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Siri as Your Photo Assistant

Most Mac users probably don't realize that Siri is waiting to serve as a personal photo assistant. All they have to do is ask.

In my case, I hold down the CMD key + Spacebar and state, "Find pictures of a cat." In just a couple seconds, this appears on my screen.

cat-pictures.jpg Lots of results from my asking Siri to find pictures of a cat.

How does this magic work? It's the combination of object/animal/people/place recognition build into Photos 2.0 plus Siri on macOS Sierra. I haven't keyworded any of those images as "cat;" who has time for that? The algorithms in Photos can find instances of a cat on its own without my help.

no-keywords-here.jpg And by the way, none of them were keyworded or had descriptions.

If you're using Photos on macOS Sierra, you really need to try this. It's a lot smarter than you may realize.

set-up-siri.jpg It takes just a few seconds to make sure Siri is set up correctly on your Mac.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

Apple's Photos for macOS app was designed from the ground up to help you organize, edit, and share your pictures and videos. While the interface appears simple, finding the hidden nuances of Photos is not so straightforward. There's more to this app than initially meets the eye.

For photographers who are more than just casual snapshooters, or who are making the transition from Aperture or iPhoto, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers shines a light on the true sophistication of this app and the ecosystem it taps into. From the point of view of a working photographer, Derrick provides everything you need to know to get the most out of the imaging tools built into macOS and iCloud.

This book is up to date with the current version of Photos that shipped with macOS Sierra. It includes discussions on Memories and object recognition, plus all of the tools that make this a compelling application for Mac-toting photographers.

You can order your own copy directly from the publisher, Rocky Nook. Use coupon code DSAPPLE35 for a 35 percent discount. We recommend the Print & eBook Bundle that gives you the Kindle, iBook, and PDF versions, plus the lovely print edition.

You can also order your copy on Amazon.com

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

An Afternoon in the Museum

My favorite nugget of advice for business travelers is to add a bit of personal time to each trip to explore your surroundings. And if you're a photographer, writer, or other type of artist, visit a museum or gallery.

I am consuming imagery daily via online services such as Instagram and Facebook. And some of those shots I find truly inspiring. But there's something completely different about physically standing before a work and interacting with it face to face.

PB185643-Washington-DC-Whitfield-Lovell.jpg Experienceing "The Kin Series & Related Works" by Whitfield Lovell in the Phillips Museum, Washington D.C.

Many of the museums allow your to take pictures of the works (without flash) so you can continue to study and think about them once you've returned home. I've found that all types of art has helped me look at my photography with fresh eyes.

PB185639-Washington-DC-Renoir-Luncheon.jpg Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party" is one of my favorite paintings. You can see it at the Phillips Collections in Washington D.C.

Another thing that I've found, much to my delight, is that my boys will walk through a museum with me and discuss what we're seeing together. They've been doing so since they were about 6 years old. These are moments a dad doesn't forget.

PB175634-Washington-DC-History-Museum.jpg Mother and daughter in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

And finally, set aside a little additional time to hang out in the museum cafe. I have never been disappointed, and having something tasty to eat and a refreshing drink finishes off the enjoyable afternoon.

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Macphun is offering a couple of sweet deals on two excellent software bundles, both of which I use regularly. In fact, I designed a set of presets, which are one of the bonus items in this offer. (And they are very helpful!) These offers are good through December 1st.

unnamed.png

Luminar Deal

In addition to being one of the best (and creative) image editors available for the Mac, Luminar is my favorite editing extension for Photos for macOS, and a friendly addition to Lightroom. The Black Friday deal is really about the lowest price available, plus the bonus items. You can Luminar order here.

Luminar Bonuses

  • Africa with Athena Video by Athena Carey ($60 value)
  • Cameras in the Wild ebook by Contrastly ($29 value)
  • Making the Image ebook by Dan Bailey ($25 value)
  • Luminar Presets pack ($25 value) - I designed a set of presets that's included in this presets pack.

Black Friday Pricing

add-custom-presets.png It's easy to add custom presets to Luminar. Just go to File > Add Custom Presets Pack and navigate to your (free) new presets (mine are included in this offer).

Aurora HDR 2017

Aurora HDR 2017 has become my default HDR processor. It runs wonderfully on my Mac laptop, includes a variety of interesting presets, and has every fine-tuning adjustment that a discriminating photographer would want. So you can use it in "one click" mode, or noodle with an image for an hour. It's up to you. Plus, I like it as an editing extension for Photos and a plug-in for Lightroom. You can order Aurora HDR 2017 here.

Aurora HDR 2017 Bonuses

  • The Essentials of Street Photography & The New York Photographer's Travel Guide by James Maher ($25 value)
  • 20 Minute Video Training from Trey Ratcliff ($20 value)
  • Holiday Preset Pack ($25 value)

Black Friday Pricing

  • Retail Value: $169
  • Special Black Friday Price for New Users: $89
  • Special Black Friday Upgrade Price for existing Aurora HDR Owners: $79
  • Special Black Friday Upgrade Price for existing Aurora HDR Pro Owners: $49

Make 2017 the Year of Creative Photography

These two apps will integrate with any workflow, ranging from Capture One Pro, to Photoshop, to Lightroom, to Photos. Yet, they will allow you to process your images in new and interesting ways. Plus, with these great bonuses, you can quickly up your game by learning tips from the experts.

Want to Use Luminar and Aurora HDR 2017 as Editing Extensions?

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

Apple's Photos for macOS app was designed from the ground up to help you organize, edit, and share your pictures and videos. While the interface appears simple, finding the hidden nuances of Photos is not so straightforward. There's more to this app than initially meets the eye.

For photographers who are more than just casual snapshooters, or who are making the transition from Aperture or iPhoto, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers shines a light on the true sophistication of this app and the ecosystem it taps into. From the point of view of a working photographer, Derrick provides everything you need to know to get the most out of the imaging tools built into macOS and iCloud.

This book is up to date with the current version of Photos that shipped with macOS Sierra. It includes discussions on Memories and object recognition, plus all of the tools that make this a compelling application for Mac-toting photographers.

You can order your own copy directly from the publisher, Rocky Nook. Use coupon code DSAPPLE35 for a 35 percent discount. We recommend the Print & eBook Bundle that gives you the Kindle, iBook, and PDF versions, plus the lovely print edition.

You can also order your copy on Amazon.com

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #559, November 22, 2016. Today's theme is "Photographer's Gift Guide." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If you only think in terms of DSLR camera bodies and fast prime lenses, then yes, photographers are hard to buy for. But we have more facets than some give us credit for. And the buying guide that I've assembled for you focuses more on the artistic than the mechanical.

Photographer's Gift Guide

I have a list for you that includes a treasure trove of affordable, desirable gifts for photographers. Let's take a look.

Uber starts selling digital gift cards online

Uber has made it much easier to buy gift cards for friends, family and anyone else who paid for your fare in the past. You can now get digital gift cards straight from Uber's website and send them straight to someone else's email address. The company started selling physical gift cards through retailers back in September, but now you only have to click a few buttons to get one. Complete story with links via Engadget.

Next Week's Show - Audio Recordings from Washington D.C,

I have an interview and numerous audio clips from the WildSpeak conference in Washington D.C. And I'm going to share that content with you on next week's show.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

The 2017 Workshop Season is posted. I've sent responses to those who signed up on the reserve list. If you haven't received a confirmation yet, please send me mail at derrick@thedigitalstory.com.

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.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

Hedge for Mac - The fast solution for moving photos and videos from memory cards to drives, or drives to drives for that matter. Learn more at Hedge for Mac.

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.

Photographers from all over the world entered their absolute finest images to compete for a spot in Nature's Best 2016, now on display at the National Museum of Natural History through September 2017. The winning photographs are stunning.

PB175624-Washington-DC-museum.jpg You have until September 2017 to see this exhibit at the Smithsonian.

I attended a reception honoring the winners last night, then marveled at the display of Nature in all of her glory in the gallery. The photographs appear to be printed on aluminum and are expertly lit, so each picture has tremendous impact.

PB175628-Washington-DC.jpg "Mt. Bromo" by Dr. Marc Tan is the winner for Asia Landscapes. It was one of my favorite images on display.

If you can't make it to Washington D.C., you can order the Collector's Edition for $14.95 (which I've already done.)

Nimble Solar Charging Kit

For those times that you're working off the grid, you may want to bring your own power generator to ensure that your camera and mobile devices stay operational. I had a good talk yesterday with Jeff Crystal of Voltaic Systems, and learned that these solar solutions are quite reasonably priced.

solar-kit.jpg

For a little over a $100, we put together a kit that included a portable solar panel, storage battery, and adapter for my camera battery. With these components, I can charge by iPad mini, iPhone, and batteries for the Olympus E-M5 Mark II.

During this discussion a wildlife photographer came up to us and exclaimed, "I've been using this gear in the field for months, and I love it." I'm thinking that a real time testimonial is always helpful when learning about new tech. He was there to buy more.

For most nimble photographers, the 6 Watt kit should get the job done. For extended trips, you may want to move up to a 9 Watt panel that costs a little more.

As Jeff said during out discussion, "Once you remove laptops from the equation, everything gets easier (and cheaper)." So true in many ways...


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Voltaic System has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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

It's one thing to see @NatGeo Instagram images on your smartphone, but it's quite another to see them displayed as large prints in their museum on 17th St. NW in Washington D.C. Both the presentation and images are spectacular. It's all part of FotoWeekDC, the 10-day festival that includes a impressive lineup of activities, include the launch of WildSpeak today.

instagram-exhibit.jpg

"As one of the world's top brands on Instagram, National Geographic, or @NatGeo, has more than 60 million followers and more than three billion likes on its 11,000+ posted images. This fall, visitors will get to experience the magic of the @NatGeo account firsthand at the @NatGeo: The Most Popular Instagram Photos exhibition opening at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Nov. 11. Featuring more than 200 incredible photographs, interactive components and commentary from National Geographic photographers, the exhibition will be on display in the museum through April 2017."

"Hands-on, interactive elements include video screens, adjustable filters, and a wall where visitors can curate their own Instagram feed using iconic images from the @NatGeo account. Visitors will also have the opportunity to vote for or "like" their favorite photos in the exhibition and hear audio commentary from photographers about the stories behind various images featured in the exhibition."

And if you can't make it to town to see the pictures live, you can purchase @NatGeo: The Most Popular Instagram Photos on Amazon for $12.95. (It's a perfect gift for the Instagram shooter in your life...)

We're on Apple News!

Find us now on the Apple News App for iOS! Just open this link on your iOS device, then add The Digital Story to your Favorites.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #558, November 15, 2016. Today's theme is "The Attack of the 1" Sensor." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

By the time you listen to this, I will be working in Washington D.C. at the WildSpeak Conference. I'll be recording interviews and capturing still images. My big camera is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. What a beast ;-) The other three capture devices are considerably smaller, yet quite powerful. And one of them is the subject of today's show. Plus, a listen-in to my teaching podcasting to National Geographic photographers.

The Attack of the 1" Sensor

We all know that technology is constantly on the march. Laptops are thinner and cameras are smaller. But the changes are happening in opposite directions. Not only are the devices more compact, they are more powerful too.

A sweet spot in this evolving technology is the 1" sensor. It has enough surface area and photo sites to work in all lighting conditions, yet doesn't generate a tremendous amount of heat, so it can be housed in extremely small form factors. Here are three examples that I think are worth noting.

dxo-one-on-iphone-podcast.jpg

The DxO ONE ($499) - I'm starting here because in terms of efficiency, this camera is impressive. It features a 20.2MP 1" BSI-CMOS Sensor with a 32mm f/1.8 optic - all in a package that measures 3"x 2" x 1" and weighs less tha 4 ounces.

Other highlights include:

  • Built-In Wi-Fi for Remote Use
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
  • ISO 51200, Shutter Speed to 1/20000 sec
  • Pivoting Design, Built-In Li-Ion Battery
  • JPG + DNG and DxO SuperRAW
  • Contrast-Detect AF with Face Detection

And the best part is, the results can see stunning.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV ($899) - If you're willing to go about an inch bigger and spend nearly twice as much, the RX100 IV is an amazing camera.

  • 20.1 MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log2 Gamma
  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-2.8 Lens 24-70mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 2359k-Dot OLED Tru-Finder Pop-Up EVF
  • 3.0" 1229k-Dot Multi-Angle Xtra Fine LCD
  • Slow Motion Video at 960 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • ISO 12800 and 16 fps Continuous Shooting

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 ($697)

  • 20.1MP 1" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor with Venus Engine Image Processor
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 10x Zoom Lens 25-250mm (f/2.8 - f/5.9)
  • 1,166k-Dot Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 Video at 30p/24p (AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MP4)
  • 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.
  • ISO 25600 and Up to 50 fps Shooting
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus

Podcast Class for Photographers at National Geographic

National-geo-sign.jpg

As part of WildSpeak, I teamed up with National Geographic photographer and podcaster, Robin Moore, to lead an intimate workshop at the Nat Geo center in Washington D.C.

I thought you might be interested in hearing some of my talk. So I recorded it for you. (Yes, just for you, seriously.) Here's a 9-minute excerpt as the second segment of today's show.

Review The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

The print version of the Apple Photos Book is now available. And I have 10 review copies for photographers who will read the book and publish a review about it. If you're interested, please write me at derrick@thedigitalstory.com

Luminar for the Mac

I've been testing a pre-release version of Luminar, both as a standalone app, a plug-in for Lightroom, and as an Editing Extension for Photos for macOS. And after improving countless images, I can tell you that I really like this software. I've already integrated it into my photography workflow.

And now you can secure a copy for yourself. If you pre-order before Nov. 17th, you'll receive Luminar at a discounted price, plus two bonuses, all for only $49 total (existing Macphun customers) or for $59 (new customers).

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

The 2017 Workshop Season is posted. I talked about the events in last week's podcast, and folks are signing up for the reserve list. If you want to join me in 2017, take a look at the line up, and add you name to the list.

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.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

Hedge for Mac - The fast solution for moving photos and videos from memory cards to drives, or drives to drives for that matter. Learn more at Hedge for Mac.

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.

High quality mobile photography just took another leap forward with the latest firmware update for the DxO ONE camera. Photographers can now enjoy a RAW workflow leveraging the 1" sensor in the ONE and working with those files in Lightroom Mobile or Photos for macOS.

transfer-to-raw.jpg Transferring the RAW file in the DxO ONE app.

The process is easy. First update the DxO ONE app on your iPhone or iPad (it's free and in the Updates section of the App Store). Then update the camera firmware by going to Gallery > Menu > Camera Update. After a couple minutes, both camera and software are ready for action. Just make sure that you're recording in RAW in the camera's preferences.

As you take pictures, you'll have the option to transfer selected RAW files to the iOS device, as shown in the top illustration. (To save space, I normally have Jpegs sent to the Camera Roll and the RAWs saved to the memory card in the ONE. Now I have the option to send selected RAWs to the iOS device too.) Once the RAW is in the Camera Roll, you can work on it in Lightroom Mobile or Photos. It will also appear as a RAW file in Photos for macOS if you have iCloud connectivity, or in desktop Lightroom if you're using Creative Cloud syncing.

lightroom-mobile.jpg Working with the DNG in Lightroom Mobile on an iPhone.

And the best part is, you don't need a brand new iPhone to take advantage of this high quality workflow. I tested RAW photography on both an iPhone 5S and 6S, with the process working beautifully on both devices. All you need is iOS 10 and the DxO ONE camera.

Other enhancements with version 2.1 include direct WiFi connection for remote control of the ONE with an iOS device, improved recording efficiency for RAW files, and a one-tap power saving mode.

I'm going to have the DxO ONE in my pocket during my trip to Washington DC next week. I'll put it through its paces both for street shooting and covering the WildSpeak Conference. I'll share some pictures on social media.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The DxO ONE camera with update 2.1 has an extremely 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 excerpt is from the newly published book, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, which is current for the latest Photos 2.0 and is now available in print and as an eBook. Each chapter leads off with an essay, then delves into artistic and technical content to help you improve your photography using Photos for macOS and its editing extensions. Here's the essay from Chapter 1.

photos-book-horz.jpg

The Guy Before You

Thunderous applause is the last thing that you want to hear for the person who just spoke before you. This could happen in the classroom, at work, or even at a social gathering. Oh sure, on the outside you're happy for them. But inside, nobody likes to follow someone who has just knocked it out of the park.

This plays out in may ways. How about the guy that replaced Michael Jordan after he retired from the Chicago Bulls? I bet that was fun. Movies try to do this with sequels. The first release was a smash, so let's do it again. Sometimes it works out.

And then there's the world of software. Here we are with Photos for macOS, Apple's second act, following Aperture. Those who had stuck with it all of those years had come to love it. I didn't sense the same affection for iPhoto. But there wasn't much disdain either. iPhoto was like the friendly neighbor next door who suddenly disappeared one day. You felt a little sad at first. Then you went back to watering the lawn.

Apple is no stranger to turning over the cart. They've done it with hardware (you don't need a built-in SD card reader) and with software (you'll be working with Final Cut X now). And most of the time, they've pulled it off. And I think Photos for macOS is going to fall into that category.

To be honest, it hasn't really received a fair shake. Aperture refugees lament missing features. And they may never learn to love again. A lot of iPhoto folks weren't sure what they were doing in the first place, and are now more confused than ever. (I don't mean you, of course.)

Then there are the folks coming to Mac computing by way of the iPhone. They have their hands full learning a new operating system and trying to figure out how iCloud works.

I wrote this book for all of these people. For you. Because I think that you and Photos for macOS should get a fair shake. If the two of you spend some quality time together, I think you'll find a lot in common. I'm not saying that you're going to get married and have kids or anything. But the friendship could be rewarding.

Someone once told me that a good relationship is one where both parties feel like they got the best deal. Photos for macOS is free. (Well, except that you have to buy a Mac to use it. That's an old Steve Jobs joke, by the way.) It can protect your valuable memories, even if your phone, tablet, or Mac is lost or destroyed. It automatically backs up your images to iCloud. That is, if you let it.

Photos can make your pictures look better. Its editing tools are outstanding. And the third party editing extensions that are rolling in to the Mac App Store are taking creativity to another level.

And just as importantly, Photos is friendly. It really is. All of that seems like a good deal to me. What does Apple get out of it? Well, if your learn to love Photos, you'll probably keep buying Macs, iPhones, and iPads. That's not bad for them either.

Think about that boy who has to walk on stage after the kid before him gets a standing ovation. He probably has something wonderful to say. But you have to give him a chance. Now's the time to do that.

-Derrick Story

More About The Apple Photos Book

Apple's Photos for macOS app was designed from the ground up to help you organize, edit, and share your pictures and videos. While the interface appears simple, finding the hidden nuances of Photos is not so straightforward. There's more to this app than initially meets the eye.

For photographers who are more than just casual snapshooters, or who are making the transition from Aperture or iPhoto, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers shines a light on the true sophistication of this app and the ecosystem it taps into. From the point of view of a working photographer, Derrick provides everything you need to know to get the most out of the imaging tools built into macOS and iCloud.

This book is up to date with the current version of Photos that shipped with macOS Sierra. It includes discussions on Memories and object recognition, plus all of the tools that make this a compelling application for Mac-toting photographers.

You can order your own copy directly from the publisher, Rocky Nook. Use coupon code DSAPPLE35 for a 35 percent discount. We recommend the Print & eBook Bundle that gives you the Kindle, iBook, and PDF versions, plus the lovely print edition.

You can also order your copy on Amazon.com

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