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It's official. Yahoo! just released Flickr 1.0 for the iPhone. And after a few hours of testing, I have to say it was worth the wait.

When you first launch the software on the iPhone, you're greeted with a Ken Burns styled slideshow. If you're not logged in, the images are pulled from the Flickr pool. If you are logged in, the pictures are from your contacts. They look great and it's an innovative splash screen.

Once you've logged in to your account, click on the "You" button to access your photostream, sets, and favorites. I particularly like the way the sets are handled. They are well-displayed with easy-to-read labels. Go back to the main screen, and you can check out recent activity on your site and uploads from your contacts. If you want to share one of your photos, that's easy too. Either take a picture with your iPhone or upload one from your existing camera roll.

You can also search for images, comment on shots by others, and tag photos. Performance was good on both the 3G network and WiFi. Just be careful, you can easily lose track of time while browsing the immense Flickr collection of images.

For the best viewing experience of your search results, tap on a photo once to see detail about it, then tap on it again to enter presentation mode. Here you can swipe from image to image or rotate to landscape orientation for a better look at horizontal pictures.

Flickr 1.0 is a free download in the iTunes App Store. It requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

Flickr Essential Training

More Articles About Flickr

Flickroom Brings Lightroom "Look and Feel" to Your Flickr Photostream

Flickr and iPhone 3GS are Great Companions

iPhone App Reviews and Camera Phone Tips

A Look Inside Shutterfly for iPhone

Flickr Tip: Manage Permissions During Mobile Workflow

Cropulater Brings Picture Cropping to the iPhone

Panorama 2.1 for the iPhone

FotoTimer Provides Self-Timer for the iPhone

HP iPrint App Makes Printing Easy from iPhone or iPod touch

True Photo App for iPhone: CameraBag


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A "mini" photo studio is a handy way to shoot small product shots for sale on eBay and Craig's List, documenting items for insurance records, illustrating articles and reports, and publishing pictures on web sites. One of the advantages of these micro studios is that you can leave them set up for quick shots when you need them.

They don't have to be expensive either. For example, you can get this Digital Concepts Ps-101 Portable Lighting Studio on Amazon for $27.49 that includes the diffusion box and a couple of lights. You can even build one yourself. Strobist has a great "how to" article for building a DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio.

In this podcast I give you a handful of useful tips for getting the best shots possible from your mini studio. It's a lot of fun!

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (24 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Simple is the Sept. 2009 Photo Assignment. My original thought was the power that comes from a simple composition, with as few elements as possible. But you might find another twist on this month's theme. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Sept. 30, 2009.

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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Redimats for Quick Finishing Touches

REDIMAT makes presenting your pictures fast and easy with their convenient REDI-PAKS. Each kit includes 25 pre-cut mat boards, backings, and plastic bags. Starting at only $27, you're sure to find something to fit just about any budget.

Be sure to check out www.redimat.com to view everything they have to offer. And, don't forget the archival tape... you can find an excellent selection of adhesives at REDIMAT, too.

Other Creative Output Projects with Stephanie

Stephanie has many more creative output projects waiting for you. Just visit our Creative Output section, right here on The Digital Story. Some examples are:

Stencil Art from Photos (Video Tutortial)

Make a Custom Notebook Using Your Images (Video Tutorial)

Make a Custom Photo Gift Bag (Video Tutorial)

Buckle-Up Frame Present for Dad on Father's Day

A Time to Remember - Make Your Own Photo Clock

Packing Tape Transparencies

I like the concept of the micro four thirds system. Having a handful of these lenses already, I want to use them on a variety of cameras such as the Olympus E-P1 and the newly announced Panasonic GF1. In addition to some nice Olympus glass I already have, I've had fun playing with the micro four-thirds adapter that lets me mount older Zeiss lenses on new bodies.

Seems to me, however, there's a little kink in micro four thirds compatibility with the new Panasonic GF1. The GF1 does not have sensor based image stabilization like the E-P1. Panasonic has opted to put the stabilizer in the lens that way Canon and Nikon do on their DSLRs. The difference is, I never expected to mount a Canon lens on a Nikon body. The promise of the micro four-thirds "standard" (for me anyway) was the ability to share great lenses across various bodies made by different manufacturers.

Of course, technically, I can still mount an Olympus 17mm pancake lens on the GF1. But it won't be stabilized. And I don't know how well it will focus with the GF1's contrast AF detection system. And as of right now, I'm not sure if Panasonic will honor the lens correction information in the Oly 17mm firmware.

Going the other way, I've read some reader reports that using Panasonic lenses on the E-P1 seem to work well. Examples include the Panasonic 45-200mm zoom. The E-P1 also seems to read the lens correction data in the Panasonic lens firmware, which is an important benefit of the standard.

Summing up, I think the hope of interoperability between Panasonic and Olympus micro four thirds lenses is still alive. But I am concerned about the image stabilization issue. I think IS is one of the best developments in modern photography, and I prefer the sensor-based implementation of it for micro four thirds cameras. I understand that camera manufactures want to put their vision of the best product possible on the market. I just hope that Olympus and Panasonic can do so while keeping the promise of the micro four thirds standard.


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"Butterfly Rest Stop" - Grab Shot 184

"I captured this guy at Pilot Mountain State Park North Carolina, while on a business trip," writes Randy Martin. "He was stopping there for some R&R too. However, his trip is a lot longer than mine as he's headed for Mexico."

Randy captured this great image with a Nikon D90, Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6 ED lens. ISO 200, f8, 1/200.

Photo by Randy Martin. 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.


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If you had just a stock Mac, what would you buy to create a home photo studio? Now let's make it really interesting. If your purchases were limited to a budget of $300, then what would you do?

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That was the challenge given to me by Macworld Magazine. In the article, The $300 photographer challenge, where I try to outfit a home photo setup without going over budget.

For the challenge, I leaned heavily on the tools that are already included on a Mac: iPhoto '09, Preview, Time Machine, then focused my spending on an HP C6380 printer and an additional hard drive. It's an article worth reading, not only for what I have to say, but for the abundant reader comments who have lots of ideas of their own.


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When Canon unveiled the Canon 7D and three new lenses, understandably the DSLR got most of the attention. But for those of us who have existing Canon APS-sensor bodies, the new lenses, and especially the 15-85mm zoom, is a notable announcement. I think this is potentially the perfect high end all purpose glass for current Rebel owners.

At the top of the spec list is Canon's new hybrid image stabilization that compensates for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake. Canon states that its IS is effective up to four stops. By having such effective stabilization, Canon was able to keep the lens compact, sacrificing a bit on maximum aperture (3.5 to 5.6).

Next is the wonderful zooming range, 24-136mm, that allows shooters to cover most assignments without ever changing the lens. It's the perfect travel zoom for sure, and for many photographers it could be their main glass.

When the EF-S 15-85mm is released later this month, it will probably sell for around $800 US. That's the downside for Rebel owners. Many will feel it's hard to justify a standard zoom that costs as much, or more, than the camera itself. The justification is that if you can afford it, it's a lens you will have for a long time and most likely use on many cameras. I use the Canon 24-105mm f/4 as the standard lens on my 5D Mark II, and I can see me using the 15-85mm in a similar role on my Rebel T1i and other APS sensor bodies.

Oh, and did I mention... the Canon 7D looks great!

PS: In case you missed it, I recently reviewed another terrific accessory for Canon Rebel owners, the Canon Speedlite 270 EX.


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Editor's Note -- Recently I was corresponding with TDS member Brian F Wilkie about a project he was working on. Brian had figured out how to create a unique type of photo album where he output pages with snapshots printed on them, then bound these pages together in a binder. I loved this idea and asked Brian to write a short article for us, which he kindly did. So, in his own words, here's how Brian Wilkie creates his unique output, complete with Lightroom templates so you can do the same. Thanks Brian!

Using Lightroom 2.4, a Canon Pixma Pro 9000 printer, and Red River Paper's excellent Premium Gloss DUO 8.5" by 11" letter-sized stock, I'm able to  create a handsome looseleaf bound album quickly, and fairly easily.

In Lightroom, I start with a  grid filter which gathers all images taken in a  particular year with a rating of 1 star or above. The choice of rating will vary with how hard you are on yourself and whether you want to include family snapshots as well as fine art images.  Select all of the pictures (command A), then create a collection called Album 20XX (filling in the appropriate year). Now, you can use delete to remove any images which are repetitive, virtual copies you made for different print sizes, or black and white versions. By the end of the process you will have a good idea of how big a printing task you have undertaken.

Printing

You can download a pair of print templates that make good use of the real estate on a US letter page, as long as you have a printer that can handle borderless printing. These templates provide 4 prints up at 5.5" inches by 3.67" inches on a page. I use the "rotate to fit" option so that portrait mode images are printed as large as possible, although this means that on some pages viewers will need to turn the binder on its side to see the pictures oriented correctly. I also enable Page Number under Page Options to help keep track during printing, and the Identity Plate option for my Logo. Finally, the Photo Info option is enabled using Capture Exposure Date as a template. Be careful not to be too wordy in captions or the text will wrap around and the photo size may be restricted.

Printing is done using the appropriate ICC profile downloaded from Red River Paper with Print Sharpening set to "High" and Media type to "Glossy".

The printing itself is completed in two passes. First, the User Template "4up letter+data Odd" is selected, then Print is clicked. At this point, settings options become printer and computer operating system specific. As I mentioned before, I use a Canon Pro9000 on a Mac running OS 10.5. In the print dialog box under Paper Handling, I select Pages to Print - Odd Only. I also select Page Order - Normal. Under Quality and Media I select Media Type - Glossy Photo Paper and Print Quality - High. Under Borderless Printing, I select Amount of Extension - Min. This allows the page number to be visible on the final print since Lightroom puts this in the extreme lower right corner of the page.

After the first pass, carefully flip over the set of odd pages and put them into the paper feed. The top sheet should now be the back side of page one, but careful experimentation is called for here. Select the user template "4up letter+data Even" and click Print. Now under Paper Handling change  to Pages to Print - Even Only.

All you need now is a good quality 3-hole punch. Remember, this is heavy paper stock. Then put the pages in to a quality 3-hole binder.  I use a nice leather one from the local office supply store. The end result is a good looking, well printed, and durable album. By my calculation the cost is around 28¢ per image, less if you shop around for discounted Canon ink.

"Soft Background" really brought out the artists in this month's contributing photographers. We have 21 outstanding images featured in the July 09 Photo Assignment. You have to see this gallery.

The September 2009 assignment is "Simple." Start working on your contribution now. Details can be found on the Member Participation page. You can submit photo assignment pictures up to 600 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: September 2009." 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 Landon Michaelson. You can read more about how Landon set up this shot, plus see all of the other great images on the July 09 Gallery page.

Good luck with your September assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for July. 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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Using Old Lenses on New Cameras

Of all the cameras I had in the past, my favorites were made by Contax. The first model I bought (when I had absolutely no money) was the Contax 139 with the Zeiss 50mm f/1.7. I later added the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/2.8 lenses. It was thrilling every time I picked up the camera. Over the years, I had other favorite bodies too, including the 167MT and RX.

After I made the transition to digital photography, I sold much of my film equipment. I did keep, however, my absolute favorites. I wasn't quite sure why at the time; I just didn't want to part with everything from the past. So I still have the Contax RX body, 5 prime lenses, and the pocketable Contax T. I also kept the Hasselblad 500C with both the 80mm and 150mm lenses.


The Transamerica building in San Francisco. Shot with an Olympus E-P1 with a Zeiss Distagon 35mm lens mounted. Photo by Derrick Story. Click to enlarge image. See more images with this rig on the TDS Flickr page.


I didn't use any of this equipment for a long time. Then, when I started shooting with the retro-looking Olympus PEN E-P1 camera, I got a hankering to try the collection of Zeiss lenses on that body using the Rayqual Micro Four Thirds adapter for Contax M lenses. I wrote about the experiment in the article Zeiss Lens on Olympus E-P1? Oh Yeah!. There are some good reader comments there too.

When I wrote the article, I promised to publish shots using a Zeiss lens on the E-P1. My opportunity appeared this week when I had meetings in San Francisco. I packed the Olympus with the 35mm Zeiss Distagon lens, and clicked photos as I walked from one appointment to the next. You can look at the set of images on the TDS Flickr page. These are Raw files processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

I had a great time shooting these images. I was manually focusing with the well-damped focusing ring in the Zeiss Distagon. I set the E-P1 in Aperture Priority mode and used the click-stop aperture ring on the Zeiss lens to set the f/stop. In all honesty, I felt more like an artist than a snapper using this rig.

Now that I have the bug, I'm going to see about mounting these lenses on my Canon 5D Mark II. Since it's a full frame sensor, everything should look as it did when they were mounted on my Contax bodies. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to shoot with the Olympus E-P1 and my collection of Zeiss glass.


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