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This is The Digital Story Podcast #787, April 20, 2021. Today's theme is "5 Useful Accessories for DIY Photo Projects" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When inspiration strikes for a "do it yourself" solution to a gear-related idea that comes to mind, I've found that certain items in my photo accessory drawer are helpful time after time. This week, I'll share five of my favorite DIY accessories, and a case study of putting some of them to use. I hope you enjoy the show.

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5 Useful Accessories for DIY Photo Projects

In a recent Medium.com article, I wrote about the handiness of my photo accessory drawer. Some folks might call it a junk drawer, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Accessory-Drawer-1024.jpeg

I have a number of items in there that have become essential components when I trying to come up with a DIY solution. Here are some of my favorites that I've reached for many times.

  • Step-Up and Step-Down Rings - This is one of the items I reach for regularly. Not only do they help me adapt off-sized filters to lenses, they can connect just about anything that has threads.
  • Lens Mount Adapters Over the years I've collected a set of affordable adapters that will mount practically any vintage lens to my MFT cameras, including Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Contax, and Minolta.
  • Cold Shoe Adapters There are tons of accessories that can be mounted in a cold shoe, from bubble levels, to microphone, to LED lights, and of course, flashes themselves. And the list goes on from there.
  • Old Filters - Way back when, I did a show discussing how I never throw a filter away, because some day it will have use. That includes practically every type in every diameter.
  • Translucent Plastic Film Canisters - I've used these for everything from LED light diffusers to small parts containers. They're also handy for carrying around a set of coins that can serve as both super compact slotted screw drivers and emergency change, with room left over for tripod thread adapters and bolts.

I have other things as well, such as a variety of brackets, gaffers tape, and oddball lenses. What are your favorite items in the photo accessory drawer? Stop by our Facebook page and share them.

How to Adapt a 20-Year-Old Lens to an X100 (and save $300)

As much as I love the 35mm lens on my Fujifilm X100V, sometimes I need a bit more elbow room. I looked at the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens, wanted it, but was reluctant to spend the $350 it costs. So I came up with another angle.

I found a Canon Wide Converter WC-DC58 0.8X lens in my photo accessory drawer, and decided to try it on the X100V. I mean, why not! I already had the filter adapter for the X100V that used 49mm threads. The WC-DC58 had 58mm threads on its backside. I kept digging, found a couple step-up rings that I could cobble together, and made the connection.

Peering through the electronic viewfinder, the world looked pretty good... and wider too. This had potential. I went to the menu on the Fujifilm and found the Conversion Lens option and set it to wide.

This does two things. First, it correctly adjust the metadata to read at the wider focal length, and it removes the frame lines in the optical viewfinder presenting you with a more accurate view of the world. Very cool.

After a bit of testing and reviewing the images at 100 percent on the laptop, I can confidently say that the lovely Canon Wide Converter works beautifully on the X100V. Sharpness was good at f/2.8 and great beyond f/5.6. Colors were deliciously Fuji, and it looks cool on the camera as well.

Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training

This course was just released on LinkedIn Learning and lynda.com. It shows you how to leverage both the latest iPhone technology with Photos software, on both your Mac and mobile devices.

"With the free Photos for macOS software from Apple, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. In this course, photographer, author, and educator Derrick Story takes you on a detailed exploration of Photos for macOS. Derrick starts with a quick-start introduction to taking pictures on your phone, then editing them with Photos and sharing them. He walks you through how to use the options available to you when you're recording video. Derrick also covers several advanced iPhone camera techniques, such as switching among cameras, controlling the flash, working with ProRAW, and more. He covers each step of the process to edit pictures in Photos for macOS, then does the same for editing videos. Derrick offers some useful tips to enhance your experience using Photos, then concludes with resources to help you learn more."

You can check out both the free movies and the entire course here.

Did You Know You Can Archive Your Digital Photos on Analog Film?

You can read the entire article on FStoppers.

Bit rot, or the slow deterioration in the performance and integrity of data stored on various forms of digital storage media, is a real concern for photographers. Over time, digital photos degrade and some even become totally defective. The best insurance against this problem may actually be analog film.

Digital photography offers a lot of advantages over the analog process. Namely, it's a lot cheaper and it allows a greater degree of freedom when shooting. Images are also more easily manipulated and with greater sophistication. But digital photography also has its disadvantages, too. One big one is bit rot. I have been shooting digital for about 15 years and, already, I have degraded or defective images. Now, this is certainly by no means a huge percentage of my files but imagine if one of those images was one of my "greatest shots." In some cases, the degradation is only slight, but it is still perceptible. I have some files that are totally gone, that is they won't open at all.

Bit rot is not the only thing I have struggled with in the digital realm, though. I have also just plain lost images. This has happened when I have switched recording formats, computers, etc. Some photos I only had stored in clouds and then lost when I closed accounts (Facebook, for example). The point is many digital photographs I have made in my lifetime are simply gone in one way or another, from one thing or another. Others are degraded or defective. Yet, I have every single image I have ever shot on 35mm film. My negatives have followed me halfway around the world on every move and are still as good as the day they were developed. Now, to be clear, I am not saying that negatives cannot be damaged or lost, they can. I'm simply saying, in my experience, I have all of my analog images and I do not have all of my digital ones. So it goes. Your experience may be different.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 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!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #786, April 13, 2021. Today's theme is "Should I Stay with Micro Four Thirds?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It's been over a year since the release of the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. And it doesn't seem like we're going to see anything significant until the end of 2021 from OM Digital Solutions. Panasonic has been quiet on the MFT front as well. Meanwhile, Fujifilm and others have been quite active. Is it time for me to read the writing on the wall, or to stay the course? I discuss on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

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Should I Stay with Micro Four Thirds?

pair-top-1024.jpeg

Here's why I've preferred Micro Four Thirds to this point.

  • Fantastic Lens Catalog - If I want a super telephoto and ultra compact prime lens, I can find just the right one in the MFT mount.
  • Image Stabilization Is Not a Premium Option Every Olympus MFT camera I have include fantastic IS.
  • Still the Most Compact
  • Excellent Image Quality
  • Reasonable Pricing

But, I'm enjoying shooting with Fujifilm cameras as well. I like their better resolution, film simulations, and styling.

For a look at what the future may look like for OM Digital Solutions, you may want to check out this Interview: Aki Murata of OMDS (Olympus) - 'we're more flexible now'. Lots of good insights there.

In terms of Panasonic -- Panasonic launched the LUMIX G100 on June 24, 2020, a new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera designed and developed for creating high-quality, versatile content.

Bottom Line

For my "system" camera, I'm going to wait and see what Olympus does over the next year. I have great lenses for the MFT mount, and I truly enjoy shooting with their cameras.

If I don't see a solid successor to the E-M1 Mark III by 2022, then we'll revisit this topic then. In the meantime, I can work just fine with the gear that I have.

A Beautiful Couple - Fujifilm X-S10 with 27mm Lens

I've been testing recent releases from Fujifilm searching for that perfect combination of functionality and nimbleosity. You've probably read about my disappointment with the X-E4. Nice camera, but missing too many features for my taste. I did like, however, the XF 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens that you can bundle with it.

When I paired the XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens ($399) with the Fujifilm X-S10 ($999), I found a wonderful pairing for on-the-go photography. There are a few key reasons why I preferred the X-S10 to the X-E4.

  • 5-axis image stabilization built into the camera.
  • Built-in popup flash that can also serve as an off-camera flash controller.
  • Excellent handgrip that doesn't really add bulk to the camera. It's about the same depth as the 27mm pancake lens when mounted on the body.
  • Battery charger included in the box.
  • You get all of this in a still very compact package.

All of this comes at a price, however. Combining the separately purchased XF 27mm lens with the X-S10 body tallies to $1,398 compared to the $1,049 for the X-E4 bundle. The problem is that Fujifilm isn't provided a bundle for the X-S10 and 27mm, so you have to buy them separately at regular price. When the same lens is purchased with the X-E4, you save $200 off the price of the lens.

I would love it if Fujifilm would offer us the same deal with the X-S10. That would be bring the price down to $1,198. Fujifilm: I would buy that bundle in a heartbeat.

Bottom line here is that if you're debating between the X-E4 and X-S10, I recommend the latter. The X-S10 doesn't realistically take more room in your jacket pocket, but packs many more features. It's a great camera.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Samyang's new AF 24mm F1.8 lens features a dedicated 'Astrophotography Mode'

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

Samyang has announced the release of one of those lenses, an AF 24mm F1.8 lens for Sony E mount cameras. (We may get a MFT version soon...)

The lens is constructed of 11 elements in 8 groups, including two aspherical elements, three high-refractive index lenses and two extra-low dispersion elements. The lens features a minimum focusing distance of 19cm (7.48"), uses a nine-blade aperture diaphragm, has an aperture range of F1.8 to F22 and is weathersealed.

In addition to a customizable focus-hold button, which will keep the lens locked at a specific point while in autofocus mode, the AF 24mm F1.8 also features an 'Astrophotography Mode.' Samyang says this mode will 'automatically set the lens focusing mode to MF, move and lock the lens to infinity focus and the Inifinity Focus Confirmation LED will light up green.' If the lens is moved from infinity focus, the LED will turn red to let you know you're no longer focused on infinity for your night sky images.

The lens also features a custom switch, which allows the focus ring to be used as an aperture ring (Mode 1 for AF, Mode 2 for aperture).

The Samyang/Rokinon/Bower AF 24mm F1.8 will be available in June 2021 for an MSRP of $549.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 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!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #785, April 6, 2021. Today's theme is "If I Were to Buy a Photo Printer." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Quite possibly a barrier to making more visual art is your printer. Do you have an aging behemoth that gives you unpredictable results at best? Has your All-in-One become an All-In-None? Would you like something that's just a bit smarter, smaller, and better looking? Well, then keep listening. Today's TDS Podcast will get you up and running again.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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If I Were to Buy a Photo Printer

Printers have come a long way in the last few years. You can buy units that take up less space and are more fun to use. Here are five of my favorites.

Epson-XP-970.jpg

Pigment vs Dye-Based Printers

Very broadly, pigment inks last longer without fading, but dye inks tend to give richer, denser colors and sink deeper into the paper surface. They're both 'inks', but they have different pros and cons and printer makers will choose one or the other (or combine them) according to what the printer's designed for. The best photo printer doesn't necessarily use one or the other - it's up to you how you want to balance immediate print quality against long-term stability.

5 Favorite Inkjet Printers

  • Epson SureColor P700 13" Photo Printer ($799) - Max Print Size: 13"x19"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 10 (pigment based); Connectivity: RJ45, USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: Yes; Front or Rear Feed: Yes.
  • Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 13" Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer ($899) - Max Print Size: 13"x19"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 10 (pigment based); Connectivity: RJ45, USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • Canon PIXMA PRO-200 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer ($599) - Max Print Size: 13"x19"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 8 (dye based); Connectivity: USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • If you are doing B&W printing on gallery quality fine art fiber basedmatte papers this may not be your printer. While it certainly does a good job, a pigment based printer with a flat black ink cartridge will give better results.

  • Epson Expression Photo XP-970 Small-In-One Inkjet Printer ($299) - Max Print Size: 11"x17"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 6 (dye based); Connectivity: USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • And it includes a flatbed scanner!

  • Canon Pixma TS9521C Wireless All-In-One Craft Printer ($249) - Max Print Size: 11"x17"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 5 (Pigment-Based-Black, Dye-Based-Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black); Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • And it includes a flatbed scanner!

A New Infrared Photography Online Workshop Begins May 2021

Back by popular demand!

If you want to learn the ins and outs of IR photography from the comfort of your home during this online event, then check out The Second Infrared Photography Workshop that begins in mid-May.

The workshop is already half sold-out via the pre-announcement to our Inner Circle Members (who also receive a discount for the event.) But we still have seats open. I wouldn't delay however if you want to attend.

You will learn how to:

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

You can sign up now for $145. Inner Circle Members, visit out Patreon site for a discount coupon code.

LG Leaves a Trail of Photo Innovations Behind As It Exits Mobile

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

It may not have come as a surprise for those with ears to the ground in the mobile phone industry, but LG is officially walking away. Despite that, it does leave something of an imaging legacy behind.

As of July 31, 2021, it will be the end of an era for the company, as the drawdown will be completed by that date. It will continue to sell the remaining inventory -- even after that date -- but nothing new will come from here on out.

LG's struggle to carve out a steady piece of the market and grow it proved daunting. With Chinese brands emerging as serious contenders to all established players, the market squeeze forced a rethink of what to do to stand out. That's where phones like the Dual Screen G8X and V60 ThinQ, and -- especially -- the Wing, came out looking totally unique.

To my mind, one of the reasons LG lost its way is because it stumbled on the photography side. There were certainly other, sometimes related, reasons, but the imaging part of the equation was a major factor.

The V40 pioneered the triple-camera array, albeit too late to stand out among the pack. The problem was that the software wasn't good enough to help produce better photos. Google had software computation, Samsung had decent output, Huawei had outstanding performance, and OnePlus had improving quality. Tighter competition and less of a differentiating hook continued to push LG to the side.

In an era where camera performance and image quality figured so prominently as a selling point for high-end and mid-range handsets, LG struggled to make its own case. It stopped being the first to do things and followed trends instead. Its attempt at artificial intelligence input for its camera array never amounted to much in the way of innovative prowess.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 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!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #784, March 30, 2021. Today's theme is "The Bag I Use 90 Percent of the Time (and why)" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The real point of this show isn't the particular bag that I use, but the features that it has and how they are useful for the modern Nimble Photographer. My hope is that this discussion will help find a compact carrying solution that you'll reach for every time you step out the door. All of this and more on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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The Bag I Use 90 Percent of the Time (and why)

When Lowepro released the StreamLine 150 in 2013, it was intended for lightweight vacation travel with a compact camera. Its multi-device design offered dedicated storage for a 7" tablet, smartphone, compact camera, and personal items.

streamline-150.jpg

Even though DSLRs still roamed the earth then, there were a number of mirrorless photographers who appreciated the stylish practically of the StreamLine 150 and embraced it for their shrinking camera kits. One of things I like about it is the abundance of small lined pockets that I can use without additional protection cases. Let's take a closer look.

Basic Specs and Features

  • Measures 11"x10"x1" and weighs on 0.75 pounds.
  • 2 padded and softly lined device front compartments protect against dust, scratches and abrasion.
  • 2 additional front pockets for accessories.
  • Largish main pocket.
  • Two slim pockets for iPad mini or comparable tablet.
  • Weather-resistant materials and design.
  • Long shoulder strap.

The reason why it's been my go-to bag is because it's slim, stylish, and doesn't look like a camera bag. Some folks might say it looks like a man-purse :-)

I like the way it hugs my body when I'm biking or exploring urban environments. I can tuck it under my arm without attracting any attention. Yet, I have quick access to everything I need.

Inside, I typically carry an Olympus MFT body or the Fujifilm X100V. The iPhone 12 Pro Max fits perfectly in one of the front lined pockets. An extra pair of glasses fits in the other.

Lens cloths, memory cards, and other small items fit nicely in the accessory pockets. Generally, I keep my camera in the roomy main storage space. And there's still room for personal items.

The bags I carry have really become smaller over the years. And as such they are easier to protect from both the elements and prying eyes.

The Lowepro StreamLine 150 is hard to find these days. But I have a brand new one with its original packaging that I will raffle off to our Inner Circle Members. If you're part of our Inner Circle, or join us by April 5th, you can toss your hat in the ring to win the brand new Lowepro Streamline 150. The winner will be announced on next week's podcast.

A New Infrared Photography Online Workshop Begins May 2021

Back by popular demand!

If you want to learn the ins and outs of IR photography from the comfort of your home during this online event, then check out The Second Infrared Photography Workshop that begins in mid-May.

The workshop is already half sold-out via the pre-announcement to our Inner Circle Members (who also receive a discount for the event.) But we still have seats open. I wouldn't delay however if you want to attend.

You will learn how to:

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

You can sign up now for $145. Inner Circle Members, visit out Patreon site for a discount coupon code.

Lens Hoods: Do You Actually Need Them?

You can read the entire article on F-Stoppers.

I was curious to hear Marc Newton, from The School of Photography, say that you absolutely must use lens hoods. In the artistic world I don't believe there are any musts really but this video breaks down the reasons he thinks lens hoods are essential pieces of equipment. He's absolute right in some of the things he says and this is a great introduction to beginner photographers, especially, who might be wondering whether to use lens hoods or not. Funnily enough, in some of the example images he provides, I prefer those without the use of a lens hood.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 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!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #783, March 23, 2021. Today's theme is "Hands On Review of the Fujifilm X-E4 Mirrorless Camera" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The FUJIFILM X-E4 is a camera that I've fallen in and out of love a dozen times since I've had it. On one hand it's compact, handsome, and powerful. On the other it lacks image stabilization and the desired number of customizable buttons. So where do I land with the X-E4? I'll reveal my verdict and more on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

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Hands On Review of the Fujifilm X-E4 Mirrorless Camera

X-E4-1024.jpeg

When Fujifilm announced the X-E4, I thought for sure that I was going to buy it after my review period expired. It's so compact, its controls are familiar, and the image quality could for sure be counted on. Plus, I really like the 27mm f/2.8 lens that's bundled with it.

But it isn't perfect. So before I get into my personal pros and cons, let's review its basic specs and features.

Basic Specs and Features

  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor (6240 x 4160)
  • X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • DCI/UHD 4K at 30 fps, Full HD at 240 fps
  • 2.36m-Dot 0.62x OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.62m-Dot 180 Degree Tilting Touchscreen
  • 425-Point Hybrid AF System
  • ISO 160-12800, up to 30-fps Shooting
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Film Simulation Modes
  • XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR Lens
  • Same battery as the X100V

The Things that I Like

  • Handsome, compact body
  • Excellent resolution from the APS-C sensor
  • Cool 27mm lens bundled, good sharpness and color
  • Tilting LCD is very nice
  • Lots of creative controls such as film simulations, manual focusing aids, vintage lens profile ability, and more
  • On the fly geotagging works great with my iPhone
  • Love having the same battery as my X100V
  • Headphone adapter included in the box.
  • USB-C port and charging is nice.

Things I Don't Like as Much

  • No in-body image stabilization, and OIS lenses hard to come by
  • No grips on the camera, and grip accessories add to overall cost
  • Jpegs feel over processed with mushy bokeh
  • RAWs are noticeably darker than image on LCD and Jpegs
  • Would much prefer an f/2.0 prime
  • UHS-1 card slot seems like a miss
  • Lack of programmable buttons is disappointing
  • Why a weather-proofed lens on a non weather-proofed body?
  • No battery charger in the box
  • No built-in flash nor accessory flash included
  • No M-C-S switch
  • Play button moved to an awkward location

I've really enjoyed shooting with the camera and the 27mm lens. And I've adapted my favorite compact Pentax HD optics as well, and the images look fantastic.

I was hoping for an interchangeable lens version of the X100V. But the X-E4 falls short of those expectations. The X100V is weatherproof, has a faster lens, more physical controls, built-in flash, hybrid viewfinder, and more rugged build. The lack of IS in the X100V isn't as big an issue because it only has the 35mm equivalent lens. And I think that the Jpegs and RAWs look better from the X100V as well.

So here's what I've decided to do. I have a review model of the Fujifilm X-S10 coming that includes 5-axis IS and a built-in flash, but for only $100 more. I'm going to test it against my X-E4 experience. But for now, I'm holding off on purchasing the X-E4. It's fun, but I think I need more for a $1,000.

If you're interested in the camera, The FUJIFILM X-E4 with 27mm lens is available now for $1,049.

How I Adapted My Pentax HD Lenses to a Fujifilm Camera

Two of my prized compact primes include the Pentax HD Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited and the Pentax HD Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited. Both are magnificent, and each costs about $450.

The trick was finding the right adapter. The Pentax lenses don't have an aperture ring, and their default state is stopped down. A standard Pentax-K adapter wouldn't work. I needed something specifically for DA lenses.

Fortunately, I found the wonderful Gobe Lens Adapter that not only allows me to adapt the Pentax optics to the Fujifilm camera, but it provides aperture control as well. And it's a beauty, both in design and function.

After testing the adapter, I broadened my lens kit to include the Pentax HD Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited as well. I have now quadrupled my optics kit for the X-E4 for only the price of the Gobe adapter ($26.50). And the resulting images are wonderful.

1.6 million ISO! Here's a guided tour of the upcoming Pentax K-3 Mark III

You can read the entire article on Digital Camera World.

UPDATE: Ricoh Imaging has given users a guided tour of the Pentax K-3 Mark III, its long-gestating APS-C flagship camera.

Despite confirming in February that the body has been delayed, Ricoh is keeping the Pentax K-3 Mark III flame alive with this 20-minute deep dive into the new camera's capabilities - including its top sensitivity of 1.6 million ISO.

Ricoh product planner Shigeru Wakashiro gives a top-to-bottom overview of the Mark III, taking in everything from the new image sensor to the improved optical viewfinder. If you ever wanted reassurance that the DSLR isn't dead despite the mirrorless revolution, Wakashiro might make a believer out of you.

Check out the full video below - and don't forget to hit the subtitles / closed caption (unless you understand Japanese!).

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

PS: Looks like a second session of the Infrared Photography Workshop is coming as well. Tune in next week for more details.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 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!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #782, March 16, 2021. Today's theme is "Do I Really Need All Those Photo Subscriptions?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

A reminder for my upcoming SmugMug subscription renewal arrived yesterday saying that I could lock-in the low rate of $85 if I pay for an entire year. Since the pandemic, I haven't used SmugMug once because I'm not doing client shoots. And it got me thinking about the rest of my annual charges. I think it's time to take stock of all my photo sharing subscriptions. And that's the focus of today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

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Do I Really Need All Those Photo Subscriptions?

I think part of what I had to deal with concerning this project was acknowledging that I'm not the same photographer I was at the beginning of 2020. Most of my assignments are created by me for my blog posts, LinkedIn Learning trainings, Medium articles, and workshops.

Smugmug-gallery.jpg

I really don't need models anymore because I still can't interact with them, and I don't need sites to manage online galleries for those models and clients. Things have really changed. And the SmugMug renewal notice brought all of this home.

So here's what I've been working on. The subscriptions I've decided to discontinue, I've been downloading all of my content off them in preparation to end the service. I had to start this ahead of time to allow the days required to ensure I got everything.

Looking back over the last 10 years of work, I was amazed at how much content I had online. With SmugMug, for example, it was gallery after gallery that I downloaded. But I did so one at a time so I could organize the work on my backup hard drive. I just chip away at it while working on other projects.

So, what did I keep, and what did I let go? Let's take a look.

  • SmugMug - Let Go $85 a year - I really like SmugMug, and it was my go-to service for client password-protected galleries. Their organization, features list, and rendering are terrific. But I just don't do that work anymore, and it doesn't make sense to pay them $85 a year to archive that content. I've moved it all offline on to my backup hard drives.
  • Flicker Pro - Keep $59 a year - Fortunately, SmugMug bought Flickr, so they still get some of my money. I'm keeping Flickr because it's cheaper, more versatile, and I have a deeper history of images there. Plus, we have the TDS Online Community on Flickr that I love, and draw images from for the TDS Member Photo of the Day. Flickr stays. (You might want to check out The Digital Story Public Group on Flickr where we have more than 80,000 images by TDS members. It's great!)
  • Adobe Photography Plan (20GB) - Keep $9.99 a month - I like Lightroom and love having access to the latest Adobe photography features with this plan. I don't keep it for the storage, rather for the apps. And I appreciate them keeping the price stable over the years.
  • Model Mayhem - Let Go $35 every 6 months - I have met many terrific people via Model Mayhem and hundreds of wonderful photographs have resulted. But again, my life is different now. I ended my subscription.
  • Dropbox Plus 2TB - Keep $119 a year - Even though Dropbox is more than a photography plan, I use it mainly for that. And because of its versatility and popularity, it has keep its relevance even in this new chapter of my career. My online clients use it, and I need it as much as ever.
  • iCloud 2TB - Keep $9.99 a month - If I had to keep just one cloud storage service, it would be iCloud. Since I'm in the Apple ecosystem, this services manages all the work I do on my Mac, including my photos. I wish they had a level in-between 200 GB (which isn't enough) and 2 TB (which gives me lots of head room). Regardless, it's a keeper for me.

So, I've managed to trip 1/3 of my services in 2021. I'll review everything again in 2022 and go from there. Who knows what my world will be like by then?

The Vanagon is Gone!

I know this is a story near and dear to many hearts in our community, but I've sold the Vanagon that I used for workshops over the years, a vehicle filled with 20 years of fond memories.

I've been working on it since that one miserable hot summer day a few years back when I had to have it towed from SF to Santa Rosa. I had feared that she died that day. But like a Phoenix from the ashes, she came back to full functionality. Of course, this included hours of my sweat equity combined with a few trips to Hans in Sebastopol.

And on the day that I handed over the pink slip to a young German pre-med student and his girlfriend, she was running like a top. I honestly had a lump in my throat watching her drive away.

Fortunately, Vanagons retain an excellent resale value on the used market, and the cash payment for my 1990 will be a sizable part of the downpayment for my new all-electric VW ID.4 5 passenger SUV.

This begins a new chapter in my road trip adventures. I'll be using the ID.4 for upcoming workshops and my ongoing exploration of the world.

I placed my reservation back in February, and was able to place the order just last week. So the new car is currently being built, and I should be behind the wheel by late April. I'll keep you posted!

Adobe Photoshop's 'Super Resolution' Made My Jaw Hit the Floor

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

Adobe just dropped its latest software updates via the Creative Cloud and among those updates is a new feature in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) called "Super Resolution." You can mark this day down as a major shift in the photo industry.

I have seen a bit of reporting out there on this topic from the likes of PetaPixel and Fstoppers, but other than that the ramifications of this new feature in ACR have not been widely promoted from what I can see. The new Super Resolution feature in ACR essentially upsizes the image by a factor of four using machine learning, i.e. Artificial Intelligence (AI).

What does this mean practically? Well, I immediately tested this out and was pretty shocked by the results. Though it might be hard to make out in the screenshot below, I took the surfing image shown below, which was captured a decade ago with a Nikon D700 -- a 12MP camera -- and ran the Super Resolution tool on it and the end result is a 48.2MP image that looks to be every bit as sharp (if not sharper) than the original image file. This means that I can now print that old 12MP image at significantly larger sizes than I ever could before.

What this also means is that anyone with a lower resolution camera, i.e. the current crop of 24MP cameras, can now output huge image files for prints or any other usage that requires a higher resolution image file. In the three or four images I have run through this new feature in Photoshop I have found the results to be astoundingly good.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 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!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #781, March 9, 2021. Today's theme is "A Growing Interest in Fixed-Lens Cameras" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Whether it's a super-compact Sony RX-100, a handsome Canon G5X, or a posh Leica Q2, fixed-lens cameras are more and more part of the conversation among photographers who want to combine imaging power with portability. On today's show, we'll examine some of the thinking behind their popularity and my recommendations if you're in the market for one yourself. I hope you enjoy the show.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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A Growing Interest in Fixed-Lens Cameras

One of the most popular questions during the recent iPhone Pro Workshop was inquires about great fixed lens cameras to complement an advanced smartphone (itself a fixed-lens device). The thinking being, I really like my iPhone, but I also want an excellent digital camera. And if I don't have to buy a bunch of lenses and accessories, I can spend a bit more on the camera itself.

Sony-RX1.jpg

That perfectly reasonable thinking. Another viewpoint was" "I already have an interchangeable lens system that I like. I don't plan on starting over. But I would like a more compact camera for those times I don't want to lug my system around." Yet another common sense approach.

There is something appealing about a camera that only needs a spare battery as a accessory. It's easy to grab on the way out the door, stash in your jacket pocket, and call it a day.

Plus, there are some great cameras to choose from. Here are my five favorite fixed lens models, ranging from the most expensive to downright affordable.

  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II $3,298 - The Sony RX1R gets the nod over the Leica Q2 because of its more versatile 35mm Zeiss lens (compared to 28mm), lower price tag (compared to $4,995), and tilting LCD. This is a beautiful full frame 42MP camera that will be used and cherished for years to come.
  • Fujifilm X100V $1,399 - I think Fujifilm comes closest to the Leica rangefinder look and feel of any competitor, but without the steep price tag. Start with the Hybrid 0.52x OVF with 3.69m-Dot OLED EVF, add an impressive 35mm equivalent f/2 lens, tilting LCD, and a 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor, and you have an impressive work of art that happens to take great pictures.
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII $1,298 - If you want a more versatile zoom, then the RX100 is a top quality choice. Its 24-200mm Zeiss optic has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the wide end. Plus you get a 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor, popup EVF, tilting LCD, and Fast Hybrid AF System with 315 Phase-Detection Points - all packed into a compact package that you can stash in your front jeans pocket.
  • Ricoh GR III Digital Camera with GW-4 Wide Conversion Lens Kit $1,149 - This super-compact and discreet GRIII provides plenty of punch with its 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with a fast f/2.8 28mm prime lens with image stabilization. You don't get a tilting LCD or integrated flash, but you do get an accessory 21mm wide lens for some very exciting imagery, especially in the urban environment.
  • Canon PowerShot G5 X $899 This handsome, compact Canon is a great deal. For $700, you get a 20.2MP 1" CMOS sensor, 24-120mm zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 at the wide end, terrific image stabilization, tilting LCD and pop up EVF, plus in-camera charging. -

Canon-G5X.jpg

There are other excellent contenders such as the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II ($797) that didn't make the top five for features such as a fixed LCD, that may not be an issue for you. Any of these choices would make an excellent single-camera companion to your smartphone, and provide lots of enjoyment along the way.

My Writing on Medium.com

I now have more than 25 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!

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021

The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021.

If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

In this workshop you will explore:

  • Working with just one digital camera and an iPhone.
  • Taking advantage of a versatile fast prime lens on your digital camera and using iPhone for additional focal lengths.
  • Perfecting a RAW workflow with the iPhone.
  • Leveraging Apple ProRAW for those who have iPhone 12 Pro.
  • Building a kit that allows you to travel lighter without compromising capability.
  • Post processing tips and techniques using Photos on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
  • Investigating other software and workflows to augment your imaging prowess.

You can sign up by visiting the workshop catalog page.

Sennheiser MKE 200 review

You can read the entire article on Digital Camera World.

The Verdict: The Sennheiser MKE 200 is an instant upgrade microphone that will level up your camera or smartphone audio recording. For novices looking to match it with their mobile, Sennheiser doesn't offer the suite of solutions Shure does with the pricier MV88+ -- a mount, mini tripod, and an app to manage audio recording. What saves the MKE 200, therefore, other than its value is that it also doubles up as a DSLR or mirrorless camera microphone, and works a treat at improving audio capture at a relatively low cost.

Pros: Instantly upgrades audio capture quality, Battery-free solution, Smartphone and camera support. Cons: Confusing front to back design, No on-body gain control.

Compact, the Sennheiser MKE 200 weighs just 48g, and measures 69 x 60 x 39mm. No batteries required, it's a plug and record solution, and it's totally fuss-free. There aren't any gain control settings on the mic, it's available in black and black alone, and the one visual flourish comes in the form of its blue coiled cables.

The Sennheiser MKE 200 attaches to a cold shoe adapter, which makes it ideal for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Smartphone users will want to pick it up with a phone mount sporting one, so factor that into the cost of your microphone setup. Alternatively, you can thread the mic onto a tripod, so if you have a dual tripod mount, you could also be sorted.

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars

I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures.

If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

I'll be sharing my story of going through the process of buying the VW ID.4. We're also going to talk about travel tips with EVs, and the different models available in 2021 including Tesslas, the Ford Mustang Mach, the Bolt EUV, and emerging car manufacturers as well.

As the group and our knowledge grows, we'll see where this takes us. I'm sure we'll have meetups and workshops that focus both on EV travel and photography. I have secured the domain EVexplorer.com if a dedicated website seems appropriate. Really, there is no limit to this.

The bottom line is that we've been a part of the photography revolution that has moved us to smartphones and mirrorless cameras. Now it's time for the automobile revolution to get us where we want to go without killing the very planet we want to enjoy.

If this sounds appealing to you, then join us at EV Explorers.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #780, March 2, 2021. Today's theme is "My Impressions of Online Workshops" I'm Derrick Story.

Workshop-2.jpg

Opening Monologue

Having just completed my fourth online workshop since the pandemic began, I'm starting to get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. In today's TDS Podcast, I share my recent experiences and look forward to the evolution of how photographers will work together in the future. I hope you enjoy the show.


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My Impressions of Online Workshops

It was 8:30 AM this past Saturday morning when I sat down at the iMac that rests on a folding table in what used to be my portrait room at the studio. Like a pilot preparing for takeoff, I began the sequence of checking network download and upload speeds, USB audio, camera settings, and Zoom itself. By 8:45 I was feeling relatively confident that I was prepared for a day of workshop presentations.

At 8:55, the first handful of participants began to appear in my Zoom window. At this point, folks are often adjusting their cameras, organizing their work surface, and preparing for the day ahead.

Like any live performance, nobody knows exactly what to expect. Each photographer has 8 images to present and discuss. But in addition to that anticipation, there are a myriad of technical considerations that have to work well for the day to be a success.

And indeed it was! By 3 PM everyone had shared their work and we settled in to a few minutes of relaxed conversation. You could tell there was a shared sense of accomplishment, not only for the presentations themselves, but for the fact that we pulled off this magical experience with participants from California, to Florida, and across the pond - all at the same time.

We talked about the nature of workshops going forward. And most of us, myself included, believe that the online experience is here to stay. Maybe it would be exactly in the form that it is right now, but there are many good takeaways that can be applied to our work going forward.

Based on those experiences, here's my impression of online workshops and the path going forward.

  • We're All Better at Zoom - One of the improvements to come out of 2020 is the higher quality of interactions online. Lighting, audio, and timing have improved greatly with Zoom meetings.
  • People Who Could Never Attend Our Workshops Before Can Now - The financial investment is radically different when you consider travel costs, lodging, and meals. And because online events are far more affordable, I'm meeting community members that I might not have otherwise.
  • More Time for Instruction and Photo Assignments - We might not be in exotic locations, but the tradeoff is we have more time to work on our assignments, and get feedback along the way.
  • Meeting People on Zoom is Different than in Person, However - On one hand, it's fun seeing the different home environments, on the other, there's still nothing like sitting around a big table and sharing a meal.
  • We Now Have an Online Space for Our Workshops - I would like to think that at some point I would have created DerrickStoryOnline, but the fact is that I had not until the Pandemic.

Moving forward, I'm really excited about our events. We now have a well-oiled machine for those topics that work great online. Plus, I can add a whole new dimension to our physical events with Zoom preparation meetings, online sharing, and post-workshop follow up.

I must admit, I'm a little surprised at this silver lining for our workshop gatherings. And I think the 2022 season is going to be fantastic as a result.

Follow Up Note: One of our recent workshop participants, William Porter, posted a review of the TDS iPhone event on his blog. If you would like a user perspective, check out IPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. Cheers!

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021

The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021.

If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

In this workshop you will explore:

  • Working with just one digital camera and an iPhone.
  • Taking advantage of a versatile fast prime lens on your digital camera and using iPhone for additional focal lengths.
  • Perfecting a RAW workflow with the iPhone.
  • Leveraging Apple ProRAW for those who have iPhone 12 Pro.
  • Building a kit that allows you to travel lighter without compromising capability.
  • Post processing tips and techniques using Photos on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
  • Investigating other software and workflows to augment your imaging prowess.

You can sign up by visiting the workshop catalog page.

The Best Cloud Storage Platforms for Photographers in 2021

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

As another year of taking photos rolls on, having enough storage is yet another thing on every photographer's checklist. Thanks to the cloud, we can have another layer of security and enjoy the convenience of accessing our photos anywhere as long as we have an Internet connection.

Those who are frequently using free cloud storage platforms as an extra back-up may already know that they will soon have one less option. Google Photos will stop providing unlimited free photo back-ups on June 21st. Past the 15 GB mark, you'll need to pay for a Google One subscription starting at $1.99 per month for 100 GB. If you need more space, you can get 200 GB for $2.99 per month, 2 TB for $9.99 per month, and 30 TB for $149 per month.

The lowest tier doesn't sound so bad until you get to the part that apart from photos, other files like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms will also be counted in the storage caps starting on June 1st. If you're a heavy user of these platforms and frequently store your photos, or if you need them for a secure long-term backup of your entire photo archive, you will likely find yourself needing to purchase extra space through the years.

If you don't need that much space yet or just need a temporary back-up for your extra photos, of course, there are still some remaining free options. We say temporary because these free services come with caveats like file type limitations and small storage allocation. Still, a good number of these platforms also offer options for upgrades once you're ready to pay for extra space and useful features.

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars

I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures.

If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

I'll be sharing my story of going through the process of buying the VW ID.4. We're also going to talk about travel tips with EVs, and the different models available in 2021 including Tesslas, the Ford Mustang Mach, the Bolt EUV, and emerging car manufacturers as well.

As the group and our knowledge grows, we'll see where this takes us. I'm sure we'll have meetups and workshops that focus both on EV travel and photography. I have secured the domain EVexplorer.com if a dedicated website seems appropriate. Really, there is no limit to this.

The bottom line is that we've been a part of the photography revolution that has moved us to smartphones and mirrorless cameras. Now it's time for the automobile revolution to get us where we want to go without killing the very planet we want to enjoy.

If this sounds appealing to you, then join us at EV Explorers.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #779, Feb. 23, 2021. Today's theme is "Exploring the World of Electric Vehicles and Photography" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Going back to our roots in nimble photography, the thinking has always been, "travel lightly and take only pictures." Now, as we begin to think about post-pandemic exploration, the world of electric vehicles has become very interesting. And combining emissions-free travel with nimble photography feels like a match made in heaven. I hope you enjoy the show.

Exploring the World of Electric Vehicles and Photography

Like many of the lightening bolts that have struck me, this concept is the result of ideas and situations. Today I'm going to explain how this all came about, and where it's going from here.

VW-ID4-1024.jpg

I've been interested in EV for some time. Many of you know that I'm on the notification list for the Volkswagen Buzz, their reimagined bus that's all electric.

My thinking has been that I'm going to sell my 1990 VW Vanagon to help with the down payment for the Buzz. However, due to the pandemic, VW has slowed their plans for the bus and decided to move forward with a new SUV/Crossover body design called the ID.4.

They notified me about the reservation system that was in place for the ID.4. I really liked what I saw, and have since begun the process of buying one. I should have it this year.

Next came the notion of what I'm going to do once we emerge from the pandemic. Yes, I will fly when necessary, but I'm thinking more of road tripping for my photography adventures. I've been fine-tuning my self-contained travel approach on road trips to visit my mom in Southern California. I've discovered that I can travel without interaction or physical contact with other people. I just need a bigger car than my Audi A3.

About this time, the movie Nomadland was released starring Frances McDormand. The film takes us inside the lives of those who choose to live in their tricked out vans and RVs. Even though I don't want this for my everyday life, I am interested in approach for my photography adventures.

And finally, I feel like I need to take the next step toward helping this planet survive. My brother-in-law is about to embark on a home solar project that I'm going to shadow to absorb as much knowledge as possible. If I could install a smaller version of his project for charging the EV, then my transportation would be totally green.

This brings us to a new group that I've opened up at DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures.

If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

I'll be sharing my story of going through the process of buying the VW ID.4. We're also going to talk about travel tips with EVs, and the different models available in 2021 including Tesslas, the Ford Mustang Mach, the Bolt EUV, and emerging car manufacturers as well.

As the group and our knowledge grows, we'll see where this takes us. I'm sure we'll have meetups and workshops that focus both on EV travel and photography. I have secured the domain EVexplorer.com if a dedicated website seems appropriate. Really, there is no limit to this.

The bottom line is that we've been a part of the photography revolution that has moved us to smartphones and mirrorless cameras. Now it's time for the automobile revolution to get us where we want to go without killing the very planet we want to enjoy.

If this sounds appealing to you, then join us at EV Explorers.

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021

The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021.

If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

In this workshop you will explore:

  • Working with just one digital camera and an iPhone.
  • Taking advantage of a versatile fast prime lens on your digital camera and using iPhone for additional focal lengths.
  • Perfecting a RAW workflow with the iPhone.
  • Leveraging Apple ProRAW for those who have iPhone 12 Pro.
  • Building a kit that allows you to travel lighter without compromising capability.
  • Post processing tips and techniques using Photos on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
  • Investigating other software and workflows to augment your imaging prowess.

You can sign up by visiting the workshop catalog page.

Huawei announces foldable Mate X2 smartphone with Leica-branded cameras

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

The Huawei Mate X2 is co-engineered with Leica, building upon an existing relationship between the two companies. The rear of the device features a Leica-branded camera array. The smartphone includes a 50MP Ultra Vision Camera, RYYB telephoto, 100x digital zoom, and a 2.5cm macro lens. The Ultra Vision camera is wide-angle, includes optical image stabilization, and has a maximum aperture of F1.9. The 16MP Cine Camera (ultra-wide angle) has an F2.4 aperture and includes OIS. The 3x camera has a 12MP sensor, an F2.4 aperture, and OIS. The 10x optical zoom camera, dubbed SuperZoom, has an F4.4 aperture, OIS, and additional support autofocus.

In terms of additional features, there is 100x digital zoom and hybrid zoom. Autofocus is phase focus and contrast focus. The camera includes numerous photography modes, such as Night, Macro, Portrait, Pro, Slow-Mo, Panorama, Light painting, HDR, and much more. The Mate X2 records 4K UHD video. The device can also record Full HD video at up to 960 frames per second.

The Huawei Mate X2 will go on sale in China later this week. The 256GB model will cost 17,999 yuan (which is just under $2,800 USD). The 512GB version will cost 18,999 yuan (around $2,950). The Mate X2 will be available in black, white, blue and pink color options. There's no word yet on availability outside of China. To learn more about the Mate X2, visit Huawei.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

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!

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #778, Feb. 16, 2021. Today's theme is "Tapping iPhone Video and the Settings You Need to Know" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

As good as the pictures are from the latest iPhones, you could argue that the video is even more impressive. But those files also have a greater impact on your device than stills. Today we take a look at the marvelous movies we can capture, and how to do so creatively and wisely. I hope you enjoy the show.

Tapping iPhone Video and the Settings You Need to Know

IMG_0195-1024.jpeg

If you're primarily a stills photographer, it's easy to overlook Video and SLO-MO in your camera app. Part of the reluctance could be that you don't really know what you're going to get when you tap the record button.

And to tell you the truth, if you haven't explored the Camera Settings, you're right. You could be recording a whole bunch of stuff that is way beyond what you need or could easily use. So let's take a closer look at the Camera Settings to ensure that you're ready to go the next time a great movie opportunity presents itself.

Settings to Note on an iPhone 12 Pro

Let's start with the iPhone 12 Pro because it's the latest and most capable movie making device. First go to Settings > Camera, and let's review the top section.

  • Record Video - There are 6 options here ranging from 720p at 30 fps to 4K at 60 fps. Apple also lists how much space a minute of video will require at each setting, ranging from 45 MB per minute at 720p to 440 MB per minute at 4K 60fps. For most applications, I recommend a middle ground of 1080p at 30 fps, which gives you great quality at only 65 MBs per minute.
  • Record Slo-Mo - There are two options here: 120 fps or 240 fps. And again, the file sizes differ substantially with 120 fps using 170 MBs per minute vs 480 MBs per minute for 240p. Plus, I think 240p is too slow for many uses. Set your default to 120p.
  • Record Stereo Sound - Yes. The file size difference isn't that great, but the stereo audio can be far more interesting.
  • Preserve Settings - If you know you're going to be shooting video primarily that day, I would turn this on so the Camera app returns automatically to video.

Techniques to Keep in Mind

Be methodical in your camera movements while recording. In movie making, you want the action to provide the movement, not the camera man. If you do need to pan, do so slowly and gracefully.

Capture vertically and horizontally when possible. We tend to prefer one orientation over the other, but unless you know exactly how the video will be used, it's good to record both ways.

You can change video recording rates on the fly by tapping in the upper righthand corner. So even if your default is HD at 30 fps, but there will be lots of action in that clip, then you can switch to HD at 60 fps just by tapping.

The video light can be very helpful. I use it as both a fill light and a main light, depending on the situation. I prefer it greatly as a fill light, however. You can turn it on and off by tapping in the upper left corner.

You can switch cameras while recording, but keep in mind that these are cuts without any transitions as you move from camera to camera. But this technique can be useful if used properly.

Once you start recording, a "stills button" appears on the screen that allows you to take full resolution pictures without disrupting the video capture.

You can now edit your movies in Photos for macOS Big Sur without having to launch a separate movie editing app. If you are using iCloud, they will automatically show up there. You can also adjust them in Photos for iOS on your iPhone.

Becoming familiar with these settings and techniques will help you be more confident recording movies with your iPhone. And as you gain confidence, your creativity will grow as well.

Happy movie making!

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021

The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021.

If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

In this workshop you will explore:

  • Working with just one digital camera and an iPhone.
  • Taking advantage of a versatile fast prime lens on your digital camera and using iPhone for additional focal lengths.
  • Perfecting a RAW workflow with the iPhone.
  • Leveraging Apple ProRAW for those who have iPhone 12 Pro.
  • Building a kit that allows you to travel lighter without compromising capability.
  • Post processing tips and techniques using Photos on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
  • Investigating other software and workflows to augment your imaging prowess.

You can sign up by visiting the workshop catalog page.

Apple M1 Mac mini Review: The Best Mac for Most Photographers

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

Apple Silicon is the future of Mac computers, and the M1 Mac mini already delivers enough graphics and CPU performance for the majority of photographers. Here are the Pros.

  • Fastest Apple Silicon Mac (as of this writing)
  • Cheapest Apple Silicon Mac (as of this writing)
  • Full speed Thunderbolt/USB-4
  • Can power a 6K display at 10-bit color and 60Hz
  • Minimalist, out-of-the-way design

On the downside...

  • Not portable
  • Peripherals not included
  • Middling GPU performance
  • Only two TB4 and USB Type-A ports
  • HDMI 2.0 (not 2.1)

There's an elephant in the room at every M1 Mac review, and it's the fact that these are 1st generation devices. The M1X or M2 or whatever comes next will be better, and Apple will definitely put more GPU performance into the rumored Apple Silicon iMac, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 16-inch MacBook Pro. But here's the thing: for photographers and photo editing, these things will suffer from the law of diminishing returns.

Additional GPU performance costs money, a nice iMac or MacBook Pro display costs money, and the additional CPU performance or RAM baked into the next generation Apple Silicon will also probably cost you some extra money.

If you're running a professional studio, that might be an investment worth making. But for the rest of us, for most of us, if you want to do your photo editing in the Apple ecosystem, the M1 Mac mini hits that sweet spot of price-to-performance that is so rare for Apple computers.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, 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.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

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!

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.