Green Screen Paint Formula From Your Local Hardware Store

Here’s the formula for the green paint … feel free to share it …
Sears Easy Living 15 yr flat wall paint, neutral base # 97964 [can get it at Orchard Supply Hardware]
AXX-1.3   D-0.56   E-0.33  KX-0.82
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How do I set up my Noritsu Printer?

One of the most common printers that I provided tech support in setting up are the Noritsu QSS printers.  There is a basic procedure for setting up these printers.  The setup can be downloaded by clicking here.

Why won’t my Noritsu print?  The second most common call regarding Noritsu printers is that they won’t print.  There are some common reasons that are simple to fix.  For a list of reasons and solutions, click here.

As always, if the instructions don’t seem to be quite getting you there, please call the office for tech support.

Split Packages and 2 GS Backgrounds

We often get calls here at tech support asking how we handle divorced parent orders or green screen orders where they want 2 packages with 2 different backgrounds.  These are called split packages.

When working with a non-green screen job, the process is as simple as clicking on the blue bar below the data record for the student, then selecting “Copy Record.”  Next, click on the blue bar again and select “Copy Image.”  This creates two data records that will reference the same image.  A green box will appear that encompasses both the records.  This merely indicates that you have a pair of images and data that were created using the copying method.  You can now enter separate package order information for the two separate records and they will print as separate orders.

When working with Green Screen, you will need to first go to File>Preferences and click on the Image Match tab.  Close to the bottom, you will need to click the box next to “Duplicate image on copy record” to make sure there is a checkmark in that box.  What this does is create an actual digital copy of the image in the image directory that is named the same as the orginal, except it adds an “a” just before the “.jpg” in the new image name.  Now, go and click the blue bar beneath the record and select “Copy Record,” then click again and select “Copy Image.”  You can now enter your package information for the two files and select a different background option for each one.  If there is a third background desired, then use the copying routine on the SECOND image so that the third image that is created has a jpg number that adds a “aa” before the .jpg.

To download a step-by-step  guide for the above procedure, click here.

What about Pro Services?  If you are wanting to print a custom package label out of ProServices, or you need to create separate services for the split packages, make sure you go into your service in Pro Services, and click on File>Preferences, then click on the “General” tab.  Near the top of the tab, you will see an option that reads “Print Split Packages.”  Make sure you have a check mark in the box next to that to enable printing separate service items for your split packages.  Seeing double when you dont’ want to in PS?  Then deselect that option before printing.

One last thought on this process is that we have discovered that you MUST select “copy record” first, then “copy image.”  Doing so creates a consistent workflow that keeps your data and images sequenced.

Sign Up for RSS Feeds!!!

Do you love getting the LATEST news from Photolynx and would like to know the moment one of us has posted fascinating, helpful and new info to the blog? You must, if you are here already! So why not sign up for RSS feeds?!

“How do I do that?” you ask. I’ll help!

In the current window, you will see in the upper left hand corner, under our title banner, you will see a tiny orange icon with “Entries RSS” next to it. Click on that icon. At the top of the next page that comes up, you will see “Subscribe to this feed using” and just to the right of there is a dropdown menu that lists options for where you want your notifications to be sent to. Select one and click the “Subscribe Now” button.

You are now set up to get notified whenever any of us share anything here.

SIS Support

Some of our most common calls this time of year relate to support for School Image Software (SIS). My goal with this post is to help you help your schools by providing one place for your SIS support resources.

First and foremost, your best resource for helping your schools is the manual that is located in the program files of SIS. It is commonly located here:

C:\program files\sis2k\manual\sis2k611.doc

That file in a currently existing SIS install most likely has the original manual file. I have just slaved over the process of updating the SIS manual to reflect the current burn/version of 6.11. The burn folder for this version, which includes the updated manual can be downloaded by clicking here. For creating SIS for a Mac, click here. You no longer need a Mac machine to burn a Mac SIS CD.

For the updated manual only, click here.

The SIS manual goes through just about everything a school would want to use SIS to do. Make sure you show your school where it is, perhaps print it out and take them a copy when you deliver your CD to them so they have it in their hands right away.

For instructions on how to install and sync with a Palm, click here.

Now, there are a couple of tips I’d like to share about SIS.

First, when you open SIS after an install, you will be asked if you want to search for updates. PLEASE SELECT NO! After that, you will be asked if you would like to check for updates in the future and how often. You need to select NEVER. This is a function that is no longer available. We will send out notification when a new version is available and you will be able to distribute it at that time to your customers.

Second, our most common calls regarding SIS are when a school gets the message “SIS is Already Running.” For solutions to solving this, click here.  This happens due to database corruption.  A database can get corrupted when SIS is shut down expectantly.  For example, turning off the computer while the program is still working, or just clicking on the X to get out of the program while it is indexing or searching.

My final tip for SIS is regarding the date stamps. When creating your exports for your customers, make sure you keep a list of EXACTLY how you type in their school name and your company name (including capitalization and punctuation). If you give them a new date stamp at a later date and those two are not exact, they will get an error that the software has been tampered with.

Hopefully, this gives you a “one stop” for your SIS support resources. Of course, we are always available for live tech support if you still need it.

Animoto.com

I saw Ralph Romaguera present Animoto as his way of producing great quality videos to promote his studio using still images at our User’s Group Meeting. Here is my first attempt at it. This one goes out to my fiancée Sandy….

[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”49c0994d34184833″ width=”432″ height=”240″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

I think this makes a great promotional tool for school administrators.  It is the perfect motivational video for presenting to senior class representatives.  Also, I think it would make a great product even to sell along with a picture package.

You can receive a $5.00 per year discount by using code: oqghaxyp

Here I am to save the day!

Ok, so I won’t really be saving the day like Mighty Mouse, but I am hoping to bring something new to the Photolynx Blog that may just save someone’s work day out there by providing up to date tech support and procedural information in a very comprehensive, searchable format.

But first, lets talk about me!  The past year of working with Photolynx, Inc. has been quite an adventure in crash-course learning for me. When I heard that the company was looking for someone who is a “quick study,” I had no idea just how quick I would need to be in order to keep from drowning in all the new technical knowledge I was about to gain. As we entered my first “season” with the company and customers would call who were on site, and the entire office staff was already helping customers, I figured, well, its time to sink or swim, and I dove in headfirst with my eyes wide open!

By mid-season, I started feeling like a dazed deer in the headlights of an oncoming semi-truck, with cinder block walls on either side of the road. I knew I had to sprout wings or become virtual road-kill. I found myself listening in on the difficult tech calls that I had passed on to others, following along with the instructions being given to the customer. I read every piece of documentation I could get my hands on that had already been written up by PL staff members, and started writing up simple procedures to email to customers when they called. The processes were beginning to gel and the software was starting to make sense to me.

Then the rules changed. We launched our new Green Screen Version 2 module and I suddenly went from helping people learn the software and solving simple problems to trying to figure out why some people could no longer print, or why they were running out of memory, or why Pro Services or Riplynx were giving new errors when using Green Screen. I had to switch from basic technical support, to intense problem solving and delving into the intricacies of how our software has been engineered. There were days I went home wondering what I had gotten myself into, but knew I was in a position that challenged every bit of my knowledge, imagination and patience that would result in greater opportunities for me if I could only make it … one … more … day!!

I made it! I have learned to love the dynamic technology that is Photolynx Software Products all the way from Mr. Gray up to Tracklynx and everything in between. So here I am, setting myself up to provide a more efficient way of supporting our customers using one of the latest methods of communicating: Blogging! My goals of contributing to the Photolynx blog are:

  • Write up and post procedures & “how-to’s”
  • Post newly found tips and short-cuts
  • Share work-arounds and fixes for common errors

My posts here will work to complement Michael’s posts and the information he shares regarding the industry, software development news, procedural information, and other tips and tricks of the trade.

Also, if you have any creative suggestions that you’d like to share, or if you’ve discovered how to make something complicated more streamlined, or you have an idea and want to know how to make it happen, send those to me at kat@photolynx.com and I will see what I can do about finding the answers or sharing your ideas in a weekly customer idea exchange segment.

Allegations Against School Photographer for Inappropriate Touching

See story here.

There’s a definite line between inappropriate touching when posing students.  When I first learned to take portraits over 20 years ago, it was standard procedure to push the subject in the small of the back to get them to sit up straight and tall, touch their shoulders (with finger tips) to move their shoulders to the correct angle, and to use finger tips to help tilt the head.  For female photographers, touch posing was never really an issue.  For male photographers, we had to stay at arms length, to use only finger tips, and as much as possible to use gestures, rather then actual touching.

Over the years, I moved from using my finger tips to pose at arms length to ‘touchless’ posing.   I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started leaning toward ‘touchless’ posing, but I know I taught the ‘touchless’ posing technique to new photographers for at least 15 years.   When ever possible I suggest showing a mirror and let them fix themselves.  But, in the rush to get the volume of pictures done in the time allowed, this may not always be possible.  When touching to move a stray hair or straighten a necklace is needed, it is important to communicate what you are about to do and get permission, before doing so.

‘Touchless’ posing is actually very easy, but takes a little practice to perfect it.  When facing your subject, if you tilt your head, watch what they do.  They will mirror just about anything you do as a photographer.  Adding a hand gesture to suggest tipping their head and verbally telling them to tip their head, while tipping your own head is very effective.  Smile to get them to smile, stay pensive to help get the more serious look.  Get them involved in the process of being photographed by carrying on a conversation.  Ask them questions such as their favorite colors to help you provide them with their favorite colored background.  Find out what hobbies they are into, etc to help them feel more confortable.

Many times, you have less then 20 seconds to photograph your subject.  Once, you have mastered ‘touchless’ posing, it’s easy to pose in 20 seconds.  It saves time, never having to leave camera to pose your subjects.  With the bright lights from the modeling lamps blaring in your subjects face, it’s important to step forward so you have their attention and so they can see you.  If you have a remote shutter release, frame, step out from the camera, pose, and then capture the moment when you get the exact expression you are looking for.

If you’re a male photographer, it might be a good idea to hire a female assistant or ask for volunteer mom’s to help pose the students.  One photographer told me that he goes into the schools and asks the school secretary for families that might need extra financial assistance.  He will give the family free portraits if mom can come to the school and help out for the day.

In today’s society, it’s important that as photographer’s we be very careful to avoid getting ourselves into the situation that this photographer (from Lifetouch) is in.

Life’s a Trip Albums

I ran into a client of ours at PMA.  They are making these great quality photo albums.  There are such good quality, you have to see them to get the fill appreciation of them.

Life’s a Trip Albums is now expanding from doing high end, coffee table quality trip albums into layout, printing and binding for “art quality” Wedding Albums.  Let Life’s a Trip Albums fulfill your wedding album needs.  They will provide a branded wedding album, flip book web approval and your own branded website for that special bride and groom.*  What sets their albums apart from other album suppliers is our professional layout department, layflat pages, PUR perfect binding, all UV coated pages and all pages are enclosed in a customized laminated hardcover album.  Life’s a Trip Album’s goal is to provide the highest quality wedding album packages at affordable prices.  Contact Deborah Zucco at 877-532-8747 or  debz@lifesatripalbums.com for further information, package availability and pricing.  Check them out at http://www.lifesatripalbums.com/.

*All pricing is based on a minimum of twenty wedding album packages per year.

First Day at PMA

I don’t know the official numbers, but the number of vendor booths and the attendance both seemed much less then in previous years.  I heard that PMA will be in Anaheim next year!  Maybe a different venue will help bring up the numbers.

I stayed mostly at the PhotoLynx booth today, so I didn’t get to see much, but I will try to get out for some ideas by Thursday.

The PhotoLynx crew all had dinners with clients tonight.  Christian, Marianne, and myself started off to have dinner alone.  But, as we were waiting for our table, we were joined by Tom Brooke from Quality Photo in Washington and Gail Roser & Patti Gould from Grand Photography in Arizona.  Three more people came up while we were waiting that we didn’t even know from another company called Photo Finish, Neil, Trish, & ?, so just for the heck of it, we invited them to join us for dinner too.

(Please excuse me for messing up names here, I am trying very hard to remember names better).

 

This is the group of us at Dinner.  It was taken on a Verizon Storm.  Not such good picture quality!

This is the group of us at Dinner. It was taken on a Verizon Storm. Not such good picture quality!