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Participants in the TDS SF Street Photography Workshop logged many miles over the course of 3 days. On Friday alone, we worked from North Beach all the way up to Fort Point. Many of the shooters commented that they had walked 10 miles by the end of the day. Fortunately, we were using street-savvy Lowepro bags to protect and transport our gear.

Some of the photographers used the new Slingshot Edge 150 AW ($64), a sling that can hold a mirrorless body and a couple of lenses. Plus, a mini tablet will fit in a zippered front pocket. Interior areas and the adjustable divider system organized and protected their cameras and lenses, while smaller accessories were stored in the front. The Edge helped keep the load from getting too heavy, yet protected the gear our shooters needed.

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Participants who wanted to have a bit more kit used the larger Lowepro backpacks. These were particularly handy for larger DSLRs and their more bulky lenses.

I was relying on one of my favorite urban bags, the StreetLine SH 140 that I had fallen in love with during an assignment in Austin, Texas. I had my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Contax G1 cameras in the StreetLine, along with an iPad and personal items for the day. I could work quickly out of the sling, and it never tired my shoulders, even over the course of climbing hills and exploring the streets of the city.

I think one of the keys to both our survival, and our ability to record hundreds of images over the course of three days, was having properly packed bags that allowed us to bring what we needed, but didn't add too much bulk as we navigated busy urban environments.

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If you want to learn more about finding the right carrying solution for your adventures, jump over to lowepro.com for a look-see.

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This is The Digital Story Podcast #528, April 19, 2016. Today's theme is "Handling Harsh Light." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've had people walk up to me when I was working and remark, "Oh, it's such a beautiful, bright day for photography. You must be thrilled." And I'm thinking, "How the heck am I going to control this contrast?" Yes, indeed, harsh lighting conditions are a tough challenge for photographers. And that's the focus of today's show.

Handling Harsh Light

The reality is that we don't always have control of when we have to take pictures. Your niece's birthday parties, weddings, travel photography, and events all seem to place us in the middle of the day with camera in hand.

Since these situations are often unavoidable, how does one still capture compelling images? Well, I have a few tips that should help.

Koch-3.jpg Switching to monochrome is one method to handle contrasty lighting conditions. Photo by Mitchell Koch from the TDS SF Street Photography Workshop.

  • Switch to Monochrome Mode - Nearly every digital camera has a B&W mode, and many are quite customizable. Monochrome images can thrive in contrasty light where color shots don't.
  • Experiment with Infrared - This option works in both color and B&W. IR shots look great on a bright, sunny day.
  • Don't forget about Fill Flash - A fill light from the front can eliminate unflattering shadows, dark eyes, and help even out hotspots.
  • Use a Diffuser - If it's good enough for SI photographers shooting bikini-clad models on a sunny Caribbean beach, we can use it too. Fabric diffusers makes harsh sun flattering for portraits.
  • Built-In Camera Filters - Most mirrorless cameras have an array of built-in filters and effects, many of which look great in contrasty light.

The Digital Story Photography Podcast Debuts on Google Play Music

Starting this week, podcasts on Google Play Music in the US and Canada will begin rolling out on Android and be available on the web. The rollout on Android devices will be gradual, so users may not see podcast content on the Google Play Music app immediately.

Among those in the first wave is The Digital Story Photography Podcast. We're thrilled to be on the Google Play Music platform.

April 24th is World Pinhole Day

I saw The Phoblographer stating: "April 24th is World Pinhole Day-a day for all pinhole photographers to get out there and shoot in celebration of the old school format! Right here in NYC, The Phoblographer is teaming up with Lomography for our very own World Pinhole Day Celebration with a cool photowalk. If you've never shot pinholes, have shot them and want to do them in a more social space, then sign up!

Contax 137MD Winner

Congratulations to Kathleen C. who commented on "A Most Beautiful Break": "Very pleasing tones! I am kicking myself for having thrown out about 40 rolls of film in a "spring cleaning" accident about a year ago. Good stuff, too. Fuji velvia (ouch), Kodak Portra, Fuji Superia, T-Max, etc. I thought at the time I would never go back to film. Now, I can't get my mind off of the challenge of applying everything I have learned over the last few years with digital photography to film. I was shooting in auto mode when I was a film shooter..." Kathleen, please click on the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page for theAnalogstory.com.

Updates and Such

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

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

Harsh Light is All Right

We spent the mid part of Saturday in Sausalito for the TDS SF Workshop. The weather was beautiful for tourists, but not ideal for photographers. So what do you do when you want to take pictures in harsh, contrasty conditions?

I have three tricks to recommend. First, fill flash can help offset nasty shadows for portraits. If you have an off-camera cord or wireless communication, you can even position the fill light at exactly the right angle.

I think shooting infrared is also a terrific option. It thrives in contrasty lighting. And the one that I'm going to show you now is using a built-in camera effect. In this case I'm using the Key Line Art Filter on my Olympus OM-D. I saw a watercolor greeting card in one of the shops, and thought, "I can do something like that right now!"

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I capture these in RAW+Jpeg, so I have the "regular" images too without the effects. For the Jpegs, I use the Large/SuperFine setting to get as many pixels as possible. And with photos like this, you can make your own fine art greeting cards. You can get the scored blank cards, envelopes, and everything else at Red River Paper's Card Shop.

So, on a bright sunny day, I put on my sun block and keep taking pictures. I could care less about harsh light.

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Under the Bridge

Like any photographic subject, the more angles you explore, the more variety of shots you can capture.

This becomes particularly important with mature subjects, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, that is photographed hundreds of times a day. During the TDS SF Street Shooting Workshop, we went under the bridge for a different perspective. Here are a few of the images.

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In addition to playing with different perspectives, also consider working with different filters and exposures. For example, two of these shots were made using Art Filters on an Olympus OM-D mirrorless camera. I shoot RAW+Jpeg, so even with the filtered shots, I have a straight RAW version that I can work with in my photo management app.

Many of us have mature subjects in our worlds. Revisit one and explore how you can create fresh images from an old friend.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

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Recently, David Grover, business support for Phase One, and myself got together for a conversation about moving from Aperture to Capture One Pro. This falls into line with my thinking that C1 is the logical transition from Aperture for professional and demanding enthusiast photographers.

This one-hour video, that you can watch for free, covers topics such as:

  • Similarities between the two photo management applications.
  • Differences and things I miss from Aperture.
  • New tools in C1 that I wish I had had in Aperture.
  • Tips for new Capture One users.
  • Resources for making the move from Aperture to Capture One.

If you're interested in these topics, you might want to spend your lunch break with us. It's a good conversation that I hope you'll find helpful.

More Capture One Pro Tips and Techniques

Improve your skills by watching Capture One Pro Essential Training now available on lynda.com. More than 5 hours of tips, tricks, and techniques. Plus many free movies using advanced techniques.

I've also created a dedicated Capture One Pro Training page on The Digital Story. You can follow all of the tips and techniques that I publish in one convenient spot.

Thinking About Making the Transition from Aperture or Lightroom? - Download my free eBook titled, Rocky Nook's Guide to Moving to Capture One Pro. I show you the steps to create a test library, then build the foundation for a smooth transition to Capture One Pro.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #527, April 12, 2016. Today's theme is "Are Your Pictures Too Perfect?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photographers tend to be obsessed with perfection. Many discussions I read focus on the sharpest lens, the best image sensor, and the most extreme low light capability. But as part of that quest for the best, do we lose the feeling? Today's top story explores image perfection and its side effects.

Are Your Pictures Too Perfect?

I was reading an article titled, In Defense of Steve McCurry (Petapixel, Allen Murabayashi) where the author cited a critical comment about McCurry's new book, India. The comment was by New York Times Magazine photography critic, Tegu Cole, who wrote about McCurry, "Here's an old-timer with a dyed beard. Here's a doe-eyed child in a head scarf. The pictures are staged or shot to look as if they were. They are astonishingly boring." Later, Cole suggests that the perfectness of McCurry's photos somehow invalidates them - also slyly suggesting that McCurry's 1 million Instagram followers is proof of the eye candy nature of his images. Cole's criticism might also imply that the entirety of National Geographic photography is boring and "too perfect."

This got me thinking about the pursuit of perfection, and how it might lead to an absence of emotion. Here are a few points to consider.

  • Wrong side of the brain - When we become obsessed with the technical details, we may find ourselves stuck on the wrong side of the brain.
  • Viewers respond to images that make them feel something. Generally speaking, they don't care about the technical details of a photograph as much as they do about its content.
  • Photographers sometimes hide behind tech. Instead of stretching our artistic capabilities, we take an easy way out by pursuing technical perfection.
  • We forget to seek feedback. Instead of presenting a handful of images to a viewer and asking for comments, we think we know the best photos and move forward accordingly.

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theAnalogstory.com Debuts with Camera Giveaway for Film Photography Day

In celebration of Film Photography Day, we're giving away one Contax 137MD film camera with a 50mm lens. All you have to do is visit theAnalogstory.com and click on the red announcement banner across the top of the site. That will lead you to the page that spells out the details.

What, you didn't know about theAnalogstory.com? That's because it's brand new. Its focus is film photography in the digital age. And with contributions by photographers who have rediscovered film, plus a Camera Shop, Tech Specs, and more, my hope is that you'll find inspiration there too.

Film Photography Day was started by the good folks over at Lomography.com. You might want to wander over and take a look at their microsite too.

Mounting Old Lenses on New Cameras

This piece ties into both themes of today's show: disrupting the perfection of digital photography and enjoying the classic optics of analog gear. So I wanted to revisit the practice of dusting off one of your favorite optics from the film days, finding an adapter to mount it to your digital camera, and exploring the imagery you can create with than tandem.

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Why would you care about theAnalogstory.com? After all, you're perfectly happy with your digital camera. Or are you?

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Have you had the sense that your images are all starting to look the same? Or that maybe you've lost your artistic edge as a photographer? I know I was feeling that. So back in December 2015, I took the challenge to start shooting film to see if that approach would elevate the entire body of my work.

And it did. And I began to notice the changes quickly.

I'm not an extremist who advocates that you flush your iPhone down the toilet and ditch your digital on craigslist. In fact, just the opposite. I believe that the integration of analog photography with digital workflows completes us. We now, literally, can choose the right tool for the project at hand.

I have never been happier as a photographer as I am now. I depend on my nimble mirrorless kit to help me publish online and satisfy clients' needs. My iPhone is an invaluable tool that records metadata for the analog shots, and quickly captures and shares images with others. I will never give up my digital cameras.

But exploring life with a film camera in hand on Sunday morning walks, bike rides, and strolls downtown has added an element of excitement and creativity to my work. I feel like a real photographer again. I'm approaching my images in a more thoughtful way. And I love working the controls on the camera.

I believe that the integration of analog and digital photography is the next big step. And I want to do everything that I can to share that journey with you.

Come by and browse theAnalogstory.com. We have viewpoints and images from film shooters, quickie tips, spec sheets, a Camera Shop, and links to related articles throughout the Web.

And if you have a passion for film, share your story with our audience. Send your post (approx. 500 words or less) with up to 6 images to theAnalogstory@gmail.com, and I'll read it. I promise. And if you want to see what others have shared, take a look at the Viewpoint section of the site.

I hope to see you there...

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I was just reading an Fstoppers review titled, The Funky Bokeh King: the Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5. After looking at the pictures that the author created with the optic, I started thinking about exotic glass again.

the_swirly_bokeh_king._fstoppers_reviews_the_zenit_helios_40-2_85mm.jpg Fstoppers tests the Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5.

We've seen similar offerings from Lensbaby, Lomography, and others, so clearly there's some interest in this category. Why?

My theory is that digital photography has become so precise, so perfect, that visual artists are craving something different. In part, this has fueled the renewed interest in film. But another way to go is to adapt old lens designs to your modern digital camera.

You probably have a few candidates in your closet right now. And there certainly are a plethora of inexpensive adapters on the market to mount just about any hunk of glass to any mirrorless or DSLR.

So if you're starting to feel that your images are all looking the same, think about an old lens... Then see what you can create.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

From Aperture to Capture One Pro

Aperture users still contemplating their next move may want to read my guest post on the Phase One blog titled, Smooth transition from Aperture to Capture One Pro 9.

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I write a bit about why I chose C1, then delve into the test library concept for those who prefer a smooth ride from one photo management app to another. There's also a 35-percent off coupon code for the book, "Capture One Pro 9, Mastering Raw Development, Image Processing, and Asset Management" by Sascha Erni. Not a bad deal at all!

More Capture One Pro Tips and Techniques

Improve your skills by watching Capture One Pro Essential Training now available on lynda.com. More than 5 hours of tips, tricks, and techniques. Plus many free movies using advanced techniques.

I've also created a dedicated Capture One Pro Training page on The Digital Story. You can follow all of the tips and techniques that I publish in one convenient spot.

Thinking About Making the Transition from Aperture or Lightroom? - Download my free eBook titled, Rocky Nook's Guide to Moving to Capture One Pro. I show you the steps to create a test library, then build the foundation for a smooth transition to Capture One Pro.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

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Panasonic just announced the DMC-GX85 mirrorless camera ($799 with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens) that features new 5-Axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer).

They write: "The LUMIX GX85 incorporates the new 5-axis Dual I.S.(Image Stabilizer) for more effective suppression of blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. compensates for larger movement which was conventionally uncontrollable, making it possible to use 4-step slower shutter speed. By making the most of both O.I.S and B.I.S., it is highly beneficial not only in wide angle but also in telephoto and in the adverse situations such as at nighttime or with one-hand shooting."

"The 5-axis Dual I.S. works in both photo and motion picture recording including 4K video. Panasonic LUMIX G DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) Cameras offer a wide variety of digital interchangeable lenses and most of them will comply with this 5-axis dual I.S. in LUMIX GX85 and the B.I.S. compensates for the camera movement even when a lens without O.I.S. is used."

Other highlights include:

  • 16MP Live MOS Sensor
  • 2.76m-Dot 0.7x Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • UHD 4K Video Recording at 30/24 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • ISO 25600 and 10 fps Shooting with AF-S
  • DFD AF System, 4K Photo Modes

All of this tech is packed into a handsome, compact package. Personally, I like that Panasonic is offering dual-image stabilization more often these days. I think it's an excellent option, and it allows us to more easily use both our Panasonic and our Olympus lenses.

The Lumix DMC-GX85 will go on sale at the end of May for $799.99 with a 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 collapsible kit zoom.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Lumix DMC-GX85 has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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