July 2013 Archives

Derrick Story on EyeEm

While I'm on the road to Oahu, I'll be testing a new photo sharing app called EyeEm. It shares some DNA with Instagram in how you upload, filter, and share images.

The interface is attractive, organization is easy, and they plan "to create a marketplace where EyeEm members can opt to put photos up for sale and potential buyers can add a request or search for the type(s) of images they need." according to article on DP Connect.

We'll see how all of that shakes out. In the meantime, I plan on browsing the pretty pictures that are there, and hopefully contributing a few of my own.


iPad for Digital Photographers

This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

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Ricoh GR with Olympus Optical Viewfinder

This week on The Digital Story show: the Ricoh GR compact camera with APS-C sensor, Photo Help Desk question of the week, and packing for Oahu -- All of this and more in today's photography podcast.

Story #1 - I've just started testing the Ricoh GR compact camera that features a 16.2MP APS-C format CMOS sensor, no optical low-pass filter, 3" 1,230k-dot White Magic LCD screen, fixed 28mm f/2.8 lens, 1080p video, Magnesium alloy body, and plenty of bells and whistles.

The LCD screen works great, even in bright light. But I've added my Olympus VF-1 optical viewfinder (as shown in the illustration) that allows me to shoot with the LCD turned off.

Image quality is outstanding. And the entire package weighs less than 9 ounces. I talk about my first trip with the Ricoh GR, and why I'll be packing it on my next.

Story #2 - Photo Help Desk Question of the Week: Do I Need to Understand Elements and Groups to Buy a Lens? Answer: You don't. Key lens features that are important include maximum aperture, image stabilization (yes or now), physical qualities, distortion, chromatic aberration, and sharpness - all of which you can get from a good review.

Story #3 - Packing for Oahu. I'm going to try the new Lowepro Photo Sport Shoulder 18L that has a removable camera insert, room for a 10" iPad, lots of pockets, and a sporty, stylish look.

Inside the bag I'll pack the Olympus TG-1, Ricoh GR, and FujiFilm X20. I'll also include the iPad mini.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (29 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The July 2013 photo assignment is Duality.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.


iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.Special Summer Sale! Just add "TDS: in the comments space of your SizzlPix! order, and you will get 20 percent off the entire order. Limited time offer. Take advantage now.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

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You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Canon PowerShot N

In my recent review of the Canon PowerShot N on TechHive, I conclude with:

"So who is this camera for? I think it's for creative photographers who want a device that helps them produce uninhibited (and sometimes unpredictable) images that they can easily transfer to their mobile devices. Clearly, this isn't a camera for everyone. In the right hands, though, it can breathe new life into everyday imagery. And for that reason alone, it's worth keeping an eye on."

But that doesn't mean the PowerShot N doesn't have its Cons as well as Pros. Here's how it stacks up for me.

PowerShot N Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 8X optical zoom lens
  • Excellent image quality over a broad ISO range
  • Tilting screen for creative compositions
  • Solid movie mode with a dose of creativity
  • Built-in WiFi with mobile companion app available for free
  • Digic 5 process for snappy performance
  • Cons

  • $299 price tag makes it an investment, not an impulse buy
  • Low battery warning doesn't provide much lead time
  • Small size can make it difficult to hold securely
  • LCD controls most functions, very few buttons
  • Wi-Fi will disconnect quickly when pictures are not transferring
  • Typical Comments About the PowerShot N

    The most common remark that always surfaces when I write about this camera is that it's too expensive for its specification. I agree that $300 is a lot to spend for a compact camera. But it is a good camera with an excellent lens and WiFi. Maybe the price will come down later this year.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

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    When you first connect a Samsung Android device to your Mac for photo import, you might be disappointed to see that Aperture and iPhoto are not recognizing the device as a camera. I encountered this problem while working with a Samsung GC110 Galaxy digital camera that uses Android Jellybean for its operating system.

    Samsung Galaxy Camera USB Connection Options

    You can easily fix the problem by switching its USB protocol from a Media Device (MTP) to a Camera (PTP). Here are the steps.

    1. Connect the Samsung Android device to a Mac via its USB cable.
    2. Power up the camera and go to its Home screen.
    3. Swipe downward on the screen from top to bottom to reveal the Notifications display.
    4. Under "Ongoing" it will probably read "Connected as a Media Device." Tap on that to reveal an options screen.
    5. In the following screen, check the box next to "Camera (PTP).
    6. Tap the Home button.
    7. Open Aperture or iPhoto, and the Samsung should appear as a camera in the import window.

    If you don't see the "Ongoing" screen in Step 3 when you swipe downward, don't despair. I didn't see it either at first. I downloaded the Samsung Kies software, installed it, then connected my camera with the Kies software running. Then the "Ongoing" option appeared in the Notifications screen on the camera.

    As a side note, the Kies software is handy for managing your Samsung device on either a Mac or Windows computer.

    Aperture Tips and Techniques

    To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


    PhotoHelpDesk.com is a down-to-earth resource for curious minded photographers. Submit your questions, and we'll post an answer.

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    On Location Testing the Ricoh GR

    I'm camping in beautiful Sugar Loaf Ridge State Park for a couple days to test the new Ricoh GR APS-C compact camera. At first I didn't think I'd like a fixed focal length lens, but as it turns out, I'm having a blast with it.

    Camp Site at Sugar Loaf

    Here's home sweet home for the next couple days. I'll post more when I return on Sunday. Have a great weekend!

    Manfrotto QR System

    Manfrotto announced that its Top Lock Quick Release System is "compatible with Arca-style quick release plates and systems." This is big news in the world of tripods. And it seems like the only remaining question is (when it comes to tripod plates): do you put the hyphen in Arca-Swiss or not?

    This isn't to belittle any of the other excellent products on the market. But the fact that accessory giant Manfrotto chose Arca-Swiss for its new Top Lock product is noteworthy. I switched to Arca-Swiss a while back when I fell in love with Joby Ballhead X, and now have standardized on Arca-Swiss.

    Personally, I'm thrilled to see Manfrotto go this direction. Using one style quick release plate and having many different compatible options is exactly the scenario I like.


    PhotoHelpDesk.com is a down-to-earth resource for curious minded photographers. Submit your questions, and we'll post an answer.

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    Flickr Cover Photo

    If you're maintaining a Google+, Facebook, or Flickr page, you have a cover photo that spans from one side to the other. It's an opportunity to make a positive first impression when someone visits your site.

    When's the last time you refreshed this image? Or have you ever and are using the default picture that was provided for you?

    Flickr was the latest to switch to this look for users' home pages. And there are still a lot of default covers out there. You might want to take a moment and refresh yours. Actually, I think it's a good idea to spruce up the page every month or so.

    Here's a short video on how to update your cover photo for flickr.

    While you're at it, you might want to take a look at your other pages too. Maybe you've shot something recently that would make a great cover image. It only takes a few seconds to refresh your home page. And it feels so good!


    Flickr Essential Training 2013 - I explore the entire Flickr universe, mobile and computer, in my lynda.com title, Flickr Essential Training. Stop by and take a look.

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    Canon 6D Full Frame

    This week on The Digital Story: 5 surefire flash tips, Photo Help Desk question of the week, more on new Aperture courses - All of this and more in today's photography podcast.

    Story #1 - Five Surefire Flash Tips - I've been shooting in all kinds of lighting conditions lately, and I thought I'd share my favorite flash tips:

    1. People shots in bright, contrasty light fare better with fill flash.
    2. In Program mode, flash exposure compensation controls the light on the subject, and exposure compensation affects the background.
    3. Carry a white business card and rubber band to create an emergency kick light for bounce flash.
    4. Indoors, try manual mode with these settings: ISO 400, 1/15th, f/5.6. Adjust as needed.
    5. Hold the flash up with your left hand, the camera in your right, and use TTL wireless for communication.

    Story #2 - Photo Help Desk Question of the Week: "Why move from a cropped sensor to a full frame DSLR?" I add more detail to the answer.

    Story #3 - New Aperture Training coming your way. I've just completed "Portrait Retouching with Aperture" and "Enhancing Product Photography with Aperture," and they are fun! I explain why in the third story.

    Listen to the Podcast

    In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (28 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

    Monthly Photo Assignment

    The July 2013 photo assignment is Duality.

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    Podcast Sponsors

    Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

    Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.Special Summer Sale! Just add "TDS: in the comments space of your SizzlPix! order, and you will get 20 percent off the entire order. Limited time offer. Take advantage now.

    Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    sandisk-wireless-media

    SanDisk has announced two new wireless drives aimed at tablet-toting photographers and travelers. The SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive is of particular interest. It will ship in 16 and 32GB capacities and features:

    • Store, share, and stream files across multiple mobile devices
    • 8 simultaneous device connections, 3 media streams
    • Works with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Kindle Fire and Androidâ„¢ devices
    • No cables, router, or Internet connection needed
    • Provides up to 4 hours of wireless streaming per charge
    • Wi-Fi Password Protection (WPA2)
    • Download the SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive app for easy access

    Looks fantastic, especially for iPad photographers who need additional storage. I plan on testing one myself. And the first thing I'll be examining is speed. My experience with wireless transfer in general with an iPad is pedestrian read/write rates (that is, assuming as @MyDarkroom pointed out on Twitter, that you can even write to these devices from a tablet). Those slower speeds are tolerable in a Jpeg workflow with a handful of pictures.

    But if you have 600 shots from a full day of shooting, and if those are Raw files, then you're probably going to reach for the laptop instead of the tablet. We'll see after some real world use. It's promising news indeed, but don't get too excited quite yet.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

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    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    Five years ago when writing Digital Photography Companion, I recommended staying away from the digital zoom setting on a compact camera. My feeling was that it's better to rely on the optics of your lens, then crop as needed. So if you have a 28-105mm optical zoom, use 105mm, and stay away from adding on focal length by turning on the digital zoom function for that camera.

    Landing Sea birds in Santa Barbara with a Canon PowerShot N and digital zoom.

    But with today's cameras, should you really avoid the digital zoom? Every now and then I like to revisit my opinions to see if they still apply in the face of changing technology.

    To test my digital zoom opinion, I photographed sea birds in Santa Barbara with a Canon PowerShot N that has an 8X optical lens plus a 32X digital zoom. I normally stay away from anything over 8X. But this evening, I shot with wild abandon using 12X, 24X, and sometimes even more.

    Heron

    I worked with these 12 MP Jpegs just as I would normally edit any other picture in Aperture. I cropped as needed, adjusted color, tweaked exposure, etc. I didn't add any sharpening, however, because I didn't want the image to fall apart.

    Birds and Boats Birds and Boats with a Canon PowerShot N using the digital zoom.

    So after reviewing these images on my MacBook Pro Retina display, have I changed my opinion about the digital zoom function? Not entirely.

    But I'm certainly softening my stance about using digital zoom. For highest quality, I still shy away from letting the camera play with my image. But in certain situations, I'll consider it, especially if the images are being captured for web publishing.


    I used Flickr to publish these images. If you want to learn more about Flickr, check out my Flickr Essential Training on lynda.com.

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    fujifilm-x20-with-lenshood.jpg

    Both TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) and EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) have announced their Best Cameras and Lenses of 2013. There are not many surprises in the respective lists. But what's interesting are the differences.

    For example, in the DSLR categories, Canon fared better with TIPA (EOS Rebel SL1 and 6D), while in Europe, Nikon had the stronger showing with the D800 and the D4. In the expert compact category, TIPA like the Fujifilm X20 while EISA preferred the Sony RX100. And for best mirrorless body? TIPA selected the Panasonic GH3 while EISA choose the Samsung NX20 (EISA awarded the OM-D top honors in a different category).

    Bottom line is, it's pretty much what I've been saying all along: there are so many great cameras out there. It's a matter of which one is the best fit for you. You can see the entire list at dphotojournal.com.

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    PhotoHelpDesk.com is a down-to-earth resource for curious minded photographers. Submit your questions, and we'll post an answer.

    Finally we have an iPad version of the modern Google Maps, and mobile photographers will appreciate its navigation muscle plus new "explore" and indoors mapping feature. That's right, you can now use Google Maps to find locations inside airports and malls. So when you just arrive at a new destination, you have half a chance of locating the services you need.

    Google Maps on an iPad An indoors map of San Francisco International Airport

    Other helpful tools include visual traffic indicators, bike routes, public transit, direct link to Google Earth, walking directions, and more. iPad-toting photographers on the go should definitely have this version of Google Maps downloaded and ready to navigate.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.


    Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

    BW Scooter with BW Lab

    Photographers who love black and white imagery should consider the iPad among their editing options. For far less money than computer hardware/software, you can create outstanding monochrome and duotone images. Two of my favorite apps for this work are B&W Lab ($1.99) and Snapseed (free), which I cover in Chapter 3 of iPad for Digital Photographers.


    Woman on Scooter by Derrick Story, edited in B&W Lab on an iPad mini.


    Either app lets you import an image from your Camera Roll, Photo Stream, or any album on your iPad. Once the image is loaded, you can view variations via a collection of built-in presets. B&W Lab includes 15 presets and 5 film emulsions: Fuji Neopan, Ilford Pan, Kodak Tmax, Agfa, and Newpan. Snapseed features 6 presets. Each app allows you to fine tune the image with exposure controls, color filters, grain, and more. Once you've finished editing, save the B&W photo back to your Camera Roll or publish online.

    As I illustrate in iPad for Digital Photographers, serious artists can use these affordable tools to create compelling works. Open one of your favorite photographs in B&W Lab or Snapseed, and see what inspires you.

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    DSLR Camera Question on Photo Help Desk

    This week on The Digital Story: Photography Q&A, some of your favorite questions answered, smoke gets in my lens at the BBQ competition, and guess what I'm working on at lynda.com? (hint: Aperture titles.) - All of this and more in today's photography podcast.

    Story #1 - I cover three questions from the Photo Help Desk - Histograms and exposure compensation, software plug-ins for Aperture and Lightroom, and the new iMac as an image editing machine. All three queries have interesting answers.

    Story #2 - Smoke gets in my lens. We had a great time covering the Wine Country Big-Q BBQ competition in Santa Rosa, CA. Our advanced workshop team (Rebecca, Craig, and Ken) captured hundreds of frames, ate more BBQ than they could imagine, and had very interesting conversations with the competitors. This is a colorful crew (and so are the photographers). I recap the event and talk about advanced workshops in general.

    Story #3 - New Aperture training videos. No, it's not version 4. But I am recording two new Aperture titles this week: Portrait Retouching, and Enhancing Product Photography. These are focused tutorials that will show you exactly how to create professional results using Aperture's image editing tools.

    Reminder! - If you're going to purchase gear through Amazon or B&H Photo, please stop by the TDS home page first. Look for the "Products" box about half way down the page in the second column. There you will see display tiles for Amazon, lynda.com, and B&H Photo, in that order. By entering those sites through those display tiles, you help support The Digital Story.

    Listen to the Podcast

    In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (26 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

    Monthly Photo Assignment

    The July 2013 photo assignment is Duality.

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    Podcast Sponsors

    Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

    Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. Special Summer Sale! Just add "TDS: in the comments space of your SizzlPix! order, and you will get 20 percent off the entire order. Limited time offer. Take advantage now.

    Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    How to Make a Postcard in Flickr

    Flickr Postcard

    Sharing travel adventures via postcards are as old as vacations themselves. You can keep this tradition alive using Flickr on your mobile device or computer. Its editing application enables you to add frames, type, and effects.

    Start with a photo that represents your current activity. If you're using your iPhone, access the Camera Roll via the camera function in Flickr for iOS. Once you select the image, tap on the pencil icon in the upper right corner. Here you can choose a frame and add type. Once you apply that, you can also select a filter.

    Upload the image to your Flickr account. I also save a version to my Camera Roll (this is an option in Settings). From either location, I can send my postcard to friends and family.

    This process is even easier on your computer. Watch this short movie from my Flickr Essential Training title on lynda.com to see how to use the online photo editor to create postcards.

    Adding Text and Frames
    Flickr Essential Training | by Derrick Story

    Regardless if you use your mobile device or computer, you can create memorabilia from your images that will delight your friends this summer, and for years to come.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    When the lights go down, I need a fast, sharp lens to help me capture the mood while keeping up with the action. For a recent assignment, the Wine Country Big-Q BBQ competition, I depended on the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens for my Canon DSLR.

    Preparing the Ribs The Sigma lens handles this situation so easily you don't even realize it's low light.

    Most of the time, I work in Aperture Priority with the Sigma 35mm lens, parking the f/stop at f/1.4. This gives me the look I want, even with a cropped sensor camera (in this case, a Canon 60D). By working close to my subjects, I can create a feeling of "being there." Yet, the backgrounds soften nicely.

    Ready for the Cooker I like how the lens handles the background in these types of shots.

    The focusing is quick, accurate, and quiet - very important for event coverage. If there's a gesture, or the elements in a composition come together perfectly for a moment, I want to be able to capture that.

    What a Band! It's plenty sharp too!

    Low light event photography presents plenty of challenges. Subjects on the move, often in dimly lit environments. I do carry a flash if I need it. But my first choice is to find an exposure that lets me work with the light that's already there. I've grown dependent on the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 prime lens in those situations.

    BTW: Never cover a BBQ event on an empty stomach...

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    The Road Taken

    How did I embed this Instagram shot? Check out my post titled, How to Embed Instagram Photos.


    Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

    How to Embed Instagram Photos

    Finally, there's an easy way to embed your Instagram photos on your blog or anywhere else online that accepts HTML code. Here are the steps.

    Step 1 - Go to your Instagram profile and click the Share button

    Click the Share Button

    Step 2 - Copy the Embed Code. If the code isn't highlighted, then you'll have to do that yourself. Also, if the copy button doesn't work for you, just use your regular copy command (Edit > Copy).

    Copy the Embed Code

    Step 3 - Paste the embed code in your blog site.

    Paste Code

    The original proportions in the embed code were too big for my site, 612 x 710. So I changed those dimensions to 500 x 580 in the code.

    You can see a sample post using this technique.

    Having the capability to share my Instagram photos via my other sites is important. I create images there that are often unique. The embed process isn't sophisticated, but it does get the job done.


    Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

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    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    fujifilm-x-trans-layout.jpg

    Is Capture One 7 the way to go if you're shooting with a new Fujifilm X-Trans sensor? In the blog post, Fuji X-Trans sensor excels in Capture One 7, PhaseOne blogger NIELS V. KNUDSEN writes:

    "Many algorithms and process steps in the Capture One processing pipeline have been modified in order to handle this new pattern. As a result, Capture One now has a solution with which you can achieve excellent details and precise colors using these X-trans cameras." Knudsen goes on to say that control of moire and more precise color rendering are the real benefits.

    If true, this could shine a new light on Capture One 7, at least by Fujifilm shooters. If anyone has experience with this combination, please post your comment on the TDS Facebook page.


    twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter


    Have you wondered if a $39 lens could be any good? Such is the case with the Olympus 15mm f/8.0 body cap lens that we first saw back at Photokina. And now, DP Review has put it on the bench and filed the report, Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm F8 review.

    olympus_body_cap_lens.jpg Body Lens Cap on an Olympus Pen mini. Be sure the lever lines up perfectly with the white dot when shooting. Improper position shown here. (Move just a bit more to the right!)

    Their bottom line? "The Body Cap Lens 15mm F8 isn't the kind of lens that's ever going to do well in technical testing, or satisfy photographers who like to look at their images in fine detail or print them large... What the 15mm does offer, though, is the ability to turn a Micro Four Thirds body into a tiny package that's ready shoot at the flick of a lever, and capture images which are good enough for social sharing, or as a basis for further manipulation, such as with in-camera filters."

    Personally, I like it as, well, a body cap. I keep it on my second camera, the Pen Mini, so it takes up very little space in my camera bag. If I need to grab a quick shot, the body cap lens gets the job done until I have a few moments to mount the "proper" lens I want to use. And at $39, I've paid more for a lens hood.


    Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

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    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    Don't have much time, but want to improve your Lightroom 5 chops? Just saw this terrific post on Imaging-Resource titled Lightroom 5: 10 tips in 10 minutes, with Adobe's Julieanne Kost. It will make you smarter...

    Julianne Kost Lightroom 5


    PhotoHelpDesk.com is a down-to-earth resource for curious minded photographers. Submit your questions, and we'll post an answer.


    twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter


    Want to discover all of the features and settings in Flickr that you haven't tapped yet? Then click over to lynda.com and watch Flickr Essential Training.

    To whet your appetite, here's an overview movie that will give you a taste of what's being served.

    Welcome
    Flickr Essential Training | by Derrick Story

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    Photo Help Desk

    Today's featured question on PhotoHelpDesk.com: Is Latest iMac Worthy for Image Editing?. The short answer is, "yes." Check out the post for more details and to comment.


    PhotoHelpDesk.com is a down-to-earth resource for curious minded photographers. Submit your questions, and we'll post an answer.

    5 Stars for the Olympus E-P5

    Olympus E-P5

    We had a feeling this camera would do well in reviews. PhotographyBlog.com just awarded the Olympus E-P5 micro four thirds camera five stars in their Olympus E-P5 Review.

    Citing top marks for design, ease of use, and image quality, they conclude: "...we can recommend the new Olympus E-P5 just as highly as our favourite compact system camera of 2012 [Olympus OM-D]." High praise indeed. Can't wait to get my hands on one.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    This week on The Digital Story: New site inspired by your questions: PhotoHelpDesk.com, Ever consider being a Bureau Chief?, the brand new Flickr Essential Training is ready for prime time - All of this and more in today's photography podcast.

    Photo Help Desk

    Story #1 - PhotoHelpDesk.com inspired by your questions. As you can imagine, I get a fair amount of email seeking my advice on a variety of photo-related questions. Recently, it dawned on me that instead of just helping one photographer at a time, this effort could help many.

    If somehow I could share these conversations with our online community, then others who have similar questions could benefit too. This is the genesis of PhotoHelpDesk.com, a new site that will be part of our publishing family. My goal is to create an archive of relevant photographic knowledge that we can use and share with others. I discuss what I've built, how it works, and who it's for.

    Story #2 - Bureau Chiefs for PhotoHelpDesk.com. Currently I have 7 basic categories for Photo Help Desk: DSLR Cameras, Mirrorless Cameras, Compact Cameras, Smart Phones, Aperture/iPhoto, Lightroom, and Buying Advice. I'm going to serve as Bureau Chief for Mirrorless, iPhoto, and Aperture.

    I'm looking for two Bureau Chiefs to help me cover DSLRs, Compacts, Smart Phones, and Lightroom. I'd like each Bureau Chief to cover two topics.

    If you're interested in joining the Photo Help Desk team, then send mail to photographyhelpdesk@gmail.com with Bureau Chief and your name in the subject line. Let me know what you're interested in covering, and why you'd be good at it. If you have writing samples to share, send those along too.

    Story #3 - Flickr Essential Training 2013. Flickr has gone through many changes of late, including new mobile apps for iOS and Android, plus a revamped web presence. I've recorded an entirely new Flickr Essential Training for lynda.com to show you the ins and outs of my favorite photo sharing site. And now it's ready for prime time. Here's more about it.

    Reminder! - If you're going to purchase gear through Amazon or B&H Photo, please stop by the TDS home page first. Look for the "Products" box about half way down the page in the second column. There you will see display tiles for Amazon, lynda.com, and B&H Photo, in that order. By entering those sites through those display tiles, you help support The Digital Story.

    Listen to the Podcast

    In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (27 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

    Monthly Photo Assignment

    The July 2013 photo assignment is Duality.

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    Podcast Sponsors

    Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

    Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.Special Offer! Anyone buying Derrick's new book, iPad for Digital Photographers, even at Amazon's or Barnes And Noble's discount, and putting the password for the Book Owners lounge in the comments space of their SizzlPix! order, will get 10 percent off their entire order -- the equivalent of more than a full refund for the book!

    Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

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    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    Easy Photo Printing with Aperture

    Epson R2000 Printing

    Making beautiful prints at home might be easier than you think. If you haven't fired up the inkjet printer for a while, take a look at my latest Macworld article, How to print photos from Aperture the easy way.

    The good news is, printer drivers have become much smarter over the last few years. So if you know what boxes to check, then you can produce lovely 13" x 19" prints on the first try.

    I bet your walls at home could use a little freshening up. What do you think?

    Aperture Tips and Techniques

    To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


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    Revised Panasonic Revises LUMIX G 20mm F1-7 Lens

    Good news for Micro Four Thirds stills shooters. The newly announced Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH lens ($399, also available in a silver finish) features a metal mount, supports Panasonic's Contrast AF for precision auto focusing, and is lighter and more compact than the previous version.

    But according to Steve's Digicams, "The only real catch is that, when recording video, if you leave Continuous AF on, you will hear some noise. Panasonic recommends leaving AF off for video."

    Filmmakers take note...

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    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    When you want to keep an eye on a big job is processing in Aperture, the Activity Monitor window is very helpful. I've been using it lately during an ambitious archiving project where I'm cleaning up old libraries and posting the content to my Everpix account.

    Activity Monitor Enabled in Aperture

    To view the Activity Monitor, go to Window > Show Activity. Since Aperture can run tasks in the background, you could have more than one process to view. If you decide that you want to terminate an activity, highlight it, then click on the Cancel Task button.

    Currently I have an old MacBook connected to a Drobo and churning away on exporting libraries and generating full size previews for my online archiving project. That white MacBook isn't very fast, but it is steady, and I can leave it running over the weekend. When I want to know the status of a job, I check the Activity Monitor to see how long before I can set up the next task. It helps me manage my work without babysitting the computer. You might find it helpful for your big jobs too.

    Aperture Tips and Techniques

    To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    When I saw Venus setting in the west on Fourth of July evening, I knew I wanted to create a different kind of shot for the holiday. The hardest part was finding a good location. After that, I had to set up quickly before the light left the sky.

    Venus Setting at Twilight with Fireworks "Venus Setting in the West at Twilight with Fireworks" by Derrick Story

    I mounted the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the Panasonic VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 zoom on a Joby GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X and controlled the camera with a Triggertrap mobile connected to my iPhone.

    With the ISO set to 200, I exposed the scene for 2 seconds at f/8. The zoom was set to 15mm. Fortunately, the fireworks show in the distance began at 9:35 pm, while there was still color in the sky. I captured about 6 frames, this one being my favorite, before I switched lenses and focused on the fireworks themselves.

    I like the grand finale fireworks shots captured about 20 minutes later. But this shot for me, is something a little different than I normally photograph on Independence Day.

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    Canon EOS Rebel T1i with 24-85mm Lens

    Apart from the cameras that are near and dear to our hearts, gear that isn't used regularly can be sold to generate revenue for purchasing new items. My goal is to create a win/win scenario where both seller and purchaser feel good about the transaction.

    A successful sale begins when you first purchase the item. By following these easy steps, you'll protect your investment and create a positive selling experience up the road.

    Save Original Packing

    Save the box, owners manual, cables, software CD, and anything else that's part of the kit. Prospective buyers love original packing. It helps maintain the value of their investment. And it doesn't cost you anything other than setting aside a little storage space.

    Hang on to Brochures and Books

    Another value-added item is collateral material related to the camera. Printed brochures, books on how to use, and other promotional items enhance the buying experience. Not only will these items help the buyer get more out of their purchase, they add emotional appeal.

    Protect the LCD and Lens

    The LCD screen and front objective glass of the lens are the most delicate surfaces on the camera. By putting a screen protector on the LCD and a high quality, multi-coated filter over the lens, you'll help protect your investment. When it's time to sell the item, I remove all protection, revealing mint condition surfaces. Believe me, nobody wants to buy a scratched LCD.

    Sell the Camera While It Still Has Value

    Finding a buyer for a 3-year-old camera is much easier than one that's been around for 5 years. Most buyers plan on using the purchase for their hobby, and they want to feel they have something that's current and desirable. If you know you're going to eventually sell an item, sell it now. Everyone will be happier.

    Take a Good Picture, Write a Good Ad

    I prefer to sell on Craigslist, at local camera stores, and via local newspapers. I write a descriptive ad without effusive adjectives, and take a good picture of the item I'm selling. I then meet the prospective buyer at a local coffee shop where they can test the gear and ask me questions. This provides a satisfying experience and eliminates buyer's remorse.

    Charged and Ready to Roll

    When it's time to meet the buyer, charge the battery, put a memory card in the camera, and make sure all systems are go. Show the buyer how to operate the camera, adjust the diopter to their eyesight, and let them take pictures. I like to have a good cup of coffee during this process.

    Be Fair, Honest, and Sincere

    I think it's really exciting to pair one of my cameras with a new photographer who has the opportunity to flourish with it. When I go to sleep that night, I want to be thinking about how happy they are with their purchase, and how I've taken a positive step toward my new gear goal.

    Never, under any circumstance, take advantage of a prospective buyer just to get a few more dollars. Not only is it wrong, but it undermines the entire marketplace for used gear. As I said in the beginning, win/win scenarios are just good business.

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    Olympus 75mm Prime Lens

    I have lenses that I describe as sharp, dependable, or versatile. But the term I use for the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 lens is amazing. Why? Because in many ways, it defies logic.

    When mounted on the OM-D E-M5, the 75mm is both sharp and dreamlike at the same time. When locked down to f/1.8, which is the only aperture I've used regularly with this prime, it lets me create images that have a quality unlike any other lens.

    It goes beyond merely throwing the background out of focus (which is no small feat with a micro four thirds camera). It's the unique way that it creates a creamy, almost dreamlike texture, even in mundane settings. I've said before that lenses are to a photographer as brushes are to a painter. Never has that been more true than with this combination.

    Michelle Portrait 2

    In the past, for portraits like these, I would have to use my Canon 5D Mark II and the 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom. It's a great rig for sure, but it is over twice the size and weight of the OM-D with the 75mm prime. So for shoots where I need to travel light, but still have the control I want, the micro four thirds tandem is a more nimble option.

    Michelle Portrait 3

    When I need the lens to be sharp, all I have to do is focus accurately on what's important, and the 75mm provides excellent detail, contrast, and color. BTW: the manual focus ring is quite nice on the 75mm. I've programmed my f2 button on the OM-D to toggle between manual and autofocus. I've found this particularly handy for sports where I can lock in on a subject faster than the autofocus.

    Layup

    The product highlights are what you'd expect for premium priced glass ($899).

    • Three ED Elements to Correct Aberrations
    • Advanced Lens Coating Reduces Reflections
    • 150mm Equivalent in 35mm Format
    • Micro Four Thirds Mount
    • Aperture Range: f/1.8-22
    • Compact (2.7 x 2.5"), Balanced Weight (10.7oz) All Metal Construction
    • Fast, Quiet Autofocusing Ideal for Video (MSC) and Action Photography

    The 75mm doesn't have close-focusing ability, and doesn't include optical image stabilization (the OM-D has stabilization built in to the body). But for portraits and action photography, this prime lens is simply, well, amazing.

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    This week on The Digital Story: Winners and Workshops, Flickr Update, and a behind the scenes interview with the Everpix co-founders - All of this and more in today's photography podcast.

    Everpix on an iPad mini Everpix updating in the background while being used on an iPad mini.

    Story #1 - Recent SizzlPix Winners as part of the Monthly Photo Assignment.

    Dec. 2012 - Long Exposure
    http://www.thedigitalstory.com/galleries/dec12_assign/index.html
    Mark Steven Houser

    Jan. 2013 - Self Timer
    http://www.thedigitalstory.com/galleries/jan13_assign/index.html
    Kevin Ned Miller

    Feb. 2013 - Furry Friends
    http://www.thedigitalstory.com/galleries/feb13_assign/index.html
    Phil Fisher

    March - B&W
    http://thedigitalstory.com/2013/05/black-white---result-1.html
    Oliver Rutherford

    April - Architecture
    http://www.thedigitalstory.com/galleries/ap13_assign/index.html
    Jack Mueller

    A Fun SizzlPix Story

    PHOTOJOURNALISM AS ART
    http://www.sizzlpix.com/main/2013/06/19/photo-journalism-as-art/

    David Thurston, acclaimed British photographer has lived in Hong Kong and travelled extensively in China. His provocative candid "Boy Smoker" is one of just a few photographic images selected from thousands for display in London's prestigious Royal Academy Of Arts Summer Exhibition 2013, which continues through August 18 in Burlington House, Piccadilly.

    The unfortunate child captured so magically in David's "Boy Smoker" may not last as long as his picture, which is displayed as a SizzlPix!, a proprietary state-of-the-art process for High-Definition photography display, among whose unique characteristics is a rated fade-resistance of 100 years.

    Story #2 - Opening for Fall Color/Safari West Workshop on Oct. 20-22. Registration fee is $595 that includes the exclusive photo excursion in Safari West, a model shoot, landscape field trip, lunches, swag, and more. Go to the TDS Workshops page and use the "Send Me Info" form.

    Story #3 - Have your joined the The Digital Story Flickr Public Group? That's where we draw from for the TDS Member Photo of the Day featured on the TDS Facebook page.

    Story #4 - Interview with Pierre and Wayne, co-founders of Everpix. Here's your chance to get a behind the scenes look as this amazing online photo platform.

    Reminder! - If you're going to purchase gear through Amazon or B&H Photo, please stop by the TDS home page first. Look for the "Products" box about half way down the page in the second column. There you will see display tiles for Amazon, lynda.com, and B&H Photo, in that order. By entering those sites through those display tiles, you help support The Digital Story.

    Listen to the Podcast

    In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (31 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

    Monthly Photo Assignment

    The July 2013 photo assignment is Duality.

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    Podcast Sponsors

    Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

    Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.Special Offer! Anyone buying Derrick's new book, iPad for Digital Photographers, even at Amazon's or Barnes And Noble's discount, and putting the password for the Book Owners lounge in the comments space of their SizzlPix! order, will get 10 percent off their entire order -- the equivalent of more than a full refund for the book!

    Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

    For the May 2013 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters fixed their lenses on the delicious world of food photography. See for yourself in our gallery, Food. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?

    sergio_burani_pa-may-2013.jpg

    "I was born and raised in Italy and of course love Italian food," writes Sergio Burani. "This image was made on the stove of my kitchen. My objective was to highlight the fresh ingredients: cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil, "penne" - cooked "al dente" of course!"

    For the recipe, go to EatGoodCarbs.com. See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Food gallery page.


    Participate in This Month's Assignment

    The July 2013 assignment is "Duality." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is July 31, 2013. No limit on image size submitted.

    Please follow the instructions carefully for labeling the subject line of the email for your submission. It's easy to lose these in the pile of mail if not labeled correctly. For example, the subject line for this month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: July 2013." Also, if you can, please don't strip out the metadata. And feel free to add any IPTC data you wish (These fields in particular: Caption, Credit, Copyright, Byline), I use that for the caption info.

    Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting May 2013 at the end of June, the June gallery will be posted at the end of July, and on and on.

    Good luck with your July assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for May.


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    iPad for Digital Photographers

    If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

    Twins

    Many things are better in pairs.

    Twins

    Captured with Olympus OM-D E-M5 with an Olympus 75mm f/1.8 prime, ISO 800, F/1.8 at 1/50th of a second. Processed in Aperture 3.4 and Nik Sliver Efex Pro.

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    Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.