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Do you have images on Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, or Instagram... or all of them? Have you cataloged pictures in iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom? Do you have these photos available to you anywhere, at anytime, using practically any device? I do. I'm using Everpix 2.0

Everpix 2 Everpix 2 running on an iPad mini

Everpix is a cloud-based photo platform that provides storage, sharing, and enjoyment. It can aggregate the best versions of your images from practically any source and make them available to you on a computer or mobile device. It applies sophisticated under-the-hood science to understand your photos beyond EXIF data and presents them to you in an attractive, easy to digest user interface.

The essence of Everpix is this:

  • Solves the "photo mess" - images scattered everywhere instead of aggregated in once central location. Yet, you still can continue to take shots with multiple devices and organize them in your photo management applications, just as you've always done. Just point Everpix to your various sources, and it will copy the images and eliminate the duplicates.
  • Taps content from various devices including mobile phones, tablets, image libraries, and social networking sites. Everpix lets you bring this content together into one place. You can continue to capture and edit content anyway you want.
  • Lets you view your Everpix library from just about any computer or mobile device. Want to see your Aperture, iPhoto, Lightroom, and Flickr images in one place? Everpix can do that.

You can learn more and set up a free account today at Everpix.com. Also, tune in to next week's TDS podcast on July 2, 2013, where I interview co-founders Pierre-Olivier Latour and Wayne Fan. They really get into the details of this impressive cloud-based service for photographers.


iPad for Digital Photographers

This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

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On the third page of its Sony RX100 II preview, DP Review shows a nice physical comparison of the latest Sony compact with the Fujifilm X20.

Sony RX100 II and Fujifilm X20

They write, "Though the Fujifilm X20 has a smaller sensor than the Sony RX100 II, the Sony manages a smaller body size. Of course the X20 also has an optical viewfinder and a manually zooming lens, and many users may prefer the more comprehensive set of controls spread over a wider area... Both represent different approaches to similar types of camera user, both of which seem to have found their fans."

In the world of serious compacts, these are two of the best. And they are so different.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography.

When Apple created the Unified Library structure for iPhoto and Aperture, they provided us with new options for managing our content. A common question that I'm asked is, "how can I combine multiple iPhoto libraries into one?" The short answer is, you'll need Aperture to do this. If that's OK with you, read on.

Since Aperture can open iPhoto libraries, you can use its Merge command to combine them. In a fresh Aperture library, choose File > Import > Library and direct the app to the location of your first iPhoto library (all apps and libraries need to be current). Repeat this process for as many iPhoto libraries you want to combine. Once you've finished, you can open the combined libraries back in iPhoto, or continue to work in Aperture.

You can also clean up your iPhoto libraries before merging. I highly recommend this. In this video I demonstrate how to export a cleaned up library.

More Aperture/iPhoto Tips and Techniques

To learn more about using Aperture and iPhoto together, visit my Using iPhoto and Aperture Together on lynda.com.

To learn more about Aperture itself, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012), also on lynda.com. In addition to that, 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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TriggerTrap for the Olympus OM-D

A common TDS Podcast listener question lately has been, "What type of cable release do you use for your Olympus OM-D E-M5? The answer is: Triggertrap Mobile for my iPhone.

Available in iTunes for free (as well as Google Play for Android), Triggertrap connects to the OM-D via a dongle designed for the camera that can be purchased online for about $30. Once you've made the connection, you can control the OM-D with the iPhone.

There are more than 15 different modes for the app, everything from a standard remote release to sound trigger and more. I've used Triggertrap with good success for the Live Time mode on the OM-D. It's a terrific app, and the dongle takes up very little room in your bag.


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.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: Taming Instagram 4, DSLR Movie Making Tips from the Pros, Lowepro Transit Sling for Nimble Photographers - All of this and more in today's photography podcast.

Story #1 - Instagram 4 - Lots of sprucing up with the latest version of Instagram (v 4.0.1) including 15 second video recording, image stabilization, 13 new movie filters, selectable cover frame for videos, and subtle UI refinements.

As a viewer, you might want to go to your Instagram Settings by tapping on your Profile icon, then tap on the Gear icon in the upper right corner. There you can turn off Auto Play Videos so that you're in control of the movies you watch.

As a creator, look for graphically strong content for your videos, and choose the most compelling frame for you cover image. This is what people will see as they scroll through the home page of their Instagram feed.

You can follow my Instagram feed that I post to regularly. I promise not to over use the video capability!

Story #2 - Interview with Louis Ekrem of Laughing Cat Films and Eric Michael Perez of Clicker Video. During this informal chat, we discuss some of the tips that we shared during the recent Movie Making for Photographers workshop that we led on June 15 and 16. We also explain why we think still photography is good training for filmmakers.

Story #3 - The Lowepro Transit Sling 250 AW is an excellent choice for nimble photographers who carry an iPad and shoot with a mirrorless camera or enthusiast DSLR kit. The Transit Sling has the design features of a top camera bag including tripod holder, all weather cover, fast access, discreet good looks, excellent craftsmanship, and versatility. I spend a few minutes discussing my experience with this bag over the last few months.

Reminder! - If you're going to purchase gear through Amazon or B&H Photo, please stop by the TDS home page first. Look for the "Products" box about half way down the page in the second column. There you will see display tiles for Amazon, lynda.com, and B&H Photo, in that order. By entering those sites through those display tiles, you help support The Digital Story.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (35 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 June 2013 photo assignment is Stylish.

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.Special Offer! Anyone buying Derrick's new book, iPad for Digital Photographers, even at Amazon's or Barnes And Noble's discount, and putting the password for the Book Owners lounge in the comments space of their SizzlPix! order, will get 10 percent off their entire order -- the equivalent of more than a full refund for the book!

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.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

FujiFilm X20 Camera Top View

I've been packing the Fujifilm X20 digital camera ($599) since its release earlier this year, and my overriding impression is that it's a photographer's camera. The design, control layout, lens, optical viewfinder, and creative capabilities are for those who love and understand the art of image making.

In my latest TechHive article, Feed your creativity with the Fujifilm X20 compact camera, I talk about using the X20's film simulation mode, in-camera Raw procession, pro focus for soft backgrounds, and infrared. Those happen to be on my list of top creative features of this gem of a compact.

Infrared with FujiFilm X20 Schulz Museum capture with FujiFilm X20 and an R72 filter. Photos by Derrick Story

My Top 5 Features for Creative Photographers

  • In-camera Raw processing - you can shoot your "master files" in Raw, then process them in-camera drawing from the X20's feature set, including all of the film simulation modes and push/pull processing. Save the processed image as a high quality Jpeg and share online immediately (using my mobile workflow that I cover at the end of this post). No muss, no fuss.
  • Pro Focus - in the Advanced Settings you have access to the Pro Focus mode that allows you to create soft backgrounds. This is especially helpful for portraits outdoors. It's very clever.
  • Film simulation modes - if you've ever shot with Velvia or Provia emulsions, you know how important the subtle qualities in their rendering can be. Now you have that artistic control in the X20. Plus you have B&W film simulation modes too, which are quite beautiful.
  • Infrared - some cameras accept the infrared R72 filter better than others. The FujiFilm X20 is one of those cameras. I love shooting infrared B&W with the camera.
  • Macro mode - the X20 has an outstanding macro mode that lets you explore the details of your subjects. Getting super close is sometimes the ticket to an exciting shot.

And finally, having an high quality optical viewfinder on a compact camera with a fast f/2-f/2.8 is a photographer's delight.

Currently I'm using it with the Eye-Fi Mobi 16GB SDHC wireless card and sending pictures wirelessly from the X20 to my iPad mini for publishing immediately online. Here's an example from my wanderings yesterday. I used the B&W film simulation mode on the X20, sent the image to the iPad via the Eye-Fi mobi, processed it in iPhoto for iOS, then published the photo directly to Flickr.

Dogs


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.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

A Closer Look at Instagram Video

Instagram Video in iMovie for iOS

When Instagram announced that it now supports 15-second video clips, I was curious about how this actually worked. The capture part is straight forward. You update your current iOS version to V4.0, tap the video icon in camera mode, hold down the record button, and capture. What happens after that is interesting.

Instagram lets you choose a filter from a new set designed for movies, then publish your video just like you would a still photo. It also saves a copy of the file to your Camera Roll.


An Instagram-captured video being edited in iMovie for iOS.


That file can be used by any app that has access to the Camera Roll, such as iMovie for iOS. What you're working with is a H.264 .MOV file with AAC audio. The size is 640x640 at 30 fps. The audio is single channel at 44.100 KHz.

This could introduce a whole new style of mobile movie making, beyond simply sharing your clips on Instagram itself. Just like the square format in still photography, this look presents a different view of the world compared to 4:3 or 16:9.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see what Instagram users create with this new functionality.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography.

Samsung Galaxy GC110 Camera

The Samsung GC110 Galaxy digital camera does take pictures. But to be honest, I've spent most of my time with it looking at the shots by others.

That's because it features a 4.8" HD Super Clear display that is both huge and gorgeous. Using the Galaxy to browse Flickr and Instagram is a treat for the eyes. Tap the Home button, and you also have access to the entire Web universe including using Chrome for browsing and Gmail.

Samsung Galaxy GC110 Camera Back Side with LCD

Under the hood there's Android 4.1 Jellybean controlling a 1.4 GHz quad core processor with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. I've had no problems connecting to networks at home or on the road. Once I do, I have a large screen device with decent horsepower that can serve as either a large smart phone (without cellular) or a small tablet. Take your pick.

In the vertical position, it's not bad to hold because the zoom lens is at the top of the device and out of the way. When horizontally oriented, the Galaxy feels a bit clumsy to me, and I haven't found a comfortable way to hold it. So I'm in portrait mode most of the time.

Samsung Galaxy GC110 Camera Back Side with LCD Showing Camera Settings

The LCD is also command central for setting the camera. When you tap the Camera icon, the Mode icon appears on the right side. Tap it, and you're presented with 3 options: Auto, Smart, and Expert. Auto is self-explanatory; the camera takes care of everything. Smart is really your access to scene modes for macro, party, action, etc. For me, Expert is where the action is. Here I can access Program, Aperture Priority, Manual, and Shutter Priority modes to take more control of the camera. All of the usual suspects are located here, including aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation settings.

If you don't mind onscreen camera controls, these are logically placed and easy to use. But this is also where you'll feel that this is a different device. Other than a physical shutter button, zoom ring, and flash pop-up button, the Galaxy behaves more like your smart phone than a camera, albeit it one with a 21X optical zoom lens (35mm film equivalent 23-483mm) with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 on the wide end and f/5.9 on the telephoto side.

samsung Galaxy GC110 Camera Zoom Lens

And as a camera, it gets the job done, both with 16 MP stills and HD video. It definitely has its quirks, however. For example, the Auto Screen Off control is very aggressive. Two minutes is the longest setting in Auto mode. I realize that the Galaxy has a big screen to power, but I had to turn Auto off all together and take my chances with the screen staying on. There are times when the camera becomes unresponsive. So I would have to go back a menu screen, then return to make the adjustment I wanted. And it does use micro SD (up to 64 GB) to augment its internal 8 GB memory. I know micro SD is the trend in super compacts, but the Galaxy is 5" long!

This all leads to trying to define exactly what the Samsung Galaxy GC110 really is. Since I'm primarily an iOS user (iPhone and iPad), the Galaxy is an opportunity for me to use a modern Android device without having to turn my iOS world upside down. I can test Android apps and see how things look and multiple platforms. It gives me a chance to learn and understand more about the Android ecosystem.

The large LCD is a pleasure to view, performance is good, and the entire Google Play store is available to me. I think that's what I really like about the Galaxy. It's a photography-oriented smart device. Not many smartphones or tablets have a 21X optical zoom lens.

The Samsung GC110 Galaxy digital camera is currently available on Amazon for $449. Since it's WiFi and Bluetooth, no contract is required for connectivity.


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.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Lightroom 5 Pros and Cons

Lightroom 5 has its share of headliner features as well as small improvements. In my Macworld Magazine article, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 presents an impressive and innovative upgrade, I cover the biggies, such as Smart Previews and Upright, as well as my favorite refinements.

Lightroom 5 Radial Gradient Tool The Radial Gradient Tool in Lightroom 5

My most-liked headliners are: Upright (to help straighten buildings and horizons), Radial Gradient (to draw attention to a specific area of the image), and Smart Previews (lossy DNGs that allow you to work offline with the masters at home). As for refinements, I'm thrilled that Adobe finally incorporated a true full screen view of an image (hit the F key).

As for cons, the Slideshow module continues to lag behind the competition. This surprises me considering that Adobe knows how to make great video editing software. And I think that the Library module needs some attention. Lightroom's photo organization isn't nearly as robust as its image editing ability.

Overall, Lightroom 5 is an excellent upgrade for current Lightroom users. Its lens correction abilities and gradient tools are particularly attractive.

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This week on The Digital Story: 3rd Party Camera Batteries, Joby Ballhead X, and Workshops Update. All of this and more on The Digital Story podcast.

Story #1 - 3rd Party Camera Batteries: Are They Worth Buying? I've been testing a variety of 3rd party batteries, including the Premium Tech 2 Pack Battery And Charger Kit For Olympus OM-D E-M5 ($25), Wasabi Power Battery for Canon LP-E6 ($15) for Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 6D, EOS 7D, EOS 60D,and the Power2000 (for the Canon NB-9L in the PowerShot N).

My overall experience has been good with them. In everyday use, I'm noticing comparable performance and drain times. The Wasabi cells for the 60D behave in the camera the same as those made by Canon, including menu status of percentage of power left and battery health. The Premium Tech cells for the OM-D do require their own charger, unlike the Wasabi that uses the standard Canon charger, but other than than perform as well as the original Olympus battery.

With typical cost savings well over half price, I see no reason why not to try the previously mentioned cells, especially for your backup batteries.

Story #2 - Joby Ballhead X - I originally used the Joby Ballhead X ($69) on the Joby Focus flexible tripod. But I liked it so much that I got a second head for the lightweight tripod I use for location work.

Ballhead X is compatible with Arca-Swiss quick release plates, holds up to 11 pounds of camera, is constructed of high quality machined metal, looks great, and includes a separate panning control allowing me to use it for video work. Plus it works great with the $20 Joby UltraPlate. I think it's a great value at $69.

Story #3 - Workshops Update - We had a great time last weekend during the TDS Movie Making for Photographers Workshop covering the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Festival. Upcoming events include the Advanced Workshop for the Big-Q BBQ competition in July, Sonoma Coast Workshop in August, and still a couple seats available for the Fall Photography Workshop on October 20-22. All reservation forms are out for the Fall Photography Workshop, so if you didn't get one, be sure to write me immediately. We're also having the Aperture Intensive Workshop on November 16-17. You can still get on the Reserve List for that one.

Reminder! - If you're going to purchase gear through Amazon or B&H Photo, please stop by the TDS home page first. Look for the "Products" box about half way down the page in the second column. There you will see display tiles for Amazon, lynda.com, and B&H Photo, in that order. By entering those sites through those display tiles, you help support The Digital Story.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (23 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 June 2013 photo assignment is Stylish.

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.Special Offer! Anyone buying Derrick's new book, iPad for Digital Photographers, even at Amazon's or Barnes And Noble's discount, and putting the password for the Book Owners lounge in the comments space of their SizzlPix! order, will get 10 percent off their entire order -- the equivalent of more than a full refund for the book!

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.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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