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This is The Digital Story Podcast #666, Dec. 18, 2018. Today's theme is "A Visit to Mom's." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Every year at this time, I like to talk about the importance of photography during family gatherings. This year, instead of just discussing it, I'm bringing you along to a visit at my Mom's house in Southern California. We're going to ask her about the importance of family, photography, and staying in touch with your roots. I hope you enjoy the show.

A Visit to Mom's

There's 8 hours of highway between my Mom's house and mine. I don't make the trek as often as I should, and she will probably mention that during our chat. But seeing her is very important to me, and I look forward to our visits.

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I thought listening to her perspective about the holidays and family would be interesting to the family historians in our podcast audience. I hope you enjoy our visit, sitting around the family table that I've know since childhood.

The Portfoliobox Inspirational Photographer

I got to thinking about some of the great PortfolioBox photographers out there, and how they could inspire us both artistically, but also in terms of our presentation online. So I started digging.

Each week for the month of December, I'm going to feature an inspirational photographer who uses Portfoliobox as his/her platform for presenting their work. This week I want to point you to www.luigiquarta.com/. Luigi Quarta is a conceptual photographer, who uses photography as a means of expression to represent concepts, feelings, and moods.

He writes about Portfoliobox, "Portfoliobox has a modern design that I like a lot and is very easy to use. It's really a great platform to open your personal website."

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published. I will add it to our PortfolioBox Pro Directory.

To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

Luminar with Libraries Releases Today

If you already own Luminar 2018, you will automatically be upgraded to Luminar 3 with Libraries.

I've Booked Our Accommodations for the Joshua Tree Workshop this Coming March

The Adobe Rockpile is located conveniently on the way to Joshua Tree National Park,just minutes from the west entrance. Enjoy our Hammock,hot tub,views, and desert scenery!This Property is the perfect blend of comfort, convenience, nature, and high desert style.

The Adobe Rockpile is located in the most beautiful neighborhood in the hills of Yucca Valley. It feels like you are out in the national park, but are only one to two miles away from all the in-town amenities. Surrounded by open space, boulders and other custom homes with plenty of space in between, you will feel all the comforts of home and more in this neighborhood.

If you want to join us in March, If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Night Shot is our current photo challenge. More details on our Patreon page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

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

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

The Nimbleosity Report

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

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

5 Tips for Family Holiday Travel

It's that time of year when many photographers are hitting the road, not only with their gear, but with family members as well. The art of family travel is a delicate one. And even with the change in circumstances, there are usually plenty of photo opportunities to be captured as well. So here are five tips to help you make the most of your adventure.

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  • Be Flexible - When traveling alone, you get to make all the decisions based on the moment. But needs vary for other folks in your group, so be sure to check in with them often and adjust accordingly.
  • Stretch Your Creativity - Being creative takes many different forms. Sometimes finding a new way to meet a challenge is the height of creativity. "How can I get this shot in just a minute before we move on?"
  • Be a Passenger - Since you have others who can drive and wait in line, use those moments to ride shotgun for photography or nose around looking for shots. You'll be surprised what you can come up with.
  • Negotiate Ahead of Time - If there's something that you really want to photograph, come up with a plan, and present it ahead of time. Getting early buy in allows others to decide what they're going to do during that time and keeps everyone happy.
  • Don't Forget the Subjects Right in Front of You - Yes, an early morning sunrise is beautiful, but so are candids of your travel mates. These trips are great opportunities to document the activities of those you care about.

Embracing the moment is good for your art, as well as your relationships. Have a great trip this holiday season.

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

Back in the day, Olympus made a nifty accessory grip for the OM-2S Program. It's not easy to find, and the only one on eBay right now is selling for a ridiculous $99. It's a piece of molded plastic with a screw. I'm not paying more for that than the camera itself.

Fortunately, clever designers with 3D printers, like the folks at Butter Grip have provided me with a reasonable $21 alternative.

PC117087-OM-Grip-1024.jpg The Olympus OM-10 grip mounted on my OM-2S Program. (Olympus OM bodies are very consistent in design.)

This handsome grip fits the camera perfectly, screws in to the bottom tripod socket, and even has a compartment to store spare batteries.

PC117086-OM-Grip-1024.jpg There's even a compartment to store spare batteries.

If I ever do score an Olympus OM Grip 1 at a reasonable price, I can still use the Butter Grip on my OM-10. It's light and helps protect the bottom of the body, not to mention feels good while shooting.

I anticipate that more hard-to-find camera parts will show up on the market thanks to 3D printing. I'm sure happy about how that technology has solved this particular problem for me.

Derrick is the owner of TheFilmCameraShop that specializes in 35mm photo gear from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. He shoots a roll of film a week for his artistic health.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #665, Dec. 11, 2018. Today's theme is "Inside Capture One Pro 12 with David Grover." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Phase One has just released Capture One Pro 12, its robust image management and editing software. Capture One has been gaining traction over the last few releases because many consider it a high quality alternative to Lightroom, myself included. Today, we have David Grover on the horn. He's Phase One's business support and development manager. And he's also one of their best trainers. I hope you enjoy his insights on this latest release of Capture One.

Inside Capture One Pro 12 with David Grover

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David and I sit down for a chat about the new features in Capture One Pro 12.

10 Qualities of a Successful Online Portfolio

Even if you very actively promote your work on social media, your online portfolio is still the mothership: the primary showcase of your talents, into which all other promotional streams will flow. But putting together a successful portfolio website can often seem like a daunting task. Where to begin?

Actually it's pretty simple, and the best portfolio sites all tend to share the same qualities. Follow our ten-point guide to creating an effective online portfolio and you'll soon be up and running.

See all 10 tips by visiting 10 Qualities of a Successful Online Portfolio on the Portfoliobox site.

To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

I've Booked Our Accommodations for the Joshua Tree Workshop this Coming March

The Adobe Rockpile is located conveniently on the way to Joshua Tree National Park,just minutes from the west entrance. Enjoy our Hammock,hot tub,views, and desert scenery!This Property is the perfect blend of comfort, convenience, nature, and high desert style.

The Adobe Rockpile is located in the most beautiful neighborhood in the hills of Yucca Valley. It feels like you are out in the national park, but are only one to two miles away from all the in-town amenities. Surrounded by open space, boulders and other custom homes with plenty of space in between, you will feel all the comforts of home and more in this neighborhood.

If you want to join us in March, If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Night Shot is our current photo challenge. More details on our Patreon page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

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

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

The Nimbleosity Report

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

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

How and Why to Get a Photo Assistant

Whether it's a wedding, outdoor portrait, or casual event - having a second set of hands increases your odds of a successful photo shoot.

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Photo assistants don't have to be trained photographers. The skills they bring to the set include a second set of eyes for wardrobe malfunctions and stay hair, a second set of hands for reflectors and fill flashes, and a trusted caddy to consult with before a big shot.

At weddings, photo assistants are invaluable for assembling groups for family portraits, checking in with the food service and DJ for timing, and for running out to the car to get that tripod you forgot.

But how do you find a helper? In many instances, I've brought on folks who expressed an interest in photography. They could be a friend, family member, neighbor, or co-worker who wants to learn more about event photography and portraits. When someone asks me, "How can I get experience with freelancing?", I typically reply by starting out as an assistant.

From there, the next step is second shooter, then on to their own gigs. I've seen this progression time and time again. And I think it's great for everyone involved.

And finally, if you're in the middle of a shoot without an assistant, don't be afraid to ask the boyfriend or mom to help. They're usually there for moral support for the subject, and I've found that they're more than happy to lend a helping hand to become part of project.

In addition to improving the final product, photo assistants help make the task at hand more enjoyable. I bet you know someone right now who would be interested in lending a hand.

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

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Between running the blog and TheFilmCameraShop, I shoot a lot of small product shots. I need to create these efficiently and beautifully. In other words, I want them to look good, and I don't want to spend a lot of time in the process.

I've set up a small product studio that would work in any office or home as well. It consists of a Translucent Shooting Tent and two lights. The positioning of the lights is the key to this endeavor.

In most demonstrations, you'll see the lights placed on either side of the product. Personally, I don't think that's the best look. It can make your subjects look too one-dimensional. Instead, I position one light to the side, and the second above, shining down through the top of the tent. The second light serves a dual purpose of illuminating the backdrop and the top of the product. I like the Fotodiox Pro FlapJack LED Light for this type of work because it has variable intensity and it includes a built-in diffuser, which makes everything easier.

PC047062-etsy-1024.jpg

The lights must be softened. I use a small softbox for the one positioned on the side. The top light is diffused by shining through the shooting tent. This configuration creates both pleasing tones and a sense of texture and depth.

PB276963-Etsy-1024.jpg

As for the camera and lens, you can use just about anything. I have an older Olympus OM-D E-M5 just for my studio work combined with a Panasonic LUMIX G LEICA DG 25mm f/1.4 lens. I will confess, that I do like a sharp lens for this type of work.

I handhold the camera, set the aperture to around f/4, and the ISO is usually 1600. Since I use continuous lighting, I can position all the elements exactly as I want and see the composition clearly before snapping the shutter.

Once you get all of the factors dialed in, you can knock out any type of small product shot quickly and beautifully. The latter is very important, especially if you sell on eBay or Etsy. If your products look better than the competition's, trust me, you have an advantage.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #664, Dec. 4, 2018. Today's theme is "Prepare for Your 2019 Now." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If you wait until January 1st to choose the improvements that you want to make in 2019, it's already too late. Before you know it, the month will be gone, and you won't have accomplished a thing. If you really want to up your game next year, now is the time to start. And I have some great ideas for you in today's TDS photography podcast.

Prepare for Your 2019 Now

Yes, December has its share of holiday madness. But that also means that friends, family, and clients can be a bit distracted, leaving you with a few windows to work on your 2019 game plan.

The reason why I like December for this is because it gives me time to research options, test out my ideas, then have everything locked and loaded by the time I pop the champagne cork on Dec. 31st. If you like this reasoning, here are a few things to consider for the month.

  • Update Your Budget - Most great ideas need funding. I like to pay for things as I go, so a budget is vital to managing my business and personal life. I map out my expected expenses and revenue streams. Part of those allocations are for new projects that I hope will be successful in the new year.
  • IMG_3296.jpg

  • Take Stock of Your Gear - By this point in the year, there are items I'm not using that should be sold, and things that I need for upcoming projects. A good example was investing in additional SSD storage so I could more easily manage big photo projects. Lighting and lenses are also top of the list review items.
  • Create One New Project that You're Willing to Take a Risk with - You can settle for the same projects and revenue streams year to year. You'll go backwards as things fade way if you don't have ideas to replace them. Some of my best new projects in the past included the TDS Workshop Series, TheFilmCameraShop, and The Value of Journaling for Photographers. This began as a personal project 3 years ago, and has become an important part of my creative life.
  • Commit to Being Bold - If you listened to Kelly Cox last week, you heard a perfect example of this when shot presented 10 of her Canon Rebel images to Berkeley Athletics in hopes of securing an internship. She now shoots the Super Bowl. Be bold and give yourself a chance to succeed.

The Portfoliobox Inspirational Photographer

I got to thinking about some of the great PortfolioBox photographers out there, and how they could inspire us both artistically, but also in terms of our presentation online. So I started digging.

Each week for the month of December, I'm going to feature an inspirational photographer who uses Portfoliobox as his/her platform for presenting their work. This week I want to point you to http://www.simonerudloff.com/. Simone Rudloff is a photographer from Byron Bay, Australia, now residing in Hamburg, Germany.

Simone's next big project for 2019 is: "I'm currently opening a photo studio/event space in Hamburg with my boyfriend (also a photographer) which we plan on renting out and using ourselves. We've spent 6 months renovating and are officially opening at the end of November!"

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published. I will add it to our PortfolioBox Pro Directory.

To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

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

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

Jarine Lombardo did exactly that, writing: "I will send the camera tomorrow and I will take care of the shipping. It is the least I can do for all you have done for me in photography. I've gone back to Olympus because of you and I could not be happier. You are on my bucket list to take a photography workshop with in 2020. Living on the East Coast makes it a little more difficult, but I will make that happen."

Thanks for your contribution Jarine!

Photokina 2019 gets postponed, will become an annual event starting May 2020

DP Review writes:

"In 2017, Photokina's organizers announced the world's largest trade fair would 'reposition' itself an annual event starting in 2018 and subsequently announced that after this year's Photokina, which took place in September, the event would be moved to the month of May going forward.

"Naturally, it was expected the next Photokina event would take place in May 2019, but plans have changed. According to the German Photo Industry Association (PIV), conceptual sponsor of the trade fair, and Koelnmesse, the event's organizer, the 2019 Photokina event has been postponed a year, meaning the next Photokina event will take place from Wednesday May 27th, 2020 through May 30th, 2020."

Updates and Such

The 2019 TDS Workshop Season is Now Open

- We had a great response to last week's unveiling of the 2019 TDS Photography Workshop Season. Every event already has multiple deposits. If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops page and find the event that's perfect for you.

Inner Circle Members: Night Shot is our current photo challenge. More details on our Patreon page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

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

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

The Nimbleosity Report

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

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

IMG_3530.jpg

Three years ago I wrote my first journal entry for what I called then, The Film Project. The concept was to augment my analog photography with metadata captured with the iPhone. The system has worked quite well. So well, in fact, that it has become much more than I expected or hoped for. Here's why I'm recommending it for you.

  • I take more pictures. Journaling has been the engine behind my Instagram feed. I have more than 1,200 posts there, and most of them began with a journal entry. It's safe to say the journaling has reenergized my personal photography.
  • I feel more in touch with my life. Journaling helps me better appreciate my life. And I don't have the lost feeling of "when did that happen?" I know when it happened. I have the image and the story. And it feels great.
  • I'm continuing to grow as an artist. If I haven't written a journal entry for a day or so, I begin contemplating what I can do. I initiate an activity. I try to create an opportunity. It really gets the juices going. And as a result, I become more creative.

What started out as a way to record camera settings, location, and weather conditions has evolved into a true accounting of my life. So many things have happened since Dec. 2015, and most of those important moments are recorded in the journal.

journal-entries.jpg

Thanks to the capabilities of the smartphone, this work goes well beyond a dear diary. To create an entry, I first capture an image with the iPhone. This is a critical step of the process. By doing so, I immediately have the visual story, plus that capture records time, weather, and location.

In my case, I also take an analog image with a film camera. But that isn't required for this particular project. What is required, however, is a few lines about the moment. I typically tap those out during the first break that follows the event. Time for a cup of coffee? Great, I'll write my journal entry as well.

I use Day One because it's easy, powerful, and the data syncs across all of my devices. So I can view or augment journal entries from my iPhone, Mac, and iPad. In addition to the metadata captured by the iPhone and my written entry, I also use tags so I can sync the images with rolls of film. I can find the story behind any 35mm frame in my binders in just seconds.

No matter how dull or exciting you think your life it, it's your life. And looking back on it through a journal will help you appreciate the things you've done and experienced. That translates into a new attitude as you move forward.

You have the entire month of December to get your tools together for a journal, write some test entries, and see how it feels. Try it. And be ready for 2019.

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

I have some very fast moving assignments. For those portrait gigs when I have just a few minutes to prepare, I've created a quick-release lighting rig that takes only seconds to set up.

DSCF0773.jpg

I use a FotodioX C-200RS FlapJack LED Bi-Color Edge Light with a flat tripod quick-release head that I had laying around the studio.

I mount the quick-release on the top of a Manfrotto Alu Air-Cushioned Compact Stand that fits on the side of my backpack en route. The stand also sets up quickly. The mounting plate is already attached to the FlapJack light. So the procedure is to unfold the stand, attach the light, and shoot.

DSCF0777.jpg

I use LED lighting for fill when capturing indoor environmental portraits. It allows me to add a little twinkle to the eyes and control the shadows. The FlapJacks have built-in diffusers so I don't need to mess with any additional gear.

If you want a super-quick portrait setup, and have a quick-release plate laying around, you might want to construct your own kit. They are quite the blessing when working in the field.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #663, Nov. 27, 2018. Today's theme is "Kelley Cox - Pro Sports Photographer and Olympus Visionary." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

As a working sports photographer, Kelley knows that she needs every advantage to compete with her peers on the playing field. Her Olympus E-M1 Mark II provides her with a competitive edge by not weighing her down and allowing her to maintain her energy during a long day of active shooting. Kelly joins me on today's show to discuss technique, gear, and how she broke in to this exciting profession.

Kelley Cox - Pro Sports Photographer and Olympus Visionary

PB146921-Kelley-Cox-1024.jpg

Kelley is a photographer based in Berkeley. As a freelancer with USA Today Sports Images, she regularly photographs all major sporting events including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, and NCAA football and basketball. She has covered multiple championship events including the World Series, the NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl. She photographs sports, love, corporate, adventure... and her feet!

She has had her images published by: Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, The New York Times, the Boston Globe, Fortune, USA Today, California Magazine, Swimming World, Business Sports Journal, among other print and online publications.

You can see more of Kelley's work at her web site. I think you will enjoy our chat in today's show.

The Portfoliobox Inspirational Photographer

I got to thinking about some of the great PortfolioBox photographers out there, and how they could inspire us both artistically, but also in terms of our presentation online. So I started digging.

Each week for the month of November, I'm going to feature an inspirational photographer who uses Portfoliobox as his/her platform for presenting their work. This week I want to point you to www.jakobbackrud.com. Jakob B├Ąckrud is a 22-year-old photographer from Sweden.

He writes about Portfoliobox, "Portfoliobox is a great way of getting your work out there. It is very, very simple to create a good looking webpage where you can upload all your work to have it displayed in one place. I never have to do any sort of programing. I just upload my newest images and then it updates immediately on my personal page. Running my page recently helped me get a job in the industry. The work you are proud of should always be available for other people to enjoy and share and this is a great place for it, you never know where publishing could take you!"

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published. I will add it to our PortfolioBox Pro Directory.

To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

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

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

Updates and Such

The 2019 TDS Workshop Season is Now Open

- We had a great response to last week's unveiling of the 2019 TDS Photography Workshop Season. Every event already has multiple deposits. If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops page and find the event that's perfect for you.

Inner Circle Members: Continuing this month - Photo Critique. Check out the post on Patreon. Send your images to me with the subject line, "Photo Critique." More details on our Patreon page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

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

Podcast Sponsors

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

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

The Nimbleosity Report

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

Want to Comment on this Post?

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