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The Return of Drobo, Part 1 - I introduce what will be my ongoing review of this multi-drive storage device that I had experience with in the past, but haven't been using for a while. But now a new Drobo is available, the 5D with a Thunderbolt connector, and I became interested again. In this first installment, here's how it all came about, and what we're going to do over the coming months.

Story Number Two: Your Studio Inventory - It's that time of year to think about getting a little better organized for 2013. In this segment, I discuss creating a studio or home inventory to catalog all of your equipment. I did some preliminary testing with an application for the Mac called "Home Inventory". It cost $20. But, it comes with an iOS app that really speeds up the process using your iPhone. With just a few hours investment, I can have all of my gear cataloged and backed up.


The Gift Guide for Photographers features 12 tempting goodies for the photographer in your life. Each item includes a background article about it and a direct link for the best price.


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

Long Exposure is the Dec. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Dec. 31, 2012.

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. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50 percent. Buy just one SizzlPix and get a 25 percent discount. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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Holiday photography is really just a type of event coverage, except that you usually know your subjects quite well. In this week's podcast I provide 10 tips to help you get great holiday photos while still enjoying the festivities.


The Gift Guide for Photographers features 12 tempting goodies for the photographer in your life. Each item includes a background article about it and a direct link for the best price.


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

Flash is the Nov. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Nov. 30, 2012.

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. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50 percent. Buy just one SizzlPix and get a 25 percent discount. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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The Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro provides 1:1 magnification, but is only 3" long and 46mms in diameter. I'm going to post a full review of the lens soon, but I provide a sneak peek of the $499 gem in this week's podcast.

Then I talk about the fun, versatile Triggertrap app for iOS. Not only does it turn your iPhone into a programmable cable release that you can connect to your DSLR, it now adds WiFi connectivity for wireless control. And finally, I provide a short wrap up of the recent Aperture Intensive workshop at my studio in Santa Rosa, CA. All of this and more on this week's podcast.

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

Flash is the Nov. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Nov. 30, 2012.

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. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50%. Buy just one SizzlPix and get a 25 percent discount. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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Three stories this week, one in the air, one on the road, and the last tied to my computer.

"Wind Shear" Went flying over N. Cal this weekend. I came prepared for shooting through glass with my polarizer and rubber lens hood. But I also has the opportunity to take pictures with the window open. Sad what 130 MPH winds will do to a lens hood and polarizer.

"Memory Gain" People ask me often about backing up images on the road when I'm in nimble photographer mode. At the heart of that workflow is having enough memory cards so I don't have to overwrite them. Sometimes I'd get the response, "but I don't have enough memory for that." Have you seen the prices of memory cards lately?

"iOS Tethering" Aperture supports tethering of many Nikon and Canon DSLRs. But, did you know that tethering works with iOS devices to? And better yet, you can use the app ProCamera instead of the regular Camera app to capture the images. It's really kind of cool.

All of this and more on this week's episode of 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

Flash is the Nov. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Nov. 30, 2012.

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. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50%. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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Photographers aren't the easiest bunch to buy for, especially on a tight budget. That's why I've published the TDS Gift Guide for Photographers. Here are 12 items, ranging from $25 to $329, that are sure to please the shooter in your life... even if that's you.

Cowboy Studio Wireless Flash Triggers $25

Have an older flash that you really like, but it just doesn't fit with your new camera gear? For less than $25 you can use that light again with the Cowboy Studio Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger/Receiverkit. It brings wireless flash photography to just about any flash/camera combination.

Purchase: CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger Receiver

Background article on Flash Triggers


Canon 40mm Pancake Lens $149

After a week of shooting with the Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM lens,I have to say this is one enjoyable little prime. At half the size of the 50mm f/1.8, it focuses quieter, is built sturdier, and is ever bit as sharp.

Purchase: Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens

Background article on Canon 40mm pancake lens.


NEEWER 48 LED Ring Light $32

I've been having a blast with the $30 NEEWER 48 LED Ring Lightthat mounts directly to my macro lens and is powered by 2 AA batteries. Sound too good to be true? It isn't.

Purchase: NEEWER 48 LED Ring Light

Background article on NEEWER 48 LED Ring Light


SizzlPix Holiday Special 50% Off Second Image

SizzlPix are like Retina displays that you can hang on the wall. High Definition images fused into polished aluminum. A SizzlPix gift defies words; you have to see it to believe it.

Purchase: SizzlPix.com and enter "TDS" in the comments field to receive your 50 percent discount on the second image ordered. Offer good through the end of Dec. 2012.


Flashpoint 24" One Handed Reflector and Calibration Target $19.95

I love working with disc reflectors, but I don't always have an assistant to hold them for me. I found the Flashpoint 24" Triangular Collapsible Disc that has a rigid design and can be held by one hand. It's silver on one side, providing lots of fill light. And on the other side it has black, white, and gray segments that can be used for establishing exposure and for color balance in post.

Purchase: Flashpoint 24" One Handed Reflector

Background article on Flashpoint reflector.


Lowel Ego Lights Kit $100-200

Lowel Ego Lights are affordable soft lights that can be used for portrait and product photography, as well as video recording. Each lighting unit consists of two custom 27W screw-in compact daylight fluorescent lamps that are balanced at 5000 degrees color temperature.

Purchase: Lowel Ego Lights

Background article on Lowel Ego Lights


iPad mini $329

Taking pictures with the iPad mini is more enjoyable and less awkward than with its bigger brother, the full sized iPad. As I suspected when I originally wrote about necessary features for the mini, the built-in camera is important. And thankfully, it works well.

Purchase: iPad mini overview page


Lowepro Photo Hatchback $89

This multi-use backpack is great for camera gear, a day at the beach, or just bumming around town. Plus it has a dedicated iPad protection sleeve.

Purchase: Lowepro Photo Hatchback 16L AW Camera Bag - Galaxy Blue

Background article on Lowepro Photo Hatchback


GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X $149

The GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X is no chimp. At the top of the Joby product line, this tripod combines stability and flexibility in a package that only weighs 762 grams, less than 2 pounds. Yet it can stabilize a camera rig up to 11 pounds.

Purchase: GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X

Background article on GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X


Rogue Master Lighting Kit $199

The Rogue Master Lighting Kit provides the nimble photographer with a variety of flash modifiers and gels in kit that occupies about as much space as a full size laptop computer. I recently shot a portrait session using just two Canon Speedlites with FlashBenders attached.

Purchase: Rogue Master Flash Lighting Kit with Softbox, Bounce Diffuser, Reflectors, Grid and Gel

Background article on Rogue Master Lighting Kit


Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for M 4/3 $299

A great way to shake things up photographically is with an ultra wide lens. I recently had a chance to experiment with the Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC fisheye lens for micro four thirds on my Olympus OM-D. Samyang makes this lens in various mounts, so they most likely have one for your camera too.

Purchase: Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC fisheye lens

Background article on Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for M 4/3


Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Lens Cap for M4/3 $59

If you like pancake lenses, you're going to love this. The just-announced Olympus BCL-15mm f8.0 Body Cap Lens is literally the size of a body cap, yet transforms to become a fixed focus snapshot lens that's a blast to shoot with. The lens is just 9mm thick, and when the cover is in place (to protect the glass), it looks like a body cap for your micro four thirds camera.

Purchase: Olympus BCL-15mm f8.0 Body Lens Cap for Olympus/Panasonic Micro 4/3 Cameras

Background article on Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Lens Cap


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

Flash is the Nov. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Nov. 30, 2012.

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. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50%. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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Halloween is the perfect excuse to experiment with extreme low light technique. In this podcast, I take a look at ISO, glass, file format, and a few tricks (and treats) that you can stash in your goodie bag. I've also come to a decision about the iPad mini, and report on that small, but significant quest. All of this, and more, on this week's TDS podcast.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (24 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

Panorama is the Oct. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Oct. 31, 2012. Note: We're making an exception this month for image size. Submit your panorama at the size you feel appropriate.

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. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50%. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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The iPad mini is a fascinating device for nimble photographers. At 7.9" tall and 7.2mm thick, it will fit in most conventional camera bags.

Yet the mini includes a 5 MP camera, WiFi and cellular (cellular as an option), 1024 x 768 resolution display at 163 pixels per inch, a new media card reader accessory, and all of our favorite iPad photo apps will work perfectly on it.

You can get the base model for as little as $329, but most photographers will need the version that costs $559. So the question is, should you order one when they're available? That's what we'll examine in this week's podcast.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (30 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

Panorama is the Oct. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Oct. 31, 2012. Note: We're making an exception this month for image size. Submit your panorama at the size you feel appropriate.

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. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50%. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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With so many changes in the camera market, we have new options for configuring an arsenal that best suits our needs.

In today's podcast, I assemble four camera kits using everything from Nikon's D600 full frame DSLR to Canon's waterproof compact D20. In part, this is for fun. But it can also help us reexamine the tools we're using for our work.

I then introduce the first four workshops of the 2013 season. Plus, I have ideas for more events that I'd like your feedback on. All of this, and more, in this week's TDS podcast.

Sponsor Note: Both Red River Paper and SizzlPix have special notices for our audience. Be sure to check out the Sponsor blurbs in today's podcast show notes. (Scroll down the page...)

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (34 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

Panorama is the Oct. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Oct. 31, 2012. Note: We're making an exception this month for image size. Submit your panorama at the size you feel appropriate.

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 -- You can win an Epson R2000 from Red River Paper during their 15 Year Anniversary Celebration.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50%. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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Recent releases of Aperture and Lightroom make it a great time to revisit the individual strengths of each application. We're talking cream of the crop here, but they do offer different features. Which one is right for you? Listen in on today's Special Edition podcast, "Aperture vs Lightroom," and discover the answer.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (37 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

Panorama is the Oct. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Oct. 31, 2012.

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 -- You can win an Epson R2000 from Red River Paper during their 15 Year Anniversary Celebration.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. Special this month, order one SizzlPix and get the second one for 50%. Put "TDS" in the comments field of your order.

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




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Mobile photography became a little more interesting last week for iOS users. By this point, most folks know about the new panorama feature in iOS 6 for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. But there's more! I talk about my favorite photo goodies in this latest mobile operating system release from Apple. I also touch on the upcoming Aperture workshop and follow up on my Instagram impressions from the road. All of this and more on this week's TDS podcast.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (34 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

Panorama is the Oct. 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Oct. 31, 2012.

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 -- The $7.99 Sample Kit is back! And with free shipping.

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 saven 20% at check out.




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