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I Love My iPhone Camera, but...

During our recent TDS Photography Workshop, we shot in some challenging environments, including a redwood grove. I love these assignments, and often use both my interchangeable lens camera and the iPhone X. Sometimes my smartphone does quiet well, especially in good light. But other times I'm glad that I have a dedicated camera as well.

Redwood Stump with Moss Redwood Stump with Moss. Pentax KP with Pentax DA 18-50mm zoom. Photo by Derrick Story.

On this day, I was shooting with a Pentax KP DSLR and a super compact Pentax 18-50mm zoom that I like for walk around. When I spotted this moss covered Redwood stump, I shot it with both my iPhone and the Pentax KP.

iPhone-Camera.jpg Redwood Stump with Moss. iPhone X. Photo by Derrick Story.

I processed both images in Photos for macOS. And each turned out reasonably well. But I do like the Pentax KP version better.

In our photography workshop that just concluded, we intermixed iPhone shots with interchangeable lens camera shots for our final presentation. Most of the time, we weren't thinking about which camera was used, just the pictures themselves.

But in this case, I do find the side-by-side comparison interesting. And I was happy that I had the Pentax with me on this lovely morning in a redwood grove. After looking at the pictures, what do you think?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #696, July 16, 2019. Today's theme is "5 Ways to Go Beyond the Postcard Shot." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Over the last couple weeks, I've been scouting locations for our Sonoma Coast Exploration Workshop. And I can't tell you how beautiful the landscape is here. In such environments, it's easy to just take pretty pictures. But our workshop crew is going to push beyond that. And in today's show, I'll share 5 of my favorite ways to do that.

5 Ways to Go Beyond the Postcard Shot

It's interesting. When I'm scouting locations, I have to move quickly and work efficiently. I typically use my Fujifilm XF10 for scouting because it fits in my pocket and renders beautiful big shots.

Quiet-Cove-1024-V2.jpg "Quiet Cove" - Fujifilm XF10, ISO 200, 1/500th at f/5.6. Photo by Derrick Story.

By the time the workshop begins, I have quite a collection of pretty pictures. They're great to have. But one of their unexpected purposes is to help me think about different ways to render those scenes. So they're helpful for not only location, but for technique.

I then share those techniques with the workshop crew before they go out to shoot. Yes, I want them to capture the postcard shots, but I don't want them to stop there. This is the opportunity to keep pushing creatively.

After examining my latest catalog of scouting images, here are 5 of the techniques I'm going to recommend.

5 Creative Techniques

  • Long Exposure Water - This one is a natural for the Sonoma Coast. Active tide combines with rocky coastline make for wonderful long exposure images. Tripod, ND filter, and cable release. Here's the bonus tip, however, use the mobile app Spectre to preview the image before setting up. You can handhold a Spectre shot on an iPhone, and if you like it, then set up and record the high resolution version with your camera.
  • Black & White - Mirrorless cameras, in particular, are including some dynamite B&W modes that are perfect for costal landscape. True, you can convert in post. But I find it far more stimulating to shoot in RAW+Jpeg using one of these dynamic filters.
  • High Dynamic Range - We have ample lab time during the workshop, so working true HDR is a great option. Don't use the HDR that your camera processes, bracket exposures and really work in on the computer. Knowing that you'll be able to handle extreme contrast allows you to really get creative in the field.
  • Multi Exposure - Many mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, and even 35mm film bodies have this capability. I think it makes more sense for digital because you can experiment with abandon. The results can be unique and quite compelling.
  • Art Filters - Seems like we never have time to fully explore the various art filters on our cameras. But there can be film emulation, dramatic tone, faded colors, sepia, and lots and lots more. If you shoot RAW+Jpeg, you can experiment all you want and still have the RAW file as a safety net.

Postcard images do have their place in our photo libraries. And some viewers prefer them to more artistic endeavors. But the opportunity to really hit it out of the park comes when we push the creative envelope. That's what we'll be doing next week. Hope I've inspired you to do the same.

New Nimble Podcast - Photographer Shelby Knick

In the podcast titled From Outside the Fence to In, Shelby talks about her first interview to apprentice with a pro photographer for motor sports. I thought you might enjoy this anecdote.

The entire conversation is terrific. I think you will enjoy what Shelby has to say. To ensure that you don't miss any of the podcasts, I recommend that you subscribe to The Nimble Photographer Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, or where every you tune in.

f/1.4 vs f/1.8: Can You Actually Tell the Difference?

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite passages:

Given how much more it costs to buy an f/1.4 prime compared to an f/1.8, beginners in particular often ask if the upgrade is worth it. Build quality and optical quality being equal, is the difference in light gathering capability and depth of field noticeable? Can you really tell?

Photographer and YouTuber Pierre Lambert decided to do a blind "taste test" so to speak and find out if his viewers could actually tell the difference between photos shot at multiple locations at both f/1.4 and f/1.8, with a few shots taken at f/2.8, f/4 and f/5.6 thrown in just for fun.

From wide shots to street photos to tighter compositions with plenty of bokeh to analyze, he captured a total of 7 locations. Here's just one of those comparisons. Can you tell which is which?

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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.

I've seen photographers wait endlessly for a scene to clear of all people so they could finally press the shutter button. And in some locations, I do the same thing.

But there are times when a well-placed person adds scale to better convey the grandness of the location. The viewer can truly admire how big and wonderful the place is.

people-landscape-1024.jpg

In my landscapes, the viewer might not even notice the person at first, especially if they're scrolling through pictures on Instagram. But for those who spend a few seconds more, it's a lovely little Easter egg that they can find tucked away among the rocks and bushes.

I'm especially delighted when I spot a hiker in a bright yellow or red shirt. The added dash of color looks good in the overall scene. And of course, who doesn't like a red jacket out among snow covered trees?

My point is, yes, sometimes tourists do muck up our compositions. But for those times that they can add a little something to the image, place them carefully, and notice how they help you better tell the story.

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

I originally bought the "vintage" Nikon D700 because I wanted a full frame sensor that would match my 35mm film Nikons. This allowed me to switch lenses back and forth, capturing in both formats. It's a great camera for that.

butterfuly-bush.jpg

But I'm having fun with it beyond its role as a digital backup to my film work. I do have a couple AF lenses for it, but what I really enjoy is using the Series E and Ai optics on it. The manual focusing is silky smooth, and the earlier Nikon lenses all have a unique look that I really like.

My latest subject was this branch from a butterfly bush that had fallen down the side of the patio fence. It looked particularly vibrant that morning. I photographed it first with the Nikon FG and the Series E 100mm lens. But I wanted a RAW file as well, so I moved the 100mm on to the D700 and shot a few more frames.

I won't know how the Fujicolor version will turn out until I finish that roll. But I very much like the image from the D700 and 100m lens.

You might be amused that I still shoot with a camera of this era. But all of these devices are like paint brushes to me, each with their own characteristics. And they're still a lot of fun, despite their advanced years.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #695, July 9, 2019. Today's theme is "My Kickstarter Batting Average." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

There are a variety of projects to back on Kickstarter, but many of them seem particularly alluring to photographers. Exotic lenses, innovative cameras, and a cornucopia of creative accessories keep our fingers poised over the "Back this Project" button. But how many of these actually live up to their promise? Today, I'll share my personal batting average from over the last 5 years. I hope you enjoy the show.

My Kickstarter Batting Average

kickstarter-Lens.jpg

The latest project that I just couldn't resist was the Kamlan 50mm F1.1 MK2 Prime Lens for Mirrorless Cameras. Promoted as the new "Bokeh Beast," the project garnered 1,229 backers pledging $267,603 to bring this lens to life.

I've paid $199 for a MFT version that I'm hoping will be delivered by year's end, even though the Kamlan folks are hoping to start shipping in August. Which touches on the first thing that I've learned about Kickstarter projects: they rarely ship on time.

Most endeavors do a reasonably good job of keeping us informed along the way. As a result, I've learned much about the challenges of producing large quantities of complicated machined products. It's tough, and it always seems harder than the creators initially calculate.

That being said, I've received most of what I signed up for over the last five years. And I thought that you might be interested in my particular track record as you contemplate your own potential pledges.

5 Years of Kickstarter Projects

Hasselnuts-back.jpg

  • Total Projects Pledged: 15 - One of my early projects in 2013 was the "Hasselnuts: Hasselblad Camera + iPhone DigitalBack Kit!" I had a Hasselblad 500C at the time that I wasn't using very much, and I was intrigued by this iPhone digital back adapter for it. I pledged $219 for it, received it after many delays, and it worked - for my iPhone 4S. Unfortunately Apple kept changing the iPhone dimensions, rendering my cool Hassey back woefully outdated. You see, they didn't really plan to accommodate different phone dimensions. I ended up selling the 500C. I still have the Hasselnuts.
  • Total Projects Delivered to Date - 9 - Back in 2013, I was pretty excited about The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner. One again, I was hooked on the idea of using my iPhone as a digitizer to add images directly to my iCloud account. For my $55, I did receive the film scanner. And I still have, though I don't use it much because of its poor image quality. If I would have really thought this one through, I probably could have predicted its performance. And I haven't revisited it with my iPhone X. Maybe I should.
  • Projects Promised that I'm Still Waiting for - 4 - Of the bunch, the one that I'm most excited about is LAB-BOX - The first multi-format daylight-loading film tank. Originally, this project was slated for delivery in Sept. 2017. They have finally begun shipping, and I may have mine by Sept. 2019. This device would allow me to process film in complete daylight. No darkroom required. If it works as promised, it will save me a ton of money in processing costs. I'll keep you posted.
  • Projects that did not Reach their Funding Goal - 2 - One that I was really pulling for was the KOBRA Flash Modifier System. But they only raised $37,296 of their $125,000 goal. So the project wasn't funded. They rebooted and tried again, and it looks like they met their goal the second time. But I lost interest and have no idea how it all turned out.
  • Potential Batting Average of .867 - If my outstanding projects deliver, I'm looking pretty good. And even if none of the outstanding projects never make it to my mailbox, I'm still batting a cool .600.

So, by now you're probably wondering what my favorite Kickstarter project has been. Of the ones delivered, I use the Lume Cube flash and video light the most. It's super handy. And I can take it underwater for snorkeling as well.

I still have high hopes for Lab-Box and the Kamlan 50mm F1.1 lens. We shall see.

New Nimble Podcast - Photographer Shelby Knick

In the podcast titled From Outside the Fence to In, Shelby talks about her first interview to apprentice with a pro photographer for motor sports. I thought you might enjoy this anecdote.

The entire conversation is terrific. I think you will enjoy what Shelby has to say. To ensure that you don't miss any of the podcasts, I recommend that you subscribe to The Nimble Photographer Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, or whereever you tune in.

This Famed LA Ice Cream Truck Has Started Charging 'Influencers' Double

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite passages:

The CVT Soft Serve truck is an LA institution with a 15-year history, but its reputation comes with a downside. Owner Joe Nicchi is increasingly bombarded with requests for free ice cream in exchange for "exposure" on Instagram.

The owner reached his limit last week, when he tells VICE that an unnamed influencer asked him to work an event for 300 people... for exposure. That's when he announced a new policy through (ironically) the truck's Instagram account: anybody who asks for a $4 ice cream cone for free will pay $8.

"We truly don't care if you're an Influencer, or how many followers you have," reads the caption. "We will never give you a free ice cream in exchange for a post on your social media page." #InfluencersAreGross

Dynapak MKI Presets And Profiles Aim to Enhance M4/3 RAW Files

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite passages:

The Dynapak MKI profiles and presets pack has been designed to help Micro Four Thirds users get big, bold colors, and better dynamic range from the small sensors. The color profiles that come with the bundle have been created to work with Adobe's Camera Raw software and Adobe's Lightroom. The profiles help the software get closer to the light-data that has been captured by the camera's sensor, which in turn should allow for more dynamic range, and much deeper, more vibrant colors than you could get without the profiles in place.

The bundle also comes with 11 creative presets, a Dynapak MKI training video that will help get the most out of the profiles, and free updates forever. The Dynapak MKI Profiles and Presets bundle will work with Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC and Lightroom CC mobile so you can edit while you're on the road. The Bundle is available now for $60. Head on over to Dynapak MKI Product Page for more information.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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.

There are those times when you want to share a collection of images without tapping a 3rd party web service. One excellent option is Capture One's electronic contact sheet.

electronic-contact-sheet.png

Once you create an electronic contact sheet, you can put it on a flash drive, embed it on a web page, and even make a hard copy print. In this short video, you can see how to make one for yourself.

Build an electronic contact sheet from Capture One Pro 12 Essential Training by Derrick Story

Electronic contact sheets are one of those tricks that you can keep in your back pocket for those times when you want to deliver a gallery on a flash drive or some other non-web-service approach. Plus, they are quite attractive.

Master Capture One Pro 12 in Just 2 Hours

You can learn all the ins and outs of this amazing software in the comfort of your home, or even on your smartphone by watching my fast-paced training: Capture One Pro 12 Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning. If you're a lynda.com fan, it's available there as well. You will learn everything from image organization, to expert editing, to output and more. It will feel good to finally take control of your photo library with Capture One Pro 12.

Luminar 3.1.2 is now available with a few new tricks up its sleeve. The most notable is "On This Day."

on-this-day.jpg

"'On This Day' will let you relive your photography memories. Available for both Mac and Windows, this new feature gives you the opportunity to look back on the pictures you took one or more years ago. To get started with this, simply click the On This Day shortcut in the menu. (Note that the On This Day feature will only show up if you have photos in your Library taken on the current month and day in previous years.)

Additionally, on the Mac side of things, they've also added a faster import from your memory card, and you can add plugins from Nik Collection to your workflow. Windows users will see a faster scroll on Single Image view. Plus, they'll see speed improvements to the switching process between Single Image view and Gallery view.

Skylum is also running a special offer through July 10, 2019:

  • $50 for Luminar 3
  • $60 for Luminar 3 + The Big Screen LOOKs pack by Ilya Nodia
  • $120 for Luminar 3 + The Big Screen LOOKs pack by Ilya Nodia + Aurora HDR'19

You can access all of these offers via this link.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #694, July 2, 2019. Today's theme is "Are Your Cloud Storage Costs Out of Control?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I had just completed a job in Adobe Lightroom when this notice flashed on my screen, "You've used your 20 GBs of storage. Would you like to upgrade your plan?" Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, with every other service that I'm currently using. Then it dawned on me: "How much am I spending for online storage?" The answer is the topic of today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Are Your Cloud Storage Costs Out of Control?

clouds-1024-web.jpg

It's funny how I have thoughts in the back of my head that I don't act upon, until there's some sort of tipping point. In this case, that moment was when I ran out of space for my current Adobe Photography Plan that includes Lightroom, Photoshop, and 20 GBs of storage for $10 a month.

I had just been notified that my Dropbox plan would increase $20 a month upon renewal. And I had just ponied up for another year of Flickr Pro. Then there's Smugmug, Apple iCloud, and probably others that I can't even remember right now. How much am I spending on Cloud storage? Well, here's a breakdown.

Current Cloud Storage Costs per Year

  • $120 - Adobe Photography Plan - Includes 20 GBs of storage, plus access to Lightroom and Photoshop. Could upgrade ti 1 TB plan for $240 a year with a $60 discount for the first year.
  • $120 - Apple iCloud - Plan includes 2 TBs or storage for my photos and other files in the Apple ecosystem.
  • $120 - Dropbox - Just raised their rates and doubled our storage space. I will have another 2 TBs there if I renew.
  • $49 - Flickr Pro - Unlimited photo storage, ad free browsing, and access to all of Flickr's services.
  • $72 - Smugmug account - I'm not really sure of the storage limitations here. But to this point, I haven't received any additional notices.
  • $83 - Portfoliobox Pro - 1000 images and unlimited pages, plus custom domain and publishing platform.

If I renew all of these plans, my total will be $564 a year, breaking down to $47 a month. Now keep in mind, this doesn't include web site fees, domain name renewals, Internet costs, mobile phone subscriptions, etc.

Upcoming Nimble Interview - Filmmaker Joanna James

Joanna is a filmmaker and directed the movie, "A Fine Line." In her interview, she takes us behind the scenes of independent filmmaking. It's an interview you don't want to miss. Look for it later this week.

To ensure that you don't miss any of the podcasts, I recommend that you subscribe to The Nimble Photographer Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, or where every you tune in.

How Mirrorless Cameras Are Changing the Game for Photojournalists

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite passages:

One of the best features of mirrorless cameras is their ability to shoot totally silently thanks to the lack of a mechanical mirror. That feature turned out to be a great boon to a photojournalist at the recent Democratic debate, allowing him to shoot in a position where others couldn't.

The Sony a9 is known for its electronic shutter with fast readout and no viewfinder blackout, which allows photographers to shoot in complete silence. For New York Times photographer Doug Mills, that became a great advantage at the recent Democratic debate.

It turns out that the sound of the DSLRs used by other photojournalists was picked up by the broadcast microphones, leading NBC to tell them to only shoot during audience applause. When Mills was brought to the side of the stage for his turn, he was told he couldn't shoot, but he quickly explained that his camera didn't make any noise, leading the NBC tech to remark that such cameras should be standard for all photojournalists.

If you've ever listened to any live political event, you've probably heard the constant clatter of DSLRs, so surely, an eventual migration to mirrorless cameras would be beneficial in that sense. Nonetheless, press companies are deeply invested in Canon and Nikon cameras and lenses, so such a change won't happen overnight.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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 iPad mini 5 Review

After one month with the iPad mini 5, I can honestly say that it's my favorite tablet to date.

iPad-mini-5.png

In some ways, it's a unique creature, with a combination of traditional Apple features mixed with some new stuff as well. The result is a satisfying, portable device for both work and play. The basic specs include:

  • 7.9" Multi-Touch Retina Display
  • 2048 x 1536 Screen Resolution (326 ppi)
  • Apple A12 64-Bit SoC + M12 Coprocessor
  • 4G LTE | Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) | BT 5.0
  • Front 7MP FaceTime Camera
  • Rear 8MP Camera
  • Lightning Connector
  • Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
  • Supports Apple Pencil (1st Gen)

Traditional Features that Might Surprise You

Three things that might jump out while reviewing the specs is that the mini 5 uses Touch ID (instead of Face ID) and sports a Lightning connector (instead of USB-C). It also includes a standard mini-stereo port for traditional headphones.

At first, these features may feel like a step backwards. But in reality for me, and I suspect for many iPad mini users who are upgrading from previous models as well, they make the transition easy with a minimum of expenditure for new accessories. All of your existing chargers and headphones will work great with this device.

And besides, because it runs iOS 12 so well (and upcoming iPad OS), there is very little reliance on the home button, except for Touch ID. Almost all of my navigation is swiping, just like with the iPhone X that I carry in my pocket.

But You Will Need a New Case

iPad-mini-case.png

I tried to repurpose a few of my cases from my previous iPad mini 2, but I could not use them without a little hacking. The iPad mini 5 is approximately the same width as the previous models, but it's a bit taller.

After a week of DIY case hacking, I broke down and bought a a fitting home for it. Since the mini is a bit slippery when held naked, I highly recommend finding some proper apparel for it.

Then, There Is the New Stuff

This little guy is a powerhouse under the hood. The Apple A12 64-Bit processor is a beast. I maxed out the memory, which is only 256 GBs, but seems plenty for my on-the-go work, especially in tandem with iCloud.

I do recommend going the cellular LTE route if you can afford it. My approach is to use a different carrier than with my iPhone, which is AT&T. So I use Verizon for the iPad. That way, when hotel WiFi fails me, I'm assured of being able to connect to one of these networks.

And, of course, the mini 5 is also compatible with the first gen Apple Pencil. I love this!

I've been using the pencil with the built-in Notes app and with Notability. Since I'm not an illustrator, using the first gen model isn't a drawback for me. I'm annotating images and jotting thoughts. The pencil works great for this.

Favorite Camera App

At first you wouldn't think that one would be taking many pictures with the iPad. But I've found that when I'm using it for documentation, being able to add a picture in realtime is quite efficient.

After some testing, I've settled on Camera+ 2 as my favorite photo app for this device. It behaves natively on the large Retina screen, has a great feature set, and there are a ton of options to provide you with the images you need.

Lightroom Mobile is also very good on the iPad mini.

The Bottom Line

With the iPad mini 5, I'm ready for iPad OS later this year. In the meantime, I'm very much enjoying its classic portability with a substantial processing bump. The addition of the Apple Pencil is a nice touch. It's really an appealing package.

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

P6067854-Etsy-Nikon-FA.jpg

When I feel like just having fun with photography, I often reach for a roll of B&W film and my set of filters to go with it. Typically, I work with a prime lens and yellow, orange, and red filters. On this day, my camera of choice was a Nikon FA, Nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens, T-Max 100 film (only slightly expired), and a Tiffen 21 orange filter.

If you haven't worked with B&W film and these filters, it's amazing at how much (and how easily) you can alter the image with them. The yellow filter is a great all-around contrast enhancer. The orange and red varieties are a bit more dramatic, depending on the colors in the scene. Take these orange cones for example.

7540_25A.jpg "Orange Cone with Orange Filter" - Nikon FA, Nikkor 28mm lens, Aperture Priority at f/2.8, Kodak T-Max 100 film. Photo by Derrick Story. (Click on images to enlarge.)

7540_28A.jpg "Orange Cone, No Filter" - Nikon FA, Nikkor 28mm lens, Aperture Priority at f/11, Kodak T-Max 100 film. Photo by Derrick Story.

It's amazing at how different the two images are. The top photo has the orange color "filtered out" with the filter. Plus, the wide aperture setting softens the background a bit, even with the wide angle lens.

The second image, without a filter, renders very differently. Plus there's more depth of field thanks to the f/11 setting.

This entire roll of film is filled with images that are fun and make great fodder for social posts, fine art cards, and articles like this. But the best part is, I had a great time that morning and was reminded once again why I like photography so much.

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