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This is The Digital Story Podcast #577, March 28, 2017. Today's theme is "What Good is a System that Doesn't Work?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

One of my favorite Jerry Seinfeld routines polks fun at the system failure of car rental agencies. "Anyone can take a reservation," he says. "It's the holding of the reservation that's important." At work and at home we are constantly creating routines and systems to manage our lives. But if put to the test, do they really work? We'll explore in more detail on today's show.

What Good is a System that Doesn't Work?

P1035834-robot-web-v2.jpeg

In this first segment, I begin by telling a story of an actual event that happened to my mother. Then go on to explain how it illustrates, what I consider, a critical system failure.

The MeFOTO Roadtrip Air on Assignment

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air focuses on how its compact size allowed my to carry it all day in my svelte Retrospective 7 while working day and night at the Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, CA.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

The Stylish Think Tank Signature 13 Luxury Bag

I've been carrying the Think Tank Signature 13, and I have to say, it is as beautiful as it is functional.

The fabric is soft, like a fine wool suit, but it's also durable and weather resistant. To complement the fabric, they've incorporated leather accents and metal hardware. The overall look is very professional. Other features include:

  • Full-grain leather bottom and detailing, plus antique finished metal hardware
  • Zippered flap provides full closure and security to the main compartment, or tucks away when not in use
  • Dedicated laptop/tablet compartment that fits a 13" laptop
  • Dedicated phone pocket fits up to an iPhone 6s+ or S7 Edge
  • Dividers and bottom foam can be removed for a completely collapsible bag

Inside my Signature 13, I have my 13" MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Pentax KP with 20-40mm zoom, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Pentax ZX-5n SLR, extra lenses, and plenty of accessories. The Think Tank Signature 13 sells for $279.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip workshop. (The SF workshop and Rail Adventure have sold out.) If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

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

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #576, March 21, 2017. Today's theme is "If Only One Lens." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Many of us have toyed with the hypothetical question: "If you could take only one lens to a desert island, what would it be?" My view on this has changed over the years, and now there's finally a clear answer... at least for today. And I will reveal my choice in the top story of today's TDS podcast.

mefoto-timelapse.jpg

Spontaneous Timelapse with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air focuses on perching the tripod atop my Audi at Oracle Arena for a spontaneous time lapse recording.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

My 5 Favorite New Features in Capture One Pro 10

Now that I've had a chance to really get to know the latest version of Capture One Pro, here's my list of favorite new features in version 10.

  • Three Step Sharpening
  • Output Proofing
  • Filter by Orientation
  • New Default Workspace
  • Folder Management in the Folders Area

I just finished recording a new Capture One Pro Essential Training for version 10, and we should see the release in April from lynda.com. And remember, I have the in-depth Capture One Pro 9 Essential Training available now on lynda.com. More than 5 hours of tips, tricks, and techniques. Plus many free movies using advanced techniques.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip workshop. (The SF workshop and Rail Adventure have sold out.) If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

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

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #575, March 14, 2017. Today's theme is "Existing Light is Alright." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Having departed to Southern California on a minute's notice last week, I grabbed my daily shoulder bag and headed out the door. It contained the gear I carry on a daily basis to the office, nothing more, nothing less. The only flash I had was the popup on the Pentax KP. And as it turned out, I never used it. So capturing life by existing light is the top story for today's show.

Existing Light is Alright

sharron-charlie-bw-web.jpeg

What are the components and techniques required for effective existing light photography? Here's a look at my list.

  • Prime lenses (or Pro zooms) - Even with great high ISO performance, we still need wide apertures.
  • Effective Auto ISO - For me, existing light photography isn't just setting the ISO to 1600 and shooting everything. I depend a lot on smart Auto ISO that increases sensor sensitivity only as needed, and has a limit at the top end that I can live with.
  • Smart Metering - One of the things that I noticed when testing the Pentax KP was that its evaluative metering was very smart. If there was a window in the frame, it didn't underexpose the rest of the scene as a result. Learning how you camera meters, and adjusting accordingly, is very important.
  • RAW+Jpeg - If I do the first three things right, my Jpegs should be pretty good. But I do want that RAW safety net for situations where I need to recover detail in the shadows or highlights.
  • The Blessed Tripod - Long exposures, HDR, and extended depth of field work better with camera support. Instead of jacking the ISO up to 128,000, You can keep it below a thousand and get tack sharp results with a tripod.

Hitting the Road with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air focuses on a giant family group shot, that was unplanned.

As I mentioned at the top of the podcast, I didn't carry a lot of gear on my journey down south. I had my everyday bag and the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air. At my sister's I learned that we were pulling together a family gathering. There were people there that I hadn't seen in years. And after about an hour, I knew we needed a group shot for the history books. And that's when my MeFOTO became invaluable.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

First Impressions of the Pentax KP DSLR

I brought three cameras on the road trip down south: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Pentax ZX-5n SLR, and Pentax KP DSLR. I used all three for various situations, but I'm going to focus on the KP for this segment.

Here are the features and qualities that really stand out for me:

  • Compact for a 24MP DSLR. With the 21mm Pentax prime lens mounted, the KP fits in my workbag along side my mirrorless cameras.
  • Sensor-based image stabilization.
  • Cool lenses.
  • Super intelligent features, including choice of DNG or PEF for RAW files.
  • Customizable grips (standard) and buttons.
  • Up and down articulated LCD.
  • Friendly menu system.
  • Distinctive look that you will either love or hate.
  • Beautiful color rendition.
  • Solid WiFi.
  • Excellent high ISO performance.

As far as nits, I do have a couple. I do think the battery should be a bit bigger and/or last longer. Pentax still uses an old fashioned battery charger that requires a cord.

Overall, I really dig this camera and its cool limited edition lenses.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip and Rail adventure workshops. (The SF workshop has sold out.) If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

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

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #574, March 7, 2017. Today's theme is "Capturing RAW HDR with Your Smartphone." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Adobe just announced a Lightroom Mobile update that includes an HDR feature that makes use of the Raw capture capability of the latest mobile devices. The app instructs your cameraphone to scan the scene to determine the exposure range, then it captures 3 DNG files that it uses to build the HDR image. We wanted to learn more about this, so we invited Adobe's Josh Haftel to the show to explain how this all works. And that's our lead story for today.

Capturing RAW HDR with Your Smartphone

After capture the files are automatically aligned, merged, de-ghosted, and tone-mapped. The end result is a 16-bit DNG that combines the benefits of the Raw file format and HDR, and can be processed in the same way as the HDR technology in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.

lr-mobile-hdr.jpg

Compared to existing smartphone HDR modes, this method offers better dynamic range, according to Adobe. Members of Adobe's Creative Cloud service get the additional benefit of automatically syncing files and edits with their desktop.

The algorithms of new HDR mode do require powerful hardware and are therefore limited to a relatively small number of devices, though. On iOS it works with all devices that are capable of capturing DNG files, such as iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, or the iPad Pro 9.7. On Android at this point only the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge and the Google Pixel models are supported. However, Adobe says it is working on getting the software to run on a wider range of devices.

This description is from the DP Review article, Lightroom Mobile update brings Raw HDR capture mode.

Hitting the Road with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air

As you're listening to this podcast, I've already left Santa Rosa for a road trip to Southern California. Packed among my gear is a brand new MeFOTO Roadtrip Air that will be my three-legged companion for the next several days.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

I'll share my initial shooting experiences with it next week. If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

My First Experience with Olympus PRO Advantage Camera Service

On Feb. 27, I shipped my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II via USPS Priority Mail to Hackensack NJ for my first service using their PRO Advantage plan.

The $99 annual plan includes two Clean and Check services that include the following checkpoints:

  • Exterior cleaning
  • Firmware upgrade
  • Auto Focus accuracy check
  • Image stabilizer check
  • Function check
  • Sensor and optical check

The procedure goes like this. First you call Olympus at 1-800-260-1625, Option 4 to log in the repair order, get a service number, and the address to ship the camera to.

Then you send off the camera with that information, plus your PRO Advantage service coupon in the box. Once they receive the camera, they acknowledge the possession via email.

The service took one day, then I received it back on Monday, March 6. The camera was packed nicely, and everything looked great. The only gotcha was that my settings had been wiped out via the firmware update. So I had to spend a few minutes getting everything programmed back to my personal preferences.

This service seems like a good option for the growing numbers of pro photographers using Olympus gear.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our TDS SF and Road Trip workshops. If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

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

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #573, Feb. 28, 2017. Today's theme is "How Many Cameras Do You Really Need?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Over the years, I've had many people ask me, "So, how many cameras do you own?" I'm never sure if the motivation is pure curiosity, or if they're seeking rationalization for their own gear acquisition habit. But believe it or not, there is science to my inventory management. And that's the lead story for today.

How Many Cameras Do You Really Need?

twin-olympus-web.jpg

Photography is both my job and my hobby. So the spectrum of equipment is broad. At the most basic level, every time I walk out the door, I have at least one camera with me. It may be as nimble as an iPhone, or as complicated as a DSLR kit with multiple lenses and accessories.

So how do I meet these varied needs without filling my entire studio with camera gear? Efficiency and discipline. Here are my basic guidelines.

  • The Noah's Ark Approach - For each species I like to have two bodies. First, I always want a backup incase something goes wrong with my primary shooter. Plus, there are times I need to send in once camera for repair or cleaning. Having two equates to peace of mind.
  • Different Designs for Different Jobs - The basic formats that I use are smartphone, compact, mirrorless, DSLR, and 35mm film. Each of these are used during a typical week. Each has its strengths that I rely on.
  • Lens Sharing is Important - One of the primary reasons that I shoot Micro Four Thirds for my mirrorless is because of the extensive lens catalog that can be shared across both Panasonic and Olympus cameras. I've switched to Pentax for my DSLR work because I really like their 35mm film bodies, and I want lenses that work with both film and digital sensors. Having an efficient approach to lens management means that I can get by with less glass.
  • Keeping it Compact - My everyday bag is about the dimensions of a 13" laptop. Yet, I typically have three cameras inside: mirrorless, DSLR, and 35mnm. How does that work? I brands that I favor are very compact: Olympus and Pentax. That makes a big difference in a small space.
  • Selling What You Don't Need - Equipment management for me is a dynamic process. I upgrade as gear improves in the different categories that I use. But in order this to work, I must be disciplined enough to sell gear that is no longer mission critical. A perfect example of this was when I listed all of my Canon gear on Amazon during my transition to Pentax.
  • So how many cameras do I have? Well, I'm not saying. But you can do the math and probably come pretty close with a guess.

    In the News

    It's Never Over Until It's Over

    I was watching the Academy Awards last night and was reminded of a very important lesson. Well, a couple of them, in fact. The first being, just because it's never happened before, doesn't mean that it won't happen to you. And second, and an event photographer, it's never over until it's over... completely over. Imagine how you would feel if you were packing your gear as the executive producer for LaLa Land was making his acceptance speech? Wow.

    Dates Set for the Northern CA Coast Tour Workshop

    Good news for those wishing to join us for a tour up the Northern CA Coast. We've set the dates for this event: May 18-20th, 2017. Originally, we were planning this as a summer workshop. But after working with experts who actually live in the areas that we'll be working, we moved the event to late May. This provides us with Spring weather and far cheaper room accommodations.

    Those of you on the Reserve List will receive your personal invites later this week. You will have 10 days to secure your spot before we open up the event to the general public. If you're not on the reserve list, and would like to be, please visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

    Updates and Such

    Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

    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

    MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

    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 #572, Feb. 21, 2017. Today's theme is "1Frame4Nature with Alexandra Garcia ." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

After the WildSpeak Conference last November in Washington D.C., I had quite a few inquires about the best ways to get involved with conservation photography. I guess I wasn't the only one. So the folks at ILCP came up with 1Frame4Nature, and it's the perfect way to have your images published right alongside pro conservation photographers. And that's the lead story in today's TDS podcast.

1Frame4Nature with Alexandra Garcia

I met Alex Garcia last summer during her visit to California. During our interview, I was excited to learn just how accessible conservation photography can be. And as a result, I traveled to Washington D.C. in the Fall to cover the WildSpeak Conference.

PB165461-Washington-DCWildspeak-tds.jpg Conservation photographer Lucas Bustamonte presenting at WildSpeak 2016.

That event generated a lot of interest among those who want to use their photography skills to help protect our planet. And as a result, the 1Frame4Nature was conceived.

So Alex and I decided to team up for another interview to provide you with the inside scoop about this project. I hope you enjoy, and think about, what she has to say.

In the News

Canon debuts EOS M6 mirrorless with optional EVF (via DPReview):

Canon's newest mirrorless camera, the EOS M6, is a replacement for the entry-level EOS M3 and slides in directly under the enthusiast M5 (confused yet?).

It shares essentially all of the M5's internal components, including the 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Digic 7 processor and 3" touchscreen. It's also capable of 1080/60p video capture and has Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth.

Differentiating factors between are limited to the built-in EVF on the M5 and the flip-up selfie screen on the M6. The M6 gains an additional top plate control dial compared to the M3, which should improve handling.

Canon also announced an optional EVF (the EVF-DC2) for use with the M6. This 2.36M-dot EVF is smaller and lighter than the EVF-DC1 used by the M3, but do note that it does not tilt upward.

The Canon EOS M6 will go on sale in April 2017 in both black and silver. It will sell for $780 body-only, with the EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM for $900 or with the EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM for $1280. The EVF-DC2 is priced at $250 and also comes in black and silver.

Speaking of Canon...

Yesterday on The Nimble Photographer, I posted Canon: It's been a Good Run, the story about my selling the 5D Mark II and replacing it with then brand new Pentax KP DSLR with a Pentax DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR zoom lens. It's the end of an era for me...

Dates Set for the Northern CA Coast Tour Workshop

Good news for those wishing to join us for a tour up the Northern CA Coast. We've set the dates for this event: May 18-20th, 2017. Originally, we were planning this as a summer workshop. But after working with experts who actually live in the areas that we'll be working, we moved the event to late May. This provides us with Spring weather and far cheaper room accommodations.

Those of you on the Reserve List will receive your personal invites later this week. You will have 10 days to secure your spot before we open up the event to the general public. If you're not on the reserve list, and would like to be, please visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

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

MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

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 #571, Feb. 14, 2017. Today's theme is "The Home Studio: Easier than You Think." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

As much as I love outdoor portraiture, some shoots are just better inside. Wardrobe changes are easier, lighting is controllable, and the temperature is far more comfortable. And if you do product photography too, a home studio becomes a necessity. But how much room and equipment do you need to have a functional workspace? Probably less than you realize. And that's what I'm going to discuss in today's show.

P2106268-Brittney-orginal.jpg "Brittney" by Derrick Story. Unretouched portrait (no image editing other than a crop) captured at Sunleaf Studio with OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

The Home Studio: Easier than You Think

One of the aspects of having a studio workspace is that it's there waiting for you whenever inspiration strikes. And when you're finished shooting, you can just close the door and tidy up later. Half of my photography happens in this environment.

A lot of folks believe that such a space is expensive. And that the room needs a lot of modification. But this just hasn't been the case for me. And to help you with your considerations about such an endeavor, I'm going to take you behind the scenes of my shooting room. Here's a photo of my working space.

  • How Much Space? - The room I use is a standard bedroom that measures 11'x10', with a north facing window. I did swap out the sliding closet doors with mirror door, which photo subjects really like because they can follow how they look during the shoot. The walls are painted flat white, providing me with a bright, airy feeling. If I want to change the mood, I can always close the blinds and work with just supplemental lighting.
  • What About Backdrops? - When I first set up the studio, I constructed my backdrop frame out of PVC pipe. Later, I bought a backdrop stand for less than $75, and it's great. I use muslin and roll paper for my backdrops. And with the stand system, it's easy to change the backdrop during the shoot if I want.
  • Do I Need Expensive Lights? - I started with simple off-camera speedlights. But when the price of LED lighting dropped, I switched completely to those. I love LEDs because I can control both the intensity and color temperature. Plus, the constant light makes exposure and composition very easy. And they are cool too.
  • What Type of Modifiers Work Best? Since I have a north facing window, sometimes I just that light only with a couple reflectors. This is one of my favorite lighting schemes because it's so beautiful and natural. But I also use inexpensive soft boxes and umbrellas.
  • Do I Need a Lot of Hardware? - Light stands are essential to help you position the lights exactly where you want them. And the good news is, they last forever. You'll also need a variety of clamps and light holders. Most of use just start with the basics, then add on over time. I've been adding to my collection for more than 20 years.

If you can't swing a dedicated room for your studio work, a shared space can work quite well. The main thing to consider is, can you keep the clutter in check? I have tables and cabinets around the edges of the room. But the central area remains open, providing enough space for my shoots.

In the News

Nikon reports "extraordinary loss", "fundamental company-wide restructuring" (via NikonRumors):

In addition to canceling the DL line of premium compact cameras, Nikon also issued several statements describing "extraordinary loss", "fundamental company-wide restructuring" and a revision of their last financial forecast.

  • Nikon Corp. reported a net loss to owners of the parent of 831 million yen or 2.10 yen per share for the nine months ended December 31, 2016 compared to profit of 18.71 billion yen or 47.08 yen per share, previous year.
  • In accordance with the restructuring announced on November 8, 2016, the Group recorded extraordinary loss of 29.79 billion yen, mainly incurred from inventory write-downs/write-off in Semiconductor Lithography Business, as restructuring expenses for the nine months ended December 31, 2016.
  • Nine-month operating income increased by 67.1% year on year to 42.18 billion yen, and ordinary income increased by 42.5% year on year to 44.79 billion yen.
  • Nine-month net sales were 565.89 billion yen compared to 616.50 billion yen, a year ago.

Dates Set for the Northern CA Coast Tour Workshop

Good news for those wishing to join us for a tour up the Northern CA Coast. We've set the dates for this event: May 18-20th, 2017. Originally, we were planning this as a summer workshop. But after working with experts who actually live in the areas that we'll be working, we moved the event to late May. This provides us with Spring weather and far cheaper room accommodations.

Those of you on the Reserve List will receive your personal invites later this week. You will have 10 days to secure your spot before we open up the event to the general public. If you're not on the reserve list, and would like to be, please visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact. You can learn more here.

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

MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

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.

Deanne-Headshot-web.jpg

This is The Digital Story Podcast #570, Feb. 7, 2017. Today's theme is "Building Trust with Your Subjects." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The profession of photojournalism is changing, as is media in general. How do photographers find their voice in a world where social media and citizen reporting compete for viewer's attention, alongside established news outlets such as the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post? Fortunately, Pulitzer Prize honored photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice took time out from her busy schedule to discuss these very issues with me. And I think you'll be fascinated by what she has to say.

Visit deannefitzmaurice.com to see more of Deanne's work. And don't forget to follow Deanne on Instagram too.

Lily Deanne Shoulder Bags

Senior product designer, Lily Fisher and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Deanne Fitzmaurice, collaborated to design the ideal bag for professional female photographers.

With room for pro-size lenses and hoods, your gear will feel right at home and at your fingertips. Extensive pockets and compartments make this camera bag as functional as it is fashionable. You can learn more about the bags here.

Updates and Such

Registration for the The Chicago to New Orleans Rail Adventure - June 26-29, 2017, and for the San Francisco Street Photography Workshop - is now open to the public. You can see the details for each event by visiting the Official TDS Workshops Registration Page.

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

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

MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

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 #569, Jan. 31, 2017. Today's theme is "Plugins: Cake and Eat it Too." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The phrase, "You can't have your cake and eat it too," refers to telling someone that they can't have two good things that don't normally go together at the same time, like eating a cake and then continuing to possess that same cake so you can eat later*. An exception to this rule in the world of photography is with our photo management apps and plugins. I explain more in today's show.

* as written by Jacob Shamsian of the Business Insider.

Plugins: Cake and Eat it Too

On one hand, we want continuity with our photo management applications. So whether you're using Lightroom, Photos for macOS, Capture One Pro, or something else, you want to know that your photos are safe and retrievable.

But at the same time, this is also our digital darkroom where we fine tune, experiment, and test new approaches to get the most our of our imagery. For these activities we want new tools and filters that fuel our creativity. And to be honest, new tools don't come fast in photo management applications.

A way that we can have both security and creativity is through the use of plugins. We don't have to give up our stable photo management system to experiment with new image editing tools. So I thought that I would share three interesting plugins with you today.

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On1 Photo RAW

Available for both Mac and Windows. No catalog means you (or anyone with access) can store and edit your photos anywhere (local network and cloud). Built-in layers, brushes, and masking tools. Includes all of the ON1 apps; Browse, Develop, Effects, Portrait, Layers, Resize, and Photo Via Works as a standalone app, as a plug-in (for Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom®), a host app (Google® Nik® and other apps), or as an extension (for Apple® Photos®).

I'm most interested in Photo RAW as a complement to Photos for macOS. But I think it's useful as a Lightroom plugin too. I downloaded the trial, and went for a test drive.

Bottom line was that Photo RAW worked well for Lightroom with smooth handoffs back and forth. But as an editing extension for Photos for macOS, it crashed Photos and didn't work. On1 Photo RAW is available for $99.

Luminar

No surprise here, I'm sure, that Luminar is at the top of this list. Mac users who rely on Lightroom, Aperture, or Photos for macOS, can expand their post processing chops with an array of sophisticated filters, layers, and localized editing brushes. You can purchase Luminar for $69 that includes the full set of plugins with a standalone version of the app.

DxO Film Pack

Available as a plugin for Lightroom, Photoshop, and Aperture 3, or as a standalone app. Mac and Windows compatible. In Lightroom you need to set it up as your additional external editor in Preferences. Once doing so, the roundtrip is painless, and the adjusted image is returned to Lightroom in a stack with the original.

This plugin gives access to more than 80 analogue films, and combines many original renderings with filter, vignetting, blur, texture, frame or light leak effects.

I really like these film emulations, and the fact that it is an excellent RAW processor at the same time. You can purchase versions starting at $79.

In the News: Advanced Editing Extensions from lynda.com

This is a very cool training from lynda.com: Photos for macOS: Advanced Editing Extensions. I show you how to use Luminar, DxO Optics Pro, Pixelmator, Affinity Photo, and Polarr. I cover standalone versus editing extension, and how to blend all of these tools into a creative, easy to use workflow.

Updates and Such

The registration forms for the The Chicago to New Orleans Rail Adventure - June 26-29, 2017, and for the San Francisco Street Photography Workshop - have been sent out to members of our reserve list. This workshop begins the day after Out of Chicago concludes. So if you're going to OOC, just add Sunday night to your hotel reservation if you plan on joining us. You can still get on the reserve list for this event, and for our others, by visiting the TDS Workshops Page and using the Send Me Info form on that page. I'm going to open both of these workshops to the general public soon. So if you're on the reserve list, and want to go, I would sign up soon.

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

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

MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

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 #568, Jan. 24, 2017. Today's theme is "Why Churchill's Portrait was Burned." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When a subject allows us to photograph them, they are putting their hearts in our hands. And the decisions that we, the photographer, make in those moments together bear great weight on the final outcome. Is our goal to solely please the subject? Do we have a responsibility to integrate our own artistic vision into the work? Or should we ignore the desires of others and portray what we believe to be honest? I grapple with these questions in today's show.

Why Churchill's Portrait was Burned

blazing-fire.jpg

For Winston Churchill's 80th birthday, House of Commons and House of Lords commissioned a formal portrait by modern painter Graham Sutherland. The painting showed Churchill seated in a chair with his hands resting on its arms with him slightly slumped and portrayed in dark wintery tones.

Churchill hated the painting. Sutherland argued that he had painted what he honestly saw. During its public unveiling, Churchill quipped that it was, "a remarkable example of modern art."

The painting was never hung in public. And as the story goes, it was hidden away in the cellar of their Chartwell estate... until in the middle of one unparticular night, it was smuggled out and burned.

Years later, when Sutherland learned of the destruction of his work, he is claimed to have said, "without question an act of vandalism."

So who was right? Winston Churchill, who had tried to guide the artist toward a more flattering portrayal, but upon failing to do so, chose to destroy the work? Or Graham Sutherland, who despite pressure from his subject, stuck to his beliefs that his responsibility was to show the famous statesman as he truly looked in his 80th year?

I think the question comes down to what is honesty, and does it only exist on the exterior? Or should we as artists consider the human being beneath the surface when making our choices on how to portray them?

In the News

Fujifilm X100F steps up to 24.3MP, adds AF joystick. Fujifilm is taking the wraps off the X100F, the fourth generation of its popular enthusiast-focused compact series. It updates the house that the X100 built with a 24.3MP X-Trans III APS-C sensor and X-Processor Pro image processor borrowed from the X-T2.

Changes can also be seen on the top and rear panels of the camera - notably, an AF joystick makes its first appearance on the X100 series. Other controls have been shifted to the right of the LCD, and up top the shutter speed dial has been modified to include ISO controls. A front control dial has also been added. The hybrid viewfinder has also been updated, and now offers image magnification when using the electronic rangefinder mode.

The Fujifilm X100F will be available February 16th in black or silver for $1299/£1249. (As reported by DPReview.com).

87% of UK Freelance Photogs Asked to Work for Free in 2016; 16% Said Yes

The issue of businesses asking photographers to work for free has been a hot issue in recent years, and now we have some citable statistics that shed more light on it. According to a new study in the UK, 87% of photographers were asked to work for free in 2016, and 16% said yes.

The research was conducted by the UK startup Approve.io, which surveyed 1,009 part-time and full-time freelancers in the UK who have taken on freelance contracts over the past 5 years.

The study "reveals an alarming trend for corporate 'entitlement' when it comes to how freelance professionals are treated," Approve.io tells PetaPixel.

You can read the entire story on Petapixel.

Updates and Such

The registration forms for the The Chicago to New Orleans Rail Adventure - June 26-29, 2017 - have been sent out to members of our reserve list. This workshop begins the day after Out of Chicago concludes. So if you're going to OOC, just add Sunday night to your hotel reservation if you plan on joining us. You can still get on the reserve list for this event, and for our others, by visiting the TDS Workshops Page and using the Send Me Info form on that page.

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

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

MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

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.