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We're just about finished with the cover design for iPad for Digital Photographers,and I thought you might enjoy the "inside story" about the model who graces the front cover.

iPad-Photog-Cover.jpg

Her name is Lovely LadyJ. This was my first shoot with her. (I'm hoping she will be available for the TDS workshop in April.) Those portraits of her holding a photo umbrella were captured at Schulz Museum, across the street from the TDS headquarters.

I liked how Lovely LadyJ had prepared her hair and makeup on that rainy day she showed up at the front steps of the studio. After we finished the first series of photos inside the portrait room, I asked if she would be OK posing for a second series outside, even though the conditions were a bit challenging. She loved the idea.

By using the photo umbrella to protect her from the rain, it also served as a light diffuser and white background. I set the Olympus OM-D E-M5to ISO 800 and mounted the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 portrait/macro lenson the body. We shot in the rain for about 20 minutes, then dashed back to the studio.

When it came time for me to create the front cover image for the book, I loaded Lovely LadyJ's portraits on an iPad and an iPad mini. I set the devices on stands in the studio with an Olympus Pen mini and a few lenses, then shot the set live. In other words, the images were not "dropped on to the iPads" in post. What you see is how I shot it. I sent the cover image to Wiley Publishing, and designer Michael E. Trent took it from there.

My philosophy is to "walk the talk" with this book. I've written big chunks of it in Pages on an iPad, and shot most of the images with an iPhone or micro four thirds camera. If I can't do it in real life, it doesn't go in the book.

iPad for Digital Photographers,is scheduled for release on May 7, 2013. I'll have more behind the scenes anecdotes to share between now and then.


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Here's an ode to the Super Bowl Chrysler ad, "Farmer," created by the Richards Group. But this time the subject is "photographer."

I enjoyed this. Hope you do too.


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In an attempt not to undermine the sales of its popular EOS 5D Mark III, Canon may have constrained the features a bit too much on the promising EOS 6D. At least that's the viewpoint of DP Review in their test of the 6D DSLR.

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Even though you get built-in WiFi and GPS, which they like, they were unimpressed with the 11-point autofocus array, slow burst rate, and average video performance. You can purchase the 6D new for $2,100, compared to $3,500 for the 5D Mark III. That's a substantial price difference. But you still might want to look at the feature comparison closely before making a final decision.


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You can create attractive portfolio pages and share them wirelessly with others around you -- all served securely from your digital camera. Sounds crazy, right? It isn't.

Renee Light Table Portfolio page served from an Olympus OM-D to an iPad mini using the Toshiba FlashAir memory card.

In short, what I do is create the portfolio pages using Light Table in Aperture 3.4, then write those files to a Toshiba FlashAir Wireless SD Card($55). After that, all I have to do is insert the card into my Olympus OM-D and turn on the camera.

If I want to display this portfolio page on my iPad, or someone else's iPad, I have them log on to my FlashAir card and it will serve the page wirelessly to their device. If they want a copy of it, they can save the page to their Camera Roll.

This is all made possible by the FlashAir card's ability to create its own secure web server. I talk about how this works on this week's podcast, Ingenious Toshiba FlashAir. Not only can this wireless-capable SD card share images from your camera to computers and mobile devices, it can actually serve web pages, PDFs, and other content.

I created the portfolio page in Aperture 3.4 using the Light Table tool. Once the page was designed, I saved the Light Table as a PDF, then converted it to a JPEG to reduce file size.

Print Light Table I created the Light Table in Aperture 3.4, then saved it as a PDF using the Print command.

Once I have the JPEG version of the portfolio page, I copy it to the FlashAir SD card via drag and drop on my Mac. I then eject the card from the computer, insert it into my OM-D, and turn on the camera.

As soon as the camera is powered up, it turns on the web server in the Toshiba FlashAir card. Now, all I have to do is open Settings on the iPad, choose the FlashAir WiFi Network, and direct my web browser to http://flashair/

I can share pictures on the camera, plus any additional files that I've added to the card. It's secured by WPA2 Personal security. So only those I give a password to can access the content on the FlashAir card.

It's the perfect combination of geeky technical plus design using the elegant Light Table tool in Aperture. And best of all... it' easy!

Aperture Tips and Techniques

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


Top stories this week on The Digital Story: the ingenious Toshiba FlashAir wireless memory card, personal photo projects, and workshops update.

Story #1 -If you've liked the idea of wireless photo transfer from your camera to the iPad, iPhone, or computer, but got fed up with the configuration hassles of using Eye-Fi cards or wonky built-in WiFi, then I have great news for you. The Toshiba FlashAir Wireless SD Card($55) is easy to set up and it works with practically any camera or device.

I've been testing the 8GB FlashAir with my Olympus OM-D, and I couldn't be happier with the results. Why is this technology better than what we've seen in the past? Toshiba has embedded a WiFi access point in the card. All you have to do is logon to the network with you iPhone, iPad, or computer, and you can grab your photos using a simple web browser or from a handful of apps designed for wireless transfer.

Currently I'm using the free Olympus Image Share app and ShutterSnitch 2.9 with the FlashAir card. The procedure is simple:

  • Insert the card into your camera and turn on the power.
  • After a few seconds, go to the WiFi settings on your computer or mobile device and choose the FlashAir card.
  • Enter password 12345678
  • Launch Olympus Image Share, and you should connect to your camera.

At some point, you might want to create your own 8-character password by launching your web browser and typing in http://flashair/ This will log you on to the card and allow you to change its settings. It uses WPA2 Personal security.

Downsides to the FlashAir card are few, but you should know:

  • Limited to 8 GBs of camera storage.
  • Class 6 speed.
  • Doesn't seem to change WiFi channels when in a network congested area. This affected performance in my testing. (It stayed on channel 6 even though two other access points in the area were using channel 6 too.)
  • Performs best for me when I use Raw + SM Jpeg on the OM-D.

Bottom line. I've just left it in my OM-D, especially when I'm on the go and want easy file transfer.

Story #2 - Personal Project - I'm a big fan of personal projects and encourage others to do them too. My current project is "Overpasses of I-5" that I wrote about recently on TDS. Even though we share these pictures with others in our community, the projects are designed for personal gratification. By focusing solely on a subject of interest to the photographer, we often try new things without worrying about what others will think. The upshot is often growth.

Story #3 Workshop reservation forms for the current batch of listed workshops are going out this week. I'm also accepting applications for an advanced workshop on March 22-24, 2013 to cover the Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, CA. This is an "Event Workshop" where photographers will work every aspect of the event with me and receive bylines for their published photos. Two spots are open, course fees are $250. Write me at derrick@thedigitalstory.com to apply.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (27 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The February 2013 photo assignment is Furry Friends.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

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

Overpasses of Interstate 5

As I travel up and down the interior of California, I notice something different each trip. As the lighting shifts, colors change, and sky evolves, landmarks look different from day to day. One thing that remains constant are the solid, concrete overpasses that allow vehicles to traverse the Interstate without disruption.

Truck

As a way to occupy myself during my 450 mile journey, I photograph the overpasses as I approach and pass through. You may think that all of the shots would look the same. But they don't. And the simple designs of the overpasses complements a variety of landscapes and lighting conditions.

Passing Under

I think these would make an interesting series of big prints, so you could feel their impressive bulk. Maybe dedicate a wall of the studio to a series. Some viewers would be intrigued by them, and others would ask, "Why do you take pictures of overpasses?"

Green Trim


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Easy Photo Sequence Using Aperture 3

I created this photo sequence of Blake Griffin shooting a free throw using the "Sequence" preset in the print dialog for Aperture 3.4. It's an easy way to create these types of images.

Blake Griffin Freethrow Sequence Blake Griffin shooting a free throw. Image by Derrick Story

To create a sequence, select three photos in Aperture, then go to File > Print Images. When the print dialog box opens, select the "Sequence" preset. Your three photos will be placed as slices on a single sheet. You can fine tune their individual positions by clicking and dragging on each slice.

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Click the "More Options" button in the lower left corner to reveal controls to create borders, add slices, and more. Once you have the image to your liking, click the Print button. In the next dialog, click on the PDF button in the lower left corner. Choose "Open PDF in Preview." Here you can export the image as a Jpeg.

The entire process just takes a minute or so, but the results are terrific!

Aperture Tips and Techniques

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


The Digital Story on Facebook -- discussion, outstanding images from the TDS community, and inside information. Join our celebration of great photography!


This week's stories: More tempting f/4 pro lenses. Do our high ISO camera bodies make these zooms the smart choice? A review of my day at Macworld/iWorld. What I'm recording right now in Carpinteria at lynda.com. Plus Photo Assignment winners!

Story #1 - Is f/4 Right for You? Both Canon and Nikon have recently updated their stable of pro f/4 lenses, with Nikon touting the The Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR and Canon released the 24-70mm f/4L IS USM. This has prompted many serious photographers to consider these lighter, less expensive alternatives to f/2.8 maximum aperture lenses, and for good reason.

The Canon 24-70 f/4 costs $1,500 and weighs 1.32 lb compared to $2,300 and 1.77 lb. Plus you get image stabilization with the f/4 model.

The Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR costs $1,400 and weighs in at 1.87 lb compared to $2,400 and 3.39 lb.

I personally own both the Canon f/4 and f/2.8 70-200mm zooms, and have found myself using the 70-200mm f/4 at least as often as the f/2.8.

With the improved high ISO performance of today's Canon and Nikon bodies, there are many situations where the f/4 models will produce fantastic results. You do lose that one stop of "soft depth of field," but other than that, these new f/4 models are worth considering, especially if the budget is tight.

Story #2 - My Day at Macworld/iWorld - I was able to attend Day 1 of Macworld/iWorld at Moscone West in San Francisco last week. The big thing that jumped out at me is that the event is really iWorld. The focus is on mobility with iOS hardware and apps. This is in-step with surging interest in iPads and the continued love affair with iPhones.

I covered the expo floor in about an hour. But I also enjoyed many of the live events upstairs and catching up with TDS members who attended, and of course tech friends I've known for years. All in all, it was an enjoyable day.

Story #3 - Recording at lynda.com - I'm in Carpinteria right now recording a new "iPhoto & Aperture" title. What's cool about this, is that we're using the absolute current versions of both apps, and showing how they stack up against each other for a variety of tasks. This is perfect for those considering moving up to Aperture from iPhoto. Plus, I show how to use the two applications together, drawing from the strengths of each.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (27 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The February 2013 photo assignment is Furry Friends.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

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

For the Dec. 2012 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters left their shutters open. See for yourself in our gallery, Long Exposure. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?

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"This was taken with a Canon 7D around 30 seconds with an ND 10 filter," writes photographer Mark Houser. "My friend on the rock, Chris, agreed to remain motionless for 30 seconds. I think it turned out ok. I did have to bring out the details as I had some vignetting and knock down the sky a little. This was taken in the Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina." See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Long Exposure gallery page.


Participate in This Month's Assignment

The Feb. 2013 assignment is "Furry Friends." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is Feb. 28, 2012.

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

Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting Dec. 2012 at the end of Jan., the Jan. gallery will be posted at the end of Feb., and on and on.

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

Recent SizzlPix Winners

Hats off to our recent SizzlPix Pick of the Month winners.

  • September (Bokeh): Deborah Eves (golden apple)
  • October (Panorama): Nicholas Nieto (golf)
  • November (Flash): Jennifer Rhoades-Dannatt (bridal at zoo)


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Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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Macworld/iWorld Worth a Visit

If you're in the Bay area, the ongoing Macworld/iWorld event is worth a trip to Moscone Center West in the heart of San Francisco. The show boasts about 300 exhibitors, tech talks, live events, music, and after-hours parties.

The Padcaster & Lenscaster Combo Floor demo of the Padcaster that turns an iPad into a broadcasting machine.

Chances are also good that your favorite Mac luminary will be hanging around the corridors. Half the fun of my day spent at Macworld was visiting with friends in the business who I don't see often these days.

Powell St., San Francisco
Powell St., San Francisco

Plus, the weather is great in San Francisco right now, and it's a wonderful place for street shooting. I grabbed plenty of shots with my iPhone and Olympus PEN while hoofing around the city.

Macworld/iWorld runs through Feb. 2. You might want to stop by if you're in the neighborhood.


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