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I have new way to share the best of your photo contributions with our virtual camera club... and the world. We now have the TDS Member Photo of the Day on The Digital Story Facebook Fan page. Those images are curated from our vast collection on The Digital Story Public Group on Flickr (which has over 1,700 members and 17,000 images.) In this week's podcast, I talk about the role our Facebook page will play in our overall virtual camera club, and how you can particiapte (or at least, just enjoy).

I've also posted more details about this in the article, Why You'll Like TDS on Facebook. Please stop by, "Like," and start enjoying great imagery from our virtual camera club members.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (29 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

Shades of Green is the May 2011 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is May 31, 2011.

TDS Fall 2011 Photography Workshop

We're making plans now for the Fall 2011 TDS Photography Workshop. If you want your name on the reserve list, just drop me a line.

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.

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There are some good tablet discussions online about iPad 2 vs Android. My bottom line recommendation is, if you're using a Mac or an iPhone, then go with iPad 2 for your tablet. Those not committed to either iOS or Android have some research to do. To help you get started, I found a good article on cameradojo, My Take on Android Tablets vs iPad. You won't get a definitive answer, but you will have lots of good information to think about.

If you want a definitive answer, then go iPad 2.


The Digital Story on Facebook -- discussion, outstanding images from the TDS community, and inside information. Join our celebration of great photography!


The Digital Story on Facebook

We now have The Digital Story on Facebook, and I think you're going to like it. The heart of this new site is your imagery. And I have lots of amazing stuff to share.

The Back Story

A few years ago, I wanted a place to bring together the images from TDS members. We created the TDS Public Group on Flickr. At the moment, we have more than 1,700 members sharing a catalog of 17,000 photos -- many of them outstanding.

The next step was to find a way to share these pictures with the entire TDS audience. So we created the Member Gallery on the site. It refreshes daily, and is an easy way to see what your fellow photogs are up to.

But there seemed to be a missing element in all of this. And for me, that was the ability to highlight the most interesting work and have it appear before our audience. That's when the TDS Member Photo of the Day idea came to me.

How It Works

The first part works as it always has. If you want to contribute photos to the TDS Public Group, become a member of Flickr and join our community there. I've published instructions on how to do this, although after re-reading them, I do need to make some updates to that post.

To enjoy the TDS Member Photo of the Day, whether you're a contributor or not, just "Like" our new Facebook Fan Page. The Like button is at the top of the page. I'll post a Member Photo of the Day five times a week, highlighting some great photography.

If you simply want to view these great images, sit back and they will appear in your News Feed five times a week. If you want to be featured, join our Flickr community and start sharing your work.

In Podcast 273, I go into more details about this project, and some of the other features. You might want to tune in.

I'm so excited about this. And I have the wonderful job of going through these images and making the selections.


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"While I Wait" - Grab Shot 214

"While I Wait" Grab Shot 214

"While I wait for the train to pass," writes Conrado Gonzalez, "why not capture a grab shot?"

What a great argument for having your camera with you. Conrado captured this beautiful image with his Nikon D40, then processed the photo in Lightroom 3.4. (Click on image to get its full impact!) Sometimes those short delays work in our favor...

This is our 214th Grab Shot! Wow. If you want to review the collection that began back in 2006, go to our Grab Shots page.

If you have a candid you'd like to share, take a look at our Submissions page, then send us your Grab Shot. We'll try to get it published for you on The Digital Story.

And you can view more images from our virtual camera club in the Member Photo Gallery.


The Digital Story Podcast App is the best way to stream or download weekly TDS podcast episodes. No more syncing your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or even your Android phone just to get a podcast. And the best part is, The Digital Story Podcast App is your way to help support this show. Download it today!


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I've mounted a Pinwide wide angle pinhole cap on my Olympus E-PL1 micro four thirds camera and have been shooting crazy shots. The first thing I noticed about my behavior when I'm using the Pinwide is that all bets are off. It's like it challenges you to be creative.

Soccer Net

Since we are dealing with a pinhole for our light transmission to the sensor, I found myself using ISO 1600 to get decent handheld shutter speeds. In broad daylight, most of my shots were between 1/15 and 1/60th of a second. You get some image noise at ISO 1600 with the E-PL1, and that seemed to contribute to the overall texture of the shot.

One of the reasons I like using Olympus bodies for this type of work is that the stabilization is built into the body, not the lens. So I still have IS with a pinhole cap.

Mom's Apple Pie

One of the attributes that jumps out at you when looking at these images, is the natural vignetting that comes with pinhole photography. Plus there's substantial depth of field, and, for lack of a better way of saying it, just pure color. It's much easier to understand pinhole photography by looking at it, rather than trying to explain it.

Sr. Marlene Dr.

As for the Pinwide cap itself, I found it well designed and high quality. It snaps securely into place on the camera and seems quite durable. There's a tiny glass element on the backside of the adapter that protects your sensor from dust entering through the pinhole. So you can leave it on the camera without worry. When it's time to put it away, it includes a cute little tin for storage that reads, "Designed in Chicago, manufactured in the USA."

During the shooting process, I found it easier to compose the image with the accessory Olympus VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder rather than on the LCD, especially in bright light.

You can order the Pinwide directly from the Wanderlust site for $39.99. It's a great way to bring out the creative artist in you.


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Derrick Story -- Sunrise at Crescent Beach, FL "Sunrise at Crescent Beach" Canon 60D with 15-85mm set at 85mm. F/5.6 at 1/125th. ISO 125. Photo by Derrick Story. Click on image for larger version.

California and Florida are two different worlds. And one of the most physical differences on the east coast is that the sun rises over the ocean. Yes, an obvious fact. But the experience is anything but mundane.

Normally I oversleep when I travel to the east. But this morning I was awake with coffee in hand as the first rays of light appeared at Crescent Beach. I grabbed the Canon 60D with the EF-S 15-85mm zoom and waited for the sun to break the horizon.

After enjoying these types of moments first thing in the morning, everything else in the day just seems a little brighter.


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When I first posted the story about the M.I.C. CF Card Reader for the iPad, I received mail saying that it wouldn't work for a variety of reasons. I now have the card reader connected to my first generation iPad, and I can say that it transferred full sized Jpegs off the CF card from my Canon 5D Mark II without a hitch. Ditto for Raw files.

mic_cf_reader

I then connected the iPhone to its USB port (yes, the reader is dual function), and downloaded shots I had taken on a recent trip to Florida -- again without incident.

I also found M.I.C. easy to work with. I ordered the CF Card Reader from their web site and was kept up to date via email on when the device would ship. And it arrived in my mail box as promised.

The CF Card Reader sells for $29.90, and is advertised to work with both generations of iPad. I can vouch that it lives up to its promise with the original iPad running the latest iOS software.


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Macworld Magazine has published my full review of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i from a Mac perspective. In terms of base performance, this model is very similar to the excellent Canon T2i. But the few changes that were added are noteworthy.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS Zoom Lens Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS Zoom Lens mounted on a EOS Rebel T3i. Click on image for larger size. Photo by Derrick Story.

Here are my pros and cons from the review.

Pros

  • Beautiful and useful Vari Angle 3-inch LCD (new to Rebels)
  • Wireless flash transmitter for multiple flashes (new to Rebels)
  • Robust movie recording options including full HD (Improved)
  • External mic jack
  • Clear, easy to use menu system and onscreen controls
  • Excellent image quality, even at ISO 1600
  • Versatile 18-135mm kit lens option provides all in one solution

Cons

  • Some physical controls (such as Display button) oddly placed
  • Lack of single button movie recording
  • Auto White Balance struggles in most indoor lighting conditions--a traditional Canon weakness

You might also want to note that this camera received 4.5 Mice, a rating that is rarely awarded to digital cameras. As for the Mac side of the equation, the T3i is already supported in Aperture and iPhoto. And its bundled software runs very well on Mac OS X. Plus, the video compression is H.264 for its captured movies, so you can drop them right on to your computer and start enjoying.

If you use a Mac and like shooting Canon, the Rebel T3i is an excellent DSLR for sophisticated consumers.

Related Articles

Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS Zoom Lens: More Reach for Your Kit Lens

"Canon T3i (600D) Review" - Digital Photography Podcast 269

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM - Upgrade Your Kit Lens


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Simone Brogini for Blue

For the March'11 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters explored color with this gallery titled Blue. This hue never looked so good. And which one will be the SizzlPix Pick of the Month?

The May 2011 assignment is "Shades of Green." Start working on your contribution now. Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Submit your photo assignment picture 800 pixels in the widest direction. Deadline is May 31, 2011.

Please follow the instructions carefully for labeling the subject line of the email for your submission. It's easy to lose these in the pile of mail if not labeled correctly. For example, the subject line for next month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: May 2011." Also, if you can, please don't strip out the metadata. And feel free to add any IPTC data you wish (These fields in particular: Caption, Credit, Copyright, Byline), I use that for the caption info.


Photo by Simone Brogini. (Click on it to see enlarged version.) You can read more about how Simone captured this shot, plus see all of the other great images on the March 2011 Gallery page.


Good luck with your May assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for March.


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Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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Surfers

Two surfers head home as the sun sets at Crescent Beach in Florida. The image was first processed using the Miniature Effect in the Creative Filters for the Canon 60D, then finished off in Aperture 3.

surfers.jpg Click on image for larger size. Photo by Derrick Story.


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