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This is The Digital Story Podcast #819, Nov. 30, 2021. Today's theme is "2021 - My Most Challenging Year of Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In large part, 2021 seemed like a year of talking about photography rather than actually taking pictures. But just like with any important relationship, anything that you can do to keep the embers glowing is worthwhile. Today I'll take a look back at the past 11 months and look forward to what could be different in 2022. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 819

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2021 - My Most Challenging Year of Photography

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I just spent some time looking back over my calendar for 2021. There was a lot of recording, 3 LinkedIn Learning titles, many Zoom meetings, and very few photo shoots.

I didn't buy any new cameras in 2021, nor new lenses either. I did purchases lots of accessories, in part because the photography took on more of a personal DIY approach. So I bought things like IR filters and lens adapters.

To stay motivated for my own personal work, I embraced infrared and black & white photography. Most of my photo shoots were local, inside Sonoma County, and often within walking distance from my house or studio.

I also noticed that I broadened my interests outside of photography. I became very involved in learning about electric vehicles. My music listening shifted to more Jazz. I bought vinyl records and relished the tactile experience of handling album jackets and putting the records on the turntable. I watched a lot of Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV. And there were many home improvement projects including thinning out and cleaning two garages.

In late summer, the tide began to change a bit. I had sold the VW Vanagon and replaced it with the new VW ID.4. I was able to go camping again. Some of my physical photo work returned and I pulled gear out of mothballs to shoot commercially. And best of all, the Oregon Coast Workshop was right around the corner, my first physical event in 20 months.

Now, as I sit here in December looking toward the new year, I have some clarity about what has happened, and what I may expect in 2022. I thought you might be interested in those observations.

  • Photography is a diamond with many facets. When we can't do what we normally love with it, explore other areas that are available to us.
  • Zoom turned out better than I thought it would. I have been pleasantly surprised at how personable and connective our online workshops have been. Zoom has been a lifesaver in 2020.
  • Gear and activity really are tied together. I've noticed that as I am shooting less, my desire to acquire new equipment has really decreased.
  • My appreciation for the iPhone has grown. I've always like mobile photography, but my iPhone 12 Pro Max has become my favorite back up camera.
  • We still need the physical events mixed in with the online classes. The Oregon Workshop in early November clearly demonstrated that we need a balance of events to keep our community happy and healthy.

This leads us to a very interesting 2022. Our core activities will continue to be the foundation of the community - weekly podcast, Inner Circle, and Facebook group. We will continue to explore the different facets of photography through our online classes. And we are going to have physical workshops as well, knowing that we can conduct them safely, even as the pandemic drags on.

I'm OK with all of this. I've come to terms that my portrait room is now a zoom studio, and that it probably will never go back. I realize that I will have to seek out more personal projects to help fill the gaps of my commercial work.

And once again, it's clear to me that adaption and reinvention will be the keys to a successful 2022 for our community.

Digital Camera Demand Booms in China as 'Live Commerce' Explodes

You can read the entire article on PetaPixel

Buying a new camera is about to get even harder, as exploding demand in China led by "live commerce" has led to increased supply issues on a system that already cannot meet demand.

Exports out of China have slowed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and, as a result, domestic sales through what is called "live commerce" have exploded. To support it, the need for better quality cameras has followed suit.

Live commerce is the practice of demonstrating or selling products through live-streamed social media such as TikTok or Instagram. Mostly dominated by influencers who sell cosmetics, clothing, and bags, the method is now being leveraged by factory employees who sell anything from housewares to cars.

Typically, live commerce does not require significant effort to be put behind the quality of footage and generally relies on the front-facing cameras on smartphones. However, because certain products have fine textures that smartphones can't render properly or items simply look better in streams when a higher quality camera is used, dedicated digital cameras are growing in popularity. Most live commerce content creators realize that better footage has a direct impact on better sales. Nikkei reports that demand for cameras has leaped 20% in 2021 over the previous year, and manufacturers have not been able to keep up with demand -- an unfortunately familiar story.

In the West, camera availability has been a sore subject in 2021. Manufacturers have been struggling to keep cameras on shelves amid a boom in demand that coincided with the chip shortage that has brought most of the tech industry's ability to manufacture down to a trickle. With huge demand now growing in China and with that market expected to command hundreds of billions of dollars, it is very likely that camera companies will shift their focus to meet that demand given the potential profit to be made. While good news for the camera industry, it's not necessarily so for those who have been hoping to see cameras become more widely available.

Mastering Capture One Pro Online Workshop - Jan. 12, 2022

Jan 12 - Feb. 2, 2022

Are you ready to move to one of the best RAW processing digital asset managers available today? If yes, then this online workshop is for you.

Over the course of four sessions, you will learn to organize, process, enhance, and share your images with Capture One Pro 22, the state-of-the-art photo management platform for professionals and serious enthusiasts. This application runs on both Mac and Windows platforms, with an iPad version scheduled to be available in January as well.

You will also have access to our online workshop community, DerrickStoryOnline, where you can ask questions, share techniques, and show off your work. Your membership to our online community extends pass the workshop itself, so you can continue to share notes with those who share your particular interests.

Our weekly meetings during the workshop itself are via Zoom, with AM and PM sessions available so you can match this event to your busy schedule. Plus, we record each session and make them available to participants future reference.

This is exactly the type of learning environment that will accelerate your mastery of this powerful application. I hope you can join us!

You can sign up today at TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 46 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

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!

Product Links and Comments

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.

Tell More of the Story with Panoramas

Even though all of my cameras can record impressive panoramas, my favorite device is still the iPhone because of its ease of use and image quality. My only problem with it is remembering to switch to Pano when standing before an expansive scene.

Oregon-Coast-Pano.jpeg Panorama of the Oregon Coast captured with an iPhone 12 Pro Max. Photo by Derrick Story. Click on image for larger view.

I think we've all remarked at one time or another, "It looked so much bigger than this," when showing pictures of our travels. Part of the reason for that is that our eyes are taking in so much more information than our camera is recording, even when using a wide angle lens.

Take a look at the photo below, captured from the same location as the panorama above.

Oregon-Coast-Normal.jpeg Oregon Coast captured with a wide angle lens.

It's a nice photo, for sure, and I'm glad I took it. But if I wanted to show a more complete description of the location to someone else, then it's good to have both photos - the bog picture and the more detailed view.

I don't think anyone would want to see a slideshow of just panoramas. They have their place in the mix just like everything else. By the same token, you don't want to forget to record a few panos in locations that have compelling big pictures.

I use panos for simple things as well, such as to show the view from the back patio of a vacation location. Again, it tells more of the story and better represents what my eyes were taking in at the time.

back-door-pano.jpeg Back patio pano.

My takeaway photo tip this week is to remind you to capture a pano or two alongside the other pictures you take when in beautiful locations. They will help you tell a complete story about your adventures.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #818, Nov. 23, 2021. Today's theme is "Holiday Gifts Under $40 for Photographers." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photographers aren't the easiest folks to buy for. They're picky about their gear, they already have more stuff than anyone realizes, and what they don't have usually costs a lot of money. But there are always a few hidden treasures that are bound to delight, and those goodies are the focus of this week's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 818

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Holiday Gifts Under $40 for Photographers

I have 7 very cool gifts for photographers, each one costs less than $40.

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Haida Anti-Fog Belt / Lens Heater $20 - Haida has recently introduced an inexpensive USB-powered Anti-Fog Velcro belt that wraps around the exterior of a lens and keeps it warm, therefore preventing it from fogging as the temperature dips.

Think Tank TT737 Photo Lens Case Duo for DSLR/Mirrorless Lenses Cruz V2 Fresh Foam, 5 $21 - I've been using these for a couple years now, and I just love them. They come in different sizes, I like have the variety myself. This one is for mirrorless.

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Moment iPhone 12/13 Multi-Threaded Cheese Plate Mount with MagSafe $30 - Increase your mobile mounting options with this iPhone 12 Multi-Threaded Cheese Plate Mount with MagSafe from Moment. The thin machined aluminum plate attaches to any iPhone 12 model, with or without a MagSafe-compatible case, via a strong (M)Force magnet array. When mounting without a case, the padded surface helps to prevent scratching. On the other side is a cheese plate with 5 threaded female connections. You get two standard 3/8" and three standard 1/4"-20 connections. This provides increased freedom in mount positioning, and in the types of tripods and mounts you can attach your iPhone to.

FRDM Vigor Lightweight Liner Gloves Touchscreen Hiking Running Fishing Photography Outdoor Activities, for Men and Women $30 - Touchscreen compatible e-tips and convertible slip-thru instant index finger and thumb access allows you to text, take the perfect photo, or adjust your music without removing your gloves.

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Peak Design Travel Packing Cube (Medium) $36 - I'm already a huge fan of packing cubes, and these are the best I've seen.

Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Pole - Carbon Fiber Monopod Walking or Hiking Stick with Accessories Mount and Adjustable Quick Locks $39 - The Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Monopod is the perfect tool for amateur or professional photographers and hunters who seek adventure in the great outdoors. The carbon fiber shaft is lightweight and durable, making it easy to pack without dragging you down.

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Gift Certificate from Local Camera Shop - If you're lucky enough to have a camera store in your town, purchasing a gift certificate is a great way to support them during the holiday season. Not only can you provide maximum flexibility for the gift recipient, you're helping to support local business.

FotoMagico 6 Makes Pro Slideshows a Snap

You can read the entire article on The Digital Story

Boinx Software has released FotoMagico 6, the latest version of their top-drawer slideshow authoring software. The bundle includes applications for both the Mac and the iPad, plus tons of extras including templates and royalty-free music tracks.

FotoMagico 6 features professional Image Effects that allows you to quickly customize the appearance of a frame or frames in the presentation with color correction, monochrome, and more. You can apply similar enhancements to words with Text Effects.

Plus you have iPad integration via iCloud so that you can start a project on one device, then continue working on it with another. All of your changes are saved regardless of where you made them.

And there are new templates and music tracks as well.

But my favorite new feature is Map Assist that lets you plot and animate your journey for a travel slideshow.

Availability and Pricing

You can download a free trial from the FotoMagico website and try out all the new features I covered here. If you want to purchase the software, it is available in the Mac App Store or directly from Boinx for $7.99 a month subscription or for $79.99 for a year.

If you want to create professional presentations for publishing online or in person, this is the most powerful and easy to use software available.

How Many Camera Bags Does a Photographer Need?

You can read the entire article on fStoppers.

Every photographer needs a camera bag. Preferably one that not only protects the equipment, but is also comfortable to use. It has to carry at least a camera and a couple of lenses, along with the necessary accessories. Unfortunately, there is not one camera bag that is perfect for every situation.

Camera bags come in all shapes and sizes. Every now and then a Kickstarter project comes up with a new bag that is said to be the ultimate solution for carrying your equipment. But what I discovered over the years is, that a perfect bag for every situation doesn't exist. What's perfect depends not only on the situation you're in, but also on personal preferences.

First of all, don't go cheap on a camera bag. Remember, it will carry the expensive equipment you own. It has to protect your camera and lenses while transporting it or during travels. The material has to be strong enough and durable. It doesn't mean a cheap bag is a bad bag. Just be careful when choosing one and don't get fooled when a perfect bag for everything is presented; It doesn't exist.

The author then goes into detail about the different kinds of camera bags.

So, how many camera bags does a photographer need? I think most photographers need at least two bags. One backpack and one shoulder bag. Do you agree?

Virtual Camera Club News

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

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 46 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

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.

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!

Product Links and Comments

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.

Boinx Software has released FotoMagico 6, the latest version of their top-drawer slideshow authoring software. The bundle includes applications for both the Mac and the iPad, plus tons of extras including templates and royalty-free music tracks.

FM-Music-1024.jpg

The New Map Assistant

My favorite feature is the new Map Assistant that allows you to plot and animate a beautiful map that charts the journey of travel slideshows. Here's how to use it.

Start by going to Slideshow > Map Assistant. The first thing that you'll want to do is establish the map region.

With the Map tab highlighted, type the area that you want to illustrate in the Search box under Region. In this case, we entered Los Angeles, CA to move the blue rectangle to that part of the world. Our goal was to display a trip from LA to Las Vegas. So we adjusted the blue frame to cover that journey.

002-Map-Assistant.jpg

The blue frame indicates which map region will be rendered. You can move it by dragging, or resize it by grabbing the corner points. A label will always display the map dimensions in pixels.

To set the various points of your journey, start by selecting the Route tab. Now click inside the blue box to add a location point in the desired area. It you want one or more of those locations to be Waypoints, then CTRL-click on them to establish that. CMD-click on a point to remove it. If that isn't working properly for you, double-check that the Route tab is highlighted.

003-Map-Assistant.jpg

Before you click on Apply, return to the Map tab and choose your map style. There are a few different ones to pick from. Now you can click Apply.

004-Map-Assistant.jpg

Here's where the fun begins. In the Options panel, you can enable animation by clicking the box that enables animations. Set the Duration for the execution of your route, then move down in the panel to Map and customize the line width, style, waypoints, and other variables.

You can also experiment with animation speed, effects, and more. To put your route in motion, click on the Play button in the middle toolbar. And remember, you can always click on the Edit Map & Route button in the Options panel to make further adjustments.

Other Notable Features

FotoMagico 6 also features professional Image Effects that allows you to quickly customize the appearance of a frame or frames in the presentation with color correction, monochrome, and more. You can apply similar enhancements to words with Text Effects.

Plus you have iPad integration via iCloud so that you can start a project on one device, then continue working on it with another. All of your changes are saved regardless of where you made them.

And there are new templates and music tracks as well.

Availability and Pricing

You can download a free trial from the FotoMagico website and try out all the new features I covered here. If you want to purchase the software, it is available in the Mac App Store or directly from Boinx for $7.99 a month subscription or for $79.99 for a year.

If you want to create professional presentations for publishing online or in person, this is the most powerful and easy to use software available.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #817, Nov. 16, 2021. Today's theme is "So, How Did It Go?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When you've been away from them for a while, it's easy to forget the joy of an in-person workshop. That is, until you're all gathered there in a parking lot at a beautiful location getting your gear together for a short hike and a shoot. Then it all comes roaring back. This week we're going to look at the adjustments required, and the resulting rewards, of a physical workshop. And look ahead to 2022. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 817

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So, How Did it Go?

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I rolled in to Florence Oregon about 5 pm the night before our event began. I had the VW packed with food for breakfasts and lunches for the first two days, plus my outdoor gear and cameras.

Our headquarters had a great kitchen with a large island that we used to prepare and pack our lunches each day before heading out to a beautiful location.

In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, we had to wear masks when entering HQ and working in the kitchen. The first order of business was to wash hands every time you entered. If you were closer than 6' to another indoors, masks were required, including for all car rides.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it was easy, especially compared to what we got to do together. We shared breakfast every morning at HQ, ate our sack lunches in the field during our shoots, and even had a dinner bash on Thursday night with food provided by Mo's Seafood and Chowder there in Florence. And yes, the chowder was delicious.

We had rain everyday. But we were totally prepared for it and the result was dramatic photography that we shared with one another during the final presentations.

For vehicles, we had a Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, and the VW ID.4. We took turns riding in the different cars.

After it was over, I gathered a couple of our Inner Circle Members, Dave and Michael, plus a few new folks, Cindy and Bill, to join Scott and me for a quick recap. Here's what they had to say.

Insert voice snippet from charging stop here.

On our TDS Facebook page, Kim added: "It was an awesome workshop, awesome fellowship, and awesome to be 'tested by the elements'!"

The thing that really jumped out at me was, how much I miss working with others in person. And now that we've got one under our belts, I'm ready to move forward with more in 2022.

So here's a preview of what I'm working on. I should have the schedule finalized by early December.

Humboldt Redwoods in April 2022 is a go.

Lassen Volcanic Park in July is going to be replaced with another physical event due to the extensive fire damage to the area.

Oregon Coast in October/November 2022 is a likely go at the moment. I'll know more about that in the coming weeks.

Patreon Members, stay tuned for an opportunity to suggest a location to replace the July workshop and possibly for a fourth event during the year.

We're also going to maintain a full slate of online events in 2022. That schedule will also be updated in December with new events added to our existing popular ones.

I am very excited about the prospects for the coming year for our photography community.

Nikon's new firmware updates for its Z50, Z5, Z6 and Z7 cameras improve AF performance

You can read the entire article on DP Review

Nikon has released minor firmware updates for nearly its entire Z mount mirrorless camera lineup. The Nikon Z6 and Z7 receive firmware version 3.40 while the Z5 and Z50 receive firmware versions 1.20 and 2.20, respectively.

Each of the firmware updates improve autofocus (AF) capabilities across the board, but the updates for the Z5 and Z50 aren't as substantial as those for the Z6 and Z7. For the Z5 and Z50, Nikon says both Face and Eye Detection autofocus modes have been improved when using a flash unit. The Z6 and Z7 receive that improvement, as well as improved eye detection performance when shooting with 'Auto-area AF' or 'Wide-area AF(L)' autofocus modes, and an increased refresh rate for the focus point displayed in the EVF when using face/eye-detection and subject-tracking autofocus modes.

All of the firmware updates also add support for Nikon's new FTZ II mount adapter and NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S lens. The updates are available to download today for their respective cameras.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 46 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

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!

Product Links and Comments

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.

I think Michael, one of our workshop photographers, said it best: "It was fun to be tested by the elements."

oregon-worrkshop-1024.jpeg Our workshop team preparing for a photo shoot on the Oregon Coast.

We had plenty of wind and rain, and that only made the final presentIons more dynamic. The images each photographer produced were impressive. Of course, we were ready for these conditions. Those preparations were half the fun.

For me personally, it was a week with many different facets. This was my first physical workshop since the onset of the pandemic. This was also a 1,400 mile adventure into remote locations with an electric vehicle. And, the Oregon Coast Photography Workshop was the first time that I worked with Scott Davenport as a co-leader.

And as I sit here on my couch at home, I'm thrilled because of how well everything went.

Yes, there were masks and hand sanitizer and wind and rain. And great pictures. Remote Oregon was beautiful, and even though there were no high speed chargers for the car, and it all worked just fine. Working with Scott was terrific.

For me, Oregon was also a test to see what I'm going to endeavor in 2022. I can tell you right now, there will be more physical workshops. Stay tuned for the line up.

Because at the end of the day, there's still nothing better than hanging out with a bunch of geared-up photographers ready to capture whatever Mother Nature has ready for us. I can't wait for 2022.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #816, Nov. 9, 2021. Today's theme is "Can Electric Vehicles Cut It for Photo Road Trips?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Those of you who have been following the story about my transition from the VW Vanagon to the EV ID.4 for our official workshop transport, this is the week where the rubber hits the road. Is it too early to switch from ICE to EV? Tune in to this week's TDS Podcast to find out. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 816

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Can Electric Vehicles Cut It for Photo Road Trips?

driving-into-sunrise-1024.jpeg

It is 561 miles from Santa Rosa, CA to Florence, Oregon, the location of our Oregon Coast Photography Workshop that begins Tuesday morning. Adding in travel to destinations during the workshop itself, total mileage for the week will be more than 1,300 miles.

In the Audi A3, that would work out to around 54 gallons of gas. That car requires premium, which is over $5 a gallon throughout California. The bill for fuel alone would be at least $270, and probably more if I had to fill out in remote locations.

Using my free account with Electrify America for the long hauls, I will only have to top off in Florence, which I can do for $4 a session at the public utility. That should mean a $12 fuel bill for the entire trip.

Now the question is: will the car make it? And if so, how long will it take?

Going back to the Audi and gas, the estimated driving time for the trip is 9 hours, plus two 30 minute stops for refueling, bathroom, and leg stretching. 10 hours total if everything goes well.

Let's tackle the second question first. Based on my recent 900 mile road trip to Southern CA and back, I estimate I have to add an additional 15 percent for time with the ID.4 if things go as planned. My best guess is that it will extend my journey to around 12 hours.

As for the first question, will the car make it? Absolutely yes. Thanks to its room cabin, comfortable seats with massage, and advanced travel assist technologies, road tripping as more comfortable than ever. The car literally drives itself.

So it all comes down to recharging. Let's tune in to a refuel stop.

As for the viability during the week itself? I'll get some comments from workshop participants and share those in next week's show.

But on paper, here's what I'm looking at. 30 cubic feet of storage space in the back while seating 5 passengers. There's no floor hump, so the back floor is perfectly flat for the person sitting in the middle.

There are dual charging ports in the back as well as the front, providing a total of 4 USB-C outlets for passengers. Side door storage for everyone, plus dual pockets on the backs of the front seats. There's 38" of leg room and head room in the back, and even more of both in the front.

And finally, there is a full length panorama glass room on top with power sunshade if necessary. I think this will be a wonderful transport vehicle for participants.

Wish me luck. More on how it went next week.

OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm f/1.4 PRO Lens

Olympus just announced the OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm f/1.4 PRO Lens for $799 due to be released in December.

Highlight features include:

  • 40mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • 11 Elements in 10 Groups
  • 1 Super ED, 3 ED, 2 Super HR Elements
  • 2 Aspherical Elements
  • ZERO Zuiko Extra-Low Reflection Coating
  • Movie & Still Compatible AF System
  • Weather-Sealed Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Includes lens hood and lens wrap cloth

One feature that it's missing, that would push me closer to purchase is the snap focus option that allows the photographer to pull back the focusing ring to reveal a traditional distance scale with hard-stop infinity. This lens would be perfect for that, and why it's missing befuddles me.

If you don't already own the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, this is a lens to consider.

Why I'm Not Packing Olympus in Oregon

After last week's podcast, some listeners asked me why I wasn't taking my Olympus kit to Florence. Here's the back story on that.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 46 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

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!

Product Links and Comments

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.

OM System Feels Like the Real Deal

Sometimes a lens is more than just a lens.

A recent example was the announcement of the OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm f/1.4 PRO. The optic itself looks terrific. But the real story is that it's the first tangible sign to the public that the Olympus Imaging Division has made the transition to OM System.

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For those of us in the press, there have been other positive indicators. We're working with the same people in media relations that we did in the Olympus days. The procedures are familiar, and in many ways, it's like nothing ever changed. That's a good thing.

The real test, however, will be a new camera. If OM System can produce a worthy follow up to the impressive OM-D E-M1 Mark III, that would truly throw down the gauntlet.

The Micro Four Thirds system is a good fit for modern enthusiast photography. It combines excellent image quality with portability and innovative technology. Pair a MFT body with a couple of your favorite optics and a current smartphone, and you're prepared to capture just about any opportunity the world presents.

At the moment, there are two players in the Micro Four Thirds arena: Panasonic and OM System. We need them both because they serve different needs. Panasonic is excellent at creating high performance video devices. And if making movies is just as important to you as still images, then they have the tools you need.

OM System leans a bit more in the photography direction. And if that's your primary focus, their camera bodies are the better choice. And if Micro Four Thirds is going to continue to flourish, we need both companies to be on top of their game.

So now we wait. I'm not sure if OM System can deliver the camera that many of us want by the end of the year. But if they could in the first quarter of 2022, then those of us who appreciate the advantages of Micro Four Thirds can breathe a sigh of relief.

And start 2022 with a new camera.

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This is The Digital Story Podcast #815, Nov. 2, 2021. Today's theme is "Preparing for an Inclement Photo Shoot." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In just a few days I leave for the Oregon Coast to co-lead a weeklong workshop. There are preparations on many fronts including travel route, photo gear, and apparel. As part of that process, I've noted that the long range weather forecast predicts plenty of precipitation. This definitely has an impact on my packing, and today I'm going to discuss how I prepare for a wet-weather photo shoot. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 815

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Preparing for an Inclement Photo Shoot

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When I first started thinking about this workshop, I was leaning toward an entirely different backpack full of gear. But now that I see that rain is in the forecast, I've rethought all of my initial plans. Here are my priorities now.

Scale Back - Bad weather makes me want to travel even lighter than in good conditions. I want fewer moving parts a and smaller bag. As a result I'm taking much less.

Weather Resistant is King for the Backpack - Everything has to be able to take the rain. I'm starting with the relatively compact Lowepro ProTactic BP 350 AW that is weather resistant to begin with, plus has a built-in rain cover if conditions worsen. There is fast access on both sides and top so I don't have to open the entire bag to retrieve a camera or lens. So I can grab one thing and everything else stays dry.

Going with my Toughest Camera - My best bad weather camera is the Pentax KP with a handful of weather resistant lenses. I don't like working with rain covers and prefer just to have the camera in my hands, even in the rain. Pentax cameras are amazingly tough and reliable, as are their WR lenses. I put protection filters on everything so I can wipe them off quickly and often.

Absorbent Cloths and Big Microfibers - One of the most important things I learned shooting in Iceland was that you need extra cloths to wipe down your gear. Everything gets soaked fairly fast, so backups are required over the course of the day.

Appropriate Clothing - Start from the bottom up with shoes that provide great footing and are water friendly. I'll be sporting a pair of Merrell Men's CHOPROCK Sieve Water Shoes that have Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsoles with water-friendly mesh and woven uppers. Working upwards with rain repellant pants and layered uppers with an Eddie Bauer rain jacket with hood and ventilated sleeves.

Pack an Extra Baseball Cap - I wear one cap so that the hood doesn't go down over my eyes, then a second baseball cap in my bag to put over my camera when it's sitting on the tripod. Of all the covers I've tested over the years, a simple baseball cap is easiest to use.

Start a Week Ahead of Time - Over the course of time, you'll continue to remember little things that you want to add to your bag, such as a small first aid kit, rubber bands, headlight (with night-vision red), for example. Allow yourself the time to remember these.

Trekking Sticks to Help Maintain Balance - You want to feel confident to explore areas where great images may be waiting for you. In addition to proper shoes, I recommend a trekking stick that will help you maintain balance and can serve as a monopod if you get one with a camera mount. A nice one, for example, is the Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Pole - Carbon Fiber Monopod Walking or Hiking Stick with Accessories Mount and Adjustable Quick Locks for $39.

One of my favorite sayings is: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing," by Alfred Wainwright. So true for photographers! Starting getting your gear together and get out there in the rain to make some wonderful images.

Fujifilm Instax Link Wide Printer

Live life WIDE The exciting INSTAX LINK WIDE Smartphone Printer has landed. Creating the largest prints in the INSTAX product line-up, this wide-format Smartphone Printer is overflowing with 'must-have' features to make sure nothing is lost.

Connect your Smartphone to the printer wirelessly via Bluetooth, and you're able to add text to your photos, resize, apply a filter, play with the contrast - the options are endless. Swipe up on your Smartphone photo and print. Select your image preference. You can choose between two image color modes - INSTAX-Rich mode for rich colors and INSTAX-Natural mode for a natural image quality.

Personalize your photo and choose from over 30 editable templates to create greeting cards, invitations and much more. Apply a QR code to your photo to link to a URL, hear sounds you recorded and view secret messages and locations - just by scanning the QR code with your Smartphone. And that's not all! Be creative with the Sketch, edit & print feature to import text and sketches as you customize your photos. With the Collage Print feature, add multiple images together to create fun collages. Also, choose from over 1,600 "stickers" in the app to apply to your photo! Available in Ash White and Mocha Gray. Live life Wide

Note: The Link Wide printer is also compatible with Fujifilm's X-S10 mirrorless camera from last year, allowing you to print directly without a phone. Of course, you can print photos taken with other cameras by uploading them to your phone and then to the Instax Link app.

The Fujifilm Instax Link Wide Printer that prints 3"x5" photos is available now for $149.

Nikon and the Z9 Are the Photo Industry's Comeback Story of the Decade

You can read the entire article on PetaPixel.com.

When the Sony Alpha 1 was announced, I remember being really impressed but not surprised. Sony had been the brand to beat and had been continuously pushing the envelope. What Sony did was impressive, but not shocking. The Nikon Z9 has shocked me.

Nikon, the company that had been in third place behind Sony and Canon in the full-frame mirrorless market (and it wasn't a close third place), has not only caught back up but has outright passed them technologically by a considerable margin. My expectations for the Z9 were to at least compete, to just bring Nikon back up to par. That would have been good enough.

But the Z9 reads like a camera where "good enough" was not good enough. No, Nikon wanted to send a statement with the Z9 and that message has been received.

It's hard to fathom how Nikon did this, given how slow it was to shift from DSLRs to mirrorless all while Sony was dedicating huge resources to developing its own expectation-shattering cameras. It felt like Sony was driving an F1 and Nikon a Honda Civic, and Sony got to have a head start as well. That kind of gap is monumentally difficult to make up ground on, let alone surpass, and yet here we are.

Nikon and the Z9 are without question the comeback story of the decade in the camera industry. There is a new top dog, and for Nikon, it's a return to a seat that the company has not occupied for some time. Canon and Sony will see what Nikon has done and have to work just that much harder. Sony won't just sit idly by as Nikon surpasses them, and neither will Canon. The race is back on, and I could not be more excited.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 46 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

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!

Product Links and Comments

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.

For years I've advocated taking pictures of signs instead of writing travel notes, and now Live Text takes that practice to a whole new level.

IMG_0707.jpeg A visit to Coppola Vineyards, yes take a picture of the sign.

IMG_0708.jpeg Want to know more about it? Live Text can help.

I use Live Text two basic ways. First, to provide data to Siri to learn more about the subject. And second, like an OCR scanner for text embedded in pictures so I can use the text separately.

For the first method, Live Text works in realtime or with a picture already in your Photos library. If you haven't played with it yet, 9TO5Mac has published an excellent how-to article.

Yes, you could type the same information in to your web browser and look it up, but this technology saves you a couple steps, and a fair amount of time.

The second use I find even better: as an OCR reader for words embedded in photos.

IMG_0710.jpeg What a great saying! Too bad it's trapped in a ho-hum a picture.

IMG_0711.jpeg Now it's an entry in my Notes app as well thanks to Live Text

For more detailed signage with lots of words, Live Text becomes a true time saver. It works wonderfully in tandem with the Notes app, and just about anywhere else on your phone.

I did all of my testing with iOS 15 on an iPhone 12 Pro Max. And Live Text has added yet another useful dimension to my already handy travel companion. Give it a try!

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