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"Great Glass" - Podcast #40

Canon 17-40mm Lens

Lenses are to a photographer what brushes are to a painter. In this podcast I discuss some of the attributes that you might want to keep in mind when researching your next lens. Features such as maximum aperture, zooming range, construction, and focusing speed can be the difference between loving your lens or owning an expensive dust collector.

Keep in mind that a protection filter and lens hoods are more than just accessories, I consider them essentials. And if your lens is wide angle, you may want to investigate those special "thin" filters that don't cause vignetting around the edges.

I've also launched a new feature on The Digital Story called My Favorite Lens. This is your opportunity to tell others in the TDS community about your "go to glass" and why you like it so.

All of this and more in this week's podcast...

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Great Glass." You can download the podcast here (24 minutes).

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Sony DSC R-1

Serious cameras should have serious features. Many advanced amateur cameras can fill the shoes of DSLRs, but in more compact packages. But not all advanced amateur cameras are created equal. Here are five features that I require on my serious cameras.

1) Hot Shoe
2) RAW format
3) Fast lens - maximum aperture of f-2.4 or brighter. I prefer f-2.0
4) Filter ring
5) Remote release

Two "serious" advanced amateur cameras that meet these requirements are the Canon PowerShot Pro 1 and the Sony Cybershot DSC-R1. These are examples only and certainly not the only two advanced cameras that fit these requirements. At the moment, the Sony is the higher rated of the two cameras and has better customer feedback on Amazon.com.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Five Must-Have Camera Features." You can download the podcast here (24 minutes).

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Section 8

The techniques used to create 30 Miles East of LA are very simple using basic software. The movie has 3 tracks: video (created in FotoMagico), music, and voiceover (both tracks added in iMovie HD). In this podcast, I talk about how the project began 2 years ago when I digitized the 20 year-old tapes of the band's music. I then began collecting and scanning the visuals, and even returned to Southern California to photograph the locations where the band performed 2 decades ago.

If you're interested in saving some of your old cassette tapes, you may want to read the article, Five Fun Ways to Play with Audio Hijack Pro. It describes how to use Audio Hijack to convert analog tapes to digital files.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "The Making of 30 Miles East of LA." You can download the podcast here (29 minutes).

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Levels Histogram

How do you build a basic image processing workflow with the tools you already have? It's quite easy and involves only a few steps. This workflow might not be as convenient as what you'd enjoy in a contained environment, such as with Aperture, Lightzone or Adobe's Lightroom, but you don't have to spend the dollars either.

This podcast covers the following steps:

  • Upload your images
  • Crop to improve composition
  • Adjust exposure using levels command (see illustration above for example of good levels settings)
  • Correct the white balance
  • Sharpen using Unsharp Mask

You don't have to spend more time managing your images on your computer than you did capturing them in the first place. I'll show you how to work more efficiently.

Listen to the Podcast

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

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"Shutter Priority" - Podcast 36

surf.jpg

Shutter Priority mode is often overlooked in favor or Program and Aperture Priority. But there are many situations where this forgotten mode comes in handy. Today, I discuss using shutter priority to control the appearance of water, freeze action in sports photography, create unique effects with panning, and for controlling the background when using the flash.

In the shot above, I used a fast shutter speed (1/500th) to freeze the action of the breaking wave and capture the mist in the air. If I had wanted a different effect, such as a more ethereal look, then I could mount the camera on the tripod and set the shutter to 1/15th or longer (1/10 or even 1/4). This is a good situation where using Shutter Priority can help you capture the shot you want -- whether it's frozen motion or soft flowing textures.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Shutter Priority." You can download the podcast here (29 minutes).

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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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