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Last week I wrote a post asking folks to show us what's going on at home during our shelter-in-place time. I've been following our Flickr Public Group, and I wanted to share a few images from that community. I find some comfort in seeing what others are up to.

Jamie-the-Postman.jpg "Jamie the Postman" by Derrick Story. I notify USPS that I need a pickup for shipments from TheFilmCameraShop, and Jamie stops by during regular mail delivery. I set the boxes down near the curb, step back 10 feet, and Jamie picks them up.

Rain self portrait, created indoors during pandemic lockdown "Rain self portrait, created indoors during pandemic lockdown" by Jim Cook.

X2UwNyovREGOEE8ttarikQ "My Craft Workspace" by Susie Powell

Social Distancing in the extreme (see description) "Social Distancing in the extreme" by Jim Sollows

Castel San Pietro T., Italy_March_2020_008 Castel San Pietro T., Italy_March_2020_008 by Tiberio Frascari

Cleared for Landing "Cleared for Landing" by Don Davidson

Fibre Optics "Fibre Optics" by Doug Walkey

Photo Challenge #3 (see description) "Photo Challenge #3" by Jim Sollows

Resistors "Resistors" by Victor van Dijk

Great stuff indeed! So what are you working on at home? Share it with the group so we can feel a bit more connected.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #732, March 31, 2020. Today's theme is "Surviving April and Understanding the Stimulus Package." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Two major headlines in the last week - The Federal Stimulus package was approved by Congress and signed by President Trump, and Social Distancing was extended through April. It's time to dig in and make the best decisions possible. This week I'll cover qualifications for individual stimulus checks and the programs available through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Together, let's get ready for the next 30 days.

Surviving April and Understanding the Stimulus Package

Lots to cover today for U.S. taxpayers bracing for a rocky ride in April. The good news is, with a little luck and excellent planning, we can get through this challenge together.

P9210582-Outpost-Motel-DS.jpg

In this segment, I want to cover two major things. First, who qualifies for the individual and married stimulus payments that will start going out soon. Second, for small and individual business owners, the resources that are available in addition to the blanket stimulus payments to keep your business afloat.

Why Planning Is So Important

None of us really know what we're in for during April. Think back to the beginning of March, what your thoughts were then, and compare them to today. A lot happened in 31 days. A lot more will transpire in the next 30.

Our first goal is to stay healthy and help take care of our friends and family. If a loved one becomes ill with COVID-19, you are looking a a 2-3 week recovery period if the virus digs in. That could mean however you're spending your time right now, could radically change.

This is one of the reasons why the stimulus package is so important. We need to be able to drop everything to help family members if necessary without worrying about financial disaster. Combined with suspended mortgage payments and other private benefits, $1,200 could get us through April if necessary. And for small businesses, $10,000 from the SBA could make the difference between survival and closing the doors.

We want to use this money to keep food on the table and to help the local economy stay afloat.

Who Qualifies for Individual Checks?

The $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. It provides for an individual $1,200 check or $2,400 for married couples except for the following. These individuals will not get a stimulus check (according to CBS News):

  • Children who are 17 or 18 years old.
  • Many college students between the ages of 19 to 23.
  • Adults who can be claimed as dependents.
  • Nonresident aliens (in other words, those without a green card).
  • Estates.
  • Individuals who earn more than $99,000 or married couples earning more than $198,000.
  • People who haven't filed 2018 and 2019 tax returns.

Let's tackle the higher income folks and estates. CBS News writes:

Estates and trusts are also excluded from receiving the stimulus payments. High-income households above a certain threshold also receive payments because the bill is aimed at getting money into the hands of low- and moderate-income families.

The key factor is your household's annual income, because the package is aimed at helping low- and moderate-income families. Individual taxpayers will get $1,200 each if their adjusted gross income is less than $75,000 and married households will receive $2,400 if their adjusted gross income is less than $150,000. (Adjusted gross income for 2018 can be found on Line 7 of Form 1040, for example. Go to IRS.gov for more information.)

Those payments will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income above those levels - and will entirely disappear for some higher-earning households. Individuals who earn more than $99,000 phase out completely from the stimulus plan. Married couples earning more than $198,000 (and no kids as dependents) also aren't eligible for payments.

You can read the entire CBS News article here

Also, People who haven't filed tax returns in either 2018 or 2019 may not receive a stimulus payment, although it's not too late to file a 2019 return now, Gleckman noted. (If you haven't yet filed your 2019 tax return, the Treasury will use your 2018 returns to calculate your payment.)

"Others who did not file either a 2018 or 2019 return would be ineligible for the payment, although they could file a 1040 now and still get a check," he wrote. "Non-filers might include people who were students, people on public assistance or Supplemental Security Income, or even working people whose income fell below the standard deduction amount."

Everyone else should receive the one-time $1,200 payment. Most likely you will see it as a direct deposit with the bank that you have your tax return sent to.

One final note on this. If you don't need the money, then this is a great opportunity to donate it to an entity that is helping others who don't have the proper resources during the pandemic. Just a thought...

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance via SBA

To apply for this, visit www.sba.gov.

Here's what they have to say.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

For most people in our category (small and individual businesses), the amount is $10,000. To complete and submit your application, begin by clicking on this link.

There are four parts to the application. They say that you should allow up to 2 hours to complete it. I think for most folks it will take about 30 minutes. Here are the components.

  • Disclosures - You click the button for the type of business you have, such as sole proprietorship, less than 500 employees, etc. You also confirm that your business is not engaged in any illegal activity, gambling, lobbying, etc.
  • Business Information - Here's where you fill out fields with your business name, contact information, gross revenues, date established, and activity type.
  • Business Owner Information - Chances are very good this will be you. Again, basic information about you and your relationship to the business.
  • Additional Information - There are a few more items that you have to weigh in on to complete your app.

Once you complete all of that, you're presented with a summary of your application for you to review before submitting it. After you hit the submit button, you will receive an application number. Be sure to print this page or make a PDF of it, because you won't get an email confirmation. This will be it until you hear the verdict about your loan.

Also on the SBA website is information and links for bridge loans and debt relief. If you're a business with employees, you may want to investigate those as well.

Final Thoughts on Preparing for April

This is definitely a situation where we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If you haven't already, get your support systems in place. In terms of supplies, get what you need, but don't hoard. Look out for others, and be ready for anything.

But above all, stay safe. By maintaining your well being, you will be less of a burden on our taxed health care system, and you will be in better position to help others.

Clarification on Free Portfoliobox Pro 4 Subscription for TDS Listeners

During the last two episodes, I've been talking about the benefits of Portfoliobox 4, and detailing an offer for a free year of Portfoliobox Pro. Thanks to the help of our listeners, I want to clarify the free offer.

If you don't already have a Portfoliobox account, you can get free year by going to www.portfoliobox.net and using Special Offer Code: 15SAMDPTBL81M5 to receive your 100 percent discount for the first 12 months.

The clarification is that this is for new users only. If you have an existing Portfoliobox account, this offer does not apply. I do have good news for you however. If you contact them via email, they will offer you a substantial discount to upgrade. Just write Ainsley at ainsley@portfoliobox.net and tell her you're a TDS listener. She will take great care of you.

As a refresher, here are the highlights for Portfoliobox 4.

  • Add sections to your pages - The initial content of a page can be extended with one or several sections. You can add different types of sections: gallery, text, links, services, team, submenu, contact form, and even blog or store teaser. This allow you to build your page as you like.
  • Add elements to your section - Each element in a section is independent from the others. You can add elements below existing elements, e.g. you can add a border under your menu, or a button below a text. You can even reorder the elements.
  • Edit margins, padding and position - You can easily fine-tune your website by editing the margins, padding or position of each elements on your page.
  • Animations - You can add animation to each element of your website, e.g. fade in, zoom, etc.
  • Client proofing gallery - Allows you to share dedicated and protected photo galleries with your clients. Your client can log in, check the gallery, comment and share their favorites with you. This makes it easy to share and proof directly from your website. You also have the possibility to automatically add a watermark to your photos.
  • E-commerce improvements - New features and functions that will make it easier for your to handle your products & orders. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the new features: digital product, discount codes, flexible shipping rates, duplicate product, stock management, multiple payment solutions, etc.
  • Preview your site before publishing it - You can now build your site offline peacefully, take the time you need to get the result you want. When you're ready, publish your site and choose a domain name. Meanwhile, you can fully preview your work by clicking the preview button at the lower-left corner of your site.

They have published a super helpful 30-minute video that you can watch here to help you get the most out of these features.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

If you want to join us for a workshop later this year, hop over to the 2020 Workshops Signup Page and get on the Reserve List.

If you have questions about the workshops, feel free to drop me a line using the Contact Form on www.thenimblephotographer.com.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Oct. 1-3, 2020 - 0 Seats Remaining - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

Maybe Now Is the Time to Learn Capture One Pro 20 - This article will help you get started with this terrific image editing and management app.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Layers Made Easy in Capture One Pro

I was never a layers guy. I wanted to be, but the software of the past just didn't resonate with me. Then, not too long ago, Capture One Pro introduced layers into their photo management and editing app. Everything changed for me (well, at least with layers anyway).

Working with layers from Capture One Pro 20 Essential Training by Derrick Story

The key for me was their making layers just another function of the toolset. If I want to work on a particular area, such as a sky or foreground, but I'm not sure how successful I will be, I create a layer. I start playing. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, no harm. I can always come back and fiddle with it later.

The layers are available in all of the Tools panels. I can start in Exposure for example. But if I go over to the Color panel, my layer is there as well. It's so easy, so logical.

If you're curious about how fun and easy layers can be, watch the movie at the top of this article. It's just a brief introduction to this feature, but it will give you a good idea to what I'm talking about.

work-with-layers-d-story.jpg

Working with layers from Capture One Pro 20 Essential Training by Derrick Story

It's from my latest online class, Capture One Pro 20 Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning, or, if you're a lynda.com subscriber, you can watch it there as well.

If you don't have Capture One Pro yet, you can download the 30-day free trial (Mac/Win). No credit card is required, and it's a fully functioning version.

I can now happily say that I don't always use layers, but when I do, I prefer Capture One Pro. Take a look at that video and see why.

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

When I saw an image of Jim Sollows on the radio with a friend in Japan, I was impressed by both the photograph itself and his adjustment to Shelter-in-Place. I thought, "We should be doing more of this." It's both inspiring and comforting.

Social Distancing in the extreme (see description) Photo by Jim Sollows, photographer, communicating with others from his home via ham radio.

The Digital Story already has a The Digital Story Public Photography Group that's set up and running. Why not use it for the purpose of us showing and telling our stories of adapting to life during COVID-19? So here's what I'm proposing.

Take a picture that represents a productive activity that you're doing at home and post it to Public Photography Group. Be sure to include some words about the images and how you're doing. I also recommend that you add the tag: #ProductiveAtHome to the picture. I've kicked things off with the changes that I've made to my "what was once a portrait shooting room".

Portrait Room Conversion During Shelter-in-Place in California, my portrait room at the studio has been converted to a small product photography studio with a workstation for TheFilmCameraShop and TheDigitalStory #ProductiveAtHome

Sharing to the Public Group is easy. Here are the steps.

Join-Group.jpg Join the Group!

Add-to-Group.jpg Click on Add to Group from your picture page.

share-to-group.jpg Choose The Digital Story and click on the Done button.

Show the world how you've adapted to this important time in all of our lives, and get inspired by others who are doing the same.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #731, March 24, 2020. Today's theme is "How to Disinfect Your Gear." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Whether it's our smartphone or an interchangeable lens camera, our tech gear qualifies as some of our most personal possessions. We hold them in our hands, bring them to our face, and show them to other people. It only makes sense that we keep these items as clean as possible. This week I'll talk about good habits for healthy photography, both with our gear and our immediate surroundings. I hope you enjoy the show.

How to Disinfect Your Gear

One of the first rules when we were working in LA was that you could not hand your camera to another person. Depending on environmental conditions, germs can linger on those surfaces for 24-72 hours. In group conditions, we decided to play it safe.

IMG_2828.jpg

But it's not just others we should be concerned about. We need to take care of ourselves as well. I'm going to talk about cleaning techniques that are worth embracing at any time. So let's get to work.

Follow all instructions on the labels of any products you use. Read the safety notes and follow them!

Dwell Times: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

This is from the article PathoSans.com. You can read it in its entirety there.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines dwell time as, "the amount of time that a sanitizer or disinfectant must be in contact with the surface, and remain wet, in order to achieve the product's advertised kill rate." Different disinfectants target a wide array of different pathogens. The surfaces these pathogens inhabit also vary greatly. For best results, professional cleaners must know the target pathogens and the corresponding dwell times. Some products may have dwell times of only seconds, while others may require up to 10 minutes or more before they achieve the desired pathogenic control.

For most projects, the dwell time should be listed on the back label with its application directions.

For maximum effectiveness, we recommend using the two-step cleaning process to help prevent the spread of disease-causing pathogens. Step one: Clean and remove unwanted soils from surfaces using a cleaning solution with a microfiber. This will help to remove potential microbial harborage areas. Step two: Apply a disinfecting solution to surfaces while adhering to the manufacturer recommendations for dilution, safety, and dwell time. Finally, after waiting for the recommended dwell time, remove the solution with a wet/dry vacuum or microfiber.

How to Disinfect Camera Equipment and Spaces

This is from the article LensRentals.com. You can read it in its entirety there. Roger Cicala writes:

I'm qualified to talk about this subject to some degree; I take care of a ton of camera equipment, and I was a physician in my past life. And I've had so many requests for information about this that it seems logical to put something out, so everyone has access to it.

That being said, at this moment in time, there are NO right answers. This is my best knowledge and best opinions. Other people have other thoughts. Two weeks from now, new information may make some of this incorrect or show there are better ways to do things. If I say something today and the CDC says something else next Thursday, go with the CDC.

Finally, we're talking about using products that can have some side effects and cause problems. What I'm going to discuss is relatively safe, but if you use one of these suggestions, be smart, test a small amount on yourself and your gear and make sure it doesn't cause any problems for you.

What Roger says about disinfectants:

  • Soap and Water - Used for 20 seconds is superbly effective on skin and other surfaces. Whatever soap is fine, it works by dissolving the lipid (fatty) capsule around the virus. And here's an alternative for those of you freaking out about "I can't get Lysol wipes". Just use some soap and water, it's effective if not quite as easy.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol - At concentrations of 60% or higher this is very effective although it works a bit better on surfaces than on skin. Purell and most other hand sanitizers are basically 60% isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol may not work as fast as soap, and the rule of thumb is just let it dry rather than wiping it off.
  • Chlorine Bleach - Standard laundry bleach is usually 2.6% to 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (bleach), which is WAY too high a concentration to use for disinfecting. To make a disinfectant, you want to add 20ml of 5.25% bleach to a liter of water. Double it to 40ml if you have 2.6% bleach, etc.
    Two important notes here: NEVER mix chlorine bleach with any other cleanser, or put it into a bottle that used to have another cleanser without thoroughly rinsing the bottle. And mix it in a well-ventilated area just in case. Bleach plus ammonia, vinegar, and several other things can cause noxious fumes. Chlorine bleach is very effective, hospitals use it, but it can be irritating in large quantities, and it can fade dyes and color. If you decide to spray down an entire room, for example, keep people out of that room until the fumes clear.
  • Non-Chlorine Bleach / Oxidizing Agents - There are a lot of products in this category; basically oxy-this, non-bleach that, 'safe bleach,' and of course the dreaded 'non-chemical', 'all-natural', and I'm sure you can get it as organic and non-GMO bleach at slightly higher prices. They mostly are peroxides, like hydrogen peroxide, but often slightly different chemicals that are more stable; regular hydrogen peroxide tends to bubble off and lose effectiveness over time once it's opened.
    You need at least 2%, and probably 3% peroxide to be an effective disinfectant, and even then, its effectiveness against Coronavirus is 'probable,' but not guaranteed.
  • Quarternary Ammonium Products - There are tons of these (tons of slightly different chemicals, more tons of products containing them). Benzalkonium Chloride is probably the one you see most commonly if you read ingredient labels, but if you're interested in chemical names, just google it. They are both detergents (like soap) and disinfectants, so they're very common in disinfecting wipes and such. They're also what's in most fabric softeners.
    While I haven't seen any actual studies regarding specific effectiveness against Covid-19, they are effective against other coronavirus and expected to be effective against this one.
  • Dryer antistatic sheets usually contain lots of quaternary ammonium compounds. My significant other (an ICU nurse) carries a few in her purse as door grabbers and emergency cleansing wipes.

What Roger says about cleaning your gear

First, remember that if your gear has been sitting away from people for a couple of days, it's safe. If you're on a video production or multi-camera shoot, don't share cameras. Assign who uses what equipment as much as is possible.

Alcohol and Soap - Despite what some manufacturers have said, we, and every repair shop I know have used isopropyl alcohol in 60% or greater concentrations on camera equipment for a long time and haven't seen any adverse effects. Some manufacturers said 99% isopropyl might maybe affect lens coatings. I respectfully disagree, although I will say vigorous rubbing can affect some lens coatings, so take it easy and don't use wire brushes or such.

Don't soak it; that is asking for trouble and isn't necessary. Just moisten it. Use common sense to try to keep your disinfectant on the outside and not let it run into the inside. A light mist with a spray bottle, or a cloth or paper towel dipped in alcohol works great for large surfaces. You might want to dip a Q tip or similar thing to get into small areas or places where you'd rather not spray.

There is a chance that alcohol used repeatedly could dull the rubber of lens rings or camera bodies. I haven't seen it, but I have seen it claimed. I have also heard that it can dull or fog the finish of LCD screens, but again I haven't seen it, and I do know the 'monitor cleaner' I use contains isopropyl alcohol. Still, given the others who claim it can, at least in some cameras, I'd try to keep it to a minimum.

A final note about cameras - I think it's pretty easy and pretty safe to disinfect all of your equipment and studio space or office effectively EXCEPT, for your camera. Let's face it; you (or them) got your face all up in there, so it's the most likely place to have received a big viral load. It's also the place you DON'T want to soak and saturate with any of the above solutions. Plus, the areas around the LCD, viewfinder, etc. are full of nooks and crannies, making them more difficult to get to, and according to some manufacturers, LCD screens might be sensitive to disinfectants. (Again, my own opinion is I haven't seen it, but what manufacturer's say can't just be ignored).

I'd recommend just not sharing cameras on a shoot, right now. If you do share, disinfect it carefully with a minimal solution and set it aside for 24 hours; 48 hours if you are paranoid. Virus particles don't make spores and are not going to last on a surface for a long time. I, personally, am comfortable that 24 hours is long enough, but there is some evidence that it takes 72 hours to be absolutely safe.

Portfoliobox 4 Offers Great Enhancements and Is Available for Free to TDS Listeners

We have many, many Portfoliobox photographers in our community, including myself, and I think all of us are going to enjoy the new features in Version 4 that just launched today.

And if you're not currently a Pro user, I have great news for you at the end of this spot. Here are the highlights for Portfoliobox 4.

  • Add sections to your pages - The initial content of a page can be extended with one or several sections. You can add different types of sections: gallery, text, links, services, team, submenu, contact form, and even blog or store teaser. This allow you to build your page as you like.
  • Add elements to your section - Each element in a section is independent from the others. You can add elements below existing elements, e.g. you can add a border under your menu, or a button below a text. You can even reorder the elements.
  • Edit margins, padding and position - You can easily fine-tune your website by editing the margins, padding or position of each elements on your page.
  • Animations - You can add animation to each element of your website, e.g. fade in, zoom, etc.
  • Client proofing gallery - Allows you to share dedicated and protected photo galleries with your clients. Your client can log in, check the gallery, comment and share their favorites with you. This makes it easy to share and proof directly from your website. You also have the possibility to automatically add a watermark to your photos.
  • E-commerce improvements - New features and functions that will make it easier for your to handle your products & orders. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the new features: digital product, discount codes, flexible shipping rates, duplicate product, stock management, multiple payment solutions, etc.
  • Preview your site before publishing it - You can now build your site offline peacefully, take the time you need to get the result you want. When you're ready, publish your site and choose a domain name. Meanwhile, you can fully preview your work by clicking the preview button at the lower-left corner of your site.

They have published a super helpful 30-minute video that you can watch here to help you get the most out of these features.

And if you don't have a Portfoliobox Pro account, you can get free year by going to www.portfoliobox.net and using Special Offer Code: 15SAMDPTBL81M5. That's right, a 100 percent discount for the first year.

Next week I'll dig deeper into some of these new exciting features. Until then, sign up today so you can follow along with me. And a big thanks to Portfoliobox for co-sponsoring this show.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

If you want to join us for a workshop later this year, hop over to the 2020 Workshops Signup Page and get on the Reserve List.

If you have questions about the workshops, feel free to drop me a line using the Contact Form on www.thenimblephotographer.com.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Oct. 1-3, 2020 - 0 Seats Remaining - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

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Canvas-React-Front.jpg

Kingston is now shipping two new memory cards that I'm using in my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and in the Fujifilm X100V. And the performance has been terrific. Because the cameras have different hardware configurations, however, I'm using different Kingston cards in each of them. Let me explain.

Canvas Go! Plus SD Memory Card

The Fujifilm X100V has a single UHS-I SD memory card slot, so the Canvas Go! Plus 128 GB SD card (up to 170MB/s read, 90MB/s write) is a great fit for this camera.

Canvas-G0.jpg

"With fast transfer speeds of up to 170MB/s, the Canvas Go! Plus SD card accelerates your workflow and efficiency so that you'll have more time to take your creativity onto the next adventure. With U3 & V30 speed performance, shoot stunning 4K Ultra-HD videos without worrying about slow speeds and dropped frames, or shoot sequential burst-mode photography that's seamless and consistent. View the world as your canvas and take your creativity and inspiration on the road with the Canvas Go! Plus SD."

There's no need to buy a more expensive UHS-II card for the X100V, since the fast UHS-I Canvas Go Plus has the appropriate specs for the hardware. I've shot burst mode, 120 fps HD video, and 4K movies with this card in the X100V, and the results have been great. Plus, the Canvas Go Plus has a durable construction that's necessary for the street photography that I do with this camera.

You can buy a 128 GB Canvas Go Plus SD card from the Kingston site for $26.65. Different capacities are available: 64 GB for $16.50, 256 GB for $48.10, and 512 GB for $169. The 128 GB model is working great in my X100V.

Canvas React Plus SD Memory Card

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III has two memory card slots. The top slot is UHS-II, and the bottom is USH-I. The Canvas React Plus (up to 300MB/s read, 260MB/s write) is the professional choice for the top slot.

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"Designed with the latest UHS-II standards and top-of-the-line U3 and V90 speed classes, the Canvas React Plus SD enables you to shoot sequential burst-mode shots with recording speeds of up to 260MB/s. Execute your creativity without experiencing slow speeds and dropped frames while maximizing your workflow and efficiency with the included MobileLite Plus UHS-II SD Reader. With transfer speeds of up to 300MB/s, enhance your post-production process and handle heavy workloads with ease while capturing cinematic quality in high-resolutions."

The 128 GB card with reader is available from the Kingston site for $132.60. Kingston also offers 32 GB for $37.70, 64 GB for $71.50, and 256 GB for $266.50. I'm using the Canvas React Plus SD 128 GB card in the top slot of my OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

I have the camera set up to record RAW files to the top slot with the Canvas React Plus occupying that position and Jpegs go to the bottom slot with the Canvas Go! Plus there. The results have been just what I needed. Shooting RAW burst mode with the Mark III and these cards is truly thrilling.

Choosing the Right Card for Your Hardware

Cameras with UHS-I memory slots can deliver super fast, reliable performance with the right matching card. The Kingston Canvas Go! Plus is the logical fit for these cameras, and they are a wonderful value as well.

Canvas-React-Back.jpg

If, however, you have a UHS-II slot, such as on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II or Mark III, then why not maximize the camera's capability with a Canvas React Plus SD memory card and mobile reader? Yes, you will pay more for the faster card, but you're also fully utilizing your hardware investment.

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

I have tested Capture One Pro 20 with RAW files from Fujifilm, Olympus, Nikon, Panasonic, and Pentax, and my feeling is that it's once of the best image processors that I've ever used. I know that you've likely heard this from others as well, but maybe you just haven't had time to try it for yourself.

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Well, that time may be now. And if you agree, here's the game plan that I recommend.

  • Download the 30-day free trial of Capture One Pro 20 (Mac/Win). No credit card is required, and it's a fully functioning version.
  • Nose around a bit with the application, watch some of the free Phase One videos, get a feel for the environment.
  • Create a folder of images that you can use for your test library. I recommend a combination of RAW files and Jpegs from a variety of scenes. Make this a completely different folder in your Pictures directory so that it doesn't get confused with the source material for other apps.
  • Start from the beginning with my latest online training and follow along with your own images (or download the asset catalog that comes with the training). There are two options available: Capture One Pro 20 Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning, or, if you're a lynda.com subscriber, you can watch it there as well.

Both trainings are the same and begin with a What's New section, a discussion on the app's strengths and weaknesses, and a simplified typical workflow to help you get off to a fast start.

Once you start to feel a bit more comfortable with the software, I delve into basic color and exposure adjustments, optical fine tuning, layers and masks, more sophisticated color controls, managing your catalog, and efficiency tips.

You can get a feel for the tone of the training by watching this 1-minute introduction.

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Manage and improve your photos with Capture One Pro 20 from Capture One Pro 20 Essential Training by Derrick Story

If you love getting the most out of your RAW files and appreciate a logical image management catalog system, then this might be the time to take a serious look at Capture One Pro 20, and see what you think. My guess is that you will find it time well spent.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #730, March 17, 2020. Today's theme is "Workshop Attendees Speak Out in LA." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We exited the Uber XL and stepped out into a sparsely populated Hollywood Blvd. I directed us across the street to the Metro station where we descended into its depths via escalator. What we found down there was a scene from a Sci-Fi movie. In this week's TDS Podcast, we talk about this moment and many others that we experienced together during the LA Street Photography Workshop. Hear directly from the four participants who documented this moment in time.

Workshop Attendees Speak Out in LA

Our team had been cut in half. We were down to four photographers and myself. Those who gathered with me at the Rest Haven Cottage in Santa Monica included Susie Powell, Cokie Lepinski, Dave Wilson, and Craig Rowley. They are the voices who you're about to hear from.

LA-Metro-Susie-Powell.jpg Hollywood and Vine Metro Station During the coronavirus - Photo by Susie Powell.

We recorded this conversation on a Sunday afternoon at the kitchen table in the cottage where we held our classes and lab sessions. We had been in the LA area since Thursday, and had witnessed a rapidly changing environment in Southern California.

Over the course of the next few days, we talked with Uber drivers, service providers, and people on the street. Not only did we focus on their stories, but our own safety as well. We constantly cleaned our hands, avoided public transportation, wiped down shared surfaces daily, and did not allow physical contact.

In addition to that, a rain storm had parked over the LA area. Fortunately we were prepared for the showers and all had weather resistant cameras. Three participants shot with Olympus and two with Fujis.

So after nearly three days of this work, I thought it would be a good idea to sit down and discuss what we saw and how we felt about it. So, I'm going to turn the mike over to Susie, Cokie, Dave, and Craig.

Portfoliobox 4 Offers Great Enhancements and Is Available for Free to TDS Listeners

We have many, many Portfoliobox photographers in our community, including myself, and I think all of us are going to enjoy the new features in Version 4 that just launched today.

And if you're not currently a Pro user, I have great news for you at the end of this spot. Here are the highlights for Portfoliobox 4.

  • Add sections to your pages - The initial content of a page can be extended with one or several sections. You can add different types of sections: gallery, text, links, services, team, submenu, contact form, and even blog or store teaser. This allow you to build your page as you like.
  • Add elements to your section - Each element in a section is independent from the others. You can add elements below existing elements, e.g. you can add a border under your menu, or a button below a text. You can even reorder the elements.
  • Edit margins, padding and position - You can easily fine-tune your website by editing the margins, padding or position of each elements on your page.
  • Animations - You can add animation to each element of your website, e.g. fade in, zoom, etc.
  • Client proofing gallery - Allows you to share dedicated and protected photo galleries with your clients. Your client can log in, check the gallery, comment and share their favorites with you. This makes it easy to share and proof directly from your website. You also have the possibility to automatically add a watermark to your photos.
  • E-commerce improvements - New features and functions that will make it easier for your to handle your products & orders. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the new features: digital product, discount codes, flexible shipping rates, duplicate product, stock management, multiple payment solutions, etc.
  • Preview your site before publishing it - You can now build your site offline peacefully, take the time you need to get the result you want. When you're ready, publish your site and choose a domain name. Meanwhile, you can fully preview your work by clicking the preview button at the lower-left corner of your site.

They have published a super helpful 30-minute video that you can watch here to help you get the most out of these features.

And if you don't have a Portfoliobox Pro account, you can get free year by going to www.portfoliobox.net and using Special Offer Code: 15SAMDPTBL81M5. That's right, a 100 percent discount for the first year.

Next week I'll dig deeper into some of these new exciting features. Until then, sign up today so you can follow along with me. And a big thanks to Portfoliobox for co-sponsoring this show.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

Those of you on the registration list for the Humboldt Redwoods Workshop, keep an eye out for the registration packet that will go out later this week. We have a great event for you, and I'll be working with you to ensure that you are fully prepared to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Plus, we had one seat open up (moved to another workshop), so if you want to join us, hop over to the 2020 Workshops Signup Page and get on the Reserve List.

If you have questions about the other workshops, feel free to drop me a line using the Contact Form on www.thenimblephotographer.com.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 0 Seats Remaining -- Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Oct. 1-3, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

We took a stroll on the Santa Monica Pier at twilight hoping for some colorful night shots. I was packing the Fujifilm X100V and a MeFOTO Backpacker tripod. I wanted color in the sky, so we were shooting before it got completely dark.

Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier - Fujifilm X100V, 15 seconds, f/16, ISO 160, built-in ND Filter - Photo by Derrick Story.

The ferris wheel was the main attraction. I wanted lots of motion the in the shot, so I was hoping for a shutter speed of 15 seconds or longer. Theses are the moments that I appreciate the built-in ND filter. In the case of the X100V, it provided me 3 stops of density.

By setting the ISO to 160 and stopping down the aperture to f/16, I was able to get my 15 seconds with the aid of the built-in ND filter. I used the 2-second self-timer to trip the shutter.

Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier - Fujifilm X100V, 30 seconds, f/16, ISO 160, built-in ND Filter - Photo by Derrick Story.

As night began to settle in, I was able to go for even longer shutter speeds. My next series reached the 30 second mark. The colorful wheel against the steely blue sky was exactly what I was looking for.

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The built-in ND filter has many advantages: First, you always have it with you. Second, it's very easy to use, with the viewfinder remaining bright and clear. And third, the camera does all the work for you. No crazy calculations are necessary. You just have to enable it and enjoy.

Dig around in your camera menus now and find the setting for the ND filter. Hopefully you have it in your model. Become familiar with it now, so you can tap it when that perfect situation presents itself. Then get that shot!

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

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

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We had to make a lot of adjustments to our TDS photography workshop, but after one day on the streets of LA, I'm so glad we're here.

We've decided to forego public transportation as originally planned, and we're using Uber to get from one location to another. This makes it much easier to manage our contact with surfaces and it limits our close exposure to people we don't know.

But interacting with others is what we're here for. And if we don't do that, we can't tell their stories. We just have to do so at a reasonable distance.

Venice Beach Venice Beach Resident. Fujifilm X100V, ISO 200, 1/210s, f/3.6, Velvia film simulation. Photo by Derrick Story.

And those conversations have been really interesting. We've talked to shop owners who are seeing a steep decline in business, service providers who are trying to do their jobs while staying safe, locals and tourists who are watching a world that suddenly seems so unfamiliar to them.

Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier on a Friday Night. Fujifilm X100V, ISO 500, 1/9s, f/2, +0.7, Velvia film simulation. Photo by Derrick Story.

On one hand, this environment has made our jobs easier. The people who are in public are more accessible. If we walk into a small business, they have time on their hands and are often willing to talk with us. Folks on the street seem interested in sharing their views. And there isn't the crush of traffic that we would normally experience in LA. It's much easier to get around.

Venice Beach "Rest in Peace" - Fujifilm X100V, ISO 200, 1/170th, f/3.2, Velvia film simulation. Photo by Derrick Story.

It's not like things were perfect before COVID-19. The loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter is still in the air and has had a tremendous impact in Southern California. And economically, it's been very uneven.

Thankfully, nature has brought rain, however. And its welcome cleansing is having a positive effect on the city, physiologically if nothing else.

Abbot Kinney TDS Street Photographers

As for us, we're going about our jobs as well. We're doing our best to document this moment in time, share our thoughts and feelings with each other, and appreciate those we meet and who let us tell their stories.

I feel lucky to have this experience.

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