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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Golden Age of Cameras, Senior Portraits at Taco Bell, Perfect Browse 9.5, Sigma 24mm f/1.4 prime - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "This app is the nightmare of wedding photographers brought to life". Imaging Resource reports: "Wedding photographers might want to look away. A new app called Ceremony is looking to crowdsource wedding photography using guests and their smartphones. Available for download on iOS and Android, Ceremony allows couples to set up a dedicated event in the app and invite guests to join via an email or custom URL."

In other news, PetaPixel reports: "Photographer Shoots High Schooler's Senior Portraits at Taco Bell - Missouri-based photographer Brendan Batchelor recently received a strange photo shoot request: a high school senior named Brittany Nicole Creech wanted to shoot senior portraits at a local Taco Bell. In addition to being published across the Web and being shared thousands of times on social media, Creech also succeeded in getting Taco Bell's attention. If Creech does end up with a successful career in modeling or acting, she has photographer Brendan Batchelor and a set of Taco Bell senior portraits to thank!

Story #1 - "The Golden Age of Cameras" -

I just read a fun post at The Online Photographer titled, I Love Today's Cameras. I thought the author, Mike Johnston, made some terrific points. And in a lot of ways, I agree with him. So, are we in the golden age of cameras? I talk about that in today's first segment.

Story #2 - Perfect Browse 9.5 by OnOne Software

We worked with Perfect Browse at our Moving from Aperture workshop. It's fantastic as a front end to Lightroom, or just about any photo editing app. Here's why we liked it so much.

sigma-24mm-front-web.jpg

Story #3 - The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Prime (for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma)

Sigma continues its appealing hot streak in the Art lens category with the 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM ($849). This hefty hunk of glass weighs in at 1.46 pounds and is 3.55″ long. Mounts are available for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma. We tested the Canon version on a full frame 5D Mark II.

Aside from its remarkable f/1.4 maximum aperture (no easy feat with a 24mm), the Sigma features 9 aperture blades, fast autofocusing, 15 elements in 11 groups, and a 77mm front filter thread. The build is solid with a well-damped manual focusing ring, which has real-time override. The AF/MF switch is on the left side of the barrel. Kit includes deluxe case, lens hood, and front and back caps. I talk about my first impressions in the second story of today's podcast.

Story #4 - From the Screening Room - Video for Photographers 01: Filmmaking Essentials with Eduardo Angel.

You can watch Eduardo in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Eduardo movies, plus every other title in the library.

Virtual Camera Club News

Update from SizzlPix - Our product improvement to 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix has brought on cost increases requiring our raising prices for the first time since launching SizzlPix over 5 years ago.

TDS listeners can avoid the new prices by selecting favorite images and ordering over the next few weeks, ahead of the announcement. All the benefits and warranties remain, including free mini samples on request, no payment requested until their image is approved by our engineers for 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix quality, and even no payment at all until February 2016 with PayPal credit, plus our full guarantee of satisfaction.

Fall Color with Safari West: October 23-25, 2015 - Sonoma County has rolling hills covered in vineyards, beautiful trees, and gorgeous blue skies. What a prefect place to shoot Fall color and bolster your landscape library. But there's more. We include environmental portraiture with a professional model, and an exclusive African wildlife photo adventure at Safari West, led by a professional photographer, plus a few surprises. This is our longest running workshop of the season, and for good reason. Two full days plus pre-workshop reception, breakfast and lunch, excellent swag, professional model, private Safari West adventure with a pro photographer guide - all included for just $599.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show - MP3 Version

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (33 minutes - MP3 version). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Whether you're a Lightroom user tired of waiting for your images to load, or you're just trying to pull together thousands of photos on an external drive, OnOne's Perfect Browse 9.5 can peer into any folder of pictures, then add star ratings, color labels, and metadata that can be read by most photo management applications.

perfect-browse-1600.jpg

Its highlight feature is speed. Point the application to a folder of pictures and they pop on to the screen. No task bar to meter how long before you see the shots.

Once there, star ratings are easy to apply by pressing the corresponding number key, then pressing an arrow key to move to the next thumbnail. Want a bigger view? Press the spacebar. Once you've gone through the pictures once, use the filter tool to narrow the field. You can then send the best shots to Lightroom (or anywhere else) for management and editing, or put them in an album with in the app itself. Lots of flexibility; lots of speed.

You can purchase Perfect Browse 9.5 as a standalone app or part of Perfect Photo Suite, which is currently a good deal at $99.95. It's fast, friendly, and a great tool to help you get a handle on things.

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I've been testing the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM ($849) for a Hands On Review just posted on ct-digiphoto.com. If you want to know who I think this optic is designed for, you might want to hop over there for a quick read.

Or, you could just take a look at these half dozen images that I captured with the lens mounted on a Canon 5D Mark II. I started shooting at 6:42 pm and finished at 8:59 pm.

IMG_1246.jpg Sigma 24mm, f/5, ISO 100, 6:42 pm. Photos by Derrick Story

IMG_1251.jpg Sigma 24mm, f/1.4, ISO 800, 7:52 pm.

IMG_1258.jpg Sigma 24mm, f/1.4, ISO 500, 8:47 pm.

IMG_1289.jpg Sigma 24mm, f/1.4, ISO 2000, 8:56 pm.

IMG_1292.jpg Sigma 24mm, f/1.4, ISO 3200, 8:57 pm.

IMG_1305.jpg Sigma 24mm, f/1.4, ISO 500, 8:59 pm.

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carousel-on-iphone.jpg

Carousel is a primary reason why I've been using Dropbox to help manage my photography. The app works on computers and mobile devices. I have it on my home screen for both the iPhone and iPad.

Essentially what Carousel does is provide a photographer-friendly window to the images I store on Dropbox. All of my mobile shots, plus bucket-loads of pictures that I publish online are organized in chronological order in a scrolling display.

Plus, I can create albums, share groups of photos with others, and even tap Flashback to see what I was shooting on this day in years past. Carousel's performance is quite good, and I have plenty of options for caching and backup, helping me customize the best photo management system for me.

In this movie, I take you on a tour of Carousel on an iPhone. This will give you a good feel for its design and performance.

The Carousel app is free, and it works with both paid and free Dropbox subscriptions. Not only does it back up every image I capture with my mobile devices, it allows me to easily find them and share with others.

More Dropbox Tips and Techniques

If you want to dig into Dropbox, take a look at my lynda.com training, Dropbox for Photographers. For those who want to learn more about Photos for OS X, I also have the title, Up and Running with Photos for OS X.

Previous articles on The Digital Story about Dropbox include:

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

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Arca Swiss Love, Olympus Air First Impressions, Ringo Starr Publishes a Book of Photos - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Seeing the unseeable: Fujifilm releases infrared version of its flagship X-T1 camera". Imaging Resource reports: "Fujifilm has thrown the photography world a curveball. Today, the Japanese photography company introduced an infrared version of its flagship X-T1 mirrorless camera, the X-T1 IR.

Similar in every other regard to its sibling, the X-T1 IR's sensor captures different light from the electromagnetic spectrum, including ultraviolet, infrared, and visible. Specifically, Fujifilm states it captures between 380nm to 1,000nm, much more than the human eye (approximately 390 and 700nm) or other sensors are capable of capturing.

In other news... "Ringo Starr Talks to Conan About His Photos During the Beatles Years" PetaPixel reports: "Earlier this year, former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr made an appearance on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show. One of the subjects discussed during the interview was Starr's new photo book, titled Photograph, which contains rare and unseen photos captured by Ringo during his childhood, his years in The Beatles, and beyond. In the 2.5-minute clip above, Ringo shares about a few of the photos in the book, which will be released on September 21st for $35."

arca-swiss-setup.jpg

Story #1 - "Arca Swiss Love" -

I now have Arca Swiss compatible heads on all of my tripods. For my sticks that didn't originally ship with these plates, I've replaced the heads with Joby Ballhead X ($59) that has panning adjustment in addition to the bullhead itself. My latest tripod, the Induro Grand Turismo ships with an Arca Swiss compatible head that's absolutely wonderful.

Then, for added convenience, many of my cameras have Arca plate type grips, so I don't even have to attach a QR plate to mount the camera. For my DSLRs, I use the Joby UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate ($35), so I can slide the camera into the tripod mount at any time. For the Olympus E-M5 Mark II, I use the Olympus External Metal Grip ECG-2 ($149) that is totally Arca Swiss compatible. I explain the details of this approach in today's first feature story.

olympus-air-iphone-5s.jpg

Story #2 - The Olympus Air A01 First Impressions - I've just spent the afternoon playing with the new Olympus Air 16MP MFT smartphone camera. And I have to say, it's a blast. Highlight features include:

  • Terrific image quality
  • Accepts the entire MFT lens catalog
  • Up to 1/16,000 second shutter speed at 10 frames per second
  • Fast connectivity and good realtime performance with my iPhone 5S
  • Excellent mounting system, very comfortable to hold
  • Tripod socket and wrist strap included
  • Nice selection of iOS apps available with lots of features
  • Feels like a real camera
  • Reasonable $299 price tag

There are a few compromises because of the super compact size. There's no sensor based stabilization, but you can use optical stabilization with Panasonic lenses. And you don't get the state of the art electronic sensor cleaning that you do with other Olympus cameras.

But I have to say, those compromises seem small compared to what you do get with this incredible little camera. More on this in the second feature of today's show.

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Photoshop CC Essential Training (2015) with Julieanne Kost.

You can watch Julieanne in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Julieanne's movies, plus every other title in the library.

Virtual Camera Club News

Fall Color with Safari West: October 23-25, 2015 - Sonoma County has rolling hills covered in vineyards, beautiful trees, and gorgeous blue skies. What a prefect place to shoot Fall color and bolster your landscape library. But there's more. We include environmental portraiture with a professional model, and an exclusive African wildlife photo adventure at Safari West, led by a professional photographer, plus a few surprises. This is our longest running workshop of the season, and for good reason. Two full days plus pre-workshop reception, breakfast and lunch, excellent swag, professional model, private Safari West adventure with a pro photographer guide - all included for just $599.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show - MP3 Version

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (35 minutes - MP3 version). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Emulsion is a $49 photo management and processing application for the Mac that I've really enjoyed testing. It will be one of the recommendations for my upcoming Moving from Aperture workshop, and it will be featured in a "software for photographers" eBook that I'm working on.

emulsion-app.jpg

Aside from its pleasing user interface and helpful set of photo management and editing tools, I'm thrilled that I can use my existing Aperture plugins with Emulsion. I depend on Color Efex Pro and DxO Film Pack for my work, and they perform seamlessly with this software.

Other notable features include:

  • Choice or Referenced or Managed Catalog (Library)
  • Can Edit EXIF Metadata
  • Uses Apple's RAW Support
  • Equipment Database for Your Gear
  • Create Your Own Editing Adjustment Sets
  • Uses the Version Metaphor for Non-Destructive Editing
  • Decent Photo Browser
  • Albums and Smart Albums

Since it's a young app, just released in June 2015, it also has a few rough edges. Printing depends solely on your existing print drivers without an application interface, the export function could use more options, and they will probably have to improve their caching scheme to boost performance.

That being said, if you're not a fan of Photos for OS X or Lightroom, and you want a nice home to manage and edit your images, Emulsion is worth a look. I have a good feeling that this application is going to evolve into a niche that resides above Photos for OS X and below Lightroom and Capture One Pro.

Emulsion is available from the Mac App Store, or directly from the Escapers web site for $49. They offer a 30 day free trial too.

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Finding a good deal on photography gear can make you week. Some photographers wander into the world of gray market discounts to save a few bucks. Personally, I don't recommend it. But closeout items fall into a different category. They're simply being replaced by a newer version.

induro-tripod.jpg This Induro Grand Turismo tripod originally sold for over $400. I bought it for $139 with free shipping from B&H on closeout. It's one of the best tripods I've ever purchased.

Many of the items we need, such as light modifiers, tripods, and camera bags don't really lose their value. It's not like your old camera that has a 12MP sensor being replaced by one with 20 MPs. These durable goods are excellent candidates for big savings.

For example, I recently purchased a Induro Grand Turismo AGT114M1 Aluminum Tripod Kit for $139 with free shipping from B&H Photo. Apparently, Induro is moving to all carbon fiber components.

induro-kit.jpg

The kit included the tripod with both long and short center columns, tools in a zipper pouch, deluxe case with two compartments, shoulder strap, and Arch Swiss compatible ball head with quick release plate. Everything was shipped in its original packaging, brand new. The ball head alone is worth more than I paid for the entire works.

The Induro weighs 4 pounds, extends to 62", folds to 17", and can handle a load of 27 pounds. Every component is finely machined and handsomely designed. It's a beauty... for $139.

Since I publish photography news daily on a number of sites, including this one, I keep an eye out for great deals. And I share those deals with my readers. I did publish the B&H closeout on both my Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

Maybe someday I'll have a carbon fiber tripod too... that is if the price is right. But for the moment, I'm enjoying my $139 Induro alloy set of sticks.

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Even though one of the strengths of Photos for OS X is iCloud integration, that only works with Apple devices. If you want to share images outside of the Mac/iOS sphere, Dropbox makes more sense.

Dropbox runs on practically any device and operating system. So even if you manage your images in Photos for OS X, you can push copies through Dropbox quite easily. Plus you have additional backup. And when it comes to pictures, redundancy is a good thing.

photos-and-carousel-1024.jpg Carousel on a Mac on top, with Photos for OS X in the background. These two apps can work together to expand your Cloud capability beyond Apple's ecosystem. Photos by Derrick Story.

The key to this system is installing the Dropbox app on your Mac that gives you Finder integration. By doing so, you can simply export images in bulk from Photos for OS X to a Backup/Sharing folder in Dropbox. It's easy and fast. Here's a movie on how this works.

A nice bonus to bringing Dropbox/Carousel into the mix, is that you get the Flashback feature that shows you images that you took on this day back in time. I really like it.

More Dropbox Tips and Techniques

If you want to dig into Dropbox, take a look at my lynda.com training, Dropbox for Photographers. For those who want to learn more about Photos for OS X, I also have the title, Up and Running with Photos for OS X.

Previous articles on The Digital Story about Dropbox include:

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

By now, practically all enthusiast photographers grasp the advantages of shooting in RAW. But one of my favorite reasons is rarely discussed: in-camera editing.

This is one of my best loved coffee shop activities. Pull up a RAW file on the camera's LCD (in this case a Fujifilm X-20), go to the editing functions (menu), and make a completely different image. For this shot of the Easter Lilies, I opted for B&W with a yellow filter. Here are the two files.

Original Easter Lilies Here's the original RAW file that I viewed on the camera's LCD. Photos by Derrick Story.

Black and White Version Here's the Black and White version I created in-camera using the editing tools in the Fujifilm X-20.

You still have the original RAW file, but now there's a different interpretation of it as a Jpeg. And you can create additional versions if you wish. Once you find something you like, transfer it to your mobile device and upload.

If you like traveling light, and creating artistic images, in-camera RAW conversion is worth a look.


Nimble Photographer Logo

This technique has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: 5 Must Have Micro Four Thirds Lenses, Dropbox for Photographers, Shooting 4K Video for Still Images, Tips for a Gallery Showing - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Flickr brings back Pro account option" DP Review reports: "With the return of new Pro subscriptions, Flickr has rolled out a few new features. Pro accounts now include 'improved stats' and a revamped interface for viewing analytics, ad-free viewing of your own and others' photos and a 20% discount on Adobe Creative Cloud's Photography plan for yearly subscribers (annual Pro plans only). However, new Pro plans no longer come with unlimited storage, as new subscribers are subject to the same 1TB cap applied to free accounts.

Flickr Pro is offered for to those who currently don't have a Pro plan for $5.99/month or $49.99/year. So what happens to existing paid Flickr accounts? Flickr's 'ad-free' plan subscribers will be upgraded automatically to Pro status at no extra cost. Existing Pro members will also be upgraded, keeping their current pricing for two years and their unlimited photo storage. "

In other news... "Shooting 4K Video for Still Photographs: A Quick Test" PetaPixel reports: "At 30 frames a second, I had a lot to choose from. I imported the clip into FCP X. I put the clip in the browser window and expanded it to full screen. I could shuttle through and also go frame by frame using the right or left arrows. Once I had the frame I wanted I chose to "share" as a still image. You have the option of a TIFF or JPEG. I chose JPEG and imported it into Aperture to do some final tweaking and cropping."

lens-trio.jpg

Story #1 - "5 Must Have Micro Four Thirds Lenses" -

One of the most common emails that appears in my inbox is inquiring about the best lens to adorn a new Micro Four Thirds camera. Here are my five favorites.

I discuss each of these lenses in the first feature of today's show.

Story #2 - The How to Sell Your Fine-Art Prints: A Primer. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Pricing Your Prints: Gallery owners agree... You can always raise prices, but you can never lower them. In addition to pricing their work too high before they're established, emerging artists make the mistake of issuing editions that are too large.
  • What Does "Limited Edition" Really Mean? Twenty years ago, an edition of less than 20 prints was rare; now galleries rarely sell work by a photographer who prints in editions of more than ten. Collectors expect that the photographic prints they acquire remain scarce so they hold their value.
  • What to Expect from the Photographer/Gallery Relationship Who pays for production, promotion, shipping? What exactly does "exclusivity" or "consignment" mean? "A written document is essential," insists noted photography consultant Mary Virginia Swanson.
  • The Growing Market for Fine-Art Videos Technological developments are helping collectors get comfortable with the idea of purchasing video-based art. Buying video works no longer means committing to the installation of a bulky television or finding the space for a projector; video art and multimedia can now be displayed seamlessly on slim monitors hung cleanly on a wall.

Story #3 - Dropbox for Photographers

The thing I like so much about Dropbox is that I can use it for practically anything on any device. I have shared folders set up with TWiP, Rocky Nook, c't Digital Photography, and my own team. Every image that hits my iPad or iPhone is instantly archived in Dropbox and displayed in Carousel. And that includes all of the stuff that travels via WiFi from my OM-Ds and X-20 cameras.

Plus there is the Flashback feature, shared photo albums, comments, and more. So you can imagine how excited I was to finally get to record a lynda title especially for photographers using Dropbox.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Ultimate Lens Guide by c't Digital Photography is now available for download. This 65 page eBook features in-depth tests of more than 20 optics in the 50mm, telezoom, and macro categories. By using discount code: CTGUIDE120 you can get 20 percent off for a sale price of $7.99 through the end of the month.

Fall Color with Safari West: October 23-25, 2015 - Sonoma County has rolling hills covered in vineyards, beautiful trees, and gorgeous blue skies. What a prefect place to shoot Fall color and bolster your landscape library. But there's more. We include environmental portraiture with a professional model, and an exclusive African wildlife photo adventure at Safari West, led by a professional photographer, plus a few surprises. This is our longest running workshop of the season, and for good reason. Two full days plus pre-workshop reception, breakfast and lunch, excellent swag, professional model, private Safari West adventure with a pro photographer guide - all included for just $599.

Moving from Aperture to Photos or Lightroom - August 7-8 - Now that Aperture will no longer be developed, many photographers are contemplating their next move. In this software workshop, we'll explore the two leading contenders: Photos (part of the Yosemite Update) and Adobe Lightroom. By the time we conclude, you'll have a much clearer idea about your photo management future. Two full days plus breakfast and lunch - all included for just $495.

SizzlPix puts a new spin on printed photography

Here's a interesting article that leads off with: "As ultra-high-definition TVs and computer monitors are replacing high-definition screens on the market, a new Davis-based company called SizzlPix is taking this new technology into the realm of print photography." It's a good background piece on SizzlPix.

New Printer Article

Article from Red River Paper: Epson Pro 3880 vs. Epson SureColor P800. The Epson SureColor P800 is the direct replacement to the Pro 3880. Both are 17" wide desktop printers using nine inks to produce professional quality photography, fine art, and graphic design prints. The two printers are very closely related and share most of the same features.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show - MP3 Version

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (32 minutes - MP3 version). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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