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dblcam_self-portrait

You have two cameras on your iPhone, why not put them to use? That's the feeling of Toad Murphy, the group that created Dblcam.

This free app captures two image in quick succession. The first with the back camera on the iPhone, then a second with the front. The obvious users are the growing numbers of selfy photogs on Instagram and Facebook. But the app has potential for anyone with a creative bent.

I recorded this image during a midday stroll on one of my favorite walking paths. I captured a half dozen images, liking them all, but preferred this version that I shared on Instagram.

If you're in the mood to try something different, Dblcam is definitely worth a look.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: It's me and 100,000 Irish this coming Saturday for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in San Francisco. Here's how I'm going to prepare for this crazy assignment. Lowepro's new Flipside 20L AW outdoor backpack. Our first advanced workshop covering the Artisan Cheese Festival. All of this and more on this week's podcast.

Story #1 - Preparations for St. Patrick's Day Parade Shoot, SF, March 16 - 100,000 in attendance. Gear: Canon 60D and OM-D, Canon 70-200mm f/4, Canon 40mm f/2.8, Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, Olympus 60mm f/2.8, Canon 320 EX Flash Going to catch the ferry in Larkspur to downtown SF to avoid traffic. Why did I choose this stuff for the shoot?

Story #2 - Lowepro has just introduced the Flipside Sport 20L AW, a lightweight and breathable bag to use during their outdoor adventures. The Flipside Sport 20L AW fits 2 pro SLR cameras with integrated grips (one with attached 300mm f/2.8 lens), 2 extra lenses and a flash, a tablet or laptop, tripod or monopod, a battery charger and other accessories plus trekking poles and other personal gear. The backpack is available now priced at around $180.

Story #3 - -- The Artisan Cheese Festival Shoot will be our first advanced workshop. Three TDS photographers will be working with me: Scott McDaniel, Jeremy White, and Jeff Dickerson. I'm really looking forward to this. Then in June we have the TDS Workshop on Movie Making (June 15 & 16). A couple seats are open!

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (26 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 March 2013 photo assignment is Black & White.

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. Take the SizzlPix Challenge - See how your photo will Sizzl by getting a free 5x7 section of an uploaded image. Just put TDS or The Digital Story in the comments to get your free SizzlPix section.

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

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In the case of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, you get what you pay for. At least that's the verdict of DP Review in their post, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM review. Bestowing a Gold Award on the $2,100 pro zoom, Andy Westlake writes:

"...quite simply the Canon offers such exceptionally good optics that, if you're after the very best, there's simply no other choice."

Personally, there is much about this lens that I admire. But for my photography, I want image stabilization for that large of an investment.

How do you feel about it? If you want to share your thoughts, I've started a conversation on our TDS Facebook page.


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography.

A Slow Motion Feast

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In the post, 20 Things That Are Way Better In Slow Motion, we're treated to 20 film clips of activities recorded in slow motion.

Among my favorites are popcorn exploding, a bullet smashing into a wall, frog hopping across a pond, an eagle snatching its prey, and a cymbal being struck by a drum stick.

Fun stuff, all playing right on the web page.

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 easiest way to move a picture that you've just edited in your Aperture library to your iOS device is to drag and drop. That's right. It's that simple. And it works for iPhoto too.

AT&T Reflected in iPhone
Edited in Aperture, but want to use on my iPad. No problem! And it literally takes seconds to move.

Here's how to do it:

  • Purchase PhotoSync ($1.99) in the iTunes App Store and load on all of your iOS devices.
    • Download the free Mac version of PhotoSync from the Mac App Store and put it on your Dock.
    • Launch PhotoSync on your iOS device.
    • On your Mac, drag the thumbnail of the image you want to transfer (in either iPhoto or Aperture) on to the PhotoSync icon in the Dock.
    • Within seconds, the image will appear on your Camera Roll on your iPad or iPhone.

    Setting the Size for the File That's Transferred

    In Aperture, the Preview size of the file is what is moved from your Mac to iOS device. You can control that size by, in Aperture, going to Preferences > Previews, and setting the parameters you want. Here's what I use.

    aperture_preview_setting.jpg The size of your Preview in Aperture is the size of the file that's transferred.

    Once you have the image, or images on your iOS device, you can easily show them off, post to Instagram, or even add to your Flickr account. Actually, I prefer uploading to Flickr from my iPhone than on my computer. It's more fun, and I have all of those filters to play with.

    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.


    iPad for Digital Photographers

    This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available at a special pre-order price of $13.70.


    Comments Are Off!

    Due to a wave of recent spam attacks, I've had to turn off the comments feature on The Digital Story. You can, however, add your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post these stories for discussion.

    Top stories this week on The Digital Story: I found the cure to help me avoid purchasing the Sony RX1, Mobile Photography microsite coming to The Digital Story, The Return of Drobo, Workshops update... and more on this week's podcast.

    This show was recorded with the RODE iXY Stereo Mic plugged in to an iPad 3. How does it sound?

    Story #1 - The Cure. Remember how I was fighting the urge to buy the Sony RX1 that costs $2,800? I said that one of my tricks is to meet the same need with a lower cost item. Well, that's what I did.

    I invested $499 in the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Micro 4/3 lens for my Olympus OM-D. It gives the better speed than the f/2 Carl Zeiss on the Sony RX1, plus the ability to soften the background (though not as easily with the M 4/3 sensor for the OM-D compared to the full frame RX1).

    Story #2 - Mobile Photography section coming to TDS with the Book Owner's Lounge.

    Story #3 - Return of Drobo. I was on TWiP recently with photographer Thomas Hawk. He brought up the Drobo 5D, same model that I'm testing, and remarked how fast it was via Thunderbolt. We had a good conversation about the Drobo 5D, and Thomas definitely likes his. I wanted to share that data point with you to give you another photographer's perspective.

    Story #4 - Workshops Update. Registration is open for the June "Movie Making for Photographers" workshop. In addition to me, we'll have two filmmaking professions on staff for this event. We'll be covering the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic as our class project.

    Registration forms for the August Sonoma Coast workshop should go out this week.

    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 March 2013 photo assignment is Black & White.

    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. Take the SizzlPix Challenge - See how your photo will Sizzl by getting a free 5x7 section of an uploaded image. Just put TDS or The Digital Story in the comments to get your free SizzlPix section.

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


    Comments Are Off!

    Due to a wave of recent spam attacks, I've had to turn off the comments feature on The Digital Story. You can, however, add your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post these stories for discussion.

    Nikon joins the large sensor compact camera party with the Nikon Coolpix A. Built around a 16.2MP DX sensor, the Coolpix A uses a 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens to allow photographers to capture 14-bit Raw files. The estimated street price will be $1,100.

    Nikon Coolpix A

    Lots of good things to explore about this pocketable powerhouse, but I do think it's curious that Nikon decided to go with an f/2.8 prime lens instead of a faster f/2.0 that I'd hope for on a premium priced fixed lens camera.

    For example, the Fujifilm X100 features a 12.3MP APS-C sensor, 35mm (equivalent) f/2.0 prime lens, and a switchable optical/electronic viewfinder for $50 less than the Nikon Coolpix A. The Nikon is smaller with higher resolution; the X100 is brighter with a built-in viewfinder. We'll see how things shake out with photographers.

    Due to a wave of recent spam attacks, I've had to turn off the comments feature on The Digital Story. You can, however, add your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post these stories for discussion.


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


    For the Jan. 2013 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters steadied their cameras and set their timers. See for yourself in our gallery, Self Timer. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?

    Greg Harris Photo Assignment

    "Mirror Boats" by Greg Harris. A long-exposure night shot of boats on the Charles River in Cambridge, MA. Olympus E-P3 + 20mm f1.7 + f11 @ 25 sec.

    See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Self Timer gallery page.


    Participate in This Month's Assignment

    The Mar. 2013 assignment is "Black & White." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is March 31, 2013.

    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: March 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 Jan. 2013 at the end of Feb., the Feb. gallery will be posted at the end of March, and on and on.

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


    twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter

    -


    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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    Rode iXY Mic for iPhone

    You can record serious audio with your iPhone. With the new Rode iXY Stereo Recording Microphone for iPhone/iPad ($199) combined with the Rode Rec app in iTunes ($5.99), you can create audio for movie voiceovers, interviews, ambient environment, and more.

    Basic Features for the Mic

    The basic features for the mic include:

    • 30-pin Dock Connector - for iPhone 4/4S, iPad 1st/2nd/3rd gen
    • Two 1/2" cardioid condenser capsules
    • Onboard A/D conversion
    • Up to 24-bit/96kHz recording
    • Works with paid ($5.99) or free Rode app
    • Adjustable input levels
    • Foam windshield for outdoor recording and to control "pops" indoors
    • Reinforced protective zippered case

    Sample Recording

    Here's a sample recording with the RØDE iXY mounted to my iPhone 4S. The recording was captured with me holding the iPhone in my living room. I did not use the included windshield or a pop-screen on the mic. The file is unedited, but compressed to MP3.

    You can also download the audio test here (42 seconds).

    RØDE Rec App

    The $5.99 RØDE Rec app for the iPhone (there is a free version too) is a complete recording, editing, and sharing studio for your iOS device. Highlights include:

    Rode Rec app

    • High resolution 16-bit, 48kHz stereo/mono recording (up to 24-bit/96kHz when paired with the RØDE iXY microphone)
    • EQ and dynamics: Compression, high/low-pass filter, and frequency cut/boost
    • Live input monitoring
    • Preset recording profiles for a range of common situations (lecture, concert, interview and more)
    • Complete control of the iXY microphone, including high pass filter and LED behavior
    • Real-time waveform and one-touch markers
    • Landscape mode provides greater visibility when editing
    • Non linear cut/copy/paste/crop
    • Output in multiple formats including WAV, AIFF, AAC, Apple Lossless, FLAC and more

    Software and Hardware Working Together

    RØDE has put together a powerful tandem of hardware and software. In my sample recording with an iPhone 4S, I chose my living room at home and recorded without the foam windshield that comes with the mic.

    I could monitor my input with headphones while I spoke. I used the "Hiss Reducer" preset that's located in the Input menu for the app. Once I finish a capture, it's added to the Recordings menu where all of my "raw" files are listed. I say it that way, because I'm capturing at 44100 Hz (can go to up to 24-bit/96k Hz) and in mono (stereo is available too). But when I share the file, I have the option of sending it out as an AIFF, WAVE, CAF, AAC, Apple Lossless, FLAC, or Ogg Vorbis. The master audio remains in my Recordings menu until I remove it.

    Editing in the Rode Rec app Editing in the RØDE Rec app.

    I can edit what I've recorded on the iPhone or iPad before I share it. This is a terrific timesaver when working on the go. Rotate the phone sideways to reveal the editor. Tap and drag downward to select an area. Tap on the blue dot to reveal the contextual menu with options for your selection. It's easy and works great.

    Bottom Line

    The RØDE iXY Stereo Recording Microphone for iPhone/iPad is a quality stereo microphone that converts your iPhone into a high resolution audio recorder. As nice as the mic itself is, what pulls this package together is the RØDE Rec app that maximizes the hardware's capabilities.

    For best results, I recommend using the included foam windshield and mounting your iPhone on stand. The first version of the iXY Mic is available with a 30-pin Dock Connector. But it appears that Rode is working on a Lightning connector version too.

    I give the RØDE iXY Stereo Mic a very high Nimbleosity rating. It allows me to use my iPhone for recording on the go instead of having to carry a separate device. I'm sure you'll hear a podcast recorded with it before long.


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


    When natural light isn't available, you can still create flattering portraits on the go using a ring flash. But which one? In the article, Best camera flash for portrait photography: 6 models tested and rated, you can survey the pros and cons for a half dozen different models.

    orbis_ring_flash.jpg

    One of the six, the Orbis ring flash with bracket, I've used for both macro and portrait photography. And there are five others to peruse!


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