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DIY Studio Set Up

It's amazing what you can build with a few pieces of PVC pipe and a handful of shower curtain hooks. This week I talk about assembling your own portrait studio. You can use this rig at home, at your local school, at a friend's house, or just about anywhere you can find a 10' x 12' space to set it up and work. During the show, I walk you through the entire parts list.

A Few of the Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

In addition to PVC pipe, a hack saw, shower curtain rings, a few C-clamps (the kind with orange handles from the hardware store), clothes pins, and gaffers tape, here are some resources to finish off your studio:

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.

About These Images

The top photo is a self portrait of me in my DIY studio. I'm shooting into the big mirrors that I have against the back wall. Models can use those to help them position themselves during the session. You can click on the photo to see the other details, such as the PVC pipe and backdrop.

Second photo is a portrait captured in this studio. The main light is from the north facing window. Fill light is supplied by a Photoflex 5-in-1 32" reflector disc mounted with the holder attachment. No other lighting was used.

You can see more images from the photo shoot on the TDS Flickr page. Photos by Derrick Story.

Taylor in DIY Studio

Monthly Photo Assignment

Reflection is the August 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is August 30, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I've an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line. BTW: We include a professional model shoot as part of this workshop. Just saying...

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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Creating a portfolio, electronic or print, helps you focus your work and develop a style. The process is almost as important as the final product. In this week's podcast, I discuss options for creating your own "collection of best shots," and discuss tools for displaying on an iPad, for printing, and how to combine the two worlds.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (27 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

Reflection is the August 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is August 30, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I've an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line. BTW: We include a professional model shoot as part of this workshop. Just saying...

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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There comes a point when photo management software, such as Aperture or Lightroom, just makes sense. In this week's podcast, I share my top 5 reasons for adopting one of these two great applications. I also talk a bit about how they work their magic. In other news, I provide a preview to the upcoming August Sonoma Coast Photography Workshop that 8 lucky members of our community will be participating in. Can you image have your photography workstation in a beautiful library with doors open directly to the beach? That's what we're in store for.

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

Reflection is the August 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is August 30, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I've an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line. BTW: We include a professional model shoot as part of this workshop. Just saying...

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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Can you tell a story with just one photograph? Yes, indeed. In this week's podcast, I talk about narrative - using your skills and creativity to compose an image that stimulates the viewer's imagination, tells a story. By way of example, I talk about the work of fine art photographer, Lise Sarfati, who I think does an excellent job of creating narrative in her photographs. This is a different form of photographic expression, much less technical than HDR, more controlling that street photography. See what you think after listening to this week's show.

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

Reflection is the August 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is August 30, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I'm considering adding an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line.

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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It's been a while since we've had a visit from the Nimble Photographer, so I thought after being on the road for a couple weeks would be a good time for a check in. I review some of my favorite iPad photography apps, talk about a sweet camera bag that's soon to be released, and chat up the virtues of nimbleosity. Recorded from my hotel room in Ventura, CA.

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

Reflection is the August 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is August 30, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I'm considering adding an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line.

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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Google+ has great appeal for many photographers, and causes concern with others. After a few weeks of testing, I give my first impression on this latest social networking effort from Google. I also talk about balancing photography with community when traveling. How do you get your shots while still maintaing harmony with family and friends? And finally, SizzlPix is looking for an Evangelist. Are you the right person for the job? All this and more in this week's podcast.

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

Smoke is the July 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is July 31, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I'm considering adding an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line.

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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Epson R2000 Printer

The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is a sophisticated photo printer that accommodates sheets up to 13" x 19", accepts roll paper, and even has a DVD print adapter. The 8-cartridge unit uses Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 pigment ink and includes a Gloss Optimizer that produces a lovely finishing touch on luster and gloss papers. WiFi connectivity is included, and it's very easy to add this printer to your local network. And the best part is, that you can get the R2000 for $399. In this podcast, I take you on a hands-on tour of the Epson.

Our friends at Red River Paper have also published an excellent review of the R2000 that I recommend reading if you're interested in this unit.

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

Smoke is the July 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is July 31, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I'm considering adding an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line.

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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When you go on a hike to take pictures, you might be thinking photography, but you're also an outdoorsman, whether you want to be or not. You still need to deal with sun exposure, dehydration, and cuts and bruises. And what about being as comfortable as possible while you work?

In this episode, I cover the "10 Essentials" that you should have in your daypack, along with your camera gear. Not only will you be prepared for mishaps, you will have a more enjoyable experience.

The 10 Essentials

  • Water (1 liter or more)
  • Food (I like Builder's Bars and nuts)
  • First Aid Kit (include large gauze pads)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Matches/Bic Lighter
  • Knife
  • Map/Compass
  • 1/4 roll of TP
  • (Solar Blanket)
  • Extra Layer (usually wind breaker with hood)
  • Lip Balm
  • Flashlight (LED's are compact and bright)
  • Bandana
  • Whistle

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

Smoke is the July 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is July 31, 2011.

TDS Nov. Aperture Workshop

I'm considering adding an Aperture Workshop on Nov. 12th and 13th. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line.

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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There are a variety of cloud services available these days, including Apple's new iCloud. But what if you wanted to create your own cloud? I've been testing the Iomega Personal Cloud, the Segate BlackArmor network drive, and the Buffalo Cloudstor (which I didn't have working when I recorded the podcast, but I do now and like it a lot). In this week's episode, I explore the idea of creating your own storage cloud online, and share some of my initial experiences doing so.

I also have published a follow up article about the Buffalo Cloudstor. When I recorded the podcast, the Cloudstor wasn't online yet, in part because of a change I made to the drive configuration. Now that I have it working, I like it the best of the three drives I cover in this episode. So after you listen the the podcast, you may want to read Personal Cloud Storage for Photographers.

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

Smoke is the July 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is July 31, 2011.

TDS Oct. Photography Workshop and Nov. Aperture Workshop

I'm considering adding an Aperture Workshop in Nov. or Dec. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line.

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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A gap in my photography software had been the ability to create professional videos from the content captured with my DSLR. Until recently, I depended on iMovie and the slideshow function in Aperture to meet my needs. Then Final Cut Pro X was announced. Totally rewritten from prevous version, FCPX gave me professional movie editing tools in a package I could understand. In today's podcast, I discuss my first movie edited in Final Cut Pro X, Hot Air, and share what I've learned along the way.

Also, I have lots of updates in the "Virtual Camera Club" segment, including news about the Fall 2011 Workshop, a new workshop sponsor (that I think you're going to love), and more.

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

True Grit is the June 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is June 30, 2011.

TDS Oct. Photography Workshop and Nov. Aperture Workshop

We're making plans now for the Fall 2011 TDS Photography Workshop, which will be on Oct. 15-16, 2011. I'm also considering adding an Aperture Workshop in Nov. or Dec. If you want your name on the reserve list, or just more information, drop me a line.

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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