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This is The Digital Story Podcast #524, March 22, 2016. Today's theme is "The HDR Dilemma." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The biggest frustration I've had with photography has been the disconnect between what I see with my eyes and what the camera records. Even with today's technologically advanced machines, my pictures don't always turn out as I envisioned. So what are the techniques we can use to tip the scales in our favor? RAW capture is certainly a good start. But High Dynamic Range photography elevates the possibilities to a new height. And that's the first topic of today's show.

The HDR Dilemma

I call this the HDR Dilemma for good reason. Because it seems like every time I consider this shooting technique, I have an internal conversation about the pros and cons.

Marina-at-Dusk-web.jpg

On the plus side, HDR photography can capture the images we envision in our minds: shadowy textures and highlight details coexisting in one image. So what's not to like? Well, not everything is in the plus column here. For example:

  • More post processing than with other images. I've been using Aurora HDR Pro lately, and I like it. But I find myself investing a sizable amount of time editing the image, before I even know if I'm going to like it. And half the time, I don't.
  • Finding the right HDR processor. There is a wide spectrum spanning from Lightroom's built-in HDR editor to Aurora's wild ride. It takes time, and sometimes money, to find the right fit.
  • Knowing when to stop. HDR creates the classic trap that if a little is good, a lot is better. Showing some discipline with HDR editing is often easier said than done.
  • Avoiding the HDR stigma. Seems to me that if others know that you used HDR processing, they instantly discount your work as amateur. No serious photography would stoop to this, right?
  • Fighting laziness. I could spend the mental and creative energy trying to figure out how to best capture this landscape, or I could simply record it as an HDR and let the software figure it out later.

All of that being said, I still like High Dynamic Range photography. When I do properly analyze the scene and show restraint in its production on the computer, I can do things never imagined before. And those pictures can be artistic and respectable.

So how do you handle the HDR Dilemma?

In the News

Apple Announces New 9.7" iPad Pro - covered by The Digital Story.

The 9.7 inch iPad Pro will be available March 31 in 3 configurations: 32GB@$599, 128GB@$749, and 256GB@$899 and 4 different colors including Rose Gold.

This is a powerful tool for nimble photographers, especially the 256GB model combined with an SD card reader and Apple Pencil. The ability to work practically anywhere without the bulk of a computer can lighten the load, improve productivity, and add a dash of fun to the photography experience. And for those using the Photos ecosystem (Photos for iOS and Photos for OS X), the imaging pipeline from camera to editing to output will be extremely smooth.

Autumn in The Eastern Sierra - Oct. 21-23, 2016

Within the next week, I'll be sending invitations to the TDS Autumn in The Eastern Sierra photography workshop that begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the reservation list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Tell Us Your Film Story

Within the next month, I'm going to launch www.theanalogstory.com featuring images, articles, tips, workflows, and a used camera store. I know that many members of our TDS community already shoot film. If you'd like to share your story describing why you like analog photography and the gear you use, send me 500 words or less (and no more!) plus a half dozen images. Send your content to theAnalogStory@gmail.com

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.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

Apple Announces New 9.7" iPad Pro

During this morning's special event, Apple announced the new iPhone SE, iOS 9.3, and the 9.7" iPad Pro. This tablet brings the power and versatility of the current Pro model to the classic 9.7" form factor.

IMG_0894.jpg

The list of features is impressive, including:

  • 64-bit A9x Chip
  • Always-on Hey Siri
  • 25% brighter display
  • Lowest reflectivity in an iPad ever
  • Wide color gamut Retina display
  • True Tone display (that matches ambient light like paper does)
  • Four speaker audio
  • 12 MP iSight camera
  • True Tone flash
  • 5 MP FaceTime camera
  • Live Photos
  • 4K Vido
  • Retina flash
  • Apple Pencil compatible

IMG_0913.jpg

The 9.7 inch iPad Pro will be available March 31 in 3 configurations: 32GB@$599, 128GB@$749, and 256GB@$899 and 4 different colors including Rose Gold.

This is a powerful tool for nimble photographers, especially the 256GB model combined with an SD card reader and Apple Pencil. The ability to work practically anywhere without the bulk of a computer can lighten the load, improve productivity, and add a dash of fun to the photography experience. And for those using the Photos ecosystem (Photos for iOS and Photos for OS X), the imaging pipeline from camera to editing to output will be extremely smooth.

Master Photos for OS X

(It's More Powerful than You Think)

For hands-on tutorials, be sure to take a look at Photos for OS X Essential Training on lynda.com. I cover everything you need to know to get the most from this surprisingly powerful image management application.

More Help and Insights on Photos for OS X

Don't forget about the Photos for OS X Special Feature Section on The Digital Story. It's a roundup of tutorials, videos, and articles focused on helping you master Apple's latest photo management software. You can also find it under Photography in the top nav bar.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

The latest release of Capture One Pro includes RAW support for seven new cameras:

  • Olympus Pen-F
  • Olympus Olympus Om-D E-M10 Mk II
  • Olympus Sony A68
  • Olympus Sony a6300
  • Olympus Sony RX1R Mk II (revised implementation) • Ricoh GR II
  • Olympus Pentax K-S2

I've been anxious to see how C1 would handle the images from one of my current favorite street cameras, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. So I cruised Market St. last night to record some RAW for a test. I was not disappointed.

capture-one-9pt1.jpg

This shot was captured at ISO 1250 at f/1.7 with the Panasonic 20mm mounted on the E-M10 Mark II. Shutter speed was 1/40th with exposure compensation at +0.3 and auto white balance. The RAW file rendered in Capture One beautifully. The colors, right out of the camera were rich and saturated. I didn't make any color adjustments at all... just a little contrast and clarity. You can see (and download) a standalone version of the shot on my Flickr account.

This is going to be a wonderful combination, both with the E-M10 Mark II and the PEN-F. I also can't wait to see some shots from the Sony cameras that were added to the list.

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.

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.

pixelmator-ext.png

One of the goodies included with Pixelmator 3.4 Twist is the new Photos Editing Extension that includes some terrific creative tools.

You can download the full version of Pixelmator in the Mac App Store for $29.99. With it you get a wide variety of painting, drawing, and retouching tools that has made this app famous among Mac creatives.

But now, as part of that download, you also get the editing extension that adds Warp, Bump, Pinch, and Twirl to Photos for OS X. And just like all the editing extensions, the workflow is non-destructive.

You can watch an informative video that walks you through its features. Pixelmator is an excellent addition to the growing library of editing extensions available for Photos. And if you have version 3.4.2 of Pixelmator, the editing extension is already on your Mac.

Master Photos for OS X

(It's More Powerful than You Think)

For hands-on tutorials, be sure to take a look at Photos for OS X Essential Training on lynda.com. I cover everything you need to know to get the most from this surprisingly powerful image management application.

More Help and Insights on Photos for OS X

Don't forget about the Photos for OS X Special Feature Section on The Digital Story. It's a roundup of tutorials, videos, and articles focused on helping you master Apple's latest photo management software. You can also find it under Photography in the top nav bar.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #523, March 15, 2016. Today's theme is "Are You Really Seeing Light?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When you're standing in the snow and the sun breaks through the clouds, what do you think about? For me it usually goes something like this... "Where are my sunglasses? Followed by, "This is at least +1.5 EV." Seriously. Evaluating the light is an ongoing dialog in my head. It's the only way I could really improve my skills with exposure. In today's show, I'm going to talk about seeing light and using that skill to improve our photographs.

Are You Really Seeing Light?

IMG_0419.jpg

My internal dialog, as it relates to light, usually concentrates on three things:

  • Do I have enough ISO? Bright sunny days are no problem. Auto ISO and you're done. But when the light goes down, I get more particular about controlling ISO. I want enough to get the shot. But I don't raise it beyond what I need to preserve image quality. And when shooting film, I really have to think about this. Maybe switch to a faster lens?
  • How much latitude do I have? RAW files are more forgiving than Jpegs; negative film more so than slides. What's my margin for error?
  • Tapping Exposure Compensation. When I sit down with a new camera, the first thing I practice is using exposure compensation. Knowing how the camera is seeing the scene, then learning how to adjust the device to render the image the way you see it in your head is an important skill.

In the News

Apple: FBI Could Force Us to Turn On iPhone Cameras for Spying - covered by Petapixel

Apple has been in a highly publicized legal battle with the FBI, which is demanding that Apple help bypass the security features of the iPhone 5C that was owned by the gunman in the 2015 San Bernardino attack. Apple has refused, saying that complying would set a dangerous precedent that could open up back doors into its popular smartphones. In addition to permanently reducing the security of phones, it would only be a matter of time before the government forces Apple to turn on iPhone cameras and microphones to spy on people, Apple says.

"Someday they will want [Apple] to turn on [a user's] camera or microphone," says Apple head of services Eddy Cue in an interview with Univision. "We can't do that now, but what if we're forced to do that? Where will this stop? In a divorce case? In an immigration case? In a tax case? Some day, someone will be able to turn on a phone's microphone. That should not happen in this country."

Capture One Pro Essential Training

This journey began more than a year ago. And now I'm happy to announce that Capture One Pro Essential Training is now available on lynda.com. Here's more about it.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Canon T6 announcement" we had some terrific comments, and I want to share one with you now.

Phil wrote: "I can't afford a 1Dx Mk2 but if I'd ordered one I think I'd be a little miffed that the new entry level offering has features that I won't get on the flagship model costing in the region of ten times more. Nice to see wifi and nfs on this camera but commiserations to 1DxMk2 buyers."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

Do You Follow the "TDS Member Photo of the Day?"

Here's why you should...

Updates and Such

Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop - We have one room open at the Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop, Aug. 19-21 2016. If you want to hang out with us at Straus Ranch House and explore some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, visit the TDS Workshops page and put yourself on the reserve list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

My favorite time to add copyright and contact information for pictures is when I import them. You can do this in Capture One Pro by creating and applying a metadata preset. I've established one that contains my name, copyright, contact city, website, and usage terms. If you'd like to see how that's done, take a look at this instructional video.

Now that I have the metadata preset created, I can apply it during import using Styles. The Styles popup menu is located in the Adjustments area of Capture One's import dialog. Click on it and choose User Presets > Metadata > [your preset].

Apply-Meta-Import.jpg

Your contact information will be added to the images as they are imported. Plus, this setting is sticky, so it should remain enforce for your next import too. There's no better time to add metadata than at the very beginning of the workflow.

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.

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.

Thanks to the plethora of adapters on the market, we can adapt just about any vintage optic to practically any camera body, old or new. I was thinking about this today when playing with a Zeiss 45mm f/2.8 Tessar, which I can mount to my Olympus OM-D, Canon 5D Mark II, Contax 139Q, and Contax G1.

ZeissLens-P3071070.jpg This Zeiss Tessar was released in the 1980s and still produces colorful, sharp, contrasty images today, regardless of the camera it's mounted on.

Why would you want to do such a thing? After all, most of us have comparable focal lengths in their native mounts. Well, not all 45mm primes are the same. In fact, none of them are. Lenses are the paintbrushes for our photography. Each one brings a different texture to the canvas.

Plus, we shoot differently with manual focusing optics than with AF. We have to slow down a bit leading to more careful composition. We can experiment with the depth of field scale. And different glass combinations bring unique contrast and color to the images.

I've still have my favorite lenses from the 1980s and 90s. They rarely malfunction. And they hold their value reasonably well... much better than the camera bodies they were originally mounted on.

Chances are good that you can find an adapter to fit one of your older optics on to your latest digital camera. My experience has been that it's worth the effort.

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.

Should You Buy Discontinued Gear?

With more evidence that Samsung is leaving the photo market (as reported by DP Review), it raises the question about buying discontinued gear. What are the pros and cons?

EV-NX500_002_Front_Brown.jpeg

The pros are obvious. Quality merchandise at a reduced price. As time goes on, discontinued items become more affordable. This is particularly attractive to photographers who already have an investment in compatible lenses and accessories. They can hedge their bets by purchasing backup bodies and additional glass without breaking the budget.

There is some risk to this strategy, however. Repair work might become more difficult to find over time. And essentially, your toolbox is frozen in time with no future developments to the product line. If you're an amateur shooting just for the love of it, this shouldn't be a problem. But if you're in a competitive situation, it may be harder to compete over the coming months and years.

The other problem with this situation is that the used market takes a hit too. Suddenly others are looking to dump their kits for as much money as they can recover, hoping to start over with another brand. So the equipment you have at home decreases in value, at least for the time being.

And if you're new to the product line, I would be cautious about jumping in. Yes, the prices are tempting. But digital gear is different than analog. Film cameras have interchangeable sensors (in a sense, right?), but a digital camera is truly locked in time. At the current rate in change with electronics, buying discontinued could be fun for an exceptional piece, but not so much for a system.

So, what do you do? If you like the camera system, there's really no harm in continuing to use it. If you want to sell, you need to so quickly before the used market becomes saturated with this particular brand. If it's quality gear, the prices should climb back upward over time.

What a lot of photographers do is hang on to the few items they cherish and want to continue to use, even if casually. Then sell the remainder of the inventory on the used market before it declines in value. They can begin the transition to new equipment using the capital generated by sales.

I have a lot of discontinued items in my inventory. Most of them are cameras that I still like shooting with, though not for my professional work. But I'm also diligent about selling the stuff that I don't use. It's better to have that revenue for new endeavors.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #522, March 8, 2016. Today's theme is "Time Waits for No One." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We have what we love to do, then we have the things that must be done. I'm coming off a January and February where I had to stay focused on my work every day. The only photo shoots I had were assignments. Otherwise I was sitting at the computer writing or in the recording studio making movies.

On some of those days, I so wanted to wander outside with my camera and just take pictures. Of anything. I didn't care what, as long as it wasn't an assignment. Those two months are the inspiration for today's show. Finding ways to find the time to do the things we love, while still meeting our responsibilities to work and family.

Time Waits for No One

One of the things I do during heavy work periods, is that I bring out one of my favorite cameras, and I sit it on the desk next to my computer. Every now and then, I'll pick it up, focus with it, and maybe even take a picture. Then I'll sit it next to the computer and go back to work.

IMG_3349.jpg

We can't spend our whole lives waiting for when we have time to do the things we love. We have to make time. And for me, I have to make time to take pictures. Here are a few of the things I do to make room for my personal photography.

  • Take daily walks. I need to anyway for my health. I make sure that I have a camera with me.
  • Set up an indoor studio. This can be something small in the corner of the room. Maybe just a shooting box with a light and reflector. But having something set up allows me to take a 15 minute break and photograph something.
  • Use a macro lens. The thing about close up photography, instead of having to go far to get a shot, you get close. This means that you can photograph almost anything, and it will be interesting.
  • Have non-shooting projects going. I have an inventory project in progress that I can work on a few minutes here and there. I use the mini-studio for the shooting, and fill out the records using software on my Mac.
  • Plant a garden. A simple back porch garden can yield a bounty of images. In addition to the plants themselves, there are the critters they attract. This entire world is waiting for you outside your backdoor. So even lunch breaks can yield great shots.
  • Commute Shoot. Figure out how to go back and forth to work without having to drive a car. Riding public transportation or ride sharing gives you the opportunity to take pictures instead of curse traffic.

In the News

DxO ONE Firmware Update 1.3 - covered by DxO

The DxO ONE now features a dramatically enhanced standalone experience including the new OLED Framing Assistant - A monochrome live preview helps you quickly and easily compose your standalone shot in a fun, retro way. Plus, photos and videos are stored on the DxO ONE SD card and transfer to your iPhone with a tap, and recall settings - Use the DxO ONE in standalone mode with custom capture settings established in connected mode. The price has come down too. It's now available for $464.

News from ImageFramer

Version 3.4 of ImageFramer is now available. A few of the highlights include:

  • They've added about 60 new celebration frame designs. They can be found in "Holiday and Celebrations" Collection, in "Celebration" Set. They are part of the Standard frames and are available for free to all the customers.
  • "Watermarks" were renamed to "Overlays". The origin of the name "watermark" was in the initial intended use for these layers -- adding copyright signs or artist names on the framed images. Over time, though, we've found that the name was confusing because "watermarks" have a more specific meaning, so we decided that "overlays" is a clearer name for these special layers.
  • Another addition to the interface is the lock button on the right side of the bottom bar, near the aspect ratio button. When the lock is locked, ImageFramer will apply the minimal crop that will keep the framed result in the target aspect ratio. Here's the blog post explaining how it works.

Get 25 percent off by visiting our landing page at http://www.apparentsoft.com/tds.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Couples Ditch Wedding Photographers for Amateurs" we had some terrific comments, and I want to share one with you now.

Sean wrote: "I hear photographers complain about this and the $500 Craigslist photographer, but the simple truth is that these people were never their potential clientele in the first place....There will always be people willing to pay for quality."

John wrote: "The weird thing about wedding photography is we provide the memories. The food is forgotten (hopefully) the next day. All that money spend on alcohol, flowers etc etc all of it is transient. The only thing that will last the length of the marriage is the wedding album or the USB of memories you deliver soon after the day. Yet the wedding photographer is the thing where people complain most about the cost."

And Tillie has the last say: "Looks like a good time for UK photographers to up their game (and all of us perhaps) and ask the question, "What exceptional value can I bring to the table as a professional?" I'm trying to figure out how to "wow" the bride and groom at their upcoming wedding that I'm shooting. Maybe I'll take a few IR shots."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?

  • Leica M4 from 1978 with a Summilux f1.4 50mm
  • Pre-war Contax III
  • Hasselblad
  • Maxxam 9000
  • Nikon F2H
  • Contax G2
  • Rolleiflex SL2000F 35mm
  • Fuji 645 wide angle
  • The Minolta Maxxam 7
  • Canon A1
  • Olympus OM-4t
  • Nikon FM2n
  • Zeiss Ikon Contarex SLR
  • PPentax LX

Updates and Such

Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop - We have one room open at the Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop, Aug. 19-21 2016. If you want to hang out with us at Straus Ranch House and explore some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, visit the TDS Workshops page and put yourself on the reserve list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

Chances are you've accumulated more camera gear than you realize. A good way to keep track of it is by using home inventory software. There are a variety of options for both Mac and Windows computers. I've been using an app called Home Inventory on my Mac ($24.99), with a companion app called Mobile Backup for the iPhone.

Home-Inventory.jpg

The app is easy to use, and it does a great job of organizing my equipment. I can keep track of serial numbers, the price I paid, condition of the item, and lots more. There's a photo box to add an image (more on that in a moment), and a notes field where I can keep a running commentary on the gear. So if I loan it to someone or sell the item, I can include that information within the record.

One of the fun side benefits of setting up this inventory has been an excuse to practice my product photography. Even though I only include the front facing shot in the inventory record, I shoot the camera from all angles, ala eBay style, and keep those images stored in my Capture One Catalog. It's a good idea to have these images on hand - if I decide that I want to sell any of the pieces for example - and I'm constantly improving my product shots with of this practice.

ContaxGLenses-web.jpg

As for the inventory itself, I have a variety of backup options, including to my Mac, Dropbox, or to the iPhone. The iPhone feature is handy because I can view the entire inventory on my mobile device, which is helpful when I don't have a computer with me (which is a lot of the time.)

Organizing your equipment inventory is one of those off-season projects that you can work o as you have time. That effort provides a little extra insurance if theft or damage befalls your gear. Filing a claim is much easier when you have all of the information at your fingertips. Plus, the product photography aspect of it is just a bonus.

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.