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For years I've been telling mobile photographers to take pictures, not notes. You see an item that has useful information, such as a historical placard, take a picture of it for future reference.

The iPhone app, CamFind takes this technique to a new level. Just take a picture of a product, landmark, restaurant sign, QR code, or barcode, and CamFind will search the Web to find you as much information as possible about the item in question.

In my informal testing, the results were both fast and useful... most of the time. For example, I took a picture of a bag of Gevalia french roast coffee. CamFind returned results on general price range and places it could be purchased. I then took a picture of our famous landmark in Santa Rosa, Schulz Museum, and CamFind returned results for Schulz Center for Teaching and Learning (correct), lawn and garden products, and the character from Hogan's Heroes.

All in all, this is a useful, and sometimes entertaining app. In most instances you'll likely get the information you need. And the price is right: free.


iPad for Digital Photographers

This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

I don't carry much while in Hawaii, but I always have my Olympus TG-1 iHS compact camera in my swim trunks' pocket. It's at home both topside for colorful sunsets and in the clear water for turtles and fish.

Turtle, North Shore Oahu Sea turtle in the waters of the North Shore, Oahu. Photos by Derrick Story.

The thing I like about Olympus Tough cameras is that they're excellent picture takers, compact, and record GPS data to help me remember where I captured the shots. The Jpegs clean up pretty well in Aperture. I usually start with Auto Levels (color), then adjust as needed from there.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu

I can generally recover enough highlight and shadow detail to get the image where I want it. The f/2.0 lens on my TG-1 (same lens on the newer TG-2) is perfect for snorkeling in clear water. I can keep the ISO at 100 and still have a fast enough shutter speed for speedy fish.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu

So all that's left is finding clear water filled with lots of fish. Well, that part is actually much harder than deciding which camera I'm going to use.

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.

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

While I'm experiencing new stories this week in Oahu, I'm going to share a very popular podcast that was originally published in February. I will note that I still haven't spent that $4,000 on the Sony compact. I think the money went for plane tickets and hotel for my family here on Hawaii.

I'll be back with a new show next week. But for now, enjoy this classic from the TDS archives.

Mahalo and Aloha...

Story #1 - No New Camera! - I talk about 5 things that you can do to protect your credit card when a new, and expensive camera gets under your skin.

Story #2 - The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner - This is not the solution for the thousands of negatives you have shoeboxed in the closet. But for digitizing a favorite image every now then, this is a cool device.

Listen to the Podcast

You can download the podcast here (30 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The August 2013 photo assignment is Street Scene.

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.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

When I travel on the plane, I want a backpack that holds my iPad, laptop, camera gear, and personal items. For my current trip to Oahu, I'm using the Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 150 AW ($89) because it's compact, stylish, and very efficient with space management.

But on the beach I want a more casual carrying solution, so I fold up a Lowepro Photo Sport Shoulder 18L ($85) and pack it in my suitcase. When I reach my destination, I have this nifty system for transferring my gear.

There are many DIY variations on this theme. But the bottom line is, this system is portable, flexible, and takes advantage of having the right bag for every situation on the road.


iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

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DP Review just posted their review of the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM, giving it a Silver Award.

They commented, "Its combination of extended focal length range and faster aperture offers useful extra compositional flexibility compared to an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6, and the optics are overall better too."

I'm still putting this zoom through its paces, but I've published two reports myself: Natural Light Portraits with the Sigma 17-70mm "C" Lens and Macro Mode on Sigma's 17-70mm Enthusiast Zoom. In my shooting, I liked the macro mode a bit more than DP Review, who felt, "...in practice this equates to a very short working distance between the lens and the subject. This means you'll often find yourself blocking out your own light, or casting a visible shadow on your subject." I guess it depends on which direction the light is coming from.

Overall, however, I think we both agree that the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM zoom lens is a good investment at $499 and a sweet upgrade to your existing kit lens.


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

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

Morning on Oahu

Everyone knows that the Hawaiian Islands are a feast for a photographer's eyes. But if you really want to capture the essence of paradise, get up early, grab your camera, and go for a walk.

Morning on Oahu Morning on Oahu by Derrick Story

Usually, I'm up early anyway, because that's the best time for snorkeling. So I pack my Lowepro Photo Sport Shoulder 18L with my mask, snorkel, a towel, and the Olympus Tough compact camera.

The cool think about having a tough camera, is that I don't have to leave it on the beach while I'm in the water. Plus, I love getting all those fish and turtle shots.

The bottom line is, what ever your excuse to get up early once or twice on a vacation, the benefits remain the same. You'll be rewarded with images that others miss. (You can imagine what this beach looks like only an hour later.)


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

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Panasonic GX7

The Panasonic Lumix GX7 is the first Panasonic micro four thirds to offer sensor based image stabilization. This is great news for photographers with Olympus M 4/3 lenses that don't have optical stabilization.

According the the Photography Blog, "The 16 megapixel Panasonic GX7 also offers a 1040K-dot tiltable touch-screen LCD monitor, Full HD 1920 x 1080 50p movie recording, 1/8000 sec shutter speed, 5fps burst shooting, low-light focusing down to -4 EV, focus peaking, ISO range of 125-25600, silent Mode for street photography, wi-fi and NFC connectivity, all housed in a classically styled magnesium alloy frame."

Plus, I think the body design looks great. This is definitely one to keep an eye on.


iPad for Digital Photographers

This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

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I just read an interesting post on DP Review titled, 5 Reasons why I haven't used my DSLR for months. It's food for thought, especially if you feel like you can't be a "serious" photographer without a big camera.

Personally, I think cameras are like any other tool - you want the right one for the job. I'm on the road to Oahu. So the right tool this week isn't a DSLR, at least not for me.

Stay tuned for more on this topic. In the meantime, the DP Review article is worth a look.


iPad for Digital Photographers

This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

Derrick Story on EyeEm

While I'm on the road to Oahu, I'll be testing a new photo sharing app called EyeEm. It shares some DNA with Instagram in how you upload, filter, and share images.

The interface is attractive, organization is easy, and they plan "to create a marketplace where EyeEm members can opt to put photos up for sale and potential buyers can add a request or search for the type(s) of images they need." according to article on DP Connect.

We'll see how all of that shakes out. In the meantime, I plan on browsing the pretty pictures that are there, and hopefully contributing a few of my own.


iPad for Digital Photographers

This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Ricoh GR with Olympus Optical Viewfinder

This week on The Digital Story show: the Ricoh GR compact camera with APS-C sensor, Photo Help Desk question of the week, and packing for Oahu -- All of this and more in today's photography podcast.

Story #1 - I've just started testing the Ricoh GR compact camera that features a 16.2MP APS-C format CMOS sensor, no optical low-pass filter, 3" 1,230k-dot White Magic LCD screen, fixed 28mm f/2.8 lens, 1080p video, Magnesium alloy body, and plenty of bells and whistles.

The LCD screen works great, even in bright light. But I've added my Olympus VF-1 optical viewfinder (as shown in the illustration) that allows me to shoot with the LCD turned off.

Image quality is outstanding. And the entire package weighs less than 9 ounces. I talk about my first trip with the Ricoh GR, and why I'll be packing it on my next.

Story #2 - Photo Help Desk Question of the Week: Do I Need to Understand Elements and Groups to Buy a Lens? Answer: You don't. Key lens features that are important include maximum aperture, image stabilization (yes or now), physical qualities, distortion, chromatic aberration, and sharpness - all of which you can get from a good review.

Story #3 - Packing for Oahu. I'm going to try the new Lowepro Photo Sport Shoulder 18L that has a removable camera insert, room for a 10" iPad, lots of pockets, and a sporty, stylish look.

Inside the bag I'll pack the Olympus TG-1, Ricoh GR, and FujiFilm X20. I'll also include the iPad mini.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast here (29 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The July 2013 photo assignment is Duality.

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.


iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

Podcast Sponsors

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

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.Special Summer Sale! Just add "TDS: in the comments space of your SizzlPix! order, and you will get 20 percent off the entire order. Limited time offer. Take advantage now.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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