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Green Moray Eel, Bermuda

Most of the locals here in Bermuda don't consider getting in the water before May 24. It's just too cold (72 degrees F) and the wind affects visibility underwater. But I won't be here in late May, so I donned my mask and snorkel and dived right in. For this trip, I used my Canon G9 in an underwater housing. It's great having Raw when working on underwater photos.

Green Moray Eel

Photo of a Green Moray Eel by Derrick Story. Image process in Photoshop CS5 (Adobe Camera Raw). Click on image for larger version.

Unfortunately, the locals were right. I had great swims, but didn't capture any stunning underwater shots. So I went to the aquarium in Hamilton, Bermuda, and recorded this fun image of a huge Green Moray Eel with my Canon PowerShot S90. I simply turned off the flash, raised the ISO to 800, and pressed the lens barrel against the glass. I processed the image in the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw included with Photoshop CS5.

I had a great time swimming and diving in Bermuda. But for this trip, knowing how to shoot in aquariums is what provided the fun shots.


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There is a fast and easy way to add captions to your images in Aperture 3. And I show you how in this video tutorial that's also part of my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com.

I think the best time to add captions is right after you upload the images. That way the information that accompanies the images is still fresh in your mind.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture 3, check out my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Focus Section. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


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Aperture 3 not only lets you integrate your still images and movies into professional looking presentations, it also allows you to export your work to a variety of video formats. In this video tutorial from my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com, I show you how powerful slideshow authoring is in Aperture.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture 3, check out my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Focus Section. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


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Lexington Ave, NYC

OK, let's start with the bad news: there won't be a TDS podcast this week while I'm working in Bermuda. There just isn't the bandwidth to move those audio files around. (I will be back with a new show next week, however.)

Now the good news. I'm going to have lots of fresh content from St. Charles and Hamilton, Bermuda. And with a little luck, I will have enough bandwidth to post images with these stories.

So stay tuned... I may be out of sight, but hopefully not out of mind.

Lexington Ave., NY NY - photo by Derrick Story on his way to Bermuda.

One of the few times I once had to leave Aperture for Photoshop was to retouch portraits. Well, no more! Thanks to the new Skin Smoothing Quick Brush (along with the existing Retouch brush), I can take care of simple retouching right here in Aperture 3. And I show you how in this video tutorial that's also part of my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com.

The big advantage to not having to roundtrip to Photoshop from Aperture is file size management. All of the adjustments you saw in the video are just kilobytes of metadata. If I were to roundtrip, then the file that comes back from Photoshop is many times bigger than the original Raw file we worked on.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture 3, check out my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Focus Section. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


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Draped Laundry, New York City

After visiting the Guggenheim Museum today, I wandered off for a little street shooting with my Canon PowerShot S90, and I found this wonderful draped laundry image along a side street. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Draped Laundry, New York City

ISO 250, 1/125th shutter speed. Photo by Derrick Story.

Next stop, Bermuda. More to report soon.


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This gallery is bursting with creativity. The assignment for March 2010 was "Flash." Check out this glowing collection of images from members of the TDS virtual camera club. I promise, your eyes will be twinkling with delight.

Simone Brogini

The May 2010 assignment is "Fire." Start working on your contribution now. Details can be found on the Member Participation page. You can now submit photo assignment pictures up to 800 pixels in the widest direction.

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 next month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: May 2010." 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.


Photo by Simone Brogini. (Click on it to see enlarged version.) You can read more about how Simone captured this shot, plus see all of the other great images on the March 2010 Gallery page.


Good luck with your May assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for March. It's a great collection of images.


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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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The new HDR Toning feature in Adobe Photoshop CS5 allows you to apply HDR-like tone mapping to a single image. This means you can go back through your picture library, open a shot in CS5, and start playing with HDR Toning. No more having to shoot a series of images to play with HDR!

Before and After with HDR Toning in Photoshop CS5

As cool as this technique can be, I think it's most effective as a layer to the image document instead of a standalone adjustment. But CS5 doesn't allow you to perform HDR toning to a layer. Fortunately, I learned a great workaround by watching this Chris Orwig video from his latest title, Photoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New Features. The technique he recommends is to first duplicate your image in Photoshop (Image > Duplicate), then apply the HDR Toning to that picture. Once you have the effect you like, hold down the Shift key and drag the toned image on top of the original shot making it a layer. Now you have Opacity controls plus all of the other layer goodies giving you complete artistic freedom. He shows you how here:

I love the wild effects I can create with HDR Toning. And now, applying them as a layer allows me to revisit just about every image in my library.

More About Photoshop CS5

"Photoshop CS5" - Digital Photography Podcast 221


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Rear Lens Cap Pad for Stacking

For those times when you need to stack lenses in a camera bag, but don't want them banging against each other possibly marring their surfaces, use a Rear Lens Cap Pad. You can make your own by getting an adhesive-back pad, cutting it to the diameter of your rear cap, and applying. (Click on image for an enlarged view.)

I use this technique for packing my Lowepro Fastpack 250. The 70-200mm zoom lens lays horzontally in the camera compartment, then my 50mm sits on top of the barrel with the Cap Pad so as not to scratch it. This method takes up less room than individual lens pouches, and it provides faster access too.

For more Do It Yourself projects, check out our DIY Projects page


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Using a 50mm Lens for Sports?


Dribble Drive, originally uploaded by The Digital Story.

It's funny sometimes when I cover indoor sporting events... There are usually a couple guys standing around me with really big lenses trying to cover the action. And then there's me, often depending on my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens (or 85mm f/1.8) prime lens. The 50mm looks so, well, small.

But when you can get relatively close to the play, this affordable glass (usually less than $100 new) delivers big results. Here, it's mounted on a Canon T1i in Aperture Priority mode (with the 1.6x magnification on the cropped sensor, it's the equivalent to an 80mm lens). I set the f/stop to f/1.8 (wide open), the ISO to 1600, and shoot in burst mode. Because the walls were brightly painted in this gym, I also set exposure compensation to +1 so my subjects wouldn't be underexposed. You can see all of the metadata for this shot if you click on it to open in Flickr.

This image is right out of the T1i with no adjustments or cropping. It was uploaded to Flickr directly from my DSLR using the new Eye-Fi Pro X2. With this WiFi SDHC card, you can send pictures to your computer, social networking site, or even FTP server from your camera.

So, if you can get can get close to the action, the affordable 50mm can produce great results.


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