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I wanted a place to dock my iPhone X while working in my home office. It's all part of my changing work life where I'm setting up new areas to get things done. I decided to try the PITAKA Wireless Charging Stand Dock because of its versatility. And after a few weeks of use, I feel like I made a good decision.

P4181227.jpg

The stand itself is actually a holder for the wireless charger. It's a clever design where the charger slips into the stand, then via a magnetic strip that you attach to your case, the phone snaps in place. The clever part is, that you can take the charger with you when away from home and need some extra juice on the road.

P4181232.jpg Wireless charger removed from the stand, yet still attached to the phone.

You can use your existing case, as I did, using the adhesive magnetic strip that's included in the kit. Pitaka includes templates for current smartphones so you can place it in exactly the right spot. It's slim, good looking, and hasn't changed the comfort of my current case, nor has it impeded the use of other wireless chargers.

P4181231.jpg Included magnetic strip to attach your phone to the charger.

When it comes to actually charging my phone, it takes about as long as my Samsung wireless pad, which is longer than plugging the phone directly into the wall. But it hasn't been a problem, because I just click my iPhone on to the stand when I sit at the computer, and click it off when I leave. Over the course of the day, my iPhone X has remained nicely juiced up.

You can also buy custom cases from Pitka that have the magnetic strip embedded in them. They look quite nice, and the reviews have been solid. So if you're in the mood for a new case, they might be worth a look.

But the setup included in the box will get you started as is. I like having the stand to make it easier to check the phone when I'm working at the computer. Having the removable charging unit is a nice touch for those days in the future when I can travel again. And overall, the design is quite good.

It's easy to recommend the PITAKA Wireless Charging Stand Dock for $79. Who knows, someday I may even buy one of their cases as well.

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.

Gentlemen Coders has released RAW Power 3.0 for macOS and iOS. It's a comprehensive update with much to unpack over the coming weeks, but the focus today is how it brings Star Ratings to Photos for both the Mac and iOS versions of the app.

star-ratings-photos.jpg Photos displaying the rating albums created by RAW Power.

The rating system is easy to use, and is ingenious in its design. If you're running macOS Catalina, the RAW Power app allows you to use your Photos library in real time. This even works if you have the Photos app open. Within RAW Power you can tap all the powerful tools to enhance your images and have those improvements saved directly to your iCloud Photos library. But now, you can also rate and tag those pictures, and they too will be saved to iCloud and acknowledged in the Photos apps.

RAW-Power-3-Photos.jpg RAW Power 3 tapping my Photos library.

RAW Power creates Star Rating Albums that are displayed both in RAW Power, and in the Photos app. RAW Power uses Aperture style keyboard shortcuts for the ratings allowing you to move quickly through the images. What's really cool, even if you're running Photos on macOS Mojave, which doesn't allow the library sharing as in Catalina, the Star Rating Albums still appear in the app if they were added in RAW Power running on a Catalina machine using the same Photos library. The overall approach is both clever and works great.

This update, over a year in the making, includes tons of other stuff as well. Here's a brief overview.

RAW Power 3.0 for Mac and iOS creates the first real option for serious photographers in the Apple ecosystem. RAW Power 3.0 is now the first and only third-party app to include full support for Apple Photos libraries on Mac and iOS, allowing photographers to rate and edit their images anywhere and any time. New features introduced today include flexible storage options, synchronized ratings and flagging for Photo libraries, support for Files.app on iOS, advanced auto enhance, LUT support and one-tap integration with the popular Halide camera app on iOS. RAW Power 3.0, developed by Nik Bhatt, a former Apple engineer who led the iPhoto and Aperture teams, is available for download today on the Mac and iOS App Stores.

Choose-Photos.jpg macOS Catalina photographers can choose the Photos Library from within RAW Power 3. Or they can use the file browser.

The new RAW Power app for iOS introduces the much-requested ability to manage photos either in Photos or in Files.app. Now, photographers can easily work on their collections of images in either or both environments and switch seamlessly between them. Users can import images from an SD card into RAW Power using the Files app. Additionally, the new Copy to RAW Power Share Extension makes it easy to import images from other apps into the Files storage for RAW Power.

I'll be covering more of the features in upcoming posts. But after my initial testing on both macOS and iOS, I can comfortably say that this elevates the Photos/iCloud environment to a high level for serious photographers.

RAW Power 3.0 runs on macOS Catalina and Mojave and is available for $39.99 or as a free upgrade for existing users of RAW Power for Mac 2.0. (It does not support the iCloud Library sharing on Mojave, however.) RAW Power for iOS 3.0 is available for $9.99 or as a free upgrade for current RAW Power for iOS customers. RAW Power for iOS 3.0 runs on iOS 12 and 13, but does not support iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus, or iPad mini 3 or earlier.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #734, April 14, 2020. Today's theme is "Project Productive - Digitize Family Memories." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Most of us have at least another month indoors. So I've designed a 4-week online course that I think most photographers will find extremely satisfying - finally getting to those shoeboxes of family photos that need to be organized, digitized, and cataloged. We are going to embrace Shelter in Place in a most productive way. I hope you enjoy today's show.

Project Productive - Digitize Family Memories

By now, we've accomplished many of the "low hanging fruit" projects. We've organized our camera gear, caught up on paperwork, and maybe even have cleaned a closet or two.

IMG_1518.jpg

But the 800-pound gorilla that's lurking beneath many of our beds is that box of slides and snapshots that we've been meaning to tackle. Why haven't we done so yet? To be honest, the project can feel overwhelming. There are so many aspects to it, it's hard to know where to begin.

Well, now you have a starting point: my Digitizing Family Memories online course that begins Monday, April 20. And the best news is - if you're an Inner Circle Member, the class is absolutely free.

What We're Going to Do

First of all, you'll have structure. Each class will outline a specific set of steps that you have one week to accomplish. Then, the next week, we build on that progress with new techniques and assignments. By the end of the four weeks, you will have an organized digital archive of your most valuable family images.

The approach is to break the project into smaller parts. Everything we do will be easy to understand and implement. When it comes to digitize, you'll learn techniques that are as simple as using the camera on your smartphone, or as sophisticated as tapping a dedicated film scanner.

I will show you techniques that will help you research, organize, digitize, add metadata, and catalog. We'll also discuss retouching and mending damaged photos.

Every Monday during the class, I will post an instructive video on Vimeo for you to watch. You can watch it whenever you wish, but don't let too much time go by, because there are assignments associated with it. There will also be handouts that you receive via email. And you can comment or ask questions via the comments section on Vimeo.

Patreon members can sign up for free on the Patreon site. I have a post there for you. All you have to do is comment that you want to join us. If you're not a Patreon member, you can sign up at the Inner Circle level for $5 a month and become instantly eligible for the course.

Non-Patreon members can also sign up for the course by visiting the Workshops page on The Nimble Photographer. The course fee is a reasonable $45.

Start preparing now. The first step is to find a dedicated work area where you can leave the project spread out on a table for the duration of the course. You don't want to waste time setting up and breaking down each time you want to work on an assignment. That's the kind of stuff that discourages us from working on these things in the first place.

Next, begin your search for family snapshots, slides, and negatives. You don't have to do anything with them yet, just find as much as you can, and put it on your worktable. If you want, you can start enjoying some of the pictures and reminiscing, but don't begin the project until you've watched the first installment of the course.

I hope you can join us for this online workshop. I think you will find it extremely rewarding!

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

LaCie 8TB 2big 2-Bay USB 3.1 Type-C RAID Review

Photographers interested in enterprise-caliber backup storage, housed in handsome easy to use hardware, should definitely take a look at the LaCie 8TB 2big 2-Bay USB 3.1 Type-C RAID Array. It looks great sitting next to your desktop computer, is surprisingly quiet, and is a joy to use.

Inside the stylish enclosure are two Seagate IronWolf Pro NAS 4 TB hard drives. They are easily accessible through the front of the enclosure via the spring-opening doors. The 7200 rpm SATA 3 drives are hot-swappable, although I haven't had the guts to try that yet. I've powered down the unit the examine the internals. But the documentation says hot-swappable works just fine. (OK, I'm a chicken, I admit it). And after a month of testing with a RAID 1 configuration, I am very pleased with their performance.

The LaCie 2big works great for both Mac and Windows computers right out of the box. Just plug it in and go. But most will want to configure the unit for their particular workflow, and for that, LaCie provides the excellent Toolkit software to format the drives and choose the RAID configuration that you want.

The first option is RAID 0, which provides the best performance and gives you 8 TBs of storage. The two hard drives work together to ensure the fastest data transfer possible.

The second option, RAID 1, is what I'm using. In this scenario, the drives mirror one another to provide an extra level of protection from drive failure. If one goes down, all of your content is still available on the other. The downside to RAID 1 is that your total storage is 4 TBs, and performance is a bit slower than with RAID 0.

And finally, if you're a willy-nilly kind of guy or gal, there's the JBOD option, short for just a bunch of disks. Two drives appear on your desktop with 4 TBs available for each. All of this is configured with Segate Toolkit.

In all honesty, the 2big checks all the boxes for me. I have an enterprise RAID device that looks like industrial artwork sitting on my desk. I can feel like a smart system admin when all I'm really doing is just checking a couple boxes in the easy to use Toolkit app. And the read/write performance has been similar to a standalone HDD. What more could I ask for?

You can purchase the LaCie 8TB 2big for $451. There's also a 4 TB version for $349, and a 16 TB option for $649. At the moment, I'm quite happy with my 8 TB model. And I highly recommend the 2big to photographers and videographers who want reliable enterprise backup enclosed in a handsome hunk of hardware.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

Those of you on the registration list for the Humboldt Redwoods Workshop, I'm looking to reschedule the event, and I have a note in your inbox to discuss this.

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

The summer and fall workshops are looking less tentative at the moment. If you're interested in either, 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.

  • 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.

Practically every person has a shoebox of family snapshots, trays of slides, or sheets of negatives generated by shutterbugs in the family tree. We've all made proclamations that someday we're going to get organized and digitize those precious images. But we never seem to get around to it.

family-snapshots.jpg

Now it the time! And I can walk you through the process. Join me for a 4-week online course that begins on April 20, 2020. Every Monday for 4 weeks I'll publish an informative, hands-on training video (with an open comment sections for questions) that covers DIY techniques for digitizing, organizing, adding metadata, and safely backing up this content.

Watch the tutorial on Monday, work on the assignments during the week, post your comments, then watch the next chapter the following Monday. By the end of the course, you will have made great strides toward archiving those precious family memories.

P3013549.jpg

Course Requirements and Suggestions

You will need an Internet connection to download or stream the tutorials. You can watch them on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

For the techniques themselves, you will need some sort of device to digitize the pictures. I will cover techniques for using your smartphone, a digital camera, flatbed scanner, or if you have one available, a film scanner. So yes, it can be as simple as your smartphone or as sophisticated as a film scanner.

For the organizing techniques, we recommend photo software such as Lightroom, Photos for macOS, Luminar 4, Capture One Pro, or OnOne. Any of these will work for getting your digitized pictures in shape.

We also recommend some way to back up your precious memories. We'll cover external hard drives, cloud services, and more.

Chances are good that you have everything you need already to get started. You may want to purchase additional items as your watch the techniques class. We'll leave those decisions to you.

How to Signup!

Simply visit the Course Description and Signup Page and click on the Purchase button. The 4-week course is $45.

For members of the TDS Inner Circle, the course is free. There will be a notice on our Patreon page for Inner Circle Members to sign up. If you're not an Inner Circle Member, you can become one instantly and waive the $45 course tuition (by pledging $5 or more a month).

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

Photographers interested in enterprise-caliber backup storage, housed in handsome easy to use hardware, should definitely take a look at the LaCie 8TB 2big 2-Bay USB 3.1 Type-C RAID Array. It looks great sitting next to your desktop computer, is surprisingly quiet, and is a joy to use.

P4091094-LinkedIn-01_05.jpg

Inside the stylish enclosure are two Seagate IronWolf Pro NAS 4 TB hard drives. They are easily accessible through the front of the enclosure via the spring-opening doors. The 7200 rpm SATA 3 drives are hot-swappable, although I haven't had the guts to try that yet. I've powered down the unit the examine the internals. But the documentation says hot-swappable works just fine. (OK, I'm a chicken, I admit it). And after a month of testing with a RAID 1 configuration, I am very pleased with their performance.

P4091090-LinkedIn-01_05.jpg

The LaCie 2big works great for both Mac and Windows computers right out of the box. Just plug it in and go. But most will want to configure the unit for their particular workflow, and for that, LaCie provides the excellent Toolkit software to format the drives and choose the RAID configuration that you want.

The first option is RAID 0, which provides the best performance and gives you 8 TBs of storage. The two hard drives work together to ensure the fastest data transfer possible.

The second option, RAID 1, is what I'm using. In this scenario, the drives mirror one another to provide an extra level of protection from drive failure. If one goes down, all of your content is still available on the other. The downside to RAID 1 is that your total storage is 4 TBs, and performance is a bit slower than with RAID 0.

And finally, if you're a willy-nilly kind of guy or gal, there's the JBOD option, short for just a bunch of disks. Two drives appear on your desktop with 4 TBs available for each. All of this is configured with Segate Toolkit.

2Big-Status-1024.jpg

In all honesty, the 2big checks all the boxes for me. I have an enterprise RAID device that looks like industrial artwork sitting on my desk. I can feel like a smart system admin when all I'm really doing is just checking a couple boxes in the easy to use Toolkit app. And the read/write performance has been similar to a standalone HDD. What more could I ask for?

You can purchase the LaCie 8TB 2big for $451. There's also a 4 TB version for $349, and a 16 TB option for $649. At the moment, I'm quite happy with my 8 TB model. And I highly recommend the 2big to photographers and videographers who want reliable enterprise backup enclosed in a handsome hunk of hardware.

P4091089-LinkedIn-01_05.jpg

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

Affiliate links are used in this article that could benefit TheDigitalStory. There is no extra cost of you.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #733, April 7, 2020. Today's theme is "Flashback! Tom Hogarty Talks Lightroom 3 at PPE 2009." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Jacob Javits Center has been the home for Photo Plus Expo as long as I can remember. It's a convention center filled with fond memories for me. Right now, it's serving as a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients. But a decade ago, I interviewed Tom Hogarty there talking about the Public Beta for Lightroom 3. It's an interesting conversation for many reasons, and it's the feature story for today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Flashback! Tom Hogarty Talks Lightroom 3 at PPE 2009

In October of 2009, I sat down in New York with Tom at a table in the dining area of Javits. Tom Hogarty is the senior director of product management for all things photography at Adobe. We hadn't scheduled the interview. But I saw him at the show and asked if he'd chat with me about the Lightroom 3 Pubic Beta. He cheerfully agreed.

New-York-Skyline-1024.jpg

2009 was quite a time in the world of photography. Headliners at the event were the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Nikon D3S. Lightroom and Aperture were battling it out on the software front. And I was working in the Lowepro booth.

Adobe was very excited about the upcoming release of Lightroom 3. And I think you can hear that in Tom's voice as we talk. So sit back and enjoy this slice of life from New York, 2009.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Kenny Rogers: The Photographer

You can read the entire story (and see the pictures) on Fstoppers.

If you have an ear for music or you're tuned into pop culture, you're likely aware that Kenny Rogers passed away last week. Did you know that he was also an avid photographer? Did you know that Rogers was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum?

Rogers studied photography with the likes of George Hurrell, Yousuf Karsh (one of the most highly regarded portrait photographers of all time, just in case you're looking for credentials), and John Sexton (a lauded landscape photographer who was once Ansel Adams' assistant, if you're still looking for credentials).

A quote from Rogers: "I think art, if you're capable of one art, you understand - you know, the difference between a snapshot and a photograph is where you take it from. A snapshot of the Golden Gate Bridge is wonderful, but if you're a photographer you get down on the side and you find a way to give it some lines, and some movement, and that's the difference."

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

Those of you on the registration list for the Humboldt Redwoods Workshop, I touched base with the Redwood Riverwalk Hotel, the site of our HQ. The good news is that they're still open. But only guests within Humboldt County can currently stay there.

I'm going to check in with them again later this month to get the latest information. I will send out an update note to everyone on the registration list this week with my basic game plan and the options you'll have. So keep an eye out for that note.

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

The summer and fall workshops are looking less tentative at the moment. If you're interested in either, 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.

The hunt for the perfect wrist strap has been an ongoing quest for me. Because I review many cameras for this site, and test even more for TheFilmCameraShop, a versatile, easy to use strap is a big deal. Fortunately, I finally tried the Peak Design Cuff Strap. (I don't know why it took me so long to get here.)

P4041027-D-Story-Peak-Cuff.jpg

The biggest annoyance with straps of any kind is getting them on and off the camera. When I'm working, the last thing that I want to do is spend 10 minutes wrestling with an ill-designed connector that doesn't want to come off the lug, or go on. This is the first improvement that Peak Design made with the Cuff.

P4041026-D-Story-Peak-Cuff.jpg

They use Anchor Connectors that attach in seconds. You get two with the Cuff, and you can buy more. Then you just attach the strap to the anchor with a secure click. Done.

The Cuff itself is very comfortable. It's long enough to provide unfettered access to all the camera controls, yet not too big to get in the way. You can roll it up and it will stay compact thanks to a magnet connector built into the fabric. You can use that same magnet feature to reconfigure the cuff as a bracelet to keep it handy when it's not attached to the camera.

P4041028-D-Story-Peak-Cuff.jpg

If you purchase extra anchors when you buy the strap, you can just leave them on your cameras, and snap the cuff on to the one you're using at the moment. This saves a tremendous amount of space, and it's satisfyingly efficient.

For me, the strap worked better on the DSLRs, SLRs, and the more robust mirrorless models. It was a bit overkill for the compacts, however, such as my Fujifilm X100V.

Normal price for the Peak Design Cuff Strap is $29.95. Based on what I've paid for other straps that I didn't like nearly as much, that's a solid value. In fact, I would say downright reasonable for such a well-designed, high quality product.

But for one more day, it's on sale for $23.96 with free shipping. And that my friend is a steal.

The Peak Design Cuff Camera Strap has a high Nimbleosity rating, and I recommend it for Nimble Photographers everywhere.

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

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!

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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.