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This week on The Digital Story: The Flickr Facelift, Joby UltraPlate accessory, and an interview with Oliver Breidenbach, CEO of Boinx Software. Plus, a special offer from SizzlPix! All of this and more on The Digital Story podcast.

Story #1 - The Flickr Facelift: Many of the pages, but not all, for Flickr online received a makeover. Plus there are some new rules for membership. Bottom line is, if you have an existing Flickr Pro account for $24.99 a year, you can continue with an ad-free account and unlimited storage for same annual fee (plus the photo and video size limits will be upgraded to those offered with our new free account). Current "free" users will have to spend $49.99 a year for ad-free and 1 TB of online storage. And if you want 2 TBs of storage, it will cost you $499.99 a year.

Story #2 - The Joby UltraPlate Arca Swiss compatible quick release plate for DSLRs. This $19.95 accessory attaches to the bottom of your camera adding very little height to the body. You can attach a variety of straps to it, such as the Joby UltraFit Sling and use it on your tripod at the same time. Very convenient.

Story #3 - Interview with Oliver Breidenbach, CEO of Boinx Software. Among other apps, Boinx created the wonderful iStopMotion for iOS that I featured in the book, iPad for Digital Photographers. Oliver talks about the development of iStopMotion, and I chime in with the joys of creating time-lapse videos with a tablet computer.

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

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (28 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The May 2013 photo assignment is Food.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.


iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.Special Offer! Anyone buying Derrick's new book, iPad for Digital Photographers, even at Amazon's or Barnes And Noble's discount, and putting the password for the Book Owners lounge in the comments space of their SizzlPix! order, will get 10 percent off their entire order -- the equivalent of more than a full refund for the book!

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story - "The Ultimate Podcast FAQ: Juan Pons moderates the third and final installment of our Spring Photography Mashup and asks our panel of experts a variety of questions. We discuss inspiration, overcoming challenges, equipment, how we got started in the photography business, plus much more.

Joining Juan from Digital Photo Experience are Jim and Dustin from Improve Photography, and of course, yours truly.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (87 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The May 2013 photo assignment is Food.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: The groundbreaking Canon PowerShot N; the versatile, affordable Sigma 17mm-70mm f/2.8-4 zoom lens for APS-C DSLRs; and a visit to Carpinteria. All of this and more on The Digital Story podcast.

Story #1 - The Canon PowerShot N is a 12MP super compact camera featuring a DIGIC 5 processor, 1080p HD video, built-in WiFi, and a ton of creative features. I've been putting this little wonder through its paces and have a report to share.

Story #2 - The impressive Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM for Canon (Black) that's part of the new Creative line of Sigma zooms. The lens has a nice weight that balances perfectly on my Canon 60D, 72mm front filter ring, 1:2.8 macro, IS and AF switches on the side of the barrel, and very impressive performance. And the frosting on the cake: less than $499.

Story #3 - Carpinteria. I spent last week updating my Flickr Essential Training for lynda.com. In addition to refreshing movies that were out of date, I recorded over 20 movies on the new Flickr Mobile app for iOS and for Android. The title should be out in late June.

Story #4 - iPad for Digital Photographers is off to a great start, in large part thanks to the support of our virtual camera club. For those of you who have purchased the book and posted a review, a hearty thank you. I love the support you're giving. If you haven't ordered your copy yet, I encourage you to do so. I think you'll very much enjoy the book.

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

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (31 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The May 2013 photo assignment is Food.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.


iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: Photography Mashup, "Tools or Toys," joined by the hosts from Improve Photography and the Digital Photo Experience.

This week I lead the conversation with Jim and Dustin from Improve Photography and Rick and Juan from Digital Photo Experience for a podcast mashup where we tackle the burning question: Are these tools or toys that we desire?

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (48 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The May 2013 photo assignment is "Food".

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Female Portrait Sigma 35mm Lens

This week on The Digital Story: The gorgeous Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens, creating a Frankenzoom, release of iPad for Digital Photographers, and SizzlPix winners!

Story #1 - The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens - I've been testing this beautiful chunk of glass on the Canon 5D Mark II, and I have to say, I love this lens. It's sharp and soft, all at the same time. What do I mean? Well, where you put the focus the image is crisp, but when shooting wide open the tail-off to softness is just beautiful. Take a look at the Lady Victoria portrait captured with the Sigma 35mm at f/1.4 on the Canon 5D Mark II, and see for yourself.

Story #2 - Frankenzoom - By now, you know that I hang on to optics, even if the camera they are designed for no longer works. When I needed to extend the optical reach of the zoom lens on the Fujifilm X20 compact camera for a recent NBA game (as a spectator), I found a 1.5X Canon teleconverter and mounted it on the X20. By doing so, I was able to extend the zoom from 112mm at f/2.8 to 168mm with no light loss.

Story #3 - iPad for Digital Photographers is now shipping. I just received my print copy today, and it looks great. Please help support our virtual camera club and order yours today. It's $14.73 on Amazon.com. It makes a great gift too!

Story #4 - SizzlPix Pick of the Month! Congratulations to Mark Steven Houser, Kevin Ned Miller, and Phil Fisher, our recent SizzlPix Pick of the Month for Long Exposure, Self Timer, and Furry Friends Photo Assignment. Please send me mail, and we'll get your SizzlPix in the works.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (26 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The April 2013 photo assignment is Architecture.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. SizzlPix Spring Sale - 25% Discount! Offer good on orders placed by April 30. Again, "TDS" or "The Digital Story" in the comments space. Of course, they will honor the discount for all TDS listeners and readers, including those who've received SizzlPix samples.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: Photography Mashup, Episode 1, with the hosts from Improve Photography and the Digital Photo Experience.

Via Skype, I'm joining Jim and Dustin from Improve Photography and Juan from Digital Photo Experience for a photography mashup hosted by Improve Photography.

We talk about business and photography mistakes we've made, and the lessons we've learned from them.

You can also download the podcast here (70 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The April 2013 photo assignment is Architecture.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. SizzlPix Spring Sale - 25% Discount! Offer good on orders placed by April 30. Again, "TDS" or "The Digital Story" in the comments space. Of course, they will honor the discount for all TDS listeners and readers, including those who've received SizzlPix samples.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: Lightroom 5 public beta is now available for download, Fujifilm X20 deluxe compact camera begins shipping, and the imminent release of iPad for Digital Photographers. All of this... and more!

Story #1 - Lightroom 5 public beta - Just a little over a year since the final release of Lightroom 4, Adobe has reloaded its image editing guns and fired off the first public beta of Lightroom 5. You now need Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.7 to run Lightroom 5. Key features for testing include Smart Previews, Advanced Healing Brush, a Radial Gradient tool, and more. I take a closer look at the top three features in the first story of this week's show.

Radial Gradient tool - You can draw a circle or oval around an area in the photo, then apply effects to the area out side the selection. Typical uses would be exposure or color adjustments, but there are other sliders too.

Advanced Healing Brush - Great for cloning or healing odd shaped objects that you want to eliminate from your composition. This capacity is probably what has sent many Lightroom users to Photoshop in the past.

Smart Previews - Allows you to set up your Lightroom catalog to edit images, even when the originals are offline on another hard drive that isn't plugged in to your computer. Adobe pulls this off by using the lossy DNG format. Catalogs set up with Smart Previews can save a great deal of space, around 1/6 the size of a catalog with original RAW files connected. The edits you make in Smart Preview mode will be synced up with the originals when you reconnect the hard drive.

Story #2 - The Fujifilm X20 compact camera is now available.

Features include the 12MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II Sensor (RAW files can be processed in Lightroom 4.4), Fujinon 28-112mm f/2-2.8 zoom lens, amazing optical viewfinder that zooms and has a data overlay, a variety of intelligent features such as film simulation and pro focus, and looks great with its die-cast magnesium body construction and machined metal knobs. Currently sells for $599. I cover some of its pros and cons in the second segment of the show.

Story #3 - iPad for Digital Photographers will be released in just two weeks. The pre-order price is only $13.45. Not only do you get the book, but you'll gain access to a brand new, secure area on TDS called the Book Owners Lounge. I provide more details in the third story. There's a link for the book at the bottom of every TDS page.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (32 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The April 2013 photo assignment is Architecture.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. SizzlPix Spring Sale - 25% Discount! Offer good on orders placed by April 30. Again, "TDS" or "The Digital Story" in the comments space. Of course, they will honor the discount for all TDS listeners and readers, including those who've received SizzlPix samples.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: Are off-brands worth the risk? Backpacking is different for photographers. DIY Home Portrait Studio, Part 2. All of this... and more!

Story #1 - Are off-brands worth the risk? As I'm getting ready for an important assignment, it dawned on me that I'm packing a Pentax K-5 instead of a Canon or Nikon DSLR. Next week I'll be testing a Fujifilm X20. I regularly use Olympus and Panasonic cameras and lenses.

When I say "off-brand," I'm not referring to knock-offs, which should definitely be avoided. I'm talking about investing in brands other than the traditional photography titans: Canon and Nikon.

Is it wise to invest your assets in a Sony system, Pentax, Samsung, Olympus, Panasonic? Will you regret your decision later?

Story #2 - Backpacking photographer - I'm testing a new outdoor pack from Lowepro that's designed for overnight trips. It's my belief that backpacking photographers need to carry even less camping gear than other hikers because we have photography equipment too. In this segment, I share 5 tips for lightening your load on overnight excursions into the backcountry.

Story #3 - DIY Home Portrait Studio, Part 2.This week I'm focusing on lighting. For continuous lights, I recommend the Lowel Ego Digital Imaging Fluorescent 2 Light Kit (108 watts) for $215. Then add 3 light stands, such as the Manfrotto 1004BAC-3 QSS Air Cushioned Light Stand 3-Pack for $260. You'll need 3 Manfrotto 026 Swivel Umbrella Adapters ($28 each) to go with those light stands. With these basic tools that don't take up much room, you can use your electronic flashes with umbrellas, or the Lowel Ego lights, for your portrait and product work.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (32 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The April 2013 photo assignment is Architecture.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. SizzlPix Spring Sale - 25% Discount! Offer good on orders placed by April 30. Again, "TDS" or "The Digital Story" in the comments space. Of course, they will honor the discount for all TDS listeners and readers, including those who've received SizzlPix samples.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: DIY home portrait studio, model releases, lens hood as an LCD shade, all of this... and more!

Story #1 - DIY Home Portrait Studio. We'll cover this over the course of a few installments. Today, I'm going to to discuss the space itself. Most enthusiast photographers don't have the luxury of setting up a dedicated room for a portrait studio. There might be multi-use space available. So quick set up and breakdown become important.

Attributes to look for include: natural lighting, at least 10' x 12' floor space, minimum 8' ceilings (higher is better), temperature control, closet space to store equipment when not in use, and nearby bathroom to serve as changing room.

Story #2 - Model Releases. For every set-up portrait you arrange, you want to secure a model release. This document includes text granting permission by the subject for you to use the photo in a variety of ways. I get model releases for hired subjects, friends, and even family.

Story #3 - Lens Hood as LCD Shade Trick - Reviewing your photos on the camera's LCD screen in bright sunlight can be very discouraging. You can help minimize glare by placing a lens hood over the LCD and looking through that.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (29 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The April 2013 photo assignment is Architecture.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. Take the SizzlPix Challenge - See how your photo will Sizzl by getting a free 5x7 section of an uploaded image. Just put TDS or The Digital Story in the comments to get your free SizzlPix section.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story: Is the new Canon EOS SL1 a mirrorless killer? Supercharge your photo management workflow by using Aperture and iPhoto together. And I share some insights from the recent 3-Day Artisan Cheese Festival event coverage and advanced TDS workshop.

Story #1 - Canon EOS SL1: Instead of Mirrorless? Canon wants you to have your optical viewfinder and compact size too. With the announcement of the EOS SL1 (100D), you can tote a mere 407 grams with a body that measures only 117 x 91 x 69 mm. Compare that to the Olympus OM-D that weighs in at 425 grams and 122 x 89 x 43 mm. What are the pros and cons for buying compact SLR vs a mirror less body? (You can see the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR with 18-55mm EF-S IS STM lenshere.)

  • Bigger image sensor on the SL1 - APS-C (18MP) vs Micro Four Thirds (16MP)
  • Can use existing EF-S and EF lenses on SL-1
  • Lens are lighter and smaller, however, with OM-D
  • More professional features with OM-D such as 9 fps vs 4 fps, tilting LCD, built-in image stabilization, etc.
  • Price is interesting: Canon is $799 with 18-55 STM vs 1049 for OM-D with 12-42mm.

Story #2 - Using iPhoto and Aperture Together - I love using Aperture and iPhoto together, and now I have a training on lynda.com that shows you how to get the most out of this tandem. This was really made possible by the Unified Library that lets you use either application interchangeable with your image library. From there, you can decide which app is best for any given task, then use the right tool for the job. My goal is to help fully understand your options so you can create a killer workflow for all of your photography work (and play).

Story #3 - Clarification on the Canon CPS story. You need to be a working photographer to qualify. This is not a program for hobbyists.

Story #4 - Artisan Cheese Festival Event Coverage and Advanced Workshop. Three TDS members joined me for the 3-day festival: Scott McDaniel, Jeremy White, and Jeff Dickerson. And they shot lights out all weekend.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (32 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The March 2013 photo assignment is Black & White.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. Take the SizzlPix Challenge - See how your photo will Sizzl by getting a free 5x7 section of an uploaded image. Just put TDS or The Digital Story in the comments to get your free SizzlPix section.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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