Scheduling Google Photos Backup

Like many amateur photographers, I take photos every day and use Lightroom to edit them on my computer. I like to use Google Photos Backup to make a secondary backup of my photo directory which can be useful because I can take advantage of Google’s amazing image search algorithms to find photos quickly. Say I want to find a photo of some sushi I know I took, but don’t know exactly when I took it, I can just search for “sushi” or the place I was at when I ate it, and after Google finds the photo, I can go to Lightroom and zero in on the date to find the original photo. Saves a lot of time! Just the other night, we wanted to know when we adopted our dog, Lani, and by simply searching for “dog” we were quickly able to find out the month and year we brought her home.

However, there are two drawbacks to using Google’s automatic photo backup.

  • First, when it is uploading photos, it kills our Internet bandwidth here at home. (“Papa! Why is the Internet so slow?!”)
  • Secondly, it will automatically start uploading photos as soon as I import them into Lightroom. This happens before I delete the unwanted photos, so my Google photos online library gets cluttered with photos I don’t need. For a while, I dealt with this by pausing the backup using the system tray icon (I use Windows) before I imported, but that is a hassle, and I sometimes forgot to do it.

So, to solve both of these issues, I set up an automated task to run in the wee hours of the morning. It took a bit of trial and error, but I finally got it working using Task Scheduler. Here’s how I do it. (I am using Windows 10)

Scheduling Google Photos Backup

First, we’ll create the task that starts the backup:

  1. Open Task Scheduler by opening the Start Menu, typing “Task Scheduler”, and selecting it from the list.
  2. From the Action drop-down menu, select “Create Basic Task”.
  3. In the dialog box, give the task a name. I went with “Photos on”. Then click “Next”.
  4. For the Trigger, select “Daily”, then click “Next”.
  5. Select the date and time you want the backup to begin, set it to recur every 1 day, then click “Next”. I went with 3 AM.
  6. Select “Start a program”, then click “Next”.
  7. Browse to the Google Photos Backup application. Mine was at “C:\Users\barro\AppData\Local\Programs\Google\Google Photos Backup\Google Photos Backup.exe”. Click on “Next”.
  8. Click on “Finish”.

Secondly, we’ll create the task that ends the backup:

  1. From the Action drop-down menu, select “Create Basic Task”.
  2. In the dialog box, give the task a name. I went with “Photos off”. Then click “Next”.
  3. For the Trigger, select “Daily”, then click “Next”.
  4. Select the date and time you want the backup to end, set it to recur every 1 day, then click “Next”. I set mine to 5 AM, giving Google Photos Backup 2 hours every day to do its thing, although it probably only needs a few minutes. YMMV depending on how much you are backing up.
  5. Select “Start a program”, then click “Next”.
  6. In the Program/Script box, type “TASKKILL /IM “Google Photos Backup.exe” /F” (minus the outside quotes), click “Next”, then click “Yes”.
  7. Click on “Finish”. That’s it!

If you want to test that it is working correctly, you can edit the times in steps 5 & 4, after first making sure Google Photos Backup is not currently running.

I hope this helps someone who wants to automate their backup. Just to add, Google Photos is not my primary means of backup. I have two separate backups of all my data on external hard drives, one of which I keep at the office. Also, I’m not an expert at Task Scheduler, so if there’s a better way to do this, please let me know!

Little green men

"Update" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Update” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。

Today I got a nice surprise in that my phone received an update! I know, it’s a silly thing to get excited about but still, I love the little goodies that come with the software refresh. This time, I am most happy with the option to have a different wallpaper for the home screen and lock screens. I actually used to be able to do it when I had a different home screen launcher, but these days I am too lazy to add all the fancy stuff to my phone. I like to keep it streamlined (which is why I have a Moto G that runs a barebones version of Android) and simple. But if that stock experience includes cool animations and goodies with Android N, then it’s a win-win!

I hope you had a nice Friday.

またね~

Lost in Translation no more with Word Lens in Japanese

Let Google Translate help you find your way through Japan, now with instant translation

Source: Lost in Translation no more with Word Lens in Japanese

This is so cool! The future is here. 😃 And it works in real-time, with the translated text automagically appearing over the original like some hyped-up photoshop wizardry. Take a look at this photo I took of the feature in action:

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/9, 1/85 sec, ISO6400

I wish I could take credit for finding that awesome sign, but it was one of the first Google search results.

Thanks to my brother for sending me the link to the article!

Busy Busy

"Carrot Flowers" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/340 sec, ISO6400
“Carrot Flowers” Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

Wow, today was a busy day.

While Mariko is preparing the New Year’s osechi feast, I am in charge taking care of the kids and running other errands. That included buying a new hard drive for one that is on the blink, taking Bay to get his haircut, dropping Koa off at his friend’s house, going to the pet store, dropping Bay off at the mall, picking up our dog Lani from the sitter, changing out water from the aquarium, giving Lani a bath, cleaning the battery terminals on my minivan, and picking up dinner (In N Out, yay!).

I got a lot done, but one of the fun things I did was to buy a new phone! My Moto G2 is getting really slow, and Mariko and the kids have been telling me to upgrade for a while now, so I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a new Moto G4. There is a good deal on Amazon right now – the 32 GB version for $189 (normally $229). I really like my G2 but it only has 8 GB of internal storage so I have run out of space for apps. And it’s not like I have a lot of apps, but the standard Google apps have gotten so big that they take up almost all of the internal memory!

I’m pretty sure 32 GB should last me a while, and of course there’s the SD card so I can pop in my 64 GB card for my music and photos.

The phone arrives in a couple days… can’t wait!

Today’s photo is of some carrots that Mariko carved into beautiful flower shapes. They will be part of the osechi, or Japanese new years food.

I hope you had a nice day!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

Kindle

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Kindle PaperWhite” Cedar Park, 2016

For my birthday this year, my parents bought me a new Kindle Paperwhite. It is awesome! I’ve had an older Kindle “Keyboard” version for a while now (I blogged about it here) but have wanted a new Paperwhite version because of the upgrades.

Here is a list of advantages of new Kindle PaperWhite (which I named “Echo”):

  • Backlight: Not only can I read at night without the light on (which bothered Mariko), but the backlight adds some contrast for increased readability in daylight
  • Higher resolution: The text looks sharper and the display is more like a printed page
  • Smaller: Although the screen size is the same as my old Kindle, the bezel is smaller and I can “palm” it with one hand
  • X-Ray: I can find out more about the characters in the story by tapping on a name
  • Goodreads: I can update my reading status on Goodreads directly from the Kindle Paperwhite

Although the new Kindle is superior to my old Kindle (which I named “Persephone”), the old one is still useful and works great. And it has a couple of advantages over the Paperwhite:

  • Lock screen art: I hacked the OS so that I could load custom lock screen images
  • Audio: I have loaded some nice classical guitar mp3s onto the Kindle, which I can play via the built-in speakers or the headphone jack

Having two Kindles is nice. I keep Echo (the new one) by my bed, and Persephone is in my messenger bag. Do you own a Kindle? I have to say, my Kindles are possibly my favorite technology gadgets. ❤

Extra Device

"Close to Winter" Austin, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/120 sec, ISO400
“Close to Winter” Austin, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

It’s another cold one here in Austin and tonight it will get down to just above freezing. I think next week it will warm back up with Wednesday’s high back into the mid-70s! I’ll be happy to have the warm temperatures again since I can’t stand too much cold.

The other day I started up my old Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, which is a device that I don’t use much anymore since I got my Chromebook. For a while I used the tablet thinking it would be a great blogging device but it’s just too small, and even with a bluetooth keyboard, the typing experience was lacking. It’s a nice tool for consuming information, but not creating.

A while back I upgraded the OS from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, and while successful, there were a few problems. The battery life suffered and the performance wasn’t so great as compared to Windows 8.1. Also, Windows 10 took up so much space that it only left me with about 1.5 GB free on the 32 GB internal drive. This is not enough space to apply the regular Windows maintenance updates!

So, I decided to downgrade the OS back to Windows 8.1 and I am so glad I did. The speed is back, and the tablet experience of 8.1 is much better than 10. I have to admit that on of this little tablet’s best features is that the lockscreen can display saved photos. It’s a pretty sweet-looking digital photo frame!

Honestly, though, my other devices are much better for the type of things I do, for instance, my Chromebook for blogging/typing, the Kindle Paperwhite for reading, and the phone for browsing Instagram. I think it may be good for Netflix since the screen is so nice, but it’s a shame that I don’t have much more use for it.

Have a good evening!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

Photo editing using Snapseed for Android

Hi all! It’s a couple days after we returned from a 6-day vacation, and during that trip I blogged every night, including photos that I took during the day. Since I didn’t have Lightroom with me, I did all my photo editing on my Android phone using the Snapseed app. I’m pleased with how the photos turned out, considering I used just the mobile app. And so I thought I would share how I edited my photos with you all! (If you use an iPhone, you can find the same/similar apps for that platform)

First, I take all my photos using my Fujifilm X100T in JPG mode, usually the Standard (Provia) color setting. Then, using the Fujifilm Camera Remote app, I transfer the photos via WiFi to my Motorola Moto G phone. I browse them using the QuickPic app, then when I find one I’d like to edit, I select Share, then choose Snapseed from the list:

2016-11-27-20-02-15

The image opens up in the Snapseed app and then I get down to business! I’ve found I like to start by using the Rotate tool to straighten things out (it will do its best to auto-straighten, which works surprisingly well!), then Crop. Next I will use the Tune Image tool, adjusting the Shadows, Saturation, and Exposure. Lastly, I might add a slight Vignette. For many photos, this is all I do.

2016-11-27-20-02-29

On other photos, I’ll go to the presets and play around more. I like to use the Tonal Contrast to give the photo a little more definition, the Drama presets to add a little punch, and the Grainy Film presets for a VSCO type feel. If I only want to add some grain, I will use a Grainy Film preset, but set the Style Strength to 0, and only use the grain adjustment. FYI, most people like to reduce grain for a super clean image, but I like the feel of grain, so that’s why I use the preset.

2016-11-27-20-02-49

 

After I am satisfied with my edits, I’ll click on Done and move on to the next image. When I have all my photos edited and ready for posting, I’ll select them all in QuickPic, and Share them with my WordPress app, which will add them to the WordPress Media library. And that’s it! They are ready to be added to my post when I type it out on my Chromebook.

Of course, there isn’t the same kind of control as you get with Lightroom, but I think it’s a great mobile solution, and it doesn’t take long at all. I hope this helps! Please take a look at the photos I edited using this technique below:

(anti) Social

Over the years, I’ve been on plenty of social networks, but at this time, I’ve whittled it down to just a couple that I am active on:

And of course I check my blog feed… BUT, I’m no longer active on Facebook. So if I don’t respond there, my apologies! If you need to contact me, you can find me on these chat apps (search firstnamelastname):

LINE, Google Hangouts, Messenger,WhatsApp, Skype

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

**************

"Delicious" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/75 sec, ISO3200
“Delicious” Cedar Park, 2016

Today’s photo is of a wonderfully refreshing local brew. I just love the design of the “label” on this one. It’s one of life’s little pleasures to arrive home after work and have one of these little beauties waiting in the fridge. 😊 Cheers! 🍻