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This is The Digital Story Podcast #705, Sept. 17, 2019. Today's theme is "Time for a New Bag and Triple Cam Trippin'." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Sometimes you open up the closet, peruse your options, and mumble to yourself, "I just don't have anything to wear." In this case, I'm talking about camera bags. I have all of these great adventures lined up, and none of my existing carrying solutions feel right. So I did something about it. Also this week, I take a peek at the new triple camera trend in smartphones. Maybe we don't need a bag after all? Today, on the TDS Photography Podcast.

Time for a New Bag

Nobody wants to explore the magnificent Redwoods with a suitcase in hand. Now, I wasn't planning on doing that, but my existing urban gear just didn't feel appropriate, and my current backpacks look like they have thousands of dollars of gear inside.

I wanted something that was more like the Big Lebowski and less like Wall Street goes to the forest. So I made a checklist of features that I wanted, starting with "casual vibe," and began nosing around on the Internet. When I found the Vanguard Havana 48 ($103), my first impression was that I had hit pay dirt.

But how would the pack hold up during testing? Was it all looks and no brains? Here are the features that are important to me:

  • Lots of room to serve as my Point-A to Point-B gear bag. (This is the bag that goes from the house to the hotel, with everything in it. I can then switch to a smaller bag for the field once I'm there.)
  • Looks more like a regular backpack than a photo bag. (I have a couple nice backpacks already, but they scream: "Lots of expensive equipment in here!")
  • Removable inserts allow me to convert it to a regular backpack. (Versatility is important. Maybe needs a change-up for a particular outing, and lunch and clothing are required instead of gear.)
  • Comfortable harness system so I can wear it for extended periods of time if necessary. (You never know when suddenly you have to hoof it for a distance.)
  • Plus it has to have:

  • Rain cover
  • Trolly sleeve
  • Fast laptop access
  • Easy iPad access
  • Dual water bottle pockets
  • Affordable

The bottom line. I like the Vanguard Havana 48. I really do feel like the dude with just a regular backpack. It does a good job of helping me organize my gear. And the extra room is really handy. I have a feeling that I will be using the Havana 48 for some time to come.

If you want to learn more about it, and see my pictures of the backpack, check out my review on The Digital Story.

Thoughts on the New Triple Camera iPhone

triple-camera-iphone.jpg

Last week Apple announced the iPhone 11 Pro with a triple camera setup. This is part of a trend that we are seeing by other manufacturers as well. What exactly is the triple camera?

It is exactly what it sounds like - 3 separate cameras integrated into one device. The cameras themselves are interesting.

  • The Ultra Wide - 13mm focal length with an f/2.4 aperture. It features a 5-element lens with a 120 degree field of view and a 12MP sensor.
  • The Wide Camera - Most of us are already familiar with this 26mm focal length with a f/1.8 aperture. This is the workhorse camera on top tier smartphones. Apple's has a 6-element lens with optical stabilization and a 12MP sensor.
  • The Telephoto Camera - This is a bit of a misnomer in that it's a 52mm lens at f/2.0. (My iPhone X is f/2.4.) It also has optical stabilization and a 12MP sensor.

The iPhone 11 Pro provides a 4X optical zoom range. This is different, and better, than digital zoom which is based on electronics and not actual lenses.

You start adding other features, such as Night Mode, Portrait Mode, Smart HDR, and you can see why many people consider Apple a camera company as well as computers and tablets. They've also brightened the flash by 36 percent, which is think is very important. And the display is improved as well.

Humboldt Redwoods Workshop This Week

I'm thrilled that our Humboldt Redwoods Workshop is finally here. There's a little rain in Northern CA right now, which is going to make the redwoods this wonderful, mystical, fragrant environment for our photography.

I'm working on next year's workshop schedule, and I'll be announcing the line up in October. Stay tuned for more information.

Updates and Such

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

Podcasting Skills Course - The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the Workshops tab.

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.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #704, Sept. 10, 2019. Today's theme is "My 6 Favorite Digital Cameras of All Time." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In the early days of digital photography, the medium seemed almost too good to be true. You didn't have to buy film, there was no processing lab, and you could shoot as long as your batteries lasted. And the cameras along the way have been equally remarkable. And over the last 20 years, 6 in particular stand out for me. I'll tell you which ones, and why, on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

My 6 Favorite Digital Cameras of All Time

OK, so I tried to whittle this list down to 5, but I just couldn't. So, maybe we'll look at it as 5 +1 great cameras of all time.

canon-dslr-v2.jpeg

The very first camera that blew my mind was the ground-breaking Canon EOS 10D, released in 2003. For less than $2,000, I had an interchangeable lens DSLR with a 6.3MP sensor. It felt so good in the hand with its comfortable grip and Magnesium alloy body. I could finally afford a semi-pro DSLR, and I loved the heck out of that camera.

Just two years later, in 2005, Canon released the full frame Canon EOS 5D. This was the camera I used while working at the Beijing Olympics and on my first trip to Iceland.

The 5D was more expensive, $3,200, but was relatively affordable for a semi-pro full frame 12.8MP sensor. It was also compact for a full frame DSLR, and that was what closed the deal for me. I traveled all over the world with the 5D, and will always consider it one of the best cameras of all time.

In 2008, Nikon released the D700 12.1MP full frame DSLR, a camera that I still use to this day.

The D700 is a stunning camera. The color it captures is as beautiful as any camera I've ever used. The metering is amazing. And I can use practically any F-Mount lens on this digital body, which is why I still covet it today.

If you want to have a Zen-photo moment, then mount the classic Nikon 105mm f/2.8 on the D700 and shoot portraits. It's as thrilling now as it was 10 years ago. I could spend the entire podcast reviewing all of its impressive features. It is truly a DSLR for the ages.

Fast forward to March 2016 when Olympus released the PEN-F, a classic digital camera for the ages. This is one digital that I will never part with. Every aspect of the camera is machined to perfection, and the images it produces are outstanding. The PEN-F has garnered more conversation in the field than any camera I've every used. It's now discontinued, but you can still buy a new one today.

Right on the heels of the PEN-F, in October 2016, Olympus released the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. In my mind, this camera marked the coming of age for Micro Four Thirds. It was the first MFT camera that I could use professionally, and I still do to this day.

For $1,500, you get a compact, durable, weather resistant, fast, reliable 20MP camera that accepts a huge catalog of lenses that range from the amazing 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO, to the diminutive Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake. The E-M1 Mark II is the most versatile camera I've ever used.

Then in 2017, Pentax released the Pentax KP DSLR, 24MP APS-C compact camera has outstanding sensor-based IS like the E-M1, but gives me a beautiful optical viewfinder, great color, and super-editable RAW files.

I know that Pentax isn't very popular these days with most photographers, but I have to say that the KP provides unmeasurable joy when I'm using it.

These six cameras, four of which I still use, are among the best creative tools I've ever worked with. I don't know what manufacturers have up their sleeves next, but it's going to be hard to top this list.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number 1 request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This one day event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the Workshops tab.

Scientists Who Took the First Picture of a Black Hole Awarded with $3M Prize

You can read the entire article here.

The world's first photo of a black hole, revealed this past April, was the result of years of collaboration between 347 astronomers from around the world. Today, those astronomers get to figure out how to split $3,000,000 in prize money for their hard work.

In case you missed the news in April, an international consortium of over 300 astronomers were able to achieve something previously believed to be impossible: they captured a photograph of a black hole using a planet-scale array of eight ground-based telescopes. And now, they're being awarded with the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, sometimes called the "Oscar of science," and $3 million in prize money to split between them.

So, I did a little math, and that prize works out to be $8,645 each. Doesn't seem like much for photographing a black hole.

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On our Facebook page, Harold wrote: "After hearing your comments on the transition from lynda.com to be included in linkedin.com/learning, I went there where one free month is offered. I then went to lynda.com. On that website, there is a link to migrate, and it, too, included adding one free month. All my saved programs moved over. Just and FYI for your fans."

You can get started today by clicking on this link to start your 30 day free trial.

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.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #703, Sept. 3, 2019. Today's theme is Fast Glass, Classic Lighting, and More." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

How often can you say that you scored a true bargain on a brand new piece of photo equipment? Well, I did, with the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 lens. And I'm going to tell you why today. Plus, I spent some time on Sunday studying portraits painted by Peter Paul Rubens, and as a result, I have a few insights to share. All of that, and more, on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Fast Glass - The Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Lens for Mirrorless

Pen-tight-1024.jpg

I purchased the optic on Kickstarter for $199 with metal lens hood and 62mm ND4 filter. It's now showing up on on Amazon for $249 (without the ND filter), and I'm sure we will see it plenty of other places. I've been shooting with it on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and I can tell you, this lens is the real deal.

It's designed with 8 elements in 7 groups, 11 aperture blades that form a beautiful circular opening, weighs about 600 grams, and is available in Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Fuji XF, and Canon EOS-M mounts.

The manual focusing in well-dampened and a pleasure to use. The "clickless" aperture ring turns smoothly allowing for "aperture racking" in video work.

Here are five things that I've learned shooting with it.

  • You Don't Always Need Autofocus - The MF Kamlan isn't going to replace my AF Olympus 45mm optics, but I did discover that for certain types of photography, manual focus is just fine. In fact, I enjoyed it.
  • Lens Hoods Should Be Included - I think that it's BS that we should ever have to buy a lens hood after purchasing a brand new optic. Not only does the Kamlan ship with a handsome metal lens hood, it's reversible as well.
  • I Am a Sucker for Big Honkin' Polished Optics - I could look at that 62mm front objective lens all day.
  • On Olympus, the 2X Doubler Helps for Focusing - Unfortunately I could not figure out how to get any of the functions in MF Assist to work. But the 2X Digital Tele-converter does a fine job of helping with precise focusing. I assigned it to a Function button so that I could easily turn it on and off.
  • Lens Info Setting is a Beautiful Thing - I love being able to have basic metadata for my MF lenses, and this setting allows that to happen.

I have captured many images with the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark II, and I have to say that I really like the pictures. It is sharp where I need it, and dreamy where I don't.

I think all mirrorless shooters would enjoy this optic. But it is especially appealing for Micro Four Thirds photographers.

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!

The Lighting of Peter Paul Rubens

During a visit on Sunday to the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, I spent some quality time with the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens and other Flemish artists from the early 1600s. And what I enjoyed most viewing their work? The lighting!

Rubens-Portrait.jpg

I posted a sample of one of my favorites: Portrait of Paracelsus from 1615. This light is coming down from an angle on the left side while the face is turned slightly to the right, exposing more of the left side.

The eyes are not straight ahead, but looking back to the left. There is some shadow from the nose on the right side, as well as shadow on the neck and right side of the face. But it isn't too harsh. More like the effect that we would get from using a white reflector for fill.

The effect is quite pleasing, and definitely worth playing with for portraits of men, boys, and girls.

B&H Deal of the Week: Olympus TG-6 for $50 Off

If you have an outdoor adventure in the works, you may want to bring along an Olympus Tough TG-6. It's:

  • Waterproof-rated to IPX8 for use underwater to depths of 50' / 15m
  • Freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14°F / -10°C
  • Shockproof to falls from 7' / 2.1m high
  • Crushproof to withstand up to 220 lbf / 100 kgf of pressure
  • Dustproof-rated to IP6X to protect the internal components of the camera

And right now, you can get it for $399 - $50 off!. That's a great deal!

New Nimble Podcast: Musician Monique DeBose

I've just posted my conversation with Monique DeBose, award-winning playwright and Jazz-R&B-pop singer/songwriter, who has toured and entertained audiences throughout Europe, India, and Asia. Her third album-The Sovereign One - debuted at #2 on the iTunes Jazz Charts.

You will definitely want to tune in for this one!

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.

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!

Kamlan-PEN-1024.jpg

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 is The Digital Story Podcast #702, August 27, 2019. Today's theme is "5 Things I Learned Taking Pictures on Las Vegas Blvd." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I packed my carry-on bag with three cameras, a couple changes of clothes, and a water bottle and flew to Las Vegas for the week. My goal was to explore The Strip, not as an afterthought as I normally do while there for a conference, but as a primary goal. Four days later I returned home with a collection of images and a bit wiser than when I had left. The latter is the focus of today's TDS Photography Podcast.

5 Things I Learned Taking Pictures on Las Vegas Blvd.

I have a screenshot of the weather app on my iPhone that was captured at 7:46pm last Wednesday in Las Vegas. It reads that the current temperature was 106 degrees. By the time I wrapped up the evening's photography at 11pm, the temp had dropped to tepid 92 degrees.

Weather was definitely a factor during the entire week's shoot. And it is the best place for me to start with lessons learned.

  • Do Your Homework - With a little bit of research, I learned that there is a second Monorail access at the MGM Grand that saved me 15 minutes of walking through the smoky casino to the entrance that everyone knows about. I learned about free trams that I didn't know about. I found ATMs that were a fraction of the service charge price in most casinos. And I found the best places to eat at an affordable price.
  • Take into Account Factors that affect Your Energy - As I've said many times before, creativity and energy level are tied to one another. In order for me to be effective in the searing Nevada heat, I had to plan my excursions to incorporate relief during the shoot itself. For camera bag, I was carrying the Think Tank Urban Approach 5 with Canon G5X Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens, and sometimes a Contax Aria film camera with 50mm lens.
  • Don't Shy Away from Tourists, Embrace Them - To be perfectly honest, most people in tourist locations don't care about you or your camera. I would stand there taking pictures as people walk by without ever a word about what I was doing. And if they did ask, I would say that I'm a tourist as well capturing the sites and sounds of the location. I often initiated conversations just to learn more about folks.
  • Don't Look Like a Pro - Leave the DSLR with super tele at home. Forget your humongous tripod. And don't even think about a bulky photographer's vest packed to the gils. These items will make people uncomfortable and attract unwanted attention to yourself. Save the bulky gear for your next landscape shoot where the trees don't care. And you definitely want to stay off the radar of security personal and people who don't like photographers.
  • Be Flexible - This applies to all aspects of your being. Be flexible mentally and adapt to your environment. Be flexible in your choices of subject and technique. Be flexible physically and remember to work all of the angles from low too high. And be flexible emotionally, understanding that the world doesn't care about your photography and isn't there to accommodate your needs.

So, now that I'm home, how do I feel about the photo shoot? In my pick set, I currently have 32 images that show the people and places on the Las Vegas Strip. And I very much like those photographs. I can tell that I was more focused about my photography than I had been in trips past where I did not make it my primary work.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number 1 request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This one day event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the Workshops tab.

How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?

Here are the results from, How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?.

  • Apple Podcasts (twice as many as second place)
  • Overcast
  • A smattering of others including Pocket Cast, Google Play, and Spotify.

paul-and-dad-1024.jpg "Paul and His Dad" - Las Vegas Blvd. - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

The Story of Paul

When people approach me on the street, it usually takes me a few seconds to gauge how to react. So when Paul plopped his backpack down on the bench where I was working, I wasn't sure what to think at first.

This story is about what happened next.

Try LinkedIn Learning Free for 30 Days

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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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #701, August 20, 2019. Today's theme is "The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Mistakes are sometimes in the eye of the beholder. An off-center subject may be viewed by one person as poor composition and seen as dynamic by another. After visiting the exhibition, Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes at SF MOMA, I have 5 techniques that can be dazzling to some folks and head-scratching to others. Tune in and see which camp you fall in to.

The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations

I want to start by reading you the opening text to the exhibit at SF MOMA, because I think it frames this conversation well.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, proscriptive texts by self-proclaimed photography experts proliferated in amateur manuals and periodicals. The next generation saw the rise of photographers who challenged these rules and strictures.

Pairing modernist images by artists including Man Ray, Florence Henri, and Lisette Model with historical documents, this exhibition examines the shifting definitions of "good" and "bad" photography, while considering how tastes evolved during this transformative period for the medium.

BTW: This show runs through Dec. 1. So if you're in San Francisco, I highly recommend visiting MOMA and seeing it for yourself.

So here are five of these "mistakes" that could turn into real works of art.

5 Techniques that Could be Wonderful

  • Off-Framing - In the early days of photography, tripods were required because of the low sensitivity of photo medium. Compositions tended to squared up and realistic. But as film speeds increased and handheld photography became more common, so did composing mistakes and victories. One of my favorites is the 1956 image, "Little Man, Stepping Off a Cable Car" by Dorothea Lang.
  • Reflections - Shop windows, for example, can be perplexing for photographers. If you shoot straight on, you see yourself in the picture. From an angle, the surrounding environment appears in the shot. Many books recommended avoiding this situation all together. That is until more adventurous photographers began to integrate these reflections into their shots showing dual realities at once.
  • Motion Blur - Standard advice to prevent motion blur was to use faster film, adequate lighting, and increase the shutter speed. But later artists discovered that blur could actually convey motion or indicate speed. And to even get more creative, a blurred moving face could convey an emotional state.
  • Distortion - Photographers were instructed to not position an arm, hand, or leg closer to the lens than the other parts of the body because distortion would elongate or enlarge that body part. But then more adventurous artists discovered that they could create abstractions, similar to modern art techniques, that departed from making photographs always look realistic.
  • Lens Flare - Photographers were cautioned about pointing their lenses in the direction of strong light sources, such as a bright lamp or the sun, because it increased the chances of lens flare. But because of its unpredictable nature, art photographers embraced the technique and were eager to see how the effects of flare impacted their compositions.

Photography is an ever-evolving medium. And the rules are seldom adhered to for very long. And to be honest, sometimes images that feature these "mistakes" are far more interesting than the "perfect" ones.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number 1 request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This one day event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?. Pop over and let us know if you're a Spotify, Overcast, Apple Podcasts, or fan of some other platform for listening to your shows. Plus, it's fun to see what others are saying.

moma-1024.jpg

Alfred Stieglitz: 5 Random Don'ts

From the SF MOMA exhibit: Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes.

  • Don't believe you must be a pictorial photographer... Bad pictorial photography, like bad "art painting," is a crime.
  • Don't plagiarize if you can help it. It can't give you any real pleasure to know yourself akin to a thief.
  • Don't believe you became an artist the instant you received a gift Kodak on Christmas morning.
  • Don't believe that experts are born. They are the results of hard work.
  • Don't go through life with your eyes closed, even though you may have chosen photography as your vocation. The machine may see for you, but its eye is dead. Your eye should furnish it with life. But don't believe that all open eyes see. Seeing needs practice - just like photography itself.

PS: Don't believe I claim any originality for the above random remarks.

From Photographic Topics 7, January 1909.

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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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #700, August 13, 2019. Today's theme is "Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The Canon G5X Mark II is compact enough to fit in your pants pocket, but it pairs a 24-120mm zoom lens with a 20.2 MP 1" Stacked CMOS Sensor. That's a lot of imaging potential in a small package. And it seemed to me worthy of serious street photography. So I headed off to South San Francisco to see what it could do. I share my findings on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II

Canon-G5X-Front-1024.jpg

You may be wondering why my first inclination for the Canon G5X was for street photography. Well, the answer came within minutes of my exploration of South San Francisco with the camera.

I was photographing a fabulous neon blue hotel sign downtown when a middle-aged man came storming out the front door calling to me, "What are you doing? What are you doing!"

I lowered the camera and turned to him, "I'm taking pictures of that sign."

"Why are you doing that?" he asked with way too much intensity.

"Because I like the way it looks," I responded. "I'm just having fun. Look," I said holding the diminutive Canon G5X up to his face. "Just having fun."

"Well, OK," he said begrudgingly and went back inside.

We have come to the point where we can't take a picture of a hotel sign on a public street without an inquiry as to our intentions. And one of the reasonable lines of defenses against this unreasonable behavior is a small camera that looks like something only a tourist would carry.

That's why I thought the G5X was a good choice for the day. And as it turns out, I was right.

After a week of steady shooting with the Canon, there are five features that I think are worth discussing for those interested in a compact camera for travel, street photography, and family outings. Let's dig deeper.

S. SF Ex Phone Booth

5 Noteworthy Features on the Canon G5X Mark II

  • Electronic 2,360,000 dot Viewfinder and Tilting 3" 1,040,000 dot LCD - The popup viewfinder works well for both left and right eye photographers. Once popped up, the eyepiece pulls outward providing plenty of viewing distance. This adjustable diopter is a great touch, and the image is outstanding. The tilting LCD is wonderful for street photography when you want to get low or high angles. This tandem really makes this a versatile, easy to use camera.
  • Front Control Ring for More Precise Zooming - The adjustable ring around the lens can be programmed as a step zoom with click stops for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 120mm. Since I'm already familiar with those focal lengths, I found this far more useful than just randomly pushing a rocker switch in one direction or the other to adjust the zoom.
  • Easy to Use Exposure Compensation Ring - If you enable Exposure Simulation, you can take full advantage of the easy to adjust exposure compensation ring that provides real time visual feedback as your rotate it with your thumb.
  • Relatively Fast f/1.8 - 2.8 Zoom lens - Not only is the zoom range good - 24mm to 120mm - so is the maximum aperture ranging from f/1.8 - 2.8. This makes it easier to capture images in a variety of lighting environments without having to jack up the ISO.
  • Versatile Charging Options - In-camera battery charging, from a power bank, outlet, or computer, is possible via the USB port. And unlike many other cameras that allow for USB charging, Canon also includes the standalone charger in the box. So you have both options available.

Stanford Mall Shopping

I do have a few nits as well. The battery indicator is less than accurate. It may show half charge available one minute, then suddenly shut down the next. The back panel controls are too easy to accidentally change during the shooting process. And I would love to have a custom function button or two.

But overall, I really like the Canon G5X Mark II ($899). The imaging pipeline produces excellent shots, there's a bounty of useful features, and the body is truly compact. It's a winner!

The B&H Deal of the Week

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens with UV Filter for Micro Four Thirds

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 lens is on sale for $147.99 - that's $100 off.

One UHR (Ultra-High Refractive Index) element pairs with two aspherical elements to reduce spherical aberrations and distortions for consistent edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. A Nano Surface Coating has been applied, too, and helps to reduce flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color fidelity. The optical construction also helps to realize a compact overall form factor, measuring just 2"-long and weighing 4.4 oz. Benefitting both stills and video capture, this lens also incorporates a stepping motor for smooth, quiet autofocus performance that is compatible with Lumix cameras' high-speed contrast-detection focusing systems.

Great for both Panasonic and Olympus MFT cameras, especially at this price!

74 Samsung officially unveils 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX mobile camera sensor

You can read the entire article here. Here's the scoop:

The ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile sensor to feature a 1/1.33" size, according to Samsung, which says its Tetracell tech enables the HMX to 'imitate big-pixel sensors' for better quality 27MP images.

The 1/1.33" format equates to around 9.6 x 7.2mm, which is around 40% smaller than a 1"-type sensor, but nearly 3 times larger than the 1/2.5"-type chips in the many of smartphones. The Tetracell design, much like Sony's 'Quad Bayer' technology, places four pixels under each color of its color filter, making it easy to combine pixels to give better performance at 1/4 resolution, but also means additional processing needs to be done to attempt to replicate what a standard Bayer sensor would capture, if it had 108 megapixels.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number one request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the 2019 Workshops tab.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #699, August 6, 2019. Today's theme is "How to Defeat Routine." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

My favorite definition of routine is by Merriam-Webster, which says "habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure." As we do something over and over, our brains can take shortcuts because we're familiar with the sequence of steps, such as taking a picture. And this certainly can dampen our creativity. But today we will restore vitality to our photography in 5 easy steps.

How to Defeat Routine

Don't get me wrong. There are moments in my life when I like routine. Mornings are an example. I don't want to reinvent the first hour of my day. I want it to be as mindless as possible. Feed the cat, pour the coffee, check email - it's all I can handle before 6am.

I also like my first 30 minutes at work. Unpack my bag, once again feed the cat (a different one this time), make another cup of coffee, read the day's news, post online, have breakfast. I truly enjoy this. The joy of routine is that it's easy on the brain. I can gently work up to my day, and by 8:30am or so, be operating at full capacity.

But routine can work against us as well. It can dampen our enthusiasm for romance, stifle innovation, and dull our creativity.

As photographers, we work so hard to master the steps that lead to professional image making. We learn about exposure, color, motion, composition, depth of field, focal length and more. These tools of the trade are important. But we often make a critical mistake once we're comfortable with them. Instead of springing headfirst into the creative unknown, we rely on our ability to make an image that's simply good enough.

Unlike our morning coffee, we must resist this urge to operate on autopilot. And here are five ways to to defeat routine.

5 Ways to Defeat Routine

highway-1080.jpg

  • Get in the Car and Go Somewhere - Most of us can set aside a day for a road trip. Make it happen. Go somewhere and experience a change of scenery. It's invigorating.
  • Try a New Lens - Whether you rent or buy, it makes little difference. But a new optic is a new way to see the world. Go wide, go long, run into the darkness with a wide aperture.
  • Work with New People - During my scouting trip, I had lunch in Eureka with Richard. He's a local, but he's attending our Humboldt Redwoods Workshop. Why? "Because I want to see this scenery through new eyes, the eyes of those attending the workshop." Working with new photographers is both amazing and invigorating.
  • Design a Photo Challenge - People love the assignments that I give them on our workshops. But you can create them for yourself as well. Challenge yourself to shoot with a new technique for the day, such as HDR. Often this opens up the passages for other creative perspectives.
  • Shoot in Manual Exposure Mode - Setting the exposure mode is at the beginning of most of our photo routines. So by disrupting the first step, you change the entire sequence, thereby forcing your brain to kick in to gear again.

Routine helps us conserve our energy to get through the day. But do not let it become the day, especially when we're making pictures. Fight back and surprise yourself with something fresh and new.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number one request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the 2019 Workshops tab.

New Nimble Interview: Chuck Leavell, Keyboardist for the Rolling Stones

An interview with musician Chuck Leavell, whose journey began with Allman Brothers Band, and who is currently touring with the Rolling Stones on their No Filter tour. In this conversation, Chuck talks about the Stones, Eric Clapton's unplugged album, his work as a writer, and his definition of success.

The entire conversation is terrific. I think you will enjoy what Chuck 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 wherever you tune in.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII: What you need to know

You can read the entire article here. Here's the scoop:

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII is, as the name suggests, the seventh completely new model in the company's pocketable large sensor zoom compact series. Like 2018's Mark VI, the VII is a 1" sensor pocket superzoom, with a lens that stretches from a wide-angle of 24mm equiv up to the telephoto realms of 200mm equiv at the long end.

Like its predecessor, it features a stacked CMOS sensor with DRAM storage built into the chip itself, allowing it to buffer the data it so quickly reads out from its sensor. But the main thing the latest camera brings is updated autofocus capability and usability, which could prove to be bigger steps forward than it might sound.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII is available for preorder for $1,198 and should ship by the end of the month.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #698, July 30, 2019. Today's theme is "Ding-Dong - It's the Ring Video Doorbell." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I have a Ring Video Doorbell mounted by the front door of my studio. 24 hours a day it watches and listens for activity within its 180 degree field of view. It's like a mini-Truman Show for my neighborhood. And it's far and away the most unique form of photography that I currently use. More about my first week with the Ring Video Doorbell in today's TDS podcast.

Ding-Dong - It's the Ring Video Doorbell

I bought the Ring Video Doorbell with HD Video on sale at Amazon. I had no idea if I was going to like it or find it useful in any way.

If you're not familiar with this device, it works like this. You mount it near your front door where is uses a 180 degree video camera and audio to monitor activity. It can detect motion and stream live video day and night.

Ring-View-1024.jpg

Ring connects to your router, and you connect to it via the Ring app that is available for computers, smartphones, and tablets. Once everything is connected, you can view the world outside your front door at anytime through its live feed, or be notified of activity via its motion sensors. It works quite well.

For me, the photographer, it's an inexpensive, but powerful remote camera that not only monitor the wilds outside my front door, but records it and saves the movies for viewing at a later time.

ring-device-1024.jpg

This is like something out of a crime show. And I find it fascinating. You can purchase your own Ring Video Doorbell for as little as $99 on Amazon.com.

New Nimble Interview: Chuck Leavell, Keyboardist for the Rolling Stones

An interview with musician Chuck Leavell, whose journey began with Allman Brothers Band, and who is currently touring with the Rolling Stones on their No Filter tour. In this conversation, Chuck talks about the Stones, Eric Clapton's unplugged album, his work as a writer, and his definition of success. Here's an excerpt from the show.

The entire conversation is terrific. I think you will enjoy what Chuck 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 wherever you tune in.

Stranger Things Fan Goes Viral for Not Knowing what a Darkroom Is

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

A young fan of the popular Netflix show Stranger Things earned a bit of Internet fame (or is it infamy?) this weekend when they asked a question about that strange "red room" in the show where Jonathan goes "to 'refine' his photos or something." In other words: a darkroom.

Of course, it didn't take long before someone saw the post and shared it on Twitter alongside the caption "*crumbles further into dust*" to highlight just how old this question made them feel: And thus, a meme was born. The screenshot quickly showed up on Imgur, Reddit's /r/memes subreddit, and then got picked up by international news outlets. Meanwhile, responses to the Tweet above--which has been liked over 61K times and retweeted over 13K times--began pouring in:

Several of the commenters were also quite harsh, calling the original fan "dumb as rocks" and stereotyping all young people as stupid. But we prefer to look on the positive side of this story. As Twitter user Chris Wood wrote, "Hey, give the kid credit for being willing to ask."

Not that this stopped us from feeling like dinosaurs or relics of a bygone age, but look on the bright side: a whole lot of kids who would not have had the courage to ask this question now know the answer. Here's hoping a few of them pick up a roll of film and give the darkroom a try.

Update on My Kickstarter Projects

Speaking of film processing: I received my daylight Lab Box and will soon start testing it. I have a bottle of single bath chemistry ordered from Jeremiah's Photo Corner, and soon I will process my first roll of B&W film.

I also received this notice today from the Kamlan Optics folks:

Finally, The shipping for is coming ! We are about to ship from Aug. Here are some updates before that.
1. Manufacturing is quite fluent.We will post some pictures later.
2. We plan to close the option of shipping address change on July 31st. Please make according change before that date if your shipping address is different from what you have entered.
3. As the survey can only be sent once, we can't send survey for a 2nd time. For those we still can't find the survey, please enter the shipping information here.
4. We plan to complete the refund process for return backers in 7 days from now on.
5. No custom fee will be charged for EU customers this time,

So they seem to be on track as well.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #697, July 23, 2019. Today's theme is "Protect Yourself from Smash and Grab." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photography gear can pack a lot of value into a compact, easy to carry bag. And for that reason, it's become a popular target for thieves looking to grab a big payday at your expense. Given that these rip-offs can happen in just the blink of an eye, what can you do to put the odds in your favor? I'll cover a few strategies in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Protect Yourself from Smash and Grab

tow-truck.jpg

Here's a real life story that just happened:

"Hey Derrick. I'm going to buy the Ricoh GR III after all, but for a really crappy reason. On my way back from Bodega Bay I stopped in SF for gas. There was a bar & grille across the way, so I parked and had dinner. In that time, someone smashed a window and reached into the SUV's trunk and grabbed two bags. Not even a "bad" neighborhood, judging by appearances. Near Moscone Center."

"So...gone are my camera gear, memory cards, and laptop. As the great philosopher Mark Knopfler said, Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the big. C'est la vie! So the good news is that everything was insured (scheduled personal property on my homeowners policy). Hence, a new GR III. And an Olympus too, of course. Hey, I'm going to remember a good week with you and everybody, and forget the ugly event at the end."

A while later, John sent me this email.

Around 20 years ago a photographer I know was walking on the shore near Otter Cliffs in Acadia Nat'l Park. "It was level ground," he told me. He stepped on a rock and because of the sand on the sole of his hiking boot, he slipped. His expensive Nikon zoom lens and body crashed on the rock. Destroyed. Two days later, he had a check from his homeowners insurance company for the full amount.

He told me, "Get insurance."

I did.

Just last year, I met a photographer who was on a workshop on the coast of Massachusetts. She and her friends went to a seafood restaurant for dinner. When they walked back to their car, they found a smashed window and probably $10k of gear gone. The parking lot attended said he didn't see anything. Sadly, the photographer I spoke to didn't have the gear insured. That is tragic!

Here's what I'd recommend to any of your listeners: call the insurance agency where you bought renters or homeowners insurance. I'm talking about the local agent (not the insurance company). Call the agency and say, I have some camera gear I want to insure. Can you give me a quote, please?

They'll ask for the value of your gear (add it up), and give you a quote.

I have $3,000 worth of gear, and the coverage costs me $68 per year. Now there's a nice surprise: for some reason, items covered on scheduled personal property do NOT have a deductible. Amazing, right? That's how my friend got full replacement value for his smashed Nikon body + lens.

Hey, insurance is a boring subject, yes, but let's face it, bad luck happens!

Here's what I did:

For my personal gear, I have $15,000 insured via a rider to my homeowner's insurance with USAA. I set it up via my account on their website. It took me about 30 minutes. The cost is $194 per year, or $16.16 per month. And just like John said, there's no deductible.

Best Ways to Protect Your Gear

  • Insure It - Because despite our best precautions, bad things do happen. You can insure your gear for a reasonable amount. And at the end of the day, this is your best safety net.
  • Keep It Out of Sight - SUVs in particular provide lots of visibility into the vehicle. Keep not only your valuables out of sight, but everything else as well. Don't provide even the slightest visual temptation to break into your car.
  • Keep It with You - Nimble photographers definitely have an advantage in this area. But if you do go into a restaurant or convenience store for even a short while, take your bag with you.
  • Prepare for Risky Situations - When we were photographing the French Quarter at dusk, we hired an off-duty officer to accompany us. And even then, we kept our gear to a minimum and out of sight as much as possible.
  • Lock It Up at Home - Once you've returned home, secure your equipment in a locking cabinet or safe. This level of protection doesn't ensure its safety, but it will slow down intruders. And sometimes that's enough to deter them.

It's sobering to contemplate that we have to even consider such measures when exposing our cameras to the world. But the truth is, we may lose it all if we don't. Take the proper measures so you can continue to enjoy you artistic pursuits with all of the gear that you've worked so hard to acquire.

Major CASE Act Copyright Legislation Passed by Senate Judiciary Committee

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

The CASE Act, a major piece of legislation that would introduce a small claims court for copyright infringement cases, has officially been passed by Senate Judiciary Committee, clearing the way for a full vote on the Senate floor.

This is a major step forward for the copyright legislation, which was introduced by a bi-partisan group of senators from Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois and Hawaii. As of now, defending your copyrights means taking your case to federal court--a complicated and expensive proposition. If passed, the CASE Act would remedy this by establishing a small claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office, making it much easier and cheaper to defend your copyrights in court.

The unappealable court would be staffed by three full-time "Copyright Claims Officers" appointed by the Librarian of Congress, who would be allowed to assign damages of up to $15,000 per infringed work, and up to $30,000 total.

Passing out of committee is a big step for the CASE Act, but the fight to establish a small claims court in the US Copyright Office is far from over. The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a full vote, while the House version continues to move through the House of Representatives.

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! I will announce the winner of the Smartphone Photo Challenge this week. Stay tuned.

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.

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

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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.