Recently in Photography

  Page 1 of 248 in Photography  

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Tips for Seamless Panoramas, Behind the Scenes at the Havana Club Cafe set for my lynda.com movie, Canon and Nikon news. All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - Nikon D7200 boasts low-light AF improvements and increased buffer depth - With a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor it offers a very slight resolution increase over its 24.1MP D7100 predecessor, and like that model it lacks an optical low-pass filter. Also, a next-generation 51-point AF module with increased low-light sensitivity, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC and an improved 100-shot buffer depth when shooting JPEGs at 6 fps (18 14-bit or 27 12-bit Raw files). Other notable features include 1080/60p video recording, improved battery life of 1100 shots per charge and a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. The D7200 will be available in April as a kit with the 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR for $1699.95, or body-only for $1199.95.  (Source: DP Review)

In other news... Review: The Canon 11-24mm f/4L is Pricey and Heavy but Unmatched Optically - The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM officially holds the title of the widest rectilinear full-frame SLR lens with its 126º05' diagonal widest angle of view. And there's no mistaking the lens for anything less than an extreme wide-angle lens given its huge and gorgeous 108mm bulbous front element. Is it worth $3,000? This review helps answer. (Source: PetaPixel)

Story #1 - Tips for Seamless Panoramas - Yes, your iPhone works great for capturing panoramas. But if you want higher resolution and more tonal control, stitching together frames from your digital camera is the answer. Here a a few tips to ensure the best quality possible.

  • Use a tripod... properly.
  • It's easiest with the sun to your back.
  • Why manual exposure just works better.
  • Lock in your focus and keep it there.
  • Don't forget to overlap!
  • Mark first and last frame.
  • Shoot RAW.

havana-cafe-set.jpg

Story #2 - Behind the Scenes at the Havana Cafe Set - I'm at lynda.com this week recording the finishing bits for my "Photographer in Cuba" movie. They've designed a special set for our recording, and I thought it would be fun to chat with the producer, videographer, and lighting director about the preparations involved for this project. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

News from Red River Paper: Have you made your archive 6 prints yet for 2015? The best backup system in the world is high quality prints properly stored. I recommend that photographers do a print run of their best twice a year. Here's why.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (28 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until May!

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 Week Ahead

I'm on the road again, this time to Southern California.

driving-in-to-the-storm-web.jpg The drive south on I-5 was exciting on Saturday, with a series of rainstorms to entertain me.

I begin the week in Santa Barbara by meeting with the c't Digital Photography editorial team from Germany. I'm hoping to record a segment for Tuesday's podcast as we sit around the work table. I think you'll enjoy hearing how they run their operation in Europe, and why I'm such a strong supporter of c't Digital Photography Magazine.

After that, I'll drive down to Carpinteria and work with the lynda.com film crew to record the studio sessions for my movie about Cuba. They already have the content I recorded from the trip, and now I'll telling my stories on a set we've designed, complete with Cuban artwork that I've brought back.

I'm hoping to record a worktable chat with the film crew while I'm there. I'm thinking that will be a fun segment for next week's podcast.

I'll then head back to Northern California near the end of the week. The Golden State Warriors will be back in town from their road trip, so I'm going to watch the Splash Brothers take on the Mavericks Friday night at Oracle Arena.

I'll be sharing some "behind the scenes" here, so stay tuned.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

For the Jan. 2015 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters faced the sun and raised their cameras. See for yourself in our gallery, Backlighting. (Amazing images...)

ernesto-pono-jan2015-pa.jpg


Photo by Ernesto Pono. See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the gallery, Backlighting.



Want to Comment on this Post?

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

One Button Auto Bracketing

olympus-menu-custom-button

Thanks to the dynamic range of RAW files, we don't have to rely on auto bracketing these days for perfect exposures. But this function is still vital for compositing HDR images.

To save myself the trouble of digging through the menu system every time I want to capture a sequence for merging later, I've programmed the Fn2 button on my Olympus OM-D E-M10 to quickly turn on and off this feature.

olympus-menu-program-fn2

I've noticed that I'm using auto bracketing more recently thanks to the excellent image stabilization system that allows me to capture HDR sequences by hand without a tripod. If I see something I want, I press the Fn2 button to enable the setting, capture the series, then press the button again to turn it off. Simple.

You can program many cameras to do this. I'll show you how on the OM-D E-M10 because that's what I carry with me. But Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Fujifilm, and others also provide similar capability. Here are the steps.

olympus-menu-setting-bracketing

  • Turn on the camera and press the Menu button.
  • Navigate down to the Gear menu and select GearB: Button/Dial (top illustration).
  • Choose Button function.
  • Navigate down to Fn2 Function and open (middle illustration).
  • Choose BKT from the menu options, press OK, press Menu twice to back out.
  • Back at the Main screen, navigate up to Camera2 and choose Bracketing.
  • Turn Bracketing on, then navigate to the right to set the number of frames and EV. I recommend "5f 1.0EV" (bottom illustration).
  • Press OK, then press the Menu button twice to exit.

Test your setting by pressing the Fn2 button and checking the LCD screen. You should see a white square at the top of the screen that reads "BKT." And at the bottom of the LCD, there should be a series of green dots showing the number of frames for the bracket on the exposure compensation scale. Press Fn2 again, and they will go away.

You're now set to capture an HDR sequence whenever presented with the opportunity.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Selling your excess photo gear for fun and profit, New Panasonic micro four thirds lenses, My favorite mirrorless accessory is made by Canon, Photo book giveaway! All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - Panasonic introduces Lumix G 30mm macro and new 42.5mm portrait prime - The 42.5mm F1.7 isn't quite as fast (or presumably as expensive) as the existing Leica Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2. It does offer Power O.I.S. stabilization and is also compatible with 240 fps drive AF. It will be offered in black and silver versions. No pricing has been given for either lens but they're scheduled to become available in May.  (Source: DP Review)

In other news... Konost Hopes to Launch 'The World's First True Digital Rangefinder' - "But Leica already makes quality digital rangefinder cameras," you may be thinking to yourself. That's correct, but Leica's offerings are digital cameras with mechanical rangefinder systems. By "true digital rangefinder," Konost means it is turning its back on the age-old system of mirrors and prisms used in mechanical rangefinder cameras and instead opting for a digital rangefinder system powered by a secondary image sensor. (Source: PetaPixel)

sell-your-stuff.jpg

Story #1 - Sell Your Stuff - If you've been shooting for any amount of time at all, then you've probably acquired a bit of excess gear that you're not using on a regular basis. Here's a quick guide to options for selling excess equipment to build a fund for the new stuff you need.

Story #2 - Why I Added a Canon TTL Flash Cord to my Mirrorless Kit - Certain things just aren't meant to be compatible, but the unlikely works when it comes to using a Canon dedicated flash cord with Olympus, Panasonic, and Fujifilm mirrorless cameras.

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Portrait Project: Enhancing an Environmental Portrait of a Model with Chris Orwig. Chris walks you through a portrait editing workflow using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop.

You can watch Chris in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Chris' movies, plus every other title in the library (including over 20 by yours truly).

Story #4 - Book Giveaway! - Our friends at Rocky Nook Publishing are giving away two print copies of "The Portrait, 2nd Edition." All you have to do to enter is visit http://www.rockynook.com/portrait-2nd-edition-giveaway/, enter your name and email address, and cross your fingers. You have one week to participate. Giveaway ends on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 11:59PM PST. The winners will be contacted by email, and I'll also post on our TDS Facebook page.

Story #5 - TDS Photo Workshop Bodie and the Eastern Sierra Registration Forms Have Been Sent - We're currently booking for the June 11-13 photo workshop. If you were on the Reserve List, you should have received your registration form. If you'd like to participate, but are not on the reserve list, just go to the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info Form. I'll get you a registration form right away.

Virtual Camera Club News

Photo Assignment for February 2015 is "Good Bye". This is our last photo assignment. I discuss why in this segment.

News from Red River Paper: Have you made your archive 6 prints yet for 2015? The best backup system in the world is high quality prints properly stored. I recommend that photographers do a print run of their best twice a year. Here's why.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (31 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until May!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

A Photographer's Guide to Social Networks

Participating on social networks isn't for everyone. But for those who want more interaction around the images they create, choosing an online site or two can lead to rewarding experiences. Here's a quick guide to my favorites.

Instagram

Because it's so easy to post and comment via mobile devices, Instagram has become one of my favorite photographer communities.

Instagram-d-story.jpg

The trick here is to develop your Instagram personality. In my case, I've chosen to share the life of a photographer/writer in my feed. So my posts are about daily shooting and travel. Plus, I very much enjoy the work of those I follow.

Flickr

This social network for photographers has been pronounced dead more than Apple in the 1990s. Yet, today it continues to thrive.

flickr-tds.jpg

I've become more selective about what I post in my Flickr Photostream lately, using it more as a online gallery page for favorite images.

Unlike with Instagram, where I wouldn't hesitate to share a "behind the scenes" snapshot, Flickr is reserved for the finished product. It's the place that I send people to view my more serious efforts as a photographer.

We also have a wonderful TDS Public Group with more than 2,800 members and 46,000 photos. This feed appears in the Member Gallery page on thedigitalstory.com, and I select the "Member Photo of the Day" from this group to feature on our TDS Facebook page. The imagery here is fantastic.

The Flickr viewing experience has improved of late on both computers and mobile devices. So I'm also enjoying more work of those I follow. Plus, nothing beats the Flickr Explore page for daily inspiration.

Facebook

I have two Facebook pages. On the business side, the TDS Facebook Community is vital to my The Digital Story business. But I also maintain a personal page for friends and family.

facebook-tds.jpg

Photographers who want to engage in shop talk should consider setting up a fan page. Here, you can focus the conversation on your passion, and relegate the family snapshots to your personal page.

Ello

I'm still learning about Ello, but so far, I've liked the experience.

ello-profile.jpg

This is the place where I can post images that quite honestly, just don't fit in other places. I can try new techniques, show off my creative experimentations, and view the visual explorations of others.

For me, Ello is very nonjudgmental. This community seems to welcome diversity. I think Ello is here to stay... at least I hope so. It's a special place.

Twitter

Tweets have certainly become more visual these days. And even though I don't feel compelled to always include an image in my Twitter feed, I love having the option.

twitter-profile.jpg

Twitter is an excellent way to get the word out. And it's a fun place to hangout and see what's going on. Many photographers use Twitter for their stream of consciousness sharing. I like it too, and I appreciate its natural, flowing conversation.

Other Sites

There's plenty more going on including Google+, 500px, and others. Each has its strengths and audience characteristics. And if the sites I've mentioned don't do it for you, keep looking. There's an online home that will be just right.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.


twitter.jpg Follow me on Twitter

Standing Out in a Crowd

I'm attracted to many pictures because something stands out in the composition. For example, with a crowd of people, there may be a face looking off in a different direction. When I snap the shutter, I know that I'm probably going to emphasize that person further in post production. And here's a bit more about that process.

highlighted-school-child Highlighted Student - I took this photo because of the girl in the crowd looking off. So in post production I subtly enhanced the tones to help draw the viewer's eye to her.

original-school-kids Here's the original shot. The young female student still stands out, but the camera rendered all the tones more evenly than I wanted.

My favorite tool for this process is "Darken/Lighten Center" in Color Efex Pro 4. I like this plugin (with Aperture) because of it has a variety of helpful filters in addition to Darken/Lighten, such as Pro Contrast and Polarization.

When I'm in Lightroom, I'll tap the Radial Filter for this work. I can make a selection, then work outside it or on the interior. It also has a helpful feather slider for smooth transitions.

In some instances, a standard vignette tool will get the job done. Watch out for corners that get too dark, however. The goal is to lead the viewer down the path of discovery without overplaying your hand.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about portrait retouching in Aperture, take a look at Portrait Retouching with Aperture. You may want to check out my other Aperture titles, including Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012), Using iPhoto and Aperture Together, and the latest, Enhancing Product Photography with Aperture. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


Want to Comment on this Post?

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

If you've shot with a Canon DSLR, chances are good that you have an Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2 stashed away. Well, it's time to break it out!

canon-on-olympus-1024.jpg

I was hanging out with Lumix Luminaries Joseph Linaschke and Giulio Sciorio the other day, and Giulio wanted to test my Canon flash cord on his Panasonic GM5. And darnit, if it didn't work great.

Then I was reading Rico Pfirstinger's excellent guide, The Fujifilm X-T1 111 X-Pert Tips where he wrote that his Canon off-camera flash cable works with the Fujifilm X-T1 also. Son of a gun!

So, I just had to test this with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the FL-300R Flash, and wouldn't you know it, it worked again! In fact, I had full TTL capability with flash exposure compensation.

Bottom line is this: if you have a off-camera flash cord by Canon, your mirrorless kit most likely just got an upgrade.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Canon Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2 has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Hanging out with the Lumix Luminaries, TDS Bodie Workshop Preview, Perfect Browse 9, Mastering WordPress - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - Is Perfect Browse 9 the Answer to Our Photos Workflow? I've been testing onOne Perfect Browse 9, and it shows promise as a robust complement to just about any workflow, and hopefully for Apple's upcoming Photos app. Here's why. (Source: The Digital Story)

In other news... "Sigma announces pricing for 24mm Art and 150-600mm Contemporary lenses - $849 and $1,089 respectively. (Source: DP Review)

Story #1 - Hanging Out with Lumix Luminaries Joseph Linaschke and Giulio Sciorio at the TDS Studio talking about Micro Four Thirds, 4K video, lenses and more. Recorded in surround sound stereo, so you'll want to listed to this with your headphones for the full effect.

lumix-luminaries.jpg Derrick Story, Joseph Linaschke, and Giulio Sciorio at the TDS studio in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo by Joseph Linaschke.

Story #2 - From the Screening Room - WordPress Essential Training with Morten Rand-Hendriksen. Many photographers are using WordPress sites as the backend for their storefront. You can learn more about the ins and outs of WordPress by watching this excellent online tutorial.

You can watch Morten in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Morten's movies, plus every other title in the library (including over 20 by yours truly).

Story #3 - TDS Photo Workshop Bodie and the Eastern Sierra Registration Forms Have Been Sent - We're currently booking for the June 11-13 photo workshop. If you were on the Reserve List, you should have received your registration form. If you'd like to participate, but are not on the reserve list, just go to the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info Form. I'll get you a registration form right away.

Snapshot - "From the Bad..." Just about everything that could have gone wrong last Tuesday, did. And I was impressed how everyone rose to the challenge. Based on the Nimble Photographer entry with the same title.

Virtual Camera Club News

Photo Assignment for February 2015 is "Good Bye". This is our last photo assignment. I discuss why in this segment.

News from SizzlPix: Our Presidents Day sale, the biggest we've ever run! 20 percent off on your SizzlPix!, any size AND 25 percent off on the entire shipment if you order more than 1! PLUS shipping is still free anywhere in the contiguous US. This is an exclusive offer for The Digital Story. Just write TDS 20 percent or TDS 25 percent in the comment space on the SizzlPix! order page.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (52 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until May!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

As we've learned more details about Photos for Mac OS X, it's clear that power users will need a supplemental application to augment Photos' initial shortcomings. This is especially important in the area of metadata management and star ratings (both of which will be absent in Photos V1.)

I've been testing onOne Perfect Browse 9, and it shows promise as a robust complement to just about any workflow, and hopefully for Apple's upcoming Photos app.

perfect-browser-9-sierra.jpg Perfect Browse 9 running on a Yosemite-powered Mac.

What is Perfect Browse 9?

Think of Perfect Browse as a handy front end to Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, and hopefully Photos. Perfect Browse will display thumbnails and previews from a variety of sources, including memory cards, hard drives, Dropbox, iCloud Photo Stream, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more.

Once the images are displayed in Perfect Browse, you can add star ratings, apply a color label, and mark as a favorite. The star ratings and color labels are compatible with Aperture. So if you apply them in Perfect Browse, they will appear in there after transfer.

There's also solid metadata management. I selected an entire group of images in Perfect Browse, added my copyright and contact information, and all of that data traveled with the images to their next stop.

Sample Workflow with Perfect Browse 9

imported-in-to-aperture-2.jpg Images received in Aperture from Perfect Browse 9 with star ratings and metadata intact.

Here's how I tested this application:

  • Inserted memory card into Mac and launched Perfect Browse 9.
  • Sorted images by File Type to separate the RAWs from the Jpegs.
  • Applied star ratings to the images that I wanted to move to Aperture.
  • Filtered the entire shoot by star rating so only my picks were on the screen.
  • Applied my IPTC information to the entire set of picks.
  • Selected the "Send to Aperture" option.
  • Images were imported into a new Aperture project with star ratings and metadata intact.

I'll keep testing Perfect Browse 9 and update you if anything substantially new surfaces. You can download a free 30 day trial from the site and test for yourself. If you like it, the purchase price for the Premium Edition is $59.95.

There's also a Basic Version of Perfect Browse 9 in the Mac App Store. I do not recommend purchasing that version at this time. There is a bug in the Mac App Store version that prevents transferring the images to another application.

Bottom Line

Perfect Browse 9 is on my short list of possible companion apps for Photos for Mac OS X. Its speedy browsing of Jpegs and RAWS make it fun to use. Plus, it handles basic rating and metadata with ease. Keep an eye on this one. Hopefully onOne will make it super-compatible with Photos for Mac OS X.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


Want to Comment on this Post?

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