January 2016 Archives

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The Nimble Streamline Expandable Shoulder Bag was my Las Vegas companion while I covered the CES show.

Over the course of 16-hour days, I carried my Olympus OM-D, a few lenses, iPad mini, and basic accessories... plus gloves and snacks too in the Streamline. The bag's design is perfect for maneuvering in crowded environments. Mirrorless and compact cameras can be stashed in an innocent looking tricot-lined front zipper area. The main compartment can be used for bigger cameras or personal items such as a folded windbreaker. It's also expandable via zipper.

There are smaller accessory pockets under the front flap that reveals the embroidered Walking Man Logo when opened.

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Just like with the previous UltraLight bags, there are a limited number of Nimble Streamlines available. They were first announced to our newsletter subscribers at a discounted price with discounted shipping. And we have a few remaining at the "still reasonable" price of $29.95 plus shipping. Available only in the U.S., and while supplies last.

The Nimbleosity Report

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

Landscape shooters rejoice! Adobe has added Boundary Warp to the latest version of Lightroom CC and 6.4, and it's going to improve your panorama workflow.

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Instead of having to crop the image to remove those white areas with no information, either use the Auto Crop checkbox or the Boundary Warp slider to analyze the area and warp the image to fit the rectangular frame. It's quite clever, and it works great. We now can enjoy more picture in our panoramas.

There are also lens profile and RAW updates in Lightroom CC 2015.4 and standalone version 6.4. If you want to see all of the details about those, take a look at the Lightroom Journal Entry on the subject. And if you want to learn more about this feature in general, download my free eBook titled, Rocky Nook's Guide to HDR & Panoramas with Photo Merge in Lightroom CC.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

You may not remember the innovative half frame Olympus camera of decades ago, but that form factor has returned in a premium mirrorless body. And I tell you about it in today's show.

Opening Monologue

I've been in Austin Texas for the last few days exploring this city with an Olympus PEN-F in hand. And what a combination! Colorful, friendly Austin captured in the viewfinder of this classically designed rangefinder. In this show, I'm going to talk about both... the photo opportunities in the capital city of Texas, and the newest premium digital rangefinder to record those images.

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The Olympus PEN F

Here are some of the highlights of this just-announced camera.

  • 20.3 Megapixel Four Thirds Sensor
  • RAW and Jpeg capture at 5184 x 3888 pixels
  • Innovative monochrome and color customization
  • 5-stop, sensor-based, 5-axis, image stabilization
  • Left-side positioned electronic viewfinder for street shooters.

I cover my shooting experience with this camera in the top story of today's show.

Photography in Austin, Texas

What a mix of photography opportunities! You can wander 6th Street at night to immerse yourself in the nightclub music scene, tour the State Capital, explore nature at Ladybird park, and enjoy Texas hospitality at fine restaurants and hotels. I talk about my explorations in the second feature of today's show.

(Some of my favorite places to photograph and eat)
  • Sixth Street - Historic entertainment district.
  • Rainey Street - Cool bars and entertainment, a bit less touristy than Sixth.
  • The State Capitol - Free tour, and lots of interesting detail to photograph on the grounds.
  • Hope Outdoor Graffiti Gallery - If you don't mind the fumes of fresh spray paint, this is a colorful diversion.
  • Zilker Botanical Garden - Get your Zen on in this peaceful, but interesting sanctuary.
  • Torchy's Tacos!
  • La Condessa
  • The Broken Spoke honky tonk restaurant and bar

In the News

Fujifilm Planning to Launch a Medium Format Digital Camera, Report Says - covered by PetaPixel

Fujifilm is reportedly planning to shake up the camera world by launching its own interchangeable-lens medium format digital camera. Fuji Rumors writes that it got this information directly from a "top trusted Japanese source." The source states that a digital medium format Fujifilm camera has already gotten the green light from company management, so it's already in development.

"Yep, the medium format Fuji will come," Fuji Rumors says. "And if priced somewhere between the Pentax 645D [$3,400] and the Pentax 645Z [$7,000] this camera could be a real winner for Fujifilm."

Gemini, the Duplicate Finder by MacPaw

OK, how many of you have duplicate images on your Mac?. Raise your hands please. And we all know that finding and removing them manually IS NOT the way to go. So instead, try Gemini by MacPaw, a duplicate finder that does the job within minutes.

Here are the best things about Gemini:

  • Fast and accurate scanning algorithm that finds duplicate files and even folders.
  • Built-in file preview and metadata information.
  • Smart Auto Select that removes the copies and keeps the originals intact
  • iTunes and iPhoto support.
  • External drives and network volumes support.

Gemini's simple, fast, and safe to use, so make sure you give it a try. It's available at macpaw.com/gemini.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to Saturday's Facebook Post: "Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Lids Are Perfect 72mm Lens Caps" we had some terrific comments that I want to share it with you now.

Aaron: Of course it's not the cheap brand of ice cream. *Everything* in photography is expensive! :-)
Ken: Go ahead, but YOUR image will change.
Kim: Good to know to justify the ice-cream eating
John: Make sure you clean the top first! lol
Fred: The last job I did I lost my lens cap that was just that size! :-) Looks like it's time to go get a treat to fix the problem!
Ron: Now the rush starts to find all kinds of lids, for lots of lenses!

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

Found Treasure

The registration forms have gone out to the reserve list for the Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs. And a big thanks to www.inkdot.com and ImageFramer for also supporting this podcast.

See you next week!

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

Inkdot.com - Specializing in wood prints and other artistic treatments of your imagery - visit www.inkdot.com.

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

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The original PEN-F was an innovative half-frame film camera released in 1963. Now decades later, Olympus has returned to its design roots to create the throughly modern digital PEN-F. And it's a beauty.

gear-P1250359.jpg Front view of the Olympus PEN-F with the 17mm f/1.8 prime lens and metal hood.

The top and front covers of the body are crafted from magnesium, with aluminum metal dials. The exterior is wrapped in leather, including the back of the fully articulated LCD screen. Inside the body is a 20MP Four Thirds sensor and 5-axis stabilization providing up to 5 stops. The electronic viewfinder is positioned on the left side allowing street shooters to have one eye in the viewfinder and the other free to watch surrounding activity.

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This is a camera built for street photography. Its low profile design, responsive shooting, and customizable monochrome and color profiles are wonderfully matched for creative capture in urban settings.

Austin-PenF-P1260220.jpg "Under the Bridge" - Olympus PEN-F with 75mm f/1.8 lens - ISO 200, f/4, 1/250th, Monochrome mode, mono profile 2. All photos by Derrick Story.

A machined aluminum dial on the front of the camera enables switching to monochrome, custom color, art filters, and CRT. You can further customize these settings using a spring lever positioned beneath the mode dial and using menu options. I became enamored with the B&W images I could produce with the PEN-F and found myself shooting in this mode most of the time.

Austin-PenF-P1260200.jpg "Austin Skyline" - Olympus PEN-F with 9mm f/8 fisheye lens - ISO 200, f/8, 1/500th, Monochrome mode, mono profile 2.

This doesn't mean that the camera isn't equally adept at recording rich, film-like color photographs. It is indeed. And to some degree, that's the point. Artists can use this tool to create exactly the images they visualize. The ability to bend and blend tones and colors is unlike anything I've shot with before. And when you discover a look that you've always wanted from a digital camera, it's impossible to resist experimenting even more.

Austin-PEN_F-P1250023.jpg "Austin State Capitol" Olympus PEN-F with 75mm f/1.8 lens - ISO 80, f/2, 1/2000th, Monochrome mode, mono profile 3.

The final production versions should hit retail outlets in early March. Going price will be $1,199.99 US for the body. I talk more about my experience with this camera on this week's TDS podcast. But the bottom line is: this is one very creative tool for photographers.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

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The Capital at Night, Austin

Amid the great music and thriving night scene, quietly stands the Capital. And unlike other situations that I've seen in other cities, the street is lined with lights leading the eye to the handsome structure.

Austin-P1240315-1600px.jpg Austin, Texas at night. Photo by Derrick Story.

I waited for a green light, then slowly crossed the street in the crosswalk. I had 15 seconds left on the warning timer, so I stopped for a moment to capture this image with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Olympus 17mm f1.8. Settings were ISO 1600, f/2.0, 1/40th, -1/3 exposure compensation in program mode. I then processed the RAW file in Capture One Pro 9, using the B&W conversion tool with a yellow filter and fine grain film effect.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

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Editing Extensions Without the Mess

The list of cool editing extensions for Photos for OS X is growing steadily: Aurora HDR Pro, DxO OpticsPro for Photos, Tonality, Affinity Retouch, and more. Mac users who want to take advantage of these tools without disrupting their existing workflow can do so easily by setting up a referenced library.

01-ava-extensions.jpg You can play with all of these tools without disrupting your workflow.

All you have to do is simply point Photos to the existing home of your master files. In my case, they're on a small flash drive connected to my Mac. Those images are the source files for my Aperture, Capture One, and Exposure X work. But I can also play with them in Photos without changing the masters or interfering with the libraries in my other programs. Here's a movie on how to set up a referenced library.

Once I have the referenced library set up, I can play with tools such as Aurora HDR for Photos. Generally speaking, I've found the editing extension version of these apps easier to use and totally non-destructive. I can still view the original at any time, even after I've left the extension interface.

02-editing-image.jpg Playing with the image in the editing extension Aurora HDR Pro for Photos for OS X. All images by Derrick Story.

If you want to see where your original picture is residing, just right-click on the image and select "Show Referenced File in Finder." There it is, exactly were it was before you had all of this fun.

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My guess is that a lot of Mac-toting photographers are missing out on this experience, just because they haven't looked in to it. I'm telling you, these extensions are cool. Check them out.

And for other hands-on tutorials, be sure to take a look at Photos for OS X Essential Training on lynda.com.

More Help and Insights on Photos for OS X

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.

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

Macphun has released Aurora HDR Pro 1.2 with a host of new features and improvements.

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The new stuff includes:

  • Photos for Mac editing extensions support
  • Leica M Monochrome (type 246) RAW file support
  • Open/Save for .HDR and .EXR image formats

And then there are the improvements.

  • Better RAW file handling for images created by Panasonic, Olympus and Fuji
  • Updates to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop plug-ins for enhanced support to keywords, metadata, and "F" Screen mode
  • Enhanced masking brush for better smoothing on edges
  • Improved clipping results for overall HDR effect in shadows and highlights
  • Chromatic aberration reduction has been significantly improved
  • Better UI support for 11" and 13" displays at multiple resolutions
  • Faster HDR Merging, faster Deghosting, enhanced Chromatic Aberration Reduction

I gave version 1.2 a spin on my 13" MacBook Pro. The performance was excellent, as well as the rendering. I'm going to test some RAW files with my Olympus to see if I notice any changes there.

I also want to mention that the Aurora HDR plugin for Aperture is excellent. And for those using Apple's legacy pro app, this is a rare opportunity to add a slick new capability to your venerable photo management app. Photos for OS X users can also add a new dimension to their workflow via the editing extension that comes with this update.

Overall, a good app just got better with Aurora HDR Pro 1.2.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

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

What is the attraction to mirrorless cameras? I would argue that we liked this form factor in the film days, so our fondness makes sense in the digital age too. I take a closer look at the mirrorless phenomenon in today's show.

Opening Monologue

It's a good idea on occasion, to step back and revisit corners of our universe that have meaning for us. Today's corner today is mirrorless photography.

In part, I'm doing this because the deeper I fall into The Film Project, the more I'm reminded of why mirrorless photography is so popular. All you have to do is look closely at the Leica M rangefinder, Konica Hexar, or the Contax G series to realize that photographers have always loved this form factor.

Tell me that Fujifilm's brand new X-Pro2 doesn't delight the same senses as a Leica rangefinder. My Contax G1 35mm has virtually the same footprint as the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II that I love shooting with.

Why it took us so long to rediscover these aesthetics in digital form, I don't know. But what I do understand is that now that we have Fujifilm, Olympus, and others rekindling those flames from photography's golden era, there's no putting out the fire.

The State or Mirrorless

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What are some of the features that make mirrorless cameras so popular today? Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Smaller form factor.
  • Incredible design.
  • Sophisticated electronics.
  • Compact lenses.
  • Outstanding image quality.

Mirrorless design falls into two basic categories: retro and modern. Leading the way in the retro category is Fujifilm and Olympus. Fujifulm has their beautiful rangefinders (X-Pro2) with plenty of physical buttons and dials for a very tactile experience. And Olympus has returned to their DNA with both the PEN and the OM-D series.

Sony leads the pack with the modern approach. The alpha A7 has the sharp DSLR design that is efficient and angular. The Panasonic GH4 has more of a rounded, DSLR look, but maintains the compact form factor that many of us appreciate with mirrorless.

The there are those lenses. Imaging have the equivalent of a 600mm f/4 pro tele fit in the same space as a traditional 70-200mm, and be available for $2,500 (Olympus PRO 300mm f/4). Or a 28-84mm equivalent that's smaller than a hockey puck and captures beautiful images? The lenses are a big part of the mirrorless story.

So which one should you consider? I would start with a camera that's visually appealing to you. Then look at the lens offering, sensor technology, and price.

And what are my favorite mirrorless cameras? Just to name a few are the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5, Fujifilm X-T10, and the Sony Alpha a7R II.

In the News

Build an Olympus Mirrorless Camera Out of Paper - covered by PetaPixel

Looking for a fun little weekend craft project or some thrifty home decor? You can make yourself an Olympus mirrorless camera out of paper. Olympus has a special family-friendly webpage for kids, and one of the sections is for paper craft. There are two PDF templates you can use to print and put together your own camera model.

The first is for the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and the other is for the smaller Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7.

Products We Love: Lexar 256 GB USB 3.0 SSD

The Lexar 256 GB USB 3.0 SSD is fast, very light, and reasonably priced at $133 including a cable. As for performance, the Lexar Portable SSD performs well. Read speeds up to 450 MB/s and write speeds up to 245 MB/s. I copied a Capture One Pro catalog from my Mac in just a few minutes, and then was able to access the data on the Lexar without any noticeable problems. Lightroom users should fare well too. Just remember to keep the format at ExFAT.

Wood Prints Feel Like Art as Well as Look the Part

Print any photo from Instagram, phone or computer directly on wood. Blending the natural material wood with our professional print techniques every print is unique. Attention is given to every detail of our wood prints. From the crafted coved back, to the slotted hanging system allowing for simple hanging. Your print comes finished and ready to hang no frame is needed.

Wood Type: Baltic Birch
Thickness: 5/8"
Quality: Archival Quality Printing
Care: Moisture & UV Resistant

8"x8" is normally priced at $32. But you can get one for $24 using PROMO code: STORY. And in fact, you can get 25% off any wood print with that code at www.inkdot.com.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to Sunday's Facebook Post: "My 3 Photo Apps for 2016" we had some terrific comments that I want to share it with you now.

John P. Wineberg: As a former Aperture user I have had some frustrations with Lightroom and don't get me started where Photostein (Photoshop) is concerned. Looking at Capture One's subscription at $15 a month. Love their interface. I'm one of the few people that loved Adobe's mistake in changing the import features. Too bad they had to change it back.
Preston Turner: Capture One needs to bite the bullet and pay to license the ability to host Photoshop files, or program this feature in if that's what is needed.
Nils Eddy: Speaking of Photoshop alternatives I would add the outstanding Affinity Photo to your list.
John Mather: Adding plugins to Capture One would be great. Like all my old Nik, Topaz, & OnOne. I have losing that investment as much as Aperture. Also I second the idea of a Lynda course by you. The current one has way too many prejudices about things outside of the app.
Rafael Perini: My rant of the day: I wonder if anyone at Apple have the slightest idea how complicated they are making our photo processing experience. Have they lost their mind? Three software to poorly replace one? How difficult would be to continue working on Aperture? I guess they have so much money these days that they lost perspective and care for their users. It's sad.
Charlie Day: Actually Photos is not that bad of an App. It just need a few improvements. Mainly in rating images with star rating and color tagging. Also key wording needs to be work on to. With these few improvements I cloud probably completely leave Apeture behind and use Photos 100% of the time. Many of the plug inns to use with Photos make this a very good App.

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

How to Pick a Frame and Matt for your Print

It's hard to visualize the best frame and matte combination for a print. That is, unless you have ImageFramer. Then, not only is it easy, it's fun. I explain in this segment of today's show.

Jacob has set up an ImageFramer Landing Page specifically for TDS listeners, with sweet discounts on the 3 different versions of the app. Please go over and take a look.

Found Treasure

The registration forms have gone out to the reserve list for the Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

Inkdot.com - Specializing in wood prints and other artistic treatments of your imagery - visit www.inkdot.com.

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

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 3 Photo Apps for 2016

After months of research and testing, I've settled on the applications that I'm using for my photography workflow in 2016. I thought you might be interested in my selections and why.

Overall Photo Management: Capture One Pro 9

CaptureOnePro-Screen.jpg

Capture One comes the closest to the robust file management that I liked so much in Aperture. Its system of folders (called Groups), projects, and albums feel right at home.

And the RAW decoding is beautiful. My images look great in this application, and there are tons of editing tools for refining them. Overall, this will be the ultimate home for my RAW files.

Pros: Great library management, excellent RAW decoding, serious editing tools.
Cons: Does not accommodate imported PSD files, very still-photo centric, not cloud connected, a serious investment at $300.

Quick Turnaround: Alien Skin Exposure X

ExposureX-Screen.jpg

Robust photo management is great, but I have a lot of quick-turnaround jobs that I need to deliver fast. I'm really enjoying Exposure X for these scenarios. It reads the files off my memory card, puts them on my drive, then lets me star rate or add color labels, edit, and export - blazingly fast.

The adjustment sliders are terrific, and the film emulation presets are fun and creative. So not only am I working fast, the images look wonderful afterward.

Pros: Creative, great user interface, fast, lots of goodies.
Cons: Not the full featured photo management app that some photographers want, somewhat expensive at $149

Cloud Connected and Mobile: Photos for OS X

photos-for-osx-screen.jpg

It's not the do-everything imaging app that it replaces (Aperture), but Photos for OS X is great at what it endeavors, which is connect your devices, backup your mobile shots, and provide a fun editing environment.

I shoot a lot with my iPhone, and I don't want to have to worry about the preservation or sharing of those pictures. Photos just makes it happen. I love the built-in editing tools, and what it doesn't include natively, is now being addressed by 3rd party plugins. And that implementation is terrific.

My iPhone images are easily adjusted, instantly shared, and always backed up. How could you not take advantage of this great app if you're an iOS shooter?

Pros: Easy, fast, mobile, smart, easy geotagging, and free.
Cons: Still no star ratings or color labels (ugh!), weak metadata management, not great for RAW shooters with new cameras (slow updating of RAW profiles).

Bottom Line

I know a lot of folks want just one photo application to handle all of their needs. And depending on how you shoot, that's a reasonable request. But for someone like me who's using an iPhone one moment, Contax film camera the next, Olympus mirrorless after that, then a Cannon DSLR for a commercial shoot, one app just isn't going to cut it. So these are my three for 2016.

Training and Such

For hands-on tutorials to master Photos for OS X, be sure to take a look at Photos for OS X Essential Training on lynda.com.

I have a Capture One Pro Essential Training in the works that should be out soon. Over 100 movies on using that app. Keep an eye out for it.

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.

lexar-256-box.jpg

Lexar has refreshed and repackaged their popular portable SSD external drive. It's fast, very light, and reasonably priced at $133 including a cable.

I had packed the previous version for my assignment in Cuba, and it served me well, especially for backing up my photo files when no Internet was available for cloud storage.

Like the previous version, the current model ships FAT formatted. This works fine with both Macs and Windows laptops, as long as users don't attempt to write Mac-specific files to the device, such as a Photos library container. My Capture One Pro Managed Catalog created on a Mac works fine on the Lexar 256GB.

copying-files.jpg

If you try to reformat the Lexar to Mac OS Extended (using the Disk Utility app) the drive will not function properly afterward. You'll know right away by seeing the capacity indicator LEDs light up in "every other" mode instead of continuous, as the should as the drive fills up. So, don't reformat.

The SSD kit also includes a very nice cable. It's a bit on the long side for nimble travel (after all, the drive itself is only a 2.5" square). So I recommend also springing for a shorter 1' cord, such as the StarTech 1' (0.3m) SuperSpeed USB 3.0 A to B Cable Male/Male (Blue) ($4.98). You can use the longer cable at home, but on the road the 1' makes more sense.

lexar-256-kit.jpg The Lexar SSD kit includes a cable. But it's a bit long for nimble travel.

As for performance, the Lexar Portable SSD performs well. Read speeds up to 450 MB/s and write speeds up to 245 MB/s. I copied a Capture One Pro catalog from my Mac in just a few minutes, and then was able to access the data on the Lexar without any noticeable problems. Lightroom users should fare well too.

Photoshop, Lightroom, and Capture One Pro users should find Lexar 256 GB USB 3 SSD a speedy, compact, and affordable solution for bringing along photo catalogs, or for backing up images, while away from home.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Lexar portable SSD external drive has a high Nimbleosity Rating for Windows users or for those who don't need to reformat to Mac OS Extended. You can learn more about Nimbleosity by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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've actually had people say to me, "You mean there's a retouch tool in Photos for OS X?" Yes, there is, and it's actually quite good. Just open the image in Photos on your Mac, and follow the simple steps that I show you in this movie from Photos for OS X Essential Training on lynda.com.

And once you remove those small blemishes and imperfections using Photos on your Mac, the changes are propagated to all versions of that image on your mobile devices thanks to iCloud integration. So fix it once and be done with it.

retouch-tool-photos.jpg

And for other hands-on tutorials, be sure to take a look at Photos for OS X Essential Training on lynda.com.

More Help and Insights on Photos for OS X

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.

While we're still in free registration grace period, the FAA is actively spreading the word about hobbyist Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) registration. They were even at CES in the South Hall among all of the drone demos.

P1060853.jpg FAA getting the word out at CES 2016. Photo by Derrick Story.

If you're wondering why you should register (other than it's required), here's a Top Ten List from FStoppers.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Opening Monologue

Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to start thinking about the adventures that lie ahead. Today's show features three distinctly different opportunities for a photo adventure.

3 Photo Adventures

Having just returned from Las Vegas myself, I can attest to how invigorating it is to strike out into the world with camera in hand. See if any of these get the creative juices flowing.

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San Francisco, April 15-17 - This event has it all. Street photography, nighttime shooting, urban exploration, and a few surprises. I can tell you right now, there will be new street shooting gear, film photography, and more. Olympus Trailblazer Mike Boening will be joining the faculty for this event. Check out the itinerary here - 2 seats open.

Out of Chicago, June 24-26 - I'm going to debut my The Nimble Photographer Workshop in Chicago this summer. This is a great event with a stellar faculty including Rick Sammon and many others. In addition to the workshop ($199), I'm teaching classes, joining panel discussions, and leading photo walks.

Pt. Reyes National Seashore, August 19-21 - From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. This is our first workshop in this magical location, and you'll be sure to come home with wonderful images and warm memories. Registration forms go out this week. If you're not on the reserve list, you can add your name here.

In the News

Apple patent describes dual-camera design - covered by DP Connect

Looking at a new Apple patent that has recently surfaced, it appears we might see a dual-camera setup in future iPhone generations. The design uses two camera modules, one with a wide-angle lens and another with a longer focal length. Throw some Apple software wizardry into the mix and you get yourself a smartphone zoom lens that should get close in quality to fully optical zooms and much better than existing digital zooms.

However, improved zoom may only one be of several applications of the design. The dual-camera could also be used to create 3D images or increase image quality in wide-angle images by adding additional detail that is captured with the longer lens.

How to Pick a Frame and Matte for your Print

It's hard to visualize the best frame and matte combination for a print. That is, unless you have ImageFramer. Then, not only is it easy, it's fun. I explain in this segment of today's show.

Jacob has set up an ImageFramer Landing Page specifically for TDS listeners, with sweet discounts on the 3 different versions of the app. Please go over and take a look.

Products We Love: Lume Cube LED Light

The Lume Cube can pump out 1500 Lumens, which is so bright that they have to include a warning notice reminding you not to look directly at the light when set to a high brightness level. The color temperature is a bit on the cool side, 6000K. The integrated battery is robust, and when it does need charging, use the included USB cable to connect to a power source for replenishing. The Lume Cube is also waterproof to 100'. So there's no need to worry about using it in adverse weather conditions.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to Friday's Facebook Post: "Out of Chicago" we had some terrific comments that I want to share it with you now.

Ron Lawrence I'm glad that you are doing this, but why is it so hard to get people like you, to do seminars in the South? Places like Orlando, Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville, Tampa??? This part of the country is seriously ignored by almost the whole photo community except the birders.
William Booz Maybe Chris Smith will organize an "Out of Charleston" conference, Ron!
Chris Smith Or maybe Ron will! smile emoticon
Ron Lawrence Heck, no one would come take advice from me about anything photography but how to buy stuff!!!
Aaron Hockley Imaging USA, one of the two biggest photography conferences in the country, is happening over the next few days in Atlanta...
Aaron Hockley Also I know Rick Sammon does a workshop or two in Miami every year...
Ron Lawrence We could call it Do'in the Charleston, but that name's already taken.
Ron Lawrence Yes, I talked to Sammon. I don't want to have to sell a kidney to take one of his courses.
TheDigitalStory It's all about organization. Chris has created a platform for us to use, so we're able to fit it in to our schedules without having to figure out every detail. Workshops are a lot of work. These types of gatherings are attractive to speakers.

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

Wood Prints Feel Like Art as Well as Look the Part

Print any photo from Instagram, phone or computer directly on wood. Blending the natural material wood with our professional print techniques every print is unique. Attention is given to every detail of our wood prints. From the crafted coved back, to the slotted hanging system allowing for simple hanging. Your print comes finished and ready to hang no frame is needed.

Wood Type: Baltic Birch
Thickness: 5/8"
Quality: Archival Quality Printing
Care: Moisture & UV Resistant

8"x8" is normally priced at $32. But you can get one for $24 using PROMO code: STORY. And in fact, you can get 25% off any wood print with that code at www.inkdot.com.

Found Treasure

The next edition of Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

Inkdot.com - Specializing in wood prints and other artistic treatments of your imagery - visit www.inkdot.com.

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

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I've been following the development of Lume Cube ($79.99) through its Kickstarter launch. The product has evolved considerably over that period (check out the early images of the device in press releases), and I was pleasantly surprised when I received mine in the mail last week (in beautiful Kickstarter blue).

The Lume Cube Apps

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Lume Cube is a powerful 1500 Lumen LED light that's controllable via iOS or Android apps. There are two versions of the software available, basic and pro. The basic app is free and the pro will set you back $2.99.

I've worked with both. Lume Cube (free) has brightness control from 1-100 percent, red eye prevention, auto sync, and a battery level indicator. The pro version ($2.99) however, has settings for brightness, duration, red eye prevention, OptoTrigger, battery level, signal strength, and the ability to fire up to five Lume Cubes. Both versions have a built-in camera function and video recorder.

The iOS app is actually one of my favorite features of this device. It's well-designed and easy to use. It allows for near-instaneous connection to the Lume Cube, and sets it apart from many of the portable LED lights on the market. In my opinion, don't even mess with the free version. Pony up the $2.99 and use Lume Cube Pro. It's worth the investment.

The Lume Cube Light Specs

As I mentioned earlier, the Lume Cube can pump out 1500 Lumens, which is so bright that they have to include a warning notice reminding you not to look directly at the light when set to a high brightness level. The color temperature is a bit on the cool side, 6000K. The integrated battery is robust, and when it does need charging, use the included USB cable to connect to a power source for replenishing. The Lume Cube is also waterproof to 100'. So there's no need to worry about using it in adverse weather conditions.

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Using the Lume Cube

The integrated tripod socket makes it easy to connect the Lume Cube to a variety of stands and grips. And since it's Bluetooth controlled, you can leave it where it's positioned and change the settings from your mobile device.

It syncs nicely with its built-in camera app. I leave the duration set to 1 second. I would really like to sync the Lume Cube with my iPhone's Camera app, but currently it only syncs with the Lume Cube or Lume Cube Pro software. That being said, it works quite well with both of those.

I also like that the device includes a light sensor so it can serve as a slave for off-camera flash with my OM-D E-M10 Mark II. The problem is that the sensor is on the front of the Lume Cube instead of on top as a small dome. It would even be better on the side or in the back. And in my testing, the sensor was not as sensitive as I'd like it to be. So it needs to be pointing right at the master light source to work - not practical in many situations.

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Being a smallish light source, the light can be a bit contrasty. So I carry my film canister diffuser with me, and it works great on the Lume Cube.

Bottom Line

The look, feel, and construction of the Lume Cube is outstanding. It's a work of art. And there's no arguing that the light output is impressive. The Lume Cube Pro app is also well-designed and a joy to use. Battery life is excellent. And the waterproof case is a nice bonus.

I wish the light were a tad warmer, say 5200K. And the slave sensor needs to be addressed in future designs. But aside from those nits, I would say that this supplemental light has dozens of uses with smartphones, digital cameras, and action cams. It's a good value at $79.99.


Nimble Photographer Logo

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

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I'll be speaking at the Out of Chicago Photography Conference in June 2016. Among the sessions and photo walks, I'm also leading a Nimble Photographer Workshop on Friday, June 24th. This event is limited to 10 participants, and it's only $199.

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For those in the Midwest and on the East Coast who haven't been able to make it to California for one of my TDS Workshops, this might be a great way for us to finally work together. (Signups are going fast, however.) I'm also leading printing classes sponsored by Red River Paper where I'll show you how to "go beyond the pixel" with your images.

Out of Chicago is an amazing conference with an impressive group of instructors including Rick Sammon, Frederick Van Johnson, and Matt Kloskowski. In addition to their sessions, there are photo walks, one-on-ones, sponsor booths, and more. Check out these Top Ten Reasons to Attend.

And I hope I'll get to see you at my workshop or one of my sessions there. Super early bird registration ends on January 14 (huge discount!). So don't delay.


Nimble Photographer Logo

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

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Imagine being able to record true film footage with all the character of Kodak celluloid, yet with a device that has an integrated digital mic, 3.5" swivel LCD screen, and an SD card slot to store the dialog. Wouldn't that be an interesting convergence of old and new?

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That's what Kodak is endeavoring to do with the just-announced Super 8. They've brought together designer Yves Behar to create the look, and Logmar in Denmark to handle the mechanical fabrication for this hybrid camera. The result is one of the more fascinating devices I've seen at CES.

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Kodak writes, "By launching its first Super 8 camera product in more than 30 years, Kodak is demonstrating its resolve to ensure that film plays an important role in the future of filmmakers - both professionals and amateurs. This product, like many in Kodak's history, will be a tool for artists and all those who aim to capture special moments."

The Super 8 accepts C-Mount lenses; uses 50-foot Kodak film cartridges; provides variable speeds of 9, 12, 18, 24, and 25 fps; offers both manual speed and iris settings; includes cartridge detection; ships with integrated battery with charger; and includes an integrated mic as well as line-in for your own audio gear.

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The workflow is relatively simple. You shoot and ship the film, then Kodak processes it, scans the footage, and delivers it to your mailbox. You can add the audio and edit the content using any standard video editor... except that your source has the look of film instead of digital video.

If you need a more detailed view during capture, you can also send the SD video output to and external monitor (via HDMI) in lieu of the integrated LCD. The Super 8 really does bring together both worlds of filmmaking.

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Rachel Morrison (cinematographer, director) wrote this about analog storytelling, "There is something tactile about film that is inherently humane. I can't think of anything more fitting for a medium whose currency is channeling emotion into imagery."

Kodak is planning to make the first run of Super 8s available later this year. No price has been set yet, but the best estimates are between $750 and $900. Plus, of course, there will be the price of the film and its processing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what visual artists can do with this camera.

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

CES for Home - Petnet SmartFeeder

I'll be getting one of these for Dibs, the studio cat. The Petnet SmartFeeder is programmable, allowing you to set portions based on your pet's age and current weight. It then dispenses the food at intervals you establish.

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And of course it has an iPhone app that lets you modify your settings even when you're not around. So this will be perfect for my loyal studio watch-cat who keeps an eye on things when I'm out being a nimble photographer.

The Petnet SmartFeeder is available at Amazon.com. If you decide to take a look, please click first on the Amazon ad tile shown on all pages of this site. Then search for the feeder.

The USBCELL rechargeable battery offers an eco-friendly alternative as can be reused hundreds of times, and no charger adaptor or cable are required. It uses lithium polymer technology so you get both state of the art and convenience. It was one of my 5 Favorite Innovations from CES 2016.

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Instead of a copper top that's for branding only, the Pilot has a green cap that opens to reveal a USB connector that can plug into practically any mobile charger or even your laptop. Great for photographers and gamers who have open USB ports on their console. They can always have a fresh set of cells available for their controllers.

As an interesting sidenote, the Pilot ECO USBCELL is manufactured by Foxconn, the same folks who make millions of Apple's iPhones.

More from CES

Tune in to TDS Podcast 513, My 5 Favs from CES Las Vegas where I cover the USBCELL and four other hot picks, reporting directly from CES Unveiled at Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Las Vegas.

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

This week I peer into the future of technology at CES in Las Vegas and report on what I discover...

Opening Monologue

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A new year tradition of recent years is to trek to Las Vegas to cover CES. Here's where I, and thousands of other journalists, have the opportunity to see firsthand the tech landscape for 2016. And that's the focus of today's show.

My 5 Favs from CES Las Vegas

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I report from CES Unveiled at Mandalay Bay in this "Notes from the Field" segment.

In the News

Amazon's best-selling camera item this holiday was... film - covered by Imaging-Resource.

While there are some staggering results, such as Amazon shipping more than 200 million items via free Prime shipping this holiday season and over three million people joining Amazon's Prime service during the third week of December, perhaps the most surprising tidbit is that Fujifilm INSTAX Mini Instant Film was the biggest-selling item from Amazon's camera department. Following the INSTAX Mini Instant Film on Amazon's best-selling camera products this holiday season are the GoPro HERO4 Silver Edition and AmazonBasics Head Strap Camera Mount for GoPro.

Virtual Post Cards from Las Vegas

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I'm on the road this week covering CES. So, since I'm in Las Vegas, I thought I'd try my hand at making a few virtual post cards for sharing images with others. ImageFramer is perfect to add the finishing touch.

Jacob has set up an ImageFramer Landing Page specifically for TDS listeners, with sweet discounts on the 3 different versions of the app. Please go over and take a look.

Products We Love: The Indigo Marble 15" Protective Camera Wrap

I've been testing the Indigo Marble 15" Protective Camera Wrap ($24.97), using it with a variety of shoulder bags while on the go. And what I like best about it is that I have the freedom to carry my gear anyway I want, and still have good protection while doing so. I explain more in this segment of the show.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to Friday's Facebook Post: "Together we cross the bridge to 2016. Happy New Year! See you on the other side..." we had some terrific comments that I want to share it with you now.

Arron wrote: "And sometimes the path to new things looks wet and slippery, but we take it anyway :-)"
Michael added: " A very appropriate image Derrick - thanks for all your great work thru 2015 and I wish you all the very best for 2016."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

A Holiday Poem from Red River Paper

And as she made her final print,
The postman arrived in a sprint.
He had to finish his final run
Before going home for family fun.
She checked the card one last time
Just to make sure all was fine.
She had used Red River Paper
And learned to add water vapor
Because humidity helps when the air is dry,
Such as when it is cold and dampness too shy.
Her card did not curl and was perfectly flat,
A gorgeous image of a holiday cat.
Into the addressed envelope her personal card went,
And even the postman confirmed it was money well-spent.
When you need help learning all about inkjet printing,
Make Red River Paper your source from the beginning.

A thought from Red River Paper

See you next week!

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

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've been testing the Indigo Marble 15" Protective Camera Wrap ($24.97), using it with a variety of shoulder bags while on the go. And what I like best about it is that I have the freedom to carry my gear anyway I want, and still have good protection while doing so.

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The wrap is constructed with no-scratch, water resistant nylon material on the inside, and soft durable velcro knit on the exterior. The stitched square in the middle has extra padding. It feels like closed cell foam, and is very dense, yet flexible.

There are Velcro fasteners on 3 corners. The fourth corner goes against your gear and won't scratch contents because it doesn't have the Velcro tab. I've used the 15" wrap for my mirrorless gear and lenses.

Also, the corner that does not have the Velcro tab does include a secure pouch that's perfect for an extra memory card or small battery. And when you're not protecting your gear during transport with the Indigo Marble Wrap, you can use it as a work area to place your gear on while packing or cleaning.

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The Indigo Marble Wrap is one of those seemingly simple photo accessories that can be put to use in a variety of ways, including serving as a gray card that you always have with you. I'll certainly have mine with me as I hit the road this month.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Indigo Marble Wrap has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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