Top Gear for Outdoor Photography - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #880, Jan. 31, 2023. Today's theme is "Top Gear for Outdoor Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When we explore the great outdoors with gear in hand, we require ruggedness, dependability, and usually an extra bit of reach. So among all the different options available today, what are the items favored by experienced outdoor photographers? In today's podcast, we review their recommendations. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 880

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Top Gear for Outdoor Photography


I found an article titled 10 Best Cameras & Lenses of the Year: OP Editors' Picks 2022 on, and I thought it was one of the better recommendation pieces I had seen in recent history. I particularly liked that it was based on the research and experience of their editors who are top tier nature photographers.

I want to share with you some of their findings because it's already that time of year when we start thinking about our upcoming adventures in 2023. I also have some comments on their preferences.

Regarding the OM-1, Harold Mancusi-Ungaro wrote me: "Coincidentally your email found me in Antarctica photographing penguins with my OM-1. I can tell you that the AI subject AF for birds finds penguins on land as well as swimming and diving long the shores. And with its weather sealing I don't worry about the occasional splash in the Zodiacs. I love the camera."

So lots of good hardware in this segment.

AI-powered watermark removal poses uncomfortable implications for content use

You can read the entire article on DP

Artificial intelligence being used to create photorealistic artwork is already causing significant unrest within the photography industry, but a new tool,, is among the most concerning., which is available for free, uses AI to remove watermarks from images - as implied by its name. While there are some benign reasons to want to remove watermarks from an image, for example, if you own the rights to an image but can't locate a version without the watermark, but it's easy to imagine much more nefarious scenarios in which someone wants to remove a watermark from a photo.

This isn't an article centered around bashing It has every right to exist, and the developers aren't completely responsible for whether users download the tool to do something illegal - removing watermarks to steal photos is illegal, at least in the US. However, it's worth considering how the tool fits into an increasingly murky AI landscape.

You can already edit watermarks out of images with photo editing applications like Adobe Photoshop. In some cases, it's very easy to do so. Where AI comes in is making complex tasks, like removing multi-colored watermarks with different opacity values, much easier.

I've Joined Mastodon

I'm now posting and surfing on Mastodon. I've joined the Medium group there, but I'm available site wide. If you're on Mastodon as well, look me up so we can follow one another.

I polled our Inner Circle Members about Mastodon, and only 14 percent said that they were active on it. 36% knew about it, but hadn't pulled the trigger. And 18 percent said it just wasn't their thing.

We will see...

Follow Up to Mac mini M2 Pro Setup

Much has changed since last week's show on Luma Display and the new Mac mini. Here's an update.

As for the cool little 15.6" full HD display for $99 that I'm using to configure the Mac mini M2 Pro, it's an QQH 15 inch Portable Travel Monitor. And they are currently offering another $10 off if you clip the coupon box on the display page.

Now that I have things dialed in, I'm really enjoying using the Mac mini M2 Pro with the 2017 iMac 4K display.

Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

My Writing on I now have 51 published articles on And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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

See you next week!

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