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Flickr Ups Its Game on the iPad

The updated Flickr iOS app for the iPad looks so nice that you could almost say it was worth the wait. But what a wait it's been.

Like many other users of the online photo sharing service, I wasn't enjoying the beautiful work by those I followed often enough. In large part, it was because Flickr for iOS just wasn't compelling on my iPad mini.

new-flickr-on-ipad.jpg Flickr 3.2 on an iPad mini.

That's changed now. Both the presentation of my photos, and browsing those of others, is greatly improved. In short, Flickr on an iPad now looks like an iPad app, not an iPhone program stretched 2X for a tablet.

Other goodies include improved organization tools, integration with iOS 8 Share Extension capability, and a bump in performance.

If you already have Flickr on your iPad, the app will automatically update. If you've held off on using Flickr on your tablet, you should give this a look.

Better late than never.

Flickr 3.2 requires iOS8 and is available for free in the iTunes App Store. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.


Flickr Essential Training 2013 - I explore the entire Flickr universe, mobile and computer, in my lynda.com title, Flickr Essential Training. Stop by and take a look.

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My 30-year-old Hasselblad hasn't seen much action over the last decade. That's changing now thanks to the Hasselnuts iPhone Digital Back that I received recently as part of my support for their Kickstarter project.

With the adapter, I can attach an iPhone 4S, 5, or 5S to the handsome "film back" (that's really the adapter) and capture images that I call, "half Holga/half Polaroid transfer." I talk about the setup process in my latest article for c't Digital Photography Magazine, Hasselnuts iPhone Digital Back for Older Hasselblads. I've also included a gallery of images captured with my 500C, Zeiss 80mm lens, and an iPhone 4S.

Here's a couple shots from that gallery to whet your appetite...

Bed in Boarding House Bed in Boarding House - This existing light shot was captured at f/2.8 using the waist-level finder for a low angle. Photos by Derrick Story


Silver Maple Motel - Bridgeport I took the Hasselblad out for a late afternoon walk around Bridgeport, CA. I noticed that I was working at a more relaxed pace than normally.

These types of images are not for everyone, for sure. But I'm going to make some prints on Red River Polar Matte paper. I think they'll have that Polaroid transfer feel that I enjoy.

If you want to learn more about the Hasselnuts adapter, take a look at my article. In the meantime, I'm going to keep experimenting with it.

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The Road to Bodie

After spending time here in the Eastern Sierra, I'm more excited than ever about our upcoming 2015 workshop, featuring the abandoned silver mining town of Bodie.

The Road to Bodie

I've found a wonderful place for our accommodations and workroom, the Silver Maple Inn, in Bridgeport. From that location wer'e only 20 miles from Bodie itself. Our workroom will be in an 1800s house that has been converted into a B&B. It will be very comfortable and accommodating while we process our images and share them with each other.

Today, I'm heading down to Lee Vining and onto Mono Lake. I'm thinking that we will do this trip on the second day of the workshop.

Stay tuned for more updates from the road.

Most photographers think a lot about their camera gear. But once the bodies and lenses are packed, there are a few additional items that should be included.

Here are five non-photo accessories that I carry for every trip.

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  • Flashlight - Yes, my iPhone has a handy light for digging around in the bag, but I don't want to use that for working my way down a trail after sunset. And it's not very good for light painting. So I bring an additional light, such as the Ultrafire LED flashlight torch ($15).
  • Swiss Army Knife - I've lost count of the number of times my Victorinox has saved the day. I like the lighter models, such as the Climber II Pocket Knife ($20).
  • Ziploc Bag - Everyone knows to bring one, but they are often forgotten. In addition to everything else they do, put your camera in the Ziploc before you come indoors after a cold weather shoot. The condensation will accumulate on the bag and not your camera.
  • Rubber Bands - They can hold DIY bounce cards to flash heads, stabilize daring camera set-ups, serve as hanging loops, and a host of other MacGyver solutions.
  • Gaffer's Tape - If a rubber band doesn't work, gaffer's tape probably will. You don't need an entire roll, a few strips on the inside of your camera bag should work just fine.

One final thought, if you're flying to your destination, remember to move your Swiss Army Knife from your camera bag to your checked suitcase. I hate having mine confiscated by the TSA.


Nimble Photographer Logo

These items have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Apple's iPhoto Switcheroo in iOS 8, Ten Quiet Cameras, Lithium-ion Batteries of the Future - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Drobo has announced a new configuration for its Mini robotic storage, leveraging four 2-TB HDDs and selling the complete package for $999. The Mini features 2x Thunderbolt & 1x USB 3.0 ports, power fail protection with battery backup, and Drobo BeyondRaid for advanced data protection. (Source: Drobo).

In other news, New lithium-ion battery tech could charge in minutes, keep working for decades - A research team at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University is proposing a replacement for the anode of a typical lithium-ion battery that they say could be cheaply and easily manufactured, and yet provide significant benefits such as 20 year life and super fast recharging. (Source: Imaging-Resource.com).

And finally, Canon's Upcoming 11-24mm f/4L Will Reportedly Cost a Hefty $3,000. (Source: PetaPixel.com).

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Story #2 - 10 Quiet Cameras (and 5 Very Noisy Ones) - Sascha Steinhoff published Keeping it Quiet in the latest issue (#17) of c't Digital Photography Magazine (page 90). She shares a through examination of what causes camera noise, then tests 30 popular models for their sound levels. Here are the 10 quietest cameras in normal shooting mode.

The Quietest Cameras

(Number 1 producing the least amount of noise in normal shooting mode.)

  1. Pentax Q7
  2. Pentax Q
  3. Leica T
  4. Olympus PEN E-P5
  5. Fujifilm X-E2
  6. Olympus OM-D E-M1
  7. Canon EOS M
  8. Pentax K-5 II
  9. Nikon 1 V3
  10. Leica M

Mirrorless cameras dominated the Top 10. Plus, seven of these models have a "Quiet Mode" that emits virtually no sound during capture. The three models that still produced noise in Quiet Mode (Pentax Q7, Pentax Q, and Nikon 1 V3), were able to substantially reduce sound, up to 40 percent quieter.

The Noisiest Cameras

The bottom of the list was dominated by professional grade DSLRs. Here are the five noisiest models.

(Number 1 producing the most noise in normal shooting mode.)

  1. Nikon D4s
  2. Canon EOS-1D X
  3. Nikon D800
  4. Nikon D300
  5. Nikon Df

Even in Quiet Mode or Live View, theses cameras created more sound than any of the Top 10 models in normal mode.

Story #3 - Workshop Dates for 2015 Season - On the TDS Workshops page, I've added the dates for next year's events. Here's how they shake out: Moving from Aperture to Photos or Lightroom - Feb. 6-7, 2015, San Francisco Street Photography - April 24-26, Bodie and the Eastern Sierra - June 11-13, and Fall Color with Safari West: October 23-25. Plus I talk about this week's scouting trip to the Eastern Sierra.

Story #4 - Did Apple Short Change Us with Photos.app in iOS 8? I've been getting lots of comments about the discontinuation of iPhoto for iOS and the shortcomings of the new Photos app that replaced it. I discuss in the fourth segment of today's show.

Virtual Camera Club News

Photo Assignment for October 2014 is "Water".

Order Your SizzlPix Early

Order your SizzlPix early to get holiday shopping out of the way. You'll give the double whammy of your own great image that has special meaning to your recipient, combined with the delightful surprise they'll have, seeing the back of the SizzlPix, wondering, "what the heck is this?", then lifting it out of the box, flipping it over, and there it is, a spectacular SizzlPix -- like Retina Display for the wall -- all ready with hanger attached!

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story 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 (30 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

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 January!

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

editing-in-photos-app.jpg

One of the exciting enhancements in iOS 8 for photographers is "Photo Extensions." What that means is that 3rd party developers, such as the creators of Camera+, can enable their editing tools to be accessed within Apple's Photos App.

Photo Extentions opens up a whole new experience for photographers. Here's how to use them.

  • Open an image in Photos App, then tap Edit in the upper right corner.
  • Tap on the "more" icon in the upper left corner of the app. It's a circle around 3 dots (as shown in the top illustration).
  • In the screen that appears at the bottom of the screen, tap on More, then enable the app that includes the Photo Extensions that you want to use. In my case, it was Camera+.
  • Camera+ will now reside in the bottom popup screen. Tap on its icon to access its editing tools.
  • editing-in-camera-plus.jpg

  • Edit your photo using the tools in the set of extensions you've selected (as shown in the bottom photo). The changes you make to the image will be saved automatically to the camera roll.

Your edits are non-destructive. So regardless what you do with these new tools, you can always revert to original if needed.

This functionality is a preview of things to come on the Mac with the release of Yosemite. The new desktop Photos App will also have extensibility. It will be interesting to see how this changes desktop editing for Mac users.


More Help Managing Your Mobile Photos

In my lynda.com title, Managing Your Mobile Photos, I cover a variety of backup solutions for both iOS and Android users. These tutorials will help you build the perfect backup solution for you, so that you never lose a single memory.

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

devon-100-percent.jpg

Most of my paid work is in the field. But I have a small dedicated studio for portraiture. The biggest challenge in there is softening the background that's only a few feet behind the subject.

I've been testing the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens on my Canon 5D Mark II, and this optic has solved many of my small studio problems.

I decided to push this notion to its limits by shooting an entire portrait session at f/1.4. I knew I would have to be careful with the focus. But when I succeeded, the results could be beautiful.

devon-100-percent-2.jpg

My portrait room measures 14' long by 12' wide. I have a backdrop system against the back wall that takes up a few feet, then moving the subject forward from the backdrop costs me another 3' to 4'. The Sigma 50mm Art lens on a Canon 5D Mark II allowed me to shoot full length portraits when I backed-up against the other wall, yet provided enough magnification for head-and-shoulder portraits as needed.

Shooting at f/1.4 was exciting. I had fast shutter speeds regardless of my lighting scheme. Sometimes I used window illumination only. Other times I added a pair of Lowel Ego Lights, as I did for these images.

devon-100-percent-3.jpg

I loved the results. Generally speaking, I focused on the eye closest to the camera, and let everything else trail off. The backgrounds were creamy soft, even though they were just a few feet behind the subject. I set the color by using Custom White Balance on the Canon, and then let the Sigma deliver the results from there.

These images are not retouched. I've made no exposure, white balance, sharpening, or brushing adjustments. They were captured off the screen of my MacBook Pro 15" with Retina Display at 100 percent so you could see how the Sigma 50mm Art lens handled the details.

For photographers with small studios, this is a lens to consider. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Sigma mounts. The build and design are top notch. For me, it's a bit heavy for field work. I'd rather shoot with my Micro Four Thirds cameras for events. But in the studio and for commercial work, this premium optic delivers the goods... even wide open.

Learn More About the Art and Business of Portraiture

In my lynda.com title, Photographing High School Senior Portraits, I'll show you how to organize, photograph, and deliver great images for fun or profit. Take a look at the free movies and see for yourself.

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Torn: Panasonic LX100 or GM5?

In one fell swoop, Panasonic managed to release two cameras simultaneously that drive me nuts: the Lumix LX100 and the Lumix GM5.

panasonic-tempting-duo.jpg

Both are compact and essentially the same price ($899). They ship with the same sensor size (Micro Four Thirds), and both feature built-in electronic viewfinders. After that, the two paths part widely.

The LX100 is a fixed lens camera, but what a lens it is: a 24-75mm Leica DC lens f/1.7-2.8. You could argue that the price for the LX100 is justified by the optic alone. And then there's the 4K video capture, which includes the ability to grab 3840 x 2160 resolution stills from the movie footage. Talk about fast burst mode.

The GM5, on the other hand, is a system camera that can accommodate my collection of Micro Four Thirds lenses. So I could switch from the 17mm f/1.8 with snap-focus to the 75mm f/1.8, depending on the situation at hand. And thanks to its "silent mode," the GM5 would be an outstanding street shooting camera. Add to this its Low Light AF, making it possible to focus on subjects in -4 EV conditions.

Thank goodness that PhotoPlus Expo is right around the corner. Maybe getting my hands on both of these cameras will help me decide. And if you have an opinion, please share it on our TDS Facebook page.


Nimble Photographer Logo

Both of these cameras have high Nimbleosity Ratings. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

transporter-versioning-update.jpg

If you've set up personal cloud storage with a Transporter, then you should make sure you're running the Desktop 2.7 software that supports versions.

I decided to test this function with an image that was automatically backed up from my iPhone to my Transporter Sync ($99). I opened a color image, converted it to B&W in Photoshop, saved it, then looked to see if the original color version was still available on my Transporter.

show-versions-transporter.jpg

Once the file had synced, I right-clicked on it on my Mac to reveal the Show Versions option. To my delight, the original color image was available.

replace-current-file.jpg

I selected the color version and then Transporter "took my back in time" and made the original available. Interestingly enough, when I edited a photo in Preview instead of Photoshop, versioning did not work. So you'll need to test with your specific software.

Cool Little Workflow

For quick-turnaround publishing online, I can capture a photo with my iPhone, edit it in Photoshop on my Mac, and post on a blog, knowing that the original version is still available if I need to revert. Plus, every photo I take is automatically backed up to my own personal cloud. Pretty slick.

You can learn more about versioning with Desktop 2.7 by reading the article, How to revert or undelete a file on your Transporter.

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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Free Surface Pro 3s at Adobe Max, PhotoPlus Expo Preview, Tethered Photography, 2015 TDS Photography Workshop Season - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Adobe rolls out CC update with new desktop and mobile tools - Adobe has announced updates to several of its mobile and desktop software applications, just in time to kick off the company's Adobe Max conference. But Microsoft stole the spotlight giving out free Surface Pro 3s to the audience. What's going on here? I talk about it in the Weekly Update. (Source: DP Review).

In other news, Rent, love, keep: LensRentals launches try-before-you-buy program - Starting immediately, most of the lenses that LensRentals provides can be purchased outright if you decide you like them. (Only hard-to-source optics which the company couldn't easily replace in time for delivery to subsequent renters are excluded.) and better still, the rental fee you paid to try the lens in the first place can be put towards the cost of the lens, which will vary depending on the age of the individual item. (Source: Imaging-Resource.com).

And finally, Mark Your Calendars: The Next Blood Moon Will Take Place Wednesday, October 8th - For North American viewers, the lunar eclipse will begin shortly after midnight between October 7th and 8th; those in Australia and most of Eastern Asia will see it after sunset on the evening of October 8th. Unfortunately, those living in Europe and Africa will be missing out on this particular astronomical phenomenon. (Source: PetaPixel.com).

tethered-shoot.jpg

Story #2 - Tethered Photography - If you've never tried it, essentially you connect your camera to a computer, enabling you to fine tune the composition on a large HD screen instead of a tiny LCD. You can adjust settings, focus, and trip the shutter with controls on the laptop. The big advantage is that there are no surprises when it comes time to edit the photos. You can read more about tethered shooting here.

Story #3 - PhotoPlus Preview - One of the best US photography shows is right around the corner. PhotoPlus Expo at Javits Convention Center in New York opens its doors for conference sessions on Oct. 29, with the Expo kicking in the next day, Oct. 30th.

I'm going to be there, reporting for c't Digital Photography Magazine and speaking in their booth (#6 across from Epson and Nikon) on Thursday and Friday at 1pm, and Saturday at 12pm. Come by the booth for a visit, and I'll have a gift for you from Nimble Photographer Store. More about PhotoPlus in the third segment of today's show.

Story #4 - I've just announced the events for the 2015 TDS Workshop Season. Four enticing opportunities including stops in Bodie, San Francisco, and Sonoma County.

Virtual Camera Club News

Photo Assignment for October 2014 is "Water".

Order Your SizzlPix Early

Order your SizzlPix early to get holiday shopping out of the way. You'll give the double whammy of your own great image that has special meaning to your recipient, combined with the delightful surprise they'll have, seeing the back of the SizzlPix, wondering, "what the heck is this?", then lifting it out of the box, flipping it over, and there it is, a spectacular SizzlPix -- like Retina Display for the wall -- all ready with hanger attached!

Just a Couple More Things

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story 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

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 January!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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