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Street Shots from New York City

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I booked a late flight for my last day in New York so I could roam around Manhattan and enjoy a little street shooting before returning to California. It had rained pretty hard the night before, but it cleared in the morning resulting in clean, crisp walking weather.

I decided to take the Olympus E-520 because it was light around my neck, and 10 MP Raw files felt about the right size. It's a great little camera, and shooting with it put me in a creative mood.

The first image (above) was recorded in Grand Central Station. I was standing on the balcony above watching a dad try to pose his children for a souvenir snapshot. He worked hard, I hope he got what he was after.

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I wandered down to the Chrysler Building because it's such a wonderful structure, day or night. I'm always looking for a new angle to capture this old favorite. First, I found a good reflection in a glass building across the street. Then I discovered how to frame both the reflection and the Chrysler building in the same composition. This is the result.

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Finally, I discovered that they had installed an ice skating rink in Bryant Park. This little haven is always a great place to hang out on nice Sunday afternoons. The tree-lined park is located behind the New York Public Library, with lots of places to sit and enjoy the day. This shot is of a mom teaching her son how to ice skate, probably for the first time. He passed a little test, and they both were thrilled resulting in this "high ten."

I'll talk more about the trip in this week's podcast.

Photos by Derrick Story, captured with an Olympus E-520 DSLR.

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I've posted a new screencast that shows you the ins and outs of Photo Downloader, the bundled app that comes with Photoshop and enables you to organized your workflow during import. I also demonstrate how to add your copyright and how to simultaneously back up your photos to another drive, all automatically during the downloading process.

This screencast is based upon Chapter 2 of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, and is free for the downloading.

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The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers is now in stock on Amazon.com. The CS4 guide designed specifically for photographers is selling for $16.49 US. It fits nicely in the laptop bag and contains everything you need to know to get started with CS4, or to decide if you need to upgrade.


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The new tools in Photoshop CS4 elevate this application from the king of image editing to a complete workflow environment. In my sessions today at PhotoPlus Expo, I'll be showing photographers how to leverage all of Photoshop's assets. The five keys to working more efficiently are:

  1. Import your images using Photo Downloader
  2. Cull your images in Bridge using Review Mode
  3. Save culled photos as a Collection, then add star ratings
  4. Image edit picks in Adobe Camera Raw
  5. Use Photoshop sparingly, but intelligently

When I show this workflow, I almost always get the response, "Wow, I didn't realize Photoshop could do all of that." It can. I'll keep you posted on how the sessions go over today.


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The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers shows you the complete workflow for Photoshop CS4 in a pocketable guide that fits in your laptop bag.

Your Eyes and Ears at PhotoPlus Expo

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I'm in New York now and will be heading over to Javits Convention Center soon for three days of PhotoPlus Expo. This is a terrific event for photographers, both on the floor and in the sessions.

I can be your eyes and ears while working here. So if you have a burning question that I might be able to find out about while exploring the Expo floor, post it here. I'll do what I can and include what I find out in next Tuesday's podcast wrap-up from the event.

I've posted a good overview of what's happening in the O'Reilly Media booth at PhotoPlus. As you may know, they are my publisher, as well as the publisher for lots of other interesting people. If you're attending PhotoPlus, you might want to bookmark this O'Reilly Schedule of Events.

I also want to remind you that there are new Adobe Camera Raw updates available, as well as for Lightroom 2.1 and a minor update for Aperture. If you're using any of those apps, you might want to download those and get them installed.

I'll also be posting tidbits from the show on Twitter. So you can follow along there too.


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Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.


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I just got word that a limited batch of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers will be delivered to PhotoPlus Expo. That means visitors to the O'Reilly Media booth will be able get a first look at the CS4 guide written specifically for photographers. It will also my first look at the printed version of the book.

If you're coming to PhotoPlus Expo, then be sure to stop by the O'Reilly booth for a peek.

Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.


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This is interesting. A Carl Zeiss spotting scope with integrated digital camera. It's like the marriage of peanut butter and chocholate. You can observe and photograph at the same time. It's called the PhotoScope.

They started with a premium scope with Carl Zeiss optics providing 15-45x magnification. Then added a 7MP camera that captures in both Jpeg and DNG (Raw). The result is a lightweight, versatile device for outdoor enthusiasts.

"Unlike SLR cameras with a hinged mirror, the beam splitter projects the image to the 7 megapixel sensor with low noise and, above all, without any vibration. The camera is triggered by an electronic remote-control. This avoids blur caused by camera shake which is always a problem with such extreme focal lengths," says the documentation.

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Carl Zeiss will release the PhotoScope during spring of 2009. No price has been announced for it yet.

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True Photo App for iPhone: CameraBag

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I've warmed up to the built-in camera for the iPhone, but now, thanks to CameraBag (available in the iTunes App Store), I'm actually having a blast with my iPhone. CameraBag is a processing application that enables you to crop, then apply different "cameras" to your captured image. Each "camera" has a different look. Some convert to B&W, others fade, and one boosts colors in a very interesting way. My favorite cameras are the: "Helga," washed out highlights and vignetting; "Lolo," vibrant, color boost; "1962," clean black and white; "Ansel," smooth gradation from black to white; and "1974," faded with a tint.

You can take a picture on the spot and process it, or you can reach into your camera roll, pull something out, and play with it. Suddenly, that library of images you have stashed on your iPhone are valuable assets for image play.

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Here's a shot of O'Reilly Media headquarters in Sebastopol with vapor trail. Image was recorded with an iPhone and processed with the "Ansel" camera in CameraBag.

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And here's an iPhone shot of the Golden Gate Bridge processed with the "Lolo" camera in CameraBag.

These images were manipulated only with CameraBag. I then sent them to my flickr page via the email function in the iPhone. This means I can shoot, process, and publish -- all from my mobile device on the go.

CameraBag is on sale right now for $2.99 in the App Store. You can download it through iTunes, or directly from your iPhone. It takes about 15 minutes to get comfortable with the controls. Once you get comfy with it, I think you'll have a blast... and produce some terrific imagery with your little ole iPhone.

Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.
I'm in NYC next week teaching at PhotoPlus Expo!


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If I Were Rich, Here Is My Rig

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What a day of announcements on Tuesday. If I were a rich man, I'd have an entire new post-production rig. Here's what's tempting me.

Apple created the new MacBook Pro 15" that's carved out of a solid piece of aluminum. Reports are that it's super sturdy and a testament to machine engineering. It supports a 15-LED display. I have one of those on my 17" MacBook Pro, and I can tell you they are great for photographers. They warm up instantly so you can get right to color-managed image editing.

The configuration I'd want for the 15" MacBook Pro would include 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GBs Ram (that comes standard), and the 250GB Serial ATA hard drive that spins at 7200 RPM. Price: $2,749 US.

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Along with the new MacBook Pro, Apple released the 24" LED Cinema Display that incorporates the same cool LED technology plus has a built-in iSight camera, speakers, and integrated MagSafe connector for charging your laptop while you have it connected to the monitor. Price: $899 US.

Don't forget Aperture 2, preinstalled. When you buy the MacBook Pro, you can get Aperture 2 (Apple's pro level photo management software) installed on the hard drive for $199 US. I'd definitely include this.

Then, at 9pm last night, Adobe announced that is was now shipping Photoshop CS4. This is the application that I've been raving about for the last few weeks. It performs smoothly with new features such as fluid canvas rotation, OpenGL zooming, new adjustment panel, improved Bridge, amazing ACR, and much more.

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You can upgrade to Photoshop CS4 for $199 US. Along with Aperture, CS4 rounds out the photographer's workbench providing you with everything you would need.

So bottom line price for the whole she-bang? A mere $4,046 US. But what a set up! I better get to work and line up a few more jobs.

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Photoshop CS4 Screencast 1 Posted

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I've just posted the first screencast in a series of eight focusing on building a photography workflow with Photoshop CS4. These videos will run once a week for the next couple months.

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