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Many camera manufacturers still include PC terminals on their enthusiast and pro bodies. This gift is often overlooked by photographers, which is unfortunate, because they're truly useful.

em5mk2-front.jpg What is that connector on the upper right side of the camera? It's a female PC terminal that can be used to sync just about any flash.

I use the PC terminal for off-camera flash work when I don't need (or want) wireless. This is particularly handy at home or in the studio when I want to move the flash a few feet off the camera. Since I'm shooting in manual output mode anyway, all I need is clean synchronization between the flash and my mirrorless.

This allows me to use older flashes, or I can adapt any new flash with an inexpensive adapter. Sync speeds remain the same. I can get a clean exposure up to 1/320th of a second on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

flash-terminal.jpg A favorite combination for studio work - The E-M5 Mark II connected to the venerable Sunpak 383 via a sync cord that has a PC terminal on the camera end and a plug that goes directly in the Sunpak on the other. These cords are cheap and readily available.

Adorama carries a variety of these cords, such as the Adorama 15' Coiled Sync Cord, PC Male to PC Female for $10.95. How many photo accessories can you purchase for that amount? My CowboyStudio NPT-04 Wireless Triggers include a female PC connector on the receivers, so they can serve double duty (wireless and cord connected), and that set only costs $31.

And in fact, I think it's a good idea to carry a quality PC Male to PC Mail Coiled Sync Cord with you, just in case you have to connect your wireless receiver to the camera if you experience radio malfunction. And we know that never happens...

The bottom line is that whether you use PC cords as an easy home studio solution, or for emergency backups in the field, it's nice to have these options. See if your camera has a PC connector on it. And think about how you can put it to use.

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Previously, you could view location data in the Info box, but that was about it. Great for iPhone pictures that already had geotags. But what about the other shots captured with regular digital cameras?

look-up-location.jpg In Photos for OS X 1.1, you can look up location data for any image and apply it to previously non-geotagged pictures.

In the version of Photos that ships with El Capitan, this all changes, giving you much more control. Here's how it works.

First, open an image in the viewer and enable the Info box (CMD-I). At the bottom of the box, you'll see text that reads, Assign a Location. Start typing the place where the picture was captured. Photos will offer locations matching your entry (see top picture). Pick one that works.

location-found.jpg Location found for this image.

In the case of this blue jay image, the photograph wasn't actually recorded at the club house as initially indicated. I saw the bird alongside a fairway quite a distance from the offices. So I clicked and dragged the pin to the actual location of the capture. It's easier to do this precisely if you use the zooming tools in the lower right corner of the location box. Pinching outward and inward works too.

adjust-location-new.jpg I dragged the pin to the proper location for this image.

If I decided that I wanted to remove the location at a later date, I can choose Remove Location from under the Image menu (Image > Location > Remove Location). I can also revert to the original location here.

There doesn't appear to be any batch processing for geotagging. But you can copy the location text and paste it in a subsequent picture. it's not super elegant, but it does save a little time.

When you export images out of your Photos library, you may want to do so without the location data. You'll find that control under the General tab in Preferences.


Get Up and Running with Photos for OS X

Want to get up to speed with Apple's latest photo management application? Then take a look at my latest online video training, Up and Running with Photos for OS X. Soon, both you, and your pictures, will be comfortable in their new home.

And 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.

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Photos for OS X now accepts Photo Extensions, and this changes everything. Out of the gate, there are four available with many more to come.

apps-for-photographers.jpg Look what's featured atop Apps for Photographers in the Mac App Store: Yes, the first wave of Photo Extensions.

The implementation is very smooth. Now, when you edit an image in Photos, there's an additional option in the right side toolbar called Extensions. Click on it, and you'll see a popup menu listing the Extensions you have loaded. Choose one, and your Photos interface transforms into that of the Extension.

Once you finish your work in the new environment, click on Save Changes, and you're returned to the Photos interface. What's really cool is that this is a totally nondestructive workflow. You can revert back to the original photo by returning to edit mode in Photos, then choosing Revert to Original. Want to see what the master looked like? Press the M key when in edit mode.

tonality-for-photos.jpg Tonality is a B&W Photo Extension that's available right now for El Capitan Photos.

Setting up an Extension is easy. First, purchase the software from the Mac App Store and install it. Then, go to your System Preferences, click on Extensions > Photos and enable your new app. Now it will appear in the Extensions popup menu in Photos for OS X.

I'll keep you posted about new Extensions as they are available. But already, Photos for OS X is far more powerful than it was a week ago.


Get Up and Running with Photos for OS X

Want to get up to speed with Apple's latest photo management application? Then take a look at my latest online video training, Up and Running with Photos for OS X. Soon, both you, and your pictures, will be comfortable in their new home.

And 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.

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If you're see what looks like a white screen overlay on the images in your Viewer when running Aperture 3.6 in El Capitan, turn off Onscreen Proofing (View > Onscreen Proofing). This was the case for me after my initial testing on a mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15" running Mac OS X 10.11 and Aperture 3.6.

Here's what happens with Onscreen Proofing turned on (using any of the profiles):

Screenshot 2015-09-30 13.58.37.png Thumbnail appears normal in Aperture 3.6

Screenshot 2015-09-30 13.59.17.png Viewer mode displays image with washed out appearance when Onscreen Proofing is turned on.

I'll continue to test Aperture 3.6 on El Capitan. So far, this is the first major bug I've found.

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Before Upgrading to El Capitan

Over the next few days, many Mac-toting photographers will be upgrading their operating system to Mac OS X El Capitan. Before doing so, take a few minutes to prepare your machine.

el-capitan-mac.png

Test Machine

Not everyone has the luxury of more than one modern computer. But if you do, prepare your secondary machine for the upgrade first. This will give you the opportunity to test mission critical applications without disrupting your daily workflow.

A big test for many of us will be seeing how Aperture performs on the new OS. The results of that testing, and others, will determine the timing for adding El Capitan to your primary computer.

Back Up on iCloud and Hard Drives

We all know to back up our machines, nothing new there. But the transition to the new OS can be streamlined by making sure your iCloud account is up to date. This will simplify data transfer of Address Book, Calendar, Safari bookmarks, etc.

As for your photo content and documents, those should be on hard drives. Again, going back to Aperture and iPhoto, make sure those libraries are in a safe place so you have all of your options available moving forward.

From all indications, the transition from Yosemite to El Capitan should be a smooth one. Taking these few basic steps should seal the deal.

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Reuters TV Gets iPhone News Right

I've been watching Reuters TV for over a week now on my iPhone, and it is hands down the best news service I've followed to date.

Reuters TV

Reuters builds a video news show for me based on the length I've specified (15 minutes in my case). I can see the story lineup, jump from topic to topic, or just let the show play as assembled, which is my preference. Reuters does a great job of adding segues, title screens, intros and outros.

Turn the phone sideways for full screen viewing. Leave it in portrait mode to see the story line up. Nifty. And when you first open the app in portrait mode, the sound is muted until you turn the phone sideways. Now that's thinking.

The free version includes a couple ads during the newscast. But even they are top notch and presented well. If you don't want the ads, you can subscribe for $1.99 a month. The entire production is tasteful and professional.

If you'd like to keep up on daily events, and don't have a lot of time to do so, Reuters TV may be just the solution. It's available for both iOS and Android. And it's terrific.

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Top 10 Things I Like with the iPhone 6S, Zenfolio for Working Photographers, My iPhone Upgrade Program Experience - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - DP Review reports: Phottix launches Laso Transmitter and Receiver for Canon flashes: "Phottix has launched its Laso Flash Trigger System today for the Canon RT Wireless radio flash system and the camera maker's non-radio E-TTL flashes. The Laso Transmitter can be used with up to 15 radio flashes in five groups, while the Laso receiver enables the setup to be used with non-radio E-TTL flashes. The Phottix Laso Receiver is available now for $99.95 USD from B&H Photo.

The Laso Transmitter can be used to trigger non-radio E-TTL flashes with the Laso Receiver; photographers can also use the Canon ST-E3-RT flash transmitter or similar devices instead of the Laso Transmitter if desired. The transmitter supports a variety of flash modes, including Manual, Ext.A, MULTI, Linked Shooting and E-TTL II/E-TTL. The receiver, meanwhile, supports studio lights in addition to non-radio flashes for incorporating them into a triggering system. The Phottix Laso Transmitter is available for $159.95 USD."

In other news, "How the iPhone 6S Camera Compares to All Previous iPhones" Petapixel reports: "One of the big improvements in the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are the new camera modules, which now shoot 12-megapixel photos. If you'd like to see how the new camera stacks up to its entire line of predecessors, Camera+ co-founder Lisa Bettany has published a series of side-by-side comparison images showing the same scenes captured with each camera."

palace-fine-arts-iphone6s.jpg The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Image captured with an iPhone 6S, automatically saved to Photos and backed up in iCloud. Image by Derrick Story.

Story #1 - "Top 10 Things I Like with the iPhone 6S - My Review"

I've upgraded from an iPhone 5S to 6S, and the differences between the devices are distinct. Here are the things that have jumped out at me.

  • Improved screen. Larger size 4.7" or 5.5", 3D Touch, different resolutions (Display Zoom) - the viewing experience is better than ever.
  • New 12-megapixel iSight camera with A9 processor. (Beautiful pictures!) Every pixel in the sensor has been reengineered to prevent crosstalk between the sub pixels, meaning we could fit a lot more pixels in the sensor for a sharper photo that has less noise and truer color.
  • Live Photos. Some might call this a gimmick, but I really like it. Water shots are the coolest.
  • Touch ID that really works.
  • Low Power Mode.
  • Selfie Flash via Retina Display
  • 4K Video - have to turn it on. 1080p is the default.
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video.
  • AirPlay faster and more responsive than ever.
  • iPhone Upgrade Program - unlocked phone plus AppleCare.

Story #2 - Zenfolio for Working Photographers

Zenfolio is a new sponsor of The Digital Story, and I want to introduce you to them today. They are a portfolio and online client proofing website. Based on my testing, you can be up and running in 30 minutes. The service is perfect for photographers shooting weddings, senior portraits, and business events. The tools and design are fantastic.

One of the coolest features is the Photo Moments app for Android and iOS. It allows your clients to instantly gain access to their digital photos, view them in a beautiful presentation, download to their device and share with others. Users simply open the app, add their gallery, and their images become instantly accessible for client viewing--anytime, anywhere. Sophisticated features include: Option for the photographer to disable photo downloads for extra protection, gallery password protection, gallery expiration dates, watermarking options, and plenty more.

You can learn more about Zenfolio by visiting their site, www.zenfolio.com. You can sign up for a 15-day free trail. And if you like what you see, prices start at only $60 a year. If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit Zenfolio today.

Story #3 - iPhone Upgrade Program

For this iPhone, I made an appointment with my local Apple Store so I could enroll in the iPhone Upgrade Program. Here's the story of how it went.

The details look like this: iPhone 6S 64GB ($749) plus two years of AppleCare ($129) Sales tax ($65.54). Total $943.54

My first installment plus tax is $102.12. Then after that, it's $36.58 a month for 24 months. 0% interest. I can upgrade when the next iPhone comes out. Or I can pay off the 6S and keep it. The phone is unlocked. AT&T has acknowledged the new phone, and I don't see any additional charges for going this route.

Virtual Camera Club News

A Word from SizzlPix

The 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix is the upgrade now in general release on all orders, so you can display your best photography in sizes from 18-inches to 6-feet with resolution and realism one expects only from the small screens on handheld phones and pads. SizzlPix clients say, contrary to expectation, resolution seems to increase as their photos grow larger!

SizzlPix invites photographers to order a print from the assembly-line plants, and a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix from the same image. Compare them side by side. They've never ONCE had a client declare they liked the mass-produced print better. If yours is the first, you may return your SizzlPix for a full refund!

Note from Red River Paper - Red River Paper is proud to be exhibiting at the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, October 22-24, at the Javits Center in New York City, and we hope to see you there. Look for them in booth 1158. And if you don't have a Expo pass yet, you can get one for free from RRP.

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

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (38 minutes). 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.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

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The Beauty of Ring Light Portraits

There are days when I enjoy playing with multi-light setups for portrait shoots. But every now and then I meet a subject who needs nothing more than a ring light. And I'm reminded of how good that lighting can be.

P9268864-ringlight-portraits.jpg

My setup is simple. I put an Orbis Ring Flash Attachment Kit on a light stand that I can move up and down, connect the camera via a dedicated extension cord, then position the lens through the "doughnut" opening to take the shot. That's all there is to it.

I certainly would not use ring lighting for every portrait. But it's wonderful for certain subjects who have a model qualities. It's definitely something to keep in mind for your studio portraits.

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LCD Protectors are a Good Investment

Whether you pay $7 for a GGS Optical Glass 3" LCD Screen Protector or $29 for a Phantom Glass high quality custom protector, taking care of your camera's LCD is good business.

phantom-glass-lcd.jpg The Phantom Glass LCD Protector for a Canon 70D.

In addition to maintaining your enjoyment while using your favorite DSLR or mirrorless body, you're helping to retain the highest resale value possible for your camera. One of the first things people look at when considering a used body is the LCD. Even faint scratches can cool off a prospective buyer.

LCD protectors are particularly important for those who carry their cameras around their necks. Shirt buttons and zippers can mar a screen, despite your attempts to avoid contact. Scratches tend to "just appear."

My approach is to keep a stock of inexpensive 3" protectors on hand for immediate application when I first start using the camera. Then, when I have a chance, I'll research a custom cover that's higher quality. That way my screen is never vulnerable to the nicks and dings of the world.

The bottom line is to keep that LCD pristine, for both enjoyment and to help maintain the highest resale value possible.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.02.47 AM.png

If you use Gmail with the Chrome browser, there's an easy new way to send and share photos. The Chrome extension, Dropbox for Gmail, only takes seconds to install, and adds a Dropbox icon to your composed emails allowing you to quickly attach photos.

Even though this doesn't initially sound like ground-breaking technology, in use it's quite handy, especially if you're using Dropbox to backup your mobile photos. The workflow goes something like this.

file-attachment-dropbox.jpg

  • Capture images with your smartphone, tablet, and camera. They all flow into Dropbox if you're using automatic backup.
  • Install the Dropbox for Gmail extension, then compose an email.
  • Click on the Dropbox icon in the bottom left corner of your composed note. Browse your images and find what you want to attach.
  • Send your note. The recipient will receive the image that can be downloaded, plus a link that opens the picture in the shared environment in Dropbox. Here, comments can be added to the picture.

In my tests, I found the feature very easy to use. And since I do use Drobbox backup for my mobile images, I always have the latest pictures at my fingertips.

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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