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This is The Digital Story Podcast #855, August 9, 2022. Today's theme is "Comeback Kid - Camera Industry May Have Weathered the Storm." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

What started with the invasion of the smartphones was compounded by the pandemic, supply chain shortages, bad weather, and an expensive shift to mirrorless technology. But it appears that the camera industry catering to enthusiasts and pros are seeing the future cast in a more optimistic light. And regardless of which brand your prefer, this is good news. More detail on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 855

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Comeback Kid - Camera Industry May Have Weathered the Storm

Nikon-Z5-1024.jpeg

Recent news has had a promising ring to it regarding the camera industry. And the stories are adding up to sunnier days. I thought I'd take you on a stroll down memory card lane and show you a few sites that might just make you smile.

Canon Says the Camera Market Is Looking Up, Shares Plan for DSLRs - FStoppers.

It's no secret that the smartphone has decimated the camera industry for the past decade, but according to Canon, the market may have finally bottomed out, and there might now be reason to look up. It turns out even DSLRs aren't dead just yet.

"Going forward, we expect the professional and advanced amateur segment to expand further and that products will become more highly developed. Accordingly, we expect the overall market to grow from now on."

Furthermore, Canon says they will continue to supply DSLRs as long as demand exists.

Nikon's Q1 results show Imaging Products profits up 48% YoY, revenue nearly matching pre-pandemic results - DPReview.

Nikon has announced the financial results for the first quarter (Q1) of its 2023 fiscal year (FY2023), revealing increased revenue and operating year-over-year (YoY) in nearly every segment, including its Imagine Products Business.

Nikon's presentation materials show the revenue and operating profit of its Imaging Products Business was 61.2B yen and 13.6B yen, respectively, for Q1 FY2023. That's an increase of 22.4% and 47.8%, respectively, compared to Q1 FY2022. Isolated, that's an impressive increase, but Nikon hasn't necessarily had the best couple of years throughout the pandemic, so how does it compare to Nikon's pre-pandemic numbers? Turns out, fairly well.

Financial results aren't necessarily a crystal ball into the future, but Nikon appears to have weathered the brutal economic conditions of the past few years and has set its Imaging Products Business for a sustainable future, even if it's only a fraction of what it was in the peak CaNikon days.

Sigma says its full-frame Foveon X3 sensor 'should be' ready 'sometime this year' - DPReview.

In a recent video interview, published to YouTube, Sigma Corporation CEO, Kazuto Yamaki, confirmed the company is working on a full-frame Foveon sensor that 'should' make its debut - at least in prototype form - by the end of the year.

The 17-minute interview covers an array of topics, including Sigma's strategy throughout the pandemic, its plans to continue supporting DSLR users and other topics. One of the more interesting tidbits, however, comes around the eight-minute mark, wherein the host asks Mr. Yamaki if there's any update on the company's three-layer Foveon sensor.

In response, Mr. Yamaki says 'We are still working on it [...] and are working on the prototype of the three-layer X3 sensor [...] that should be available sometime this year.' He goes on to say 'the Foveon X3 sensor is not a very versatile sensor,' specifically pointing out its low-light performance, 'but if there is a good amount of light, that camera can create very beautiful and impressive photos.'

Panasonic and Leica to Launch Jointly-Developed Mirrorless Camera - Petapixel.

The report comes courtesy of Nikkei, which has found evidence that shows that the manufacture of all small digital cameras has basically ceased across the board. As part of that report, the publication spoke with Panasonic which confirmed that not only has it ceased production of Lumix-branded compact cameras, but that it would also be focusing on the high-end of the market which includes leveraging its partnership with Leica to produce a co-developed mirrorless camera next year.

It is not clear how this new camera will fit in with Panasonic or Leica's current full-frame offerings. The two companies both produce mirrorless L-mount cameras that exist in that high-end space, and whether or not the co-developed camera will replace both lines or be in addition to them was not revealed.

Our Wishlist for the New OM System OM5 - The Phoblographer.

The OM System OM1 broke away from the Olympus name to deliver a list of innovative features in a small package. That list, which includes quad pixel autofocus, IP53 rated weather-sealing, and 50 fps speed, may be exactly what the Micro Four Thirds system needs to remain relevant in an industry now teaming with full frame bodies. But if the OM1 is the company's flagship, what's next for the former-Olympus mid-range bodies?

Early reports suggest that an OM5 is coming in the fall. These reports call for the OM5 to have the same sensor and battery as the OM1, but with a 15 fps burst speed. OM Digital Solutions (OMDS) has not commented on those reports and, as such, those details remain speculation. But, if I could pick and choose what a successor to the Olympus E-M5 Mark III looks like, there are a handful of features I would love to see: a mix of OM1 and E-M5 Mark III features in a smaller, more affordable body.

Final Thoughts

In addition to the stories I've already mentioned, lots more great stuff happening with Fujifilm, Tamron, and others. I feel like mirrorless has been the technology the camera industry needed to spur excitement and sales. And I'm looking forward to a strong second half of 2022 and a wonderful start to 2023.

Peak Design Collabs with Huckberry in Limited Edition Travel Backpack

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

The backpack shares a lot in common with the original Travel Backpack with one major notable exception: the exterior. The collaboration backpack is available in one color -- a yellow called "coyote" -- and is made from what the two brands describe as premium DWR-coated X-Pac material, which is supposedly extremely durable and waterproof.

X-Pac is a lightweight fabric that is made with several layers that are laminated together into one sheet: nylon fabric, polyester mesh (called X-ply, hence the X-Pac name), and a waterproof film. As described by the manufacturer Dimension-Polyant, the resulting material is designed to be both rugged and comes from a business aimed at sustainability.

The use of X-Pac means that the exterior of the Peak Design and Huckberry collaboration bag is waterproof -- not water resistant. While the bag cannot be submerged and stay totally dry on the inside (the water-resistant zippers have a limit to how much water they prevent from seeping through), the bag will often not require the typical rain cover other backpacks need for a majority of wet weather scenarios.

Like the original, the collaboration backpack has dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves, has padded shoulder straps that pack away, grab handles at multiple locations on the bag, and fits under an airline seat or in the overhead compartment. It is also built sustainably with a carbon-neutral, Fair Trade Certified manufacturing process.

The Huckberry and Peak Design X-Pac Travel Backpack is available directly from Huckberry (limited one per person) for $260, which is $30 more than the standard $230 30L Travel Backpack.

Tell a Friend

I was thinking the other day about how people love to tell me about their favorite podcasts, which I appreciate!

Then, I started thinking, we should be telling our friends about The Digital Story podcast. It's available on every service that's commonly used: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and on and on.

If each or our regular listeners told just one friend about this podcast and encouraged them to listen, those should be substantial numbers.

So let's try it! Tell a friend about the TDS Photography Podcast.

THE BEST INSTANT CAMERAS YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW

You can read the entire article on The Verge.

Even with the ability to take excellent photos with our phones and instantly share them across the world, there's something magical about the old-school instant camera. With just a click of a button, you can capture a moment in a photo that you can see and touch almost immediately. Images captured by an instant camera aren't as pristine or perfect as modern digital cameras, but their soft images and imperfections are often a big part of the allure.

Yet not all instant cameras are the same, and some of them are better suited for different needs and budgets. That's why we tested some of the most popular instant cameras on the market from brands like Fujifilm, Polaroid, and Kodak.

All of the models featured in our best instant camera guide here are enjoyable to use, but each offers a different set of features at a different price point. As a result, some are more appropriate for a child or the budding photographer, while others are more advanced and provide added creative control (for a price). When it comes down to it, though, we consider print quality, ease of use, and affordability to be the hallmarks of a quality shooter. That's why we picked Fujifilm's Instax Mini 11 as the best instant camera for most people, as it ticks all three boxes wonderfully.

If you're looking for more creative control or features like filters, however, the Instax Mini Evo is our choice, one that boasts great image quality and allows you to choose which photos you'd like to print. Other instant cameras, like Polaroid's Now Plus and Kodak's Mini Retro 3, also offer a variety of advanced creative modes for those who desire more.

Other cameras on the list include: FUJIFILM'S INSTAX MINI 11, INSTAX MINI EVO, KODAK MINI SHOT 3 RETRO, POLAROID NOW PLUS, and the POLAROID GO.

Virtual Camera Club News

Have you been unsubscribed? A number of listeners have let me know that they were unceremoniously unsubscribed from the show. If that happens to you, just go back to the app and click on subscribe.

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 Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. 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 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.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #854, August 2, 2022. Today's theme is "One Half 'Somewhat Satisfied' with Their Backup System." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

One thing has led to another, and our ongoing conversation about Peakto has led to a bigger discussion about backup strategy in general. So I presented a poll to our Inner Circle Members, and I'm going to share those results, and some tips, on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 854

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One Half "Somewhat Satisfied" with Their Backup System

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In a recent poll of our Inner Circle Members, 54% of the respondents said, "My backup system is a work in progress, but I am more satisfied than not with it." And to add to that, another 28% noted that, "I have a great backup system and am perfectly satisfied with the safety of my data." That means that a whopping 82% of those respondents believe they data is in good shape. I think that's great.

So I thought you might be interested in some of their comments as you're thinking about your own data protection. Let's see what they have to say.

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"I have a Drobo 5N, Drobo 5N2 and a Qnap. all have 16 TB with "hot" spare and data redundancy. I keep all 3 in sync. With the news I'm hearing on Drobo I'm glad I put the Qnap into the mix." Richard.

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"I have a system where I use very large 3.5" drives in the 16TB range plugged into a "toaster" interface that serves as central backup to all my smaller 2.5" drives. I have duplicated that setup at work so that I have a backup in case of fire. I rely on carbon copy to make the backups. One critical part is to ensure the health of the drives and that the files are copied without errors. I lost a few files due to bit rot. That's always heartbreaking. I am still looking into potentially having a sinology system instead of my toaster ... not completely convinced yet." Arnaud.

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Windows guy here. I have an external RAID drive connected to my desktop that has my photos as well as my Lightroom Classic backups folder. I sync my external drive to a Synology 4-disc unit as well as to my Backblaze account. I have another external drive that syncs photos from my wife's desktop via the network. That way, all of our images are on drives local to my desktop and I only need the one Backblaze account. Backblaze doesn't backup network drives.

A word about Backblaze. A couple of years ago, for reasons I cannot explain other than really dumb user error, my wife lost about six months worth of photos from several years earlier. I just happened to be looking for something else when I noticed that the folders were missing (we both use dates to organize our images). I was able to locate the missing files on the BB web interface, but it was too much to easily recover via the web. Fortunately, they have the option where they'll send you an external hard drive with the files you need. You simply need to copy the files over and ship back the drive. No extra cost.

Well worth the $70 per year. Henry

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"My MacBook Pro's internal SSD is 1TB. I have a 2TB Thunderbolt 3 SSD always plugged in that holds my Lightroom catalogs, any Final Cut Projects, and (what I call) "On the Road Imports."

When plugged in at home, I have (2) Drobos. One in Thunderbolt2 the newer one is TB3. As a side note the TB2 Drobo failed a year or 2 ago, but the problem was the power supply block. I found a suitable replacement on Amazon." Larry.

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Also windows. Currently running multiple external drives and multiple internal drives. I have all my images from many years on an internal drive and my images from the current year on an internal SSD. These are backed up onto two external drives using Backvp 2. This scans any folders I select and everything is backed up on the external drives.

I know I'm missing the 3 in 1-2-3.

I also keep running out of room on my internal 1TB SSD.

As I keep learning and increasing my library, I have changed how I store my photos over the years. I never really tagged them, because I didn't have "that many" to worry about. Now as I shoot more and am putting more thought into my photography, I'm doing a better job of tagging and storing my photos.

I'm looking to get a Synology in the near future so I can stop all this nonsense of having to keep moving libraries from one drive to another. Jeff.

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I use Apple Photos. An iMac has a full copy of all files. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the Photos library to a specific folder on a local Synology device. I also have a second Synology at a friend's home in another state. The Synology's are set to sync those specific folders automatically. A little pricy to begin with, but I'm not paying monthly charges to an online company. Steve H.

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I use a DROBO 5D with 5 8TB drives set up as a RAID 1, everything including iOS Time Machine backed up with Backblaze, Dropbox for 2TB of important files and iCloud backup for Photos. Since DROBO uses a proprietary software system, I am concerned about future support with newer versions of Mac iOS. I've looked at OSW DAS RAID, Synology NAS RAID and Sandisk G-Drives. None of them seem to have the same flexibility of DROBO. SSD drives seem to be the future but for large amounts of storage, prices are still too high for managing large amounts of storage.

It will be nice to know the path forward with software upgrades and support.

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To put a bow on some of these thoughts. A lot of people are using Drobo, myself included, and seem to be having relatively good experiences with them. But in general, Drobo users are nervous about the future.

There were numerous references to Snylogy. These are network-enabled multi-drive systems. A very popular unit is the Synology DiskStation DS920+ 4-Bay NAS Enclosure for $549 (drives not included).

  • 4 x 3.5/2.5" Bays | 2 x M.2 2280 Slots
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Celeron J4125 Quad-Core 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A | 1 x eSATA
  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, Hybrid, Basic, JBOD
  • Sequential Reads up to 225.99 MB/s
  • Sequential Writes up to 225.9 MB/s
  • AES-NI Hardware Encryption Engine
  • Synology DiskStation Manager OS

Another popular system is the QNAP TR-004-44W-US 12TB 4-Bay USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C RAID 5 Array (4 x 4TB) for $649 (drives included).

  • 4 x 4TB 3.5" SATA III Hard Drives
  • 4 x 3.5" / 2.5" Drive Bays
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C Host Interface
  • Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD & Single
  • Pre-Configured for RAID 5
  • Hardware Controller
  • 120mm Smart Fan
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux Compatible

And then of course there is some Cloud backup involved, such as Backblaze.

Roll this all up, and that's where many of our Inner Circle Members are right now. I hope you found this useful.

Update on Peakto

I had some correspondence with the Peakto folks that I want to share, especially in regard to the Capture One previews.

Capture One uses an 'obscure' format to store the High Resolution thumbnails. As a result we cannot decode it and we are limited to the small resolution images (we understand how it is built but without C1 engineers involvement we cannot exploit it). Changing the Preview settings in C1 will have no effect. We are trying to convince C1 to help us decode those formats (via a plugin so they can keep their recipe secret) and we now have good contacts with them. Until now, all our demands were rejected. But I am hopeful that we can find a solution.

I'd like, also, to give you a short update on we are currently working on:

  • Dramatic improvements on performance when ingesting, especially when dealing with files and folders.
  • A free to download trial version (weighting only 120Mb).
  • Smart re-ingest (super fast, to ensure perfect sync).
  • Smart albums and complex queries.
  • Annotation within Peakto.
  • A map tool.
  • Peakto Pricing

    Peakto is available three ways:

    • $9.99 Monthly with Zero Risk 7 day free trial.
    • $99 Yearly per seat with 15 day free trial.
    • $189 One time per seat with 30 day Money back guarantee.

    5 Learnable Skills That Every Professional Photographer Must Have

    You can read the entire article on FStoppers.com.

    As photographers, we often are bogged down in what gear to buy, what lens to choose, what has better specs, and so on. To everyone's satisfaction or disappointment, these things will only make a marginal difference in most cases. As a photographer, you need to have more skills than gear. I am here to tell you the five most important ones.

    Skills you need to have as a photographer might seem like the old list of being able to expose, compose, and remove people from a landscape photo in Photoshop. While there is no denying that these are all valid things you need to do as a photographer, they are very basic, and in order to really gain a competitive advantage and set yourself apart, you need to have more transferrable skills that are not industry-specific. This list is of skills you need to hone repeatedly in order to master photography.

    • Learning and Unlearning Fast - One of the beautiful things about having an art career is that there are new things coming out every day. Being able to keep an open mind and unlearn old ways of doing things will certainly help you be a much better photographer.
    • Productivity - In an industry where keeping with trends is a method of staying afloat, productivity is key. You need, really need, to hit deadlines on time. No one will wait for you to make it perfect. Done is better than perfect in this case.
    • Marketing - There is no way you can be a successful business owner if you can't market your product to customers.
    • Business and Accounting - Keeping it to business talk, you need to possess the ability to run a business. This starts from the knowledge of how to register it, how to issue invoices, how to file taxes, and do other paperwork.
    • Style - Style is something that can be counted as a skill for me, as it involves a long process of learning, developing, and ultimately being formed and perfected to automation.

    Tell a Friend

    I was thinking the other day about how people love to tell me about their favorite podcasts, which I appreciate!

    Then, I started thinking, we should be telling our friends about The Digital Story podcast. It's available on every service that's commonly used: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and on and on.

    If each or our regular listeners told just one friend about this podcast and encouraged them to listen, those should be substantial numbers.

    So let's try it! Tell a friend about the TDS Photography Podcast.

    Virtual Camera Club News

    Have you been unsubscribed? A number of listeners have let me know that they were unceremoniously unsubscribed from the show. If that happens to you, just go back to the app and click on subscribe.

    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 Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. 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 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.

    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.

When we think of Nik Collection, we tend to focus on the suite of eight plugins featuring Silver Efex Pro and others. But as part of the bargain, we also get the essential version of PhotoLab 5 that's quite powerful. And one of the cameras it supports is the OM System OM-1.

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That means that you have access to some great DxO technologies that are a wonderful fit for Micro Four Thirds photography, including DxO Denoising (High Quality Setting), DxO Smart Lighting, color rendering based on camera profile, and more. Plus there's access to an entire toolbox of adjustments that you would expect with any top drawer image processor.

In terms of other supported cameras, there are a few exceptions between the Essential and Elite version of PhotoLab 5. One of them, unfortunately for me, is the Fujifilm X100V (Elite version only). But the rest of my gear is supported in the Essential version, including the OM-1. You can check supported cameras here.

I think many photographers overlook PhotoLab 5 and how it can help them improve their images. And they may not even give the bundled version a try when updating their Nik Collection.

I say take a handful of your RAW files and open them in PhotoLab. You may be delightfully surprised at what you can do with them.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags (for the OM-1 camera, but not Nik Collection). 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 #853, July 26, 2022. Today's theme is "The Best Software for B&W Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

As we prepare for our upcoming B&W Photography Workshop, I've been having a lot of fun revisiting some of my favorite software. And the one thing that really jumps out at me is: there is black and white, and then there is BLACK & WHITE! So the first story of this week's show is dedicated to apps that help you create masterful monochromes that dazzle. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 853

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The Best Software for B&W Photography

SilverEfex3-1024.jpg

I think B&W imagery lives somewhere in our DNA. There's just something about it that draws our attention.

We have many options for monochromes in the digital age. We can use the built-in effects in our cameras. These can be particularly sweet if you shoot Fuji or if you have an Olympus PEN-F.

In any software app, we can totally desaturate an image to create a monochrome. Most apps have a dedicated B&W adjustment panel that does an admirable job. Lightroom, Capture One, and Photos for macOS are all capable of producing excellent monochromes.

But one of the aspects of this type of photography is its ability to withstand "pushing the creative envelope." This tradition goes all the way back to the film days when we would alter the processing recipes to stretch Tri-X from its native ISO 400, to 800 and beyond.

And that's when we step beyond Lightroom presets and Capture One Styles into the uncharted waters of specialized plugins. Let's take a closer look at a few of these.

Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 3 Mac/Windows

I like using Silver Efex Pro 3 DxO PhotoLab 5 that comes bundled with the entire Nik software package. I can point PhotoLab to a folder of images, take care of my basic edits first, then launch the Silver Efex plugin from within PhotoLab.

This plugin also works well with Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. So if Lightroom is your everyday asset manager, you're in great shape with Silver Efex.

Silver Efex is such a fun app to work within. On the left side of the interface you have a column that features 64 magical presets. In all honesty, these are so good that you could pick your favorite for an image, click on it, and be done.

If you want to keep playing, however, on the right side you can tap a cornucopia of adjustment tools that are designed for B&W photography. I particularly like the Film Types panel that has some of my favorite emulsions from the analog days.

You can also use their Control Points technology for selective adjustments, and then use DxO Clear View for a finishing touch. It's really sweet.

If you come up with a magic formula that you like, you can save it as your own custom preset.

The entire Nik Collection, including DxO PhotoLab 5 is $149. There are usually discount codes online that can bring it down to $129.

ON1 Effects 2022 - Mac/Windows

I originally fell in love with ON1 Effects for my infrared photography. But it has a lot of muscle for straight B&W work as well.

Again, I tend to start with the B&W presets on the left side of the interface, the fine tune with the Black & White adjustment panel on the right side. In addition to the usual tonal sliders, I really like the Film Grain panel where I can choose from all the popular analog emulsions, then apply Amount and Size.

I also like the Opacity slider for each panel that allows me to add just a hint of color to my B&W conversions, almost like toning.

There are lots of other great effects to choose from that complement your B&W work, such as Vignette, Vintage, Lens Blur, Photo Filter, LUTs, Dynamic Contrast and more.

Unlike Silver Efex, you can buy ON1 Effects 2022 by itself for $69. It's wonderful for a variety of uses, and it works as a plugin with Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Capture One Pro, and Photos for macOS.

Final Thoughts

Both of these apps will help you elevate your B&W work to the Wow Level. And they are fun to experiment with as well.

Become a Medium Member and Support Independent Writers

The articles that I publish on Medium.com are an important part of our overall ecosystem. That work introduces new members to our community and what we're doing here.

If you enjoy the vast array of great writing on Medium, including the photography articles, consider becoming a member to support me and the other writers there.

Please use this link to do so.

Update on Peakto

There was an update this week that brought us up to version 1.0.2 that smoothed the normal rough edges.

I now have all of my Aperture libraries loaded, spanning images from 2000 to 2014. The performance is particularly good with Aperture catalogs.

I also have Capture One catalogs from 2015 to present in Peakto. The previews from C1P don't look quite as good as those from Aperture, so I am going to check my preview settings on the catalogs themselves to see if I can improve that situation.

Currently Peakto is digesting 897,730 items using 42.26 GBs. Performance remains strong.

Peakto is available three ways:

  • $9.99 Monthly with Zero Risk 7 day free trial.
  • $99 Yearly per seat with 15 day free trial.
  • $189 One time per seat with 30 day Money back guarantee.

Kodak to Use Film Manufacturing Machines to Make EV Batteries

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.com.

Kodak has announced that it is repurposing some of the expensive, high-tech machines used to manufacture its photography film for use on batteries for electric vehicles (EV). The company has invested in Wildcat Discovery Technologies, which makes EV batteries.

Engineers at Kodak have discovered that the "supercell" batteries Wildcat manufactures, require a similar coating and engineering services, like their 35mm film. So, with minimal retooling, these $70 million machines have a new life, producing materials needed to create batteries.

According to a video tour of the Kodak facility by Destin of Smarter Everyday on YouTube, Kodak's current process of film manufacturing , known as ESTAR, requires using polymers to create the film itself. These polymers have replaced the old school acetate base in 35mm film (except for motion picture film) and requires special chemical coatings, which Kodak says is very similar to what is required in Wildcat's Supercell EV batteries.

"[These machines are] probably a $70 million or $80 million machines, and we were selling them extremely cheap, [for less than] $2 million," Jim Continenza, CEO of Kodak, tells the Rome Sentinel. "And it's like, 'No, we've got to put this back to work. This is an incredible piece of equipment.'"

Continenza goes on to say that it was at that moment that he realized, accidentally, that George Eastman made a battery company, he just didn't know it. "It's identical to making film and coating on batteries."

n order to keep the company growing, Continenza and his team have been looking for ways to capitalize on the manufacturing capability of its Advanced Materials & Chemicals business at Eastman Business Park (formerly known as Kodak Park). Since then, Kodak has expanded into making components for pharmaceuticals, health care operations, and chemicals for various lab operations.

With this new vision for Kodak, the company has gone from laying off personnel to cope with a shrinking film industry, to working overtime to fill nearly 100 vacancies. That is a remarkable turnaround.

Tell a Friend

I was thinking the other day about how people love to tell me about their favorite podcasts, which I appreciate!

Then, I started thinking, we should be telling our friends about The Digital Story podcast. It's available on every service that's commonly used: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and on and on.

If each or our regular listeners told just one friend about this podcast and encouraged them to listen, those should be substantial numbers.

So let's try it! Tell a friend about the TDS Photography Podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

Have you been unsubscribed? A number of listeners have let me know that they were unceremoniously unsubscribed from the show. If that happens to you, just go back to the app and click on subscribe.

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 Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. 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 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.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #852, July 19, 2022. Today's theme is "Finally! Your Entire Digital Catalog in One Place with Peakto." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photography cataloging software has evolved a lot over the years. And as we move from software to software we often have to leave our older images behind. No more! Thanks to a breakthrough app called Peakto (for Mac), you can browse pictures from Aperture to Capture One, all in one interface, plus leverage the power of AI to search and sort. It's nothing short of amazing, and you'll learn all about it on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 852

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Finally! Your Entire Digital Catalog in One Place with Peakto

Peakto-Full-Interface-1024.jpg

I've been testing Peakto 1.0 and currently have it cataloging my Aperture and Capture One catalogs side by side, plus watching a few folders. And I have to say that I'm amazed. Let's start with its basic specs.

Peakto requires macOS 11 (Big Sur) or later and runs well on Apple M1 chips.
Peakto is compatible with:

  • Aperture catalogs from version 3.6
  • Lightroom Classic catalogs from version 5
  • Luminar catalogs from version 4.2
  • Luminar AI catalogs from version 1.0
  • Capture One catalogs from version 20
  • Apple Photos catalogs from version 6 (Big Sur)
  • iView Media Pro catalogs from version 3

A working copy of the supported apps (Apple Aperture, Lightroom, CaptureOne, iView Media Pro...) is not required when using Peakto, as Peakto opens those libraries natively.

Peakto gathers tons of existing data from your catalogs, such as EXIF, IPTC, keywords, ratings, geotags, and faces. The faces recognition is particularly impressive. All the faces data from my Aperture libraries were recognized in Peakto.

Working with Peakto

Peakto can pull from a variety of hard drives and keeps track of where everything is. If you edit a photo in one of your apps on one of your drives, Peakto will recognize the change and update the image in its browser.

If you unplug a drive that Peakto is following, you can still browse the images, even when the drive is detached. I've tested Peakto with external SSD, external HDD, and Drobos. Worked equally well with all.

If you have an older version of a catalog, let's say Capture One, Peakto will notify you to update it (by simply opening it in a current version of the app) before it can be cataloged. I'm going through that process now with some of my older stuff.

If you find an image that you want to do more with, Peakto will let you open it for editing in the native app, or it will point you to the location of the originating library in the Finder.

Impressive Use of AI and Organization

Obviously, we don't want to flat browse thousands of images to find what we're looking for. Peakto helps us with this process in two basic ways.

First, it shows us our original catalog organization. You can reveal a second column that shows you the organization from the original catalog, even if it's Lightroom, Aperture, or Capture One. It's amazing.

Next, you have your keywords, star ratings, labels, and faces info that you can use as search criteria as well.

And finally, Peakto uses AI that gathers images in intelligent ways such as by color or visual subject. This part is fun too.

Impact on Computer and Performance

Peakto stores everything in the Application Support folder. Currently it's occupying 10.14 GB for 226,329 items. I'm projecting that I will easily reach 500,000 items soon, guessing that I'll need 20 GBs of storage to manage that. A good deal indeed!

It does take time to register catalogs. This is a multi-phase process that can operate in the background once it gets to a certain stage.

I set up five catalogs last night and went to bed. Everything was completed this morning, probably a good way to go in the beginning.

Clever Trick for Exporting Pictures Out of Peakto

Even if you don't have the host app available, you can export high quality Jpegs out of Peakto. Here's how I did it for images in an Aperture catalog.

  • Create an album or reuse an existing album. Note that you can create an album from the current selection easily.
  • Put all images to export in the album.
  • Choose "Export Album" from the Contextual menu.
  • You will be presented with the Export dialog. It is a fairly sophisticated export dialog because we need to handle the presence/absence of large resolution 'previews' for all the images selected.
    Peakto will carefully analyze what is available. Take Aperture for example: Aperture usually stores 1:1 image previews for all images. Exporting from Peakto will give you the ability to export those high resolution images.
    Lightroom has several options when it comes to preview sizes and quality, and we will analyse what is available and export it.

Peakto Pricing

Peakto is available three ways:

  • $9.99 Monthly with Zero Risk 7 day free trial.
  • $99 Yearly per seat with 15 day free trial.
  • $189 One time per seat with 30 day Money back guarantee.

Final Thoughts

I am wildly impressed with Peakto, and it is going to change my archiving and retrieval forever, and for the best.

Become a Medium Member and Support Independent Writers

The articles that I publish on Medium.com are an important part of our overall ecosystem. That work introduces new members to our community and what we're doing here.

If you enjoy the vast array of great writing on Medium, including the photography articles, consider becoming a member to support me and the other writers there.

Please use this link to do so.

Uh-oh: Cash-strapped storage company Drobo files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

You can read the entire article on PopPhotography.com.

The data storage company, Drobo is facing an uncertain future. Late last month, the brand and its parent company, StorCentric, both simultaneously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in California's Northern Bankruptcy Court (San Jose).

It's sad news for one of the earliest names in both direct- and network-attached storage, but it's not necessarily the end quite yet, as one or both companies could emerge rejuvenated. Should that happen, hopefully, the brand's products will have been reworked to reflect the needs and realities of the current storage market.

In the final weeks of 2018, the new company released its first--and to date, only--new Drobo product, the Drobo 8D. Initially, things seemed to be on the right path, with early reviews proving quite positive. But then in the second half of 2018, the stock suddenly disappeared from shelves right as StorCentric seemed ready to spread its wings. Over the next six months, availability fluctuated before the 8D suddenly disappeared altogether in March 2020.

The newest storage device wasn't alone in vanishing from the company's product listings, as the 5D, 5Dt, and B1200i models were also discontinued around the same time the 8D went AWOL. Five other Drobo models remain listed on the company's website, but all were geriatric, having launched anywhere from five to seven years earlier. By early 2020, only two of these five were still available at retail. (As of today, not a single one remains available to purchase.) Yet Drobo remained silent as to the reasons for its supply issues.

The process both Drobo and StorCentric have entered is for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This indicates an intention to reorganize the companies while under the control of a trustee, with the goal being to resolve debts and return the company to solvency, possibly under the control of the debtors should insufficient funds be available to cover their debts.

At the same time, though, there's no guarantee that Chapter 11 proceedings will reach a successful conclusion.

Tell a Friend

I was thinking the other day about how people love to tell me about their favorite podcasts, which I appreciate!

Then, I started thinking, we should be telling our friends about The Digital Story podcast. It's available on every service that's commonly used: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and on and on.

If each or our regular listeners told just one friend about this podcast and encouraged them to listen, those should be substantial numbers.

So let's try it! Tell a friend about the TDS Photography Podcast.

How to Go from Garden to Greeting Card in 3 Easy Steps

You can read the entire article on TheDigitalStory.com.

Whether you have a window box over the kitchen sink, clay pots on the patio, or a raised bed in the backyard, the flowers you cultivate can live far beyond their vase-life expectancy with the help of your camera and inkjet printer.

Fine art greeting cards are one of the most satisfying print projects, and they are very easy to create. All you have to do is photograph a few of your favorite blossoms, then follow these simple steps.

1 - Prepare the Image

The finish size for our greeting card will be 5" tall and 7" wide. So you'll want to crop your image to 5"x7" so it looks exactly as you want on the front of the card. This is especially important if you're going to print a "full bleed" edge-to-edge picture.

Also, if you're printing on a matte surface paper, I would add a little extra sharpening to compensate for dot spread.

2 - Choose Your Paper

I recommend Red River Paper pre-scored 7x10 60lb. paper for this project. It has a lovely weight, folds easily along the score, and is available in a variety of surfaces.

For this project, I used Item #1058, 60lb. Red River Paper Canvas. Images look terrific on this matte surface, and the card feels absolutely lovely in the hands. There are many other stocks that work wonderfully as well, so have a few on hand. And don't forget to add a box of 5.25"x7.25" envelopes to your order.

3 - Print the Card

You can use any app that supports inkjet printing. I'm currently using Photos for macOS because it's easy and provides good results.

Prefold your card so that it's 5"x7" in dimension and insert it into the printer intake tray. Fold the card as flat as possible to ensure that it feeds smoothly. I print just one card at a time to prevent paper jams. (I know you're thinking that this won't work, but it does on both of my inkjet printers.)

In the print dialog box, set up your job. If you want to float the image on the front of the card, use the settings in the illustration below. (I think this is a handsome pro touch!)

Now all you have to do is enable Print, and within a few minutes your finished card will emerge from the printer. Finish it off by writing a note on the inside and put it in the envelope. You're ready to go!

Virtual Camera Club News

Have you been unsubscribed? A number of listeners have let me know that they were unceremoniously unsubscribed from the show. If that happens to you, just go back to the app and click on subscribe.

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 Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. 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 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.

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.

Whether you have a window box over the kitchen sink, clay pots on the patio, or a raised bed in the backyard, the flowers you cultivate can live far beyond their vase-life expectancy with the help of your camera and inkjet printer.

DSCF2172.jpeg

Fine art greeting cards are one of the most satisfying print projects, and they are very easy to create. All you have to do is photograph a few of your favorite blossoms, then follow these simple steps.

1 - Prepare the Image

The finish size for our greeting card will be 5" tall and 7" wide. So you'll want to crop your image to 5"x7" so it looks exactly as you want on the front of the card. This is especially important if you're going to print a "full bleed" edge-to-edge picture.

P7121865-1024.jpeg Image cropped to fit properly on card.

Also, if you're printing on a matte surface paper, I would add a little extra sharpening to compensate for dot spread.

2 - Choose Your Paper

I recommend Red River Paper pre-scored 7x10 60lb. paper for this project. It has a lovely weight, folds easily along the score, and is available in a variety of surfaces.

For this project, I used Item #1058, 60lb. Red River Paper Canvas. Images look terrific on this matte surface, and the card feels absolutely lovely in the hands. There are many other stocks that work wonderfully as well, so have a few on hand. And don't forget to add a box of 5.25"x7.25" envelopes to your order.

3 - Print the Card

You can use any app that supports inkjet printing. I'm currently using Photos for macOS because it's easy and provides good results.

Prefold your card so that it's 5"x7" in dimension and insert it into the printer intake tray. Fold the card as flat as possible to ensure that it feeds smoothly. I print just one card at a time to prevent paper jams. (I know you're thinking that this won't work, but it does on both of my inkjet printers.)

In the print dialog box, set up your job. If you want to float the image on the front of the card, use the settings in the illustration below. (I think this is a handsome pro touch!)

Step-1-Print-Job-1024-v2.jpg

Now all you have to do is enable Print, and within a few minutes your finished card will emerge from the printer. Finish it off by writing a note on the inside and put it in the envelope. You're ready to go!

Final Thoughts

What I love about this project is that it combines the beauty of gardening with the joy of sharing handmade greeting cards with those you care about.

You don't need a professional photo printer - just about any all-purpose inkjet device will work. And trust me, you will truly impress the recipients with your "garden to fine art" skills.

Make someone happy today!

IMG_1664.jpeg Printing days are fun! All images by Derrick Story.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #851, July 12, 2022. Today's theme is "5 Great Vintage Lenses for Your Digital Camera." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Creative photography is often about character. How can we create looks that are unique and convey the intended emotion. One of my favorite starting points for this is to adapt a vintage lens to my Olympus PEN-F. Everything changes, from process to outcome. And the images are truly different. In today's podcast, I share 5 of my favorite vintage optics for digital photography. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 851

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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5 Great Vintage Lenses for Your Digital Camera

P7072498-vintage-lenses-1024.jpg

If you're interested in this technique, there are a few things you will need. First, a mirrorless camera that you like to experiment with, not so much your workhorse. You want to be able to leave the optic on the camera to grab when inspiration strikes.

You'll need an adapter. These are reasonably priced and are specific to the lens mount and camera. I have a small collection of these so I can adapt a variety of optics to my PEN-F and Fuji X100S. And finally, you'll need the lens itself, preferably a prime that is f/2.8 or faster.

As a bonus, I do like to have a film body to go with the lens. Every now and then it's fun to load up a roll of 35mm and experiment further.

OK, so all of that being said, here are five vintage optics that I've really enjoyed using.

Minolta MD Rokkor-x 45mm f/2.0

This is a relatively easy to find optic that is very compact, fast, and produces great images. It's a terrific portrait optic on Micro Four Thirds cameras because the equivalent focal length is 90mms.

I do like the compact primes for this work because even with the adapter, they still look good on the camera and are easy to handle and shoot with.

flowers-1024.jpeg Backyard flowers captured with the Zeiss 45mm f/2.8 on a PEN-F. Photo by Derrick Story.

Carl Zeiss Tessar T* 45mm f/2.8

This is my favorite vintage optic on the PEN-F. It costs a bit more than the Minolta 45mm, but it is even more compact, and truly looks like it was designed for the camera.

The Tessar is sharp, contrasty, and produces great color or B&W images. I particularly like it with the Mono setting on the PEN-F for contrasty, artistic B&W work.

This lens is an absolute beauty.

SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4

Surprisingly compact for such a fast optic with a beautiful front objective lens. The Pentax is a bit heftier than the Minolta or Zeiss 45s, but you get crazy-fast wide aperture with impressive falloff and creamy backgrounds.

The Pentax 50mm is also relatively easy to find, and also is available and f/1.7 and f/2.0 versions. You won't be disappointed with either color or B&W output.

Nikon Series E 100mm f/2.8

I first fell in love with the Series E 100mm for film work, but then was enchanted all over again when adapted to the Fujifilm X100s medium format camera.

With a crop factor of 0.79, the Nikon becomes a cool 79mm portrait lens on the GFX. And just as a point of interest, the Fujifilm does have a 35mm setting on the camera for this application.

Nikon Series E 35mm f/2.5

This is such a handy lens that works well on a variety of digital cameras. If you mount on a Nikon full frame DSLR, it's a versatile 35mm lens, put it on a MFT body, and it becomes a lovely 70mm portrait optic, and on the GFX medium format camera, it goes wide at 28mm.

The Series E lenses are affordable, but not always easy to come by, so you need to keep your eyes open for when one pops up on the used market.

And then if you want to go for the grand slam, score a Nikon film body too and head out for a little analog street photography.

Final Thoughts

All of these lenses give you a different look from their modern counterparts. But there are other factors involved that contribute to the unique outcome. Manual focus slows you down and often makes for more interesting compositions, and motivation to experiment with other settings on the camera such as Art Filters and monochrome further pushes the creative envelope.

P7072470-vintage-lenses-1024.jpg Olympus PEN-F with adapter and Zeiss 45mm f/2.8 vintage lens.

If you're photography is feeling a bit in the rut, a vintage lens might just get you rolling again in the creative fast lane.

Become a Medium Member and Support Independent Writers

The articles that I publish on Medium.com are an important part of our overall ecosystem. That work introduces new members to our community and what we're doing here.

If you enjoy the vast array of great writing on Medium, including the photography articles, consider becoming a member to support me and the other writers there.

Please use this link to do so.

2021 Was Leica's Best Financial Year Ever

You can read the entire article on PetaPixel.com.

Leica has announced that 2021/22 was its best financial year in its more than 100-year history. It increased revenue by 16% to 450 million euros.

The financial year was between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022 which resulted in the best business result in the company's history of more than 100 years.

Leica CEO Matthias Harsch says that in addition to these numbers, sales of cameras and sports optics were also up and allowed the company to accelerate international growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on supply chains and retail stores.

"We are convinced that our products 'made in Germany' fulfill the strongly growing consumer demand for high-quality sustainable brands and that our new product categories will generate increasing enthusiasm for the world of Leica photography in younger target groups," Harsch says.

The company says that a significant factor in its growth was the expansion of its global sales and retail network as well as the online business sector.

"With the realignment of US business activities and the founding of regional organizations in the Middle East and Scandinavia, the company further consolidated its activities in strategically important premium markets," Leica reports.ctions in camera design.'

Tell a Friend

I was thinking the other day about how people love to tell me about their favorite podcasts, which I appreciate!

Then, I started thinking, we should be telling our friends about The Digital Story podcast. It's available on every service that's commonly used: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and on and on.

If each or our regular listeners told just one friend about this podcast and encouraged them to listen, those should be substantial numbers.

So let's try it! Tell a friend about the TDS Photography Podcast.

How to Create a Photography Website and Print Store

You can read the entire article on thewanderinglens.com.

Good article that covers the basic considerations for creating a photography website.

Virtual Camera Club News

Have you been unsubscribed? A number of listeners have let me know that they were unceremoniously unsubscribed from the show. If that happens to you, just go back to the app and click on subscribe.

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 Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. 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 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.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #850, July 5, 2022. Today's theme is "The Photography Endgame." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When you sit back and analyze the world of photography today, it's not unusual to wonder where you fit in. There was a time when making a pretty picture separated us from the snapshooters. But technology has dethroned that king. So why do we keep buying cameras, attending classes, reading articles, and yes, laboring over our images? I will share my theory in today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 850

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In

The Photography Endgame

IR-Palms-1024.jpeg

I've been thinking about this for a while, but a few insights came to light during our recent Infrared Photography Workshop. We had a group of seasoned photographers spending time learning new techniques that at times were frustrating and that also involved purchasing new equipment.

The kicker was, ironically, that very few people outside of the group would appreciate the images that we produced. We shared stories of entering IR shots in camera club competitions, showing our work to loved ones, and posting these images on social - all with predictable outcomes: hardly anyone preferred them to our postcard shots of a sunset with an iPhone.

And yet, we kept working. Not because we had to, but because we really wanted to. Each of us wanted to find our own voice in this Stranger Things upside down world of photography. And we loved it.

After our wonderful final presentations, I was fascinated by the entire experience. And it dawned on me that this was an analogy for all of enthusiast photography today.

As I continued thinking about this, I came up with 5 reasons why many of us keep investing time, money, and energy into the pursuit of creative photography, and what our possible endgame is.

Making a Pretty Picture No Longer Matters

I know that I've mentioned in passing that I'm cleaning out and redesigning my studio. A big part of that process is recycling, repurposing, and sometimes throwing away things that I've held on to.

I'm amazed at how many pretty pictures I've taken over the past 5 decades. And for the most part, they bore the hell out of me. What I used to spend hours on I can now accomplish in seconds with my iPhone - and so can everyone else.

Pretty pictures tied to good memories are valuable. But beyond that, they are not a meaningful part of serious artistic photography.

We Now Judged Against a Global Community

When I was a photographer for a local newspaper in my 20s, my world was family, friends, school, and town. In those days, Chino had a population of 10,000. A fraction of those people owned interchangeable lens cameras. I was a big fish in a small pond.

Today, when I post a picture on Instagram, it has the ability to reach practically every corner of the world, and I am compared to millions of photographers.

None of us are going to be the big fish in the vast churning worldwide ocean.

Why We Buy Interchangeable Lens Cameras and Rangefinders

Because pretty pictures no longer matter, and smartphones take pretty pictures. We need tools that allow us to make unusual images that look different than sunsets over the ocean.

In the hands of a creative, a $2,000 kit can bend to our wills of creating something different, imperfect, and yes, at times unattractive. But we made it, not the technology.

As a bonus, we get to use tools that feel good, appeal to our sense of mechanical appreciation, and have an iconic look.

Photography Is Our Creative Voice

The bulk of our life is spent sleeping, eating, doing chores, going to work, and interacting with friends and family.

For most folks, none of that is particularly creative. But for us, photography is our expression. And the possibilities are unlimited.

We can be expressing our creative voice with these tools through every phase of our life to the very end when a nurse tilts our wheelchair on its back to allow us to take pictures of a beautiful cloudy sky.

There are few pursuits in life that offer the creative flexibility or longevity that photography does.

In the End, the Final Picture Doesn't Matter

Yes, every now and then it's nice to turn the laptop to a friend sitting next to us and ask, "So what do you think of this shot?" But their response has absolutely nothing to do with our motivation to continue.

We make pictures because we love the journey. The destination does not matter.

There is no photography endgame. These is pursuit, evolution, pleasure, wonder, surprise, and a love of hardware and software.

Very few things in life deliver the thrill of a decisive moment caught through our lens and nurtured with software on our laptop screen.

Let's face it: much of life is disappointing. But photography is the silver thread that runs through it, that magical path that travels from our heart and mind to the outside world.

No one is going to care about our pictures as much as we do. And that's just fine.

Film Friday: A tribute to the Olympus OM-1 on its 50th anniversary

You can read the entire article on DPReview.com.

In honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Olympus OM-1, Kosmo Foto founder Stephen Dowling has written up a comprehensive tribute to the camera that redefined what an SLR camera could be by keeping the design simple and compact without sacrificing too much functionality.

As we've covered before, the Olympus OM-1 wasn't the original plan. Olympus designer Yoshihisa Maitani had originally conceptualized and eventually developed a prototype for a camera that we now know was called the Olympus OM-X. This camera was similar in style to Hasselblad cameras, but used 35mm film instead of the 120 rolls its medium format counterpart used.

Unfortunately, that design proved too complicated to produce at scale, so it stopped at the prototype stage. Eventually, Maitani settled on making the OM-1, a camera he had envisioned as an incredibly compact 35mm camera from the get-go. So small, in fact, that he used the Nikon F as the measuring stick and told his engineers that he wanted the OM-1 to be 20-percent smaller in all dimensions and weigh just half of what the Nikon F did.

Although not easy, the Olympus team eventually pulled through with Maitani at the helm, delivering a camera that measured only marginally larger than his original concept. To achieve this, Maitani and his team used new technologies and materials to make the most of every component. While the camera was originally named the M-1, Leica took issue with that due to its own M1 camera, so it was eventually named the OM-1 to minimize confusion.

Eventually, the camera was revealed at the Photokina photographic fair in Cologne, West Germany, in May 1972. The first units started arriving at stores just under a year later in February 1973 and started what Dowling refers to as an 'arms race' amongst the other major camera manufacturers, paving the way for the likes of the Canon A-1 and others.

Dowling concludes the article saying the OM-1 is 'a testament to Maitani's skill at finding new directions in camera design.'

Tell a Friend

I was thinking the other day about how people love to tell me about their favorite podcasts, which I appreciate!

Then, I started thinking, we should be telling our friends about The Digital Story podcast. It's available on every service that's commonly used: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and on and on.

If each or our regular listeners told just one friend about this podcast and encouraged them to listen, those should be substantial numbers.

So let's try it! Tell a friend about the TDS Photography Podcast.

How Much Does Image Quality Really Matter?

You can read the entire article on FStoppers.com.

Modern cameras and lenses offer remarkably good image quality -- levels that were only dreamed of even just a decade ago. And with those increased capabilities have come increased standards and expectations. But at this point, how much image quality do we really need? This interesting video poses the question and examines a scenario where getting the shot might take precedence.

Coming to you from Jiggie Alejandrino, this thought-provoking video examines the question of how much image quality we really need.

I'm reminded of one of my first headshot sessions. At that time, I would automatically remove any image where I didn't absolutely nail the focus. The client was not especially satisfied with what that left and asked me where many of the photos in which he knew he was smiling had gone to. I explained my reasoning, but he asked to see them anyway, and he was immediately far more pleased. He ended up selecting one where I had barely missed focus; a little extra sharpening got it plenty close enough. It was then that I realized there is a way a photographer sees images and a way a client sees them, and it is important that we understand both, because technical perfection is far from everything.

Check out the video above for the full rundown from Alejandrino.

Virtual Camera Club News

Have you been unsubscribed? A number of listeners have let me know that they were unceremoniously unsubscribed from the show. If that happens to you, just go back to the app and click on subscribe.

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 Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. 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 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.

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.

You're going to hear a lot of pros and cons about the just-released iPad version of Capture One, just like you would with any V1 software. But the fact of the matter is that this is a great start for mobile photographers who like to shoot RAW.

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And to make it an even better start for you, here are 5 tips to get you headed in the right direction.

Its Minimum Specs are Conservative

Technically, according to the FAQs, Capture One only runs on newer iPads. For example, my iPad mini 5 is not officially supported, but I've been using the software on that device without any problems since the official release.

There is a 7 day free trial period if you want to test your iPad. If you're only a generation off, I would definitely try it out.

Dig Out Your iPad SD Card Reader

The joy of Capture One on the iPad is its beautiful RAW processing. And unlike tossing around Jpegs wirelessly from device to device, a SD card reader is the best way to go for RAW files.

So, it's time to dig around in the bottom of your gadget bag to retrieve that iPad card reader. You'll be glad you did.

Load All of the Styles You Own on to the iPad

The user interface for the adjustment tools on the iPad are good, but your existing Styles for the desktop version of the app work on the iPad as well, and they are easy to use.

You'll always know which Style you applied, which is really helpful if you want to use it again on another image. And it's easy to stack Styles too.

Here are the instructions for adding Styles to the iPad. I really like using them with this workflow.

Add Cloud Transfer

At the moment, Cloud Transfer isn't anything to get really excited about. But it is the easiest way to move an album of freshly edited iPad images to your desktop application.

cloud-transfer.jpg Add Cloud Transfer to your desktop app toolbar.

The first thing you'll want to do is add Cloud Transfer to your top toolbar in Capture One Pro on the computer. Here are the instructions for setting up Cloud Transfer.

IMG_0255.jpeg An album of iPad images being uploaded from the iPad to the cloud.

This is one area that we will see workflow improvements in the coming versions.

Remove from Cloud after Transfer

Since you're driving on a one way street here (iPad to desktop), you should remove transfers from the cloud server after completion.

"Once you have transferred your photos, you can go back to your iPad and in the three-dot menu for an album you will find an option to "remove from cloud". This will free up space for your next uploads. If you also want to remove the photos from the iPad, you can delete them by selecting them and pressing the delete button. They will be moved to the trash if you want to restore them; if you remove them from the trash too, they will be completely gone from your iPad."

How you manage the RAW files you've uploaded to the iPad will depend on your particular workflow. Some folks will want to keep some of the images on the mobile device to play with while on the go. For others, once the files have been moved to the desktop application, they will want to free up space on their device and in the cloud.

Final Thoughts

Once I dug into Capture One on the iPad, I enjoyed editing my images there. You can bring in content from Files, Photos for iOS, and of course camera memory cards.

It's too early to tell how my workflow will shake out with this new option. But the journey looks like a lot of fun.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #849, June 28, 2022. Today's theme is "And Yet, Things Still Go Wrong." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

As I see it, a major difference between the analog age and modern digital times, is there are more ways to screw up today than ever. Whether it's a flagship mirrorless camera, state of the art Apple watch, or an all electric SUV, their amazing powers at times seem to hang in a delicate balance. On today's TDS Podcast, I share a few recent examples. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 849

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


podcast-icon.jpeg

Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher

Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In

And Yet, Things Still Go Wrong

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No RAWs in Slot #1

I'm still not sure how this happened, but I came away from an important shoot with only Jpegs.

Snap Out of Focus

I pulled the camera out of my bag to grab a quick shot of a decisive moment only to have 5 frames of fuzz.

Power Misalignment

On the same day, I misaligned my Apple Watch on its recharging stand and my iPhone on its wireless pad.

All Systems Not Go

I get into my EV and it promptly tells me that the system isn't working properly and that I should contact the dealer. I turn off the car, count to 10, and power up again. Everything is fine. Sound familiar?

The Internet is Broken!

So often when I'm in public spaces, my iPhone tells me that it can't connect to the Internet, even though I have 4 bars on my cellular. But instead of using that, it decides to connect to some bogus WiFi network that is a bridge to nowhere.

So, while all of this is going on, back at the house my Timex quartz is ticking away, my Pentax LX still has a half a roll of film and is patiently waiting for me to finish it off, and the Audi A3 has 8 gallons of premium petro ready to blast off.

I'm beginning to think that to survive in today's world, enjoy the convenience of digital when it's working, but it doesn't hurt to have an analog backup -- just in case.

Free, Open-Source Photo Manager DigiKam Gets a Big Update

You can read the entire article on PetaPixel.com.

DigiKam, the free open-source multi-platform digital photo management application, has released version 7.7 for Windows, macOS, and Linux that adds new features, support for more cameras, and fixes a bunch of bugs.

The update to the free professional photo management software comes just a few months after the last major feature release that brought support for the AOM AV1 image file format as well as adding and updating the read/write support for the JPEG-XL image format in all supported bundles.

The 7.7 update brings support for the Olympus OM-1 mirrorless micro four-third system allowing the new camera and lens combinations to be recognized by the application, bringing the number of supported RAW cameras up to more than 1180.

Version 7.7 also includes 84 crash, bug, and maintenance fixes to improve the overall experience and performance, including better support of the HEIF images from the various iPhone cameras, updated operating system support (Windows/Mac/Linux), and adds features like Pinterest exporting, Picasa 3 migration, and the ability to export PSD files to Google Photos.

Apple explains how it's making your iPhone a full-fledged webcam for your Mac

You can read the entire article on The Verge.

Apple software engineer Karen Xing spent some time explaining how the new Continuity Camera feature for macOS Ventura will actually work at WWDC 2022 -- and it sounds seriously impressive. It could make your iPhone a full-fledged camera for Mac, one that does most everything you'd expect and more.

macOS will detect your iPhone as a camera and microphone, period, so every camera app should work. While Apple only showed off FaceTime and mentioned Zoom, Teams, and Webex during the big WWDC 2022 keynote, developers shouldn't need to do anything to their apps for them to work.

You get Portrait Mode, "Studio Light," and Center Stage options regardless of the app, too. They're in a Control Center dropdown menu, alongside your iPhone's battery.

FaceTime isn't the only app that'll "magically" switch to your iPhone when you plop it down. Xing demoed that with Zoom, and Apple's offering up an automatic camera selection API that other apps can use, too. macOS Ventura will automatically switch to your iPhone if it's mounted on a stand and either plugged in via USB or detected as "nearby" using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

There's an API for Apple's nifty Desk View mode, too. Apple figured out a way to bend and crop images from the iPhone's super-ultrawide lens to let you show off things on the surface of your desk without moving your phone. That's available for app devs, too, and Xing showed it off as a way to present in Zoom.

Unfortunately, none of this works with those old iPhones you've got sitting in a drawer. Continuity Camera requires iOS 16 in addition to macOS 13, Xing revealed -- and unfortunately, the iPhone 6S, 7, and first-gen iPhone SE and earlier won't be getting the iOS 16 software update. That's a shame because it feels like it could be a great way to make use of an older phone that doesn't have resale value. Still, there are other ways to turn an old spare phone into a webcam.

DPI vs PPI

You can read the entire article on theWanderlingLens.com site.

There's a lot of good info in this article about printing. And one gem deals with DPI, which stands for Dots per Inch regarding ink droplets on paper, and PPI, which stands for Pixels per Inch and refers to resolution of digital images on screens.

When printing, the standard is 300 dpi.

Virtual Camera Club News

Have you been unsubscribed? A number of listeners have let me know that they were unceremoniously unsubscribed from the show. If that happens to you, just go back to the app and click on subscribe.

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 Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. 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 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.

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.