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Have you been thinking about buying the Canon Digital Rebel XSi, but can't quite come up with the $850 US? Well, you can save a couple hundred bucks and go with the just-announced Canon Rebel XS/1000D DSLR.

After taking a look at Rob Galbraith's post, I must say that there doesn't seem to be a huge amount difference betweek the XS and the XSi. Basically, it's 12 MPs vs 10 MPs, 14 bits vs 12 bits, no spot meter, 3" LCD vs 2.5", and a few other differences. You can dig deeper into the specs by perusing this DP Review Preview. We should see the camera in early July. I still like the XSi a tad better.

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Audio Only, or Movies Too?


I have a question for you. I'm running into more opportunities to capture video when I interview people or am on location. My query is, when I have good video to share, do you want that instead of the weekly audio podcast, or in addition to it?

Many people in the publishing business feel that video is a superior medium, or at least cooler, than straight audio. I'm not totally convinced about this. I think consumers use the two different formats different ways. For example, you can listen to a podcast while commuting to work. But it's dangerous to watch video while driving (and not recommended!). On the other hand, I can convey more information via video than audio.

This is top of mind for me because I have a good video interview with Photoshop artist Bert Monroy recorded in his studio. I was toying with the idea of publishing it as next week's podcast. Before I do that, however, I wanted to check in with you.

So, what's your vote? Video pieces separate from the podcasts, or occasionally instead of? And as always, thanks for your participation!

Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.

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I just read in the newsletter that they released a new installment in their Creative Inspiration series: a profile of Douglas Kirkland.

Lynda Weinman writes, "This series of videos features Douglas Kirkland’s photography, from his early career at Look magazine during the golden age of photojournalism in the 60s and 70s to his transition from analog to digital photography in the 90s. His iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, and Nicole Kidman, among others, are known all over the world. The piece is 1.25 hours long, and features movies on Douglas’s work, his studio, and his on-location photo shoots. It also includes a presentation showcasing his body of work, a discussion with a group of high school photography students, an interview with Douglas and me, and more."

You can watch the 12 movies that comprise the profile for no charge. But your do have to register on the site providing your name and email address. Lynda doesn't share this information with other companies. As part of the bargain, you will receive her excellent monthly newsletter. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

It's a real treat to spend some time with this legendary photographer. I hope you enjoy the videos. While you're there, you may want to check out the free movies for my Digital Photography Principles title.

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Virtual camera club member Jeramy sent along a tip that the Sitepoint book, The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web Design Tips, Tricks & Techniques written by Corrie Haffly, can be downloaded for free. I gave it a spin. I had to provide an email address, and then was sent a link. The download was about 63 MBs. The books itself was written in the Photoshop CS2 era, so it doesn't include some of the latest tools.

That being said, Photoshop Anthology does a good job of covering basic adjustments and techniques, and has lots of goodies for publishing graphics on the Web. The tips are solid and based on good use of layers and other Photoshop standard practices. The layout is attractive and easy to read, even in PDF format. And you certainly can't argue with the price!

Thanks Jeramy for the lead.

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Still Time for Santa Fe


There's still time to join me in the great Southwest. From June 22 to June 28, 2008, I'll be facilitating a Digital Lab at Santa Fe Workshops titled, Beginning Workflow with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I'm very excited about having the opportunity to teach this lab, not just because I'll be working in Santa Fe for a week (although, not bad either), but because I'll be able to share one of my favorite workflows for photographers who want to work efficiently.

The basic approach is to use Adobe tools to identify your best shots quickly, then perfect and move along without getting bogged down in Photoshop. I have lots of great techniques that empower you to be in control or your workflow, and shift your focus back to capturing great shots.

Part of this formula is keeping a few tips in mind while shooting your Raw images. If you know how you want to work on the back-end, then you can capture to optimize that process. I think this approach makes us better craftsmen, and it builds confidence while working in the field.

Plus, we'll all be in Santa Fe. What a great location to share our thoughts and improve our photography. You can register online here, or call (505) 983-1400. If you download the Summer Catalog, (7.5 MBs) you can peruse all the great opportunities available in Santa Fe this coming year.


Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances, including my Beginning Workflow with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom on June 22-28, 2008 in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

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Apple recent posted Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update that includes the new Canon Digital Rebel (and others listed to the left). This is news because Apple has responded much faster this time around than with the Canon 40D and Nikon D3 and D300.

If you're a Leopard user, you can also get the new Raw profiles via the Mac OS X 10.5.3 update. You can read about the Leopard update on this Knowledgebase document If you're not ready for all of that, but want the profiles, then just go with the Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update. Both are available via the Software Update menu on your Mac.

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For quite sometime, the Epson R2400 inkjet printer has been the standard for photo enthusiasts, especially those who enjoyed B&W output. Even though it produced great images, the R2400 did have its shortcomings. Its nozzle management system sometimes didn't manage very well resulting in clogged jets at worse, or lots of ink flushed to clear them at best. Plus, having to swap cartridges for matt and glossy surfaces was a pain, resulting in more flushed ink.

Epson has addressed many of these issues with the release of the R2880, as reviewed by the smart folks over at Printerville, who write:

"In the short time we’ve had our R2880, what has impressed us most though is its ink efficiency. The printer’s ink cartridges are the same capacity (between 13 ml and 15 ml, depending upon the source) and price ($13.99) as those of the R2400, which works out to between $0.82 and $1.08 per ml, better than HP’s Photosmart Pro B9180 and B8850 and Epson’s R1900 (but still considerably higher than the Stylus Pro 3800). After two complete ink changes and some careful comparison with our in-house R2400, the advancements Epson has made in the R2880 were readily apparent. Unlike the R2400, ink life was fairly consistent across all of the colors, and even with extremely low ink levels, we didn’t have to replace cartridges when swapping between photo and matte black inks."

I know this printer will continue to be put through its paces. But out of the gate, it's looking like a winner in the sub-$1,000 derby.


Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances, including my Beginning Workflow with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom on June 22-28, 2008 in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

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Aperture as a Layout Program


Many photographers don't realize that there's a powerful layout program within Aperture. You can use these tools to design custom posters, postcards, fliers, menus, title graphics for slideshows, and, oh yes, books. That's right, Apple has cleverly labeled this layout program as a book-making tool.

The big change came with Aperture 2 and its Custom layout option that you'll find in the Book Type popup menu when you're first setting up your book project. Choose it, and you can design any size page you want. I created a postcard layout that I keep handy for churning out keepsakes while on the go.

I then reveal the Show Layout Options located in the "gear" popup menu. And finally, I switch to Edit Layout, which lets me do things such as add a photo border any size I want.


For font control, just return to Edit Content mode (the button to the left of Edit Layout), highlight the text, then right-click (or CTRL-click) on it to reveal the Font option. And don't forget, you can adjust your image anytime you want by clicking on its thumbnail and pressing the "H" key to reveal the Adjustment HUD.

I recorded a good podcast with Joe Schorr, Apple Senior Product Manager, that talks about all of these techniques. It's a good listen.

Bottom line is this: not only is Aperture a powerful photo management application, it also provides you with robust options for output. Once you create your custom layout in Aperture, you can print, save to PDF, or generate a JPEG from your creation. That's downright awesome.

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...when you can't even afford the rebate amount.


Just saw this on PhotographyBLOG this morning. I'll tell you though, that Hassey is a heck of a camera. If you want to know more about the offer, check out story.

Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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My friend Bruce Heavin stopped by the studio late this afternoon with a trunk full of Canon glass wanting to know if I would go shooting with him. Bruce cofounded, is a terrific artist, and hangs out in our virtual camera club. I was ready to go in about five minutes.

I decided to try the hefty Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM. It's not everyday that you get to go shooting in Santa Barbara with a $2,300 lens hanging over your shoulder. And what was just as fun, I was toting the Rebel XTi, so I had the crop factor that made the lens a virtual 450mm IS hunk of glass.

Even though it's a solid 3.7-pound zoom that dwarfed my XTi, it's a balanced lens and not that bad to carry around. Actually, its weight makes it easier to steady while shooting.

The focusing is smooth and fast. You can adjust the drag on the push/pull zoom to accommodate your personal taste. I loosened it up for easy zooming, and still didn't have a creep problem. Even though I was shooting into the sun often, I didn't have any flare problems while the lens hood was attached. And the IS is amazing. I was shooting handheld with shutter speeds around 1/180th with the zoom all the way out. The images are sharp with terrific contrast.

I left the 28-300 on my camera body all night, hoping that Bruce would mistake it for one of my lenses. But alas, I had to give it back. I really like this lens, and hope to mount it on the 5D someday.

You can see more images captured with the Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM on my Flickr photostream.

Photo of the Santa Barbara Mission by Derrick Story.

Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.

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