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Bodega-300-Plus.jpg

My photography kit requires a constant flow of energy. Feeding those cameras, laptops, and flash units is easy enough at home - just plug them in and forget it. But road trips require a bit more planning.

And it's not just photography gear I have to power. There's a cooler for drinks and meals, LED lighting to illuminate the edges of the day, and personal electronics need attention too - iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad mini. All of these watts add up.

After testing a variety of electronic generators, I've settled on a couple to power my outdoor life. One of my favorites is the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus Portable Power Station ($299 before discounts).

Having been a fan of the previous generation, the Jackery Explorer 300 Portable Power Station ($279 before discounts), I think the newer model brings important improvements over its reliable predecessor.

OM1-300-Plus.jpeg Explorer 300 left side and Explorer 300 Plus right side charging an Olympus OM-1, 9 watts output.

On the inside, the 300 Plus uses the newer Lithium Iron Phosphate formula (LiFePO4) that increases battery life to 3,000 cycles compared to 500 cycles for the previous generation. Charging time is also faster, a mere 2 hours via AC outlet for 0-100 percent, compared to 4.5 hours for the Explorer 300.

The LED screen is updated on the 300 Plus providing a more dynamic, easier-to-read display for input, output, battery-level, WiFi, and Bluetooth. That's right, the latest model is compatible with the Jackery Mobile App that enables you to configure, monitor, and change settings in real-time via your phone. The 300 Plus also includes an integrated light.

iPhone-Bodega-300-Plus.jpg The Jackery 300 Plus in the boot of my VW ID.4 powering my Bodega portable refrigerator. The iPhone app helps me monitor levels, even when I'm not standing right there.

In addition to my camera gear and personal electronics, the Explorer 300 Plus powers the BODEGAcooler Mini 12V Portable Freezer P8 that only draws 35 watts of power when the compressor is running. And if I'm camping or stopped for lunch, I can pull out a Jackery solar panel and generate enough electricity to power the fridge and send the extra electricity to the Explorer 300 Plus.

If there's sun, I can power all of my camera gear, electronics, and the fridge indefinitely via the solar panel. Plus it's nice not having to worry about ice for the cooler.

Tech Specs for the Explorer 300 Plus

  • Capacity: 288Wh - Cell Chemistry: LiFePO4 - Cycle life: 3000 cycles to 80%+ capacity
  • Power - AC Output(x1): 120V, 60Hz, 300W (600W Peak) - USB-C Output(x2): 100W Max, 5V,3A (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 5A) - USB-A Output(x1): 15W Max 5V,3A - Car Port(x1): 12V,10A - Bypass mode AC input/output: 100V-120V~60Hz, 300W Max - USB-C Output(x1): 15W Max 5V,3A - AC Input: 100V, 60Hz, 15A Max - DC Input: 12-27V,5A Max, 100W Max
  • Dimensions - Length: 9.1in (23cm) - Width: 6.1in (15.5cm) - Height: 6.6in (16.7cm) - Weight: 8.27lbs (3.75kg)
  • Charging Time - AC Adapter: 2 Hours - Car Adapter(12V): 5.5 Hours - Solar Panel: 9.5 Hours

Nice Touches with the Explorer 300 Plus

One thing that Jackery does with all of its products is keep you informed about the input and output levels. So when a solar panel is connected, you know the wattage being sent to the battery. And when you start using multiple outlets for your electronics, you can keep track of the total draw.

iPad-Zf-MBP-300-Plus.jpeg Watts Add Up! You wouldn't think that these personal devices would draw that much, but this trio results in 69 watts.

I also like the control I have via the mobile app. I can do little things like set the duration for the display, or turn on the auxiliary light. And I can also configure the Explorer 300 Plus battery parameters to extend its life.

IMG_1075.jpeg I don't have to babysit the recharging of the Explorer 300 Plus thanks to this setting. When it reaches 85 percent, it stops charging. If usage dips to 15 percent, it turns off.

Discount Code

If you want just the Explorer 300 Plus without the solar panel, use Discount Code: JADEAL to lower the price to $255.

Shipping is free. My experiences with customer service have been excellent. And the warranty is top-notch.

Beware however... once you start generating your own electricity, it becomes addictive. I'll cover more gear in upcoming articles.

Other Articles in This Series

Roadtripping With the BodegaCooler Mini Fridge/Freezer - A Review.

Hot Coffee, Soup, on the Road with This 12V Car Kettle.

Note: The affiliate links in this article help support my research and writing. There is no additional charge to you the customer. Thank you for using those links.

solar-panel-ID424px.jpg Hanging a Jackery solar panel via bungee cords off the back of the ID.4 to power the Bodega refrigerator and refuel the Explorer 300 Plus.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #939, March 19, 2024. Today's theme is "Photography's Most Powerful Teacher: Failure." I'm Derrick Story.

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Opening Monologue

The idea of what is successful and what isn't has been swimming around my head lately. I'm sure a big part of it was our Photo Critique Workshop that just wrapped up. Those discussions about how we view our pictures versus the reactions to them by others were fascinating. So I decided to share a story with you about the secret to good photography. All of this, and more, on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 939

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Adobe interview: 'we're not trying to trick anyone with AI'

You can read the entire story on AmateurPhotographer.com.

How Nikon and Agence France-Presse in Paris Are Seeking To Ensure Authenticity in Photojournalism

You can read the entire story on FStoppers.com.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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

DSCF2905-Pt-Reyes-1024.jpg Fujifilm Velvia film simulation with a Fujifilm X100V digital camera.

When Oppenheimer cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema accepted his Oscar recently, he opened his acceptance speech by urging aspiring filmmakers to "... please try shooting with that incredible, new, hip thing called celluloid." I understand exactly where he's coming from.

The color palettes and tonality of various film stocks are a refreshing (and artistic) change from the barrage of saturated color and knife-edge sharpness of many digital images. And even though it's not practical for many hobbyist photographers to shoot and process film, there are alternative Jpeg recipes that come very close to the real thing.

ZF1_1629-Gold-100-San-Jose-1024.jpg Kodak Gold 100 film simulation with a Nikon Zf. Photos by Derrick Story.

Some cameras, like the Fujifilm X100VI (and all Fuji cameras for that fact) have alternative recipes built right into the camera. The photographer can switch from Velvia to Astia with just a press of a button.

Other cameras, such as the Nikon Zf include Picture Controls and leave open slots in the menu for third-party formulations. I have filled up all those openings on my Zf with the likes of Ilford HP5, Kodak Tri-X, and Gold 100.

This creative goodness is made possible by the nature of mirrorless cameras with their electronic viewfinders. We can enable a look, such as HP5, and then actually view the world via the film emulsion through the EVF. This takes creativity to a whole new level.

Those who worry that this experimentation might yield results they don't like later on the computer screen can rest assured that if the camera is set to RAW+Jpeg, the RAW file will still be pristine and completely editable while the Jpeg displays the color and tonality of the film simulation. It's the best of both worlds.

ZF1_1608-Zf-Velvia-1024.jpg "The World Will Miss You" Fujifilm Velvia film simulation of a Nikon Zf.

Resources to Get Started with Film Simulation

If this sounds interesting to you, I have some resources to help you get started.

Peering Through the Looking Glass of Film Simulations - Explains what film simulations are, how to apply them to your camera, with links to sites that feature recipes. This is a free link.

Film Simulations - Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain - In this podcast, I talk about how I use these recipes to energize my creativity.

Once you go beyond the standard Jpeg processing formula for your digital camera, I doubt that you will ever see the world the same through your EVF. And if you don't believe me, just ask award-winning cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #938, March 12, 2024. Today's theme is "So Much Photography News This Week!." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Nikon buys RED, Lensrentals gobbles up Borrowlenses, the Princess of Wales gets caught with a sloppy Photoshop job, and a lot more - What a week in the news! So much so, that we are dedicating this week's podcast to the breaking stories in the photography world. Stay tuned! I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 938

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This Week's Top Photography Stories

Nikon to Acquire RED in Surprise Announcement on FStoppers.com.

Actually, LENSRENTALS Won't Be Acquiring Employees from BORROWLENSES on ThePhoblographer.com.

Edited Royal Family photo sparks major controversy on AmateurPhotographer.com

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'Oppenheimer' Cinematographer Urges Filmmakers to Shoot on Analog in Oscars Speech on PetaPixel.com

Has Leica just made its best camera ever? on DigitalCameraWorld.com

Nikon's Z9 slated to go to the moon in 2026 on DPReview.com.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #937, March 5, 2024. Today's theme is "Film Simulations - Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Your first thought may be, "Why do I care about film simulations?" And that's fair if what you are after is the standard Jpeg processing included with your camera. But since electronic viewfinders can present a view of the world with our settings applied, film simulations can lead the way to more creative photography. I will explain more in the first story of this week's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 937

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Film Simulations - Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain

Reala-ACE-X100VI.jpeg

The announcement of the new Fujifilm X100 VI with its 20 film simulations seems to have re-energized this conversation. Being a fan of these myself, I thought it would be worth a few minutes of our time.

Basically, film simulations are merely alternative Jpeg processing formulas. Camera manufacturers have their default recipes, which are excellent, but if you want to get creative there are alternatives.

These really became popular with mirrorless cameras because the EVFs allowed us to preview the effect of any film simulation we had applied. Often this encourages creativity. And they are just plain fun.

Nearly every camera has a way to apply these. Fujifilm includes a library of simulations developed with their color science built right into the camera. Nikon also has their versions of this, called Picture Controls. They include their own, and then leave 9 slots open for you to add your own. Currently I'm using a set developed by an independent site called Nikon Picture Control Editor.

I use these on my Olympus cameras as well. Just like the other brands, OM System includes different looks built into the camera. But, you also have access to all of the controls required to create your own recepies. Rob Trek Online, for example, has published some Fujifilm recipies that you can apply to your OM System camera.

You can also apply film looks in post production. Adobe, DxO, Capture One, Photomator, RAW Power, and ON1 all have film looks available.

Tips for Film Simulation

Shoot RAW+Jpeg. The RAW will be RAW and the Jpeg will reflect the film simulation.

Note in your metadata descriptions the film simulation you used. These are not typically captured by the camera. I'm building an album in Capture One Pro that shows all of the film simulations that I'm using for the Nikon Zf.

You can always return to the camera manufacturer's profile in post. In Capture One Pro, for example, the Base Characteristics panel will let me switch back to a Nikon ICC profile if I decide I don't like the film simulation I used while shooting.

You can see the differences if you switch back and forth between the RAW version (which will have a native camera profile) and the Jpeg version (which will show the film simulation). I find this comparison very instructive.

Bottom Line

Film simulations, one way or another, can be enjoyed with any mirrorless camera. I love the looks they create, both in B&W and color. With my Nikon Zf, I have seven different B&W simulations to choose from - 3 native, and 4 added. And they are all very different.

The New Film Camera from Pentax is a Half Frame Compact

You can read the entire article on CasualPhotoPhile.com.

Infrared Photography Workshop - Online - June 2024

Do you feel like the world is looking like "the same old same old" through your camera's viewfinder? Have you felt your enthusiasm for photography waning? Then it's time for you to consider exploring infrared imaging.

Suddenly walks you've taken a hundred times look completely different as you see them through your camera. Old familiar subjects burst to life with new vibrancy. IR photography can energize your creativity, not only for this medium, but for all of your artistry.

Beginning June 5, 2024, join us for this 4-week exploration into the world of IR. During this event, you will learn:

  • The best IR filter to start with.
  • How to test your existing digital camera for infrared sensitivity.
  • Learn about the different types of IR conversions for digital cameras.
  • See how different IR filters produce wildly different results.
  • Learn how to fine-tune your images with software you already own.
  • Discover advanced techniques to take your images to the next level.
  • And much, much more.

This online workshop (Zoom) begins on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, with both morning (9am PST) and evening sessions (4pm PST) available. We will convene weekly thereafter via Zoom for more training sessions (AM and PM), Q&A, and to compare notes. You can attend morning, evening, or both sessions. It's essentially the same content, just different participants.

It is so much fun.

Plus, you will have unlimited access to our online workshop community, DerrickStoryOnline. Here, you can mingle with other workshop participants (past and present), share images for comment, exchange tips and techniques, and enjoy the fellowship of other creatives who share your passion for image-making.

You can reserve your spot for the Infrared Online Workshop here.

Best Micro Four Thirds lenses in 2024

You can read the entire article on AmateurPhotographer.com

Nikon Says It is 'Passionate' About Providing Firmware Updates

You can read the entire article on PetaPixel.com

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #936, Feb. 27, 2024. Today's theme is "Is Something Really Wrong, or Is It Me?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Even people who use electronics all the time can be baffled by them. You turn it on, get a warning light, and wonder, "Is something really wrong, or is it me?" It could go either way. And it's hard not to jump to conclusions. I've had a rash of these experiences lately. And I'll share a couple of them with you, if for no other reason, to demonstrate that we all fall into this trap. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 936

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Is Something Really Wrong, or Is It Me?

I do admit, I push the envelope sometimes, especially if I can save a few dollars. In my mind, I am the king of repurposing. And for the most part, this works well for me.

But every now and then I trip on my own shoelaces. My latest folly, which I have to admit makes me laugh at myself, is a story about the Nikon Zf, which comes with one battery and no charger.

We all know that a happening photographer can not survive on one battery alone. And to buy a second would tack on $60 to the budget. So I examined an extra battery I already owned, the Nikon EN-EL15 that came with my aging D610 DSLR. It looked just like the EN-EL15c that came with the Zf with just a little less horsepower.

And sure enough, when I inserted the EL15 into the Zf, everything worked normally. Problem solved! I checked this substitution online and Nikon officially states that the EL15 was not supported in the Zf. But it was working great.

And to make things even better, the Nikon Battery Charger MH-25 that was also included with the D610 charged both the old and the new Nikon batteries. I was in frugal heaven.

Life has been good since this discovery. I have two batteries for the Zf, and that's all I need for my everyday photography. I keep the newer one in the camera and pack the older one as a backup.

ZF1_1542-Faught-Road-1024.jpeg

Then on a Saturday Theresa and I had some errands out in wine country. The rain had subsided, and the forecast was fantastic. "I'm bringing the Nikon," I said to myself.

I didn't have the battery charger at home. It was at the studio. "No problem," I thought. I can charge the Zf via a USB-C cable. So I dug around in my bag, found a nice substantial one, and connected the camera to a power source.

The charging light started blinking, continued for 30 seconds, then went dark. "Hmmm," I thought. "Seems like it should stay on while charging." I checked the LCD screen and noticed that it was not charging.

"That's odd," I thought. I'll try again. Same thing happened. 30 seconds of blinking then nothing.

My next thought was shrouded in darkness. "Oh no! I have a defective camera." I took a deep breath. "Now hold on there cowboy. It's probably something simple. Maybe it's the cord or the power brick."

So, I found another cord and another brick. Same result. I tried yet another tandem. No charge. At this point I had the contents of my equipment bag spread all over the couch, and a battery that was only 40 percent charged.

When all else fails, read the owners manual. I found the PDF on my iPad and looked up charging. There was a note that stated when the light blinks for 30 seconds and goes out, it's a charging error. Excellent. I have the only Nikon Zf in California that won't charge via USB.

I felt defeated. I repacked the contents of my cord pouch and stuffed it back in the backpack. "Might as well tidy up," I thought. Then I poured myself another cup of coffee and pondered my situation.

"Why won't it work? Is it really broken?"

Then I thought of one last-ditch effort. What if I switched batteries and tried charging the backup? Who know, right?

I fetched the backup battery out of my backpack and switched it out with the one in the camera. Plugged everything ink, and waited. The charge light went on, and it was steady. I checked the LCD screen and it too indicated that the camera was charging. I was partially relieved.

I examined the battery that I had extracted from the camera; the one that one not charge. It looked fine. Then I noticed on the back of the battery that I was trying to charge the older EL-15, not the battery that came with the camera. I must have forgotten that I switched them.

Then my charging light went on. The Nikon was charging because it had the battery in it that came with the camera, not the 5-year-old cell that wasn't supported.

I guess that charging via USB involves more than just the camera, but the battery too. Nothing was wrong with my equipment. It was me.

Photomator 3.3 Adds a Powerful New File Browser to the Photo Editor

You can read the entire article on PetaPixel.com.

Pixelmator has released a significant update to Photomator, its award-winning photo editing app for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Vision Pro. Photomator 3.3 includes a powerful new file browser built on native macOS functionality, promising a fast and convenient photo browsing and editing experience, no matter where photographers keep their files.

"One of the things that users love most about Photomator is how right at home it feels on Mac," says Simonas Bastys, lead developer at the Pixelmator Team. "And with the addition of the powerful file browser, it's now simpler than ever to browse and edit photos not just on Mac but also across external drives and cloud services."

Pixelmator says users can import "tens of thousands of photos in seconds" by dragging and dropping them into the new Photomator file browser. Edits are directly synced with the original photos without creating duplicate files or catalogs, helping photographers keep their large image libraries organized and clutter-free.

"Users can seamlessly edit photos stored across various cloud services such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, as well as SSDs, NAS devices, or SD cards, with the same ease as editing on their Mac. Regardless of the storage location, photo editing is completely nondestructive, letting users preserve the original photo and revert edits at any time," promises Pixelmator.

Photomator is available to download for free from the Apple App Store. Within the free version, users can access all of the app's editing tools and save a limited number of edited images. For unlimited access, users must pay $5 per month, $30 a year, or $120 for a lifetime license. Photomator is compatible with devices running iOS and iPadOS 16 or later for iPhone and iPad and macOS 13 or later for Mac.

The photo editing app was also named the Mac App of the Year last November by Apple.

My Testing Observations

Does work well and is fast. When it comes to RAW files, however, Photomator uses the Apple profiles. So if your Mac doesn't support a camera, such as my Nikon Zf, then neither will Photomator.

Infrared Photography Workshop - Online - June 2024

Do you feel like the world is looking like "the same old same old" through your camera's viewfinder? Have you felt your enthusiasm for photography waning? Then it's time for you to consider exploring infrared imaging.

Suddenly walks you've taken a hundred times look completely different as you see them through your camera. Old familiar subjects burst to life with new vibrancy. IR photography can energize your creativity, not only for this medium, but for all of your artistry.

Beginning June 5, 2024, join us for this 4-week exploration into the world of IR. During this event, you will learn:

  • The best IR filter to start with.
  • How to test your existing digital camera for infrared sensitivity.
  • Learn about the different types of IR conversions for digital cameras.
  • See how different IR filters produce wildly different results.
  • Learn how to fine-tune your images with software you already own.
  • Discover advanced techniques to take your images to the next level.
  • And much, much more.

This online workshop (Zoom) begins on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, with both morning (9am PST) and evening sessions (4pm PST) available. We will convene weekly thereafter via Zoom for more training sessions (AM and PM), Q&A, and to compare notes. You can attend morning, evening, or both sessions. It's essentially the same content, just different participants.

It is so much fun.

Plus, you will have unlimited access to our online workshop community, DerrickStoryOnline. Here, you can mingle with other workshop participants (past and present), share images for comment, exchange tips and techniques, and enjoy the fellowship of other creatives who share your passion for image-making.

You can reserve your spot for the Infrared Online Workshop here.

Announcement: The Original OM-1 Has a Major Performance Firmware Upgrade [Coming]

You can read the entire article on FStoppers.com

OM Digital Solutions has been working on a firmware upgrade for their original OM-1. They announced the OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mark II interchangeable lens camera on January 30, and there have been many inquiries regarding the possibility of a firmware update to the OM SYSTEM OM-1 that was released nearly two years ago.

Not every feature of the new OM-1 Mark II will be included in the older camera with this firmware upgrade, no doubt because the Mark II version included new hardware to cope with the additional functionality. However, they are living up to their promise of updating the OM-1.

The future firmware upgrade is scheduled to be available later this year, most likely in October.

The improvements that will be brought about by the update will be:

Autofocus: Improvement of some AF performance capabilities, such as S-AF and C-AF in all-target mode to improve capture of main subjects Operability: Improved usability through the option to assign the trash (delete) button as a menu access shortcut.

OMDS says it cannot include new features introduced with the OM-1 Mark II, such as Live GND - the in-built graduated filter - and AI Detection AF for humans.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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

X100VI-Overview.jpg

This is The Digital Story Podcast #935, Feb. 20, 2024. Today's theme is "How Do I Pick My Best Shot? (And the New Fujifilm X100VI)" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Breaking news! The Fujifilm X100VI. And... photographers tend to be too hard on themselves, or way too generous when evaluating their pictures. But there's a middle ground. To reach it, we need to honestly answer a few basic questions during the review process. In the first segment of today's TDS Photography Podcast, I'll let you know what those are, and how they can help you make better choices when selecting your images. Then we take you to Tokyo for the Fujifilm X-Summit. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 935

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How Do I Pick My Best Shot?

Have you ever opened up your laptop to show off a favorite picture, one that you worked very hard on, only to have the viewer rave about a different shot that you had passed by?

"But I worked hours on this one to get it perfect!" you counter. "Oh, that one is nice too," the viewer says in a comforting voice.

Photographers have many blind spots when evaluating their own work. One of the most common is, "If I spend lots of time working on a picture, it's better than the others." That may or may not be the case.

But how do you know? You can move the odds more in your favor by analyzing your favorite photos using this process. It goes something like this. Let's apply this technique to a photo shoot you've just completed.

  • First, you have to separate the good shots from the bad ones. This is easy to do. Say that you have 100 images from the shoot, odds are solid that at least 25 of them will be good. That means they could stand on their own with very little image editing.
  • Second, put the good photos in their own album so you are only looking at those.
  • Third, go through those 25 again and pick the 5-10 pictures that you like best. So far, we haven't really done anything new. But we will with the next step.
  • Fourth, isolate those 5-10 favorites, enlarge the first one to full screen, and ask yourself the following 3 questions.

Is the content of this photograph compelling? What I mean by that is, is there a clear center of interest and does it tell a story?

Is the image technically sound? That is, is the exposure good and the sharpeness appropriate for the subject?

Is there emotional appeal? Do you feel something when you look at the picture?

Your best images will answer yes to all three questions.

One of the things I've observed during lab sessions at our TDS workshops is that many photographers give too much weight to technical considerations and not enough to content and emotion. The irony is, if we had to live without one of the three, it would be the technical.

Photos that have interesting content with emotional appeal will always outshine technically perfect images with general audiences. Once a person identifies your main subject and is attracted to it, the game is over.

Pixel peepers may criticize image noise or a plugged-up shadow area, but if they are ignoring a great subject in the process, then they're missing the point.

Try this four-step process on a recent photo shoot, and see if you're surprised by the winners. Maybe next time you open up your laptop to show off a picture, it will also be the favorite for the person you're showing it too.

If you want more on this subject, check out my Live View article, How to Better Evaluate Our Pictures. This is a free link!

Fujifilm X100VI Announced at X-Summit Tokyo

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Fujifilm photographers have their first X-Summit of the year on Feb. 20th in Japan. And they didn't have to wait long for the announcement of the new X100VI Digital Camera.

The estimated ship date is Feb. 28, but you can preorder the X100VI now for $1,599.

On today's podcast, you can hear directly from Fujifilm about their new compact camera.

Infrared Photography Workshop - Online - June 2024

Do you feel like the world is looking like "the same old same old" through your camera's viewfinder? Have you felt your enthusiasm for photography waning? Then it's time for you to consider exploring infrared imaging.

Suddenly walks you've taken a hundred times look completely different as you see them through your camera. Old familiar subjects burst to life with new vibrancy. IR photography can energize your creativity, not only for this medium, but for all of your artistry.

Beginning June 5, 2024, join us for this 4-week exploration into the world of IR. During this event, you will learn:

  • The best IR filter to start with.
  • How to test your existing digital camera for infrared sensitivity.
  • Learn about the different types of IR conversions for digital cameras.
  • See how different IR filters produce wildly different results.
  • Learn how to fine-tune your images with software you already own.
  • Discover advanced techniques to take your images to the next level.
  • And much, much more.

This online workshop (Zoom) begins on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, with both morning (9am PST) and evening sessions (4pm PST) available. We will convene weekly thereafter via Zoom for more training sessions (AM and PM), Q&A, and to compare notes. You can attend morning, evening, or both sessions. It's essentially the same content, just different participants.

It is so much fun.

Plus, you will have unlimited access to our online workshop community, DerrickStoryOnline. Here, you can mingle with other workshop participants (past and present), share images for comment, exchange tips and techniques, and enjoy the fellowship of other creatives who share your passion for image-making.

You can reserve your spot for the Infrared Online Workshop here.

Apple warns: Drying a wet iPhone in rice could actually make things worse

You can read the entire article on Macworld.com

For years, we've turned to a simple household staple when we need to save our iPhones from a liquid death: a bag of rice. The method is decidedly low-tech. Just pop your phone in a bag of rice, seal it up, and wait for a day or so. The idea is that the rice will draw the water out from inside the phone before it can fry any internal parts. People who have experienced waterlogged phones swear by it, and there's tons of anecdotal evidence to show that it does indeed work.

However, researchers have been claiming for years that it's all a myth and rice doesn't actually dry your phone faster and could slow down the process, leaving your logic board susceptible to further damage. And a new 2024 support document from Apple actually advises against using rice to dry out your iPhone since it could make matters worse, as "doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone." Instead, Apple suggests the following steps:

Tap your iPhone gently against your hand with the connector facing down to remove excess liquid. Leave your iPhone in a dry area with some airflow. After at least 30 minutes, try charging with a Lightning or USB-C cable or connecting an accessory.

If you see the alert again, there is still liquid in the connector or under the pins of your cable. Leave your iPhone in a dry area with some airflow for up to a day. You can try again to charge or connect an accessory throughout this period. It might take up to 24 hours to fully dry.

If your phone has dried out but still isn't charging, unplug the cable from the adapter and unplug the adapter from the wall (if possible) and then connect them again.

Among the don'ts, Apple also urges against drying your iPhone with an external heat source or compressed air, or inserting a "foreign object," such as a cotton swab or a paper towel, into the Lightning or USB-C port.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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

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This is The Digital Story Podcast #934, Feb. 13, 2024. Today's theme is "The Temptation of Cheap Third Party Lenses." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It's hard to resist the siren call of super-affordable Chinese-made optics. For the price of a polarizer, we can fill gaps in our lens library that we might not otherwise be able to afford. But even at a modest price, do these accessories provide the quality we need for our work? The answer is "yes," and "no." Find out why on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 934

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The Temptation of Cheap Third Party Lenses

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There are lenses that we use all of the time - 24mm, 40mm, 85mm - and lenses that we use every now and then. For our everyday work, I recommend sticking with optics that we know we can depend on, usually manfactured by the camera brand they are being mounted on.

But what about those lenses we only use some of the time? Should we pay a premium for those as well?

I was looking for a super-wide for the Nikon Zf. I wanted an optic that could cover more ground than my current 24mm. The Nikon NIKKOR Z 20mm S with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 has an overall rating of 4.9 and costs $1,046. It is 4.27" long and weighs just over a pound. It uses a 77mm front filter.

The Viltrox 20mm Z has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, no star ratings yet on Amazon, and costs $158. It is 2.7" long, weighs 6.1 ounces, and uses a 52mm front filter.

Lens construction differences between the two optics are different, but not as much as you might think. The Viltrox has 10 elements in 8 groups with 7 aperture blades. The Nikon has 14 elements in 11 groups with 9 aperture blades. Both optics have quiet AF and manual focus, and nano multilayer coating on the elements. And both work well on the Nikon Zf.

We know that the Nikon 20mm performs well. But what about the Viltrox? I did a little testing with it mounted on the Nikon Zf. Here's what I found.

  • Autofocusing was quiet and smooth. Feels a tad slower than the Nikon, but very much in the acceptable range.
  • Sharpness was very good across the entire frame at f/5.6 and above. At f/2.8 and f/4 sharpness was good, but not as crisp in the corners.
  • Strong vignetting apparent at f/2.8. The effect diminished at f/4 and above.
  • Close-up performance (7.5") is quite good.
  • Lens flare and CA were well controlled.

So, right out of the camera, the Viltrox doesn't compete well against the Nikon. It's a stop slower, doesn't focus as fast, and doesn't perform its best wide open.

But I worked the files a bit in Capture One Pro. Here's what I did.

In Lens Correction, I selected the Nikon AF 20mm f/2.8 D profile. In that same panel, I increased sharpness and compensated for Light Falloff. In the Base Characteristics panel, I used the Nikon Zf Neutral profile. I then processed the image normally including a little devignetting. The finished RAW file looked very good.

The bottom line here is if you're willing to spend a little time in post-processing massaging the RAW files, you can get good results from the Viltrox 20mm f/2.8. And if you only need a super wide on occasion, then the extra time might be worth it.

However, if you want premium image quality and handling, then the Nikon Z is the superior way to go.

The Viltrox 20mm f/2.8 is available in both Nikon Z and Sony E mounts for $158.

Fujifilm and Skylum are Hosting 50 Free Photo Walks Across the U.S.

You can read the entire article at Petapixel.com.

Skylum, the company behind the Luminar Neo editing platform, and Fujifilm have partnered to host 50 free photo walks across the United States, giving photographers a chance to not only see their local cities in a new light but also try out new Fujifilm gear. The two companies say that this "experimental" new program was developed to inspire photographers to explore various metropolitan cities through their camera lenses on a series of guided photo walks where they will be surrounded by a like-minded community.

As part of the experience, participants will be able to try out Fujifilm's latest cameras and lenses and get face-to-face time with personnel from both companies.

"At almost every event in which Fujifilm participates, we look for an opportunity to integrate photo walks" Victor Ha, vice president of the Fujifilm North America Corporation, Electronic Imaging Division says.

"We see photo walks as incredibly important pieces of the creative process. They're not only a way to build camaraderie among creators, but also to allow them to make compelling images and content in real-world settings. We're excited to collaborate with Luminar Neo on these photo walks and to give local creators the tools needed to share ideas, expertise, and stories with each other, and the world."

The two companies say that regardless of skill level, these photo walks offer a unique chance to improve skills and also connect with the local community. The first photo walks are scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Salt Lake City in March and the rest will take place throughout the month in cities like Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, Austin, Clearwater, Detroit, and many others.

The full schedule of events can be found on a dedicated Eventbrite page where registration is free. The company says more locations will be added over the next few days.

Spring in Sedona Photography Workshop

April 16-19, 2024 - TDS photographers return to the greater Sedona, AZ area, but this time during the Spring to view the landscape in a whole new way. We will explore iconic locations, picturesque landscapes, mysterious vortexes, and towns frozen in time from the mining days. What a great way to kick off our 2024 workshop season!

You can learn more and reserve your spot by clicking here. Hope to see you in April!

The OM-1 Mark II: More Camera Than First Meets the Eye

You can read the entire article on FStoppers.com

The OM-1 Mark II has certainly caused a stir. Here's a deep dive into what this camera is all about and why it's another winner and a bigger upgrade than you might first think.

Special Features of the OM-1 Mark II

Upgraded: High Res Shot

This feature takes a series of photos in quick succession and combines them into a single 80-megapixel raw file and JPEG, now with the option of the raw file being 14-bit. That gives three times the number of tones in the image. There is a handheld 50-megapixel version too, taking advantage of the image stabilization.

Upgraded: Live ND Shooting

Saving you from carrying ND filters with you for long exposures, Live ND is an ND filter built into the camera. The OM-1 Mark II now gives up to seven stops, i.e., ND128. Although useful on its own, reducing the amount of gear you need to carry, it can be used in conjunction with an ND filter on your lens, delivering exceptionally long exposures even in bright daylight.

New: Live GND Shooting

As an alternative to Live ND, it's now possible to have one, two, or three stops of graduated ND filter applied to raw files and JPEGs by the camera. There are three levels of feathering of the graduation: soft, medium, and hard. You can also change the angle of the graduation.

Upgraded: Pro Capture and Blackout-Free Shooting

One of the huge upgrades of this camera is the doubling of the buffer size. If you are not aware of it, Pro Capture continuously buffers images and records the most recent of them when you press the shutter button. With continuous autofocus, the buffering is happening at 50 frames per second (fps), and it will buffer 256 frames. That's 5 seconds' worth of images. In that way, you should never miss a shot when a bird takes to the wing or when the bride kisses the groom.

With single autofocus, the camera records a staggering 120 fps and will buffer 213 shots.

The camera also has improved blackout-free sequential shooting.

Upgraded and New: AI Subject Detection Focusing

Another great option for wildlife photographers is the AI Subject Detection. I have found this excellent for detecting partially hidden birds, obscured by twigs and branches, and for latching onto birds in flight with cluttered backgrounds.

You can now also select individual subjects in crowded scenes. That's not only great for wildlife photographers but also events and wedding photographers, especially as Human Detection has been added. Furthermore, they are all accessible in the same place on the Super Control Panel, which gives quick access to important features.

I haven't tried the vehicular options, but the bird, animal, and the new human detection are outstandingly fast and precise.

Conclusion: Like its predecessor, the OM-1 Mark II is a camera that has continued to break the mold; it's definitely not a clone of every other camera out there, and it's good to see that OMDS are sticking to their guns and providing a product with features that tick the boxes of its user base. Consequently, it's already proving to be a popular choice.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #933, Feb. 6, 2024. Today's theme is "Documenting What Makes You, You." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We have many more dimensions than most folks realize. Yes, in this community, we know each other for our photography. But each of us has far more going on than taking pictures. And we can use that skill to document - and share if we wish - the other areas of our life. Combining our love for photography with the things we enjoy. I will discuss one such example regarding me on this week's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 933

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Documenting What Makes You, You

I have lemon trees. Yes, multiple. At the studio, I have a miniature in a wine barrel on the back patio that is wildly prolific and produces the most delicious Meyers. At the house, we have two more small trees. And they seem happy as well.

So this time of year I find myself up to my hip boots in fruit. I have already perfected the art of homemade lemonade using Xylitol as the sweetener. Delicious. Theresa incorporates our bounty into a variety of entrees that enhance their appeal. And yet, there are still more lemons.

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So I searched the Internet for interesting things to do with our harvest. And I stumbled upon a recipe for making Limoncello, an Italian liqueur traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestive. "That sounds good," I thought. So I endeavored to make a California version with my Meyers.

The basic recipe involves soaking the lemon peels in grain alcohol for a few weeks, then straining, and finally adding simple syrup to sweeten. Limoncello is kept in the freezer and served in petite after-dinner liquor glasses.

Now even though the basic recipe is simple, the proportions are very important. And being the type of guy who strives for the best Limoncello west of the Atlantic, I document everything I do as I evolve the recipe. This is where the documentation comes into play.

For example: the first batch used 600 ML of Everclear 120 proof grain alcohol, the peels from 12 medium to medium-small Meyer lemons, and finished with 275 ML of homemade simple syrup.

But without photographs to accompany my documentation, how do I know in the future what a medium-small lemon looks like? How much peel from each lemon? How do I filter the concoction after infusion? And on and on.

So with each step, I photograph what's happening and label those images as part of Batch 1. And this part is as enjoyable as making the Limoncello itself.

During the weeks required for infusion, I'm on the hunt for cute bottles that would be appropriate for such a delicacy. And since I'm going to be making lemonade with the juice of those lemons, I need to gather all those parts as well.

This past Sunday, on a stormy day in Northern California, I finished the first batch, carefully placed the bottles in the freezer, and we sampled the finished product after dinner. Amazing!

The second batch is already underway. For reference, I have photos of every step from version 1 to accompany my precise measurements. I love the pictures almost as much as the drink itself.

So by now, you've probably figured out that I'm a hobby mixologist. I've created my own drinks from scratch, and have been able to copy others just by tasting them. I can now add Limoncello to my resume. And I have the pictures to prove it.

Capture One Lays Off Staff Amid a 'Significant' Internal Restructure

You can read the entire article at Petapixel.com.

Capture One is undergoing what it characterizes as "significant changes" internally which has resulted in an unspecified number of layoffs at the company. It is at least the second round of turnover since it announced it was switching to a subscription model.

PetaPixel first learned of the layoffs last week, but the company only confirmed them this morning.

"Last Monday we made an internal announcement about significant changes for the Capture One team. These are not actions we take lightly and the people that were affected by them were treated with respect and empathy," Capture One tells PetaPixel.

"Although we have nothing specific to announce today, as the photography industry continues to evolve and we at Capture One make progress with our strategy as a standalone company, we're implementing changes that align our investments with the areas where we're seeing increases in customer satisfaction and traction with our users.

"These changes are difficult, but we're confident they position us better to advance in our mission to provide professional photographers with the most powerful creative and collaboration tools."

The company did not provide details on how many were affected, but PetaPixel has learned that a significant portion of the communications team has been let go. Of note, this is the second time in the last year this particular team has been gutted. Not long after the announcement that the company would be moving to a subscription-only model, most of the public-facing communications team was let go. Around this time, Capture One also ended its contracts with external public relations support.

It is not clear at this time what kind of internal restructure the company is going through or its scale beyond the Capture One's own use of the word "significant," but the last year has been difficult for the company as it has grappled with widespread pushback in response to its announcement that it would move away from perpetual software licenses. It didn't help that the company made the announcement not long after it concluded a 50% off sale on perpetual licenses, leaving buyers feeling as though they had been bait and switched.

The move to a subscription model came with the promise that current customers would be rewarded for their loyalty, but details of that program later revealed it to just be a one-time discount, further raising the hackles of customers.

Spring in Sedona Photography Workshop

April 16-19, 2024 - TDS photographers return to the greater Sedona, AZ area, but this time during the Spring to view the landscape in a whole new way. We will explore iconic locations, picturesque landscapes, mysterious vortexes, and towns frozen in time from the mining days. What a great way to kick off our 2024 workshop season!

You can learn more and reserve your spot by clicking here. Hope to see you in April!

'There is no such thing as a real picture': Samsung defends AI photo editing on Galaxy S24

You can read the entire article on techradar.com

Like most technology conferences in recent months, Samsung's latest Galaxy Unpacked event was dominated by conversations surrounding AI. From two-way call translation to gesture-based search, the Samsung Galaxy S24 launched with several AI-powered tricks up its sleeve - but one particular feature is already raising eyebrows.

Set to debut on the Galaxy S24 and its siblings, Generative Edit will allow users to artificially erase, recompose and remaster parts of an image in a bid to achieve photographic perfection. This isn't a new concept, and any edits made using this generative AI tech will result in a watermark and metadata changes. But the seamlessness with which the Galaxy S24 enables such edits has understandably left some Unpacked-goers concerned.

Samsung, however, is confident that its new Generative Edit feature is ethical, desirable and even necessary in today's misinformation-filled world. In a revealing interview with TechRadar, Samsung's Head of Customer Experience, Patrick Chomet, defended the company's position on AI and its implications.

"There was a very nice video by Marques Brownlee last year on the moon picture," Chomet told us. "Everyone was like, 'Is it fake? Is it not fake?' There was a debate around what constitutes a real picture. And actually, there is no such thing as a real picture. As soon as you have sensors to capture something, you reproduce [what you're seeing], and it doesn't mean anything. There is no real picture. You can try to define a real picture by saying, 'I took that picture', but if you used AI to optimize the zoom, the autofocus, the scene - is it real? Or is it all filters? There is no real picture, full stop."

"But still, questions around authenticity are very important," Chomet continued, "and we [Samsung] go about this by recognizing two consumer needs; two different customer intentions. Neither of them are new, but generative AI will accelerate one of them.

"One intention is wanting to capture the moment - wanting to take a picture that's as accurate and complete as possible. To do that, we use a lot of AI filtering, modification and optimization to erase shadows, reflections and so on. But we are true to the user's intention, which was to capture that moment. "Then there is another intention, which is wanting to make something. When people go on Instagram, they add a bunch of funky black and white stuff - they create a new reality. Their intention isn't to recreate reality, it's to make something new. So [Generative Edit] isn't a totally new idea. Generative AI tools will accelerate that intention exponentially in the next few years [...] so there is a big customer need to distinguish between the real and the new. That's why our Generative Edit feature adds a watermark and edits the metadata, and we're working with regulatory bodies to ensure people understand the difference." On the subject of AI regulation, Chomet said that Samsung "is very aligned with European regulations on AI," noting that governments are right to express early concerns around the potential implications of widespread AI use.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #932, Jan. 30, 2024. Today's theme is "A First Look at the OM System OM-1 Mark II." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Just in case you were wondering, OM System is not sitting on its laurels with the OM-1 that was released in March 2022. They've followed up their compact marvel with the Mark II. And on today's podcast, I'm going to tell you all about its feature highlights and who I think this camera is for. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 932

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A First Look at the OM System OM-1 Mark II

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When you first look at the OM-1 Mark II, you will notice two things. First, the crown badge now reads OM System and not Olympus. The second, practically nothing else has changed on the outside. And if you're an OM-1 owner, that's a good thing because all of your accessories will work on the Mark II, including the external battery grip.

But underneath the hood there are upgrades and an intriguing new feature. Before we get to that, let's take a look at the spec highlights.

  • 5-axis image stabilization with up to 8.5 shutter speed steps compensation.
  • Eye-level OLED electronic viewfinder, approx. 5.76M dots.
  • 3-inch vari-angle monitor (electrostatic capacitance touch panel), approx. 1.62M dots.
  • Dust and splash-proof (IP53 rated).
  • High-speed cross-type phase-detection AF (1,053 points).
  • High-speed contrast AF (1,053 points).
  • AI Detection AF - computational photography for identifying a variety of subjects.
  • Silent Sequential Shooting SH1 - approx. 120 fps with selectable 60, 100, and 120 fps without blackout.
  • 4K video recording and vertical video mode.
  • Sensor dust reduction via a supersonic wave filter.
  • World's first Live Graduated Neutral Density shooting functionality.
  • Can withstand freezing temperatures down to -10 degrees C.
  • 50 MP handheld high-resolution shot and 80 MP tripod high-resolution shot.
  • Compatibility with UVC (USB Video Class) and UAC (USB Audio Class), allowing seamless connection to a PC for use as a webcam.
  • Twin UHS-II SD memory card slots.

Grad ND - A Fascinating New Feature

This technology uses computational photography to replicate the effects of using a half-ND filter, allowing the photographer to control brightness and darkness within the image, much like an external graduated neutral density filter.

Through Live GND shooting, photographers can adjust filter steps (GND2, GND4, or GND8) and types (soft, medium, or hard) in real-time through the EVF or rear LCD. This function allows for customization of the effect's position and angle.

Without the need for physical filters attached to the lens, photographers can leverage half ND effects, even with lenses lacking filter threads.

More AI Autofocus

Developed using deep learning technologies, the AI Detection AF has been enhanced to recognize an extensive array of subjects, including humans, formula racing cars, motorcycles, airplanes, helicopters, trains, birds, and common animals such as dogs and cats. This integration enhances the well-established Face Priority/Eye Priority AF, significantly refining autofocus capabilities. It can accurately identify subjects, even when individuals are in profile, facing away, or obscured by hidden facial features.

Subjects are tracked within the frame, ensuring they remain in focus. The OM-1 Mark II can follow intricate details like driver's helmets or the eyes of birds and other animals, going beyond what photographers could normally do on their own.

Who Should Buy the OM System OM-1 Mark II?

Wildlife and birding enthusiasts are at the top of the list. For example, combined with the new OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm f/5.0-6.3 IS lens that provides effective focal lengths of up to 1200mm, and weighs just over 2,000 grams (4.4 lbs), photographers can easily work with this rig all day, no tripod required. And that's just one of the many telephotos available.

The OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4 PRO provides an effective reach of 80-300mm and weighs a mere 382 grams (13.5 oz). The f/2.8 version weighs 760 grams (1.67 lb) and accepts both 1.4X and 2X matched teleconverters. Other top-tier options include the Olympus 300mm f/4 PRO and the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8.

Macro photography is also a strength of this system. There are a variety of optics well-suited for this work. Add the increased depth of field resulting from the Micro Four Thirds sensor, and the OM-1 is a godsend for super closeup photography. Lens options include the OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 90mm f/3.5, 60mm f/2.8, and the 30mm f/3.5 macro optics.

Travel photographers and journalists would also benefit from this system. Rugged design, compactness, and versatility make the OM-1 Mark II perfect for those covering the world while traveling light.

That's not to say this isn't an excellent system for general photography. There are many capable interchangeable lens cameras available these days. But very few combine the strengths of the OM System in such a compact package.

Should OM-1 Owners Upgrade to the OM-1 Mark II?

I'm wrestling with this question myself. I have my OM-1 sitting here on my desk, looking as fresh and new as the day I bought it, and trying to decide if I should invest in the Mark II.

For dedicated Micro Four Thirds photographers who use the OM-1, the Mark II would provide a solid upgrade and allow the original OM-1 to serve as a secondary camera.

The Mark II has improved performance. For example, in Pro Capture mode, the Mark II allows for retrospective capture of approximately 99 frames, an increase over the OM-1's 70 frames. For sequential shooting, the OM-1 Mark II can capture 219 frames in JPEG format or 213 frames in RAW at 120 fps, a dramatic improvement over the OM-1's 92 frames for each.

Add the autofocusing speed improvement with new features such as Live GND and vertical video capture, those could be important upgrades depending on your photography needs. Keep in mind that you can continue to use all of your existing MFT lenses and OM-1 accessories with the Mark II.

The big question is, do these benefits justify the $2,399 price tag? That answer lies between you and your credit card.

The Bottom Line

The OM System OM-1 Mark II is a powerhouse interchangeable lens camera that provides more compact options (thanks to MFT lenses) than its full-frame competitors. The Mark II is especially appealing for serious photographers who venture outside of the studio into harsh environments and changing conditions, and who require the versatility of the vast Micro Four Thirds lens catalog.

Unless you're a stay-at-home kind of guy, or that you really like the cardio workouts that come with lugging lots of gear up a trail, I would say that the latest OM-1 Mark II is for you.

Meike Releases New 50mm F1.8 Autofocus Lens for Z/E Mount for $159

You can read more and place your order on the Meike Global site.

The lens is easy to carry and its images are sharp and clear at any aperture. The band new 50mm/F1.8 uses the newest optical structure, making it able to achieve a large aperture of F1.8 while maintaining miniaturization and lightweight. Multi-layer coating technology is used on both sides of the lens to restore more realistic colors. The lens is not easy to attach dust or stains, and can be easily wiped clean.

The Nikon Z mount is available now. The Sony E mount will be available by the end of February 2024.

Spring in Sedona Photography Workshop

April 16-19, 2024 - TDS photographers return to the greater Sedona, AZ area, but this time during the Spring to view the landscape in a whole new way. We will explore iconic locations, picturesque landscapes, mysterious vortexes, and towns frozen in time from the mining days. What a great way to kick off our 2024 workshop season!

You can learn more and reserve your spot by clicking here. Hope to see you in April!

Why You Should Print Your Photos

You can watch the video and read the article on FStoppers.com

Printing images is a rewarding yet often overlooked aspect of photography. This process transforms digital captures into tangible art, playing a pivotal role in a photographer's creative expression and giving you a meaningful way to display your work.

Coming to you from Simon Baxter, this insightful video begins with Baxter sharing his passion for woodland photography and his meticulous approach to printing. He emphasizes the importance of not rushing the process, allowing images to mature over time. Baxter's philosophy resonates with photographers who view their work as a continual process rather than a series of isolated events. His method of revisiting and editing images based on evolving emotional connections is particularly interesting. This philosophy, treating each step from shooting to printing as interconnected, enriches the final artwork and imbues it with deeper personal significance.

Baxter also highlights the technical aspects of printing, such as monitor calibration and paper selection, underscoring their impact on the final print. His detailed explanation of how different papers can influence the mood and texture of an image provides valuable insights for photographers striving to fully realize their artistic intent. This attention to detail in the printing process is a testament to the craftsmanship that goes into each piece and how even small differences can affect the final output. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Baxter.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at medium.com/live-view.

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at dstory@gmail.com.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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

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

See you next week!

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