Recently in Photography

  Page 1 of 350 in Photography  

There are certain features that I absolutely have to have in an everyday camera that's going to meet my photography and video needs. One of those requirements is a port to connect an external mic. Microphones are to audio what lenses are to photography. And you need to have your options available.

I use three different types of microphones for video work: general purpose condenser, lavalier, and shotgun. Like lenses, each has its own characteristics and excels in specific situations.

Condenser Mic

audio-technica-condenser-mic.jpg Audio-Technica Pro-24CM - Compact Stereo Condenser Mic for recording ambient sound and voice.

I use a condenser for general purpose work. Currently, I keep a Audio-Technica Pro-24CM compact stereo condenser ($99) in my backpack for capturing ambient sounds, music, and voice. This is not a device that I would mount on the camera for interviews. It works great when the mic is close to the mouth, but not from a distance.

When used properly, the audio quality is quite good. You can hear for yourself via an unedited sound check with the Pro-24 plugged into a Fujifilm X100V using an 3.5mm mini female to 2.5mm sub-mini male adapter. Here is a 4K video with audio sound check recorded with this gear. Footage is right out of the camera. No editing. The audio is quite decent. Note: My mic is an older model that shipped with a long cord. You may need an extender cable depending on what you have planned.

Pro Tip: When working with wired mics, wear dark clothing to make the line less visible. Check out the video to see how effective this can be.

Lavalier Mic

at-lav-mic.jpg Audio-Technica Consumer ATR3350XiS Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Mic for recording voice in noisy environments and when I need my hands free.

Lavalier mics are very handy when you need to talk in noisy environments. Just clip one to your shirt and go. Professional videographers typically use wireless models. These can get quite expensive, and there are more technical variables to deal with. I use a wired model for my more infrequent use. The cord is quite long, and I can usually tuck it out of the way so it isn't a distraction.

If you're using lavs for interviews, you'll need two. And you'll need to devise a system to run them both through the camera. One trick that is use for interviews is for me to stand off-camera with the handheld condenser mic and have the interviewee on-camera with the lav. This works well and is easy to setup.

Pro Tip: Run the wire from the lavalier inside the shirt and out the side or back obscured from view. Doing so will draw less attention to the mic itself.

Shotgun Mic

rode-shotgun.jpg Rode VideoMic Pro+ Camera-Mount Shotgun Mic for interviews and general recording when the mic needs to remain on the camera.

For me, shotgun mics are the most difficult to work with, but when you need one, you need one. They are particularly handy in "run 'n gun" situations when you might be talking to one person one moment, and another the next. For example, if I were recording candid interviews during a wedding reception, I would use the shotgun mounted on the camera.

They are called shotguns because they have a tighter pattern of sensitivity compared to omni-directional mics. So, wherever you point the shotgun, that will be its sweet spot for capture. And that's why they work so well atop cameras above the lens.

Under ideal circumstances, they can sound quite good. But videographers tend to push the envelope with them, and the audio quality can suffer a bit. I would recommend testing the mic in a comparable environment before use. Experiment with gain settings and distance to subject. Once you have a feel for the mic's sweet spot, you can attempt to stay within those parameters during the live shoot.

Pro Tip - A good accessory for shotguns is a fur windshield that allows you to capture cleaner audio in breezy conditions. Mics are very sensitive to air movement (right?), and one of these can really save the day for outdoor events.

Final Thoughts

All of these mic options are superior to using the onboard pickups in your camera. With an external mic, you're free to make camera adjustments without those sounds being recorded, and you can choose the best type of mic for the job at hand.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

One of the reasons that I enjoy taking pictures with the Fujifilm X100V is that its compact simplicity allows me to focus on my subjects and not fiddle with changing lenses and making unnecessary adjustments. I'm always ready to shoot.

P7304195.jpeg

However, for those times when I needed a tripod for movie making or for long exposures, my comfort zone was disturbed. Fitting the camera with a tripod adapter plate was an extra step that slowed down the process too much for my tastes. That's when I investigated and purchased the JJC Dedicated Metal Hand Grip L Bracket ($39) that provides me with a comfortable grip for handheld photography and an always-ready Arca Swiss adapter for tripod work.

P7304200.jpeg

The JJC bracket fits like a glove on the X100V (and the X100F as well). It provides access to the battery compartment, a speaker opening, a tripod socket (if you need something additional to the Arca Swiss), and a very comfortable front grip.

P7304202.jpeg

The bracket is designed with high quality aluminum that is both sturdy and light. And if it's possible, it makes the the X100V even more handsome that it was before.

In practice, I can now mount the camera to any of my tripods in seconds without having to search for an adapter plate and make sure that it is fitted correctly. The JJC bracket is always aligned perfectly and never slips nor slides.

The back LCD still flips up unimpeded. The side port door opens without interference. And I don't have to worry about setting the camera on a rough surface because the bracket now protects the bottom of the X100V.

If you're looking for a practical way to work more easily with your premium camera, whether it be the X100V or another model, I highly recommend one of these brackets. And if you have the Fujifilm, then look nor further than the JJC Dedicated Metal Hand Grip. Highly recommended.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #749, July 28, 2020. Today's theme is "Resting on Your Laurels Can Hurt You - AP Switches to Sony." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Prior to the mirrorless revolution, Canon had the camera industry pinned to the mat. I remember attending an invite-only press event at PMA back in the day, and marveling at their confidence and swagger. And for good reason, they were dominate. But soon after, serious photography began to evolve away from the DSLR, and Canon was slow to innovate. And just last week, the Associated Press announced they were switching to Sony for all of their photography and video work. Today's top story on the TDS Photography Podcast.

Resting on Your Laurels Can Hurt You - AP Switches to Sony.

Change has been in the air for quite some time. A few months ago I read a story where at an important hearing DSLRs were deemed too noisy, and were allowed to shoot only at specific times. Silent mirrorless photographers could capture at will.

Since many of us are mirrorless shooters, we can imagine the benefits of these cameras over DSLRs during the daily grind of reporting. Mirrorless are lighter, more agile, and definitely quieter. If you had to carry a bag all day, every day, what would you choose?

sony-a7r4-top.jpg

Meanwhile, Sony continued to add necessary pieces to complete the professional photographer puzzle. They launched their professional service, they put long, wide aperture telephoto lenses in the roadmap, and they carefully integrated stills and video into the same camera system.

Then a week ago, the other shoe dropped: the Associated Press (AP) officially announced their switch to the Sony Alpha system. "With hundreds of staff photographers and videographers around the world, and thousands of freelancers who contribute, the AP is a massive and trusted source that covers both the expected and unexpected." Here's what they had to say about it.

The following interview quotes are from the story, 'We're confident that they can deliver': We talk to AP's Director of Photography about switch to Sony on DP Review.

"We liked the idea of having the color quality and the image quality being close to the same between stills and video equipment. So if a stills photographer helped out a video colleague with a little filming, or B-roll, it would fit in the edit. And if we were to pull a frame grab from a 4K video camera it would have the same basic feel as a photograph from a stills camera."

"And the lens mounts are the same, so if a videographer was working with a stills photographer, he or she could borrow a 600mm f4, or a stills photographer could try a cine lens to get a certain look. It just gives us some unique opportunities."

"The vast majority of the stills photographers will get a9 Mark IIs. We will get some a7R IVs for the videographers, and a couple for some of our entertainment shooters who do a lot of portraits. But the standard kit will be an a9 Mark II."

"On the video side there are six different cameras that might become part of the kit, from broadcast cine cameras all the way down to small palm-sized cameras, depending on the assignment. But we have six cameras spec'd-out on the video side."

Next, here are some quotes from the article, Why The Associated Press Just Switched To Sony on alphauniverse.com.

"We're excited to switch to this new technology partly because it can operate quietly, which makes it easy for us to go places that before the noise of a shutter might be distracting. Now we can go places and tell stories from different perspectives that we couldn't before. We also like the fact that what you see is what you get in the viewfinder. So if your color balance is off or your exposure is off, it is apparent immediately. We also like that it's lightweight." says David Ake, AP Director of Photography.

"For the very first time we'll have interchangeable lenses between some of our video cameras and some of our still photography cameras. That's extraordinary. We've yet to kind of really plot out what the effects of that will be to us at a year's time or two years time, but we know we're going to be able to work in a much more flexible, nimble way," says Derl McCrudden, Deputy Managing Editor.

I think there's also the sentiment that Sony is going to stay on the forefront of visual storytelling, and that investing in them will help AP stay at the top of their game as well.

Results from Our Listener Poll on the Near Future of Physical Workshops

We had an excellent turnout of 72 participants for last week's poll on physical workshops. Here's a summary of the results.

On the plus side, 27 (37 percent) respondents felt that a January workshop in Costa Rica was interesting to them and that they would consider it, at least from a pure health perspective. Fewer of those were optimistic about the feasibility of our planned event in October.

35 respondents (49 percent) ruled out the possibility of either workshop all together, based on the information that they have now. The availability of a vaccine is a major consideration for them.

10 respondents (14 percent) don't feel like there's enough information now to make a decision. I would say the odds of someone from this category signing up are slim.

This information is so valuable and has been a tremendous help to me. Along with other key elements, your comments will help direct us on a positive course moving forward.

In that spirit, I will announce my plans for the remainder of 2020, and the first half of 2021 on next week's TDS podcast. Included in that discussion will be both the October Eastern Sierra event, and my participation for Costa Rica in January.

I'm Now Writing on Medium

I've started publishing articles on Medium.com as @derrickstory. Posts that aren't anywhere else include: "How IBIS Saved the Day, er, The Night," "From LA to San Francisco, 61 Days in a Different World," and "My 10 Years with Olympus Cameras." If you're interested in these topics, I'm posting an article a week. You might want to stop by and follow.

After mentioning this last week, I was thrilled so see that many of you from our TDS audience were hanging out on Medium last week. Thank you so much for chiming in. I think this is going to be an excellent complement to the work we're doing on TDS.

Comet and Night Sky Images from TDS Members

The night sky has been a welcome relief for many of us. Fresh air, interesting subject material, challenging work, and no masks! Here are some of the excellent contributions from our TDS Public Group on Flickr (a great place for photography, BTW.) I've picked a few of my favorites.

Ripping and Cataloging Audio CDs Now Available for Inner Circle Members

In this 40-minute video, I show you an easy way to incorporate audio compact discs into your current digital music library using iTunes/Apple Music for Mac or Windows.

You'll learn how to choose the best codec for your music, how to easily incorporate album artwork, and tips to keeping everything organized along the way.

It's available right now, for free, to TDS Inner Circle Members. And if you're not part of the Circle yet, you can sign up today and watch the movie right away. Just click on the Patreon tile that's on all the pages of The Digital Story.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos

It's a concern that lingers in the mind of just about every digital photographer: "How do I preserve my digital images and make them accessible while doing so?"

If you've had those thoughts, then help is available now. My latest LinkedIn Learning/lynda.com title, Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos is a complete course that shows you a variety of options and techniques to take control of protecting your image collection.

As your photo library grows, it becomes more important to back up your work. In this course, I teach the concepts and techniques behind efficient photo management for the long haul. First, I compare a few selected photo storage philosophies and techniques. I then show you how to create an ultralight backup system for travel, also back up photos stored on a laptop (or desktop), and finally, review archiving strategies for storing photos for decades.

Here are just a few of the talking points that I cover in the training.

  • Creating an ultralight backup system for travel.
  • Sending images from cameras to mobile devices.
  • Internal vs. external hard drives (both have their roles).
  • Organizing photos in managed vs. referenced catalogs vs. Finder-based.
  • Re-archiving images from older hard drives (do this before they fail!).
  • Integrating cloud services into your overall strategy.
  • Including a few tips you might not have considered, such as making archival prints of your best images.

You can start fine-tuning your workflow today by watching Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. It's a great way to begin the process of protecting your digital media for years to come.

The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing

If you want to learn more about looking and sounding great for your next online interaction, then I think you'll very much enjoy my latest online workshop, The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing.

This 1-hour deep dive focuses on the 3 major areas of successful online interaction: Audio, Video, and Environment. During the course, I walk you through a variety of techniques that range from simple using gear that you already have, to improving your chops through a few inexpensive purchases.

The course is currently available for free to our Inner Circle Members on Patreon. Members, just go to our Patreon site, and all the information will be there. If you're not already an Inner Circle Member, you can join us for $5 a month.

The course is also available on our Nimble Photographer Workshop Page for $14.95.

I have tons of great tips and techniques waiting for you there. If you want to get serious about how you come across during online meetings, classes, interviews, and family interactions, then you definitely will want to watch this course.

Digitizing Family Memories Course Now Available Online

Each of the four classes will outline a specific set of steps for you to accomplish. By the end of the course, you will have an organized digital archive of your most valuable family images.

You can sign up for the course by visiting the Workshops page on The Nimble Photographer. The course fee is a reasonable $39 (on sale right now). It includes the 4 class videos, class notes, and access to the class forums that are a part of each movie.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! You can join our unofficial "Board of Directors" by visiting our Patreon page and signing up.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we've had to postpone our July photography workshop at Lassen Volcanic Park.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

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.

The night sky has been a welcome relief for many of us. Fresh air, interesting subject material, challenging work, and no masks! Here are some of the excellent contributions from our TDS Public Group on Flickr (a great place for photography, BTW.) I've picked a few of my favorites.

NEOWISE Comet overlooking Pewetol Island, Trinidad, CA. July 17, 2020 Richard Clompus - Comet Neowise.

Blue Hour Milky Way Gary Eyring - Blue Hour Milky Way.

Comet NEOWISE with ion trail Karen Martin - Comet Neowise with Ion Trail.

Comet NEOWISE over the wreck of the S. S. Atlantus
Michael Hoffman - Comet NEOWISE over the wreck of the S. S. Atlantis.

Comet NEOWISE rising
Nikoletta Szakaly - Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) rising over the Velebit mountain range, as seen from Privlaka, Coratia.

Waxing Crescent Moon Karen Martin - Waxing Crescent Moon.

Thanks to all of our community artists for contributing to the Public Group and sharing their great images!

P7264095-Comet-Neowise-1024.jpg City Lights with Big Dipper - Derrick Story

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

I was looking over some of my recent images on the Fujifilm X100V LCD, and it dawned on me how almost all of my photo subjects were wearing masks.

DSCF1740-masked-performers-1024.jpg Musicians playing at the Tides Restaurant in Bodega Bay, CA. Outdoor seating only for lunch. Fujifilm X100V, ISO 160, f/5.6. Photo by Derrick Story. (The fish mask is a nice touch!)

The X100V is the camera I grab when I venture out into the world. And the world these days has covered faces. Odd for portrait work. Add a pair of sunglasses, and you really don't know who these people are.

I'm curious how we will view these images 10 years from now. Will it be, "Man, 2020 was a weird year." Or maybe, "Those are really interesting photos. I'm glad I recorded the moment." Or, for all we know, we may still be wearing face coverings well into the next decade.

DSCF1745-masked.jpg Theresa just after ordering seafood at the Tides Restaurant in Bodega Bay, CA. Fujifilm X100V, ISO 160, f/5.6. Photo by Derrick Story.

The historian in me feels the need to document this moment in time. There's no way to predict how myself or others will feel about these pictures in the future.

It also occurred to me, that outside of a few random medical shots, I don't think I've captured a single mask portrait prior to 2020. Isn't it interesting how much the world has changed visually in the last 6 months?

I will say this, however, many of the face coverings have become more interesting recently. I guess if we're going to be stuck with masks, we can do so with flair.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #748, July 21, 2020. Today's theme is "Time to Think About Workshops (or just too darn early)?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Back in March 2020 when we first sheltered-in-place, many hoped that we could put a lid on this pandemic. But now months later, we still find ourselves in the heat of battle. With two physical workshops remaining on the books, I decided to listen to what you think about upcoming events. And I hope you'll participate in our listener poll.

Time to Think About Workshops (or just too darn early)?

Outdoor workshops have advantages over indoor events. The fresh air circulating makes it far more reasonable to engage in photography, as long as physical distancing is respected.

P4284366.jpeg

But there are still travel logistics to be considered. And what do you do about meals and class sessions? Certainly a lot to consider.

I have two events on the books. The first is the Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop on Oct. 1-3, 2020. The second event is the Costa Rica Creative Immersion Photography Workshop on January 10-17, 2021.

What I'd like to know is what is your opinion about the timing of each of these workshops. You can share your opinion by participating in the reader poll: Time to Start Thinking About Workshops? (for Patreon members). If you're not an Inner Circle Member, you can voice your opinion on our TDS Facebook page. Let your thoughts be heard, then I will recap the results in next week's show.

Review the TDS Show on Apple Podcasts

It's always helpful to have fresh reviews on Apple Podcasts. And a big thank you to those who reviewed our show on Apple Podcasts last week. I truly appreciate it.

I'm Now Writing on Medium

I've started publishing articles on Medium.com as @derrickstory. Posts that aren't anywhere else include: "How IBIS Saved the Day, er, The Night," "From LA to San Francisco, 61 Days in a Different World," and "My 10 Years with Olympus Cameras." If you're interested in these topics, I'm posting an article a week. You might want to stop by and follow.

Canon's 5D DSLR Line is Dead: Report

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.com

If you love the Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR and have been waiting for its successor to be announced, brace yourself for a big disappointment: Canon has reportedly decided to discontinue its popular and pioneering 5D line of cameras.

Canon was, as recently as October 2019, said to be working on the 5D Mark V for a release by the end of 2020. But with a big push toward mirrorless cameras and the industry struggling with the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that the camera has now been erased from Canon's roadmap.

Canon Rumors is hearing from a reliable source that there will not be a Canon 5D Mark V and that there will be no direct successor to the Canon 5D Mark IV.

The original Canon 5D was announced in 2005 and was the first full-frame DSLR with a standard DSLR size (as opposed to the double-grip form factor of the 1D line). In 2008, Canon announced the Canon 5D Mark II, which made a huge splash as the first Canon EOS camera to offer video recording capabilities.

Pentax doubles down on DSLRs: "there is simply no substitute"

You can read the entire article on DigitalCameraWorld.com.

On social media, Pentax has been teasing a statement about its future. Now the manufacturer has revealed its statement, and it is simple: "Pentax believes in the future of SLR photography".

It is the latest in a long line of messages from the company, eschewing a mirrorless future in favor of DSLRs. A strategy that seems increasingly questionable, in a world where every other major manufacturer has put its eggs in the mirrorless basket.

The company launched a microsite dedicated to extolling the virtues of SLR cameras and, specifically, the optical viewfinder - which Pentax is positioning as the key USP of its entire product line.

"Pentax is committed to the future of SLR photography through the continued development of camera technology," states the strange new site. And the pro-SLR, anti-mirrorless sentiment is echoed in an accompanying new promotional video.

"It's such a joy to use an SLR, that there is simply no substitute for this style of shooting."

Ripping and Cataloging Audio CDs Now Available for Inner Circle Members

In this 40-minute video, I show you an easy way to incorporate audio compact discs into your current digital music library using iTunes/Apple Music for Mac or Windows.

You'll learn how to choose the best codec for your music, how to easily incorporate album artwork, and tips to keeping everything organized along the way.

It's available right now, for free, to TDS Inner Circle Members. And if you're not part of the Circle yet, you can sign up today and watch the movie right away. Just click on the Patreon tile that's on all the pages of The Digital Story.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Just Released! Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos

It's a concern that lingers in the mind of just about every digital photographer: "How do I preserve my digital images and make them accessible while doing so?"

If you've had those thoughts, then help is available now. My latest LinkedIn Learning/lynda.com title, Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos is a complete course that shows you a variety of options and techniques to take control of protecting your image collection.

As your photo library grows, it becomes more important to back up your work. In this course, I teach the concepts and techniques behind efficient photo management for the long haul. First, I compare a few selected photo storage philosophies and techniques. I then show you how to create an ultralight backup system for travel, also back up photos stored on a laptop (or desktop), and finally, review archiving strategies for storing photos for decades.

Here are just a few of the talking points that I cover in the training.

  • Creating an ultralight backup system for travel.
  • Sending images from cameras to mobile devices.
  • Internal vs. external hard drives (both have their roles).
  • Organizing photos in managed vs. referenced catalogs vs. Finder-based.
  • Re-archiving images from older hard drives (do this before they fail!).
  • Integrating cloud services into your overall strategy.
  • Including a few tips you might not have considered, such as making archival prints of your best images.

You can start fine-tuning your workflow today by watching Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. It's a great way to begin the process of protecting your digital media for years to come.

The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing

If you want to learn more about looking and sounding great for your next online interaction, then I think you'll very much enjoy my latest online workshop, The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing.

This 1-hour deep dive focuses on the 3 major areas of successful online interaction: Audio, Video, and Environment. During the course, I walk you through a variety of techniques that range from simple using gear that you already have, to improving your chops through a few inexpensive purchases.

The course is currently available for free to our Inner Circle Members on Patreon. Members, just go to our Patreon site, and all the information will be there. If you're not already an Inner Circle Member, you can join us for $5 a month.

The course is also available on our Nimble Photographer Workshop Page for $14.95.

I have tons of great tips and techniques waiting for you there. If you want to get serious about how you come across during online meetings, classes, interviews, and family interactions, then you definitely will want to watch this course.

Digitizing Family Memories Course Now Available Online

Each of the four classes will outline a specific set of steps for you to accomplish. By the end of the course, you will have an organized digital archive of your most valuable family images.

You can sign up for the course by visiting the Workshops page on The Nimble Photographer. The course fee is a reasonable $39 (on sale right now). It includes the 4 class videos, class notes, and access to the class forums that are a part of each movie.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we've had to postpone our July photography workshop at Lassen Volcanic Park. We so still have on the schedule, however, our Eastern Sierra event in October.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

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

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.

Other than a few choice hardware announcements, this hasn't been a great time for photographers. Events have been cancelled, travel is discouraged, and we've found ourselves staring eyeball to eyeball with the cat way too many times.

Then Comet NEOWISE appeared.

Comet Neowise - Santa Rosa, CA Comet Neowise in the Northwest Skies of Santa Rosa, CA. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with Olympus PRO 45mm f/1.2 lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

For those of us who enjoy night photography, this was truly a gift from God. First, it appeared in the early mornings. But by mid-July, it was also showing after twilight for stargazers in North America. And she is a beauty.

Comets are mystical beings. They cruise around the solar system fueled by matter that's thousands of years old. They appear. Then they disappear. And this one could not have come at a better time.

Most photographers have the tools necessary to enjoy this event: binoculars, tripod, fast lens. And suddenly, we have something to look forward to. For just a few moments each night, we can take a break from politics, disease, and injustice. We can get back to making images and sharing them with the world.

What a breath of fresh air on a cool crisp night. Thank you NEOWISE.

My Gear List for Comet NEOWISE

binoculars.jpg

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

Camera manufacturers have been making good strides on creating software that allows us to use our existing cameras as high quality webcams for videoconferencing. Canon got the ball rolling, and now Panasonic, Olympus, and Fujifilm have applications as well.

But the manufacture software doesn't necessarily support all of their cameras. And what about the other brands? If you're using a Mac, Cascable Pro Webcam might be the solution you've been waiting for.

cascable-webcam.jpg

It supports hundreds of cameras. If your camera is listed and has a check next to Control and Automation, you're in business. The software also works with most of the major streaming apps as shown below.

compatible-services.jpg

You can click the Download Free Trial button on the Cascable page and take it for a spin. If you like what you see, until July 24, it's just $30 as part of a launch sale. After that, a license will set you back $40. Cascable Pro Webcam requires macOS 10.14.4 or newer.

Up Your Videoconferencing Game with this Online Training

Once your get your camera set up, you may want to improve how you look and sound as well. You can download my course, The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing for just $14.95. You'll learn how to transform your home office into a online studio in just a few easy steps. Sound and look great for your next conference call!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #747, July 14, 2020. Today's theme is "Comets, Night Sky, and More." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

What a great time to be outside, under the stars. If you're in North America, Jupiter and Saturn are both visible, the Milky Way is out, and as a bonus, Comet Neowise is now hanging out in the North right after sunset. So grab your binoculars, pack your camera, and let's have some fun. You don't even have to wear a mask.

Comets, Night Sky, and More

So I'm heading out first on Tuesday night, and again on Wednesday if weather conditions remain clear. I'll need a good view of the North because Comet Neowise will only be between 5 and 10 degrees above the horizon at that time. But I'll also take a look at the Milky Way, and of course enjoy the visible planets as well.

Thank goodness for this opportunity. The timing couldn't be better. Between the nice summer weather and the stir-craziness that comes with Shelter in Place, a little night photography to shake things up sounds perfect.

If you want to head out as well, here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare.

cometron-1024.jpeg

Don't Forget Your Night Sky Binoculars

Even if your main objective is to take pictures, a pair of night sky binoculars is handy for surveying the sky and enjoying the show.

Get a Good Astronomy App

Loading an app such as Stellarium on your iPhone or iPad will make it easy to locate the comet in the night sky. You can plan ahead of time with it by entering location and time to figure out the best viewing of Neowise, or anything else for that matter, then use it in the field in realtime.

Pack Your Camera Kit

I'm using my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with the Olympus PRO 40-150mm f/2.8 zoom. I'm going to bring my tripod as well.

As for exposure, I don't want star trails, so I'm going to use the 500 Rule to help me determine the maximum shutter speed (500 divided by the true focal length of the lens). So, for example, with my lens set at 40 mm, the math would work like this; 500 / 80 = 6.25 seconds. Therefore the maximum shutter speed I can use before the stars start to blur is 6 seconds. As for ISO, I'm going to start with 1600 and adjust as necessary. My aperture will be set to f/2.8. I'm going to test with noise reduction on and off. (It does double the amount of processing.)

Bring Flashlight with a Red Filter

A flashlight with a red filter will help you keep your night vision and make it easier to see objects in the sky.

Finding a Good Location

For comet shots in particular, I like a good scene to complement the night sky. This is probably the hardest part of the assignment for me.

Once you find the location, make sure you can be comfortable while you're there. I always bring my camp chairs and a blanket.

Sony a7S III, Canon R5 and R6

There is so much happening in the full frame world right now with the formal announcement of the Canon R5 and R6, and the anticipated unveiling of the Sony a7S III.

It's a pretty high stakes game. The Canon R5 with RF 24-105mm f/4L lens will cost $4,999. That gets you 45MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor, 8K30 Raw and 4K120 10-Bit Internal Video, and Sensor-Shift 5-Axis Image Stabilization.

The Canon R6 with RF 24-105mm f/4L lens will cost $3,599. That gets you 20MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor, 4K60 and FHD 120 10-Bit Internal Video, and Sensor-Shift 5-Axis Image Stabilization.

The RF line of lenses has really been impressing reviewers, so this package looks very strong on paper. Preorders have been brisk to say the least.

We'll see how the Sony stacks up once it is officially announced. But there's a lot of heat in the kitchen right now for full frame cameras.

Review the TDS Show on Apple Podcasts

It's always helpful to have fresh reviews on Apple Podcasts. If you haven't reviewed our show there, please consider taking a few minutes to do so. I truly appreciate it!

Ripping and Cataloging Audio CDs Now Available for Inner Circle Members

In this 40-minute video, I show you an easy way to incorporate audio compact discs into your current digital music library using iTunes/Apple Music for Mac or Windows.

You'll learn how to choose the best codec for your music, how to easily incorporate album artwork, and tips to keeping everything organized along the way.

It's available right now, for free, to TDS Inner Circle Members. And if you're not part of the Circle yet, you can sign up today and watch the movie right away. Just click on the Patreon tile that's on all the pages of The Digital Story.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Just Released! Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos

It's a concern that lingers in the mind of just about every digital photographer: "How do I preserve my digital images and make them accessible while doing so?"

If you've had those thoughts, then help is available now. My latest LinkedIn Learning/lynda.com title, Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos is a complete course that shows you a variety of options and techniques to take control of protecting your image collection.

As your photo library grows, it becomes more important to back up your work. In this course, I teach the concepts and techniques behind efficient photo management for the long haul. First, I compare a few selected photo storage philosophies and techniques. I then show you how to create an ultralight backup system for travel, also back up photos stored on a laptop (or desktop), and finally, review archiving strategies for storing photos for decades.

Here are just a few of the talking points that I cover in the training.

  • Creating an ultralight backup system for travel.
  • Sending images from cameras to mobile devices.
  • Internal vs. external hard drives (both have their roles).
  • Organizing photos in managed vs. referenced catalogs vs. Finder-based.
  • Re-archiving images from older hard drives (do this before they fail!).
  • Integrating cloud services into your overall strategy.
  • Including a few tips you might not have considered, such as making archival prints of your best images.

You can start fine-tuning your workflow today by watching Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. It's a great way to begin the process of protecting your digital media for years to come.

The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing

If you want to learn more about looking and sounding great for your next online interaction, then I think you'll very much enjoy my latest online workshop, The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing.

This 1-hour deep dive focuses on the 3 major areas of successful online interaction: Audio, Video, and Environment. During the course, I walk you through a variety of techniques that range from simple using gear that you already have, to improving your chops through a few inexpensive purchases.

The course is currently available for free to our Inner Circle Members on Patreon. Members, just go to our Patreon site, and all the information will be there. If you're not already an Inner Circle Member, you can join us for $5 a month.

The course is also available on our Nimble Photographer Workshop Page for $14.95.

I have tons of great tips and techniques waiting for you there. If you want to get serious about how you come across during online meetings, classes, interviews, and family interactions, then you definitely will want to watch this course.

Digitizing Family Memories Course Now Available Online

Each of the four classes will outline a specific set of steps for you to accomplish. By the end of the course, you will have an organized digital archive of your most valuable family images.

You can sign up for the course by visiting the Workshops page on The Nimble Photographer. The course fee is a reasonable $39 (on sale right now). It includes the 4 class videos, class notes, and access to the class forums that are a part of each movie.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we've had to postpone our July photography workshop at Lassen Volcanic Park. We so still have on the schedule, however, our Eastern Sierra event in October.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

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

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.

Let me put it this way: If I bought the same amount of Canon original ink cartridges that are in the box pictured below, it would cost far more than I spent for the printer.

ink-box.jpeg

I do a lot of printing. I output labels for TheFilmCameraShop, snapshots for family, concepts for projects, and more. And since I switched to Starink Compatible Ink Cartridges, I'm paying a fraction of the cost that I once spent on Canon OEM ink. My printer hasn't melted, clogged up, or slowed down in any way what-so-ever.

Here's what I spent $18.99 for with free shipping:

lots-of-ink.jpg

In case you can't see the picture, that's 17 cartridges that were fully filled and ready for action. The contents are environmental friendly, certified by ISO9001, ISO14001, CE, RoHS. The chips are recognized by the printer as Canon ink, and most importantly, the output looks great.

Canon-with-Ink-1024.jpeg

Now to be clear, I'm not talking about my high-end 13" printer for fine art work on archival stock. I'm still using top quality Red River Paper and original Canon ink for those jobs.

But the bulk of my printing are quick-turnaround jobs using a Canon Pixma for greeting cards, labels, scanned documents, and snapshots. Why should I pay through the nose for ink to review a memo or output a USPS label?

If you have a lovely multifunctional printer that you're not being creative with because of the cost of ink, then consider Starink Compatible Ink Cartridges. I don't think twice about making a personalized card for a friend, or a printing a 4"x6" for my Mom - and nor should you.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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