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Think about the things that you might want from a portable power pack while on a roadtrip. A unit light enough to toss in your bag while on hike would be good. A powerful flashlight is always helpful on the road. But what if you returned to your car only to discover that the battery was dead because you left a light on? Wouldn't if be nice if your power pack was robust enough to jump the car? Meet the Cobra JumPack CPP 9000.

P7066255-JumPack-cables-1024.jpg The jumper cables plug into a special port on the JumPack. They can be left in the car while you carry the basic unit with you while on foot.

I know it sounds crazy, but it works. When the cables are connected to the JumPack, it has a 200 Amp starting current, with a 400 Amp peak current that can jump start most cars multiple times on a single charge. It uses a 7500 mAh Lithium-Cobalt battery and special circuitry to get this job done.

Yet, the JumPack is not much bigger than my iPhone X and weighs less than a pound. So I can carry it with me to power up my USB devices.

P7066267-JumPack-size.jpg The unit is light enough and compact enough to fit in your backpack or gear bag. Here it is next to my iPhone X.

For refueling USB devices, such as smartphones and tablets with the with the 5-Volt/9-Volt output port. All you have to do is plug the phone's USB cable into the JumPack, and it automatically starts charging it. You can use the device while it's connected to the power pack.

P7066249-JumPack-iphone-charge-v2.jpg Charging the iPhone X via the JumPack's 5-Volt/9-Volt port.

There's plenty of safety built-in as well. The JumPack is built to be compliant with safety standard UL 2743. Even when you're jumping the car, everything is protected via its cutoff circuitry. To jump a vehicle, connect the cables to the battery, then connect the JumPack. You'll first see a red LED indicating that it's verifying the connections. Then the light will turn yellow while it's transferring power to the battery. Finally, when the LED turns green, you can start the ignition.

P7066251-JumPack-ports.jpg Input and output ports, plus the LED flashlight.

The 500 lumen, high-intensity flashlight features strobe and SOS functions for emergency assistance. Hold the green button for 3 seconds to turn on the lamp, then cycle through the different functions by pressing the green button. The flashlight does work while you're charging a USB device, so both functions can be tapped simultaneously.

The JumPack includes a mini-USB cable that you can use for recharging the unit via any USB charger. In my testing, it took about 3 hours to refresh the JumPack from 25 percent to full charge, using an Apple 10 watt USB charger. The JumPack will hold its juice for 8 months. So it you have it stored in an emergency kit, I would top it off twice a year.

P7066268-JumPack-in-bag.jpg The JumPack kit includes the power unit, USB cable, jumper cables, and a bag that holds everything.

The Cobra JumPack CPP 9000 is available directly from the Cobra website for $129. It's powerful enough to start a V8 engine, motorcycle, or boat. And it's light enough to slide into your camera bag. I'll definitely have it with me on my next roadtrip.


Nimble Photographer Logo

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

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Easy Infrared Photography

I've been fascinated with infrared photography since the film days. I especially like the bold B&W approach - darker sky, bright clouds, and glowing foliage. But even in the digital age, I found the workflow a little confusing. So I finally sat down and figured it out. And here's what I'm using today.

Black Pool "Black Pool" - Fujifilm X-20, Hoya R72 filter, processed in Luminar and Photos for macOS. Image by Derrick Story.

Starting with the camera itself, we all have favorites from the past that we're probably not using as much as we'd like. In my case, a Fujifilm X-20 that I adore. I tested it for IR photography by pointing my TV remote toward the lens at close distance and pressing the power button. I could see the IR signal on the camera's LCD. Good news! That meant that my X-20 had potential for infrared photography.

Next, I needed a filter. I prefer the Hoya R72 Infrared Filter ($36). I use both the 49mm and the 52mm on my cameras. It's a dense filter, but it does a great job of enhancing the wonderful IR effect that I want.

ir-setup.jpg

One of the things that I like about Fujifilm cameras are their film simulation modes. For this project, I use the "monochrome + red" setting in Jpeg Fine mode. Combined with the R72 filter, this setting gives my images a lot of initial pop. For handheld work, I usually have the ISO at 800 under bright sun.

When it's time to process, I use Photos for macOS with Luminar 2018. For this workflow, I use Luminar as an editing extension to keep things simple. But I could use it standalone, or as a plugin for Lightroom as well.

A good starting place in Luminar is a set of presets by Laurie Klein called Infrared Mastery that you can order for $12.95. Plus, you get an instructional eBook! I use them as super helpful starting points, then adjust on my own from there.

And that's all there is to it. Luminar has really helped my Infrared workflow by simplifying the fine-tuning process. A lot of times, photographers don't have a feel for processing IR images. The pictures, as initially captured are good. But to really get what you want, you need the post production. With Luminar's presets and noise reduction filter, I can finish my IR image quickly and beautifully.

Give it try. It's the perfect photography opportunity for a bright summer day!

Rock Luminar with my new Essential Training

You learn all the ins and outs of Luminar 2018 via my Essential Training on lynda.com and on LinkedIn Learning. It's fun, and I promise, you will learn a lot.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #642, July 3, 2018. Today's theme is "Shake it Up." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Zeiss-OMD-1024.jpg Analog Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 mounted on an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Softar 1 Filter, and lens adapter.

There are days when I go to my photo cave and just start spreading things around - lenses, filters, gels, reflectors, diffusers, and whatever else I have laying around. Then I start looking for interesting combinations. I want to do something different. I want to shake it up. And that's the topic of today's TDS photo podcast.

Shake it Up

One of my favorite things about mirrorless photography is that we have so many options when it comes to lenses. Adapters are cheaper than ever, so you can have three or four in different mounts. This opens up a whole world of new optics for your camera. And don't forget filters and other modifiers as well.

Let's look at some of the ways's I've shook it up recently.

  • Old Lens, New Camera - I just shot a series of images with a Contax Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 mounted to my OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
  • Profile Cat in Hallway Dibs the Cat captured with the Zeiss 85mm and Softer 1 filter. Photo by Derrick Story.

  • Real Filters - I just scored a Zeiss Softar 1 filter. It has a look that's different than what I'm doing in post. How about the guy who went street shooting with an ND filter?
  • Wet it Down - Water is the original saturation slider.
  • Pinhole Adapters - Yes, they make them for mirrorless cameras, and they are a blast.
  • Infrared - When summer rolls around, I think thinking about IR photography. Why? Because it's actually better in the middle of the day. I use a Hoya R72 Infrared Filter.

Try at least one of these this month, then let me know how it goes. I'm guessing that you will come away with an image that you like, and possibly never dreamed that you could create.

Court Rules Copying Photos Found on Internet is Fair Use

Article via Petapixel.

A Virginia federal court has made a decision that photographers won't be happy to hear: the court ruled that finding a photo on the Internet and then using it without permission on a commercial website can be considered fair use [under the right conditions].

In the United States, whether or not a use of copyrighted material without permission can be considered fair use (17 U.S. Code § 107) depends on four main factors: (1) the purpose and character of the use (including whether it's "transformative" and commercial vs. non-commercial), (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) how much of the work is used, and (4) how much the use affects the market and/or value of the work. After considering these four factors, District Judge Claude M. Hilton of the Eastern District of Virginia concluded that the festival's use of Brammer's photo fit the criteria for fair use.

I'm sure we're going to hear more about this case.

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!

Thanks to Paul Brown, Jane Beckman, Sally Harms, Kathleen McKee, Wendell Smith, Ken Wolter, and others who have previously contributed their gear to TheFilmCamerasShop.

Luminar Deep Dive Workshop

July 21, 2018 - 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Santa Rosa, CA Facilitators: Derrick Story and Angela Andrieux

Practically every photographer who comes to Luminar arrived from somewhere else.

Maybe you're a Lightroom user who wants to get away from the Creative Cloud subscription. Many Aperture users have been waiting for the next big thing that they can migrate to. Regardless of where you're coming from, Luminar offers both the traditional editing tools that we've come to love, plus innovation that we've never seen before... all in one affordable package.

If you're interested in the future of image editing, this workshop is for you. Derrick and Angela will show you how to apply your favorite techniques in Luminar, such as using a gradient screen to tame an overly bright sky, plus introduce you to the next generation of image editing with tools such as Accent-AI.

The four-hour workshop will be divided into 3 segments.

Session 1 - Luminar Basics: How to Accomplish Everyday Tasks

Session 2 - Traditional Techniques in Luminar: Working with Layers, Screens, Blending Modes and More

Session 3 - The New Age of Image Editing: How Luminar's New Tools will Change Your Photography

Plus, we'll provide the latest information about the Skylum Digital Asset Manager, lead Q&A sessions, and share our experiences working with the Skylum team.

If you want to explore the Luminar alternative, then this is an event you don't want to miss.

About the Facilitators

Angela a photographer, blogger, and photography coach living in Chesapeake, VA. She is a working photographer, educator, and works with Skylum, helping to facilitate their community forum. Angela provides both creative and technical support. And she truly understands the Luminar image editing process.

Derrick is a writer, photographer, teacher, and podcaster. You can follow his weekly shows on TheDigitalStory.com, as well as read his blog posts, check out his workshop schedule, and find links to his social accounts, including Instagram (DerrickStory), Twitter (Derrick_Story), and Facebook (thedigitalstory). TheDigitalStory show is also available where ever you download your podcasts. Derrick is the moderator for Skylum's Public Group on Facebook.

Workshop Fee: $69

You can register here at: our workshops page.

Updates and Such

I've updated our Directory to Portfolios by TDS Photographers page. Stop by and see what your peers are publishing.

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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.

Water is one of the most important elements on our planet. And for photography, it's also one of the best enhancers. Time and time again I've discovered that a little spray dramatically improves an image.

wet-vs-dry.jpg Same subject, same lighting, wildly different results. Photos by Derrick Story.

Here's an example. I spotted this Nasturtium peeking up through a wood palette in my patio garden at the studio. I love the intrepid nature of plants. I pulled iPhone from my pocket and photographed it. Then I thought, "This could be even better." So I sprayed down with the garden hose, resulting in this shot.

final-image.jpg Final iPhone image, edited in Photos for iOS. Image by Derrick Story.

You've heard the saying, "Just add water." That must have been a photographer who coined it.

New Photos for macOS High Sierra Training!

Is it time for you to learn the ins and outs of the latest version of Photos? Take a look at Photos for macOS High Sierra Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning, or on lynda.com. Maximize your iPhone photography and complement the work you do with your mirrorless cameras as well. You'll love your cameras even more...

Also be sure to check out my new book, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition. It's completely up to date!

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

Practically every photographer who comes to Luminar arrived from somewhere else.

Maybe you're a Lightroom user who wants to get away from the Creative Cloud subscription. Many Aperture users have been waiting for the next big thing that they can migrate to. Regardless of where you're coming from, Luminar offers both the traditional editing tools that we've come to love, plus innovation that we've never seen before... all in one affordable package.


July 21, 2018 - 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Santa Rosa, CA
Facilitators: Derrick Story and Angela Andrieux


If you're interested in the future of image editing, this workshop is for you. Derrick and Angela will show you how to apply your favorite techniques in Luminar, such as using a gradient screen to tame an overly bright sky, plus introduce you to the next generation of image editing with tools such as Accent-AI.

downtown-oakland-dstory.jpg

The four-hour workshop will be divided into 4 segments.

Session 1 - Luminar Basics: How to Accomplish Everyday Tasks

Session 2 - Traditional Techniques in Luminar: Working with Layers, Screens, Blending Modes and More

Session 3 - The New Age of Image Editing: How Luminar's New Tools will Change Your Photography

Session 4 - The latest information on the new digital asset manager that will be released later this year.

Plus, we'll provide the latest information about the Skylum Digital Asset Manager, lead Q&A sessions, and share our experiences working with the Skylum team.

If you want to explore the Luminar alternative, then this is an event you don't want to miss.

About the Facilitators

Angela a photographer, blogger, and photography coach living in Chesapeake, VA. She is a working photographer, educator, and works with Skylum, helping to facilitate their community forum. Angela provides both creative and technical support. And she truly understands the Luminar image editing process.

Derrick is a writer, photographer, teacher, and podcaster. You can follow his weekly shows on TheDigitalStory.com, as well as read his blog posts, check out his workshop schedule, and find links to his social accounts, including Instagram (DerrickStory), Twitter (Derrick_Story), and Facebook (thedigitalstory). TheDigitalStory show is also available where ever you download your podcasts. Derrick is the moderator for Skylum's Public Group on Facebook.

Workshop Fee: $69

Register Now!

You can register here at: our workshops page.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #641, June 26, 2018. Today's theme is "Overcooked." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

A by-product of today's amazing post production software is sometimes images that are over-saturated, sharpened, and in general, overdone. You may think that the creators of these images would see their overzealous processing. But realizing it is trickier than you'd think. We're going to take a closer look at this phenomenon in today's TDS podcast.

Overcooked

I remember standing before a series of images printed by Ansel Adams. The photo was the famous Moonrise Over Hernandez. There were about a dozen prints on the wall, and as I examined them from left to right, each image became darker and more intense.

The image on the far left was an early print. The one on the far right was one of the last prints. It was amazing to me to stand back and watch how the artist keep pushing the envelope as he printed the image over the years. My favorite version was one of the earlier prints.

I thought about Adams again recently when reviewing images by very good photographers online. Nearly all of them were great captures. Some of them had complementary post processing that enhanced the original image. Many of them had gone too far in editing and had created striking but unnatural works. I wondered that if the same phenomenon that led to Adams overcooking Moonrise Over Hernandez applies to editing with software. My conclusion is they are very much the same.

overcooked.jpg

Here are five suggestions to help you check your processing to prevent overcooking your images.

  • Determine the Objective of the Image - Is this shot meant to be surrealistic or abstract? If not, what is your goal with it? Have some idea before your start editing.
  • Study the Works of Photographers You Admire - One of the best ways to refine your visual voice to study the works of those you admire. When do they push the envelope, and when do they show restraint?
  • Stop Editing and Walk Away - This is a critical step, especially when working late at night. Let your eyes reset by focusing on other things, such as the outdoors during a breath of fresh air.
  • Show Others Your Work - Most of us realize that we are sometimes not the best judge of our work. Show different versions of the image to someone you trust artistically. Listen to their comments with an open mind.
  • Learn Your Visual Weaknesses - Do you tend to over sharpen or use too much clarity? Do you have a track record of opening up shadows too much and killing the highlights? Are your a saturation fiend that think if a little color is good, then lots is even better?

It's hard to show restraint sometimes. We've all been there. But keeping this guidelines in mind will help you develop a more consistent, appealing visual voice.

The Portfolio Project - Week 8 - The Directory is Live!

You can now visit our Directory of Portfolios by TDS Photographers. I will continue to add sites to this page on a weekly basis.

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published.

I will also maintain the link to the directory in our show notes, and I will add it to the Member Participation page on TheDigitalStory.

I love using Portfoliobox for these reasons:

  • My images look great, both on my computer and on my mobile devices.
  • It's easy to use. Without any instruction, I'm adding a high quality page in just minutes.
  • It's affordable. There's a free plan and a Pro version. The Pro version is only $82.80 per year or $8.90 per month USD, and that's before the 20 percent TDS discount.

Highlights with the Pro Plan

In addition to unlimited pages, you get a personalized domain name, web hosting, and up to 1,000 images.

Get Started Today

Just go to the TDS Landing Page to get started with your free account, or to receive the 20 percent discount on the Pro version. And if you want to see the page that I've begun, visit www.derrickstoryphotography.com.

Hands on with the Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet

I published a hands-on review of the Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet. This is a handsome and useful storage unit for photography gear and prints. It's available at B&H for $249 with free shipping. And it might be something that would look great in your office or studio.

Luminar Deep Dive Workshop

July 21, 2018 - 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Santa Rosa, CA Facilitators: Derrick Story and Angela Andrieux

Practically every photographer who comes to Luminar arrived from somewhere else.

Maybe you're a Lightroom user who wants to get away from the Creative Cloud subscription. Many Aperture users have been waiting for the next big thing that they can migrate to. Regardless of where you're coming from, Luminar offers both the traditional editing tools that we've come to love, plus innovation that we've never seen before... all in one affordable package.

If you're interested in the future of image editing, this workshop is for you. Derrick and Angela will show you how to apply your favorite techniques in Luminar, such as using a gradient screen to tame an overly bright sky, plus introduce you to the next generation of image editing with tools such as Accent-AI.

The four-hour workshop will be divided into 3 segments.

Session 1 - Luminar Basics: How to Accomplish Everyday Tasks

Session 2 - Traditional Techniques in Luminar: Working with Layers, Screens, Blending Modes and More

Session 3 - The New Age of Image Editing: How Luminar's New Tools will Change Your Photography

Plus, we'll provide the latest information about the Skylum Digital Asset Manager, lead Q&A sessions, and share our experiences working with the Skylum team.

If you want to explore the Luminar alternative, then this is an event you don't want to miss.

About the Facilitators

Angela a photographer, blogger, and photography coach living in Chesapeake, VA. She is a working photographer, educator, and works with Skylum, helping to facilitate their community forum. Angela provides both creative and technical support. And she truly understands the Luminar image editing process.

Derrick is a writer, photographer, teacher, and podcaster. You can follow his weekly shows on TheDigitalStory.com, as well as read his blog posts, check out his workshop schedule, and find links to his social accounts, including Instagram (DerrickStory), Twitter (Derrick_Story), and Facebook (thedigitalstory). TheDigitalStory show is also available where ever you download your podcasts. Derrick is the moderator for Skylum's Public Group on Facebook.

Workshop Fee: $69

You can register here at: our workshops page.

Updates and Such

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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.

portfoliobox-banner.png

Want to see how members of the TDS virtual camera club display their images using Portfoliobox? Here's a directory of webistes for your enjoyment.

Sergio Burani

www.sergioburani.com

Roberta Moloff

www.robertamoloffphoto.com

Chuck Origer

www.chuckorigerphotography.com

Jim Sollows

www.sollows.ca/

Tom Bodley

http://tombodleyphotography.com/

Dan Horton-Szar

www.danhortonszar.com/

Dakers Fleming

www.dakersfleming.com

Dave Wilson

www.drdave.tech/

Mark Evans

www.markevansphotography.net/

James Batt

www.jamesbatt.com/

Andy Vidot

www.mrv2u.com/

Derrick Story

www.derrickstoryphotography.com

Keith Rojek

http://keithrojekphotography.com

Miguel Ortiz

http://www.miguelandia.com/

Bill Daniels

www.billdanielsphotography.com/

Steve Kazemir

http://www.kazemirphoto.com/

Mike Fusilier

http://delaclairefinearts.com/

Jay Tuttle

http://jaytuttlephotography.com/

Kenneth Cole

www.kennethcolephotography.com/

Craig Kasseckert

www.craigkasseckertphotography.com/

Want to add your site to this directory? It's easy. All you have to do is sign up for a PRO Portfoliobox site, build at least one page, then send your custom URL to me using the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer. I add sites on a regular basis.

One thing I know: if I'm in a situation where I need reliable power under just about any condition, I'm reaching for the Iforway PowerElf. It is the ultimate portable power station.

powerelf-overview.jpg

I'll provide a quick overview of the device first, then I'll share what's really impressed me after testing it.

With a mega-capacity of 46,800 mAh battery, IP64 waterproof shell, compact design (2.65lbs) and 10 layers of power protection, Iforway PowerElf is a robust, reliable outdoor power station. It has a 45W type-c port (for laptops!), 2 USB ports, 1 DC output port, and a cigarette lighter socket. PowerElf can be charged 3 ways - wall outlet, solar panels, and car cigar lighter. And, if all of that wasn't interesting enough, the power station also includes a bright LED light panel that can illuminate your work area.

P6211403.jpg Using the 12 volt socket to recharge camera batteries on the go. I used this function a lot!

I used the PowerElf to recharge batteries, iPhones, iPads, drone batteries, and even my bluetooth speaker. In informal testing, the charge time felt about the same as when I used a wall socket. So I had both portability and speed.

powerelf-panel.jpg Here's mission control: input and output sockets, power on, and the light control.

I wanted to cover the LED lighting panel in detail for a moment because it's one of my favorite features. It's a nice big light source that can illuminate an entire table (or room). But it also has multiple modes: steady white source, blinking white source, steady red source, and blinking red source. The red helps you maintain your night vision while still having the ability to see your surroundings. You can use the light and recharge items at the same time - a very valuable feature.

P6231412.jpg

I also like the weather resistant aspect of this device. If I'm using the PowerElf in the field, or depending on it during an emergency, I don't want to worry about its performance if the weather turns bad. The entire unit is waterproof (rated IP64) so I can focus on the situation and not my power source.

There are nice touches as well, such as rubber strips on the bottom to prevent sliding on smooth surfaces, a wrist rope, LED power indicators, and automatic power off. They've included overcharging, overflow, and short-circuit protections.

You can learn more about the Iforway PowerElf by visiting their website. They've also just launched an Indiegogo campaign, where you can get the best deal possible. Estimated retail price will be around $150.

At first I was considering the PowerElf for field work. But after testing it, I also want it for emergencies. Knowing that I can fully charge my iPhone 16 times and have a bright light source is very comforting. Hopefully, I'll never need it in that capacity. But if I do, I know I'll be able to depend on it.

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

Organized storage space is something that practically every photographer needs. And the Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet combines handsome looks with practical humidity control for your gear.

P6201395-dry-cabinet-web.jpg

P6201371-dry-cabinet-web.jpg

I set up the 80 liter model in my studio for gear that I use regularly, but that I don't keep in a bag. One of things that I like about the Ruggard Cabinet is that it provides quick access. I keep it unlocked during the day so I can simply grab what I need. When I'm not around, I use the keyed lock for an additional layer of security.

I can store quite a bit of equipment in the 80L model. Its internal dimensions are 17.7" x 12.9" x 21.1" / 45.0 x 32.9 x 53.5 cm. It's storage efficient however, because the outer dimensions are only: 20.3" x 14.3" x 21.2" / 51.6 x 36.2 x 53.8 cm. The cabinet includes an adjustable shelf with padding. So I could use the top shelf for archival prints, and the bottom area for camera gear. 13"x19" prints fit perfectly on the adjustable shelf.

The system uses a TE Cooling Wafer that regulates the interior's relative humidity from 35-60 percent to help prevent fungus and corrosion. Humidity adjustments take place over a 1 to 3-hour period. When I work with the door open during gear swaps, the humidity will climb to room level. Once I close the door, the TE Cooling Wafer goes to work, and the humidity works its way back down to what I've set. This usually takes an hour or two.

P6201380-dry-cabinet-web.jpg

I can set relative humidity inside the cabinet from 60 percent to 30 percent. Ruggard includes a table for recommended settings. (I'm currently using the 40 percent setting.)

  • 50-60 percent - Books and documents
  • 40-50 percent - Electronics, cameras, transparencies
  • 35-40 percent - Circuit boards, batteries

Power is supplied by a universal adapter (110-240v). There's also a light inside the cabinet that's operated by the control panel. This display also provides readouts for temperature and humidity. (Temperature is for readout only, since there isn't a cooling element in the cabinet.)

P6201376-dry-cabinet-web.jpg

The Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet ($249) is a handsome, useful storage system for photographers. The glass door with rubber sealing is secure, and it's also a good-looking display for your gear (especially with the internal light turned on).

Even though it isn't a safe, the locking door does provide a level of security so that it isn't easy to casually access your gear. This would be particularly helpful during public events or anytime visitors are hanging around your work area.

And if you work in a high humidity environment, this storage system can really help you protect your lenses, cameras, and prints.

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

iPhone X in New York City

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This was a crazy trip from the start. Zach and I caught a red eye flight to JFK from San Francisco on Saturday night. Then we bused in to Midtown at 6 AM and were planning our day an hour later hunched over coffee at the McDonalds across from the New Yorker. Things never slowed down from that point.

I knew that this was going to be the ultimate Nimble Photographer trip. I had my laptop and Micro Four Thirds kit stashed in my backpack. But from the minute we checked in, until I caught the red eye back home 3 days later, my bag stayed in the room, and it was just Zach and I on the streets of New York.

Kids and Pigeons, Central Park "Kids and Pigeons, Central Park" - iPhone X. Processed in Photos for macOS and Luminar 2018. Photo by Derrick Story.

This is precisely the situation that motivated me to spend the extra money for the iPhone X last year. With temperatures hovering around 90 degrees F and high humidity, neither of us wanted to carry a bag of any type. Our kit for the day were shades, wallet, and smartphone.

Columbus Circle
"Columbus Circle, NYC" - iPhone X. Processed in Photos for macOS and Luminar 2018. Photo by Derrick Story.

The thing about it was... I was in NYC, one of my favorite places for street photography. So I wanted to be able to capture the world as we maneuvered through it. And the dual-camera iPhone allowed me to do just that.

I worked quickly and without drawing attention to myself. Zach and I kept our pace as we worked through our ToDo list (he's getting settled for a Summer internship with the NBA), while I also recorded images of us, New York City, and the people who make it interesting.

Inside Out
"Inside Out, Time Warner Building" - RAW file captured with iPhone X. Processed in Photos for macOS and Luminar 2018. Photo by Derrick Story.

I did process most of the images on my laptop once we returned to the hotel. I used Photos for macOS (the images were there waiting for me thanks to iCloud) and Luminar 2018. The changes were saved back to all my devices for sharing on social.

I could never be limited to a smartphone for all of my photography. Just like I could not survive with just a Phillips head screwdriver in my toolbox. But for this whirlwind trip to New York, the iPhone allowed my to stay focused on my son, yet come home with many wonderful visual memories.

After the second red eye home, I'm a little bleary-eyed today, but very happy.

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