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Happy to see that PictureCode has updated their excellent Noise Ninja plug-in for Aperture 3 that runs in 64-bit mode.

Noise Ninja 64-bit for Aperture 3

I just downloaded and tested Noise Ninja 2.0.7, and the entire process went quickly and smoothly. Once you install it, just relaunch Aperture 3 and the new version will appear in your "Edit With" menu. Simple and works great. One down, a few more to go!

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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Want to see how pro shooter Matthew Jordan Smith gears up? Then watch this 3-minute video of him opening up his Lowepro Pro Roller x200 at the Sony booth during WPPI 2010.

Video by Derrick Story. Recorded with a Canon 5D Mark II and an Audio Technica lav mic.

WPPI 2010: The Hot Photography Show

I've been to many of the major photography shows over the last year, and WPPI is definitely at the top of the list for expo traffic, full classrooms, and retail sales. It has become the hot photo show.

Canon Booth, WPPI 2010

When we closed up shop today at 3pm, the expo hall was still humming with attendees who didn't seem ready to leave. There were long lines at all of the photo retailers selling on the floor, such as Midwest Photo, and everyone I talked to reported brisk activity.

I think WPPI does a great job of balancing good classroom content with an interesting trade show. Photographers just seem to like hanging out here. There's lots to see, many to connect with, and you can learn just about any thing. I remember this show in its early days. It was small, but passionate. Today it still has that great energy, but WPPI has really come of age.

Photo by Derrick Story of Hanson Fong working in the Canon booth during WPPI. Captured with a Canon S90 at ISO 800. Click on image to see larger version.


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I've had my eye on the Canon EF-S 15-85mm Zoom Lens for the Rebel T1i that I carry for casual assignments. It seems like a substantial upgrade to the kit 17-55mm lens, but at a price: about $725 US. Before making such an investment, I want to know all the ins and outs of this handsome chunk of glass.

Camera Labs Canon 15-85mm Lens Review

Fortunately, the good folks over at CameraLabs.com have posted an excellent video review of this zoom, accompanied by a full written report about its performance.

If you've been considering this zoom for your Canon 7D, 50D, or Rebel, you might want to take a look at the CameraLabs report. They give it a very favorable review, with some helpful insights about its hands-on usage.


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A Little New York in Vegas

I walked outside of the MGM Grand for a little fresh air tonight, and noticed this terrific angle on "New York New York" across the street. I had my Canon PowerShot S90 in my pocket, so I decided to capture this "oh so Las Vegas" night scene. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

New York New York on Las Vegas Blvd

I set the ISO to 80, turned on the self-timer, and found a steady place on the railing to take the shot. After a few frames, I noticed this car to my right with a girl hanging out of the passenger window taking photos. Ah, the perfect foreground element!

I then processed the Raw file in Aperture 3, using the brush tools to lighten and darken a few specific areas. I exported this Jpeg and opened it in Photoshop CS4 to add a bit more metadata and to do the final sharpening.

"New York in Vegas" by Derrick Story. Canon S90 at 1/10 sec, f/2.0, 28mm.


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Olympus E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds Camera

Micro Four Thirds cameras by Olympus and Panasonic are having an impact on digital photography. These "mirrorless" DSLRs provide high quality images and interchangable lenses, like regular SLRs, but are more compact. In this podcast I talk about Micro Four Thirds, what it is, and what's unique about these devices.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (29 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Flash is the March 2010 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is March 31, 2010.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!


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Podcast Sponsors

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WPPI 2010 Las Vegas: Have you ever wondered what goes on behind those closed expo hall doors right before showtime? Here's a peek at the activities at WPPI half an hour before the show floor opens.

Some vendors are already doing presentations for special invite audiences, while others are just trying to get their booth together. In this 2-minute video captured with a discreet Canon S90, you'll get a peek at WPPI that many never get to see.


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Panasonic G2 Micro Four Thirds Camera

The world of Micro Four Thirds is a busy one. On the heels of Olympus announcing its Olympus PEN E-PL1, Panasonic unveils two new cameras: the high end Panasonic LUMIX G2, with its 3" 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD touch screen, and the more affordable Panasonic LUMIX G10 that features a 202,000-dot Live View Finder.

Both cameras stick with the standard 12 MP resolution, but the G2 gets a processor upgrade, using the new Venus Engine HD II. We don't have pricing or release dates yet, however, Panasonic will give us a 30-day heads up for both cost and availability. My guess is that it won't be too far down the road.

You might also want to note that this week's TDS podcast is on the Micro Four Thirds system. That show will be released Tuesday morning, March 9, 2010.


The Digital Story Podcast App is the best way to stream or download weekly TDS podcast episodes. No more syncing your iPhone or iPod Touch just to get a podcast. And there's more! Tap the Extras button for free passes and discounts, the latest blog posts from The Digital Story (audio versions), and the current Grab Shot by our virtual camera club members. Each podcast episode has its own Extras button, too, that contains more goodies such as pro photo tips. And the best part is, The Digital Story Podcast App is your way to help support this show.Download it today!

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"This was literally a shot where I grabbed the camera with whatever settings it was on, and snapped away," writes Anthony Zahra.

Anthony Zahra Grab Shot

"I had been taking random shots of my son playing cricket (weird English/Australian sport you guys never understand :) They wear all white, which was tending to blow out in the full sun, so I had a -EV setting when I saw this crow fly overhead. I grabbed the camera, which was sporting the Canon 70-200 f/2.8, and fired off a shot. I liked the silhouette of the bird and softened tree branches against the rich blue sky."

Anthony captured this image with his Canon 40D and a 70-200mm f.2.8L zoom. He was in Shutter Priority mode (from the cricket match) at 1/6400. At ISO 200, the corresponding aperture was f/2.8.

Photo by Anthony Zahra. Click on image to zoom to larger size.

If you have a candid you'd like to share, take a look at our Submissions page, then send us your Grab Shot. We'll try to get it published for you on The Digital Story.

And you can view more images from our virtual camera club in the Member Photo Gallery.


The Digital Story Podcast App is the best way to stream or download weekly TDS podcast episodes. No more syncing your iPhone or iPod Touch just to get a podcast. And there's more! Tap the Extras button for free passes and discounts, the latest blog posts from The Digital Story (audio versions), and the current Grab Shot by our virtual camera club members. Each podcast episode has its own Extras button, too, that contains more goodies such as pro photo tips. And the best part is, The Digital Story Podcast App is your way to help support this show.Download it today!


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Now that the Olympus PEN E-PL1 is available, I want to highlight some of its most interesting features. Today, I'm taking the iAuto challenge.

Most seasoned photographers wouldn't consider an "auto everything" mode on their camera. Normally, I wouldn't either. But iAuto on the Olympus E-PL1 is not your standard "the photographer is lazy" mode. In fact, it's just the opposite. I say that because in iAuto you have access to Live Guide. This feature allows you to intuitively adjust the image to your particular tastes before you press the shutter button. And the best part is, you make these adjustments using sliders that give real time results.

To enable Live Guide, first set the top mode dial to iAuto. Then press the Start/OK button on the back of the E-PL1. You see a menu that looks like this:

Slider Menu in iAuto

You have five slide adjustments: Change Color Saturation, Change Color Image (temperature), Change Brightness (exposure), Blur Background (aperture control), Express Motions (shutter control). My favorite is Change Color Image, which via a slider, lets me adjust color temperature in real time.

change_color_image.jpg

If I want to warm up tones, I use the up-arrow key until the image looks the way I want, and to cool, press the down-arrow key. I put this system to work in the ghastly lighting at the PMA 2010 trade show in Anaheim, CA. I wanted the carpet to be the color it was supposed to be, so I pointed the E-PL1 down and moved the Change Color Image slider until I liked what I saw. I shot Raw+Jpeg so we can see the difference between what the camera set automatically (the Raw version on the right), and the change I made using the slider (the Jpeg version on the left).

jpeg_vs_raw.jpg

As you probably figured out, Live Guide only affects the Jpeg. It's designed for Jpeg shooting, which isn't a problem with Olympus because their Jpegs are so good. But if you want a Raw version to tinker with in post production, Raw+Jpeg is available, as illustrated here.

You have access to lots of other controls in iAuto too: drive mode, self timer, flash on/off, autofocus point selection, and live histogram. Plus, you have one-touch video recording using the red button on the back of the E-PL1.

So in many ways, iAuto is really a creative mode. You can play with Live Guide via a simulator on Olympus site. Give it a go. I think it's one of the terrific new features on this $599 micro four thirds compact DSLR from Olympus.


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Did you know that you can listen to audio versions of daily TDS posts on The Digital Story Podcast App? Just tap the Extras button, and the current post will be there for the listening.

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