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This is The Digital Story Podcast #592, July 11, 2017. Today's theme is "DJI Spark - The Nimble Drone." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Quite frankly, drones were just too cumbersome to mess with. Since aerial photography was not essential to my business, I decided to bide my time until the right quadcopter was developed. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait too long. In June 2017, DJI released the Spark. It is truly the Nimble Photographer drone, and the top story for today's show.

DJI Spark - The Nimble Drone

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One of the things I really like about the Spark is that I can carry it with me all the time in my Think Tank Retrospective 7 shoulder bag. It fits nicely in the front pocket, and it's like carrying a second camera. Except this camera can fly.

I don't lug around extra batteries or a controller. I'm sticking with the basic $499 kit. I have an extra set of props and the charging cable. That's it.

All of my testing has been using the iPhone or iPad mini as the controller. My preference is the iPad because of its additional screen real estate, plus my phone is free for other tasks during flights. The DJI GO 4 app is quite good.

So really, the only think I've added to my everyday kit is the svelt quadcopter itself. But the payoff is tremendous. Here are five reasons why I recommend the Spark for Nimble Photography.

  • Built Like a Rock, but Much Lighter - You don't need to baby this device. It is solid. I carry it in a soft case in the front pocket of my Retrospective 7, and forget about it. When it's time to fly, the Spark is ready.
  • Amazing Technology - Incredible use of GPS satellites, infrared detection, WiFi connectivity, still photography, video recording, and aerodynamics. When combined with a state of the art smartphone, it's mind blowing what you have in the palm of your hand for $500.
  • Excellent for Still Photography - The 12 MP camera is quite good. Jpegs only. But on the fly you have options for single shot, burst mode, auto exposure bracketing, timed shot, shallow focus, and panorama photography. You can use full auto, or switch to manual exposure mode as needed. You can change both the ISO setting and white balance. All of this from your smartphone.
  • Intelligent Flight Modes - For HD video recording, you can take advantage of settings such as Active Track and Tripod mode. For Active Track, you ID a subject, and the Spark follows it while recording. For Tripod mode, it becomes super steady and moves slowly allowing for the sexy screen saver videos that we see on Apple TV.
  • Learn a New Skill - Just like I had to learn all about audio to become a photographer podcaster, I'm learning about aeronautics to become and aerial photographer. And it's fun. I'm using an app called Kittyhawk to review flight conditions such as wind and airspace clearance, I'm aware of obstructions and airport, and I'm learning how to take pictures from a completely new perspective.

I did register with the FAA because I may use some of my imagery commercially. Even though the Spark is super nimble, it's a serious aircraft. And I respect both its capabilities, and the responsibilities that come with its use.

Capture One Classroom

I've been trying to figure out a way to bring more personalized training to photographers without them having to travel. It's one thing to get on a plane to photograph wine country or the French Quarter, but not quite as alluring to travel far to sit in a classroom for two days.

As a result, I've designed a new approach called, The Nimble Classroom. And the first course series offered as part of this program will be for Capture One Pro. Here are the highlights.

Capture One Classroom - Session 1 - Catalog Management
Saturday, August 19, 8am PDT/11am EDT

Designing your Capture One Pro catalog to meet your needs as a photographer is an important first step toward creating a digital asset manager that is easy to use, effective, and enjoyable.

In this class, Derrick Story shows you best practices for creating a top notch catalog environment. Participants may submit their unique questions before class, allowing Derrick to incorporate that content into his teaching. And there will be live Q&A sessions throughout the course.

Class participation is limited to 6. The course may be viewed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Details will be sent to you prior to class.

Tuition for the one-day session is $129. No plane fares, hotel rooms, or rental cars. You can reserve your spot by visiting The Nimble Classroom on theNimblePhotographer.com

Framing Tip of the Month

One thing your professional framer will tell you is that some pieces of art «need» help. If a picture is a non-standard size, either too large or too long, or the focal point of the picture is very close to the lower edge of the image, then the mat can be "pulled down".

This means that the lower edge of the mat is wider compared to the upper and side edges, creating a feeling of proportionality. This same technique can be applied in cases where two pictures of different sizes are shown together. If the inner edges of both mats are made slightly narrower, the two pictures will look more balanced.

ImageFramer on Facebook

For more tips like these, and lots more, visit ImageFramer on Facebook. And give your images the ImageFramer look they deserve.

We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the new ImageFramer. ImageFramer 4.0 is a free upgrade for ImageFramer 3 customers. Note that it requires macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. TDS listeners can receive a 20 percent discount by visiting: our ImageFramer landing page.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #591, July 4, 2017. Today's theme is "Frederic VJ Lives; New Orleans." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Some of my favorite moments during the Rail Adventure Workshop were our one-on-one meetings during the 19-hour train journey through the South to New Orleans. And one of the names that often came up during our discussions was my friend Frederick Van Johnson and his podcast, TWiP. Friends asking about friends, Southern hospitality, street photography, and so much more... all on today's TDS podcast.

Frederick Van Johnson Lives

Before we get to New Orleans itself, I want to address an issue that came up along the way: the well being of Frederick Van Johnson. As soon as I returned from my trip, I dropped him a note asking if he'd make an appearance on the show to discuss what he's been up to, and how he's been. Here's what he had to say.

To-Trains-1024.jpg

The City of New Orleans

It was supposed to rain every day we were in NOLA. And yet it stayed dry (relatively speaking) until 10 minutes after our workshop ended, when a downpour began. So other than the weather itself, here are my five favorite moments in New Orleans.

  • Shrimp Tacos in the French Market - I know that I shouldn't lead off with food, but how can you not when visiting Louisiana? In addition to the freshest shrimp taco I've ever had, I ate my way through the South trying a variety of local specialties, including my introduction to Tasso.
  • Wednesday Morning in the French Quarter - We were out the door early on Wednesday, lead by local photographer Tillie Van Etten. There's something special about photographing places like the Quarter as it slowly comes to life in the morning.
  • Breakfast in the Classroom - Each morning we dined together enjoying a full breakfast served by the staff at Hotel Provincial. In the evening, we also ate together in the restaurants, but these mornings were just us. And I loved being there with everyone.
  • Sergeant Mark Mumme - For our evening shoot in the Quarter, we hired Sergeant Mark of the New Orleans Police Dept. to watch our backs as we worked. I've never had security before during an urban shoot. But I loved it. And it was wonderful being able to just focus on our photography.
  • Class Presentation - After all the miles, photo shoots both in Chicago and New Orleans, everyone chose eight shots to share and discuss to close out the workshop. Reliving all of those moments with our crew was special indeed.

How to Choose a Color for Your Photo Mat

A mat can be described as a field of light or colour around a picture, in width usually 1/2 to 1/3 of the image's narrowest side. Mats can be of different shapes and kinds - rectangular, oval, multi-layered, with decorative insertions, etc. The mat creates a neutral zone between picture and its frame, helping the viewer to focus on the art work itself.

Here are five tips to keep in mind while designing a mat.

  • The color of a light mat should be a tone darker than the lightest color of the image. If using a dark mat, its color must be one tone lighter than the darkest color on the photo.
  • Using a colored mat is a good way to attract attention to important segments of a photograph. In this case, the surrounding color must be the same as the brightest segment of the image, but in more muted tones.
  • The simple trick of a double mat will give a personality to an artwork. Two or even three mats of different shades can be applied. The color of the inner mat is usually chosen from a particular tone in the image, which may be lighter or darker than the outside mat.
  • It is important to remember that colors and shades of a mat must be chosen to complement the color of the frame and the main color of the picture.

ImageFramer offers a huge selection of mats, as well as frames that play the role of a mat, which is especially good for oil paintings. Besides the usual colors, which accompany photographs and watercolors, you can select the color of your mat, using any color from your photo.

Read the complete article, How to Choose Mats for Photos for lots more information about framing your artwork.

Special Offer! ImageFramer celebrates Canada Day & July 4th with a 34% discount store-wide. No coupons necessary! (New Frames Too). You can learn all about it here.

We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the new ImageFramer. ImageFramer 4.0 is a free upgrade for ImageFramer 3 customers. Note that it requires macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. TDS listeners can receive a 20 percent discount by visiting: our ImageFramer landing page.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #590, June 27, 2017. Today's theme is "Out of Chicago." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It was the day after Summer Solstice when we touched down at O'Hare Airport. You could feel the heat seeping through the cracks in the covered walkway that connected the plane to airport. There was no mistake. It was summer and I was in Chicago. And what transpired over the next few days is the top story for today's show.

Out of Chicago

Jackson-Station-1024.jpg

Later that night I was awakened from my sleep by the sound of rain blowing hard against my window. And there was thunder as well. I had a pre-conference workshop the next morning that included a photo walk.

"What is our Plan B?" I asked myself. "I don't know," I answered.

I picked up my phone and checked the weather. The rain was predicted to stop by 8 am. And what was predicted to follow was three days of glorious spring-like weather.

"If that's true," I thought, "then we're in for a great conference." I rolled over and fell asleep again.

It was true, and we had a fantastic event. Here are some of the highlights with a few embarrassing moments mixed in.

My Favorite and Slightly Embarrassing Moments in Chicago

  • A Favorite: Catching up with Valerie Jardine (Hit the Streets podcast) about her transition away from Street Focus on TWiP.
  • Embarrassing: When I accidentally called one of my favorite people on staff Michelle when her name is really Malinda.
  • A Favorite: Watching participants in my Analog workshop try to figure out what camera the wanted to choose while they were all hidden from sight in old Crown Royal cloth bags.
  • Embarrassing: Privately swearing to conference organizer Chris Smith when he was joking with me about my needing a meal break after a very long day. He later said he didn't even remember the incident. (Nice guy!)
  • A Favorite: Finding the best street taco joint on State Street for my first lunch in Chicago.
  • Embarrassing: Not realizing that I had met Scott Wyden Kivowitz years earlier at Photo Plus Expo.
  • A Favorite: Seeing a room full of people waiting for my printing talk to begin.
  • A Favorite: All of the TDS listeners who introduced themselves to me at the conference, in restaurants, and on the streets of Chicago.

Mirrorless Panel Discussion

On Sunday I moderated a panel discussion with a terrific slate of mirrorless photographers including Giulio Sciorio, Mike Boening, and Jamie MacDonald. I thought that you might want to hear part of the discussion, so here's an excerpt for your listening pleasure where I'm talking about sensor size, then turn it over to Guido for his thoughts. After that, Jamie and Mike chime in.

Using ImageFramer 4 with Lightroom

ImageFramer's Lightroom plugin is a Post-Processing Action plugin that will add itself to your Export flow. After the plugin is installed, it will be listed in the bottom-left panel of the Export dialog and a "Process with ImageFramer" section appears in the right panel, if the plugin is enabled.

To use the plugin, type the name of the template in ImageFramer that you want to use (case sensitive). During Export, after all the Lightroom adjustments are applied, ImageFramer will be launched, the image will be processed with the template and saved back into Lightroom's flow.

So, if you want to create your own greeting cards and original art from images stored in Lightroom, ImageFramer can be a terrific tool for you.

ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and simply people who simply want their family photos to look better.

ImageFramer helps you to:

  • Themed frames: Frames for holidays, seasonal frames, kid frames, romance (for weddings) and many more creative designs. Great for greeting card designs, scrapbooking, enriching family photos etc.
  • Overlays: Text or image overlays can be used for adding copyright notices, signatures, descriptions, and even automatic data, like file name, date (file or EXIF), location, caption and headline from IPTC metadata. New in version 4: Snapping overlays to center or edges and simplified interaction with text color and fonts.
  • Design Templates. ImageFramer comes with some preset templates. It's easy to add your own templates. These can be used in-app or through Lightroom or in built-in Batch Processor. New in version 4: Saving templates to files and importing them into a another ImageFramer installation.
  • Mats. ImageFramer has a special color mat frame types that can look beveled with control over bevel width, and the colors of both the mat and the bevel. Size of mat can be different in each direction (often useful to have a wider mat on the bottom). Multiple mat (and frame) layers allow limitless combinations.
  • Integration with Workflows: Adobe Lightroom Export plugin, Photos.app, Sharing extension. Useful for portfolios, web site exports, printing (even simple designs like overlays or a simple white border).

We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the new ImageFramer. ImageFramer 4.0 is a free upgrade for ImageFramer 3 customers. Note that it requires macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. TDS listeners can receive a 20 percent discount by visiting: our ImageFramer landing page.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

While you're listening to this, I'm most likely on a train heading south to New Orleans. The anticipated weather looks a lot more challenging than the first leg of the trip here in Chicago. I'll share the inside scoop in next week's podcast.

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #589, June 20, 2017. Today's theme is "ISO 3200 is the New 400." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

My nimble lifestyle depends a lot on not having to carry large, expensive lenses in my daily messenger bag. And thanks to the great design of my micro four thirds optics, I don't have to. But the one thing I do have to sacrifice for the zooms is a fast maximum aperture. That has become less of an issue with the latest crop of cameras providing terrific ISO 3200 performance. We'll take a closer look in today's show.

ISO 3200 is the New 400

I'm going to open today's show with a story about my latest photo shoot in San Francisco. I hadn't plan on it, but there it was nonetheless.[Tell the Vanagon story and why I needed ISO 3200.]

coming-home-1024.jpg

What's Inside My Bag for Chicago/New Orleans

ImageFramer 4 as an Editing Extension

ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and simply people who simply want their family photos to look better.

But it's also a powerful editing extension for Photos for macOS. Here's how to use it.

  • Install ImageFramer 4 on your Mac.
  • Go to System Preferences > Extensions > Photos and check the box next to "Frame In ImageFramer".
  • Open a picture and go into Edit mode by pressing the Return key.
  • Go to Extensions at the bottom of the Tools list, and choose Frame In ImageFramer from the popup menu.
  • Design your frame, then go to File > Save Image. Close the ImageFramer design window, then click on Save Changes in the Photos window.
  • You can continue working on your shot in Photos. Once you're finished, click the Done button. You can always Revert to Original if you change your mind and want a different frame.

What's even wilder, is that even once you've created a frame for a picture, you can open it again in ImageFramer and continue to adjust it.

We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the new ImageFramer. ImageFramer 4.0 is a free upgrade for ImageFramer 3 customers. Note that it requires macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. TDS listeners can receive a 20 percent discount by visiting: our ImageFramer landing page.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! You will be receiving a free copy of my next eBook!

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #588, June 13, 2017. Today's theme is "Tiny Gardens for Big Pictures." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Regardless if you live in a cozy apartment with just a narrow balcony, or have your own house with a spacious back patio, you can create a photo wonderland with container gardening. Not only do you enjoy the benefits of nurturing your botanical friends, but they will reward you with stunning images. I'll plant those seeds on today's show.

Tiny Gardens for Big Pictures

IMG_2059.jpg

Yes, most of us would love to travel to exotic places to photography flora and fauna. And for a week or two a year, we might get that opportunity.

But for the other 50 weeks, cultivating your own botanical paradise can provide you with hours of photographic entertainment. And to help you get started, here are some of my favorite container plants.

  • Pansies and Violas - Vibrant multicolor blooms. Partial sun.
  • Dwarf Hydrangea - Most hydrangeas bloom white or whitish-pink, then turn to shades of pink, purple, lime green, or a combination of shades. Mostly shade.
  • Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia) - Can take direct sun and will bloom all summer long. They come in pinks, mauves, deep purple, purple-blues, white, and more.
  • Begonias - Like partial sun exposure. Don't overwater them. Come in a vast array of colors.
  • Double Impatiens - Open flowers all season long--and never need deadheading. Choose double impatiens for areas offering part to full shade. Look for blooms in a variety of colors, including white, red, pink and purple tones.
  • Swan River Daisy - A spreading annual, the swan river daisy is ideal for hanging baskets. It produces white, pink, or purplish flowers.
  • Florists' chrysanthemum - Pot rooted cuttings midwinter to early spring, using porous, fibrous, moisture-holding planting mix. Move plants to larger pots as growth requires--don't let them become root-bound. Pinch and/or stake as required. Plants need water daily in warm weather, every other day in cool conditions. Feed with liquid fertilizer every 7 to 10 days until buds show color.
  • Flowering kale and cabbage - Flowering kale (and cabbage, too) has interesting rosettes that really pop in containers.
  • Johnny Jump-Up - Very cheery flower that does great in pots.
  • Chives - Chives are without a doubt, one of the hardiest herbs that you can plant. They grow very well in containers or just about anywhere else you want to plant them. Chives are great for adding flavor to soups, dips, and of course, baked potatoes. Chives are also perennials so once you plant them, they'll come back year after year. You can move them indoors if you want to keep your harvest going all year long, but they do prefer a bit of sunlight throughout the day so choose a spot where they can get some sun at least through a window during the winter.

Plus, you can practice using your macro lens. And maybe even justify that LED ring light you have had your eye on.

Review: Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan

As reported by The Phoblographer.

The Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan answers the prayers and wishes of almost every Fujifilm Instax Mini film user-and it's arguably one of the absolute best cameras shooting the format on the market.

Obviously, part of this appeal is the glass lens on the front of the camera. This lens is the same optic used on the company's Lomography LCA 120-and so it is the sharpest and the fastest aperture lens available for use on any Instax camera (at the time of publishing this review.) That quality will appeal to a lot of photographers; and though there are a number of shooters who still want manual controls, you'd be shocked at how great the photos are from the Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan.

It's available on the Lomography site for $189.

Digging Deeper with ImageFramer 4

ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and simply people who simply want their family photos to look better.

ImageFramer helps you to:

  • Themed frames: Frames for holidays, seasonal frames, kid frames, romance (for weddings) and many more creative designs. Great for greeting card designs, scrapbooking, enriching family photos etc.
  • Overlays: Text or image overlays can be used for adding copyright notices, signatures, descriptions, and even automatic data, like file name, date (file or EXIF), location, caption and headline from IPTC metadata. New in version 4: Snapping overlays to center or edges and simplified interaction with text color and fonts.
  • Design Templates. ImageFramer comes with some preset templates. It's easy to add your own templates. These can be used in-app or through Lightroom or in built-in Batch Processor. New in version 4: Saving templates to files and importing them into a another ImageFramer installation.
  • Mats. ImageFramer has a special color mat frame types that can look beveled with control over bevel width, and the colors of both the mat and the bevel. Size of mat can be different in each direction (often useful to have a wider mat on the bottom). Multiple mat (and frame) layers allow limitless combinations.
  • Integration with Workflows: Adobe Lightroom Export plugin, Photos.app, Sharing extension. Useful for portfolios, web site exports, printing (even simple designs like overlays or a simple white border).

We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the new ImageFramer. ImageFramer 4.0 is a free upgrade for ImageFramer 3 customers. Note that it requires macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. TDS listeners can receive a 20 percent discount by visiting: our ImageFramer landing page.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! You will be receiving a free copy of my next eBook!

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #587, June 6, 2017. Today's theme is "WWDC Keynote from a Photographer's POV." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If you were in San Jose for the 2017 WWDC Keynote, I sure hope you didn't drink too much coffee beforehand. This year's presentation was a marathon 2.5 hours, covering Apple TV, the Mac, all the OSs, Apple Watch, iPad and the brand new HomePod. And thankfully for us, there was a little photography mixed in there too. And that's the focus of today's show.

WWDC Keynote from a Photographer's POV

One of the good things about having Photos as part of the operating system, is that you know there's a good chance for news at Apple's developer conference. And indeed that was the case this year.

hairforce1-wwdc.jpg

But there was more than just a Photos update. So let's take a closer look at the keynote presentation from a photographer's point of view.

  • New Adjustments in Photos for macOS - Photos received a reasonable amount of airtime on stage. More machine learning organization, as I anticipated. But a few unexpected surprises included the addition of curves, selective color editing, and synchronized adjustments with third party apps. Apple has also upped its game with photo books. The UI for Photos for macOS also receives some polishing.
  • Photos for iOS Goes a Different Route - If you're using an iPad or iPhone, Photos beefs up its Memories performance, which makes sense on a mobile device. New Memories include pets, sporting events, performances, outdoor activities, night out, wedding, anniversary, and baby. We also get new codecs for movies and stills. And speaking of movies, there's portrait mode as well. And finally, Live Photos received lots of attention with the ability to trim, select the key photo, mute, and three cool filters: loop, bounce, and long exposure.
  • New iPad Pro 10.5" - Apple got super serious with the iPad, creating a super charger 10.5" model. Storage capacities are now 64, 256, and 512GBs. Lots of horsepower thanks to the A10X Fusion chip with 64?bit architecture and embedded M10 coprocessor. And the new ProMotion technology, increases the refresh rate to 120Hz. You will be able to choose the refresh rate you want, depending on the task at hand and how much battery you want to use. This also makes the Apple Pencil even more responsive and natural. Average configurations will run you between $700 and $1,000.
  • Affinity Photo for iPad - Powerful hardware deserves equally robust software, and Affinity Photo has done just that, with the first fully-featured, professional photo editing tool to arrive on the Apple tablet. It features complete retouching tools, non-destructive adjustments, super accurate selections (the hair demo was crazy), raw editing, color spaces, HDR merging, and lots more. It's on sale now for $20, and it's compatible with iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch.
  • iMac Pro Later This Year - We also got a sneak peek at the upcoming iMac Pro (the most powerful Mac Apple has ever created). Will ship with 8-Core, 10-Core, or 18-Core Xeon Processor options. This workstation will be a blast for photo and video editing. The new iMac Pros will ship at the end of the year, starting at $4,999.

Plus Apple is introducing an augmented reality toolkit for developers that should bring AR to our devices in the near future.

So much for that idea: Swiss village lifts photography ban after story goes viral

As reported by DP Review.

Just days after 'banning' photography, the Swiss village of Bergüm has, not surprisingly, reversed course. In a bizarre video, the mayor of Bergüm states that 'until the ban on photography is officially lifted, everyone with a camera will be given a friendly special permit.'

The video leaves little doubt that the whole thing was a PR stunt, with Mayor Peter Nicolay proclaiming 'the beauty of our village has become world-famous thanks to our friendly photography ban.' Judging by how quickly the story spread, the stunt worked exactly as planned.

ImageFramer 4 Ups its Game

ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

ImageFramer helps you to:

  • Add artistic frames and effects for photographers, great for promoting your photography business
  • Decide how to best frame your art by comparing multiple designs
  • Create fine art cards that are unique. You're not stuck with the standard templates in Photos or other apps.
  • Spice up your family, travel or holiday photos
  • Print and share your designs

Cool new features in version 4 include:

  • Photo.app extension
  • Batch Processing
  • Lightroom Plugin
  • Share Extension to share photos to ImageFramer
  • Export images quickly by dragging and dropping to Finder or to desktop.
  • Export images in different sizes and multiple formats

We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the new ImageFramer. ImageFramer 4.0 is a free upgrade for ImageFramer 3 customers. Note that it requires macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. TDS listeners can receive a 20 percent discount by visiting: our ImageFramer landing page.

Updates and Such

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

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #586, May 30, 2017. Today's theme is "Wide Glass Can Save Your..." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Clients can put you in the tightest spots, and I don't mean just with scheduling. Physically, I've found myself with big shots to capture and virtually no room to record them. Then there are the times your arms aren't long enough, the steps aren't high enough, and room just isn't deep enough. How does one survive such tight squeezes? By going wide, my friend. And that's the focus for today.

Wide Glass Can Save Your...

IMGP0896.jpg

When I'm walking around exploring the world, I typically have a standard zoom mounted to the camera. With my Pentax KP, I like the 20-40mm HD. On the Olympus Micro Four Thirds, I favor the 14-42mm EZ zoom.

But I dare not attempt a pro shoot for clients with just my standard zooms. Sometimes I need longer lenses, but the ones that have really saved me are the super wides. And here are a few stories about them.

My Favorite Wide Lenses

There are some great wide optics on the market today. Here are five that have caught my eye.

Exposure Even More Important for Video Work

As helpful as an external light meter is for our still photography, it's even more critical for movie making. And anyone who has ever had to correct exposure in post knows exactly what I mean.

The Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter has full HD Cine and CINE modes, with the ability to measure from 1 to 1000 fps or shutter angles of 1 to 358 degrees. One of the features that I really like, is that you can hold down the meter reading button and see continuous readouts as you move the meter around the scene. This will help you choose the best overall aperture for that take.

If you want to learn more about the Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter, visit the link in these show notes.

Red River Paper's new Palo Duro Etching paper aims to recreate look and feel of fine art darkroom prints

Via Imaging-Resource.com.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

Red River Paper owner Drew Hendrix says of the new paper, "Our new Palo Duro Etching paper is one of the finest photo papers we have ever produced. From its subtle-textured surface and quality 'feel,' to rendering warm natural tones and deep rich blacks, Palo Duro Etching will satisfy even the most critical eye." The museum-grade paper is produced to deliver this high quality over a long period of time too thanks to its acid free base stock and coating. Further, the paper has a thickness of 21 mil and a weight of 315gsm.

The textured matte paper is said to offer deeper blacks than most traditional matte papers thanks to a special barrier coat that is placed between the paper base and the inkjet receiving layer. This ensures that the ink remains in the inkjet coating rather than bleed through into the paper base, which would diminish the richness of the black ink.

Palo Duro Etching paper is available now in both sheets and rolls. The sheet sizes are: 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 8.5 x 11, 9 x 13, 11 x 14, 13 x 19, 17 x 22, 17 x 25 and 13 x 38 inches. Fifty-foot rolls are available in 17, 24 and 44-inch widths.

Updates and Such

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

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

Sekonic Light Meters - Learn more about the amazing Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter by listening to next week's show and visiting the Sekonic web site.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #585, May 23, 2017. Today's theme is "The Crossover Shot" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

How many times have you held back a shot because you thought it was too cliche? Or maybe it featured what we call a mature subject, such as a sunset or the Golden Gate Bridge. But, maybe, just maybe, it's more artistic than you realize. And it's even possible that both photographers and the general public would admire it. That's what I call the crossover shot. And it's the first topic for today's show.

The Crossover Shot

IMGP1266-Stillwater-Cove-Luminar-Web.jpg

I want to start by telling you a story that happened just a few days ago. Seven of us were reviewing 3 days worth of pictures that we had captured on the Northern Sonoma Coast. This is postcard territory for sure, and one of the biggest internal struggles group members were having was choosing eight original images for the final class presentation.

Among the various subjects, everyone had a sunset shot. Yet, not one of those dazzling twilight images made it into the final presentation. And afterwards, as we talked about our choices, each photographer felt that it was either too cliche or that someone else would present theirs. So no-one did.

This gave me the opportunity to talk about the crossover shot. Images that appeal to both the hardened photographer as well as the Mom with loving eyes. And from that discussion, I have five key points to share with you today.

  • Just Because It's Common, that Doesn't Mean it's Bad - Most of us are leery of photographing postcard subjects. But that doesn't mean that you can't add your own artistry to them.
  • Just Because It's Difficult, that Doesn't Mean it's Good - Yes, we're proud of those images that we had to work really hard to capture. But...
  • We're Often Not the Best Judge of Our Own Work - Having non-photographers review and comment on our photos helps bring balance to our final selects.
  • Consider a Mix for Your Final Choices - If someone lobbies hard for an image that you feel isn't artistic enough, consider including it with one that you also feel strongly about.
  • Respect for Those Who Achieve Crossover - And learn from them. Just because someone is popular, that doesn't mean they've sold out.

A Remote Trigger As Well

In order to accurately measure the flash output on your subject, you want to measuring from that position. So how do our trigger the flashes?

The Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter also is compatible with optional radio triggering modules for PocketWizard, Elinchrom EL-Skyport system, and the Phottix Strato/II protocol.

These modules provide multiple zones, flash power control (except for Phoenix), and model light control (except for Phoenix). And since this is a radio system, you can stand just about anywhere, inside or out, to trigger the flashes and take a reading. The Speedmaster also provides the old school PC terminal connector for those who use wired systems as well. And if you don't want to mess with any of that, there's a tripod socket in the bottom of the unit, so you can mount it on a stand.

If you want to learn more about the Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter, visit the link in these show notes.

More Stupid Photographer Moves

Here are some of my favorites from the TDS Facebook comments on last week's podcast.

Mark: Yup, I've done the 'Went out with a spare discharged battery', and I can add one 'Formatted the wrong card' (fortunately without erasing any good images that mattered!).

Carl: Realizing half way through a shoot that the only memory card I have is nearly full because I failed to format it. Now that I think about it this is two stupid mistakes.

Richard: I often leave the house with just a camera and lens...and no memory card. Then I'm just carrying jewelry.

Rob: My doh moments: camera still in bracketing mode from the day before, and I wonder what is wonky with the exposures.

Jim: I routinely found myself with a bag of discharged batteries. Now when I charge a battery I wrap an elastic band around it. Now the discharged ones are easily identifiable because they are the ones in my bag with no elastic on them. It also has a side benefit in that it prevents anything in the camera bag from shorting the terminals.

Jerry (from our recent workshop): Yes, I put my batteries in their chargers on the power strip before I went to bed. Problem was, the switch on the power strip was off. So I was looking at a day of exciting workshop shooting with a batch of dead batteries.

New Capture One Pro 10 Training Videos

lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning have just released Capture One Pro 10 Essential Training. And I talk about this title, and those related to it, during this segment of today's show.

Updates and Such

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

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

Sekonic Light Meters - Learn more about the amazing Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter by listening to next week's show and visiting the Sekonic web site.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #584, May 16, 2017. Today's theme is "The Stupid Things I Do" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photography isn't about getting some of the settings right; it's about nailing all of them. If there are 10 things you need for a great shot, and you accomplish only 9, then guess what? You're probably going to be disappointed. I was thinking about this after my latest blunder, and realized that there are a handful of mishaps that have plagued me repeatedly. And that's the theme for today's show.

The Stupid Things I Do

stupid-things-TDS.jpg

After I had just missed a cool shot because of one of my classic dumb moves, I asked my son, "Do you ever do stuff like this?" You see, I have this misguided belief that millennials never make tech mistakes. Instead, he replied, "I do that all the time."

This got me thinking. Maybe I'm not the only ten-thumbed photographer on the planet. So I thought I'd share my top five bonehead moves, then have you submit your favorites on our TDS Facebook page.

  • Stuck in Self-Timer Mode - I love using the self-timer for group shots and long exposures on the tripod. But I hate it when I forget to turn the drive mode back to normal single shot.
  • Over-swipe to Video - It's hard to see the iPhone screen in bright contrasty light. And in those situations, sometimes don't realize that I've swiped from photo mode to video.
  • High ISO Landscapes - Sure, if you want to have your landscapes look like something that NASA has sent back from Mars, leave your ISO at 6400. But if you don't like that lovely grainy, denatured look, you might want to ratchet it down a few notches.
  • Rangefinder Lens Cap Left On - Maybe I though use through-the-lens cameras only?
  • Backup Dead Battery - I always carry a backup battery. Whether it's charged or not is a different matter.

The Practical Benefits of High-Speed Sync (HSS)

Generally speaking, our cameras top out at 1/250th (or slower) for flash synchronization. This is fine for indoor and low light work. But if you need to freeze action at a higher shutter speed, or if you want a wide aperture in bright light outdoors, you'll probably need a faster shutter speed, such as 1/1000th or more.

By using HSS, you can raise the shutter speed and still get a proper flash exposure. Instead of firing the flash at the start of the shot, HSS pulses the flash throughout the whole exposure, trying to simulate the effects of a continuous light. Many camera systems can do this, including Canon and Nikon. But your range is limited because of the weaker output, and the flash unit can really heat up using this technique.

That said, you can also create some amazing portraits and action shots because you're able to combine flash and high shutter speed.

One of the very practical features of the Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter is that it can measure flash output from one or more units when using HSS technique. This enables you to balance the flash output with the ambient light to create the exact look that you're after. This is particularly important for shoots when you don't have time for a lot of experimentation. You need to set your camera and flashes right the first time, and hope you capture the shot you're after.

"The L-858D-U is the first meter of its kind that can measure the stroboscopic pulses fired from strobes when they are used for Hi-Speed Sync. Finally, photographers now have an accurate way of measuring their lights when they want to overpower the sun or achieve a very shallow depth of field through using HSS."

If you want to learn more about the Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter, visit the link in these show notes.

Federal Jury Awards $900K to Plant Retailer in Photo Theft Lawsuit

Petapixel reports: "An Oregon-based plant retailer was just awarded almost one million dollars in actual damages by a federal jury in one of the biggest photography copyright wins of the year so far. Despite the strange circumstances of this case, it's being called, "a huge win for artists, photographer, and creators."

According to PDN, the case revolves around the unauthorized use of 24 copyrighted images captured by Under a Foot Plant Co. president Frances White for use in marketing a product they came up with called Stepables--basically, plans that can be walked on.

White and co. were able to show, in court, that competing company Maryland-based Exterior Design used 24 of White's images in marketing materials ranging from Web pages, to posters, to brochures for their own Treadwell Plants, infringing on White's copyright a total of 133 times from 2011 until the suit was filed in 2014.

Despite several cease and desist requests sent between 2011 and 2014, Exterior Design continued using the photographs, leaving White no choice but to sue for unauthorized use of the photos, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. Exterior Design denied all claims, but a federal Jury in Maryland ultimately sided with Under a Foot, awarding the company either $900,000 in actual damages or $300,000 in statutory damages. It's fair to say the plaintiff will probably pick the former.

"These photographs were the result of countless hours of time, attention, planning and preparation," White said in a statement. "This was a huge win for artists, photographers, and creators."

Updates and Such

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

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

Sekonic Light Meters - Learn more about the amazing Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter by listening to next week's show and visiting the Sekonic web site.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #583, May 9, 2017. Today's theme is "What Separates You from the Other Guy" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

There are millions of smartphone cameras out there clicking billions of photos every year. Styles range from snaps of a sweetheart to attempts at fine art. Now, more than ever before, everyone is a photographer. Which is great, that is, unless photography is your craft. And if it is, how do you distinguish your work from those who don't know the difference between an f-stop and a bus stop. Thoughts about this, and more, on today TDS podcast.

What Separates You from the Other Guy

photo-by-derrick-story-sr.jpg

My friend Oliver is staying at the studio during his visit here from Germany. When he first arrived, I was showing him around the place, and he noticed the film cameras I had out for testing.

"You're shooting film," he asked.

"Yes I am," I answered. "For both fun and business."

I then told him about TheFilmCameraShop on Etsy that I run. After I laid out the whole gameplan to him, he asked,

"Why wouldn't people just buy something dirt cheap on eBay rather than paying a bit more from you?"

"It's all about quality and consistency," I replied. "When you buy on eBay, you really don't know what you're going to receive. Believe me, I know firsthand. But when you make a purchase from TheFilmCameraShop, you know that you're going to get a clean, properly functioning camera that is packed nicely and arrives on time. And judging by the popularity of the store, those qualities are important to a lot of people."

This is the same approach that I apply to working with clients, and to making pictures. And if you're interested in distinguishing your work from others, you might want to think about these five suggestions.

  • Practice using the best light possible - I still can't believe what a big difference a few steps make. I'm also looking for the best angle of light, and by looking at my series of photos, it makes a big difference. And remember, if a different angle makes a minor improvement to your eyes, it will be even more so for the camera.
  • Compose with great care - Pay attention to distracting background elements, look at all four corners of the frame, and think about the highlight and shadow areas.
  • Post production is important - Whether it's taking advantage of the filters and adjustments in Instagram or the advanced controls in Lightroom and Luminar, post production matters.
  • Presentation elevates - I've taken my Instagram shots, printed and framed them, then marveled how absolutely different they look.
  • Take pride in your work - Pride won't serve you well in relationships, but it's very useful when it comes to producing beautiful images.

Me and My Sekonic Lightmeter

I've been getting to know a Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter. I'll start digging into the particulars of this device in next week's show. But before I do that, I thought we should cover why someone would want to use a handheld meter in the first place.

  • Not limited to reflected light readings. The meters in our cameras are quite good. But they only can measure reflected light, which can be influenced by color, and often needs to be compensated for.
  • Incident light readings measure directly from the source. In this case, you point the meter directly at the light source and measure. So colors, highlights, and dark areas don't influence the measurement.
  • Can measure flash output. Again, our cameras have TTL flash metering, and again it can be easily fooled. Whereas a separate handheld meter can read the light from the flash itself.
  • Handheld meters can help you balance ambient light and flash output in ways that you never dreamed before. And once you find the magic formula for your work, you can repeat it time and time again because you working with actual light measurements.

At first you may thing that handheld light meters would be used primarily for commercial work. And it's true, they are used there. But when you really want to get creative and balance various light sources for a truly creative effect, they are indispensable.

We'll dig deeper into this subject next week. If you want to learn more about the Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter, visit the link in these show notes.

Olympus announces significant firmware updates for OM-D and PEN cameras

Imaging-Resource.com reports: "Olympus has announced significant firmware updates that enhance the performance and capability of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, the PEN-F and select Zuiko Pro and Premium lenses. These updates are available immediately, and for the OM-D series cameras includes true compatibility with the Profoto Air Remote TTL-O, a new "Save Settings and Mysets" which preserves camera settings on a computer (currently on the E-M1 Mark II, but now available for the E-M5 II and PEN-F), and a midtone adjustment function which has been added to Highlight & Shadow control.

With the update, the PEN-F will offer touch-to-select Art Filters while viewing the effect in real time, and you can set the slowest shutter speed allowed before the camera raises the sensitivity in ISO Auto. For the E-M1 Mark II specifically, High Res Shot and Focus Stacking Modes are now compatible with non-Olympus flashes, and AF HOME settings are saved when the camera is turned off. The E-M5 Mark II is upgraded to Version 3.0, while the PEN-F makes its way to Version 2.0.

Updates and Such

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

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

Sekonic Light Meters - Learn more about the amazing Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U handheld light meter by listening to next week's show and visiting the Sekonic web site.

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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