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When we're very busy (as most are this time of year), it can be difficult to adhere to your formal archiving plan. Even I struggle at times with this (it's true!). But I do have a Plan B in force that keeps me protected.

I call it the "Mini 2-Drive Approach with Color Labels." I keep one WD My Passport 750 GB portable hard drivein my backpack and another at the studio. After I upload a shoot to an Aperture library on my MacBook Air (but before I erase the memory card), I copy that project to both external hard drives. It only takes a few minutes. Now I have my photos, plus any work I've done to them, in at least two different places.

Pictures Folder

But here's the real trick: keeping track of the "workflow state" of each library. When looking in the Pictures folder on my MacBook Air, I might forget what I've done, or not done, to each library in there. Has a library been backed up on external drives? Has it been incorporated into my main Aperture library? How do I know?

I use color labels to keep track of these libraries. A yellow color label means the library has been backed up, but not incorporated into my main Aperture system. A blue color label means it's been incorporated into the main Aperture library on my desktop computer. And so I don't forget what's what, I create two empty folders titled "Blue Means Copied to Master Aperture Library" and "Yellow Means Backed Up." That way, I always immediately know the state of any given library on any device.

As for creating the master system itself, take a look at Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos for some new ideas. If you start building your plan now, you should be ready to implement it on Jan. 1, 2012. And if you want to learn more about Aperture itself, such as how to merge libraries as I do here, I have a few titles on lynda.com for that too.

More on Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos

Prepare Your Photo Archiving Plan for 2012

Organizing and Archiving Overview Movie

Choosing the Right Hard Drive for Your Photo Backup

Roundtripping from Lightroom to Photoshop

"Organizing and Archiving Your Photos" - Digital Photography Podcast 290

Quick Keywording Tips in Lightroom 3

Backing Up Aperture 3 Via My Local Network


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


Nimble photography isn't just for still photos. Our nimbleosity can extend to movie making too. This week I cover iMovie for the iPad and discuss an easy to adopt workflow. Even though the tools are simple, you'll become comfortable with filmmaking concepts that could prove very handy up the road. All of this, plus a Denny's waitress anecdote, and a whole lot of fun.

iMovie for the iPad 2

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (32 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

Family is the Dec. 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Dec. 31, 2011.

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 -- The $7.99 Sample Kit is back! And with free shipping.

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.




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When in Doubt - Use Burst Mode

I like to set the Drive Mode to "continuous" when shooting animals, children, and people in general. Yes, you take up a bit more space on your memory card. But you also increase the odds of getting the best pose possible. Once you have your favorite shot, you can delete the others if you wish.

To replay the above sequence, I've had the best luck by refreshing the web page.

All you have to do is find Drive Mode on your camera. It's usually represented by clock-like symbol (representing self timer) or a series of squares that illustrate a sequence. In the menu, choose the series of squares. Then start shooting. This setting is particularly good for natural light portraits.


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


I packed the new Olympus 45mm f/1.8 prime lens for a high school basketball game to see if could keep up with the action. The glass was mounted on an Olympus PEN Miniusing the VF-2 Electronic Viewfinderinstead of the LCD to compose the shots.

Jumper Jump shot captured the the Olympus PEN Mini and 45mm f/1.8 prime lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

olympus_45mm_lens.jpg

At first, you might think this is an odd rig for action photography. I can tell you, it's actually quite impressive. The focusing is blazing fast with this camera/lens combination -- and by any standard, not just within the world of compact system cameras. Plus, I had 5 fps for burst mode. And to be honest, it felt faster than that.

I set the ISO to 1600 and shot wide open or at f/2 for the entire game, and the resulting images were crisp and clean. You can see a gallery of 10 shots here to give you a better feel for this lens in action.

I had read user reviews of this lens, and everyone said that "you would not regret this purchase." Very seldom that you see such wide agreement about optics. But I'm adding my voice to the chorus. The $399 Olympus 45mm f/1.8 prime is now my favorite Micro Four Thirds lens. Fast, sharp, and affordable.


Find great deals at the TDS Photography Store on Amazon.


DP Review reports that Instagram and Snapseed are the Apps of the year for the iPhone and iPad respectively. The apps are part of Apple's Rewind 2011 selections.

Snapseed for iPad

Obviously, both are excellent choices. For more on Snapseed, here's a review I wrote back in June. The photography tools available on the iPad are quite amazing these days... and affordable.

More Articles About the iPhone 4S

Maximum HDR with iPhone 4S Camera

Gymbl Tripod for iPhone 4S - Hands on Review

Time Lapse Boogie with iPhone 4S

Glif Tripod Mount and Stand for iPhone 4

"iPhone 4S Camera, Ready for Prime Time?" - Digital Photography Podcast 296

iPhone 4S Camera Pros and Cons

iPhone 4S Camera Exceeds My Expectations


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


Twilight Photographers

I was working on a project last night at the Golden Gate Bridge north of San Francisco, when I noticed these two photographers in the distance. I always keep a second camera on-hand for unexpected shots. Fortunately, I captured these two before they changed position.

Twilight Photographers

I have two goals on every photo shoot: 1) Make sure I capture what is expected for the assignment, and 2) Be ready for the unexpected.

Only when I have good images in both categories do I consider it a good shoot.


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


It's not often that you get to sit down with a Sports Illustrated photographer and learn about life in the end zone. But on Monday, Dec. 12, from 11 am to 12 pm PST (2 to 3 pm EST), you can have a seat at the table with Robert Beck sharing his secrets to sports photography. And it's free.

robert_beck_pro_shooter.jpg Robert Beck hanging out at a football game. Photo by Derrick Story. Click on image for larger version.

I had a chance to hangout with Robert on the sidelines a while back. He's incredibly down to earth for a guy who's published numerous cover shots and double gates. Now you'll have a chance to hear those same stories and insights that I enjoyed so much.

To reserve your spot, sign up now, then log on Monday Dec. 12. It will be time well spent.


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


Triple Flash Bracket

Things are sometimes better in threes. Three flashes on one lightstand; three exposures on one frame. Yes, this week I'm talking about multiples. I cover the Adorama Triple Shoe Adapter that costs less than $20, but allows you to put three flashguns on one lightstand. By doing so, you can increase your output while cutting down on the amount of time the flash takes to recycle.

I also cover working with in-camera multiple exposures. My sample shoot is with the Pentax K-5 DSLR. But this technique works with any camera that can accommodate multiple exposures. I like the K-5 because it allows for up to nine images on one frame. For my example, I photographed the lovely Alyssa in three different poses. You can see the image and read more details about the shoot in the post, Multiple Exposure Model Shoot with the Pentax K-5. I guess you could say that this week's show is triple the fun.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (28 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

Family is the Dec. 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Dec. 31, 2011.

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 -- The $7.99 Sample Kit is back! And with free shipping.

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.




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One of my favorite features on the Pentax K-5is the multiple exposure setting that allows me to integrate up to 9 images on one frame. So I set up the K-5 in the studio and went to work with one of my best models.

Alyssa Moods

We set up the shoot so Alyssa would strike three poses. The camera was firmly mounted on a tripod in one position for all three shots. I positioned her on the far left for the first exposure and tripped the shutter. We then set up the second pose in the middle of the frame, and the third on the far right. I was working at a slight angle so I could create perspective.

After the third exposure, the K-5 combined the poses into one Raw file. I then uploaded the image to Aperture for tonal adjustment and finishing work with the Nik Silver Efex Pro 2plug-in.

You could combine these poses in Photoshop instead of working in-camera. But what I like about this approach is that the lighting and background are spot-on consistent throughout the composition. That's not always easy in post production.

The multiple exposure technique can be used indoors and out, with people or objects. I had been thinking about making this image for a few weeks, and we had a blast working on it yesterday.

Author's note: In the podcast, Multiples, I also talk about the Adorama Triple Shoe Adapter and how I set up the lighting for this shoot.


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


mode_dial_cufflinks.jpg

Now that we're smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, many of us want to finish off our gift list. Here are 8 unusual stocking stuffers for photographers, including "mode dial" cufflinks.

And don't forget the official TDS Photographer's gift guide. Between the two lists, you have more than 20 great items to consider for the photographer in your life... and for under $100. And we all know what a trick that can be.


Find great deals at the TDS Photography Store on Amazon.