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"Vacation Packing" - Podcast 35

Packing Your Gear

Exploration is in the air. It's vacation time! All of the techniques we've been thinking about, equipment we've been accumulating, and plans we've been making are about to be put in motion. I'm one of those strange people who actually enjoy packing for a trip. In this podcast, I talk about camera choices, bag selection, accessories, and tips for on the road.

Here are a few links to supplement the conversation:
Review: Lowepro Rolling CompuTrekker AW
Manfrotto Digi Compact Tripod a Winner
Tamrac Expedition 4: More Features, but Higher Price
Sigma 55-200mm F4-5.6 DC Lens Perfect Complement for Canon Rebel
Connecting your iPod video to the TV... Wow!

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Vacation Packing." You can download the podcast here (32 minutes).

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Scott Bourne

You can learn time-tested shooting techniques that will make you a better photographer. The challenge is, remembering them while you're actually taking pictures. This week, I sit down with ace photographer, Scott Bourne, to find out how he captures everything from stunning bird portraits to bridal bliss. Scott uses clever acronyms such as EDFAT to mentally organize his compositional techniques. In this interview he reveals all so you can start using these tips today.

Scott has also provided a link to an article on EDFAT, which stands for Entire, Details, Frame, Angles, and Time. EDFAT is a method that allows you to fine-tune your photographic vision. It really makes sense once you read the article and listen to Scott discuss it.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Killer Shooting Tips with Scott Bourne." You can download the podcast here (22 minutes).

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Photo Icon

In digital imaging, your master files are the equivalent to film negatives in chemical photography. I recommend that you start by capturing the highest quality possible with your camera. If you shoot RAW, you're already getting the most your camera has to offer. Jpeg shooters need to set their preferences to the highest quality settings available.

Then, after you've uploaded the files, you can make copies of your master files for your various needs. I provide a nice overview of this workflow in this week's podcast. Included in the discussion is how to create a master movie then export versions for specific output. This can be particularly handy for your FotoMagico Slideshow Showcase entry.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "The Concept of Master Files." You can download the podcast here (32 minutes).

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"Camera Bag Chat" - Podcast 32

Lowepro Slingshot 200

We love our photo bags almost as much as the cameras tucked safely inside. This week I chat with Suzanne Caballero, who is a camera bag expert. She works for Lowepro; they've been designing great bags for over 30 years.

During our conversation, Suzanne shared a few stories about famous photographers she's met through her work as Marketing Communications Manager. First she talked about Greg Gorman, who is a well known portrait shooter with a wonderful studio in Northern California. Suzanne also talked about Seth Resnick, a legend too, who is doing much to promote digital photography across the world. She even chats about her first photo expedition to Death Valley with John Isaac. Great stuff!

I asked Suzanne for some staff recommendations for Lowepro bags. Here are a few she thought you'd be interested in:

And finally, here's the link to first story and the second story she told about Lowepro bags saving more than just camera gear.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Camera Bag Chat." You can download the podcast here (34 minutes).

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Camera Settings

Today's photo mailbag includes questions about exposure compensation, over-saturation of solid reds by some cameras, macro photography, photo archiving, iTunes podcast subscriptions, plus a bonus slideshow tip. I promised to post the links to the Macworld article on photo archiving. So here's the info:

First, take a look at New Life for Old Photos, then you might want to read Selecting a Scanner. You might also be interested in Tools for Turning Back Time. And finally, don't forget my podcast titled, Scanning Tips.

Plus, here's some more info about my slideshow tip, Use Existing Signs for Titles. This tip is to help you prepare your entry for the FotoMagico Slideshow Showcase. Submit your Entry Form today (to get on the books), then start working on your presentation. Deadline to submit Entry Forms is May 30, and your presentation itself is due by June 15.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Mailbag - Digital Photography Q&A." You can download the podcast here (28 minutes).

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FotoMagico

Powerful multimedia presentations of your pictures will enhance their impact on viewers. And few tools in the photographer's bag of tricks are more compelling than slideshows. This episode begins a month long journey into the craft of building great slideshows. As part of this endeavor, I'm announcing the FotoMagico Slideshow Showcase, which is an opportunity for you to master the art of slideshow presentation and share samples of your work with the world.

Here's how it all unfolds. In this podcast I'm discussing how to pick an appropriate subject and am offering some ideas for getting your tools together. Then, as we work through the month of May, I'll be providing tips for building your show, adding audio, making titles, and fine-tuning your presentation. The goal is that after a few weeks, you'll have your slideshow project in production and will be able to submit an entry form to the FotoMagico Slideshow Showcase. Then in June, we'll select 10 entries to feature on The Digital Story and send out a press release with the names, bios, web site links, and pointers to all of the showcased presentations. This is an excellent opportunity to shine a light on your photography.

You should read the Official Rules for entry (at the bottom of that page), but the basic parameters are this:

  • Anyone over 18 can enter.
  • Slideshow entries must be between 1-4 minutes in length.
  • The dimensions of the slideshow can be no more than 400 pixels in any direction. 320x240 is the recommended size.
  • Music and/or voiceover is permitted, but not required.
  • You must own, or have permission, to use all of the content in your slideshow
  • You need to complete an Official Entry Form by May 30 for each slideshow submitted, but you can submit as many shows as you wish.
  • If you wish to use FotoMagico to create your show, you can get a $10 discount off the software by entering "Digital Story" in the discount code box. Visit the order page and select FotoMagico. You'll be able to enter a coupon code at the first checkout page. The code is set to "Digital Story". Once the code is input, and the Checkout button is clicked, the $10 discount will be reflected on the final order total page.

You may also use other software to author your slideshow, such as iPhoto 6 (Mac), QuickTime 7 Pro (Mac/Windows), and Photo Story 3 (Windows XP), just to name a few. As the month goes on, I'll publish tips and tricks for adding polish to your creation.

The FotoMagico Slideshow Showcase also serves as our Photo Assignment for the month of May. You can send in your entry form before your slideshow is completed (to let us know that you're working on your presentation). In fact it's recommended. Entry forms are due by May 30. The actual slideshows are due on June 15. You can complete and submit your entry form here.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Sensational Slideshows." You can download the podcast here (32 minutes).

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Window Seat

How do you find you photographic vision? I interview Julieanne Kost, the author of Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking, about how her compelling project came to life, and how it's changed her as a photographer.

"I've so enjoyed taking pictures on one subject matter," said Julieanne. "The project just kept growing and growing. Over a course of 5 years I took more than 3,000 pictures." Julianne has included 150 of the best images in her book Window Seat.

The conversation covers the process of choosing your best images, how to evolve as a photographer, and lots of insights from a truly irresistible artist.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Julieanne Kost on Photo Vision." You can download the podcast here (23 minutes).

Share Your Photo Project

If you have an ongoing photo project, or are considering one, tell us about it in the Comments field. Be sure to include a link if you have samples published.

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Golden Gate Bridge

Our photo compositions are just as prone to bad habits as any other regular activity. Every now and then it pays to step back and rethink our approach to taking pictures. This begins the process of creating compelling compositions.

One habit to avoid is always holding the camera the same way, at the same level. By raising your lowering the camera, your angle of view changes and so do your compositions. Another trick is to walk around your subject and not just take the first shot that presents itself. And don't forget to zoom in and out while experimenting with your compositions.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Compelling Compositions." You can download the podcast here (28 minutes).

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Canon 30D

There are two types of digital camera disasters: those we bring upon ourselves and those of which we have no control. In this podcast I talk about both.

One of the pitfalls that I warn to stay away from is canned air, and I recommend to use blower bulbs instead. My favorite is the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster. But even with the Rocket, be sure to use it with care since you're inside your digital SLR where all the sensitive components reside.

I also find Ziploc bags very useful for protecting my cameras from humidity and condensation. Always have one with you that's large enough to contain your camera and lens.

Finally, keep an eye out for firmware updates for your camera. Sometimes they add new features to your model, but often they fix problems and are well worth the effort of installing.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Camera Mayhem - Self-Inflicted and Otherwise." You can download the podcast here (30 minutes).

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"The Perfect Print" - Podcast 26

Epson R2400

Making a good print is more science than art. The creative process happens before printing -- capturing and editing the image. When it's time to put it on paper, all we want is to take what we see on the monitor and output it. Why is that often so difficult?

It doesn't have to be. Just remember these three steps: calibrate your screen, image edit your photo, and configure your printer.

If you don't have a colorimeter to calibrate your monitor, such as the Pantone Spyder, go to the Displays preference pane, click the Color tab, then click on the Calibrate button. Mac OS X will walk you through a pretty good calibration process. My tips are, use 2.2 for the Gamma setting and D65 for the White Point. Some folks have asked me about the new huey screen calibrator that costs less than $80 and includes nifty software for the Mac. It's fun to use, but I get better results from the Spyder, or even using the Displays preference pane calibrator.

Now that your screen is displaying photos properly, open the image you want to print and make your basic exposure and white balance adjustments. Don't go crazy here, just tweak enough so the image looks natural and balanced.

The final tip is to let your Mac control the color management, not the printer. Choose Colorsync in your printer dialog box (from the Color Management dropdown menu) and choose the correct type of paper from the Print Settings dropdown. If you have custom ICC Printer Profiles for your printer, load them and use 'em. This is one of the reasons that I like Epson printers so much. You can download ICC profiles from the Epson site.

Colorsync

Now print. You'll be surprised how much better your output looks by just following these three basic steps. And in case you're curious, my current favorite "serious" printer is the Epson R2400. This is a great fine art unit that produces archival content that lasts for over 100 years. On the simple side of things, I really like the portable Dye Sub units made by Canon. I've been using a CP-300 for some time now for 4"x6" snapshots, and it works great.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "The Perfect Print." You can download the podcast here (26 minutes).

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