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Closing of Virgin and Thriving of Apple

I was struck by irony as I photographed the closing of Virgin Records in San Francisco. The once megastore of music with its flashing lights and state of the art individual listening stations is now an empty shell. Just a few months ago, you could buy any CD imaginable, then choose from a variety of accessories to go with it: posters, clothing, music players. On Friday nights, it was a great place to just hang out.

Now, as they liquidate the fixtures in Virgin, across the street there's standing room only in the Apple Store. For $79 you can buy a 4 GB iPod, connect it to your computer, and fill it up with music. An entire CD library can be clipped to your shirt. The device is so light that you wouldn't know it was there, save the earbuds humming in your ears.

It's one thing to contemplate how quickly times have changed as you listen to music through tiny headphones. It's another to see it happen with your very own eyes.

Photo by Derrick Story. Captured with a Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105 mm f/4 zoom at 24mm. ISO 200, 1/250th at f/11. Image was processed in Adobe Camera Raw. Used Jobo photoGPS for geodata.

More Signs of the Times Stories

Redwood Empire Food Bank

The Closing of Gottschalks Department Stores


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I'm getting ready to work on a big Flickr project, and I'd love to hear about your favorite features and your best tips. What do you like best about Flickr? Do you use any tools with it, such as plug-ins for uploading? Have you learned any helpful techniques that you're willing to share with others?

If you have answers for any of these, please post a comment below (only hit the Post button once, it takes a couple minutes to process), or chime in on the discussion page of The Digital Story Public Group. I've already set up a thread there. You can also send you thoughts directly to me, if you're more comfortable with that. Contact information is on our Submissions page.

I hope you share your thoughts... (and thanks!)


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Right click to copy geodata in iPhoto 8.0.2

One of my favorite new features in iPhoto 8.0.2 is the ability to copy geodata from one image in your library and paste it to another. The process is easy, but it isn't necessarily intuitive. Here's how it works.

First, select a photo that has the location data that you want by clicking on it once. Then, right-click or CTRL-click on it and choose Copy from the contextual popup menu. Then, go directly to the image that you want to add the data to, right-click on it, and choose Paste Location from the contextual popup menu. You can confirm the success of this by choosing Get Info (click on the little "i" in the corner of the photo), or by looking at the extended metadata for the image (Option - CMD - I) -- you should see Latitude, Longitude, and Place information.

Paste Location Data in Image

Don't Forget About Smart Albums

You can create Smart Albums to sort images that have geodata from those that don't. Just go to File > New Smart Album, and choose "Photo - is not - Tagged with GPS" as your conditions. This will create a Smart Album with all of your untagged images. Then, if you want a companion album with tagged photos, just create a new Smart Album with "Photo - is - Tagged with GPS". Now you can easily copy location data from tagged images and apply to untagged ones.

See My Other Posts on Geotagging

Macworld Magazine Article (by me): "Geotag your photos on-the-go"

A Quick Primer on Geotagging

"Introduction to Geotagging" - Digital Photography Podcast 165

Testing the Eye-Fi Explore Card at Home

Geotagging a Journey with photoGPS, iPhoto, and Flickr

iPhoto '09 as Your Geotagging Tool?

First Look at Jobo photoGPS Device and Software

Update to Geotagging Workflow, Including Jobo photoGPS

Finding a Reasonable Geotagging Workflow


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Karen and Ethan Portrait

One of my favorite techniques for quick outdoor portraits is what I call "Spot Meter Plus Backlight." The set up is simple. Put the sun behind the subject with a clean background. Then adjust your metering pattern to spot meter, take a reading off the subject, and fire away. You'll get nice highlights in the hair, good separation between the subject and background, plus you can work quickly and from any distance.

For this quick portrait of Karen and Ethan, I used a Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom, and that's it. The aperture was set to f/4, shutter speed 1/350th, and ISO 200. I had the lens extended all the way out to 200mm. I processed the image in Aperture with final touches in Photoshop CS4.


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Wondering which of the new offerings might be best for you: the Nikon D-5000 or the Canon EOS Rebel T1i? Well, Cameratown has just published their Nikon D-5000 vs. Canon EOS Rebel T1i Feature Comparison Chart. How does HD video capture stack up? Resolution? LCD display? Burst rate? The chart reveals all.


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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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Here's a nifty article about four tools that capture location data while you shoot. All of these devices cost less than $200, yet provide decent geotagging. In the piece, Geotag your photos on-the-go, I cover the Nikon P6000 camera, Eye-Fi Explore, the PhotoTrackr, and the photoGPS. It's a quick read with a good overview of these devices.

See My Other Posts on Geotagging

A Quick Primer on Geotagging

"Introduction to Geotagging" - Digital Photography Podcast 165

Testing the Eye-Fi Explore Card at Home

Geotagging a Journey with photoGPS, iPhoto, and Flickr

iPhoto '09 as Your Geotagging Tool?

First Look at Jobo photoGPS Device and Software

Update to Geotagging Workflow, Including Jobo photoGPS

Finding a Reasonable Geotagging Workflow


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When Max and Zach invited me to a "behind the scenes" tour with their mom at the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about one of my favorite non-profits in Sonoma County, CA. The boys had raised $135.80, and wanted to hand it over personally to Miriam Hodgman, the Food Drive & Event Coordinator for the organization.

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What I learned during my visit is that this food bank provides assistance to more than 60,000 hungry people a month, distributing over 10 million pounds of food a year. Forty-two percent of the funding comes from individuals like Max and Zach.

One program that caught my eye is called "3 Squares." For less than $4, the food bank can provide 12 meals for a family of four. The boxed meal includes all of the ingredients for entrees such as Black Bean Chili or Spanish Rice with Vegetables. I was struck by the fact that so little money could make such a big difference.

If you're looking for a way to help others who may be struggling right now, consider contacting your local food bank. They are experts at bringing together resources from businesses, individuals, and charities to provide immediate relief to hungry people. There are no qualifications required to receive help. If someone is hungry, they will receive food.

You can learn more by visiting the Redwood Empire Food Bank web site. There's lots of good educational information there.

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Photos from top to bottom: Top-The 3 Squares program with boxed meals ready to deliver. Middle-Max applies a label to a 3 Squares box. Bottom-One of the many areas of the Food Bank where supplies are organized. Pictures by Derrick Story, captured with a Canon 5D Mark II.

More Signs of the Times Stories

The Closing of Gottschalks Department Stores


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The best technique that I learned during my interview with Winston Hendrickson was how the Camera Profiles function works in Adobe Camera Raw. If you shoot Raw, you've got to check this out.

It goes something like this. In Raw, you're capturing in a very large color space, larger than your monitor can display. So decisions have to be made as to how that color space is going to be represented when the file is processed. Adobe has its default interpretation, as does your camera manufacturer. With Camera Profiles, you can preview all of these options, and more, with just a click of the mouse. Then you can choose the color profile that best appeals to you for that particular shot.

Just go to the Camera Calibration tab in ACR, and click on the Camera Profiles pop up. You'll be amazed at how different the various interpretations of the original color space look. And if you want, you can even create your own custom color profile.


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The planets appear to be aligning for the release of the third generation iPhone this summer. Of particular interest to our community are the rumors of a larger image sensor that supports up to 3.2 megapixel still captures, and the ability to record video.

If indeed we see these upgrades, then the iPhone stands to move forward as the "camera you always have with you." Combined with the already useful network connectivity and plethora of photography software via the App store, you could find yourself reaching for your smartphone first in picture taking situations. I predict we would see more candids and grab shots captured with an upgraded iPhone. We should know more this coming June.

iPhone App Reviews

Cropulater Brings Picture Cropping to the iPhone

Panorama 2.1 for the iPhone

FotoTimer Provides Self-Timer for the iPhone

HP iPrint App Makes Printing Easy from iPhone or iPod touch

True Photo App for iPhone: CameraBag

"Exposure" (Now "Darkslide") Puts Flickr on Your iPhone


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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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Terrific video by PhotoAnswers where Canon Product Manager Mike Owen discusses the new Canon T1i (500D). In short, the combination of attributes including affordable price, high resolution LCD, HD video recording, and high ISO -- all crammed into a compact package, make the Rebel T1i a tempting DSLR. You'll have even a harder time resisting after watching this video.


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