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With a terabyte of free storage, it's easy to think of Flickr as the hall closet where you stuff all your photos. But consider its immersive audience and sharing tools; you may want to revisit your approach.


For example, if you click on the Photo Gallery button of The Digital Story, it takes you to my Flickr Photo Stream. Once Flickr redesigned their site, I felt that the presentation was strong enough to showcase my images.

In my latest article for, Use the New Flickr to Promote the New You, I advocate the following points for increasing your online presence with Flickr.

  • Think of Flickr as a showcase, not a dumping ground
  • Use Flickr as a tool to help you develop your photographic style
  • Stay out of ruts
  • Post-processing is a good thing
  • Don't be afraid of filters
  • Follow interesting people
  • Look at the metadata of the images that you like

You can still use that terabyte of free storage. Just keep the bulk of those images "private" and only make public the interesting shots. By doing so, you can begin to project your style as a photographer, and hopefully attract others to it.

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Flickr Essential Training 2013 - I explore the entire Flickr universe, mobile and computer, in my title, Flickr Essential Training. Stop by and take a look.

I've just been reading in-depth articles on Build Your Own Studio Gear and Time-Lapse Photography from the new Free Articles Downloads page on c't Digital Photography's website. The time-lapse article is 12 pages and the studio gear is 24 pages long.


This technical library was just launched this week, and new items will be added on a regular basis. There's no charge for any of the content, but you do have to provide your email address for the c't Digital Photography Newsletter to enable the download button.

If you're grabbing multiple articles, be sure to use the same email address so that you only receive one newsletter.

These are actual articles from c't Digital Photography Magazine. In part the library is made available to you as a introduction to this great content. If you like what you read (and I'm thinking you will), then consider a annual subscription that includes both the paper version of the publication and the electronic editions too.

c't Digital Photography Magazine is offering an "Open House" 20 percent Discount for the month of May.

In the meantime, check in with the new c't website a couple times a week to keep up on the world of serious enthusiast photography.

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I've tested a variety of ways to add watermarks to my mobile photos, but is the easiest. And the iOS app is free.

Your options include a single text field (I added my name and URL), timestamp, location, and logo. The text information is elegantly placed in the lower left corner. The logo, if you choose to add it, goes in the upper right. I found it a bit intrusive for my tastes. But I like the text placement. doesn't rely on metadata. It's part of the image. So unless someone intentionally crops it out, your name won't be accidentally stripped from the photo by a rogue app.

You can use the app's built-in camera function. But I prefer to shoot with my regular camera app, then open to apply the watermark to images I plan to share. Since it taps your Camera Roll, it's easy to pull up a shot, tag it, then have the new version saved to your iPhone or iPad (Yes, it works with the iPad too).

And since the text field is so easy to change, you could use this app for adding captions to photos before publishing them. So, even though it's quite simple, it's very handy. And I anticipate that will see more features in future versions. I think it's terrific.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.


I've been testing the robust Samsung Pro SDHC UHS-1 memory card in all of my SD-compatible cameras. These cards are relatively new, and should become easier to find in the coming months. (Note, link here appears to be for the microSD version even though the SDHC model is shown in the picture.)

First and foremost, the Samsung cards tackle a big problem with SD memory: ruggedness. Their robust build inspires confidence. Samsung says these new SD cards are: "Built to Last: Waterproof, Temperature Proof, X-ray Proof and Magnetic Proof." In other words, your pictures should be safe.

The speed is good too. Read data up to 90MB/s and write up to 80MB/s. The Samsung cards are also rated UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed, a new technology that enables higher bus interface transfer rates) and Class 10.

Inside the card there's a top quality controller and original memory designed and manufactured by Samsung. So you don't have to worry about substandard components that are often found in off-brand memory cards.

As of this writing, I haven't been able to find this particular card at my normal retail outlets. But I suspect they will be surfacing soon. And when they do, you might want to give 'em a test. I'll be taking mine to Europe next month.

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Olympus E-M1 and the Samsung NX30

This week on The Digital Story photography podcast: Samsung NX30 - Does a bigger sensor justify a larger camera?; a PDF Library for Technically Minded Photographers (with free downloads); and Shooting Better with the iPhone 5s - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - The Weekly Update: The top story this week is the Get a FREE copy of onOne Software's Perfect Effects 8 Premium Edition ($99.95 value). All you have to do is provide you name and email to download. Works with Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop, and as a standalone. Requires 8GBs of RAM. Terrific software! (Source: onOne Software)

In other news, Olympus OM-D E-M10 Full Review on I've fallen in love with this little camera. This review highlights many of the reasons why.

And finally, Canon releases report on consumer fraud saying that 18 percent have unknowingly purchased counterfeit consumer electronics. It's an interesting study worth perusing. (Source Canon USA)

Story #2 - Samsung NX30: Does a bigger sensor justify a larger camera? Holding the NX30 feels more like handling a small DSLR than a mirrorless ILC. But you also get that beautiful APS-C sensor. Is it worth it?

Here are a few my favorite features on the NX30:

  • 20.3 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Tiltable electronic viewfinder and articulated 3" LCD screen
  • WiFi and NFC connectivity
  • Includes Lightroom 5
  • Currently available for $799 with 18-55mm zoom

But how does it stack up compared to its micro four thirds competitors? I discuss during this segment of the show.

Story #3 - New Online Resource for Technically Minded Photographers. Our friends over at c't Digital Photography Magazine have just launched a PDF Library with free article downloads. Topics include: Managing Multiple Cameras with Lightroom, Micro Four Thirds Lens Review, Image Processing in 32-bit Mode, Time-lapse Photography, How to Shoot Gigapixel Images, Build your Own Studio Gear, and more.

As part of this Grand Opening, you can receive a 20 percent discount for an annual subscription, that includes both paper and electronic versions of the magazine.

Story #4 - From the Screening Room - Shooting with the iPhone 5s with Ben Long. Do you have an iPhone but feel like you aren't getting the most out of its built-in camera? If that's the case, this week's Screening Room selection is for you.

You can watch Ben in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch other design, photography, and computing titles, plus every other topic in the library.

Virtual Camera Club News

New SizzlPix Winners! Congratulations to Mike Boening (Dec 2013 High ISO #93), Kyle Howard (Jan 2014 White # 94), and David Blanchard (Feb 2014 Smartphone #95). You are the latest class of SizzlPix Pick of the Month photographers.

Workshop News: I've sent out invites to the Reserve List for the Fall Color with Safari West Workshop, October 24-26, 2014. You can learn about them both, plus request a reservation form by visiting the TDS Workshops Page and using the "Send Me Info" box.

Photo Assignment for May 2014 is "Around the House".

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story Podcast in iTunes.

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on That helps support the site.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (32 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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 - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until August!

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If you have a special event on the horizon, such as a prom, graduation ceremony, or wedding, you may want to brush up on your outdoor portrait technique. Here are a few tips to help you capture the beauty of the moment.

outdoor-couples-shot-2.jpg "Ready for the Prom" by Derrick Story. Olympus OM-D E-M10, 14-42mm lens, fill flash.

  • Use fill flash. Whether you're shooting with a compact camera, mirrorless, or DSLR, fill flash adds a twinkle to the eyes and smooths out contours on the face.
  • Learn flash exposure compensation. Every camera has it, and by accessing this control, you can dial down the intensity of the flash for more natural looking portraits.
  • Position the camera even, or slightly below, the eye level of your subjects. This becomes easier when your camera has a tilting LCD screen. Tripods are also excellent aids in maintaining a good camera position.
  • Practice before the event. Chances are that you will only have a minute or two to get the shot at the event. People like photographers who work quickly. Practicing ahead of time facilitates speed during the actual shoot.
  • Remind the subjects to look directly at the camera lens, not at you. For these types of portraits, eye contact with the camera often produces the most engaging results.
  • Watch your background. Choose an area free of distracting elements such as power lines, white fences, and reflecting cars.
  • Add a fun shot to the mix. Yes, you need to capture the straight portrait. But once you have that, add a fun shot too. This is the bonus picture that's often used for Facebook and Instagram. And the subjects just love having it.
  • fun-group-shot-2.jpg

  • Warm up the white balance. Overcast days and shady locations can lead to cool skin tones, which aren't very flattering - not to mention that the flash itself is a cool light. You can offset these effects by changing your white balance setting to cloudy. It will help warm up those skin tones.
  • Fine tune the best shots in post production. Simple adjustments such as white balance, fill light, and vignette, make a big improvement with the final image.

If possible, get the images to the subjects the next day. That way they can enjoy them while in the afterglow of the event.

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For the March 2014 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters set their exposure dial to "bracket" and chased after the perfect high dynamic range image. See for yourself in our gallery, HDR. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?


"I hadn't been over to the Cocoa Pier in a while," writes Ed Rosack. "When I checked The Photographers Ephemeris, I noticed that the sunrise azimuth lined up almost exactly with the pier. I made several photos. I like this one best - a perfect place to use HDR." Photo by Ed Rosack. See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the HDR gallery page.

Participate in This Month's Assignment

The May 2014 assignment is "Around the House." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is May 31, 2014. No limit on image size submitted.

Please follow the instructions carefully for labeling the subject line of the email for your submission. It's easy to lose these in the pile of mail if not labeled correctly. For example, the subject line for this month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: May 2014." Also, if you can, please don't strip out the metadata. And feel free to add any IPTC data you wish (These fields in particular: Caption, Credit, Copyright, Byline), I use that for the caption info.

Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting March 2014 gallery at the end of April, the April gallery will be posted at the end of May, and on and on.

Good luck with your May assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for March.

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iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.


If you can light and photograph a perfume bottle, you can shoot just about any product. The great news is, that the secret is technique, not expensive equipment.

In this video tutorial, Andrew Boey teaches you how to use the Zebra-Flag and the M-Flag to capture Clinique-styled product shots. You can make these light modifiers yourself with basic materials such as white cardboard, black velvet, and reflective mylar.

If you shoot any type of product photography, I think you'll find this tutorial helpful.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

What's in Your Bag, Derrick Story?


I have three basic kits that I keep packed and ready to go on a moment's notice. Personally, I like complete sets. What do I mean by that? I think each bag should have its own memory cards. batteries, filters, and other accessories.

Far too many times I've suffered from the "it's in the other bag syndrome." This was especially true for polarizing filters, which are a bit pricey. But once you buy 'em, you have 'em forever. Over the years I've managed to build out three complete kits.

On the new My Gear page that we've added to The Digital Story, I've listed the contents of these three complete camera kits: DSLR, Everyday Mirrorless, and Spectator Mirrorless. They are designed for specific types of situations.

The DSLR kit is still my "go-to" bag for commercial assignments, portraits, and situations where I need the absolutely best lowlight performance. I'm using Canon bodies and lenses for this work.


But I don't need to lug this gear around with me all the time, every day. So when I walk out the door in the morning, I'm carrying a smaller Lowepro messenger bag with an Olympus OM-D E-M1, a couple lenses, MeFOTO tripod with Joby head, and an iPad mini. It's amazing how much work I can accomplish with this light and nimble camera kit. And I'm using it more and more, with great results, for event photography too.

And finally, when I go to sporting events and concerts as a spectator without a media pass, I have to adhere to the very strict bag restrictions. So I have a special kit using the Walking Man Shoulder Bag with an Olympus OM-D E-M10 and my iPad mini for these situations. I've never been turned away at security carrying this bag, and I've captured many memorable images using this gear.

You can see the contents for all three kids on the new My Gear page. And I will keep it updated as my equipment evolves.

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twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter

You can edit portraits on an iPad with Photoshop-like power and the ease tapping and pinching with Facetune by Lightricks ($2.99).

With the tip of your finger, you can whiten teeth, smooth skin, remove blemishes, adjust tones, add filters, and even frame your subject. The final version can be saved to your Camera Roll or shared online using any of the popular social network sites.


After just a few minutes of editing, I felt comfortable with the app. One technique that I think is important, is to magnify your view when using the retouching tools. This provides more precise application of the effect. There is an erasure tool if you overstep.

I also advise checking your work as you go with the before/after view. This helped me realize when I had become a bit heavy-handed with my edits.

Facetune is an incredible value. And if you shoot and share portraits, this is certainly an app you want on your iPad.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.