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Bridge 2.0 (included with Photoshop CS3) now features the Get Photos from Camera command that gives you lots of options when downloading your pictures from a memory card to your hard drive. Yes, you could just drag and drop those same images without using Bridge, but you may want to take a second look first.

Get Photos from Camera allows you to create a custom download folder, modify the file names of your pictures, and even add your copyright information -- all during the normal downloading process. So in about the same time as it would take you to drag and drop, you've accomplished a lot of housekeeping too. Plus, you can preview thumbnails of your photos before you initiate the download, and only pick the ones you want. Try that with drag and drop. And if that wasn't good enough, then how about Bridge's ability to save copies of your masters to a separate drive... automatically during the download!

All you have to so is launch Bridge, go to File > Get Photos from Camera, and make a few choices. The first I recommend is a metadata preset with all of your contact and copyright info. Using Bridge is particularly nice for devices such as the iPhone that doesn't automatically add your metadata to its captured images.

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Time to get organized. If you haven't made the move to Apple Aperture or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom yet, then Bridge 2.0 will give you much of the same capability when importing your images.

More Photoshop Goodies

Photoshop CS3 Goodies: Photomerge
B&W Conversion Options in CS3
Deke on Vanishing Point 2.0 Filter in Photoshop CS3
Dave Story & Kevin Connor Insiders' Look at Photoshop CS3 - Podcast 85

Event Calendar

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


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Kodak's latest announcements are right in line with the direction that consumer photography is moving. Take for example the Easyshare Z812 IS Zoom Camera. It's compact enough to fit in your jacket pocket, but captures stills and video in 16:9, and includes all of the bells and whistles that you'd expect from a state of the art digicam.

In my Podcast #96 on 16:9, I talk about how this aspect ratio can shake up your still photography and energize your videos. The Kodak Z812 is the perfect tool for this type of work. You can capture video in HD 1024x720 at 30fps using advanced QuickTime Mpeg 4 compression with stereo sound. If you want to shoot stills, then you have the 3264x1836 option, which is 16:9 at 6 megapixels. If you get the HDTV accessory dock ($100 US), you can connect it to your HDTV and playback the content in full resolution. (My guess is that you don't need the dock to do this because A/V cables are included with the camera, but it is a convenience.)

Other impressive specs include the 12X SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON optical zoom lens, optical image stabilization, face detection, high ISO (up to 3200), 2.5" LCD, advanced program modes, and plenty of setting controls.

On the negative side, I don't see a custom white balance option nor Raw format. But everything else looks pretty good. The Kodak Z812 is both Windows and Mac compatible, and according to the Kodak web site, is available now for $299.95 US. This is a camera to keep your eye on.

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Going to Las Vegas: Photoshop World

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I've got my $49 airfare to Las Vegas, and I'm heading out next week for Photoshop World. This will be my third trip to Sin City this year.

You can find me in the O'Reilly booth (#220) conducting live interviews with Deke McClelland, Eddie Tapp, and Mikkel Aaland, as well as other industry notables. These interviews will be podcasted on the O'Reilly Digital Media site and here on The Digital Story, as well as broadcasted so that attendees on the Expo floor can listen in.

You can get a free Expo pass for Friday at the show. If you're in town, please come by the O'Reilly booth, introduce yourself as a TDS member, and say hi.

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Event Calendar

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


Digital Foci PSF-250 Photo Safe 80GB

Recently a question came up about the best portable photo storage device for those who don't want to lug their laptops on the road, but who want to offload photos from their memory cards to a hard drive. Just about everyone loves the Epson P-5000 in terms of user interface, design, and that gorgeous LCD that displays 16.7 million colors, but not so much for the $699 price tag.

For a more reasonable $172, you can get the Digital Foci PSF-250 Photo Safe 80GB Portable Digital Photo Storage with Memory Card Reader. For this kind of savings, you don't get the beautiful color LCD, but you do get 80 GBs of storage, memory card slots for just about every card on the market, and a monochrome LCD featuring copy status indicator that displays percentage completed, transfer confirmation, and number of files copied.

Once you return home, connect the Digital Foci to your computer's USB 2.0 port. It mounts just like a regular external hard drive, making image download a snap. The device was among Pop Photo's Editor's Choices for 2007.

Is the Digital Foci the best portable photo safe for the money? That depends on your tastes. But you have to admit that it appears to be a capable and feature-rich device at an affordable price.

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File this one under "Things I Knew But Forgot." I recently installed iPhoto '08 and the updated version of the Canon EOS Utility software. Suddenly every time I connected a camera or a card reader, Canon's CameraWindow would launch. It was driving me crazy.

Instead of going right to work in Aperture or Lightroom like I wanted to, I'd have to wait for CameraWindow to go through its process thinking it was going to get my photos. I checked its preferences and could not discover how to stop it from launching automatically every time I connected a camera.

Finally, when nosing around in iPhoto '08, I found the preference setting for "Connecting camera opens." Ah Ha! That was it. iPhoto controls all applications with this setting. I knew that. And guess what was selected in the preference pane? That's right: CameraWindow.

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I've now changed the setting to "No application" so that nothing automatically happens when I connect my camera... just the way I like it.

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Nikon Answers Back with the D300

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Just a few days after Canon released the EOS 40D, Nikon answers back with the tempting D300. This pro body features a 12.3 megapixel CMOS APS sized sensor, 6 fps burst mode, 3" LCD, ISO 6400, 51-point autofocus system, 14-bit image processing, and a wireless networking option.

The D300 will cost a bit more ($1,800 US) than Canon's 40D, but also has nice goodies that the Canon doesn't have such as up to 9-frame auto bracketing and EV compensation up to 5 stops. This highly anticipated successor to the D200 should be available in November 2007.

For those of you with bigger pocketbooks who want a full frame sensor Nikon, they also released the D3 with the estimated price of $5,000 US for the body.

Event Calendar

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


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Improved "Park by the Numbers" Gallery

Park by the Numbers

The Park by the Numbers Gallery is new and improved enabling you to upload your cameraphone pictures directly to the gallery via an email address (dstory-813z@gallery.mac.com) or by using the "Upload" button on the gallery web page. So now you can take your photo and add it to the gallery before you leave the parking garage.

"Park by the Numbers" is a camera phone project that began as a simple way to help me remember where I parked my car in big garages. But as I started to look more closely at these images, I began to enjoy them on the artistic level too, and became interested in taking other types of parking shots. So what started out as a practical use for a smartphone, has evolved into a creative look at an everyday function that many of us have in common.

You can learn more about the project by visiting the Park by the Numbers home page. So next time you park your car in a big garage, whip out your cameraphone, snap a photo, and if you like it, upload it to our gallery. It's fun... and it may just help you find your car after returning from a long flight.

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Wondering how you're going to store those large Raw files and video captured with your modern digicam? Toshiba has announced a new 32GB SDHC memory card, and a 16GB version too. The cards should be available worldwide in January 2008 and October 2007 respectively.

I was just thinking about memory card size the other day when reading about the new Canon G9 that captures 12-megapixel Raw files and 30fps SD video. That is a lot of data! It's good to know that we're going to have memory to store all of that beautiful content on.

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Canon unleashed a torrent of announcements today, but the two cameras that will probably be of most interest to TDS members are the new EOS 40D DSLR and the PowerShot G9 compact. Both cameras are updates that are true improvements over their predecessors.

Canon states about the 40D: "From the camera's newly enhanced, 10.1-megapixel CMOS imaging sensor (designed and manufactured by Canon) and its proprietary and super-efficient DIGIC III image processor, to its completely redesigned autofocus sensor and fast, 6.5 frame-per-second (fps) continuous shooting capability (for bursts of up to 75 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images), the EOS 40D SLR puts the fun in functionality and makes serious photo business a positive pleasure." I think Canon shooters are going to love the 6.5 fps.

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On the compact side, the PowerShot G9 packs a ton of features into it's handsome body, including the return of RAW: "The PowerShot G9 digital camera features the same matte black, retro-hip design that G-series fans have come to appreciate, with a simplified control layout that is versatile yet easy to understand. This camera is loaded with Canon's latest and most advanced technologies, while raising the bar with the addition of RAW Mode, usually reserved for larger and more expensive SLR cameras. Advanced photographers also have the option of using RAW+JPEG simultaneous capture functionality, giving photographers the best of both worlds - JPEGs for immediate use and RAW images for faithful image reproduction, and extensive, non-destructive image editing capability."

I'm going to enjoy learning more about these cameras over the coming weeks...

It's important to have your copyright information included with every photo that goes out into the wild. Fortunately applications such as Aperture and Lightroom enable you to add copyright information during upload, making it easier to develop this healthy habit. But what can you do if you don't use those applications and sometimes forget to append your files? You can have your camera do it for you.

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IPTC data readout from Adobe Bridge 2. The text in the "Creator" field was added by my Canon Rebel XTi during capture.

That's right, Canon DSLR owners can apply up to 30 characters of text to the metadata of every picture they take. This information appears in the "Creator" field when read in Bridge, in the "Author" field in Photoshop, and the "Owner Name" field in Preview. So even though it shows up in different IPTC fields in different applications, it does show up. I even added an image to iPhoto, then exported it out, and my copyright persisted through the export process.

Canon EOS Utility 2

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Start by making sure you have the latest version of EOS Utility 2. Launch it, then connect your Canon DSLR. Once the application recognizes your camera, click on "Camera Settings/Remote Shooting." If the application doesn't recognize your camera, disconnect it, change the communication setting to "PC" (in Canon's set up menu), then reconnect.

Now click on the Tools icon and enter up to 30 characters in the "Owner's Name" field. You can't use symbols, so you'll have to spell out "copyright." Click OK, and you're set to go. Now, every time you take a picture, the info you entered will appear in the metadata of the picture.

This information persisted through every test I could throw at it except for one: "Save for Web" in Photoshop, which strips out all metadata. My advice, don't ever use Save for Web for your images. But do set up your Canon camera to write your copyright information to every photo.

I'm guessing that Nikon and other DSLRs offer similar capabilities. If you use one of these cameras and know how to apply this technique, please post in the comments field.

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