October 2015 Archives

The Affordable, Dramatic Grid Modifier

Many portrait photographers strive to create very soft, diffused lighting for their female subjects. And most of the time, this is a good call. But I've discovered that a strong directional light from a grid modifier can produce dramatic effects that diffusers cannot.

grid-modifier.jpg Rogue Grid Modifier was placed to the photographer's left to create the dramatic lighting. Photo by Derrick Story.

And you can do so without spending a lot of money. For example, the The RogueGrid2 Flash Grid 3-in-1 Stacking System for electronic flashes is $39, includes stacking grids and color gels. I used this system with a speedlight to create the portrait above.

The grid was placed to the photographer's left creating a harsh, directional light. A diffused panel was positioned on the right to serve as a fill to soften the shadows and balance the overall effect.

For a weekend project, you can make your own DIY grid modifier. The article, How to Make a DIY Grid Spot Out of Straws With Tape Instead of Glue, shows you step by step how to design a grid for your flash, and for just a few dollars.

You might also be interested in a free eBook from Rocky Nook titled, Rocky Nook's Guide to Flash Terminology. It explains 43 practical flash terms, including Grid, Bounce Flash, Brolly, Cold Shoe, Forced Flash, Gobo, Hot Shoe, Ring Light, and many more. You can keep it as a reference resource on your smartphone or tablet.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens is Sweet

olympus-7-14mm.jpg

One of the benefits of workshops is learning about other photographer's gear. This last weekend I spent some quality time with the Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens mounted on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II. After a few shots, I was reluctant to unmount this beautiful zoom. Here are the basic specs:

  • 14-28mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • 3 Aspherical, 1 DSA, 4 ED, 2 HR Elements
  • Anti-Reflection ZERO Coating
  • High-Speed Imager AF with MSC
  • Manual Focus Mechanism (Snap)
  • L-Fn Button for Settings Control
  • Dust, Splash, and Freezeproof Design
  • Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm

In terms of handling, the 7-14mm PRO is smooth, quiet, and fast. It has a nice heft that balanced wonderfully on the E-M5 II. And the images were terrific.

workshop-lab-sunleaf.jpg Workshop Lab - Captured with the Olympus 7-14mm at f/2.8, 14mm, on an E-M5 Mark II.

The one missing gap I have in my transition to serious Micro Four Thirds photography is pro level super wide zoom. Looks like I better start saving...


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

On today's The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Favorite Hardware from PPE, Interview with Simone Wilson and John Hershey, TDS Fall Photography Workshop Wrap-up - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - c't Digital Photography reports: Noteworthy Announcements from PhotoPlus Expo:

Canon has done their part with the G5X (Oct. 13) and a new mirrorless model. They also had a solid printer announcement (Oct. 21). Sony dropped the RX1R II with 42MP sensor and EVF (Oct. 14), and then Leica's cool SL system with Type 601 full-frame mirrorless camera and lenses (Oct. 20) was a great surprise. Sigma piled on with the 20mm f/1.4 (Oct. 16), And I love Fujifilm's unveiling of the weather-sealed 35mm F2 lens and 1.4x teleconverter (Oct. 21).

In other news, "How to make a dead simple DIY speedlight grid" Imaging-Resource reports: "If you're looking for a fun, simple DIY project this week, photographer Isiah Xiong has you covered. In his latest video, shared on YouTube, he shows off a simple way to make a speedlight grid with nothing more than straws, tape, scissors and thick construction paper."

sonoma-coast-cover-wide.jpg

Story #1 - "Interview with Simone Wilson and John Hershey"

Simone Wilson has authored the beautiful, informative Sonoma Coast book featuring images by herself and TDS member John Hershey. I sit down with Simone and John at the TDS Studio to discuss what it takes to conceive, author, and publish a book.

Story #2 - Wrap-up from the TDS Fall Photography Workshop

We covered everything from color temperature for portraits, to wildlife photography, to shooting landscapes. Here's a brief wrap-up of the just-concluded TDS workshop in Sonoma County.

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Up and Running with FotoMagico with Richard Harrington. Slideshows are a great way to showcase your favorite photos. FotoMagico is an easy-to-use Mac application for exporting high-quality slideshows in variety of formats, including movies, DVDs, and even standalone iOS apps. FotoMagico lets you combine photos and music as well as add narration, movies, transitions, and movement. In this course, Rich Harrington shows how to set up a new slideshow; customize the display and playback options; enhance the slideshow with layers, graphics, and watermarks; and publish it as a self-contained movie, an iOS app, and as a reel for posting on YouTube or Vimeo.

You can watch Richard in action by visiting lynda.com. And you can sign up for your 7-day free trial by visiting the TDS Screening Room.

Virtual Camera Club News

TDS Workshops 2016

We've had a change at the top spot for week two of the Reserve list with Fall Color in the Eastern Sierra garnering the most reservations. If you're looking for a satisfying photo adventure, take a look at the TDS Workshops Page for more information.

Holiday Note from SizzlPix

5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix orders received over the next few weeks can be guaranteed to beat the rush and be delivered for the holidays. (a surprise for that person who "has everything.")

For The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club members ... if you'd like additional copies of for gifts, or 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix of any other of your images to make spectacular, amazing holiday gifts, order any two SizzlPix to be shipped together, and we'll give you 20% off on the second one! Order any sizes from 18-inches up to a mind-boggling 48 by 72". Imagine -- six feet! and no sacrifice in resolution, luminance, and impact. You can walk up to even the biggest 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix as close as you can focus your eyes, and every detail will be there, without grain, noise nor distortion, just as you see it on your phone or pad! Yes, it is like retina display for your wall.

Note from Kevin Miller about Red River Paper - Kevin did some price comparisons with Epson stock, and here's what he found for 10 mil thickness and luster/satin surface:
Epson Ultra Premium Luster 13x19 (from Epson site), #50, $115 or $2.30 per sheet. Thickness 10 mil.
Epson Ultra Premium Luster 13x19 (from B&H Photo), #50, $77.50 or $1.55 per sheet. Thickness 10 mil.
Red River Arctic Polar Satin 13x19, #50, $64.76 or $1.30 per sheet. Thickness 10.5 mil.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (41 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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.

Podcast Sponsors

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

My passion for photography is renewed every time we gather together for a TDS workshop. The climax of the event is the class slideshow on the final day. Here are some of our favorite images from that presentation.

Heather Kimber - Safari West

Heather-Safari-West.jpg Canon Rebel XS with Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom.

Derrick Story - Safari West

Derrick-Story-Safari-West Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with Olympus PRO 40-150mm f/2.8 zoom.

Jennifer Hobbs - Lambert Bridge, Dry Creek Sonoma County

Jenni-Lambert-Bridge Canon 7D with 28-75mm zoom, converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Larry Borreson - Safari West

Larry-Borreson-Safari-West OM-D E-M5 with Olympus M.75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II.

Philip Swenson - Dry Creek, Sonoma County

Phil-Swenson-Dry-Creek Nikon D7200 with Tokina 100mm f/2.8 prime.

Larry Borreson - Workshop Group Shot

Larry-workshop-group-shot.jpg Panasonic GH4 with Lumix Vario 12-35mm F/2.8 zoom on a tripod.

Join Us in 2016

We have a terrific season lined up for 2016. You can join us by visiting the TDS Workshops page, then use the Send Me Info form to get on the Reserve List for your favorite event. Spending time with your peers and capturing great images will energize your photography too.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Highlights from PhotoPlus Expo

photoplus-expo.png

The announcements have been steady from PhotoPlus Expo, but no real blockbusters. This seems a bit odd considering this is a non-Photokina year. But what we do have is rather interesting.

Canon has done their part with the G5X (Oct. 13) and a new mirrorless model. They also had a solid printer announcement (Oct. 21). Sony dropped the RX1R II with 42MP sensor and EVF (Oct. 14), and then Leica's cool SL system with Type 601 full-frame mirrorless camera and lenses (Oct. 20) was a great surprise. Sigma piled on with the 20mm f/1.4 (Oct. 16), And I love Fujifilm's unveiling of the weather-sealed 35mm F2 lens and 1.4x teleconverter (Oct. 21).

So even though we haven't seen the screaming headlines like notable other years, there seems to be a little something for everyone. Wish I was there to see it in person.

Want to Comment on this Post?

Do you have a favorite announcement from PPE? You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Our first podcast was in the Fall of 2005. Now over 500 Episodes Later, we're more dedicated than ever. You can help support our independent online publishing in a few ways.

support-online-pub-horz-rec.jpg

Pledge Through Patreon

Patreon is the easiest way to support The Digital Story, The Nimble Photographer, and theAnalogstory, all with just one click of a button, and for as little as $5 a month. Visit our page at patreon.com/thedigitalstory and click on Become a Patron. It's that easy. And as a thank you for your support, you will have access to the exclusive The Nimble Photographer Podcast - Season 1. These shows will be available only to Patreon members in 2016. We think you will enjoy them.

Become an Independent Online Supporter - Single Contribution

As an individual who believes in small business publishing, you can contribute by Becoming an Independent Online Supporter. The Digital Story, The Nimble Photographer, and theAnalogstory are solely owned and operated by Derrick Story. This is his day job. Contributing only takes a minute, but helps provide toward a year's worth of content, not only for the current publishing, but to bring to life the new ideas in the hopper.

Podcast Sponsorship

Sponsors of the weekly podcast receive much more than the typical canned ad spots. The Digital Story gets behind its sponsors and explains to listeners the benefits and uniqueness of their product or service. Sponsorship includes informative story spots on the podcast, ad tiles on the TheDigitalStory.com, and short blurbs on social media sites.

Our goal is to do this in a way that does not alienate the listener. Product mentions contain useful information. They are published in the second half of the show so the audience first hears the top stories of the week, not ad placements. And we feature sponsors who have products and services that we believe are interesting and helpful to our audience.

Sponsors can sign up for a single show, but we recommend a bundle of four that includes a discount. You can learn more about becoming a sponsor by writing Derrick at: derrick@thedigitalstory.com.

Our Thank You

By becoming a supporter of The Nimble Photographer, The Digital Story, and theAnalogstory, you're helping to ensure the steady flow of quality content. Our endeavor is independent, honest, and focused on the enjoyment of photography and storytelling. We ask that you renew your support each year, and we thank you for your faith in our efforts.

No self-respecting shooter wants to be caught carrying a selfie stick. But the new Manfrotto Compact Xtreme 2-in-1 Monopod and Pole ($45) just might be the respectable solution that we've been waiting for.

manfrotto-pole.jpg

The Compact Xtreme is a combination of a Manfrotto monopod and what the company calls a "pole." This dual personality adapts to a variety of situations, and works in both modes for mirrorless, compact, and action cameras.

Essentially, what they've done is create a lightweight, compact monopod that retracts to a minimum of 17.34", but can be extended to a maximum of 53.19". It weighs in at 0.62 pounds.

The real trick is that they put a universal 1/4" thread at both ends (with protective covers). So you can attach a camera to either end and extend the pole. Since it's lightweight, you can hold it with one arm when it's in "pole mode," or steady it with the ground when it's a monopod.

The kit includes a small aluminum ball head and GoPro adapter. And when collapsed, the Xtreme should fit in many camera bags or easily attach to the outside. The Manfrotto Compact Xtreme looks like a nifty solution for photographers on the go who disdain the traditional selfie stick.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Manfrotto Compact Xtreme has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Today on The Digital Story Photography Podcast - Interview with Sony Artisan Brian Matiash, Adjustable Color Temperature LED Lighting, and Drone Registration - all of this and more with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - DP Review reports: FAA reportedly developing mandatory drone registration system: The U.S. government may soon require most drones to be registered, according to the Associated Press. Sources speaking on the matter state the FAA is working with unspecified industry and government officials to create a registration system. While the exact requirements aren't known, it is believed small and toy drones will not require registration.

The registration requirement would help officials track operators who do not follow the appropriate regulations. The FAA reportedly wants the registration requirement implemented before Christmas, as it is anticipated hundreds of thousands of drones will be sold. The FAA is less concerned with lightweight drones that can't fly above a few hundred feet, as they're not as risky as heavier and more powerful drones.

In other news, "Live GIF app easily turns your iPhone's Live Photos into GIFs and videos" Imaging-Resource reports: "Rather than relying on the support of a few social networks, Live GIF lets you easily turn your photo/video hybrid into an animated GIF or video to share with the world across social media.

The process is simple. Open Live GIF, select the Live Photo you want to convert, choose whether you want it as a GIF or video file, and you're done. Saving and sharing is done via iOS' baked-in share sheet."

dracast-led-panel-front.jpg

Story #1 - "Adjustable Color Temperature LED Lighting"

I've been testing the Dracast LED500 Pro Bi-Color LED Light and have found it amazing for my location photo shoot assignments because of its variable color setting from 3200K to 5600K. Here's how it works.

Story #2 - Interview with Sony Artisan Brian Matiash

Brian is an accomplished photographer who now uses Sony mirrorless cameras for his work. In this discussion, we talk about the switch to mirrorless, Sony cameras, and the ever-changing photo industry.

Story #3 - Uploading Directly from Lightroom to Zenfolio

There are two plug-ins available to connect your Lightroom workflow to Zenfolio. The first is ZExport-to-Zenfolio by Jeffrey Friedl and the other is Photo Upload Zenfolio by New P Products, which allows you to upload your photos from either Lightroom's publish services or from the Export window.

There are also connectors for Eye-Fi, Photo Mechanic, and Windows Live Photo Gallery. You can find out more at the Uploading Photos page on zenfolio.com.

Virtual Camera Club News

TDS Workshops 2016

The Reserve List is off to a great start, with the Pt. Reyes National Seashore event garnering the most entries the first week. The August 2016 workshop will be our first visit to this location. If you're looking for a satisfying summer adventure, take a look at the TDS Workshops Page for more information.

Holiday Note from SizzlPix

5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix orders received over the next few weeks can be guaranteed to beat the rush and be delivered for the holidays. (a surprise for that person who "has everything.")

For The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club members ... if you'd like additional copies of for gifts, or 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix of any other of your images to make spectacular, amazing holiday gifts, order any two SizzlPix to be shipped together, and we'll give you 20% off on the second one! Order any sizes from 18-inches up to a mind-boggling 48 by 72". Imagine -- six feet! and no sacrifice in resolution, luminance, and impact. You can walk up to even the biggest 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix as close as you can focus your eyes, and every detail will be there, without grain, noise nor distortion, just as you see it on your phone or pad! Yes, it is like retina display for your wall.

Note from Red River Paper - Red River Paper will be exhibiting at the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, October 22-24, at the Javits Center in New York City, and we want to see you there! Stop by booth 1158 to be the first to see their two new paper additions for 2016!

New Title Coming from lynda.com

I'm in the middle of recording Photos for Mac OS X Essential Training, and I think you're going to really like this title. It will be out before the end of 2015. Apple's latest photo management app has more than initially meets the eye. In the meantime, I have Up and Running with Photos for OS X to get you going while I finish the essential training title.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (49 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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.

Podcast Sponsors

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

I Hate Leaving Stuff in the Car

I'm getting ready to head out the door for a "day into evening" trip to Oakland, CA. As I'm doing so, I'm reminded once again why I'm so dedicated to nimble photography: I hate leaving stuff in the car.

PA150354.jpg This kit comes with me and has everything I need for the day. Photo by Derrick Story.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing good can come from leaving electronics in a parked automobile. First, there's the heat. In California, that's an issue. We're still "enjoying" weather that tops 80 degrees, which means considerably higher temps in a locked-up car - not really ideal conditions for your electronics.

Even more importantly, possible theft is an issue. I have a sizable investment in my Apple and camera hardware that's stuffed into my daily Lowepro backpack. Leaving it unprotected in an automobile is not good for my business nor peace of mind. Traveling with a much lighter kit just makes more sense.

And finally, I enjoy traveling light. Having everything I need for the day packed neatly in a small, nondescript bag that doesn't attract attention and gives me a real sense of freedom.

Take today as an example. I have a meeting in Oakland this afternoon. Then I'll probably enjoy a little street shooting, finished off by attending the Warriors game at Oracle Arena. In between those events, I'll find a Starbucks for a caffeine pick-me-up and the opportunity to answer email and check what's going on with my sites.

To ensure that nothing gets left behind in the car, I have to pack to the lowest dominator, which is bag size allowed into Oracle Arena (14" x 14" x 6"). At first this may seem daunting, but my city kit is actually smaller than the arena requirements. Here's what I pack:

  • Vanguard Havana 21 shoulder bag - 11" x 7" x 5" (I also use the Nimble Shoulder Bag about half the time, depending on the gear inside).
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera with 14-42mm compact zoom and 45mm f/1.8 telephoto
  • iPad mini with Bluetooth keyboard
  • DxO ONE camera (that connects to my iPhone 6S or iPad mini)
  • Accessories including earbuds, spare battery, SD card, mini tripod, microfiber cloth, nimble stylus pen, business cards, and an USB cable.

I keep a power adapter in the car if I need to charge anything during transit. I get a ton of work done with this kit, and never have a problem with venue access. And the only time it's in the car is when I'm there too.


Nimble Photographer Logo

This kit has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

I don't understand why anyone would build a $600, 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor camera, and market it for selfies. We have a selfie camera. It's called our smartphone.

Unlike the co-announced Canon G5X, which looks like a truly interesting and capable camera, the M10 is a watered-down mirrorless body aimed at consumers who seem quite happy with their iPhones.

canon-mirrorless-selfie-web.jpg The Canon EOS M10 in selfie mode.

If you're going to compete in the mirrorless space that's dominated by Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, and Samsung, you have to come in stronger than, "puts imaging power and convenience in the hands of the social media generation." Then go on to make it worse, "...sharp images that are sure to draw 'Likes'." This would be like me saying "that's dope" to my 18-year-old son. You just don't do it.

I own many Canon cameras that I like and am truly tempted by the G5X. But I can tell you that the EOS M10 will not be embraced by the social media generation.

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 Photography Podcast: Mac OS X El Capitan for Photographers, TDS 2016 Photography Workshop Lineup, Revisiting the DxO ONE with the iPhone 6S - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - DP Review reports: Adobe issues Lightroom 6.2 apology and update: Adobe has issued an apology over the 'significant crashing bug' introduced in Lightroom 6.2. The latest version of the software was released last Monday, and brought with it a redesigned import experience. That new experience, unfortunately, also introduced instability into Lightroom and removed some import functions; users reported issues with the software crashing and running poorly.

Adobe's Tom Hogarty issued the apology on Friday, revealing that Adobe was aware of the issues but due to 'the scope of the bug' being unclear, the company decided to ship the software regardless while continuing to 'search for a reproducible case.' Adobe issued a new update on Friday, version 6.2.1, that corrects the problem. It appears what Adobe called, "very low usage features" indeed were not.

In other news, "Light announces the L16, a 52-megapixel 'DSLR-killer' that fits in your pocket" Imaging-Resource reports: "The L16 packs in sixteen 13-megapixel camera modules at three different focal lengths - 35mm (5), 70mm (5) and 150mm (6) - for a total of 52-megapixels. Each of these modules captures an individual image, which is then stitched together via software to yield a photo that Light claims is equal to the quality of a DSLR with a large lens attached."

Light has officially opened up pre-orders for the L16, which will set you back $200 for an immediate deposit and a remaining $1,100 (and applicable taxes) when it ships in 'late summer 2016'. Snagging one after November 6th will bump the price up by $400.

Story #1 - "Mac OS X El Capitan for Photographers"

In general, the update to Mac OS X 10.11 has been a smooth one. Aperture still works well, Photos for OS X receives some nifty new tools, and overall speed seems better. I cover the good and the not so good in today's top feature story.

sf-night-scene.jpg

Story #2 - The 2016 TDS Photo Workshop Season

I've added two new workshops this year: Pt. Reyes National Seashore in August and Reinvent the Wedding in February. Plus, in 2016 we're going to the Eastern Sierra for Fall Color and exploring Bodie. In April, we'll return to San Francisco for the very popular Street Shooting workshop. I cover all of these in today's second feature. You can reserve your spot now on the TDS Workshops page.

Story #3 - Looking at Presets and Customizing in Zenfolio

To help you get started, Zenfolio provides designer presets. They are site design and layout settings that have already been adjusted and optimized to make your various Zenfolio pages have a well coordinated presentation. A preset can be applied to your entire site or individual pages. They are comprehensive, affecting your site settings, theme, layouts, and page options.

As you spend more time with your site, you may want to customize particular areas. There are many ways to do this, today I want to mention that you can import and export the custom themes created through the Zenfolio Theme Designer. So you can share your custom themes with other Zenfolio users and also use themes created by other Zenfolio users. You can also purchase themes from third party sites like Zenjoyable.

The bottom line is this: with Zenfolio, you can combine the design expertise of others with your own personal tastes to create a look that suits your photography perfectly. Find out more at zenfolio.com.

Story #4 - Revisiting the DxO ONE with the iPhone 6S

When I first started shooting with the DxO ONE, I was using my iPhone 5S. Now that I've upgraded to the 6S, I want to update my notes on this interesting high resolution camera.

I'm currently using the Apple leather case with the 6S, and happily, I can connect the DXO ONE to the phone with the case still on. This is a major usability improvement.

Also, the ONE seems to lock-in better with the 6S than with the older model. To me, it felt very secure in use.

And finally, the larger screen and beefed up processing power of the 6S further enhanced operation. There's a real advantage to having direct connection instead of using WiFi for camera communication. Overall, I like the DxO ONE even better with the new iPhone.

Story #5 - From the Screening Room

The DIY Photographer with Joseph Linaschke. In the world of photography, even the simplest accessories can cost a few days' salary. The answer? Don't buy it. Build it! That's the idea behind The Do-It-Yourself Photographer. Every other week, photographer and educator Joseph Linaschke shows how you can fashion ordinary items--from plastic cups to clamps to parchment paper--into accessories that will improve lighting, stabilize your camera, and much more.

You can watch Joseph in action by visiting lynda.com. And you can sign up for your 7-day free trial by visiting the TDS Screening Room.

Virtual Camera Club News

A Word from SizzlPix

The 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix is the upgrade now in general release on all orders, so you can display your best photography in sizes from 18-inches to 6-feet with resolution and realism one expects only from the small screens on handheld phones and pads. SizzlPix clients say, contrary to expectation, resolution seems to increase as their photos grow larger!

SizzlPix invites photographers to order a print from the assembly-line plants, and a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix from the same image. Compare them side by side. They've never ONCE had a client declare they liked the mass-produced print better. If yours is the first, you may return your SizzlPix for a full refund!

Note from Red River Paper - "Choosing the Right Paper for Portraits and Weddings Images" - The de facto standard for wedding and portrait prints over the past four decades has been luster paper. Photo labs refer to this lightly textured media as the "photo e-surface." The terms satin, luster, and sometimes pearl can be used interchangeably. It strikes a good balance between the glossy and matte surfaces, offering the benefits of excellent color reproduction, a non-distracting surface, and fingerprint protection.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (32 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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.

Podcast Sponsors

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Version 5.4.7 of EyeFi Mobi is also compatible with more than 50 WiFi enabled cameras. This means that you can integrate image transfer from older models (without WiFi using the Mobi card) and newer models (with built-in WiFi) using just one app.

eyefi-camera-import.jpg

In my testing, the system works, but there are a few details you should be aware of. The options are not the same for WiFi cameras as they are for the latest Eyefi Mobi Pro card. The most notable changes are that with camera WiFi, you don't have the selective transfer option, and if you shoot RAW+Jpeg, both files are sent to your mobile device.

For my workflow, this is a big problem. I want to decide which images are transferred to my mobile device, as I can with the EyeFi Mobi Pro. Plus, I need to shoot RAW+Jpeg, but I only want the selected Jpegs to be delivered wirelessly.

So the bottom line is, yes there are over 50 cameras that can send images to the EyeFi Mobi app, but you don't really have any control over that process. Once you connect the two devices, pictures just start streaming to your smartphone or tablet.

There might be some situations where this isn't a problem, and you could take advantage of all your cameras transferring all their images to one location. But for me, I still need the selective transfer of Jpegs only, for the app to be useful with my WiFi cameras.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Find Your Stuff with Tile

tile-ios-app.jpg

The Tile Phone Finder - Key Finder - Item Finder is a small, square, Bluetooth 4.0 device that can help your locate lost items.

I've been using it with my iPhone 6S via its free app. The operation is simple. I paired the Tile with my iPhone, attached it to my keyring, and let the two devices keep in touch with one another.

In the event that my keys are accidentally left behind between couch cushions at a friend's house, I can open the Tile app and find out where they were last registered by the iPhone. It will show me the general proximity on a map. Then all I have to do is return to the scene, navigate to the keys via the app, and tap the Find button to initiate musical tones from the Tile so I can discover its location.

keys-in-couch-cushion.jpg Lost keys between couch cushions? A Tile attached to the keyring (the square white object) will communicate with your iPhone to help you locate them.

Tiles run $25 each or cheaper in combo packs, have enough battery juice for a year, then can be turned in for a new tile (at a reduced price). It's not realtime tracking, but the system is clever. Knowing the last spot where your phone and keys were in the same proximity is helpful. And being able to initiate the audible sound when you're close is effective.

Tile is an fun high-tech stocking stuffer. And it most likely will be included on my holiday gift list.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Lightroom 2.0 for the iPhone and iPad include the newish Dehaze feature that made a big splash on the desktop versions a while back. Adding Dehaze to an already set of excellent editing tools pushes Lightroom up near the top of mobile editing apps.

Dehaze Added to Mobile Lightroom Dehaze has been added to the list of editing options.

I tested Lightroom 2.0 on my new iPhone 6S. I hadn't used this app often on an iPhone previously, opting for the iPad instead, but the additional real estate of the 6S made it a reasonable experience.

A key aspect is being able to take a quality image with the 6S, edit it in Lightroom mobile, then push it up to Instagram or other social sites in a fast, seamless workflow.

Palace of Fine Arts - San Francisco CA I captured this image at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco with the iPhone 6S, refined in Lightroom 2.0 using the Dehaze tool (as shown here), then pushed up to Instagram via the Open In command. Photos by Derrick Story.

Even if you don't have a Creative Cloud account, you can tap your Camera Roll with Lightroom 2.0. There's a robust set of tools there, now including Dehaze.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

El Capitan After One Week

Now that I've had a chance to spend a bit more time with Mac OS X 10.11, I thought I'd share my experience with it installed on a 2012 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

el-capitan-mac.jpg

In general, performance is very good. Windows open quickly, apps launch cleanly, and things feel healthy. One area that seems to move a bit slower than before is switching from one user to another. Not quite sure what's going on under the hood, but it's not a deal breaker.

Photo Apps

Photos for OS X is the snappy performer that you'd expect from an app recently written from the ground up. The new Photo Extensions are cool. And I like the addition of geotagging.

Aperture 3.6 seems to have a stay of execution on El Capitan. The only real bug I've found so far is that onscreen proofing no longer works. Other than that, all seems good. I even sent a print via WiFi to the Epson R2000 from Aperture. Beautiful!

Lightroom CC 2015.2 generally runs OK for me, but there seems to be a few lingering issues in the community. If you're noticing a performance hitch, turn off "Show 'Add Photos' Screen" via the General tab in Preferences. Some feedback from our TDS photography clan has been harsher, with reports of having to roll back to the previous version of the app. I've read online experts recommending holding off on the LR CC upgrade for the time being. You might want to research this if Lightroom is a mission critical app for you.

Audio Recording

Audio had been a far more challenging issue for me. None of my M-Audio USB interfaces are working with El Capitan. The MobilePre device just records static, and the FastTrack doesn't capture anything.

I finally found a device in my stash that would work: the MXL-TEMPO-KR Condenser Microphone with built-it USB audio interface records well with Mac OS X 10.11. This is a bit ironic for me. With all of my expensive audio recording gear, the device that saved me is a $69 condenser all-in-one device. And for some reason, it sounds better with El Capitan than it ever did before. Go figure. (I really like the snappy red and black design, however.)

Other Apps and Final Word

Everything else that I use daily: Pages, Audio Hijack Pro, Fission, Perfect Browse 9, Transmit, Moon Invoice, iA Writer... and more, all seem good

So my bottom line, after one week, is that El Capitan is a positive upgrade that appears to improve performance. The only current gotchas for me have been some audio interfaces and possible Lightroom hiccups. If either of these are important to you, you might want to wait a bit longer.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

A PodSpectacular Event

I've covered a lot of ground over the course of 500 podcasts. In this week's 10th Anniversary Show, I play segments from a selection of those previous episodes and tell the stories behind them. It's a 1-hour PodSpectacular Event!

podcast-spectuclar-web.jpg Here are the original icons we were going to use for the launch of The Digital Story.

The show debuted in October of 2005. Podcasts had just been included in iTunes, and I felt like it was the time to join the party. Over the years I've learned much about broadcasting, technology, and photography. And I've shared that knowledge weekly on The Digital Story.

I hope you enjoy this 1-Hour Special Broadcast. If you've been with me for a long time, you'll recognize many of the bits and musical spots. If you're new to the show, I can't think of a better way to welcome you aboard.


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

Episode 500 begins with a stroll down memory lane, with the first steps at Podcast 1, then wandering through events over the last decade. This special 1-hour presentation is a retrospective that you don't want to miss. So sit back and join me as we celebrate 10 years The Digital Story.

"After 499 shows, Derrick Story finally gets it right..." A Photographer in Northern California.

"The best Digital Story ever! Santa Rosa Shooter.

Show 001 - Photo Flash Techniques - Oct. 4, 2015

Compact cameras generally use "Auto Flash" as their default mode. And for most flash photography, auto gets the job done. But if you want to improve your photos, to the point where they rival professional images, spend a few minutes exploring the other flash modes on your camera.

derrick-2006-ready-to-record.jpg Derrick Story in 2006, ready to record a remote interview for the TDS podcast.

Show 069 - What's in My Bag - Feb. 13, 2007

There's no greater satisfaction than having packed the perfect camera kit for the assignment at hand. In this podcast, I discuss what was in my camera bag as I ventured out to shoot an indoor basketball game. After covering all the items in the picture above, I then solicit readers for what's in their camera bags.

Show 100 -Top Ten $100 Photo Accessories - Sept. 25, 2007

Tony writes: I can't believe it's 100 Digital Story podcasts already! Congratulations! I've been there since the beginning - I think I first heard about your podcast on the Inside Mac Radio podcast. If I remember correctly, Scott interviewed you to debut your podcast.

Anyway, it is by far my favorite podcast. Your topics are interesting, relevant, and inspiring and your delivery truly encourages the sense of community that you like. And don't worry about the production quality of those first few podcasts (I do remember those); the slickest production means nothing if you don't have good content, and good content stands on its own without any gloss. Keep up the great work!

Show 138 - Visit to the Olympic Media Center - Aug. 4, 2008

The Olympic Media Center has over 200 workstations set to help journalists share Olympic moments with the world. In this podcast, I'll provide some insights about this "city within the city," which will also be my home for the next 10 days.

Show 181 - Meet the Olympus E-P1 - June 16, 2009

State of the art technology melded with Olympus Pen tradition, the E-P1 digital camera is a new breed of DSLR featuring HD video, Raw format, micro 4/3rds, in a stylish stainless steel compact body. In this podcast, I walk you through the feature set of this latest innovation by Olympus.

Show 199 - Tom Hogarty on Lightroom 3 beta - Oct. 26, 2009

Tom Hogarty, Lightroom senior product manager, talks about Lightroom beta 3 that was announced on the eve of PhotoPlus Expo in New York.

Show 363 - No Camera for You - Feb. 19, 2013

Derrick, Very funny stuff today, absolutely loved this podcast , not that I don't like them all, I do! As well as really hitting my funny bone, it happened to be very timely to boot, as I had just yesterday finally succumbed to the wicked call of the OMD! And of course this came after weeks and weeks of finding reasons why I shouldn't buy it. It's absolutely hopeless resisting! Take care, and keep up your excellent work. -Brad

Show 434 - End of Aperture - July 1, 2014

Apple Halts Development of iPhoto and Aperture, Migrates Users to New Photos App. Aperture users have three basic options: do nothing, switch to Lightroom, or migrate to Photos. I talk about these options in today's second segment.

Thank you for being with me all these years

I can't tell you how important your support has been for the last decade. I do this show for you, and your feedback and support has fueled its evolution. Thank you so much. Let's do another 500!

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (59 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Our Podcast Sponsors

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Many camera manufacturers still include PC terminals on their enthusiast and pro bodies. This gift is often overlooked by photographers, which is unfortunate, because they're truly useful.

em5mk2-front.jpg What is that connector on the upper right side of the camera? It's a female PC terminal that can be used to sync just about any flash.

I use the PC terminal for off-camera flash work when I don't need (or want) wireless. This is particularly handy at home or in the studio when I want to move the flash a few feet off the camera. Since I'm shooting in manual output mode anyway, all I need is clean synchronization between the flash and my mirrorless.

This allows me to use older flashes, or I can adapt any new flash with an inexpensive adapter. Sync speeds remain the same. I can get a clean exposure up to 1/320th of a second on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

flash-terminal.jpg A favorite combination for studio work - The E-M5 Mark II connected to the venerable Sunpak 383 via a sync cord that has a PC terminal on the camera end and a plug that goes directly in the Sunpak on the other. These cords are cheap and readily available.

Adorama carries a variety of these cords, such as the Adorama 15' Coiled Sync Cord, PC Male to PC Female for $10.95. How many photo accessories can you purchase for that amount? My CowboyStudio NPT-04 Wireless Triggers include a female PC connector on the receivers, so they can serve double duty (wireless and cord connected), and that set only costs $31.

And in fact, I think it's a good idea to carry a quality PC Male to PC Mail Coiled Sync Cord with you, just in case you have to connect your wireless receiver to the camera if you experience radio malfunction. And we know that never happens...

The bottom line is that whether you use PC cords as an easy home studio solution, or for emergency backups in the field, it's nice to have these options. See if your camera has a PC connector on it. And think about how you can put it to use.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Previously, you could view location data in the Info box, but that was about it. Great for iPhone pictures that already had geotags. But what about the other shots captured with regular digital cameras?

look-up-location.jpg In Photos for OS X 1.1, you can look up location data for any image and apply it to previously non-geotagged pictures.

In the version of Photos that ships with El Capitan, this all changes, giving you much more control. Here's how it works.

First, open an image in the viewer and enable the Info box (CMD-I). At the bottom of the box, you'll see text that reads, Assign a Location. Start typing the place where the picture was captured. Photos will offer locations matching your entry (see top picture). Pick one that works.

location-found.jpg Location found for this image.

In the case of this blue jay image, the photograph wasn't actually recorded at the club house as initially indicated. I saw the bird alongside a fairway quite a distance from the offices. So I clicked and dragged the pin to the actual location of the capture. It's easier to do this precisely if you use the zooming tools in the lower right corner of the location box. Pinching outward and inward works too.

adjust-location-new.jpg I dragged the pin to the proper location for this image.

If I decided that I wanted to remove the location at a later date, I can choose Remove Location from under the Image menu (Image > Location > Remove Location). I can also revert to the original location here.

There doesn't appear to be any batch processing for geotagging. But you can copy the location text and paste it in a subsequent picture. it's not super elegant, but it does save a little time.

When you export images out of your Photos library, you may want to do so without the location data. You'll find that control under the General tab in Preferences.


Get Up and Running with Photos for OS X

Want to get up to speed with Apple's latest photo management application? Then take a look at my latest online video training, Up and Running with Photos for OS X. Soon, both you, and your pictures, will be comfortable in their new home.

And don't forget about the Photos for OS X Special Feature Section on The Digital Story. It's a roundup of tutorials, videos, and articles focused on helping you master Apple's latest photo management software. You can also find it under Photography in the top nav bar.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Photos for OS X now accepts Photo Extensions, and this changes everything. Out of the gate, there are four available with many more to come.

apps-for-photographers.jpg Look what's featured atop Apps for Photographers in the Mac App Store: Yes, the first wave of Photo Extensions.

The implementation is very smooth. Now, when you edit an image in Photos, there's an additional option in the right side toolbar called Extensions. Click on it, and you'll see a popup menu listing the Extensions you have loaded. Choose one, and your Photos interface transforms into that of the Extension.

Once you finish your work in the new environment, click on Save Changes, and you're returned to the Photos interface. What's really cool is that this is a totally nondestructive workflow. You can revert back to the original photo by returning to edit mode in Photos, then choosing Revert to Original. Want to see what the master looked like? Press the M key when in edit mode.

tonality-for-photos.jpg Tonality is a B&W Photo Extension that's available right now for El Capitan Photos.

Setting up an Extension is easy. First, purchase the software from the Mac App Store and install it. Then, go to your System Preferences, click on Extensions > Photos and enable your new app. Now it will appear in the Extensions popup menu in Photos for OS X.

I'll keep you posted about new Extensions as they are available. But already, Photos for OS X is far more powerful than it was a week ago.


Get Up and Running with Photos for OS X

Want to get up to speed with Apple's latest photo management application? Then take a look at my latest online video training, Up and Running with Photos for OS X. Soon, both you, and your pictures, will be comfortable in their new home.

And don't forget about the Photos for OS X Special Feature Section on The Digital Story. It's a roundup of tutorials, videos, and articles focused on helping you master Apple's latest photo management software. You can also find it under Photography in the top nav bar.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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