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"First Ride" - Grab Shot 196

"Lilly is a 3 year old who just started riding horses," writes Fred Brundick. "The first time she came to the farm, all we heard was 'Aunt Debbie, Aunt Debbie, when can I get on a horse?'"

"She has doubled-up a couple of times with the 8 year old girl who takes lessons on Tish. But I took this picture the first time that Lilly rode Tish by herself. I like Lilly's look of concentration, the pink and purple colors against the blurry green background, and the shine in Tish's coat."

Fred used a Nikon D70s with a Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens. He was in aperture priority mode set to f/8. ISO was 400 resulting in a 1/640th shutter speed.

Photo by Fred Brundick. Click on image for larger version.

If you have a candid you'd like to share, take a look at our Submissions page, then send us your Grab Shot. We'll try to get it published for you on The Digital Story.

And you can view more images from our virtual camera club in the Member Photo Gallery.

The Digital Story Podcast App is the best way to stream or download weekly TDS podcast episodes. No more syncing your iPhone or iPod Touch just to get a podcast. And there's more! Tap the Extras button for free passes and discounts and the current Grab Shot by our virtual camera club members. Each podcast episode has its own Extras button, too, that contains more goodies such as pro photo tips. And the best part is, The Digital Story Podcast App is your way to help support this show.Download it today!

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Lowepro Nova 160 AW

We have not one, but two reader reviews of Lowepro bags for the great outdoors. Both Jane and Ed have put these bags through their paces, and they've filed their reports here.

Lowepro Nova 160 AW

Like many photographers, I'm always searching for that perfect camera bag. Over the years I've owned many bags by various manufacturers, although I seem to gravitate to various-sized Lowepro Trekkers. As a result, I ended up with the ubiquitous "camera bag closet" in the garage.

But in recent years I've been on a mission to simplify and downsize -- first my DSLR gear. I've settled on a Panasonic G1 system as my default camera. It's great for everything from around town, hiking, or traveling. The only time I carry my bigger DSLR kit is when doing action photography.

For this system I've found the Lowepro Nova 160 AW. Dare I say it seems perfect? Only when traveling do I take everything, and yet everything fits in this wonderfully compact and lightweight bag. It even has a stow-away All Weather Cover to boot.

In my case, everything is a Panasonic G1 with 14-45 mm lens attached, pancake 20 mm f1.7, 45-200 mm zoom, extra SDHC cards, spare battery, charger, and cable, plus circular polarizer. Typical configuration is 20 mm and 14-45, or 14-45 and 45-200 -- sans charger and cable. I've included a photo of the bag and how I pack it with everything. The only thing that doesn't fit is the manual which is about an inch too tall for the zipperd pocket on the back of the bag. But it's easy enough to stash elsewhere.

The Lowepro Nova 160 AW sells for about $45.

Ed Shields

Lowepro Primus AW


The Lowepro Primus AW Backpack has enough room for my DSLR, additional lens, and other needed items for photography. The top pocket holds hiking essentials and lunch. There is a side pocket for a water bottle. My tripod straps securely in the tripod holder. The rain cover is important for hiking here in Oregon. (You cannot use the tripod holder with the rain cover though.)

The side access zipper allows for quick access to my camera. The pack itself is very comfortable and has padded shoulder straps, hip belt, and an adjustable sternum strap. There is a large compartment on the back that will hold extra clothing layers with ease. One caveat: when you take your tripod off the pack, make sure to buckle the top strap so it does fall off the pack and get lost. (My husband learned this one the hard way.)

The The Lowepro Primus AW Backpack sells for about $110.

Jane Hamilton

If you have a reader review of outdoor gear, please send it to me! Visit our Member Participation page.

Previously in Outdoor Gear for Photographers

Ultimate Water Bottle for Photogs? GSI DukJug

Dependable Footwear for Photo Work in the Field

Day Tripping with the Lowepro Versapack 200 AW

Shelter on Location: REI Half Dome 2

String Monopods

"The Great Outdoors" - Digital Photography Podcast 218

Portable Camera Stability

Sunset Portraits

New Series on Outdoor Gear for Photographers

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Proper Way to Wear Bermuda Shorts

One of the Bermuda namesakes, besides the Triangle, is Bermuda shorts. As I soon learned during my visit, there is a proper way to don this attire. My first sightings were bankers and businessmen in Hamilton. But they were moving at such a fast clip, I could not get a decent shot.

Fortunately, onboard, our friend Vic appeared at dinner one night properly attired Bermuda style. Yes, coat, tie, knee high socks, and loafers are the recommended accessories for the stylish Bermudian. I asked Vic if he would pose for a portrait. At first he was hesitant, being the gentleman that he is. But once these lovely ladies coaxed him further, accepting was the right thing to do. Thank you much, Vic. You are a class act.

"Portrait of a Gentleman Wearing Bermuda Shots" by Derrick Story, captured with a Canon S90 at ISO 400, slow-sync flash with flash exposure set to -2/3. Click on image to enlarge.

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Quest for the Perfect Sunset

One of the most amazing moments when you're at sea is when a vibrant sunset breaks through the clouds filling your eyes with color. It was our last night on the MacMania 10 Cruise to Bermuda, and we had yet to see one of those spectacular light shows during the trip. Then, suddenly, there it was.

Unfortunately, there were also gale force winds out on deck. So most folks stayed inside and watched the show. That is, except for Sue who braved the wind to get her shot.

Quest for Sunset

I'm not sure which was more amazing: The oranges and reds of a setting sun to my right, or Sue battling nature on my left. So as you can image, I took pictures of both.

Bermuda Sunset

I've come to the conclusion that for some photographers, they will brave just about any challenge to capture those lingering moments of daylight. Hats off to you Sue. And I mean that literally!

Photos of Bermuda sunset and Sue by Derrick Story. Captured with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 24-105mm Canon L zoom. Click on images to see larger versions.

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Green Moray Eel, Bermuda

Most of the locals here in Bermuda don't consider getting in the water before May 24. It's just too cold (72 degrees F) and the wind affects visibility underwater. But I won't be here in late May, so I donned my mask and snorkel and dived right in. For this trip, I used my Canon G9 in an underwater housing. It's great having Raw when working on underwater photos.

Green Moray Eel

Photo of a Green Moray Eel by Derrick Story. Image process in Photoshop CS5 (Adobe Camera Raw). Click on image for larger version.

Unfortunately, the locals were right. I had great swims, but didn't capture any stunning underwater shots. So I went to the aquarium in Hamilton, Bermuda, and recorded this fun image of a huge Green Moray Eel with my Canon PowerShot S90. I simply turned off the flash, raised the ISO to 800, and pressed the lens barrel against the glass. I processed the image in the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw included with Photoshop CS5.

I had a great time swimming and diving in Bermuda. But for this trip, knowing how to shoot in aquariums is what provided the fun shots.

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There is a fast and easy way to add captions to your images in Aperture 3. And I show you how in this video tutorial that's also part of my Aperture 3 Essential Training on

I think the best time to add captions is right after you upload the images. That way the information that accompanies the images is still fresh in your mind.

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 Focus Section. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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Aperture 3 not only lets you integrate your still images and movies into professional looking presentations, it also allows you to export your work to a variety of video formats. In this video tutorial from my Aperture 3 Essential Training on, I show you how powerful slideshow authoring is in Aperture.

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 Focus Section. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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Lexington Ave, NYC

OK, let's start with the bad news: there won't be a TDS podcast this week while I'm working in Bermuda. There just isn't the bandwidth to move those audio files around. (I will be back with a new show next week, however.)

Now the good news. I'm going to have lots of fresh content from St. Charles and Hamilton, Bermuda. And with a little luck, I will have enough bandwidth to post images with these stories.

So stay tuned... I may be out of sight, but hopefully not out of mind.

Lexington Ave., NY NY - photo by Derrick Story on his way to Bermuda.

One of the few times I once had to leave Aperture for Photoshop was to retouch portraits. Well, no more! Thanks to the new Skin Smoothing Quick Brush (along with the existing Retouch brush), I can take care of simple retouching right here in Aperture 3. And I show you how in this video tutorial that's also part of my Aperture 3 Essential Training on

The big advantage to not having to roundtrip to Photoshop from Aperture is file size management. All of the adjustments you saw in the video are just kilobytes of metadata. If I were to roundtrip, then the file that comes back from Photoshop is many times bigger than the original Raw file we worked on.

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 Focus Section. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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Draped Laundry, New York City

After visiting the Guggenheim Museum today, I wandered off for a little street shooting with my Canon PowerShot S90, and I found this wonderful draped laundry image along a side street. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Draped Laundry, New York City

ISO 250, 1/125th shutter speed. Photo by Derrick Story.

Next stop, Bermuda. More to report soon.

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