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This is The Digital Story Podcast #807, Sept. 7, 2021. Today's theme is "Getting from Here to There: An Update from Maui." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Despite all of the reports of travel challenges, most of them can be overcome with a bit of extra planning. But what exactly do you need to know, and prepared for, as you travel from here to there? I have a number of tips to share with you, for Hawaii or anywhere else, on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Digital Photography Podcast 807

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Getting from Here to There: An Update from Maui

In most parts of the world, the ongoing pandemic is having an impact on daily life. Not only in terms of additional regulations and restrictions, but it affects staffing as well at hotels, restaurants, airports, and practically everywhere else. This all points in the direction of spending more time planning.

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The five tips I'm covering here help address many of those situations.

#1 - Plan Further Out than Ever

I've been coming to Maui for years. Generally speaking, if we wanted to go out, we would use Open Table or call the day before and get a reservation. But now, you need to have your key reservations long before you get on the plane to your destination. That includes any important service including restaurants.

#2 - Learn the Rules of the Road

I'm using Hawaii as an example because that's where I am. But this applies to many, many destinations. Go to the state's or country's travel site and find out what you need to do for admission and to avoid quarantine.

For example to be admitted to Hawaii, you have to complete a travel record online, upload your vaccination proof or recent COVID 19 test results, and complete a health report.

In return, you'll receive a QR code that will let you bypass tedious stoppages at the airport.

#3 - Bring Lots of Masks

Masks are required practically everywhere. And if you're on the plane for 5 hours, you better have a mask that is comfortable for that period of time. I also have masks that go with my wardrobe, that I can stow in my swimming trunks, and extras in case one or more breaks.

#4 - Get in a Patient Frame of Mind

Everything moves slower. Lines take longer. There are few people available to help you. And if you let these delays get under your skin, it can adversely affect your trip.

One of my favorite signs I've seen recently said, "Please be kind to the employees who showed up to work to help you."

#5 - Get Creative

In an effort to go with the flow, we've discovered new things to do that work more easily with the situation at hand. For example, we've never spent much time at the beach parks here on Maui. But by packing our lunches and gear in the rental car and exploring some of these locations, we discovered a wonderful new feature of the island.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S II is the least expensive medium-format digital camera ever

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

Fujifilm has announced the 51 Megapixel GFX 50S II camera that - at $4000 - is the cheapest medium-format digital camera that's ever been released. The 50S II is largely similar to the GFX 100S, but with a lower resolution sensor and a lack of 4K video capability.

Relatively compact in size, the GFX 50S II offers in-body stabilization, with up to 6.5 stops of shake reduction. (The IBIS system can also be used to create ultra-high-res 205MB images.) The camera has a substantial grip and has plenty of room on the top plate for dials and an OLED info display. On the back, you'll find a two-axis tilting LCD and a 3.69M-dot electronic viewfinder with an equivalent magnification of 0.77x. The camera has dual card slots with support for UHS-II media.

The 50S II continues to use contrast-detect AF, which won't be able to keep up with the phase-detect system on the GFX 100S. Similarly, the 50S II's top burst speed is just 3 fps. The older sensor on the GFX 50S II only supports Full HD video, but quality is good. Its battery life of 440 shots/charge is comparable to full-frame models, which are very much the 50S II's competition.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S II will be available in late October for $3999 body only. It can also be bundled with the new GF 35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR lens for $4499.

Our First Writing Workshop!

Writing for Artists Who Want to Publish (or just get better)

This online workshop is designed to help photographers, and all types of creatives, improve their writing skills for online sites including publications such as Medium.com. Useful for the business environment as well because improved clarity in writing often translates into successful business interactions.

Over the course of four sessions, you'll learn how to translate your thoughts into effective articles and posts that will engage readers. We will cover online style, article construction, self-editing tips, and promotion.

You will also have access to our online workshop community, DerrickStoryOnline, where you can ask questions, share techniques, and show off your work. Your membership to our online community extends pass the workshop itself, so you can continue to share notes with those who share your particular interests.

Our weekly meetings during the workshop itself are via Zoom, with AM and PM sessions available so you can match this event to your busy schedule. Plus, we record each session and make them available to participants for future reference.

You can sign up today and reserve your spot.

What's New in Apple iOS 15 for Photographers

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

Text Photos - The most useful feature is so simple. How much do you hate the bother of trying to save photos that are texted to you? The old way: put your finger on the photos and wait for the Save button to appear. Then hope it makes it to the camera roll in the Photos app. New way: there's a share tab right next to the photo in the iMessages app, and a new "shared with you" album in your camera roll of texted photos.

Live Text - Apple has added the ability to copy text from a photo and send the words to an e-mail or document, which is incredibly useful if you take pictures of recipes or the like. (Google added this to Android several years ago. Just sayin'.)

Info Please - A new feature that probably won't get much play at first, because it's not really totally ready for prime time is an information tab you can click on under the photo to reveal the download about artwork, landmarks, pet breeds, and flower types. In my tests, I was able to find the breed of a dog shown in a photo as well as a flower type. Some landmarks popped, others didn't.

EXIF - More importantly, for photographers, we finally get EXIF information listed in the Camera Roll, which tells us which of the iPhone lenses we used, what our automatic exposure was, and this is fantastic, the file name of the photo. This basic info hasn't been available in previous iOS editions and it really helps when I want to search for the photo on my computer. Knowing what it's called is a lot more useful than just looking for that photo of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 40 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!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #806, Aug. 31, 2021. Today's theme is "5 Excellent Ways to Repurpose an Aging iPad." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

iPads are built to stand the test of time. Even so, we tend to upgrade them every 3-5 years. But what about our old friend that's still working just fine? Is there hope beyond the recycle bin? Yes there is! And today I'm going to share with you 5 of my favorite "breathe new life into an old iPad" tricks. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 806

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5 Excellent Ways to Repurpose an Aging iPad

#1 - Fantastic Audio/Visual Remote and Channel Guide

I've been using my iPhone to surf my Comcast channel guide. It worked fine. Then one day I had the bright idea to use an old iPad mini. Wow! What a difference screen real estate makes. I can can leave it right there on the coffee table. Plus it works nicely for Apple TV and other services.

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#2 - DIY CarPlay for Older Vehicles

I love my 2007 Audi A3, and I doubt that I will ever sell it. But I do miss it having that handy LCD screen that every modern car sports these days.

An iPad mini with cellular is a beautiful upgrade. I use a Padcaster for iPad Mini 1-3 frame that actually looks really nice with the interior of the car. And it's quick release mounted so I can slide the device under the seat of the car when I'm not in it.

PS: If your iPad doesn't have cellular built-in, then just use the Personal Hotspot function on your phone.

#3 - The Ultimate Kitchen Companion

Again, you'll want to get a cool-looking stand for this use. But once you have it set up, an iPad is the perfect recipe mate, Netflix streamer, and all-around useful kitchen companion.

#4 - Digital Picture Frame

For this to be outstanding, you need to put the iPad in an actual frame then place it on a table or the wall. The frame is what makes it, and it's easy enough to set up.

If you can't find a frame that works out of the box, get one that's a bit larger than your iPad and use a sturdy matte to make everything fit. If you get a double-matte, then you have a truly classy presentation for your digital images.

#5 - Outstanding Radio Tuner

I've been using MyTuner Radio to listen to the variety of stations that I enjoy. Add a bluetooth speaker to totally enhance the experience. Again, a nice stand for your iPad is an excellent finishing touch.

Inner Circle Members: Submit Your Favorite DIY for an iPad mini

That's right Inner Circle Members: check our Patreon site for details. Share your favorite iPad DIY trick, and if it's voted as the favorite by our judges, we will send you an iPad mini. And thanks for your support.

A big thanks to Inner Circle Member Kelli Richards who donated our prizes. You can learn more about Kelli and her work by visiting her professional website.

Our First Writing Workshop!

Writing for Artists Who Want to Publish (or just get better)

This online workshop is designed to help photographers, and all types of creatives, improve their writing skills for online sites including publications such as Medium.com. Useful for the business environment as well because improved clarity in writing often translates into successful business interactions.

Over the course of four sessions, you'll learn how to translate your thoughts into effective articles and posts that will engage readers. We will cover online style, article construction, self-editing tips, and promotion.

You will also have access to our online workshop community, DerrickStoryOnline, where you can ask questions, share techniques, and show off your work. Your membership to our online community extends pass the workshop itself, so you can continue to share notes with those who share your particular interests.

Our weekly meetings during the workshop itself are via Zoom, with AM and PM sessions available so you can match this event to your busy schedule. Plus, we record each session and make them available to participants for future reference.

You can sign up today and reserve your spot.

Enhance! Google researchers detail new method for upscaling low-resolution images with impressive results

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

Thanks to CSI, as well as plenty of other crime dramas, the phrase 'Enhance' has taken on a life of its own as a tongue-in-cheek way of attempting to digitally extract extra information from low-resolution images that simply isn't feasible in real-world situations. Or is it? A new blog post on the Google AI Blog showcases a new technology its developed to upscale low-resolution images with incredible results.

The blog post, titled 'High Fidelity Image Generation Using Diffusion Models,' explains how Google researchers have developed a pair of AI technologies that can take a low-resolution image and steadily increase resolution through selective destruction and reconstruction of the original input image.

The first component of the process is Super-Resolution via Repeated Refinements (SR3), 'a super-resolution diffusion model that takes as input a low-resolution image, and builds a corresponding high-resolution image from pure noise.' In essence, this model applies pure Gaussian noise to a low-resolution image before using noise-reduction technologies to effectively reconstruct a nearly noise-less image that's four times the resolution of the input.

According to Google, this new technology 'achieves strong benchmark results on the super-resolution task for face and natural images when scaling to resolutions 4x-8x that of the input low-resolution image.' As visible from the above illustration, this means a 64 x 64 pixel image can output an impressively clear 1024 x 1024 pixel image.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 40 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!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

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It has been an interesting month with the Nikon Z fc mirrorless camera. Usually after the first week of shooting, I'd have a definitive "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" decision about the camera. But that's not the case with this Nikon. I'm still undecided.

One of the issues is, "How would I use it?" The Nikon Z fc isn't feature-rich or rugged enough to replace one of my cameras for professional work. It's a tad too big for my bang-around shooter (certainly won't displace the Fujifilm X100V). And the Z DX lens catalog can't challenge the optics available for my Micro Four Thirds cameras. So in my case, it's a man without a country.

P8271966.jpeg All photos of the Nikon Z fc, or with the Z fc, by Derrick Story.

That doesn't mean that's the case for you. If you're moving from a smartphone-based workflow to an interchangeable lens camera, this Nikon could be wonderful. If you want something fun, beautiful, and capable for travel and family, again, this could be the ticket, especially if you don't already have a camera filling that role.

When I was trying to figure out my indecisiveness with the Z fc, I decided to make a pros and cons list. This might be useful for you as well if you're considering this handsome devil.

The 5 Things I Like about the Nikon Z fc

  • Easy on the Eyes - Nikon did a bang-up job designing the Z fc. Its homage to the golden age of 35mm SLRs is very appealing. If I didn't already own film Nikons, I might buy this camera just for the looks.
  • Impressive Image Quality - Even with the kit DX 16-50mm zoom, my Jpegs and RAWs looked terrific. Wonderful color saturation, great detail, and an all-around pleasing vibe to the photos.
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  • A Gorgeous Electronic Viewfinder - The specs are competitive: 2,360,000 dot resolution, 100 percent viewing, -3 to +3 diopter, and 20mm viewfinder eye point. But what I really like about this EVF is how the world looks through it. Everything seems more beautiful. And the readouts along the top and bottom edges are clean and legible. Well done.
  • Excellent Kit Lens - The Nikkor 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 is compact, capable, and looks great on the camera. The optical stabilization works well, it accepts affordable 46mm filters, and it collapses to a relatively compact size. Plus the pictures it produces are excellent. And as a bonus, it has a very useful 7.9" minimum focusing distance that allows for tight framing of subjects.
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  • Realtime Exposure Compensation - Yes, there is an EC dial on top that looks cool, but isn't so convenient to use. The dial does, however, have a "C" setting that allows exposure compensation to be adjusted with the knurled rotation wheel that's located right below the shutter button. Now that's what I call good design.

So this all sounds pretty good, doesn't it? What's holding me back from charging $1,096 to my Payboo card for the camera and lens?

A few things do come to mind...

The 5 Things I'm Not Crazy About

  • Unfinished Design - If you're going to make a throwback camera, go all the way. The textured grip material feels cheap and doesn't measure up to the leatherette feel that's expected. The plastic battery door most likely won't last as long as the rest of the camera. And why not give us a cool mechanical cable release socket in the shutter button? (We know it can be done, both my Olympus PEN-F and Fujifilm X100V have it.)
  • No Sensor-Based Image Stabilization - Half the fun of this camera could be adapting a variety of vintage Nikon lenses to it and really capitalizing on its design and mirrorless mount. Instead, if we want IS, we have to buy Nikkor VR optics (of which there's not much choice in the Z DX mount).
  • No Built-In Flash Either - So, what exactly are you doing with that hump on top of the camera? It doesn't contain image stabilization or a built-in flash? What is it for? If this is going to be a bang-around camera for travel and family, then a fill-flash would be greatly appreciated.
  • It's Hard to Hold! - There is absolutely nothing to hang on to on the right side of the camera. And the texture material I discussed earlier compounds the problem. There will be an accessory grip that costs more than $100, or 3rd party options for less. But why not give us a camera we can hang on to out of the box?
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  • Weird, Unreadable F/Stop LCD - In theory, I like the idea of having an unobtrusive LCD on top to see what the f/stop is, but this pill-size window is difficult to read. It might work if Nikon gave us a backlight for it. But as is. No bueno.

The Bottom Line

A cool-looking camera that takes great pictures should be a winner. And for many folks, the Nikon Z fc will handsomely fulfill its duties as a high-quality alternative to smartphone photography.

But competition for $1,100 is tough, and to succeed, functionality and quality need to match the clever original concept. I could see this camera doing very well if Nikon puts the effort into refining it. But as is, it's facing stiff competition from Fujifilm and others who have alluring offerings in the same price range.

I'm going to think on it some more.

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #805, Aug. 24, 2021. Today's theme is "3 Intriguing Photography Stories." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Instead of committing to an entree, do you ever opt for a few appetizers instead? Well, today's TDS Photography Podcast is exactly that: a trio of tasty treats that should add up to a satisfying show. So tap your favorite beverage and let's go!

Digital Photography Podcast 805

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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3 Intriguing Photography Stories

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Story #1 - Yes, You Can Use 35mm Lenses on a Medium Format Camera

I've really enjoyed testing the Fujifilm GFX 100S medium format camera. But I only have one lens for it: the Fuji 80mm f/1.7. It's a terrific optic, but I needed something a bit wider.

So I started researching the use of 35mm full frame optics on medium format. And lo and behold, it can be done. I explain how in this first story.

Story #2 - What I Did While Recharging the Car in the Middle of Nowhere

You may remember that I said I was taking the all-electric VW ID.4 on its first field test. Well, that I did, and you can see all the pictures and read the story on the TDS site. But right now, I want to tell you one anecdote from the trip.

Via the mobile app PlugShare, I had learned that there was a free charging station at one of my favorite state parks, Ft. Ross. It happened to be conveniently on the way to my final camping destination up the road.

So I made the stop, plugged in the car, and here's how I spent my time during that top off.

Story #3 - Getting a Grip on the Nikon Z fc

So one of the things that I did on the photography field trip is spend a full day with the Nikon Z fc retro-styled mirrorless camera. I had mentioned previously, before I had the camera in my hands, that I was disappointed in some of its specs.

After a couple day hikes with it, I began to soften my stance. The images looked great, the DX 16-50mm lens was sharp and optically stabilized, and overall, the camera was a pleasure to use - except for one thing: hanging on to it.

There was no grip on the front or back of the camera, and I found it somewhat awkward to hold. What a shame for an otherwise nicely crafted machine.

Once I got home, I did a little research. I couldn't be the only one who felt like this camera could use an accessory grip. And sure enough, I was right.

Nikon has actually designed an accessory GR-1 extension grip for the camera. The bad news is, that it appears to be available only in the UK at this time.

Take heart Z fc hopefuls! It should only be a short wait for the grip to arrive on your home turf. It will cost you an additional $120, but with it, the camera should be a true joy to use.

Our First Writing Workshop!

Writing for Artists Who Want to Publish (or just get better)

This online workshop is designed to help photographers, and all types of creatives, improve their writing skills for online sites including publications such as Medium.com. Useful for the business environment as well because improved clarity in writing often translates into successful business interactions.

Over the course of four sessions, you'll learn how to translate your thoughts into effective articles and posts that will engage readers. We will cover online style, article construction, self-editing tips, and promotion.

You will also have access to our online workshop community, DerrickStoryOnline, where you can ask questions, share techniques, and show off your work. Your membership to our online community extends pass the workshop itself, so you can continue to share notes with those who share your particular interests.

Our weekly meetings during the workshop itself are via Zoom, with AM and PM sessions available so you can match this event to your busy schedule. Plus, we record each session and make them available to participants for future reference.

You can sign up today and reserve your spot.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 40 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!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

EV Car Camping for Photographers

The second thing that most folks ask me about owning an electric vehicle, after "how far does it go?" is what do you do while charging it?

IMG_0523.jpeg The back of a VW ID.4 prepped for sleeping.

My response is usually, "Depends on where I am." If I'm in the city and using high speed charging, then I check email or take a short nap. Most of those charging sessions are between 20 and 30 minutes. If I'm on the road and using a slower charger off the beaten track, then I go take pictures.

DSCF0032.jpeg Wandering with my camera at Ft. Ross State Park while charging the car. Photos by Derrick Story.

My First EV Campout

I was on my way to Gualala Regional Park for a campout. Ft. Ross was en route. It's one of my favorite places, so I decided to stop and have lunch there. I also knew they had a working charger. So all the better. Both me and the car get a top off.

My packed lunch was good. I captured some pictures that I really liked. And the car was ready to go. So back to the fun, twisty turns of CA Highway 1.

No Sleeping on the Ground for Me

Once I reached Gualala, I found my reserved camp site and set up. One of the reasons why I chose the ID.4 over other candidates, is because it drives like a nimble car, but has enough room for sleeping in the cabin. This is further enhanced by the panoramic glass roof that has a very open vibe when dozing off inside.

IMG_0526.jpeg Chillin' the back. I use an air mattress designed for SUVs that maximizes useable space, then add my sleeping bag.

When it comes to camping itself, I'm fairly spartan. I keep my JetBoil stove and other kitchen items in smaller cargo carriers that are easy to stash up front when I convert the back of the car into a bedroom. Everything stores neatly on the floor in the front and is protected when I lock up at night. I do keep the food, however, in the provided locker outside. Don't need any furry visitors tapping on my window in the middle of the night.

IMG_0528.jpeg A Spartan, but very functional campsite.

Little Tweaks that I Would Like to Make

When it comes to the car itself, it had one quirk that I would like to change. The ID.4 beeps 3 times when I open the back hatch with the key fob. I'm sure this is a safety feature. During the day it isn't an issue, but in the middle of the night, if I have to go out, it bugs me. Campgrounds are very quiet at 2AM. Those 3 beeps seem pretty loud then. But I haven't found a way to disarm that function. I guess I could go out the side door instead.

I keep one window cracked while I sleep to manage condensation inside and provide me with fresh air. I would like to design a little frame with a screen in it to enhance this, maybe about half the size of the window opening, for this use. I could fit it in the frame and roll up the window to secure it. This would provide the fresh air that I want, but without any buzzing visitors. Fortunately no bugs invaded my night in Gualala, but it would be great to have the screen for my next trip... just in case.

Additional Power for Devices

I couldn't resist uploading and processing the day's shoot on the laptop that night. I got carried away and used up most the battery on my MacBook Pro, and on my iPhone 12 Pro Max as well. I carry with me a Jackery Solar Generator 300 (with solar panel) to handle my small device needs. I could use the USB-C outlets in the VW, but I don't like turning on the car system, and leaving it on, just to charge devices. The Jackery works great, and I can refill its reservoir with the companion solar panel that I have for it. In fact, I've never recharged this unit any other way.

As a side note, this tandem is robust. I can connect multiple devices at once, including household items during an emergency. When camping, I also use it to power the pump to inflate the air mattress, juice the mini-vac, and anything else that needs electricity. And unlike the RVs in the campsite, my generator doesn't make any noise nor pollutes the air.

DSC_0044.jpeg Recharging devices with the Jackery Explorer 300.

Photography Is the Name of the Game

Because I spend so little time on the maintenance of camping (setting up tents, washing dishes, etc.), I have plenty of time to do what my goal was all along: take pictures. I average 2-3 hikes a day to test camera equipment and to capture as many photos as possible.

IMG_0532.jpeg A view of the mouth of the Gualala River as it winds its way to the Pacific Ocean.

Time to Return Home

Driving the winding road of CA Highway 1 on my return trip, I noticed that I was using very little power. This is a major difference between an EV and ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle. The EV actually is more efficient off the highway because every braking occurrence is actually recharging the battery. (And you don't use a brake peddle, just pull back your foot from the accelerator.)

Even moving along at a good clip on Hwy. 1, I was getting over 4 miles per KwH. To put that into perspective, I have 72 KwHs available in the car (80 KwH overall), so that type of driving gives me about 290 miles of range. Compare that to about 2.75 miles per KwH while racing up and down the freeway at 75 MPH, with a range of only about 200 miles - just the opposite of an ICE.

Plus, all those batteries nestled in the floor of the car, combined with rear wheel drive, make the ID.4 a road-hugging beast. The trip home was a blast. I felt like a slalom skier rhythmically hugging each turn. It's a beautiful driving experience.

IMG_0535.jpeg Campsite clean and I'm ready to roll out!

Final Thoughts

EV adventure isn't for everyone. But for photographers exploring the world one back road at a time, it's a good match. I still think about the 1991 VW Vanagon that I drove for 18 years. I loved it. But I don't miss the 16 MPH gas mileage, nor the compromised performance at altitude.

For today's nimble photography, the VW ID.4 is working just fine.

If you're interested in joining our online group that covers all things electric vehicles, EV Explorers, just click on the link and I'll send you an invitation.

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #804, Aug. 17, 2021. Today's theme is "It's Not: What's the Best Software; It's: What's Best for You." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I just read a good Capture One Pro vs Lightroom Classic article on DP Review. The comparison focused on speed with C1P coming out on top. But that doesn't mean it's the best, or even the best for you. I'll explain in more detail on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Digital Photography Podcast 804

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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It's Not: What's the Best Software? It's: What's Best for You

We really do like to know who is Number One. I just went through a version of this when I was shopping for our next workshop vehicle. "The number one EV is..."

Number One think permeates many different decision-making areas. What's the best mirrorless camera? Where's the best place to go take pictures? And what's the best software to process my images?

IMG_0779.jpeg

Today, we're going to focus on the last one. I have five questions that depending on your answers will lead you to the best image management software for you. Here we go!

  • How important is overall speed for you? Capture One Pro and Photos for macOS are tops in this category.
  • How important is top-shelf RAW processing? Capture One Pro usually wins here.
  • How big is your legacy library? If it is substantial, and it is a Lightroom catalog, then this gives Lightroom an edge because migration is a pain in the butt.
  • How important are cloud connectivity and mobile apps? Lightroom gets the nod here, with Photos also in the mix.
  • How important is overall cost (time invested plus actual payments)? Photos is the easiest to learn and is free. Lightroom is very accessible and is reasonably priced. Capture One Pro has a steep learning curve and is overall more expensive.

Now here's the fun part: tally the winners in each category and note what software you should be using? Chances are, it's not what you currently have.

For many non-professionals, Photos for macOS would be the winner. And for many professionals, Capture One Pro would likely come out on top. Yet, we know that the most popular image management software is Lightroom. Why is that?

Because there are a million little things that are both important to us and unique to us as well. And those little things are what determine the best product for us individually.

Let's go back to my car comparison. For me personally, the VW ID.4 was head and shoulders above the competition that included Tesla and the Ford MachE. Now depending on what review you read, the ID.4 could fare as well as first or as low as 5th for best EV for 2021.

But it was those little things, such as comfort and storage for workshop attendees in a car that drives like a sedan. It's the ability for me to sleep comfortably in the cabin while looking at the stars through the panorama roof. It's the 3 years of free high-speed charging. And the list goes on and on.

For you, the best EV could be something completely different, including not an EV at all.

You may not be using the best software, mirrorless camera, or driving the best car. But my hope is that through the time we spend together, you discover the perfect tools for you, know that I stand behind your decision 100 percent.

New Training Course! Mobile Photography: Image Management

What do you do with the plethora of photos on your smartphone after taking them? It's easy to have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos in your library, but it isn't so easy to back up and keep track of them. In this course, get tips on how to manage your ever-growing mobile photography collection.

I delve into several different backup and organizational methods for both Android and iOS devices, highlighting the benefits and risks of each approach. Plus, I share tips for enhancing the appearance of your shots right on your mobile device.

Discover how to leverage your iPad as a mobile photography studio, transfer images from your digital camera to your mobile device, back up and edit photos with Lightroom, and much more.

Mobile Photography: Image Management is a course that practically anyone who enjoys photography on their smartphone would enjoy. Take a look and see what you think.

Fenix E35 V3.0 EDC Flashlight Review - Portable and Powerful

One of the most important items I keep in the car glovebox is a good flashlight. It needs to be compact, durable, and versatile. My choice for the new VW ID.4 is the Fenix E35 V3.0 EDC Flashlight.

This device is impressive. And if you're a flashlight geek like me, you'll see what I mean when you look at the specs. Let's start with the output. (Keep in mind that this light is only 4.65" long and weighs just a few ounces.)

Outputs

  • Turbo 3000 Lumens/1.1 Hours/787 Feet
  • High 1200 Lumens/2.4 Hours/492 Feet
  • Med 450 Lumens/7.9 Hours/295 Feet
  • Low 150 Lumens/20 Hours/164 Feet
  • Eco 50 Lumens/50 Hours/98 Feet
  • Strobe 3000 Lumens

I use it in Eco mode for digging around in my camera bag or backpack. It's plenty bright to help me find what I want, but not so blinding that I lose my night vision. When working outside at night, Low and Medium modes provide plenty of illumination. I don't think I've needed the High mode for anything (it's really bright), but it's good to know that it's there.

One of the features that I really like is that the included rechargeable battery has a built-in USB-C port. So I can top off the flashlight right there in the car using its outputs. Very handy!

The Fenix E35 is also quite durable.

  • IP68 Rated
  • 3.2' Impact Resistance
  • Single Switch Control
  • Pocket Clip Included
  • Cold Resistance -35°C to 45°C
  • Aluminum Body A6061-T6
  • Intelligent memory circuit, last-used output recall
  • Lockout Function

You can check the battery status at any time. When the light is off, single-click the control button, and the status light on the button will illuminate. Steady green means you're in great shape all the way through flashing red that means it's time to recharge. (To turn on the flashlight, you long-click that same button.)

Other nice touches include the titanium body clip that allows you to secure the light on your bag or belt and a lanyard to keep around your wrist while in use.

If you haven't treated yourself to a new flashlight in a while, the Fenix E35 V3.0 EDC Flashlight is hands down my first choice. You can buy it directly from the Fenix site for $69 with free U.S. shipping. If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get 20 percent off.

First Camping Test with the VW ID.4 This Week

As I continue to prepare for our upcoming Oregon Coast Photography Workshop in November, I'm putting the ID.4 through a variety of pre-event tests. The first one is this week.

I'm heading out for a camping trip where I'll have the car in isolated areas and will be testing gear for longer events. I'll also be sleeping in the car cabin.

Side note here: I've already been napping in the back during charging at commercial stations. My original intention was to get work done during the 30-minute charging sessions. But I've found myself stretched out and napping more and working less.

Part of my test will be seeing how well Level II chargers work when off the beaten track and away from the high-speed network.

I'll report on all of this during next week's TDS podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.) We have a new poll on the Patreon site for our members: Are You Looking to Buy a New Camera in 2021? Be sure to stop by and chime in.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 40 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!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

One of the most important items I keep in the car glovebox is a good flashlight. It needs to be compact, durable, and versatile. My choice for the new VW ID.4 is the Fenix E35 V3.0 EDC Flashlight.

P8141902-USB-C-Flashlight-1024.jpg

This device is impressive. And if you're a flashlight geek like me, you'll see what I mean when you look at the specs. Let's start with the output. (Keep in mind that this light is only 4.65" long and weighs just a few ounces.)

Outputs

  • Turbo 3000 Lumens/1.1 Hours/787 Feet
  • High 1200 Lumens/2.4 Hours/492 Feet
  • Med 450 Lumens/7.9 Hours/295 Feet
  • Low 150 Lumens/20 Hours/164 Feet
  • Eco 50 Lumens/50 Hours/98 Feet
  • Strobe 3000 Lumens

I use it in Eco mode for digging around in my camera bag or backpack. It's plenty bright to help me find what I want, but not so blinding that I lose my night vision. When working outside at night, Low and Medium modes provide plenty of illumination. I don't think I've needed the High mode for anything (it's really bright), but it's good to know that it's there.

One of the features that I really like is that the included rechargeable battery has a built-in USB-C port. So I can top off the flashlight right there in the car using its outputs. Very handy!

P8141907-USB-C-Flashlight-1024.jpg Charging the Fenix battery in the VW ID.4 via a USB-C cable.

The Fenix E35 is also quite durable.

  • IP68 Rated
  • 3.2' Impact Resistance
  • Single Switch Control
  • Pocket Clip Included
  • Cold Resistance -35°C to 45°C
  • Aluminum Body A6061-T6
  • Intelligent memory circuit, last-used output recall
  • Lockout Function

You can check the battery status at any time. When the light is off, single-click the control button, and the status light on the button will illuminate. Steady green means you're in great shape all the way through flashing red that means it's time to recharge. (To turn on the flashlight, you long-click that same button.)

Other nice touches include the titanium body clip that allows you to secure the light on your bag or belt and a lanyard to keep around your wrist while in use.

P8141905-USB-C-Flashlight-1024.jpg The included ARB-L21-5000U 21700 Rechargeable Battery. (Must use a Single Port Charger 1 Amp/2 Amp at 10 Watts Max).

If you haven't treated yourself to a new flashlight in a while, the Fenix E35 V3.0 EDC Flashlight is hands down my first choice. You can buy it directly from the Fenix site for $69 with free U.S. shipping. If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get 20 percent off.

The Fenix E35 V3.0 EDC Flashlight receives a very high nimbleosity rating.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #803, Aug. 10, 2021. Today's theme is "I Left My Bag Behind." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It was about 8pm when I was standing in the Best Western parking lot somewhere off Interstate 5. I was staring into the cargo area of the car that contained two suitcases, a cooler, but no backpack. "Where the hell is it?" I said out loud. At the moment, I didn't know. This was the first night of a 4-day road trip. What happened next is the topic of today's TDS photography podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 803

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In

I Left My Bag Behind

backpack-1024.jpeg

Here is the story of my leaving my backpack behind that contained my camera gear, laptop, iPad, AirPods, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and every other piece of tech gear I had packed except for the iPhone X that was in my pocket.

Inner Circle Perspective - How Do You View Instagram These Days?

  • 13 percent love Instagram and visit it daily or more.
  • 47 percent was once a big fan, but doesn't stop by as often these days.
  • 8 percent have given up Instagram completely.
  • 20 percent never used Instagram in the first place.
  • 12 percent say it's complicated, see my comment.

Some of those comments included:

"I visit daily but I wouldn't use the word "love". Can't love anything full of ads." - Thomas.

"I use the Grids application, on my Mac, which allows me to see my feed without any prioritization by the IG algorithm. This allows me to see actual photography from the people that I choose." - Dave.

"I was never a fan but tried to post regularly. It seemed like a place to put images, but the "likes" never appealed to me. I've grown tired of it and have neglected it for most of the last year and a half. I like Derrick's online community much better." -Henry

"I used to use it all the time when it was photography-focused, but now that it's mostly about branding and marketing, I spend a lot less time there than I used to. That said, I still post photos so that my older followers can see my new work." - Lawrence.

"I enjoyed posting on Instagram regularly in about 2014 and 2015 ... but the rise of "influencers" and TikTok type videos has killed the fun and meaningful use for me. Just another platform that doesn't meet my needs or wants.I'm in the process of going back to more regular use of Flickr because I find it more meaningful and interesting." -Del."

A Few Takeaways

The Facebook influence seems to really have dampened the party for many.

In my case, I still use it because I can quickly post a picture there, and have it propagate to Facebook and Twitter. That was a bit of a lifesaver on the recent trip where I forgot my gear.

That being said, I'm actually starting to feel like an old fogie on IG because I only post still pictures, not videos. Who would have ever dreamed photography would be an issue there?

You can learn more about the Inner Circle here.

New Training Course! Mobile Photography: Image Management

What do you do with the plethora of photos on your smartphone after taking them? It's easy to have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos in your library, but it isn't so easy to back up and keep track of them. In this course, get tips on how to manage your ever-growing mobile photography collection.

I delve into several different backup and organizational methods for both Android and iOS devices, highlighting the benefits and risks of each approach. Plus, I share tips for enhancing the appearance of your shots right on your mobile device.

Discover how to leverage your iPad as a mobile photography studio, transfer images from your digital camera to your mobile device, back up and edit photos with Lightroom, and much more.

Mobile Photography: Image Management is a course that practically anyone who enjoys photography on their smartphone would enjoy. Take a look and see what you think.

Peak Design Field Pouch v2 Review - Nimble and Nice

In use, it's a perfect size for a grab-and-go kit that you can keep close to your body and not attract attention. I have two basic configurations that I use it for. The first is a photography kit.

Photography Kit Configuration

Or, what I call a "get my work done while riding the train" kit.

Get Work Done Kit

In both configurations, the iPhone 12 Pro Max fits beautifully in the padded zippered pocket keeping it separate and protected from the other items in the bag.

What's appealing about all of this for me is that I have a very efficient carrying solution to bring along exactly what I need, but doesn't attract attention and can even be positioned under my jacket if necessary.

The Peak Design Field Pouch V2 has a few other tricks up its sleeve. It's expandable design allows you to configure it to just the size you need. You can carry it on your belt or use the supplied shoulder strap.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.) We have a new poll on the Patreon site for our members: Are You Looking to Buy a New Camera in 2021? Be sure to stop by and chime in.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 40 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!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

When I first looked at the catalog page for the Peak Field Pouch ($44.95), I thought that it might be too small to be useful. But I was intrigued by its handsome design and managed to get my hands on one for testing. I'm glad I did.

IMG_7695.jpeg

In use, it's a perfect size for a grab-and-go kit that you can keep close to your body and not attract attention. I have two basic configurations that I use it for. The first is a photography kit.

Photography Kit Configuration

Or, what I call a "get my work done while riding the train" kit.

Get Work Done Kit

In both configurations, the iPhone 12 Pro Max fits beautifully in the padded zippered pocket keeping it separate and protected from the other items in the bag.

IMG_7691.jpeg

The Field Pouch V2 can accommodate the iPad mini or one of my cameras, but not both. However, the iPhone 12 Pro max does work in either configuration.

What's appealing about all of this for me is that I have a very efficient carrying solution to bring along exactly what I need, but doesn't attract attention and can even be positioned under my jacket if necessary.

The Peak Design Field Pouch V2 has a few other tricks up its sleeve. It's expandable design allows you to configure it to just the size you need. You can carry it on your belt or use the supplied shoulder strap.

There's a full-length zippered inner pocket and various mini pouches for memory cards, batteries, business cards, etc. It includes two Capture Attachment Points if you want to carry a camera on the outside of the pouch (additional hardware required). And the design is top notch, as you would expect, using weatherproof 400D nylon canvas (made from recycled plastic).

You can use the pouch inside a larger bag as an organizer, or as a nimble field pouch with a camera or small tablet. Its handsome looks makes it an appropriate accessory for practically any situation.

Going back to my original question if this bag was too small to be practical, my opinion after a couple weeks of use is that it's not small; it's efficient. If you want a pouch that holds exactly what you need, and no more, take a look at the Peak Design Field Pouch V2. I give it a very high nimbleosity rating.

Product Links and Comments

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

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

What do you do with the plethora of photos on your smartphone after taking them? It's easy to have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos in your library, but it isn't so easy to back up and keep track of them. In this course, get tips on how to manage your ever-growing mobile photography collection.

Mobile-Photo-Backup-LinkedIn-1024.jpg Check out this free video, A few things about this course from Mobile Photography: Image Management by Derrick Story

I delve into several different backup and organizational methods for both Android and iOS devices, highlighting the benefits and risks of each approach. Plus, I share tips for enhancing the appearance of your shots right on your mobile device.

Discover how to leverage your iPad as a mobile photography studio, transfer images from your digital camera to your mobile device, back up and edit photos with Lightroom, and much more.

Mobile Photography: Image Management is a course that practically anyone who enjoys photography on their smartphone would enjoy. Take a look and see what you think.

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