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This is The Digital Story Podcast #658, Oct. 23, 2018. Today's theme is "How's Lightroom CC Coming Along?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Adobe recently release Lightroom CC 2.0 for the desktop and mobile devices. This seems like a good time to check-in on the Creative Cloud version of the app. Is it truly useful yet? Can it replace the Classic version? What's the experience like? I'll take a closer look in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

How's Lightroom CC Coming Along?

Among other things, Adobe provides RAW decoding for my new Fujifilm XF10 in Lightroom CC. So this seemed like the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in this application for a few days. And that's exactly what I did.

Lightromm-CC.png

First of all, I should mention what's new in this 2.0 version of Lightroom CC.

  • People View - Find photos of specific people faster now that Lightroom CC uses Adobe Sensei technology to automatically sort your photos based on who's in them. When you upload and sync photos to the cloud, Lightroom CC detects, recognizes, and groups photos of the same person.
  • Migrate Apple Photos - You can now easily migrate your Apple Photos Library into Lightroom CC on your desktop. Your photos sync to the cloud so you can access, edit, organize, and share them on all your devices.
  • Easily share your photos to the web - In addition to sharing albums, you can now share any random selection of photos as a web gallery.
  • Improved search - Start typing in the search bar and Lightroom CC automatically offers suggestions to help you quickly find what you need. Search for cameras, locations, and other metadata with ease. Also, your enabled filters are kept neatly organized in the search box. You can even search for a filter using its name (try 'camera:').
  • Local color toning - You can now apply colors to specific areas of your photo with the Brush and Gradient tools. When using the Brush, Linear Gradient, or Radial Gradient tools in Lightroom CC, scroll down to the bottom of the adjustment sliders panel to turn on Color.
  • HEVC file support on macOS - Beginning with this release, Lightroom CC supports Apple's HEVC video format (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) on macOS High Sierra (10.13) or later.
  • Support for New Cameras and Lenses - New models include Canon EOS R, Fujifilm X-T3, Nikon Z7 and Lumix LX100 II.

In terms of the usability, Lightroom CC is becoming a real pleasure to use. Here are some of my observations.

  • Basic adjustments work well.
  • I like the way presets are handled.
  • The brushing tools are quite serviceable.
  • Linear and Radial Gradients work well.
  • Seems odd that there are no shortcuts for copy and paste settings.
  • Creative Cloud syncing is excellent.

Overall, I give Lightroom CC V2.0 high marks. If you're coming to it from Lightroom Classic, that might be difficult. There are still many tools that are not available in the CC version. Two that I really miss are HDR merging and Pano stitching. But if you're coming from a mobile perspective, then LR CC should be a welcome upgrade to working on a mobile device.

HoneyBook Makes Your Business as Good as Your Art

I was sitting in a client meeting today, and one of the dominate topics was how we could get ahead of these projects, and stay more organized along the way.

As we were talking about this, I was thinking about HoneyBook and how this service is designed to do exactly that. From scheduling with its integrated calendar (that also syncs with Google Calendar), to staying on track with its task list and project management tools. And when it's time to invoice, all the bookkeeping is integrated as well.

If you're grappling with these same sort of challenges in your freelance or startup business, I encourage you to explore HoneyBook. It won't cost you a thing to learn what it can do for you. But it can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars up the road.

"Honeybook is a purpose-built business management platform for creative small businesses. They help photographers, designers, event professionals, and other solopreneurs save hundreds, if not thousands of hours a year by adding time-saving automation into their business. Honeybook makes it easy to streamline the client process, so you never miss a thing!"

And that's why, for a limited time, TDS listeners can get 50 percent off the first year of Honeybook with promo code THEDIGITALSTORY. Honeybook membership includes unlimited access to ALL features, at one low monthly price. So go to HONEYBOOK.COM today, and use promo code THEDIGITALSTORY to get started. Again, that's HoneyBook.com, promo code THEDIGITALSTORY.

Digitizing Family Memories with the Epson FastFoto Scanner

I have a shoebox in the closet that contains family snapshots from over the years. They came to me in a variety of ways. Some I took myself. Others were included in letters from my Mom. And I even have original prints that my Dad discovered doing his family archiving project. All of these valuable, important pictures were lying dormant until recently when I got my hands on a Epson FastFoto Scanner. Now they are digitized and cataloged in my photo management software.

I talk about this unique scanner in this segment of the show.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Starting this month - Photo Critique. Check out the post on Patreon. Send your images to me with the subject line, "Photo Critique." More details on our Patreon page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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

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

HoneyBook - What small biz owner wants to spend their time on paperwork, endless emails, and dealing with payment collection? That's why there's HoneyBook. Learn more at HoneyBook.com. And save 50 percent your first year by using coupon code: THEDIGITALSTORY

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.

Nimbleosity knows no bounds.

I've been reading and thinking about the 2-lens approach to urban travel photography. The idea is that, we don't need a catalog of glass with us when we are shooting with just one or two optics anyway. And thanks to the major improvements in digital zoom technology, if we need a little more reach, that 84mm zoom can become 168mm with just the press of a button.

pen-f-zoom.jpg

The basic approach goes something like this. Pack one fast prime lens and one versatile zoom. In my case, I'm bringing to New York the handsome Olympus PEN-F with the 14-42mm EZ zoom and the workhorse Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7.

Factoring in digital zoom if I need it, those two optics give me 28mms on the wide end, 168mm telephoto reach, and a maximum aperture of f/1.7. Not bad for a couple of pancake optics that fit in the front pocket of my pants.

You may have noticed in the article title that I wrote "2.5 lens concept." That's because I do have one addition to this dual optics approach: the Olympus Fisheye Body Cap 9mm f/8. After all, technically, it's a body cap, right?

The thing about urban photography, at least for me, is that I need width more than length. I rarely use telephotos for street shooting, but there are many situations when I want to get more in the frame. The 28mm wide end of the zoom covers most of those subjects. But 18mm can be a lifesaver when 28mms just isn't enough. So the "body cap" is coming with me.

And, as along as I am in a confessing mood, I'll also admit that I'm bringing the Fujifilm XF10 compact. It will be in my pocket when I'm not carrying my bag, such as during my business meeting at B&H or when I'm working in the Skylum booth at PhotoPlus.

So there you have it. My 2.5 lens kit + XF10 + iPhone X in New York City. I can't wait to start shooting.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition

Updated for macOS High Sierra, the The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Ed. provides you with the latest tips, techniques, and workflows for Apple's photo management and editing application. Get your copy today!

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

Many excellent headline features for photographers appeared in macOS Mojave, but a small one that's truly helpful is the debut of filenames with our thumbnails. They're helpful in many ways, including knowing which camera the image was captured with when shooting RAW.

display-filenames.jpg Both original filenames and edited titles are displayed here in Photos. Read on to learn how to control this.

Alternatively, you can have a title appear with your thumbnail instead of a filename. (This used to be your only choice.) Either approach is controlled by the "Add a Title" field in the Info box (Window > Info). Just make sure that you have titles turned on so that either of these bits of information shows up (View > Metadata > Titles).

If the Add a Title field is left blank, then Photos will display the filename when viewing thumbnails. On the other hand, if you do add a title, then that is displayed instead. You can see examples of both in the illustration above.

And for those situations where I want the filename to appear, but I do want some additional information in the metadata, I enter that in the Add a Description field, which has no effect on the metadata displayed with the thumbnail.

Like I said, this isn't a headline feature. But for those of us who use Photos regularly, we really appreciate (finally) having filenames appear with our images.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition

Updated for macOS High Sierra, the The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Ed. provides you with the latest tips, techniques, and workflows for Apple's photo management and editing application. Get your copy today!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #657, Oct. 16, 2018. Today's theme is, "Gearing Up for PhotoPlus Expo." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Much in the way that Photokina was an important European event for the photography community, I think PhotoPlus Expo will carry more weight than usual in the U.S. How will the manufacturers follow up all of those September announcements? On today's podcast, I discuss what I anticipate in New York, and how I'm preparing for it. I hope you enjoy the show.

Gearing Up for PhotoPlus Expo

The show floor opens on Oct. 25 in Javits Convention Center, NYC. Most of the heavy hitters are there, ready for their U.S. encore performance. I will be there as well, reporting first, then working in the Skylum booth on Friday and Saturday.

nyc-1024.jpg

As I prepared for my show reporting, I started with the Expo Hall booth layout. I think a lot can be deciphered from the floor plan.

For example, Canon, Nikon, and Sony have the largest booths, with Fujifilm right on their heels. The investment by Canon and Nikon make perfect sense, since they both have new full frame mirrorless cameras to show off. Sony, being the leader in this category, needs to be on the offensive as well to protect their position.

But Fujifilm's very large booth shows their confidence in the X-T3 26 MP APS-C mirrorless offering - as well they should. They have a more extensive library of native mirrorless lenses than either Canon or Nikon, and a proven track record for the X-T series of cameras.

At the next level, we have Olympus, Epson, Tamron, and Sigma. Tamron and Sigma have been very active lately, including Sigma joining the Leica/Panasonic partnership for full frame mirrorless. Epson needs a lot of space to display its output and printers. But for me, Olympus is the interesting member of the second tier. They don't have any new announcements, so they may be positioning Micro Four Thirds as the smart alternative for travel photographers.

In the third tier, we have Ricoh/Pentax, Skylum, Think Tank Photo, Zeiss Camera Lenses, and Panasonic North America. I didn't see Lowepro or Tamrac on the list, so Think Tank so have the bag sector sewed up. Ricoh may show off a prototype of the GR III, but doesn't have much else in the works at the moment. Skylum is preparing to release their long-awaited digital asset manager, so their footprint makes perfect sense.

What seems odd to me here is the tiny Panasonic booth. They made one of the biggest headline announcements at Photokina. It seems odd to not follow that up with the big guns in New York.

As for my preparation, I'm going with the Olympus PEN-F with one zoom and 3 primes. I'm also keeping the Fujifilm XF10 in my pocket at all times, whether I'm at work or not. I'll have my audio recorder with me, just in case I'm able to snag an interview or two. Everything is already packed in my Think Tank Retrospective 7 II shoulder bag.

I'll be sure to get plenty of pictures and as many tidbits as possible during my visit to New York. If you plan on attending, be sure to come by and say hello on Friday or Saturday while I'm working in the Skylum booth.

HoneyBook Makes Your Business as Good as Your Art

I was sitting in a client meeting today, and one of the dominate topics was how we could get ahead of these projects, and stay more organized along the way.

As we were talking about this, I was thinking about HoneyBook.com and how this service is designed to do exactly that. From scheduling with its integrated calendar (that also syncs with Google Calendar), to staying on track with its task list and project management tools. And when it's time to invoice, all the bookkeeping is integrated as well.

If you're grappling with these same sort of challenges in your freelance or startup business, I encourage you to explore HoneyBook.com. It won't cost you a thing to learn what it can do for you. But it can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars up the road.

"Honeybook is a purpose-built business management platform for creative small businesses. They help photographers, designers, event professionals, and other solopreneurs save hundreds, if not thousands of hours a year by adding time-saving automation into their business. Honeybook makes it easy to streamline the client process, so you never miss a thing!"

And that's why, for a limited time, TDS listeners can get 50 percent off the first year of HoneyBook.com with promo code THEDIGITALSTORY. Honeybook membership includes unlimited access to ALL features, at one low monthly price. So go to HONEYBOOK.COM today, and use promo code THEDIGITALSTORY to get started. Again, that's HoneyBook.com, promo code THEDIGITALSTORY.

A fully-featured Photoshop is finally coming to the iPad

As published on DP Review

Earlier this year, Adobe Chief Product Officer, Scott Belsky, acknowledged Adobe was working on a full version of Adobe Photoshop for iPad. Today, we were given a glimpse into the fruits of its labor, with Adobe previewing Photoshop CC on iPad on stage at Adobe MAX 2018 in Los Angeles.

To achieve this, Adobe had to create an updated version of its PSD file format it calls Cloud PSDs. In Adobe's own words, "when we ship Photoshop on the iPad, [Cloud PSDs] will also run and automatically show up on your desktop...Suddenly, you'll have this cloud-powered roundtrip experience akin to a Google Docs experience, where literally the source of truth of your Photoshop creation is in the cloud." Gone are the days of having to figure out how to export files in a compatible format and send them to various devices.

Adobe Photoshop CC on iPad won't arrive until 2019. In the meantime, you can sign up for a chance to be included on the beta version on Adobe's website.

iPhone XS Max Comes Out on Top in New Battery Test

Via iPhone Hacks

This test includes the iPhone XS Max, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Google's Pixel 3 XL (which just got rave reviews), and Sony's Xperia XZ3. It's worth noting here that Apple's iPhone XS Max actually has the smallest battery out of the bunch (iPhone XS Max: 3174mAh; Galaxy Note 9: 4000mAh; Pixel 3 XL: 3430mAh; Xperia XZ3: 3300mAh), and that screen resolutions between phones should be the same for a proper test. That's the case here with Mrwhosetheboss, which made sure to set the Galaxy Note 9's display to the resolution of 2960×1440, rather than the 1080p HD resolution it can be set at.

With the resolutions set and the phone's fully charged, Mrwhosetheboss went to work on the test. The iPhone XS Max came in at just over six hours, while the Galaxy Note 9 fell about 12 minutes shorter. In third place? Google's Pixel 3 XL, which lasted about five hours. And the Xperia XZ3 finished out the bottom, finishing up under four hours before dying.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Starting this month - Photo Critique. Check out the post on Patreon. Send your images to me with the subject line, "Photo Critique." More details on our Patreon page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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

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

HoneyBook - What small biz owner wants to spend their time on paperwork, endless emails, and dealing with payment collection? That's why there's HoneyBook. Learn more at HoneyBook.com. And save 50 percent your first year by using coupon code: THEDIGITALSTORY

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.

Often Overlooked In-Camera Effects

Mirrorless cameras have brought a lot of innovation to our craft. One of the areas that I often remind photographers about is in-camera effects. They are often overlooked because they exist outside our normal shooting routines. But they can be quite helpful.

camera-effects.jpg

On Olympus cameras, for example, we have Art Filters that range from dramatic landscapes to soft focus portraits. You can preview the effects on the camera's LCD or in the electronic viewfinder. Fujifilm cameras have their Advanced Filters as well as film simulations. Other brands have their own proprietary take on this as well.

When I'm leading workshops, I encourage participants to try one or two of these to expand knowledge of their own cameras, while at the same time adding more creativity to their images. I also cover this topic in my lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning title, Portrait Photography: High School Seniors. Here's a short movie that covers exactly what I'm talking about.

Built-in camera effects for portraiture from Portrait Photography: High School Seniors by Derrick Story

A few things to keep in mind include shooting in RAW+Jpeg so that the effect is applied to the Jpeg, yet you still have your RAW as an untouched safety net. And since you are now relying on those Jpegs, be sure their quality is set to maximum (Fine or Super Fine). And when you bring in those images to your photo management software, I recommend keeping the Jpegs and RAWs separate. I usually put the whole shoot in a project with albums for the different types of images inside.

You might be surprised at what you can create with in-camera effects. Sometimes it's a home run, other times it's a strikeout. But either way, I think it will energize your photography.

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

During our recent TDS Photography Workshop based at Lake Almanor, CA, I was reminded again of how helpful a Solar/Lunar app can be for sunrise, sunset, and phases of the moon. What would be even better, however, was to have it on my wrist. That's when I found the free app, Sundial - Solar & Lunar Times.

sundial-watch.jpg

With a quick glance, I can see all of the vitals that I need for outdoor photography, including times for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, and more. Plus I can enable timers to notify me 1 hour before sunset everyday. I know this sounds a bit frivolous, but I really like it. Who knows, I might have time to go get that shot. I can set as many different types of alerts as I want, and they are fully customizable.

I made Sundial the first item on my watch's dock, so all I have to do is press the side button to display it. The app looks great on iPhones and iPads as well, but I really wanted it on my wrist

And finally, if you like astrophotography, you definitely want to know when the moon rises and sets, not to mention what phase it's in. Again, displayed on the same screen as the solar information, you can determine the best time to go out and capture the stars.

Sundial is easy to use and very helpful. These are the kind of apps that make me love my Apple Watch.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #656, Oct. 9, 2018. Today's theme is "5 Cool Imaging Tricks with macOS Mojave." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

macOS Mojave, otherwise known as version 10.14, features a handful of goodies for imaging buffs. Starting with dark mode, that just makes all of our pictures look better, to improved performance under the hood, this latest operating system for Macs is a pretty sweet ride. But there are a few more goodies that aren't immediately apparent to the eye, but are delightful just the same. And that's the top story in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

5 Cool Imaging Tricks with macOS Mojave

I've been working on my new Photos title for LinkedIn Learning and lynda.com, and I've enjoyed discovering all the new goodies for photographers. I thought that you might to know my 5 favorites of the bunch.

gallery-view.png

  • Gallery View in the Finder with EXIF Data - Gallery View is the source of so many good things in the Finder. First, it's a great way to browse your images. Second, you can now view the full EXIF data in the view. And third, there are plenty of tools here via Quick Actions. More on that in just a minute.
  • Built-In Video Screen Capture - This is really fun. Use the new command: Shift-Command-5 to display a robust screen capture tool for both stills and video. There are plenty of options including screen capture area, save to location, delay timer, audio recording, and show mouse clicks.
  • Trimming Video with Quick Actions - There are four Quick Actions included with Mojave that allow you to perform editing functions right in the Finder: Rotate, Markup, Create PDF, and Trim. I like them all, but having Trim available to clean up my screen capture movies is super handy. And if you're handy with Automator, you can easily create your own Quick Actions. I've already created a few for myself.
  • Instant Scanner - We've been able to take pictures of documents with our iPhones for some time, and there are some nifty iOS apps to make that even better. But with Continuity Camera in Mojave, all I have to do is right-click in the Finder, choose Import from iPhone in the popup, and click on Scan Documents. I can create multipage PDFs right on the spot. Perfect for receipts and documents, especially when traveling on the road.
  • Show File Names in Photos - Here's a feature that just happens automatically, and that photographers have been asking for since Photos came out. Now, if a picture does not have a title that you entered in the Info box, Photos will display its file name in the thumbnail view. Yay!

Introducing HoneyBook to Make Your Business as Good as Your Art

What small biz owner wants to spend their time on paperwork, endless emails, and dealing with payment collection? That's why there's HoneyBook.

I was very curious about this service, so I set up an account so I could explore in greater depth. The number one appeal for me was the ease of bookkeeping. I'm sure I'm not the only business owner who struggles with that. And Honeybook can definitely help me be more efficient there.

But there are other features as well, such as managing your tasks, calendar, projects, and more. And I began to realize that this is an integrated system to ease the pain of managing all aspects of my business.

The way they explained it to me was this: "Honeybook is a purpose-built business management platform for creative small businesses. They help photographers, designers, event professionals, and other solopreneurs save hundreds, if not thousands of hours a year by adding time-saving automation into their business. Honeybook makes it easy to streamline the client process, so you never miss a thing!"

And that's why, for a limited time, TDS listeners can get 50 percent off the first year of Honeybook with promo code THEDIGITALSTORY. Honeybook membership includes unlimited access to ALL features, at one low monthly price. So go to HoneyBook.com today, and use promo code THEDIGITALSTORY to get started. Again, that's HoneyBook.com, promo code THEDIGITALSTORY.

Luminar with Library Due to Be Released in December

It's been a long wait for Luminar fans, but the much-discussed digital asset manager will finally see the light of day this coming December.

This is also good news for those who signed up earlier this year for my Nimble Classroom on this very subject. As soon as I get an actual release day, I will schedule that online class.

Skylum has released teaser videos that provide glimpses of the upcoming Luminar Library. At this point, it's hard to say what features the software will actually have in its first release. My guess is that a lot of that will depend on how well the closed beta testing goes.

More to come on this story.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Starting this month - Photo Critique. Check out the post on Patreon. Send your images to me with the subject line, "Photo Critique." More details on our Patreon page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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

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

HoneyBook - What small biz owner wants to spend their time on paperwork, endless emails, and dealing with payment collection? That's why there's HoneyBook. Learn more at HoneyBook.com. And save 50 percent your first year by using coupon code: THEDIGITALSTORY

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.

The new Gallery View in macOS Mojave is a photographer's treasure chest. Not only can you browse images in a meaningful way, you can also review full metadata and tap a number of tools that once required opening an application.

gallery-view.png Gallery View in macOS Mojave

To make things even more efficient, Apple has included a handful of Quick Actions to speed up the workflow. Take a look in the lower right corner of Gallery View, and you will see Rotate Left, Markup, and More. In the More menu you can also stash Automator scripts that are accessible via the Finder.

These little scripts can really save your time for mundane tasks such as converting file types, resizing images, etc. And they are especially handy when you're working in Gallery View.

In that spirit, I've added a few to the list that I needed. One of them, Scale to Social 2048, takes any image and resizes it to 2048 pixels on the long side... perfect for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and other online destinations. Here's how I created it.

First launch Automator. You can just use Spotlight Search (magnifying glass in the upper right of the interface) to find it. Then go to File > New and choose Quick Action from the popup menu.

choose-quick-action.png Choose Quick Action

Now turn your attention to the Library column on the left and click on the Photos group. You'll see all sorts of tools in there. Drag over the one that want to the main window. Fill out any parameters that may be required.

Create-Acton.png Decide what action(s) you want.

Now, all you have to do is Save. The Quick Action will automatically be placed in the Services directory, and immediately accessible via the More menu in the lower right corner of the Gallery View window. (It's also available other places via right-click, etc.)

use-action.png The Quick Action is now available.

To run the script, all you have to do is choose it from the popup menu. The little Automator gear will turn at the top of the interface while it's executing, then just like that, it's completed. (You'll really feel smart at this point.)

From here, you can play on your own. I've created actions for converting PNGs to Jpegs, and for importing images into my Photos app straight from the Finder. It returns an error message, but it still works perfectly. Go figure. It's scripting.

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

As I was driving south on Highway 101 to the studio this morning, I noticed an interesting scene to the west. Two hot air balloons were down in a vineyard. One was up and looking ready to launch. The other wasn't faring as well.

PA054023.jpg

Fortunately, I could exit on River Road and drive over there for a closer look. What a beautiful scene. The warm colors of morning light combined with the balloons and vineyards. I could see the costal fog bank in the distance with a few additional wisps in the sky.

I parked the car by the side of the road and tromped out into the vineyard, shooting along the way. I reached for the Olympus PEN-F, which had the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 on it. There was no time to change lenses. One thing I know about hot air balloons is that if you look away for just a second, it's easy to miss the shot.

Sure enough, as I was walking toward the scene, the first balloon began to lift off. I was shooting RAW+Jpeg, so I knew I could enable the doubler to frame the shot tighter. I love this feature on Olympus cameras. The 2X digital tele-converter is very high quality, especially when your Jpegs are set to Super Fine.

I also recorded a few frames with my iPhone X for the geotags. Those shots are nice, but the don't have the same presence as the one captured with the PEN-F. Yes, smartphones are capable picture-takers. But I was really happy that I had a real camera with me this morning.

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

PA026669-Restrospective7-v2-1024.jpg

For years, the Retrospective line of photography shoulder bags has been one of the most respected and copied designs. And with the Retrospective 7 V2.0 ($165), Think Tank has improved this classic in a number of ways.

Highlights include a new zippered top security flap, interior laptop sleeve (up to 13"), outer trolly sleeve, improved side pocket, redesigned security hook and loop system, softer material, more attractive inner lining, and more. Let's step through those changes and see how they look.

Outer Front

PA026660-Restrospective7-v2-1024.jpg Left: Retrospective 7; Right: Retrospective 7 V2.0

The outer shell of version 2 is softer with a smoother texture. A design feature on the bottom of the front flap improves the the appearance.

Outer Back

PA026662-Restrospective7-v2-1024.jpg Left: Retrospective 7; Right: Retrospective 7 V2.0

Lots of big changes on the back side. Gone is the way too constrictive back pocket that could only hold a tablet or 11" MacBook. It was replaced by a zippered document pouch with a trolly sleeve that slides over the handle of your rolling luggage. The laptop compartment is now inside the bag.

PA026663-Restrospective7-v2-1024.jpg Backside of version 2.0

Side Pocket

PA026665-Restrospective7-v2-1024.jpg Side pocket of version 2.0

The two underpowered side pockets from version 1 were replaced with a roomy, expandable pocket on one side. When not in use, the storage area is held flat by a handsome buckle and two Velcro dots. When opened, it can hold a sizable water bottle or gear. The bottom of the pocket is lined with water resistant material to help manage condensation.

Top Flap System

PA026667-Restrospective7-v2-1024.jpg Inside top flap

The Velcro secure system has been improved. Now there are pockets behind the hook patch to hide the silencer flap when not in use. Also, the lining is softer with a handsome design... again, much nicer.

The Interior Cargo Area

PA026666-Restrospective7-v2-1024.jpg Inside version 2.

A huge addition is the zippered security flap to keep gear safe when traveling from point A to point B. When working, you can attach it to the main flap to keep it out of the way. The design works well, and it provides extra peace of mind on the road.

The laptop sleeve is now inside the bag, which is also more secure. Plus, you can now stash a 13" model in the Retrospective 7 V2.0, making the bag far more practical for everyday use.

As with the original bag, there are plenty of stash pockets for accessories and personal items. The biggest challenge is not to overstuff these areas making the bag look puffy. The retrospective has a wonderful body-hugging design that looks great when not overpacked.

In Use

For day-to-day activities, the bag preformed very well. I would have liked an in-between setting on the side pocket. The way that it's designed now, it's either all the way closed, or all the way open (which is quite large). I wanted it halfway at times for sunglasses and other small accessories.

Version 1 had a nifty business card holder in the top flap that ensured your bag could always be identified if necessary. Think Tank removed that feature in version 2. I kind of miss it...

Stashing the laptop in the bag is definitely more secure. But it's not quite as convenient as outside access. This isn't really a complaint, rather an observation based on use.

The Bottom Line

The Retrospective 7 V2.0 is an absolute pleasure to use. The Think Tank design team thought about every aspect of the bag, and they implemented thoughtful, and sometimes quite handsome, improvements. With virtually no complaints, I highly recommend it.

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