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I've created a step-by-step guide for laying out fine art note cards in Aperture 3 and printing them with your inkjet printer using Red River Paper stock. A few things have changed since I published the original article for laying out cards in Aperture, so I recommend that Aperture 3 users follow the settings in this article.

The biggest difference that I encountered using Aperture 3.1 and Mac OS X 10.6.5 with an Epson R2400 printer, was that creating a "custom paper size" befuddled the printer causing it to do nothing. To work around this problem, I designed a new template in Aperture 3 that is based on a standard Letter Size sheet (8.5" x 11"). By doing this, you should be able to print these 7" x 10" cards (folded to 5" x 7") with just about any photo printer.

Here are the steps I used:

  1. In Aperture, create a custom theme
  2. Turn on Show Layout Options
  3. Create a photo box 5.75" x 4.25" and place it like this
  4. Add a text box for the back of the card
  5. Place your type and rotate it 180 degrees
  6. You can choose a type style
  7. Be sure to turn off page numbering
  8. Now, all you have to do is print your card

I recommend that you turn on Aperture's Proofing Profile (View > Proofing Profile) for the type of paper you're using. It saves you from having to make test prints. Speaking of paper, there are a variety of surfaces to choose from in the Red River Card Shop. You can get high quality envelopes there too. I generally use #7163 for my card projects.

One finishing touch to consider is creating a handsomely designed 4"x6" insert for your note card. I print these in iPhoto '11 using one of the flat card templates. They look great!

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture 3, check out my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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The Olympus E-PL1 is a good spectator camera for sporting events. It doesn't raise eyebrows from security officials, yet it packs a serious imaging punch. Normally, I use a prime lens, such as the Zeiss 135mm f/2.8 with adapter. But when the Miami Heat came to town to play the Golden State Warriors, I opted to try the Olympus ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 zoom instead.

Ellis Blocking Wade Monta Ellis swats away a Dwyane Wade shot during a recent visit to Oracle Arena. Photo by Derrick Story. Click on image for larger version.

My concern was the f/5.6 maximum aperture when zoomed out to 150mm, which is an equivalent 300mm because you double the focal length on micro four-thirds cameras. But the lens is so light and compact, making it quite tempting for these casual outings.

At ISO 1600, I was able to squeeze out a 1/250th shutter speed at f/5.6 to get shots like this during the game. The focusing was very accurate, and I got quite a few good images, even from the upper deck.

So, I'd have to say, "Yes," you can get terrific shots with the 14-150mm. You do have to deal with the slower maximum aperture, but the lens doesn't attract attention at the security gate, and it is capable of recording clean, sharp images.

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Why I Hold on to Older Digital Cameras


Often when I'm cleaning up around the studio, I wonder to myself why I keep so many older digital cameras. Then I have days like yesterday, and I remember why.

I wanted to shoot a time-lapse movie for a personal project I was working on. Nothing fancy, but time lapse was exactly what I needed. I looked at all of my current cameras that I'm using or testing, and not one had that function built-in. I would have to get some sort of accessory. We're talking about good cameras here: Canon S90, 60D, 5D Mark II, T1i, Olympus E-P1, E-PL1, E-5, E-30, and Sony T200. Not one had time lapse function built-in (that I could find anyway).

There was one exception (other than my iPhone): my trusty Canon G9. It has a time lapse option while in movie mode. I charged its battery, put in a fresh memory card, mounted it on a tripod, and recorded a nifty time-lapse movie that was exactly what I wanted. No post production. No fooling around.

I guess that camera won't be going anywhere, anytime soon...

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Red River Paper

Red River Paper is offering 10% off on any inkjet printable greeting card purchase if you use the discount code STORYCARD10 with your order before Jan. 3, 2011. These are fine art cards, scored for easy folding, with matching envelopes available. They'll look great with your photograph printed on them.

Winners Announced

In other news, Red River has announced the winners of the Red River Paper greeting card drawing (I hope you entered to win and to show your support):

  • Bob Reynolds won the Epson Artisan 50 printer / $100 GC
  • JannJ2 won the Canon ip4820 printer / $100 GC
  • and three others won $100 gift certificates

"The Digital Story / Red River Paper greeting card contest was a great success," comments Drew Hendrix. "Many thanks to the Digital Story readers and listeners who signed up."

You can still show your support by visiting Red River's Interwebs page. You'll get lots of interesting printing information in return. Also, be sure to check out the "Fan Offer" on their Facebook page.

Red River Paper is the longest running sponsor of The Digital Story. Be sure to thank them for helping to keep our weekly podcast on the air.


One of my favorite lenses is the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM that works great on both the 5D Mark II (full frame) and the 60D (cropped sensor). I don't use it everyday, but when I need it, nothing else will do.

I just read A Visual tour of Canon's 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM by Dave Powell on the Digital Photography School site. He includes lots of images from this lens. It's a great way to get a feel for its capabilities.

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I'm happy to report that the TDS Podcast App is now available in the Android Marketplace. You can download the app for $2.99, which helps support our weekly show.

If you want to know more about the podcast app, check out my article about its inception.

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Your old colorimeter might not be the best tool for color managing a new LED screen laptop. In this week's podcast, I tell the story of guilt (for not calibrating my new MacBook Air), perserverance (trying to calibrate the Air), and finally redemption.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (24 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Indoor Lighting is the December 2010 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Dec. 31, 2010. Entries must be recorded with indoor lighting only.

TDS Summer 2011 Photography Workshop

We're making plans now for the Summer 2011 TDS Photography Workshop. If you want your name on the reserve list, just drop me a line.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper -- Try the $7.99 Sample Kit.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

Blurb believes passionately in the joy of books - reading them, making them, sharing them, and selling them. Learn more by visiting Blurb on The Digital Story.

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If you're shooting with a Canon S95, Nikon D7000, or want to get the new Olympus E-5, then run, don't walk, to download Lightroom 3.3 or Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) 6.3. You'll need Photoshop CS5 or Photoshop Elements 9 to take advantage of ACR 6.3. Or, you'll need Lightroom 3.x to update to version 3.3.

Adobe Camera Raw 6.3 Update

You can use the built-in Adobe Application Manager (as shown here) or go to Products Update Page to download the latest versions.

Here's the complete list of newly supported cameras for both updates:

  • Canon PowerShot G12
  • Canon PowerShot S95
  • Nikon D7000
  • Nikon Coolpix P7000
  • Nikon D3100
  • Olympus E-5
  • Panasonic DMC-GF2
  • Panasonic DMC-GH2
  • Pentax K-5
  • Pentax K-r
  • Samsung NX100
  • Samsung TL350 (WB2000)
  • Sony A560
  • Sony A580

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Odd White Balance Shift in Canon 60D

While shooting in a high school gym this weekend, I noticed an odd color shift appearing in some of my images recorded in burst mode with the Canon 60D. Even though the gym lighting was consistent, this image inconsistency happened on a number of occasions.

Color Shift

Side-by-side frames recorded in burst mode on a Canon 60D. Click on image for larger version.

Here's how I had the camera configured:

  • Aperture priority mode set to f/1.8
  • 50mm Canon lens
  • ISO 3200
  • Custom White Balance
  • 1/1600 shutter speed
  • Evaluative metering
  • Raw only capture

The two frames shown here were sequentially recorded in high speed burst mode. I opened up the Raw files in Canon Digital Photo Professional, Aperture 3, Photoshop CS5, and Lightroom 3. The images had the same color differences in each application.

What's even stranger, it looks as though the camera optimized the shadows and highlights in the top image, but not the other. I scoured the EXIF data in DPP, and found no differences between the two shots.

I don't have an explanation for this, but wanted to pass it along to Canon shooters.

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Eye One

I need your help with this one...

I've been using a Spyder 2 colorimeter *forever,* but its ancient software will not longer work for my new MacBook Air. So I need a new calibration device. The options I've been perusing include:

The X-Rite Eye-One Display 2 for $199. The reviews seem pretty good, but the price is a bit more than I wanted to pay.

Datacolor DC S3X100 Spyder 3 Express for $79 and seems to have pretty good reviews, and I like the price.

Pantone huey Pro for $84, which has pretty good reviews, but I didn't have that great of an experience a while back with the original Huey colorimeter.

So what do you recommend? If you've had experience with any of these, or have a better idea, please post a comment. I could use your help with this one.

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