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This is The Digital Story Podcast #530, May 3, 2016. Today's theme is "Drones: The Case For and Against." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Back in April it was reported that a drone struck a British Airways Airbus A320. The story made headlines across the Internet only to be refuted a few days later. Apparently it was most likely a plastic bag that collided with the plane. We're quick to damn drones as an aerial nuisance, but are they really that bad? We'll take a closer look on today's show.

Drones: The Case For and Against

If you've ever been buzzed by a drone, you know what an uncomfortable feeling it is. It's in our DNA to dislike anything that approaches up from above. But to be honest, those are the rare situations, and most drone pilots appear to be responsible.

Personally, I don't use drones for my photography. But that doesn't mean that I've ruled them out either. As part of my vetting process, I've compiled a list of pros and cons that I want to share with you today.

from-above.jpg

The Case for Drones

  • Cost Effective Arial Photography - I've watched amazing footage that once required a helicopter rental, now able to record with an inexpensive drone.
  • A New Perspective - Many of us constantly search for a new way to photograph the world around us. Drones provide an unique opportunity in this regard.
  • Energize Our Craft - Combining drones and cameras can get one excited about photography again.
  • New Business Opportunities for Photographers - Whether it's real estate or some other commercial endeavor, drones may provide new opportunities for working photographers.
  • Just Plane Fun - What boy hasn't wanted to fly a model airplane, helicopter, or hovercraft? Apart from photography, flying an unmanned aircraft is a hoot.

The Case Against Drones

  • Irresponsible Pilots - Just like there are bad drivers, there are bad pilots too. And in these early stages of the drone evolution, there aren't clear avenues of recourse against irresponsible behavior.
  • Expensive New Hobby - Even those drones are cheaper than helicopters, the cost for aircraft, controllers, gimbals, specialized cameras, cases, and accessories can add up. Add this to an already expensive hobby of photography, you may be looking at a sizable investment.
  • Low Nimbleosity Rating - For those who like to travel light, drones take you on a different path all together.
  • More Travel for Less Shooting - Unlike traditional photography where you can walk out your back door and capture a great shot, you usually have to travel to locations for your arial work. I mean, how many shots of your backyard from above do you want.
  • The Drone Stigma - It's bad enough being a photographer these days, and being a drone photographer just compounds the negativity.

All of that being said, we're early in the drone evolution, so the best course is to keep an open mind and see what develops.

In the News

Fuji Giving Up On the 2/3-inch Sensor, Discontinues the X30 as reported by PetaPixel.

Fujifilm just discontinued the not-quite-popular X30, and while some might think this means an X40 is coming soon, they should think again. Fuji may never put another 2/3-inch sensor into an X-Series camera again.

Coming Soon: The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

I've been working on a guide to Photos for OS X that's written for photographers who want to use this application at a high level. I cover workflow, iCloud integration, and editing... at the enthusiast level.

We're releasing the eBook version soon, then will go to print after Apple announces its updates to the app at WWDC. This is an exciting, ongoing project that I think you'll want to be a part of. And you can join me every step of the way via the signup page we've created. This is going to be fun...

Win 5 Rolls of Tri-X 35mm Film

Film photographers, you can win 5 rolls of fresh Tri-X film just by sending me an About that Shot entry. All you have to do is go to www.theAnalogstory.com, review a couple About that Shot entries, then send me your version and accompanying text. I'll announce the winner on next week's show and on theAnalogstory.com.

Updates and Such

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #529, April 26, 2016. Today's theme is "How to Be the Influencer." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Within every social group, there are influencers for different areas. There's the restaurant expert, wine connoisseur, computer nerd, fitness fanatic, and yes, the photography guru. Chances are good that you're the imaging influencer in your world. And today's show discuses how to be effective in that role.

How to Be the Influencer

I spent the last weekend at a father/son event at the University of Santa Clara where my son is a member of Sigma Pi. The fraternity boys plan a weekend full of activities to show their dads a good time.

Over the two days, there's lots of casual conversation that sooner or later leads to our personal interests. In my case, this was accelerated as soon as I pulled out my OM-D E-M5 Mark II to capture a few memories. "What kind of camera is that?" For some reason, I was surprised that everyone didn't already know. Then I realized, I was just anointed the photography influencer for my group.

As such, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips to help you influence effectively.

girl-dog-park.jpg

  • Listen First, Talk Later - If you're going to help someone with their photography questions, you actually have to hear their queries first.
  • Don't Be a Fan Boy - Yes, we all love our choice of camera and photo management software. But what works for us might not be the right fit for someone else. Draw on your extensive photographic knowledge and try to recommend things that work for the other person.
  • Don't Offer Too Many Choices - I learned long time ago that when someone asks for a camera recommendation, they want my favorite, not a top ten list.
  • Help Them with the Things They Don't Ask - You're probably not going to get too many questions about backup, for example, but you can really help them out by offering a easy to use solution.
  • Don't Dis Their Current Approach - As part of the conversation, you'll probably hear about their current choices and approaches. Stay positive and don't dis what they're already doing. Frame your recommendations as improvements, not overhauls.

In the News: New Cameras Supported by Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.19

Here's the list of new cameras that have RAW files supported by Photos for OS X, Preview, and Aperture:

  • Fujifilm X-E2S
  • Fujifilm X70
  • Leica S (Typ 007)
  • Leica X-U (Typ 113)
  • Nikon D5***
  • Nikon D500***
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS60 / DMC-TZ80
  • Sony Alpha ILCE-6300
  • Sony Alpha SLT-A68

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive for iOS Devices

SanDisk wants to expand the storage capability of mobile photographers and with the new SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive. This device plugs directly into the Lightning port of iPhones and iPads, providing between 16 and 128GBs of external memory - perfect for photographers who want to travel light.

The devices uses the free iXpand Drive app, which has a camera function, allowing users to shoot and save photos or videos directly to the drive instead of on their iPhone or iPad. The app also provides the option to automatically back up content from social networking sites, as well as play back music within the app.

App Camp for Girls

We launching App Camp For Girls Orange County at Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School August 8-12, and a Phoenix camp July 25-29. App Camp For Girls seeks to address the gender imbalance in technology professions by inspiring middle-school age girls with a broad introduction to the process of app development, from brainstorming and designing ideas to building and pitching their apps. We believe that the experience of creating an app that runs on a device in one week can spark the enthusiasm that will propel girls to pursue further tech education. More information and signup at appcamp4girls.com.

Updates and Such

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #528, April 19, 2016. Today's theme is "Handling Harsh Light." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've had people walk up to me when I was working and remark, "Oh, it's such a beautiful, bright day for photography. You must be thrilled." And I'm thinking, "How the heck am I going to control this contrast?" Yes, indeed, harsh lighting conditions are a tough challenge for photographers. And that's the focus of today's show.

Handling Harsh Light

The reality is that we don't always have control of when we have to take pictures. Your niece's birthday parties, weddings, travel photography, and events all seem to place us in the middle of the day with camera in hand.

Since these situations are often unavoidable, how does one still capture compelling images? Well, I have a few tips that should help.

Koch-3.jpg Switching to monochrome is one method to handle contrasty lighting conditions. Photo by Mitchell Koch from the TDS SF Street Photography Workshop.

  • Switch to Monochrome Mode - Nearly every digital camera has a B&W mode, and many are quite customizable. Monochrome images can thrive in contrasty light where color shots don't.
  • Experiment with Infrared - This option works in both color and B&W. IR shots look great on a bright, sunny day.
  • Don't forget about Fill Flash - A fill light from the front can eliminate unflattering shadows, dark eyes, and help even out hotspots.
  • Use a Diffuser - If it's good enough for SI photographers shooting bikini-clad models on a sunny Caribbean beach, we can use it too. Fabric diffusers makes harsh sun flattering for portraits.
  • Built-In Camera Filters - Most mirrorless cameras have an array of built-in filters and effects, many of which look great in contrasty light.

The Digital Story Photography Podcast Debuts on Google Play Music

Starting this week, podcasts on Google Play Music in the US and Canada will begin rolling out on Android and be available on the web. The rollout on Android devices will be gradual, so users may not see podcast content on the Google Play Music app immediately.

Among those in the first wave is The Digital Story Photography Podcast. We're thrilled to be on the Google Play Music platform.

April 24th is World Pinhole Day

I saw The Phoblographer stating: "April 24th is World Pinhole Day-a day for all pinhole photographers to get out there and shoot in celebration of the old school format! Right here in NYC, The Phoblographer is teaming up with Lomography for our very own World Pinhole Day Celebration with a cool photowalk. If you've never shot pinholes, have shot them and want to do them in a more social space, then sign up!

Contax 137MD Winner

Congratulations to Kathleen C. who commented on "A Most Beautiful Break": "Very pleasing tones! I am kicking myself for having thrown out about 40 rolls of film in a "spring cleaning" accident about a year ago. Good stuff, too. Fuji velvia (ouch), Kodak Portra, Fuji Superia, T-Max, etc. I thought at the time I would never go back to film. Now, I can't get my mind off of the challenge of applying everything I have learned over the last few years with digital photography to film. I was shooting in auto mode when I was a film shooter..." Kathleen, please click on the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page for theAnalogstory.com.

Updates and Such

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #527, April 12, 2016. Today's theme is "Are Your Pictures Too Perfect?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photographers tend to be obsessed with perfection. Many discussions I read focus on the sharpest lens, the best image sensor, and the most extreme low light capability. But as part of that quest for the best, do we lose the feeling? Today's top story explores image perfection and its side effects.

Are Your Pictures Too Perfect?

I was reading an article titled, In Defense of Steve McCurry (Petapixel, Allen Murabayashi) where the author cited a critical comment about McCurry's new book, India. The comment was by New York Times Magazine photography critic, Tegu Cole, who wrote about McCurry, "Here's an old-timer with a dyed beard. Here's a doe-eyed child in a head scarf. The pictures are staged or shot to look as if they were. They are astonishingly boring." Later, Cole suggests that the perfectness of McCurry's photos somehow invalidates them - also slyly suggesting that McCurry's 1 million Instagram followers is proof of the eye candy nature of his images. Cole's criticism might also imply that the entirety of National Geographic photography is boring and "too perfect."

This got me thinking about the pursuit of perfection, and how it might lead to an absence of emotion. Here are a few points to consider.

  • Wrong side of the brain - When we become obsessed with the technical details, we may find ourselves stuck on the wrong side of the brain.
  • Viewers respond to images that make them feel something. Generally speaking, they don't care about the technical details of a photograph as much as they do about its content.
  • Photographers sometimes hide behind tech. Instead of stretching our artistic capabilities, we take an easy way out by pursuing technical perfection.
  • We forget to seek feedback. Instead of presenting a handful of images to a viewer and asking for comments, we think we know the best photos and move forward accordingly.

Contax137MD-P3040829.jpg

theAnalogstory.com Debuts with Camera Giveaway for Film Photography Day

In celebration of Film Photography Day, we're giving away one Contax 137MD film camera with a 50mm lens. All you have to do is visit theAnalogstory.com and click on the red announcement banner across the top of the site. That will lead you to the page that spells out the details.

What, you didn't know about theAnalogstory.com? That's because it's brand new. Its focus is film photography in the digital age. And with contributions by photographers who have rediscovered film, plus a Camera Shop, Tech Specs, and more, my hope is that you'll find inspiration there too.

Film Photography Day was started by the good folks over at Lomography.com. You might want to wander over and take a look at their microsite too.

Mounting Old Lenses on New Cameras

This piece ties into both themes of today's show: disrupting the perfection of digital photography and enjoying the classic optics of analog gear. So I wanted to revisit the practice of dusting off one of your favorite optics from the film days, finding an adapter to mount it to your digital camera, and exploring the imagery you can create with than tandem.

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #526, April 5, 2016. Today's theme is "Is Aperture Priority the Ultimate Exposure Mode?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Of all the exposure modes, I think Aperture Priority offers the best convergence of control and convenience. I like it because it keeps my head in the composition game without killing my creativity. In fact, I'm a far more expressive photographer in Aperture Priority mode. We lead off today's show with a closer look why.

Is Aperture Priority the Ultimate Exposure Mode?

Practically every camera offers Aperture Priority. You set the f/top and the camera sets the shutter speed. It's so simple, yet shooting in this mode is bound to improve your pictures. Here are some reasons why.

Austin-PEN_F-P1250023.jpg

  • Controlling Depth of Field. This is the biggie. Not every composition should have a soft background, nor should it be sharp from front to back. What works best for your subject?
  • Lens Performance. Most of my SLR optics are best at 5.8 to 11. But my Micro Four Thirds lenses are ideal at f/4 and not stopped down.
  • Keeps You In Touch with Your Camera. Have you ever drifted off while shooting without any idea of what's going on with your camera?
  • Natural Vignetting. Many lenses, especially those without in-camera correction, will vignette slightly wide open. You can use this to your advantage for portraits.
  • Motivates You to Shoot With Primes. As you get more hooked on Aperture Priority shooting, primes become more desirable because of their wider latitude of exposure settings.

In the News

Fujifilm releases several camera and lens firmware updates - covered by DP Review.

In addition to the X-Pro2 firmware update we reported on last week, Fujifilm has released a number of firmware updates for several lenses and camera bodies: the X-Pro1, X-Pro2, X-M1, X-E1, X-A1, and X-A2, as well as the XF 50-140mm F2.8 and XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lenses. Changes and firmware versions vary based on model, but most camera body updates simply add support for a focus limiter function on the XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Choosing to Go It Alone," we had some terrific comments, and I want to share them with you now.

Charles wrote: "Good for you Derrick and the best of luck. Although I switched to digital about a dozen or so years ago, I spent more years as a film photographer (Kodachrome 25, 64, and the 'high speed' 200) and will happily follow the analogue story."

Chris added: "I'm now in a position to start scanning my slides they're from back in 1981 onwards my latest love is a 1950s Mamiya 6 folder - film photography is FAR from gone! Bring it on Big D."

John kicked in: "I recently had my Nikon FE2 refurbished. My first camera was an oatmeal box pinhole. I miss the smell of chemicals and the feel of working under a red tinged light. Looking forward to seeing what you create!"

And finally Andrew wrapped it all up by commenting: "Good luck with this new venture. My film camera collection keeps growing. Your new site is probably going to do nothing to stop that trend."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

Editing Extensions Update

There's been another rush of editing extensions recently added to the Mac App Store. If you haven't checked lately, just enter "Editing Extension" in the search field. My current count of legitimate extensions is about a dozen. I just reviewed Color Filters on TDS. I really like it a lot. And don't forget about my lynda.com training, Photos for OS X Essential Training.

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #525, March 29, 2016. Today's theme is "Becoming Software Independent." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Aperture, iPhoto, Carousel, and a slew of online apps that are too many to mention: they will not be moving forward into our futures. So how does a photographer protect oneself from the seemingly capricious actions of software providers? I'll address that in today's top story.

Becoming Software Independent

This is a phenomenon new to the digital age. With film, you get it developed, store it in a safe place, and retrieve the images as needed. But with software, the game has changed. You can invest time and money into an application that may be gone tomorrow. How should you address this issue?

  • Don't Give Up. Nobody likes disruptive change. But the potential of it shouldn't dissuade you from using the best software available at the time.
  • Create a system independent of the application itself. For example, I do like the managed library approach in Capture One Pro. But during import I can also backup those original files to a separate hard drive. Lightroom and Aperture provide for this too. Think about how you can take advantage of this functionality.
  • Create 4 Star Smart Albums and export those images as Tiffs. Catalog them using a simple folder system.
  • Create an Universal Referenced File System. Using a referenced file system with Lightroom, Capture One, and Aperture allows your masters to be organized and available for other apps up the road.
  • To DNG or Note. Personally, I don't convert my RAW files to DNG. But you may feel differently.
  • Create a robust backup and archiving system.

The best approach is to stay ahead of the curve if you can. You may have to dedicate a computer to the transition process while in-between applications.

In the News

Nik Collection Now Free from Google - covered by The Digital Story.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities - from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images. And you now can download them for free.

silver-efex-pro.jpg

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Nik Collection Now Free from Google" we had some terrific comments, and I want to share them with you now.

Jerry wrote: "Great news, but sadly if you don't use Adobe software, you're limited to using it with the unsupported Aperture on a Mac. It would be nice if they came either as standalone apps or Extensions for the Photos App, and personally I don't see that happening, as Google's got such a reputation for killing good software."

Bud added: "This is bad news. In typical Google fashion, I expect the product to die a slow death with non-development and will ultimately be just another example of a failed Google project, like other software companies they have purchased. It's a shame as I own the whole suite of NIK products and their U-point technology is awesome."

And Bill wrapped up: "I think that, ultimately, this may be bad news. you have to wonder if development will cease."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

Ready to Photograph Cuba?

If you're contemplating a trip, I have some excellent resources for you.

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #524, March 22, 2016. Today's theme is "The HDR Dilemma." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The biggest frustration I've had with photography has been the disconnect between what I see with my eyes and what the camera records. Even with today's technologically advanced machines, my pictures don't always turn out as I envisioned. So what are the techniques we can use to tip the scales in our favor? RAW capture is certainly a good start. But High Dynamic Range photography elevates the possibilities to a new height. And that's the first topic of today's show.

The HDR Dilemma

I call this the HDR Dilemma for good reason. Because it seems like every time I consider this shooting technique, I have an internal conversation about the pros and cons.

Marina-at-Dusk-web.jpg

On the plus side, HDR photography can capture the images we envision in our minds: shadowy textures and highlight details coexisting in one image. So what's not to like? Well, not everything is in the plus column here. For example:

  • More post processing than with other images. I've been using Aurora HDR Pro lately, and I like it. But I find myself investing a sizable amount of time editing the image, before I even know if I'm going to like it. And half the time, I don't.
  • Finding the right HDR processor. There is a wide spectrum spanning from Lightroom's built-in HDR editor to Aurora's wild ride. It takes time, and sometimes money, to find the right fit.
  • Knowing when to stop. HDR creates the classic trap that if a little is good, a lot is better. Showing some discipline with HDR editing is often easier said than done.
  • Avoiding the HDR stigma. Seems to me that if others know that you used HDR processing, they instantly discount your work as amateur. No serious photography would stoop to this, right?
  • Fighting laziness. I could spend the mental and creative energy trying to figure out how to best capture this landscape, or I could simply record it as an HDR and let the software figure it out later.

All of that being said, I still like High Dynamic Range photography. When I do properly analyze the scene and show restraint in its production on the computer, I can do things never imagined before. And those pictures can be artistic and respectable.

So how do you handle the HDR Dilemma?

In the News

Apple Announces New 9.7" iPad Pro - covered by The Digital Story.

The 9.7 inch iPad Pro will be available March 31 in 3 configurations: 32GB@$599, 128GB@$749, and 256GB@$899 and 4 different colors including Rose Gold.

This is a powerful tool for nimble photographers, especially the 256GB model combined with an SD card reader and Apple Pencil. The ability to work practically anywhere without the bulk of a computer can lighten the load, improve productivity, and add a dash of fun to the photography experience. And for those using the Photos ecosystem (Photos for iOS and Photos for OS X), the imaging pipeline from camera to editing to output will be extremely smooth.

Autumn in The Eastern Sierra - Oct. 21-23, 2016

Within the next week, I'll be sending invitations to the TDS Autumn in The Eastern Sierra photography workshop that begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the reservation list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Tell Us Your Film Story

Within the next month, I'm going to launch www.theanalogstory.com featuring images, articles, tips, workflows, and a used camera store. I know that many members of our TDS community already shoot film. If you'd like to share your story describing why you like analog photography and the gear you use, send me 500 words or less (and no more!) plus a half dozen images. Send your content to theAnalogStory@gmail.com

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #523, March 15, 2016. Today's theme is "Are You Really Seeing Light?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When you're standing in the snow and the sun breaks through the clouds, what do you think about? For me it usually goes something like this... "Where are my sunglasses? Followed by, "This is at least +1.5 EV." Seriously. Evaluating the light is an ongoing dialog in my head. It's the only way I could really improve my skills with exposure. In today's show, I'm going to talk about seeing light and using that skill to improve our photographs.

Are You Really Seeing Light?

IMG_0419.jpg

My internal dialog, as it relates to light, usually concentrates on three things:

  • Do I have enough ISO? Bright sunny days are no problem. Auto ISO and you're done. But when the light goes down, I get more particular about controlling ISO. I want enough to get the shot. But I don't raise it beyond what I need to preserve image quality. And when shooting film, I really have to think about this. Maybe switch to a faster lens?
  • How much latitude do I have? RAW files are more forgiving than Jpegs; negative film more so than slides. What's my margin for error?
  • Tapping Exposure Compensation. When I sit down with a new camera, the first thing I practice is using exposure compensation. Knowing how the camera is seeing the scene, then learning how to adjust the device to render the image the way you see it in your head is an important skill.

In the News

Apple: FBI Could Force Us to Turn On iPhone Cameras for Spying - covered by Petapixel

Apple has been in a highly publicized legal battle with the FBI, which is demanding that Apple help bypass the security features of the iPhone 5C that was owned by the gunman in the 2015 San Bernardino attack. Apple has refused, saying that complying would set a dangerous precedent that could open up back doors into its popular smartphones. In addition to permanently reducing the security of phones, it would only be a matter of time before the government forces Apple to turn on iPhone cameras and microphones to spy on people, Apple says.

"Someday they will want [Apple] to turn on [a user's] camera or microphone," says Apple head of services Eddy Cue in an interview with Univision. "We can't do that now, but what if we're forced to do that? Where will this stop? In a divorce case? In an immigration case? In a tax case? Some day, someone will be able to turn on a phone's microphone. That should not happen in this country."

Capture One Pro Essential Training

This journey began more than a year ago. And now I'm happy to announce that Capture One Pro Essential Training is now available on lynda.com. Here's more about it.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Canon T6 announcement" we had some terrific comments, and I want to share one with you now.

Phil wrote: "I can't afford a 1Dx Mk2 but if I'd ordered one I think I'd be a little miffed that the new entry level offering has features that I won't get on the flagship model costing in the region of ten times more. Nice to see wifi and nfs on this camera but commiserations to 1DxMk2 buyers."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

Do You Follow the "TDS Member Photo of the Day?"

Here's why you should...

Updates and Such

Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop - We have one room open at the Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop, Aug. 19-21 2016. If you want to hang out with us at Straus Ranch House and explore some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, visit the TDS Workshops page and put yourself on the reserve list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #522, March 8, 2016. Today's theme is "Time Waits for No One." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We have what we love to do, then we have the things that must be done. I'm coming off a January and February where I had to stay focused on my work every day. The only photo shoots I had were assignments. Otherwise I was sitting at the computer writing or in the recording studio making movies.

On some of those days, I so wanted to wander outside with my camera and just take pictures. Of anything. I didn't care what, as long as it wasn't an assignment. Those two months are the inspiration for today's show. Finding ways to find the time to do the things we love, while still meeting our responsibilities to work and family.

Time Waits for No One

One of the things I do during heavy work periods, is that I bring out one of my favorite cameras, and I sit it on the desk next to my computer. Every now and then, I'll pick it up, focus with it, and maybe even take a picture. Then I'll sit it next to the computer and go back to work.

IMG_3349.jpg

We can't spend our whole lives waiting for when we have time to do the things we love. We have to make time. And for me, I have to make time to take pictures. Here are a few of the things I do to make room for my personal photography.

  • Take daily walks. I need to anyway for my health. I make sure that I have a camera with me.
  • Set up an indoor studio. This can be something small in the corner of the room. Maybe just a shooting box with a light and reflector. But having something set up allows me to take a 15 minute break and photograph something.
  • Use a macro lens. The thing about close up photography, instead of having to go far to get a shot, you get close. This means that you can photograph almost anything, and it will be interesting.
  • Have non-shooting projects going. I have an inventory project in progress that I can work on a few minutes here and there. I use the mini-studio for the shooting, and fill out the records using software on my Mac.
  • Plant a garden. A simple back porch garden can yield a bounty of images. In addition to the plants themselves, there are the critters they attract. This entire world is waiting for you outside your backdoor. So even lunch breaks can yield great shots.
  • Commute Shoot. Figure out how to go back and forth to work without having to drive a car. Riding public transportation or ride sharing gives you the opportunity to take pictures instead of curse traffic.

In the News

DxO ONE Firmware Update 1.3 - covered by DxO

The DxO ONE now features a dramatically enhanced standalone experience including the new OLED Framing Assistant - A monochrome live preview helps you quickly and easily compose your standalone shot in a fun, retro way. Plus, photos and videos are stored on the DxO ONE SD card and transfer to your iPhone with a tap, and recall settings - Use the DxO ONE in standalone mode with custom capture settings established in connected mode. The price has come down too. It's now available for $464.

News from ImageFramer

Version 3.4 of ImageFramer is now available. A few of the highlights include:

  • They've added about 60 new celebration frame designs. They can be found in "Holiday and Celebrations" Collection, in "Celebration" Set. They are part of the Standard frames and are available for free to all the customers.
  • "Watermarks" were renamed to "Overlays". The origin of the name "watermark" was in the initial intended use for these layers -- adding copyright signs or artist names on the framed images. Over time, though, we've found that the name was confusing because "watermarks" have a more specific meaning, so we decided that "overlays" is a clearer name for these special layers.
  • Another addition to the interface is the lock button on the right side of the bottom bar, near the aspect ratio button. When the lock is locked, ImageFramer will apply the minimal crop that will keep the framed result in the target aspect ratio. Here's the blog post explaining how it works.

Get 25 percent off by visiting our landing page at http://www.apparentsoft.com/tds.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Couples Ditch Wedding Photographers for Amateurs" we had some terrific comments, and I want to share one with you now.

Sean wrote: "I hear photographers complain about this and the $500 Craigslist photographer, but the simple truth is that these people were never their potential clientele in the first place....There will always be people willing to pay for quality."

John wrote: "The weird thing about wedding photography is we provide the memories. The food is forgotten (hopefully) the next day. All that money spend on alcohol, flowers etc etc all of it is transient. The only thing that will last the length of the marriage is the wedding album or the USB of memories you deliver soon after the day. Yet the wedding photographer is the thing where people complain most about the cost."

And Tillie has the last say: "Looks like a good time for UK photographers to up their game (and all of us perhaps) and ask the question, "What exceptional value can I bring to the table as a professional?" I'm trying to figure out how to "wow" the bride and groom at their upcoming wedding that I'm shooting. Maybe I'll take a few IR shots."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?

  • Leica M4 from 1978 with a Summilux f1.4 50mm
  • Pre-war Contax III
  • Hasselblad
  • Maxxam 9000
  • Nikon F2H
  • Contax G2
  • Rolleiflex SL2000F 35mm
  • Fuji 645 wide angle
  • The Minolta Maxxam 7
  • Canon A1
  • Olympus OM-4t
  • Nikon FM2n
  • Zeiss Ikon Contarex SLR
  • PPentax LX

Updates and Such

Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop - We have one room open at the Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop, Aug. 19-21 2016. If you want to hang out with us at Straus Ranch House and explore some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, visit the TDS Workshops page and put yourself on the reserve list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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 #521, March 1, 2016. Today's theme is "Good Photos Under Bad Conditions." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In the movie, "Bridge of Spies," James Donovan asks accused Russian spy Rudolf Abel, "Aren't you worried?" Able calmly replies, "Would that help?" That was clearly one of the best lines in movies last year, delivered by Mark Rylance who earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. In the end, both Donovan and Abel survived their challenges.

Every line of work has its obstacles. You don't have to be a Russian spy to face adversity. This week's show focuses on challenges that photographers encounter, and some suggestions for overcoming them and returning home with great images.

Good Photos Under Bad Conditions

rainy-bridge-crossing.jpg

Here are 6 basic challenges that we all might face at one time or another.

  • Inclement Weather. Which by the way, sometimes makes for great photographs. The one item I want in snow or rain is a lens hood to keep the droplets off the front of my optics. A good camera bag is helpful too. But I don't waste a lot of time with plastic bags and stuff. A compact umbrella is helpful to create a temporary workspace. Other than that, a protection filter, lens hood, good camera bag, and I'm ready to roll.
  • Law Enforcement and Security Officers. You're going to get a lot of different opinions on this, but mine is still to not be confrontational. I'd rather talk my way out of the situation than be carried away. I draw the line at anyone touching me or my gear. In those situations I move along. And if appropriate, file a complaint afterward.
  • Family Vacation. You have to be creative to get good travel images while vacationing with family. First, call shotgun. If you're not driving, you're in position to take pictures. Second, get up before everyone else, go shoot, then rejoin them for breakfast. Try to avoid dinner at twilight. Be willing to negotiate shooting time in exchange for activities they want to do.
  • Malfunctioning Equipment. Even though I travel light, I still like to have one layer of redundancy. A spare body in a soft pouch covers so many bases. I think the GM5 or the OM-D E-M10 make great safety nets. Put a body cap lens on them, or use the venerable 17mm f/2.8.
  • Threat of Violence or Theft. This is my least favorite of the bunch. Especially when we have incidents such as TIME photojournalist Christopher Morris being apparently choke-slammed to the ground today during a Donald Trump rally in Redford, Virginia, by a US Secret Service agent. But there are many other situations too, and you have to maintain your street sense while working. It's good to fall into the zone as a photographer, but maybe not so in hostile environments. Also, we have the luxury of not taking our best camera into uncertain conditions. Sometimes a backup camera is the way to go. And one last note on this: watch for cars and buses.
  • Fatigue and Apathy. This is the constant personal battle. One leads to the other IMHO. If you feel like you're not seeing any good images, take a break. Have a coffee. Browse the web on your phone. Take a nap. Find little ways to recharge the batteries and get your shooting mojo back.

0659265617.jpg

In the News

Olympus Fox Brown limited edition OM-D E-M10 II launched worldwide - covered by DP Review

A brown and chrome version of the OM-D E-M10 II compact system camera, first announced in January, has been launched worldwide by Olympus. The new version is a limited edition, of which only 3500 will be made and distributed, and Olympus hopes the unique coloration and grained texture of the finish will attract collectors.
The camera is the same as the standard OM-D E-M10 II, but comes with a brown leather-effect cover, a premium leather strap and a silver-colored lens cap. It will only be available in a kit with the company's 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake standard zoom lens.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Fox Brown costs $899 with lens and is available to order now.

Springtime Cleaning Note from MacPaw

Clean up space on your Mac for new photo shoots with CleanMyMac 3 by MacPaw. It's an easy way to brush away extra files and retrieve precious disk space. CleanMyMac 3 also accelerates your Mac and instantly frees up RAM. Top features include:

  • Cleaning hard drive
  • Speeding up system
  • Removing caches from Photos app
  • Uninstalling apps and add-ons

Get 30 percent off by visiting our landing page at macaw.com/tds.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "The Reluctant Portrait Photographer" we had some terrific comments, and I want to share one with you now.

Matthew wrote: "The Reluctant Photographer was a great segment. Besides the "don't be creepy" advice, I appreciated the be professional tip. Such a simple thing that makes a world of difference."
Tillie wrote: "Hey Derrick, thanks for your comments and insights about portrait photography in The Reluctant Photographer. . I just had to laugh - "don't be creepy". Seriously, it's so important to make a genuine connection with clients and keep the conversation going. Be authentic."
Joe added: "Really useful advice in The Reluctant Portrait Photographer. I am prone to geek out on cool lighting effects so it's good to be reminded that rapport with the people is what really counts with portraits."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

Cool Accessory: Tamrac Goblin Body Pouch

Tamrac Goblin Body Pouch 1.4 - Part of an entire family of handy, affordable stash bags for your gear. Great idea! You can check them out here.

  • Easy Cinch-to-Shut Drawstring
  • Fused Quilted Interior
  • Ripstop Nylon Exterior
  • 3 colors: Kiwi, Ocean, and Pumpkin

Prices start at $13. The one I like, the Goblin 1.4 has interior dimensions of 4.2 x 5.0 x 3.5" and sells for $18.95. There's also a slimmer, longer model, the 1.0 with dimensions of 4.0 x 6.2 x 2.2" and sells for $16.95

Updates and Such

Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop - We have one room open at the Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop, Aug. 19-21 2016. If you want to hang out with us at Straus Ranch House and explore some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, visit the TDS Workshops page and put yourself on the reserve list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

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.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

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.