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Apple has released Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.04 that supports 14 new cameras including the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, but only for 16MP RAWs, not the 40MP High Resolution Shot files.

E-M5MarkII_SLV_TDS.jpg

The cameras on the following list will now have RAW support in Aperture, iPhoto, and Photos for OS X.

  • Canon EOS 5DS
  • Canon EOS 5DS R
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D / Kiss X8i
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6s / 760D / Kiss 8000D
  • Fujifilm X-A2
  • Hasselblad CFV-50c
  • Hasselblad H5D-50c
  • Leica C (Typ 112)
  • Nikon 1 S2
  • Nikon D7200
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
  • Panasonic LUMIX CM1
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF7
  • Pentax MX-1

I tested the RAW files from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II in Aperture, and they look great.

For most Mac users, the update should have been automatically applied last night. But you can check for yourself by going to App Store > Updates.

Happy to see that Apple is keeping our photo software up to date.

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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Delicious Monochromes from Your Digital Camera, Shining a Light on the Canon T6 Sensor Issue, Lightroom CC Tip, and One-Step Film Developing (that isn't Polaroid) - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Canon T6 Sensor Issue" - Roger Cicla writes, "... 4 of the Canon T6s and 2 of the T6i cameras we received had to be sent back because of a defect in the sensor stack (the layers of filter glass over the sensor). This is out about 10 copies of each; the others were absolutely perfect.

The affected cameras all had a dramatic pattern that at first we thought was oil or dust on top of the sensor glass." (Source: LensRentals.com)

In other news... "Developing your film in one step" Photography startup New55 has released R3 Monobath, a new photochemical that makes developing film a one step process. Monobath films have been used in instant film, which could be a leading reason New55 is working on a monobath developer -- New55's existence is driven by the desire to bring back to life the aesthetic of the no longer produced Polaroid Type 55 film. (Source: Imaging-Resource.com)

warriors-fan-oracle-arena-tds.jpg "Warriors Fan, Oracle Arena" by Derrick Story.

Story #1 - "Delicious Monochromes from Your Digital" - I've talked about film simulation modes in the past, but some cameras allow you to build your own B&W profiles. I was "street shooting" again at Oracle Arena on Sunday, but this time in B&W using my own formula.

On my OM-D E-M10 (with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7), I began by going to Shooting Menu 1 and choosing Picture Mode. I then navigated to the Monotone option, where I could set parameters for Contrast (+1), Sharpness (+1), B&W Filter (Yellow), Picture Tone (Neutral), and Gradation (normal). I then shot in RAW+Jpeg. The results were beautiful!



Story #2 - "National Photography Month" National Photography Month was officially recognized by Congress in 1987. The month-long observance includes photography contests and other activities throughout the country. Rocky Nook is celebrating by offering $35 eBook Bundles on the following topics:

  • Travel Photography
  • Bird Photography
  • Landscape Photography
  • Beginner Photography
  • Bruce Barnbaum Complete Set
  • Candid Moments Photography

You can learn more by visiting the Rocky Nook web site.

Story #3 - "Reservation Forms Have Been Sent for the TDS Fall Color/Safari West Photo Workshop" - The event begins on the evening of Friday Oct. 23, and it concludes on Sunday Oct. 25th in Sonoma County, CA. If you were on the reserve list, you should have received a reservation form. If not, please contact me. If you want a reservation form, visit TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

Story #4 Lightroom CC Tip - Get to Know the New Filter Brush - I've been using the graduated screen much more since Adobe added the Filter Brush. Once you add the screen, click on Brush (in the same box), click on Erase (at the bottom of the box), and paint away the areas you don't want affected by the screen. This is perfect for buildings and trees that stick up into the sky you want to darken.

Virtual Camera Club News

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 (30 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.

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If ever there were a trip where you wanted to balance having the photo gear you need, but not too much of it, it would be a visit to Cuba.

cuban-ice-cream-vendor.jpg "Cuban Ice Cream Vendor" by Derrick Story.

In my latest article for lynda.com, What to Pack for a Photo Trip to Cuba: Nine Essentials, I explain what I packed for my recent trip, and how I used it. Some of the items might surprise you...


Nimble Photographer Logo

My camera bag for Cuba had a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Composing an image in a crowd of people is challenge. On one hand, there are lots of different colors and shapes. But I believe that every shot needs some sort of focal point. And in a crowd, it's often the person looking back your way.

riding-the-f-line.jpg "Riding the F Line, San Francisco" by Derrick Story.

This is difficult for some photographers because there are now possibly two people in the mix that know you're taking pictures: you, and the person looking back in your direction.

But the compositions are compelling. While the rest of the world is heading one way, there's a single human that breaks away from the herd. And when that happens, snap the shutter.

children-in-chinatown.jpg "Children in Chinatown" by Derrick Story"

Most of the time, they won't be looking directly at you (although it's great when they do). It's the disruption in the pattern that's important. It's that single yellow flower in a sea of red that breaths life into the image.

So when you're shooting in crowds, look for the person looking back your way. That's usually the shot you'll keep.


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

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FrankenPod Meets Mirrorless

I feel like the The Most Interesting Man when I say, "I don't shoot with a tripod often, but when I do, I keep it light." And even though I don't have the rugged good looks of the Dos Equis guy, I know what I want when it comes to photography... even if I have to make it myself.

My current rig for high resolution capture is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with its 40MP capture mode, using the new ECG-2 External Metal Grip with built-in Arca Swiss compatible plate.

Olympus-ECG-2-Grip.jpg Olympus OM-D E-M5 II with 17mm f/1.8 lens and ECG-2 grip with built-in Arca Swiss compatible plate. Notice that the grip also provides access to the battery compartment.

I then add a MeFOTO DayTrip Tripod, which is only 9.4" tall when folded, and substitute the Joby Ballhead X, which I think is a great value in Arca Swiss compatible tripod heads. I also like that Bullhead X has a panning function (via a second knob) that's great for panoramas.

mefoto-daytrip-jwith-ballhead-x.jpg MeFOTO DayTrip with Joby Bullhead X. I don't need to bring its adapter plate if I'm using the ECG-2 grip.

When I want to shoot a panorama, HDR, or high resolution shot with the E-M5 II, I simply slide the camera into the Bullhead X, tighten the knob, and start shooting. The tripod, head, and camera bracket weigh less than 3 pounds, are super compact, and very fast and convenient to use.


Nimble Photographer Logo

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

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When I first read about the YONGNUO YN35mm F/2 lens for Canon, I thought it was a steal for $122. I immediately ordered one and have been having a blast shooting with it.

cat-yongnuo-35mm-f-2.jpg Dibs the Cat - Captured with the YONGNUO YN35mm on a Canon 70D at f/2. The lens definitely has its own look, and an interesting one at that. Photo by Derrick Story.

Then, when I returned to Amazon to copy the URL for the TDS Photo Podcast #477, Amazon had this message posted on the site: "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."

yongnuo-35mm-70d.jpg The YONGNUO YN35mm on a Canon 70D. Works great.

I went over to eBay (the other source for the lens when it was released in the US) and the asking price had jumped to $280. Hmmmm...

As for the lens itself, I think it's fun. The only oddity so far has been that its EXIF identification is: Sigma A 24-105 mm f/4 DG OS HSM and not YONGNUO YN35mm.

I discussed it in more detail on the TDS Podcast, if you're interested. I sure hope it comes back to Amazon at $122. If so, I recommend it. (Not so much at $280 on eBay.)

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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Hands On with the Yongnuo 35mm f-2.0 lens for Canon, Olympus Camera Grip ECG-2 with Built-In Arca Swiss Plate, SF Street Shooting Workshop Notes, Compositing Photos on a Tablet - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Ricoh unveils Pentax K-3 II with Pixel Shift Resolution mode" - It uses an improved image stabilization system that drives a new Pixel Shift Resolution feature, designed to reduce false color. Retaining its predecessor's 24MP sensor, 27-point AF system, and durable construction, the K-3 II offers sensor-shift IS with a claimed 4.5 stops of shake reduction. Also included are built-in GPS, an improved AF algorithm, gyro-sensor-based panning detection and automatic horizon correction. Something that's no longer included is a built-in flash. The Pentax K-3 II will be available in May for $1099.95. (Source: DP Review)

In other news... "American Photo Magazine Stops Publishing, Readers Switched to Pop Photo" Pop Photo editor-in-chief Miriam Leuchter writes that American Photo has discontinued publication effective immediately, and that existing subscribers will automatically be receiving copies of Popular Photography instead. If the reader is already subscribed to Pop Photo, their two subscriptions will be combined into one longer subscription. In 2015 that American Photo had a total print circulation of 100,000 and audience of 1,092,000. The brand will now live on solely through the American Photo website, which Bonnier says has an average monthly readership of 100,000. (Source: PetaPixel)

yongnuo-35mm-box.jpg

Story #1 - "Hands On with the Yongnuo 35mm f/2.0 lens for Canon" - It's about the size of the Canon 50mm f/1.8, and it was selling on Amazon for $122 (that's what I paid). But when I went to check the Yongnuo 35mm f/2.0 catalog page, it said that it's currently out of stock and "We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." And on eBay, it's now selling for $280. I provide my hands-on review of this suddenly rare lens in today's first story. 

Story #2 - "SF Street Shooting Workshop Notes" I just returned from spending a few days in San Francisco with 8 fantastic photographers. Here are a few of the takeaways from the experience.

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Creating Photo Composites on Smartphones and Tablets with Seán Duggan. Sean uses a variety of apps, including Photoshop Touch.

You can watch Sean 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 Sean's movies, plus every other title in the library (including over 20 by yours truly).

Story #4 Hands on with the Olympus External Metal Grip ECG-2 for the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. This handsome all-metal grip also serves as an Arca Swiss adapter plate. Plus you have access to the battery compartment without removing the ECG-2.

Virtual Camera Club News

News from SizzlPix: For April, We'll make it easy to delight your friends and relatives with SizzlPix of your or their favorite photographs with a Digital Story exclusive! Take a 20 percent discount; 25 percent on 2 or more shipped together. Just put "TDS April" in the comments space on the SizzlPix.com ordering page.

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 (34 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! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until May!

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I've been running my RAW source files through Lightroom CC's HDR Photo Merge and Google's HDR Efex Pro 2 to compare the differences. I have head to head examples to show you here.

lightroom-hdr-sf-v2.jpg San Francisco Skyline - Image processed with 3 RAW source files in Lightroom CC. Photos by Derrick Story. Click on image for larger view. Also, you can see a better rendering of this image on the TDS Flickr page.

Lightroom's workflow is an all-RAW process. In other words, you start with your camera's RAW files, and the resulting merge is a DNG that you can process in the Develop module.

The advantage to this is that more quality is retained through post production. Take a look at the Lightroom version above. It has virtually no tell-tale edge glow on the skyline buildings, and the overall image is very clean.

hdr-efex-sf-v2.jpg San Francisco Skyline - Image processed with 3 RAW source files in HDR Efex Pro 2. Photos by Derrick Story. Click on image for larger view.

When I processed the same 3 source files in HDR Efex Pro 2, the resulting image was more dramatic. But it also included edge glow around the skyline buildings.

Now to keep things fair, remember that I made editing choices in both applications to reach the final result. But, in both cases, I was trying to produce the best photograph possible.

The opinion I'm developing about both of these applications is this: When I want a more "photographic" image, I'll use Lightroom CC for my HDR processing. I think the overall quality is higher, and there are fewer tell-tale HDR byproducts.

However, when I want pure drama, I think HDR Efex Pro 2 delivers the goods. And if necessary, I can clean up those tell-tale remnants in post.

Free Guide to Adobe HDR and Panoramas

Check out my free eBook, Rocky Nook's Guide to HDR and Panoramas with Photo Merge in Lightroom CC that shows you how to create beautiful HDRs and panoramas with the latest Adobe technologies.

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Good news for those who prefer to work in Adobe Camera Raw. The latest release includes many of the same features as Lightroom CC, including the slick HDR and Panorama Merge.

selecting-frames-hdr.jpg

To test this, I selected two RAW files in Bridge and opened them in ACR. (This is the same two RAW file technique that I cover in my free eBook, Rocky Nook's Guide to HDR and Panoramas with Photo Merge in Lightroom CC.) With both files selected in ACR, I right-clicked on a thumbnail and chose Merge to HDR.

From this point, the process is very similar to Lightroom CC. A preview is generated, you choose a few basic settings, then click the Merge button. ACR processes the image and places a new DNG file in the same folder as the source photos. From there you can process the photograph as you normally would. In my case I used a graduated screen to add a bit more drama to the sky.

adding-grad-screen.jpg

Since this is a RAW process from start to finish, you can generate high quality output, and stay within your normal workflow... regardless if that's Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.

Free Guide to Adobe HDR and Panoramas

Check out my free eBook, Rocky Nook's Guide to HDR and Panoramas with Photo Merge in Lightroom CC that shows you how to create beautiful HDRs and panoramas with the latest Adobe technologies.

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vsco-free-00.jpg

As if getting Lightroom 6 wasn't good enough, now VSCO has created a Film Pack with presets for TRI-X and Kodak Gold 100, and is offering it for free.

After you download VSCO Film 00, use their setup guide to install the presets in Lightroom 6, 5, or 4. VSCO's approach uses custom camera profiles that complement the film presets to fine tune the tone and color balance of your photos. The result is an impressive film emulation that is integrated into the Lightroom workflow. There's no round-tripping or being forced to wander outside the Develop module to use these tools.

vsco-presets-film-0.jpg

For example, here's 0-TRI-X+2 applied to a photo I captured in Paris with an Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the 14-42mm EZ zoom. When I installed the VSCO Film Pack, I selected only the cameras I typically use (Olympus, Canon, and Fujifilm) plus the Standard Presets. There might be a temptation to install all of the profiles, but they will occupy space in your left-side Presets column (although they can be collapsed by camera make).

Applying a preset is a simple process. Open the image in the Develop module and navigate to the VSCO presets on the left. The presets are designed to work with RAW files. You can use them with Jpegs, but it's a bit of a workaround, as VSCO explains here.

When I apply the TRI-X presets, for example, I notice the most activity in the Tone Curve, Grain, and B&W bricks on the right side of the Lightroom Develop module. I can continue to adjust the image, if I wish, using the other sliders.

The results are quite good. And I have to say, working with this free Film Pack does stir my interest in their other products.

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