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Canon 5D Already Making Waves

Canon 5D

My Canon 5D has just shipped from B&H Photo. While I wait for it to arrive, I've been chatting with a couple photographers who are already using it. James Duncan Davidson has been shooting with the Canon 5D to cover the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. He's really thrilled about the images he captured at high ISOs, even up to 3200. I examined them myself (you can too), and I must say they are stunning. It appears that this camera is destined to become the darling of many photojournalists and wedding photographers. More on this soon.

Barn and Clouds

Barn and Clouds

Why "The Digital Story"?

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about how to explain things I've discovered. For example, right after I figured out how to use the High Dynamic Range command in Photoshop CS2, I wanted to show it to others. Even during my learning process, I was capturing screenshots and making notes for an article. You'd think I'd find this obsession distracting. But it isn't. It's fun.

Creating an outlet for these discoveries is part of the reason why I've started The Digital Story site. Despite the books I write, classes I teach, and articles I publish for O'Reilly Media, there's still more bouncing around upstairs. Everyday stuff like, why I like one camera model over another, what's the best USB mic for podcasting, and how to make real movies with cheapo digicams. This is the kind of stuff that I'm going to cover here. I'll make regular written posts, will produce a weekly audio show (that you can subscribe to), and share lots of pictures.

You can add fuel to this fire. I'm guessing that similar thoughts pop into your head during your learning and creating process. Send them to me. As the old saying goes, "if you're wondering about something, others probably are too." (Is that really an old saying?)

The tagline for this site is "new tools for the creative mind." They can be as sophisticated as a digital SLR camera, or as simple as nylon stretched over your lens to make a diffusing filter. Regardless, I'd like this to be the office water cooler for those discussions. I hope you'll stop by often for a drink.

Oh, and one other thing... the title of the site: The Digital Story -- That's me, Derrick Story. And I'm definitely digital.

Photo Tips to Celebrate My New Book

I was flipping through the just-released Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 3rd Edition, and I thought this would be a great time to share some shooting tips.

First, don't let your digital camera get too hot, as in the glovebox of your car. We've seen that hot image sensors produce more image noise. So treat your digicam with the same care as your film-loaded 35mm camera.

If you've made the switch to digital, and you're thinking about selling your 35mm SLR, be sure to hang on to all the filters, step-up rings, lens hoods, flashes, pouches, etc. I keep my stuff in stackable boxes that are marked on the outside. I can't tell you how many times I've found the perfect accessory in one of those boxes to tackle a job with my new digital camera. By repurposing this stuff, you'll save yourself hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars.

Shade your lens when shooting in bright conditions. If the sun is shining directly on your lens, you'll lose contrast at best and gain lots of flare at worst. Use a lens shade, your hand, or a copy of The Digital Photography Pocket Guide to keep stray light off your glass.

Keep a plastic ziploc bag in your kit. You never know when Mother Nature will rear her head and hit you with rain or swirling sand. A plastic bag to protect your camera is a godsend. And if you're shooting outside on a cold night, put your camera in the bag before coming back indoors. That way the condensation will form on the bag as everything warms up, not the camera itself.

And finally, take lots of pictures and don't forget to archive them. The joy of digital photography is the freedom to shoot, shoot, shoot. But also get yourself an extra FireWire drive, and backup, backup, backup.