up!

Now, to be honest, I've just started using it and I'm only using the free trail version, but so far it's been very impressive.  Also, since I already have a complete back up solution for my photos, I don't use Mylio for backing up, but the point is I could if I wanted to.  However, even without using the back up capabilities, it still has a lot of value to me.

So, what is it.  Well, Mylio helps you gather, organize and access all of your photos so you can enjoy them on all your computers and other devices, with or without the cloud. So if you have photos on your computer, you can view and share them on your phone, or tablet.  And, if you have photos on your phone, you can view, manage and store those photos on your computer.  You're probably wondering, what about Facebook, Instagram, etc.?  Yes, those too!  It's gathers ALL of your photos together.  All of them.  So your photos are always available to you on all of your devises, and if you want... backed up too! On top of all of that, you can even use Mylio to edit your photos if you want... even RAW photos.  It does it all.  It's like the Justin Timberlake of the photo software world (without the singing and dancing).

Whether your photo library is the source of your livelihood, or it's just a combination of photos from your goal of hitting every dive bar in America, Mylio is the only photography management software system that allows you to organize and access large photo libraries anytime, anywhere.  Mylio automatically manages multiple copies of your photo library. Your new photos are protected because Mylio automatically copies them to several devices, hard drives or the cloud.

Currently I only use Mylio to sync all of my photos from all my different devices in one place.  So my thousands of photos in my Lightroom catalog, the hundreds of photos on my phone and the dozens of photos from my iPad (let's be honest... who uses their iPad to take pictures) are all synced with Mylio, so when I open the program on my computer or the app on my phone, all of my photos are there.  If I wanted to, and I wanted to pay a little more, I could tell Mylio to sync all of my original photos and back them up, which would be a great back up solution.  Right now it's just gathering previews of all my images and storing them in one place.  Mylio's protection service works with your ideal backup strategy: local or remote devices, hard drives, the Mylio Cloud Service, or all of the above. Your photo library is yours. Your photos and information are always private and the promise it will never be shared, so your photos in all those dive bars around the country are safe.

Whether it's a family vacation or a professional photo shoot, Mylio protects your photos on multiple devices, even when you're on the road... even if you have limited or no Internet access, so when you return, your photos are automatically in your photo library, organized and ready to view. I've got to admit, I've tried to quickly create a photo folder on my computer and check on my phone before it could be synced, but sure enough, even when I immediately checked my phone, the sync had happened and the new folder was already there.

Mylio works with what you have, complementing your Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture workflow. Import photos and collections from Facebook, Flickr and iPhoto. You can quickly share any photo or album on Facebook and Flickr.

Try Mylio today for free or learn more by clicking the button below.

Oh,and let me know what you think or if you have any questions!  I'd love to know if others think it's as cool as I do!

Your iPhone is your camera?

More people are taking photos with their iPhones than any other camera.  So why not make your phone photos the best you can.  They say the best camera is the one you have with you, which is true, but there are ways to make your iPhone photos even better.

This is kind of a trick question, but do you know what the most popular camera on the planet is?  Well, it's the iPhone.  

This is kind of a trick question, but do you know what the most popular camera on the planet is?  Well, it's the iPhone.  

The iPhone camera gets better and better with each new upgrade, but for the iPhone 6 it’s not just about hype.  It might not be "the next best thing," but it just might be the most awesome thing right now. :-)  The iPhone 6 camera has been frequently praised as the best smartphone camera to ever exist. The biggest change in the new addition of the iPhone camera is the focus pixels, which means the camera is twice as capable of focusing as the iPhone 5S.

Change Exposure Manually

Most people complain about a lack of control when using a camera phone rather than a more dedicated camera. You can actually have more control than you think with your iPhone. Sometimes, the lighting in your environment is not ideal. This isn’t a problem with the new iPhone 6 cameras’ new manual exposure control option. First, you need to tap the area on the photo that you want to be the main part if your photo.  The phone will base the exposure on this area. If the camera doesn’t accurately guess the exposure, you can use the slider to make adjustments by dragging up or down the screen.

Timer Mode

You can use the timer mode from anywhere between 3 and 10 seconds to take better group shots, different selfie angles, or hard to reach shot... and did I mention selfies?  I did?  Well, that's because you can't go anywhere without somebody pulling out a selfie sick these days.  I thought selfie sticks were sticks to hit people over the head with who were taking selfies! :-) The camera will fire off a burst when the timer reaches zero, which will give you an opportunity to choose the best photo from the bunch. This is great for combing through photos for people with closed eyes, those who weren’t ready yet, or worse yet those who close their eyes on purposes just to be butts! (I'm talking to you, daughter)

Edit Your Photos

We all (or maybe it's just me) have tons of apps on our phones for editing photos.  I have tons.  For the record, Perfectly Clear is one of my favorites, but that's not what we're talking about.  We're talking about the fact that now you can edit your photos right in the photo app already on your phone.  You can use your iPhone 6 camera to alter different exposure levels, highlights, contrast, and saturation. You can also revert your image back to the original by clicking on revert.  It's really easy.  Check out the all the new options when you push the EDIT button after taking a shot.

So there you go.  Take that camera phone out of your pocket and use it.  It probably won't replace your DSLR, but you always have it with you and you can get some great photos with it!

Babies got back... button focus.


Back button focusing allowed me to take this photo and two others of the same subject without refocusing since the distance from the camera to the shutter didn't change.

Over the past couple of weeks I've become a huge fan and advocate for making the change to focusing with the button on the back of your camera instead of pushing the shutter button down halfway, commonly referred to as back button focus.  It was one of the most revolutionary changes I ever made to how I take pictures.  It seems like such a small thing, yet it's a huge difference in the way you take pictures and how your camera focuses.  This should really be the standard setting on all cameras, cause once you try back button focusing, you're gonna like it.  In fact, you'll probably even love it!  If you're one of the people who have never tried this -- STOP EVERYTHING NOW and do this. You'll thank me :).  If you don't love it, let me know and I'll buy you lunch... but not an expensive lunch.  Let's say a sandwich and a drink... but no chips.  Okay chips, but no dessert.

One of my biggest frustrations when shooting photos is having to refocus ever time I recompose the shot.  When you're taking a bunch of pictures in a short amount of time, this can be really time consuming, frustrating and just an overall pain in the ass. The biggest thing that has impacted my images in the realm of focus is switching from using the shutter button to control focus to using the back "*" button to control focus. And if you're a Nikon shooter and don't have a "*" button, don't worry -- there is still hope for you. :).  Making this change takes some getting used to, mainly because for the first few times you try this after switching, you'll probably keep expecting your shutter button to do the focusing out of habit.  The problem is after making the switch, you're shutter button is only going to activate the shutter... WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO DO!!   

For this image I focused by using the back button method.  Put my camera on a tripod, locked in my focus, then took this picture and a few others  I recomposed three or four times but never had to refocus the camera.

The idea is to separate the focus function from the shutter function. I love it because when I'm shooting a stationary portrait, or some situation where the camera to subject distance is constant, I can lock in the focus (push the * button with the focal point on the spot I want in focus, then let go of the button) and shoot away, even re-composing, and the focus will stay dead-on. This has also freed me up from constantly changing my focus points and always refocusing every time I take a new shot, even though I didn't move the camera more that a little bit, or in some cases, not at all.  I'd still have to refocus because the act of focusing was attached to the shutter button. This was one of the most frustrating things I ran into when I used the ‘shutter half way down method of focusing. Sure you can lock in focus by holding the shutter half way down, then focus will stay locked as long as you hold your shutter in shutter-limbo. But then you have to hold your finger there! If you let go or accidently lift your finger just a little bit, the camera will refocus as soon as you press it down again. Or press the shutter a little too hard and you will take a picture before you’re ready. I now leave the center focus point selected and recompose after locking in the focus using the "*" button on the back of the camera. 

In the situation of a moving subject, I also like the back button because it allows me to track the subject and still get consistent focus. 

RC answers a question on what is the back focus button. He talks about how to set your Nikon or Canon to back focus and explains why you'd want to.

If you want to try back-button focusing, you need to change some of your custom functions. You can very easily search online for the directions for making this change to your particular camera.  I found the directions for my 5D Mark III in about three seconds and made the change in about six seconds.  It may have actually been seven seconds, but I was a little distracted.  You should notice that your camera will focus when pushing the * button but when you push the shutter button, your focus will not be impacted. 

Please let me know if you have any questions, or need any help making this change.