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Be Your Own Second Shooter

One of the best jobs in the photo business is the second shooter. You don't have the "shot list pressure" that the primary photographer has, you can roam more freely, and the odds of capturing the big shot are much greater. I used to watch my second shooters with envy when I was a wedding photographer.

Now, I shoot alone mostly. But I've learned to be my own second shooter. Here's what I mean.

Catching Up to Dad "Catching Up to Dad," photo by Derrick Story.

I recorded this image after a paid assignment was completed. I was hired to photograph a family portrait for their holiday greeting card. We got the shot we needed, then let the kids run around for a bit in the park.

That's when I went into second shooter mode. I stayed down on the ground (actually on my belly in the wet grass) and photographed the boys as they burned off some excess energy. When it was time to go, I saw this image of the oldest trying to catch up to his dad.

I could have packed away my gear after the group shot. But instead, I went into second shooter mode. And by doing so, I often get shots that I would have otherwise missed.


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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Remembering Everpix

If you were one of the 6,800 paid subscribers, or even just had a free account, you probably know by now that Everpix is shutting down its cloud photo service on Dec. 15, 2013.

I liked this service (and its founders) a lot. I've posted a piece on the Nimble Journal titled, This One Hurt: The Closing of Everpix. If you were a fan, you might want to take a look.

Everpix on an iPad mini Everpix updating in the background while being used on an iPad mini.

I also have an interview with Wayne Fan and Pierre-Olivier Latour (two of the founders) recorded in San Francisco on June 26, 2013. It's interesting to me to listen to their comments, only 5 months ago, in light of the December shut down.

It's tough to see a good idea get cut down before reaching its potential. Maybe something new, with better backing, will rise out of the ashes.


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You can comment on Everpix via my Nimble Journal post This One Hurt: The Closing of Everpix

One of the advantages of working within the Adobe ecosystem is how well Lightroom and Photoshop play together. Panorama shooters can organize the individual images in Lightroom, send them to Photoshop for merging and correction, then have the finished product reside back in the Lightroom catalog.

Golden State Warriors Win Round 1 Oracle Arena Your panoramas can live alongside your other images in the Lightroom library.

Digital Photography School has published a handy tutorial, Sending Panorama Sequences from Lightroom to Photoshop, that shows you how to take advantage of this compatibility. If you use these two apps, shoot a panorama sequence on your next assignment and give it a try.

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Panasonic GX7

I guess that's why we research our cameras before we buy them...

I was intrigued and a bit excited about the Panasonic GX7 micro four thirds camera. The spec sheet checked-off the functionality I wanted, and the body design is terrific.

And then I read the DP Review of the GX7, and discovered that it has a few bumps in the road. I hate it when that happens.

Essentially, Panasonic (of all companies) designed a high-end camera that has crippled movie recording. The in-body stabilization is disabled during video capture, there are no in-audio or out-audio ports, and the EVF struggles outdoors.

Like I said, I guess that's why we do our research before buying.

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Lollipod

The inventors at Lollipod have created what they call a "Tripod / Monopod / Boom / Lighting & Selfie Stand" that is quite compact. It will stabilize a device up to 420 grams and pack neatly in a shoulder bag or hang from your belt.

Here are the basic specifications:

  • Super Light at only 320 grams (11.3 ounces).
  • Maximum Load Capacity 420 grams.
  • Closed Length - 320 mm (12.6") It should fit longways in the Walking Man Shoulder Bag.
  • Maximum Height - 1130 mm (44").
  • Locking Ball Head with Camera Mounting Screw.
  • Multi Device Compatible (adaptor required).

So I'm going to try one for the team here. I ordered a Minty Green Lollipod that cost me $64.74 US (price includes $14.62 for shipping) after British Pound conversion. Once I have it in hand, I'll let you know how it fares in testing. More to come.


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This product has a tentatively high Nimbleosity Rating (untested at this point). 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: Nikon Df mechanical/digital DSLR; on The Nimbleosity Report - Olympus Stylus 1; From the Photo Help Desk - Do I need expensive filters? All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Nikon Df DSLR - What started in the Scottish Highlands with an excellent teaser video has now become a reality. And it has a lot of photographers excited.

Nikon Df

Basic features include:

  • Full frame 16MP sensor
  • Dedicated mechanical dials for shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, exposure mode, and release mode
  • Mechanical cable release compatible
  • 39-point AF with 9 cross sensors
  • Compatible with AF-S, AF-D, and AD Nikkor lenses

The Df will be available in silver and black, probably around the end of this month. It looks awesome. The Df has that throwback styling that made the original OM-D so alluring. It even has the "slide over" eyecup shade for long exposures. If you want one for yourself, it will cost you $2,996.95 with 50mm lens. I talk about the possible impact of this camera in today's top story.

Story #2 - In today's Nimbleosity Report, I take a closer look at the Olympus Stylus 1 . It looks like a baby OM-D E-M5, but with a powerful and bright zoom lens. Here are the highlight features:

  • 12MP 1/1.7" sensor (similar in size to the XZ-2)
  • 1.44M dot electronic viewfinder
  • 1 million dot 3" tilting touchscreen LCD
  • 28-300mm equivalent (10.7x) optically-stabilized f/2.8 lens (constant aperture through entire zooming range)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with smartphone control
  • RAW capture as well as Jpeg
  • Magnesium alloy body structure
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Same battery as the Olympus OM-D
  • Should sell for around $699

This looks like a heck of an all-in-one camera to me. Love the constant aperture and zooming range. Lots of enthusiast features in a very nimble package (14 ounces). This little gem will set you back $699 US. Is it worth it? I'll talk about that.

Story #3 - From the Photo Help Desk - Should you pay the extra dollars for high-end multi-coated filters when others are available at a fraction of the price?

Now is the time to order your SizzlPix for the holidays!

New Ad tiles on TDS. If you're going to purchase from Amazon of B%H Photo, please click on the respective ad tile for those suppliers, located in the second column on every page of TheDigitalStory.com.

And don't forget, I have an Aperture Workshop coming up on Nov. 16 and 17. Write me at derrick@thedigitalstory.com for more details.

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.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The November 2013 photo assignment is "Critters."

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.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

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How many times have you said to yourself, "If I could just lighten that one spot in the photo, I would be so happy."? Aperture users don't have to roundtrip out of the application to accomplish that task. Using the brushing tools, you can work on "just that one spot." And in 5 minutes, I show you how.

This tutorial is from my Enhancing Product Photography with Aperture training on lynda.com. I walk you through localized editing techniques step by step, so you can apply this to your photos right now.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture, take a look at Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012), Using iPhoto and Aperture Together, and the latest, Portrait Retouching with Aperture. Also, visit our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

Aperture Workshop Coming on Nov. 16 and 17, 2013

Want to learn Aperture in a hands on environment? My next Aperture workshop will be Nov. 16 and 17 in Santa Rosa, CA. We'll review all of the basics, plus work on portraiture (including a live model shoot), product photography, and more. Write me at derrick@thedigitalstory.com for more information and a reservation form.

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Two New Super Nimble Fit Kit Designs

I've finished testing and have now published two new Nimble Fit Kits (#10 and #11). Kit 10 is designed specifically for indoor events that typically include security checks. Kit 11 is handy for traveling light and covering outdoor actives.

Nimble Fit Kit 10 Fit Kit 10 designed for indoor events such as basketball games.

Both kits use the just-released Walking Man Shoulder Bag (black model) with silver embroidery on the front flap. I've used these configurations for extended periods of time. Because they are so light and comfortable, I can keep my gear on my body and safe while taking pictures in crowded areas.

Nimble Fit Kit 11 Fit Kit 11 is perfect for outdoor activities with friends and family.

On The Nimble Photographer, I list the contents of each item in the kit with a link to its catalog page. Both of these configurations take advantage of the "bag within a bag" concept. Chances are you already have many of the components required to build similar carrying solutions.

If you want the official Nimble Photographer Shoulder Bag made of 95 percent recycled material and handsomely embroidered, it's available for $29.95.


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

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For the September 2013 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters demonstrated their cat-like reflexes. See for yourself in our gallery, Grab Shot. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?

brian-buhowsky-sept-2013-pa.jpg

Photo by Brian Buhowsky. "This is a grab shot of my daughter while our house was under construction. The colors and contrast, as well as the haze created by the tarp resulted in a dynamic effect." (Captured with an iPhone 5.) See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Grab Shot gallery page.


Participate in This Month's Assignment

The Nov. 2013 assignment is "Critters." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is Nov. 30, 2013. No limit on image size submitted.

Please follow the instructions carefully for labeling the subject line of the email for your submission. It's easy to lose these in the pile of mail if not labeled correctly. For example, the subject line for this month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: Nov 2013." Also, if you can, please don't strip out the metadata. And feel free to add any IPTC data you wish (These fields in particular: Caption, Credit, Copyright, Byline), I use that for the caption info.

Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting Oct. 2013 at the end of Nov., the Nov. gallery will be posted at the end of Dec., and on and on.

Good luck with your Nov. assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for Sept..


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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.

Canon 70D Lives Up to the Hype

Canon EOS 70D with 40mm STM Lens

Having carried a Canon EOS 70D with the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens for some time now, I agree with the recent DP Review Gold Award for the enthusiast DSLR.

In terms of my "larger" cameras, this is my current favorite. And with the 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens, it's a remarkably compact and versatile camera. I keep it in my Lowepro Urban Reporter 150 with the OM-D.

The 40mm on the 70D is my longer lens and the 17mm on the E-M5 is the wider. Depending on the situation, I grab the camera that has the most appropriate focal length.

The things I really like about the 70D and why it resides in my daily bag include:

  • The swing-out articulated touchscreen LCD. So versatile!
  • Built in flash with wireless controller combined with the wireless Canon 270EX II Speedlite Flash makes for a potent on-the-go lighting kit.
  • Great autofocusing with both the optical viewfinder and via live view.
  • Terrific low light/high ISO performance.
  • Built-in WiFi for both camera control and picture transfer.
  • Accepts my entire catalog of Canon glass.

The enthusiast DSLR lives on. And I, along with DP Review, feel that Canon has created an excellent camera with the 70D.

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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.