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If it's time to relocate your Aperture images to Lightroom, this new app might be just the solution that you've been waiting for.

Avalanche is designed to convert catalogs of photographs from one application to another while keeping the organizational structures intact, ensuring all metadata flows without losses, and that image adjustments are replicated with the best possible results.

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Avalanche for Lightroom, the first version of Avalanche, focuses on providing a solution for photographers with photos stuck in Apple Aperture that isn't supported anymore by Apple. Since the release of Catalina, Aperture users can't rely on launching Aperture anymore to access their photo libraries. Avalanche allows a smooth transfer of the libraries towards other applications - today toward Lightroom or folders, and soon including other apps like Luminar and Capture One Pro.

"We designed Avalanche because we were not satisfied by the existing solutions to migrate our many photo catalogs out of Aperture." said Matthieu Kopp, CYME co-founder and CTO. "We realized that being able to switch our preferred cataloging/app was important as many great photo edition apps exist in this space. Being able to move all our images with metadata, organisation structure, and some edits was opening new perspectives and giving us a much wanted freedom of choice."

But Avalanche does not stop here. "We wanted to ensure that everything that was present in the source catalog was converted, even if it looked hard or impossible. Therefore Avalanche converts Faces and recreates them, not as keywords like other solutions do, but as real face detections in the destination catalog."

"Avalanche not only does a great job at opening and converting those catalogs, but we added some unique Machine Learning capabilities to transfer a number of adjustments. And when Avalanche estimates that a picture has adjustments that are too complex to migrate, it places the image in a dedicated album for the user to review after conversion."

Avalanche Features

  • Browser interface to easily find all catalogs on all connected volumes.
  • User friendly conversion screen with detailed information about the content to be converted and detailed progress monitoring.
  • Detailed reporting screen and a conversion log in the form of a CSV file to easily find out what errors were encountered (missing files, corrupted database situations...
  • Aperture Masters and Versions copies are fully converted into masters and virtual copies in Lightroom.
  • Videos and video versions are fully converted into master videos and virtual copies in Lightroom.
  • Albums: simple albums are recreated in the target catalog. Smart albums are not converted.
  • Face definitions and face detections are fully converted in Lightroom.
  • All customs annotations, flags, ratings, color labels are converted.
  • Keywords are converted with full support for hierarchies.
  • All IPTC and EXIF metadata is supported. Avalanche even harvests EXIF data from the master files to enrich the target catalog.
  • Projects, Folders, Stacks are recreated in Lightroom.
  • AI powered adjustments: WB temperature and tint, exposure, contrast, vibrancy, saturation, black and white levels, highlights and shadows are converted using Machine Learning (ML).
  • Curves are converted.
  • Images converted to black and white are properly migrated and ML is used to infer the proper color mix from color space to black and white.
  • Conversion options letting you decide how to handle referenced files, videos, etc...
  • The choice of folder hierarchy for the copied master files.

System Requirements

Avalanche for Lightroom requires macOS 10.14 or later and runs fine on Catalina. You'll need around 145 MB of free space, 4 GB of memory (8 GB is recommended) and enough space to accommodate the converted libraries. A working copy of Apple Aperture is NOT required to migrate Aperture libraries as Avalanche opens those libraries natively.

Visit the Avalanche home page for more information, trial version, or to purchase for $59.

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

The latest update to Pixelmator Pro (v. 1.5.4 Avalon) includes ML Super Resolution. And it's fantastic.

super-Rez.jpg Image already enhanced using ML Super Resolution.

I took this feature for a test spin with a product shot of a Nikon F that measured 2400 x 1733 pixels. I opened the image in Pixelmator Pro and applied ML Super Resolution, then exported the shot as a Jpeg. The resampled image measured 7200 x 5199 pixels, and it looked better than the original. Here are the comparison shots.

original-shot.jpg Original image at 2400 x 1733 pixels.

super-rez-version.jpg Super Resolution version at 7200 x 5199 pixels.

Instead of using just "nearest neighbor" upscaling, Pixelmator uses machine learning to take into account additional elements in the image such as textures and patterns.

The speed of the process varies depending on your hardware. If you have a current Mac that can tap Core ML 3 and multi-GPU support, then the resampling takes just seconds. But if you have an older machine, such as my mid-2014 MBP, it still works, but takes much longer. There was a big time difference between my current iMac and aging laptop.

Regardless of processing time, it's worth the wait. The results were truly impressive. Suddenly, I'm thinking about additional opportunities for my 12 MP Nikon D700...

Pixelmator Pro is available in the Mac App Store for $39.99. It was a great value prior to ML Super Resolution.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #718, Dec. 17, 2019. Today's theme is "Is Capture One Pro 20 the Logical Alternative to Lightroom?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Among all the camera discounts and holiday hub-bub this December, there was some software news as well. Phase One released a major update to its photo management app, Capture One Pro 20. What's interesting about this latest version is that it's aimed squarely at disenchanted Lightroom photographers. Is it truly to logical alternative to Adobe products? I'll explore the possibilities on today's TDS podcast.

Is Capture One Pro 20 the Logical Alternative to Lightroom?

When I look at some of the refinements in Capture One Pro 20, no doubt they are hoping to lure a few Lightroom users their way. Things like the simplified color panel, more friendly crop tool, and even a keyboard shortcut change that matches Lightroom for switching from a single photo to thumbnails (G).

C1p20-LR-Import.jpg

But is Capture One Pro the logical alternative? Let's take a look at five strengths of each application, then resume this discussion.

Capture One Pro 20 Strengths

  • RAW Processing. The hands down winner IMHO.
  • Layers and luminosity masks, so easy, so powerful.
  • Fully configurable workspaces - very customizable
  • Outstanding color tools, especially for portrait work.
  • Almost magical exposure controls, especially Contrast, Highlights, and Shadows.

Lightroom Strengths

  • HDR and panorama processing.
  • Cloud integration with outstanding mobile apps.
  • More training, 3rd party plugins, bigger ecosystem.
  • Price. Yes, believe it or not, I think Lightroom is more affordable.
  • Better integration with Photoshop and the entire Adobe ecosystem.

So if you're dissatisfied with Lightroom, the place to start is why are you looking to change?

If it's price, then you might want to stick with Lightroom. Capture One Perpetual license is $299. And let's say that I upgrade every other version. So to upgrade from version 11 is $199. So this investment should last me 48 month, provided that I only upgrade every other year. And the price still works out to $10.35 a month.

If I go with the subscription plan for C1P, which keeps me current through all the version, that will cost me $20 a month if I pay monthly, or $180 a year if I pay all at once. Again more costly than the $10 a month I'm currently paying for Lightroom, Photoshop, and LR Mobile.

If speed is your issue, I don't think you'll really be any happier with Capture One Pro. I never really notice a difference working on one app or the other.

So which one you use will most likely come down to features. In my case, I like the library management better in Capture One, not to mention the RAW processing.

But, I also have Lightroom for my panoramas, cloud connectivity, and HDR processing.

If I had to choose just one, I would pick Capture One Pro. But I'm glad that I don't have to do that. Because there are a lot of things that I like about Lightroom as well.

Adobe Photoshop for iPad gets AI-powered Select Subject feature

You can read the entire article here on DP Review.

At launch, Adobe said more powerful features would be added over time and back in November the company Adobe provided more detail on timelines and features that are to come.

As promised, the AI-powered Select Subject feature which lets you isolate objects in the scene from the background has now been made available. In most cases, a selection can be made just with one tap, even if the subject has a complex outline. In a second step filters or other edits can be applied to either the isolated subject or the background.

Adobe says the function works and performs on the same level as for the desktop version, despite the iPad's processing limitations. Machine learning was used to train the tool's algorithms using a wide range of objects and scenes but the company says it is still working on optimization for difficult subjects like hair or fur.

Additionally, the app has been updated with faster cloud upload and download some user interface tweaks. More information is available on the Adobe website.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

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

LA Street Photography Experience - This 3-day event on March 13-15 is going to be exciting. If you want to join Mike and me this coming March, just visit the information and registration page, or go to www.thenimblephotographer.com and click on the Workshops link, or go to the Olympus site - no matter how you get there, Mike and I are looking forward to working with you this coming Spring.

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

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

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

iPadOS has changed a lot of things for photographers who use Apple tools. Now we have a robust Photos app on the iPad, including tools for editing videos that we don't have on the Mac. I'm serious. Take a look at this short movie to see what I'm talking about.

Why it's better to edit video on an iPad than your Mac from Photos for macOS Catalina Essential Training by Derrick Story

Sure we have lots of video editing options for both platforms. But in this case, that's not the point. If you're an iPhone-toting photographer connected to iCloud, then when you record video with your smartphone, it's right there in the ecosystem waiting for you.

You don't have to transfer it to another app or platform; just open Photos for iPadOS, click on your movie, then adjust exposure, white balance, crop, straighten, and even apply filters. The adjustments are non-destructive and the completed work is available on all your devices via iCloud. It's really slick.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS

This is just one of the many cool topics that I cover in my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

videos-iPadOS.jpg

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

One of my favorite compact cameras, the Fujifilm XF10 doesn't have an optical or electronic viewfinder. I compose off the LCD screen. Most of the time this is just fine. But how about those times (can you say bright, sunny day?) when life would be better with a viewfinder? Take a look at this.

finder-on-bottom.jpg Optical viewfinder attached to the bottom of the camera using the tripod socket.

Since the XF10 doesn't have a hot shoe (because it does have a built-in flash), the tripod socket becomes the best non-destructive way to attach a viewfinder. At this point you're probably saying, "But Derrick, it's on the bottom of the camera!" Indeed it is, and it hasn't made a lick of difference to me while shooting.

PC130527.jpg The parts needed for my DIY viewfinder assembly.

In real life, I shoot with the LCD when I can. If I need more, I just attach the optical viewfinder and look through it when needed. Because the top of the XF10 is flat, I can just set it on the table upside down.

PC130521.jpg

For this project, I've repurposed an Olympus VF-1 optical finder that has frame lines for a 34mm lens. But you can use any viewfinder that you can find, as long as it fits in a hot shoe or has a tripod socket. In my case, I attached a cold shoe to the camera's tripod socket, then I just slide the viewfinder in as needed.

For 28mm shots I compose outside of the frame lines. When I have the XF10 set to 35mm focal length, the frame lines are a perfect match. And I to have the LCD right there if I need it for reference.

I wouldn't use this rig for close up work because of parallax, but for general portrait and travel photography, it works great.

Who ever said that the viewfinder had to be on top? And if it does, then just turn the camera upside down and shoot that way.

PC130522.jpg Or, just turn it upside down.

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

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

IMG_5590.jpg

It's something that practically all photographers have... somewhere. Yes, the "easy to lose" but really useful remote controller device. And now is the time to find it.

The holiday season is perfect for long exposures of interior decorations (hopefully with a little bokeh for flavor), group shots that you are actually a part of, and weird camera positions where you're on your tiptoes to see what's on the LCD screen. And these all are easier with a remote release.

There are two basic ways to go here. First, dig through the sock drawer and find the IR release designed for your camera, check the battery, then put it in your backpack or wherever you keep your gear. While you're at it, you might want to take a minute to refresh on how to use it and where the settings are. People hate waiting for fumbling photographers.

The second option is to use the mobile app for your camera that always has a remote control feature. Again, now is the time to set it up and practice before you gather a room full of people.

Either way, you want to be ready to go for when the moment strikes. Self-timers are nice, but remote control is a much better look.

Happy Holidays!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #717, Dec. 10, 2019. Today's theme is "It's Time to Stop Worrying About the Photo Industry." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Those who really care about the art of photography and its future have been inundated with doom and gloom in 2019. Rumors about brands going out of business, how smartphones have destroyed our culture, and the lack of innovation that's to blame for our problems. Today, I'm going to look at some of the changes that we've seen in 2019, and try to put this whole thing in perspective. I hope you enjoy the show.

It's Time to Stop Worrying About the Photo Industry

missing-wheel-1024.jpg

Let's start out by taking a look at some of the photography broad brush strokes from this year.

  • AI Image Editing - Luminar 4, OnOne, Topaz. It's kind of appealing at first. But if you're not careful, it's like eating raw cookie dough.
  • Mirrorless cameras go full frame - New Canons, Nikons, Panasonic, Sigma. On one level, I'm excited by this because we have new gear to contemplate and discuss. But at the end of the day, I really like what I already have. Personally, my big thrills this year were the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS Aspherical Lens and the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark II for Micro Four Thirds.
  • Smartphones get smarter - Google Pixel 4, iPhone 11 are incredible. But, I'm still doing well with my iPhone X.
  • Film Photography hangs tough - The comeback maybe a bit overblown, but there's still traction there. And I really like my LabBox that enables me to develop a roll of BW film in daylight at the kitchen counter.

So where do we go from here? In all honesty, just keep doing what you're doing and let the marketplace figure it out. There will always be plenty of cameras and lenses for those who enjoy serious photography. It's really not our problem.

Websites and podcasts are hungry for news to report. But that doesn't mean that we have to be distracted by it. I don't think, for example, the Olympus rumor should have ever been published. A news story would have been if Olympus had taken steps to close down its imaging operation. Not the rumor that they may do so some day.

Who really cares if Nikon is #2 or #3? What's important are the products they are creating. And if companies like Skylum want to place all of their bets on AI imaging enhancement, then that's fine. But if their product doesn't meet my needs, then I'm not buying it.

We are so inundated with meaningless information that we sometimes forget that it doesn't have to affect our lives. As we approach 2020, I'm going to enjoy the new products that are released, and the new techniques that are revealed. But I'm not going to worry about the photography industry. It will be just fine.

Skillshare for Photographers

Skillshare-1024.jpg

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. You can take courses in photography, videography, audio production - you name it, they've got it. So whether you're picking up a new skill for your day job, figuring out your next side project, or pursuing a long-time passion, Skillshare has classes for you.

The photography courses are amazing. One that I recommend is "Portrait Photography on the Street: Connecting with Strangers" by Zun Lee, who explores Harlem in New York City and shares his secrets for capturing the essence of a place and its people. His techniques for getting your best shot make this a perfect, quick class to inspire both the novice photographer and the expert to get out and shoot. And this is just one of many top notch titles on Skillshare.

Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with this special offer for TDS listeners: Get 2 months free. That's right, Skillshare is offering The Digital Story community 2 months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free. To sign up, go to skillshare.com/tds.

And a big thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this show!

Why I Prefer Micro Four Thirds for Product Photography

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II combined with the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II ASPH. lens is an ideal combination for the product photography I do daily for TheFilmCameraShop. I've tried many different setups over the years, and this one has just the right amount of everything.

That being said, my Micro Four Thirds camera saves me a lot of time. First of all, I don't have to use a tripod. This is huge, time wise. Before, when we were shooting full frame (or medium format!), we had to stop down the aperture and focus very precisely because of the shallow depth of field that results from larger sensors and wide apertures. As a result, I had to break out the 3-legged beast.

What's so beautiful about my mirrorless rig is that I can shoot at f/4.5 or so (thanks to the depth of field), raise the ISO to 1600, and lean a bit on the sensor-based image stabilization. This allows me to handhold the camera, saving lots of time while still providing excellent results. The MFT sensor gives me that little bit of extra depth of field that's so important in product photography. I love it. And this is something that I also enjoy with certain types of portrait work as well.

Secondly, the realtime exposure compensation feedback makes it easy to nail the exposure during capture. (Very important for brightly-lit white backgrounds!) As a result, I have virtually no post production time. Again, this is a big deal on busy days. Thanks to the sharpness of the Leica lens and the accuracy or the E-M5 Mark II, the files virtually go from camera to product page.

Our LA Street Photography Experience is Coming this March

This 3-day event on March 13-15 explores classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area.

You will learn new techniques for safe and effective street photography, how to capture the vibe of great architecture, and enjoy some classic California cuisine along the way.

Olympus Educator, Mike Boening, is our co-instructor. Those of you who have worked with Mike at our SF Street Photography events know how much he brings to the table. Not only is he an official Olympus Educator, he's an accomplished street photographer, and he's going to bring gear for you to test and learn about.

If you want to join Mike and me this coming March, just visit the information and registration page, or go to www.thenimblephotographer.com and click on the Workshops link, or go to the Olympus site - no matter how you get there, Mike and I are looking forward to working with you this coming Spring.

Updates and Such

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS

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

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

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

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Each camera manufacturer has their particular WiFi app, and some definitely work better than others. But if you really want tap the potential of camera to mobile communication, I would take a look at Cascable 4 as well.

copy-to-ipad.jpg Copying images from an Olympus EM-5 Mark II to an iPad mini using Cascable 4.

With Cascable 4, I can use one app with many different cameras to transfer Jpegs and RAW files, use remote release, remote live view, remote settings adjustment, and more. Currently, it supports 181 cameras including models from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. I use it for my PEN-F, OM-D EM-5 Mark II, and EM-1 Mark II.

pen-f-live-view.jpg Live View photography with the Olympus PEN-F. I can adjust camera settings and choose focusing areas via my iPad mini.

I use Cascable 4 with both the iPhone X and the iPad mini5, but prefer it on the iPad where I can go right into image editing and sharing via the other tools I have on the tablet. Plus, having the bigger screen is more fun to work with.

Performance depends on the camera and its wireless capabilities. For example, with the Olympus PEN-F, RAW files transfer quickly and Live View is snappy. But with older cameras, such as the Nikon D610 with the WU-1b WiFi adapter, RAW files are out of the question because of the dodgy transfer speed.

This does bring up an interesting option, however. The only thing as bad as the WU-1 WiFi adapter is the Nikon WMU app that limits file download size to 1618 x 1080. That's barely good enough for Instagram. Cascable can improve that.

nikon-D610.jpg Using the second card slot on a Nikon D610 for lower resolution Jpegs that can be transferred wirelessly.

Since the app can read both card slots on many cameras that have them, you could designate Card Slot 2 for Jpegs only, shoot RAW+Jpeg (with RAWs going to Slot 1), then have Cascable read Card Slot 2 for the Jpegs. If I shoot Small/Basic on the Nikon for the Jpegs, then Cascable can actually transfer those (it can't handle the RAWs; the pipe just isn't big enough from the WU-1.) That gives me a much bigger file to work with: 3008 x 2008.

The process is still slow, and I'd be better off just taking the card out of the camera and using Apple's SD card reader. But if you need to go wireless, at least there's an option.

The Bottom Line

Cascable 4 is like having a Swiss Army Knife for wireless communication between camera and mobile device. It has a bounty of tools, great interface, and works with many cameras.

detailed-view.jpg Detail view of images on an Olympus PEN-F.

It's not perfect, of course. Even though it's compatible with many FujiFilm cameras, it doesn't connect with my XF-10, a camera that I love to walk around with. It can't talk to my Pentax KP either. So I can use for my Olympus and Nikon bodies, but not the others. You'll definitely want to check the compatibility list before purchasing. It also gets a little over zealous with the disconnect notices, forcing me to turn them off in Settings.

And even though the basic version is free for the downloading, which I highly recommend, if you want to unlock all of the features with the Pro bundle, it will cost you $29. That's a bit higher than we're used to paying for a mobile app.

That being said, I paid it. And I have no regrets doing so. There are so many cool features that at first go unnoticed, such as automated recipes, neutral density calculator, sharp stars calculator, and geotagging, that it becomes a trusty companion when integrating your camera and mobile device on the road. And compared to the alternatives supplied by the manufacturers, Cascable 4 is a breath of fresh air.

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

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II combined with the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II ASPH. lens is an ideal combination for the product photography I do daily for TheFilmCameraShop. I've tried many different setups over the years, and this one has just the right amount of everything.

PC050429-Etsy-FG-Clock.jpg A Nikon FG Analog Clock for desk or bookshelf. Photographed with my MFT rig and listed in TheFilmCameraShop.

Before I go any further, let me take a couple steps back. When I was a photography apprentice for a professional who graduated from Brooks, we used to spend hours setting up product shots. He taught me about softboxes, reflectors, and the tricks of the trade to create images that clients liked. That was great for then, but it's a luxury that I don't have today.

Now, I run an online shop and must work quickly. I leave a mini-studio permanently set up in the shooting room. Once I finish restoring a product for the shop, I photograph it and list for sale. As quickly as I currently work, it still feels like this phase takes too long. Such is life these days, right?

PC050432-Etsy-FG-Clock.jpg A Nikon FG Analog Clock for desk or bookshelf. Photographed with my MFT rig and listed in TheFilmCameraShop.

That being said, my Micro Four Thirds camera saves me a lot of time. First of all, I don't have to use a tripod. This is huge, time wise. Before, when we were shooting full frame (or medium format!), we had to stop down the aperture and focus very precisely because of the shallow depth of field that results from larger sensors and wide apertures. As a result, I had to break out the 3-legged beast.

What's so beautiful about my mirrorless rig is that I can shoot at f/4.5 or so (thanks to the depth of field), raise the ISO to 1600, and lean a bit on the sensor-based image stabilization. This allows me to handhold the camera, saving lots of time while still providing excellent results. The MFT sensor gives me that little bit of extra depth of field that's so important in product photography. I love it. And this is something that I also enjoy with certain types of portrait work as well.

Secondly, the realtime exposure compensation feedback makes it easy to nail the exposure during capture. (Very important for brightly-lit white backgrounds!) As a result, I have virtually no post production time. Again, this is a big deal on busy days. Thanks to the sharpness of the Leica lens and the accuracy or the E-M5 Mark II, the files virtually go from camera to product page.

When I'm not in the studio, and am wearing my Nimble Photographer hat, I often depend on Micro Four Thirds photography for traveling light. The real savings is realized with the lenses that are so compact and sharp.

But over the last few years, I've come to appreciate this format for online product photography as well. And in this case, it's the bottom line that's enhanced because efficiency is improved.

No doubt Micro Four Thirds photography is awesome for travel. But I've learned that it's darn good for business as well.

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

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

With Photos for macOS, you can easily manage, enhance, and share a large library of images. And thanks to macOS Catalina and iPadOS, the latest version offers a new level of compatibility across devices, aligning the user experience as well the editing and AI-powered organization tools.

photos-catalina-intro.jpg

In this course, Derrick Story takes you on a detailed exploration of this powerful app. Learn how to manage thousands of pictures quickly and easily, and edit and enhance the color, contrast, and compositions of images and video with the built-in editing tools. Derrick also explains how to export images, create slideshows, and prepare photos for printing. Along the way, he highlights the new features that make Photos for macOS Catalina such an important upgrade.

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • What's new in Photos for macOS and iPadOS
  • Creating new Photos libraries
  • The latest Editing Extensions for Photos
  • Importing images
  • Enabling iCloud syncing
  • Backing up a Photos library
  • Organizing images
  • Deleting, removing, and hiding images
  • Editing videos
  • Editing images
  • Working with pictures
  • Exporting images
  • Creating slideshows
  • Printing at home

The thing that I really like about this course, is that I show you the best of both worlds. Some techniques are better on the Mac, while other things, such as editing your videos, are actually better suited for the iPad version of Photos.

And regardless of which way you go, all of your work is automatically backed up to iCloud and shared across all devices. It's really a wonderful workflow. Check out the course intro video.

Get the most from Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS from Photos for macOS Catalina Essential Training by Derrick Story

If you haven't looked at photos for a while, then I think it's time to revisit. And if you are a Photos user, then I think you're really going to like this update.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS

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

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