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Camera+ 5 for iOS with Processing Lab

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The folks at Tap tap tap have just released Camera+ 5 for the iPhone ($1.99) with plenty of updates, including The Lab.

Not only is Camera+ a terrific app for capturing images with your iPhone (or iPad), but The Lab adds some dynamite features worthy of your attention.

  • Clarity Pro
  • Tint
  • Soft Focus
  • Film Grain
  • Temperature
  • Highlights and Shadows
  • Vignette
  • And many more...

I just gave the app a run-through from start to finish for this image of my Lowepro Urban Reporter 150 that I posted on Instagram.

When capturing the image, I took advantage of Camera+ controls such as image stabilization and self timer (I was holding a reflector in my other hand). In The Lab, I added a bit of Clarity, recovered some highlights, and used just a bit of vignette to draw the eye to the center of the frame. Capture, processing, and sharing all accomplished on the iPhone 5S.

If you're looking for a new camera app to help you expand your iPhone photography, I would certainly consider this latest version of Camera+. For existing users, the upgrade is free.


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We knew it was coming; just not sure when. Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 5.02 adds Raw processing for five cameras - all of them important: Nikon D5300, Nikon Df, Olympus OM-D E-M1, Sony Alpha 7, and Sony Alpha 7R.

My approach while waiting for such updates is to shoot Raw+Jpeg with a new camera. I upload both to Aperture, and work with the Jpegs until the new Raw processing is available. I keep the two formats in separate albums. Until the Raw processing is available, my thumbnails for the unsupported files look like this.

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Once the update is applied, I go to the Adjustments tab in the Inspector, and click on any thumbnail. Aperture will process the file and present me with an image. I can use the right and left arrow keys to move through the images quickly and display the updates.

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As for the Raw processing itself, it seemed very good for my OM-D E-M1 files. Initial previews looked spot on, highlight and shadow recovery was smooth, color was pleasing, and all controls behaved as I would anticipate.

If you're a Mac OS X Mavericks user, the update should be applied automatically. If not, you can download it here.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


The Digital Story on Facebook -- discussion, outstanding images from the TDS community, and inside information. Join our celebration of great photography!


This week on The Digital Story photography podcast: Lightroom 5.3 Goodies, especially for those with new cameras; Nimbleosity Report - Automated Backup of Your Mobile Photos with Loom; Photo Help Desk: Car Windshield Shade Portrait Reflector - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Photographers who have upgraded to the Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus Stylus 1, Nikon Df, or Pentax K-3 should be interested in the latest Lightroom update, version 5.3. Not only is there Raw support for these cameras, Adobe has also added:

  • Tethered capture for Canon EOS Rebel T4i / EOS 650D / EOS Kiss X6i
  • New Lens Profile Support for 19 new lenses, including a boatload of Sony glass
  • Added Camera Matching color profiles (Natural, Muted, Portrait, Vivid) for Olympus cameras

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Plus lots and lots of bug fixes. I talk about this substantial update in today's top story. (More information about the Lightroom 5.3 release is here).

Story #2 - On the Nimbleosity Report - Automated Backup of Your Mobile Photos with Loom. Now that Everpix is just a fond memory, I needed to find a robust backup solution for my iPhone and iPad pictures. I've been testing Loom, and I think it has potential.

One of Loom's most appealing features is the ability to create albums and move pictures into them. This really helps with organization. You can even create nested albums, but the procedure gets a bit more tricky doing this.

The Mac and iOS apps seem solid, you get 5GBs of storage for free, and you can increase your allotment to 50GBs for $3.99 a month or 250GBs for $9.99 a month. If you pay yearly, you can save: $39.99 and $99.99 respectively.

I think it's important to begin 2014 with a solid mobile backup solution, and I discuss the potential with Loom in the second segment.

Story #3 - From the Photo Help Desk: Car Windshield Shade Portrait Reflector. We might not always have our disc reflectors on us, but chances are you have a windshield shade in your car. Here's how it can save the day for a portrait shoot.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (31 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

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

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

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

High school yearbook portraits are generally a mechanical process. With lots of students to photograph, and not much time to do it, it's understandable why the process can become a bit impersonal.

According to the students I've talked to, they get one shot in front of the photographer. There might be a second exposure if something went terribly wrong with the first. Otherwise, that's it. Next.

If your child decides that he or she doesn't like the image that was captured, offer to give them a second chance. After all, this is a photo they have to live with for a long time.

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As photographers, we shoot portraits regularly. Yearbook shots are among the easiest to do. Simply look at the image that was supplied by the official photographer, find a comparable backdrop, and shoot a series of images.

That's right: a series.

Along the way, show the pictures you've already recorded to the subject. Ask which ones they like the best. Then shoot another series working that pose and expression. After just 15 or 20 minutes, you'll have a happy high school student, and you've put your skills to work for your family.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

If you have questions about portrait retouching in Aperture, or how to adjust the background color, take a look at Portrait Retouching with Aperture. You may want to check out my other Aperture titles, including Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012), Using iPhoto and Aperture Together, and the latest, Enhancing Product Photography with Aperture. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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My appreciation of the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 increased over the last three days while shooting a high school basketball tournament. I relied on the fast 75mm f/1.8 lens for the bulk of the action, and I have to say, I very much enjoyed this tandem.

Tip Off

I would shoot the first half on the side of the court, usually from the first or second row of the stands. Then move to the end court for the second half. This provides a nice variety of angles. The tip off here, for example, was captured at 1/500th, f/1.8, ISO 1600. I then processed the Raw file in Lightroom 5.3

Speaking of Raw, the E-M1 did not bog down at all while shooting burst mode, even when I was capturing in Raw+Jpeg. This is one of its big improvements over its sibling, the E-M5. The fast processing combined with the swift autofocus makes the E-M1 the best micro four thirds camera, that I've shot with, for sporting events.

The lightness of my kit was also a big factor. I used the Lowepro Urban Reporter 150 all three days of the tournament. I was able to keep the bag on my shoulder the entire time. Not once did I feel tired or experience the need to set the bag down.

We've known for some time that micro four thirds cameras and lenses are good for travel and street photography. But this latest iteration of the OM-D is a serious action camera too.


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

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Olympus Raw shooters have a new goodie under the Christmas tree: camera color profiles. I saw this note on DP Review and tested it myself. We're no longer limited to the standard Adobe color profiles for our Raw processing.

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You can find the profiles under Camera Calibration in the Develop module. Cycling through them provides you with different interpretations of the image. Choose the one you like best as a starting point, then finish off the photo with your favorite editing tools.


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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Adobe officially released Lightroom 5.3 that includes Raw processing for 20 new cameras. This is great news for Olympus OM-D E-M1 owners who haven't had many options for processing their .ORF files.

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I did some testing this morning with Raw files from the E-M1 in Lightroom 5.3. The default profile by Adobe is comparable to the previews presented by Olympus Viewer 2. Editing tasks, such as recovering highlights and shadows also went well.

I do note that highlight recovery didn't seem as smooth (graduated) as with some of my other cameras, such as .CR2 files from Canon. In some ways, it felt more like trying to recover highlights from a Jpeg than a Raw file. This could have been just my eyes today (not enough coffee?), and I'm going to continue to test highlight recovery with OM-D E-M1 files. I will post an update if I discover something new.

Other areas, such as color and sharpness, responded well to the editing tools in Lightroom 5.3. And at the moment, I would say that this app is your best option for Raw processing if you shoot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

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PhotoHelpDesk.com is a down-to-earth resource for curious minded photographers. Submit your questions, and we'll post an answer.

Is the iPhone Flash Useful Outdoors?

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One of the most popular tricks used by event photographers is to turn on the flash for outdoor portraits. I've used this successfully with DSLRs and compacts. But do you get the same magical benefit from the LED "flash" on the iPhone 5S?

Kathleen and I decided to test this during an assignment photo shoot today. First, I posed her against a bright background and turned on the iPhone flash. As you can see, she was wildly underexposed. With any of my standard cameras, this image would have turned out great.

Then I changed directions and used a shaded area as the background. I wanted to see if the LED could provide any benefit in this type of lighting. We shot with the fill flash on (left), and with the flash turned off (right).

iphone-fill-flash.jpg Fill flash on (left); off (right)

At first I didn't think the flash was making much difference. But later, when I had a chance to compare the images on my Mac, I could see some of the benefits of the LEDs. The skin tones were warmer, eyes brighter, and overall, more glow.

Bottom line is this: with bright, contrasty backgrounds, your iPhone fill flash is like a pea shooter at a bazooka range. But when both subject and background are in open shade, it's worth turning on. Give it a try.


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The iPhone 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: Organizing your 2013 photo library (and preparing for 2014); Nimbleosity Report - Canon PowerShot S110 (great deal on a super camera); Photo Help Desk: the Ziploc bag trick - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Over the course of the year, it's very easy to let your photo library become a bit messy. Now that we're nearing the end of 2013, this is a great time to tidy up your image collection and prepare for the coming year.

Story #2 - The Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera is currently available for $219. Check out these features:

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  • 12.1MP Resolution 1/1.7" CMOS Sensor
  • 24-120mm UA Lens (f/2.0 at wide angle)
  • 3.0" PureColor Touch Screen LCD Display
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor, Intelligent IS, High Speed AF
  • Full HD 1080p Video with Stereo Sound
  • ISO 12800, ND filter, and Multi-Aspect Ratio RAW
  • Smart AUTO, Movie Digest and WiFi
  • HDR, electronic level HDMI out, and copyright imprinting
  • Weighs 6.1 ounces and is less than 4" wide

I talk about why I think this is a can't-miss deal for nimble photographers looking for a super compact camera.

Story #3 - It's that time of year to put a Ziploc bag in your camera kit. I explain why in the third segment of the show.

Photo Assignment News

Photo Assignment for November is High ISO.

And we have three new winners for the SizzlPix Pick of the Month: August 2013 - Street Scene - Dominick Chiuchiolo; September 2013 - Grab Shot - Michael Fairbanks; and October 2013 - My House is My Castle - Keith Hartman.

For The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club members ... if you'd like additional copies of for gifts, or SizzlPix! of any other of your images to make spectacular, amazing holiday gifts, order any two SizzlPix! to be shipped together, and we'll give you 25% off on the second one! Order any size up to a mind-boggling 48 by 72" Imagine -- six feet! and no sacrifice in resolution, luminance, and impact. Just put "TDS " in the comments space on the sizzlpix.com order page. Of course, you may apply the discount to any number of pairs. And free shipping to any US mainland address.

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.

Listen to the Podcast

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.


iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

Podcast Sponsors

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

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

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For one week, beginning today, you can receive free shipping on the following Nimble Photographer Gift Sets. Use coupon code: freeshipping

  • Water Bottle Gift Set $39.95 - includes a 26-ounce Stainless Steel water bottle, Wenger gift box, D-Ring attachment, the embroidered Walking Man Shoulder Bag (yes, the water bottle fits inside!, two artisan holiday gift cards with blank interior, and a holiday gift bag.
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  • Walking Man Cap and Shoulder Bag Gift Set (Navy cap) $49.95 - includes the Walking Man Cap (Navy/Tan colors), Walking Man Shoulder Bag (Black with silver embroidery), two artisan gift cards, and a holiday gift bag.
  • Walking Man Cap and Shoulder Bag Gift Set (Port cap) $49.95 - includes the Walking Man Cap (Port/Navy colors), Walking Man Shoulder Bag (Black with silver embroidery), two artisan gift cards, and a holiday gift bag.

Orders can be shipped to any United States postal address via USPS Priority Mail. Typical delivery time is 2-5 days from when your order is placed. Each package is ready to give. All you have to do is sign the card.

"I think my favorite item in the store is the cap. All of the items look great, but I wear caps all the time and this one has a classic look to it," C. Jones

"My favorite thing in the shop is the Walking Man Shoulder Bag, which I just picked up from the Post Office. It is perfect for my light, walkabout kit," D. Chiuchiolo

To get your free shipping on these gift sets, or any order that totals over $38, just add coupon code: freeshipping

Happy Holidays!


Nimble Photographer Logo

These products have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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