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Street Shooting Inside Oracle Arena

There are interesting shots wherever people congregate. I packed an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with a Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 II ASPH lens, set the ISO to 800 and the aperture wide open, then explored the venue before gametime.

Staffer at Oracle Arena Staffer at Oracle Arena. Photos by Derrick Story.

The confined space kept people close together and generated a kind of human energy, that for me, comes across in the images. Plus, the anticipation of the first NBA playoff game of the season for the front-running Warriors definitely served as a booster.

Fan with Foam Finger Fan with Foam Finger

The Panasonic 20mm is a terrific street shooting lens for micro four thirds cameras. It has a natural field of view, is very fast, and it doesn't attract attention to itself, especially on the petite E-M10.

Young Fan Young Fan

Everyone around me knew I was taking pictures. Although I worked quickly and composed on the tilting LCD screen. I think it's less intrusive to photograph people that way than to hold the camera up to my face and direct it at theirs.

Rally Cap Young Girl with Knit Warriors Cap

Once the game started, I switched to the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 for crowd portraits and action on the court. Again, wide open, but this time at ISO 1600 to compensate for the lower light levels.

Vendor Vendor in the Aisles

I organized the images in Aperture 3.6 and processed the B&W in Nik's Sliver Efex Pro 2.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The OM-D E-M10 with the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Neck Strap vs Wrist Strap

olympus-leather-strap.jpg

My history with camera straps goes all the way back to those skinny leather "neck cutters" that were standard issue with our film cameras. You can imagine my joy when Canon and others developed the wider, softer fabric models that were more comfortable and were included with their SLRs.


This Olympus E-Z Adjustable Camera Neck Strap runs $15 and is a handsome, lightweight solution for street shooters who like to keep their hands free.


But over the years, I tired of long, tangly straps all together and experimented with shorter wrist models. These were even more practical with lighter digital cameras such as the micro four thirds that I often shoot with today.

Unfortunately, they weren't perfect either. If your camera is bound to one hand, then you really only have the other free. And suddenly I was looking for a place to set the camera down when I needed both hands to work on something.

What I've finally discovered, after all of these years, is that camera straps are like camera bags, and it's unlikely that just one is going to be perfect in every situation. Why this took me so long to figure out, I don't know.


I use a Gariz Leather XS-WB1 camera hand strap on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, which is the camera most likely to end up on a tripod.

I carry two cameras in my everyday bag. My street shooter, a black Olympus OM-D E-M10, is configured with a neck strap that allows me to keep my hands free and the camera ready for a quick shot when opportunity presents itself. I can carry the E-M10 a variety of ways, including hiding it beneath my jacket when necessary. Hands are always free.

My other camera, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II sports a wrist strap. That's because it's most likely to end up on a tripod for a 40MP high rez image, an HDR, or panoramas. The wrist strap stays out of the way and doesn't get tangled up with the other gear. Plus, there are times I just don't want the long, dangly neck strap to deal with.

And there are dozens of other solutions, many of which you probably use, or may have tried. Regardless of which particular type of strap you like, chances are good that it works better in some situations than others. So, when it's all said and done, the likely solution is that two straps are better than one.

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canon-xc10-back.jpg

Many of the latest cameras provide functionality for both stills and video capture. And some, such as the new Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder, attempt to create one tool that works for many jobs.

But when you really pour over the specs and design, all cameras are better at one thing, regardless of their versatility. The XC10 is a perfect example. It is a camcorder first and a still capture device secondly.

Another example is the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. When I first met with Olympus about this camera, the emphasis was on its video capabilities. But in my view, they were shoring up that capacity, not making a video camera. The E-M5 Mark II excels at still photography. But now, thanks to its improvements, it is better at video.

panasonic-gh4.jpg The Panasonic DMC-GH4 comes close to being equally adept at both video and stills. But since my focus is on photography, I can go with a smaller camera, such as the OM-D E-M10, that's better suited to my need for traveling as light as possible.

I bring this up because it's easy to get confused when considering new purchases. The temptation is to have a camera that does everything. We're lucky to have such options, but in the end, think about your individual strengths, and purchase a tool that matches them.

My strength is nimble photography. I like to be out in the world shooting stills. So I have to make sure I have a device that's perfectly suited for travel. That's why I love micro four thirds.

Shooting video, indoor portrait photography, and product work are secondary tasks. Yes, I have tools to help me accomplish those jobs, but they tend to be older and aren't updated as often. My new cameras are those that feed my strengths.

You've probably already thought about all of this. But if not recently, it's a good exercise to consider what type of artist you truly are now, then make sure you have the right tools to feed your creativity.


Nimble Photographer Logo

My micro four thirds cameras 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: LinkedIn Buys lynda, Is the Canon XC10 the Camera of the Future?, Snapseed 2.0 - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Snapseed hits version 2.0 with new tools, filters and more" - The latest update adds a new way to view your edits with Stacks. Stacks allow you to see a list of filters that you've applied to an image that can be re-edited or copied over to another image. Snapseed 2.0 also includes new filters, brush and spot repair tools, and more. Available now for iOS and Android. (Source: iMore)

In other news... "Review: Photos for OS X is faster than iPhoto, but less powerful than Aperture" Photos for OS X is now official with the release of Mac OS X 10.10.3. On the same day (last Wednesday), Jeff Carlson publishes a review for Macworld Magazine stating, "Photos is a big step up for iPhoto users, with better speed and editing tools. Power users of Aperture will probably want to stay with Aperture or switch to another pro-level app like Lightroom." (Source: Macworld Magazine)

And finally... "Olympus Price Reduction on the OM-D E-M10 Premium Kit" - This kit that includes an E-M10 made from special high quality materials, 14-42mm EZ Zoom, and special edition leather neck strap and lens cap. Was available only in the UK, and for about $1,300 US, is now available for $875. And it's gorgeous! Go to http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/digitalcameras/omd/e-m10.html to learn more.

Story #1 - "lynda.com to join LinkedIn" - As part of the announcement, authors (such as myself) were sent an official FAQ about the deal. Here's what lynda has to say about this giant acquisition.

canon--xc1-front.jpg

Story #2 - "Opinion: Why the Canon XC10 is a big deal" by Dale Baskin of DP Review. Dale writes, "The XC10 represents an important step on the path to convergence between the still and video imaging worlds, though it's important to recognize that it's an early step. Canon tends to be very deliberate in its product development and has smartly aimed this camera at a category of users (such as media) for whom the combination of features, specs, and physical size make a lot of sense. It may not be the camera that enthusiast stills photographers are looking for, but it might be the best example yet of a 'convergence' product that facilitates both still photography and video with equal emphasis on both."

Basic feature highlights: "12MP stills from a 1-inch sensor won't set the enthusiast photographic market aflame, but 5-axis image stabilization (a digital effect in HD video capture mode only), a maximum ISO sensitivity of 20,000 and a built-in, optically stabilized 24-240mm equivalent zoom (27-273mm for movies) should appeal greatly to multimedia professionals who increasingly need to focus on both stills and video capture."

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - iPhone and iPad Photography with iOS 8 with Seán Duggan. If the iPhone or iPad are your primary image capture devices when you're on the go, Sean can help you get the most out of them.

You can watch Sean in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Sean's movies, plus every other title in the library (including over 20 by yours truly).

Virtual Camera Club News

News from SizzlPix: For April, We'll make it easy to delight your friends and relatives with SizzlPix of your or their favorite photographs with a Digital Story exclusive! Take a 20 percent discount; 25 percent on 2 or more shipped together. Just put "TDS April" in the comments space on the SizzlPix.com ordering page.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS 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 (26 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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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 May!

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after-drobo-upgrade.jpg

My Drobo 5D was on the edge. It was nearly out of space.


Here's the configuration after the upgrade with four 3 TB drives, one 1 TB HD, and the SSD chip.


My first Drobo setup featured two 3 TB hard drives and three 1 TB drives. And they held me nicely for a number of months. But recent checks of the Drobo Dashboard made me realize that it was time to upgrade a couple of those HDs. So I purchased a pair of Toshiba 3TB 7200 RPM SATA drives and began the nerve-wracking swapping process. (Nerve wracking only because when I tried this with my first Drobo, it wouldn't accept the upgrade. My hope was that things would be better with the 5D.)

The good news was, not only was I able to successfully add more space, but I was increasing speed too. The new Toshiba drives spin at 7200 RPM, replacing the slower 5400 RPM Segate Barracudas.

capacity-before-upgrade.jpg This is what my Drobo Dashboard looked like before the upgrade. Just a few more RAW files, and I would begin to see the yellow warning message.

The process was fairly simple. I shut down the Drobo, ejected the first 1 TB hard drive, replaced it with a 3 TB Toshiba, then rebooted. The Drobo formatted the new drive for me, then went about its business of adding it to the fold. Seven hours later, all the lights were green, and I was ready to go.

I did a little testing and was pleased with how it responded. So I went for round 2. Once again I shut down the Drobo, replaced a 1 TB drive with a 3 TB Toshiba, and waited another 7 hours for the process to run its course. This is what I was greeted with when I reopened the Drobo Dashboard.

capacity-after-upgrade.jpg Here's the capacity chart after the 6 TB upgrade.

I tested the new units by opening a large Aperture library that I store on the Drobo. Everything worked great. Browsing was fast, zooming was smooth, and image editing was performed without a hitch.

When you look at the Drobo capacity pie chart, you'll see that there's 9 TBs of available storage, even though I have 13 TBs of hardware in there. The other 4 TBs are used as part of Drobo's backup system. That's how you're protected if a drive goes bad. You won't lose any data. This same system allows you to upgrade the drive bays, as I've explained in this article.

The Drobo 5D can hold a maximum of 32 TBs of storage. For now, I'm happy with the four 3 TB drives and the lone 1 TB Seagate. I'll probably upgrade that bay with a 5 TB 7200 drive once the prices drop a bit more.

In the meantime, I'm back to backing up my Aperture and Lightroom libraries. In fact, with all of this additional storage space, I should go out and shoot a few more pictures.

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aperture-photos-libraries.jpg

You can open your current Aperture or iPhoto libraries in Photos for OS X. The command to do so isn't part of the Photos for OS X menu system. Rather, you close the Photos app, then relaunch holding down the Option key. By doing so, you can switch to a new library or convert an existing iPhoto or Aperture library.

Photos will create its own version of the library, leaving the original Aperture or iPhoto library intact (as shown above). Keep in mind that the converted Photos library is different than your Photos System Library that's located in your Pictures folder. The System Library is the default Library that also communicates with iCloud services and allows you to share images across devices.

The Converted Library might be best considered a special project that's its own container. You can switch back and forth between the System Library and the Converted Library by relaunching Photos for OS X while holding down the Option key.

Option-Open.jpg Launching Photos with the Option key pressed presents you with a dialog box similar to this.

If you want to test this feature, I recommend that you use a small library that will allow you to practice the ins and outs of this procedure without processing gigabytes of information. There is no easy way to merge the Converted Library with the existing System Library. There's an advanced technique that's really a workaround, but I haven't tested it enough to write about at this time.

However, if you want to practice converting an iPhoto or Aperture Library, here are the steps.

  • Quit Photos for OS X and make sure Aperture and iPhoto are closed too.
  • Hold down the Option key and relaunch the Photos application.
  • Look for the Library you want to convert in the Choose Library dialog box.
  • Click on the Library you want to convert, then click on the Choose Library button.
  • Photos for OS X will prepare the converted library for you and place the container in the same directory as the original library.

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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I have a stash of DIY reflectors that I've collected over the years. That's right, I like shiny objects.

Recently I used the salvaged guts from a non-working portable lightbox (see illustration at bottom of the article) to help illuminate this popular gear shot of an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. I wanted to show off a few accessories for the camera to illustrate the journal post, Pimp My Ride.

I could have gone the standard softbox route, after all, I do work in a photography studio. But I wanted a different look, something that better connected the camera to the outside world.

"Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Decked Out" by Derrick Story on Flickr

So I put the OM-D in a window box (you know, the kind for flowers and herbs) and used two of my funky reflectors to kick light back to the front of the camera. Often I find myself propping up these fill lights with coffee cups, rolls of gaffer's tape, and anything else that happens to be within reach.

I then increased the exposure compensation to +1 to ensure a good rendering of the highlights, and squeezed off a few frames with my original E-M5 sporting the 25mm Leica f/1.4 prime set to f/5.6 (to ensure enough depth of field).

diy-reflectors.jpg

Since publishing the shot on Flickr, the image was picked up by Explore and has garnered more than 28,000 views and 345 likes.

I first learned about these do-it-yourself reflectors when I was apprenticing for a commercial photographer in Southern California, Dennis Tannen, who wrapped empty Polaroid boxes in aluminum foil and used them as kick lights for his product photography. I was so impressed by his cleverness, and the quality of his work, that I've continued the tradition of using "shiny objects" for my product work.

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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Street Photography Ethics with Gordon Lewis, Travel Photography in London with David Hobby, Nikon 1 J5, and the Phhhoto App - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Meet Phhhoto" - If you haven't heard of the app Photo you're certainly not alone. Phhhoto is a mobile GIF/cinemagraph/image sequence creating and sharing platform that was released last year on iOS and will be coming to Android in the future. As of this week it now has over a million registered users and is really starting to take the world by storm.(Source: Fstoppers)

Nikon 1 J5

In other news... "Nikon 1 J5" The Nikon 1 J5 mirrorless camera has been announced as the latest member of Nikon's mirrorless lineup. It offers a more traditional shape and feel with a contoured grip and secondary command dial. Its 1"-type 20.8MP BSI-CMOS sensor - which does not have an anti-aliasing filter - offers a boost in resolution over its predecessor, and is also capable of 4K video capture at 15 fps. Intact from the previous model is a 171-point hybrid AF system with 105 phase-detect points. Also included is built-in Wi-Fi with NFC.

The Nikon 1 J5 will be available in late April in several kit options: with the 1 Nikkor 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom for $499.95, with 10-30mm and 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 for $749.95, and with 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4-5.6 for $1049.95. (Source: DP Review)

And finally... Issue 19 of c't Digital Photography is out. In-depth articles include: Stills from 4K Video, Samsung NX1 vs Canon 7D Mark II, How to Digitize Slides, 10 Shoe Mount Flashes Compared, and everything you need to know about Food Photography. We have a Spring Offer for TDS listeners only: 30 percent off subscription price (over 40 percent off the newsstand). Go to http://bit.ly/ds1530 to sign up. Special price expires 4/13/15.

Story #1 - "Street Photography Ethics with Gordon Lewis" - If you like street shooting you're probably going to love this conversation. Gordon has a new book, Street Photography: The Art of Capturing the Candid Moment, and you can win a copy by clicking on this link.

Story #2 - From the Screening Room - The Traveling Photographer: London with David Hobby. Long time photojournalist and "Strobist" David Hobby takes you to the streets of London and talks shop.

You can watch David in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of David's movies, plus every other title in the library (including over 20 by yours truly).

Virtual Camera Club News

News from SizzlPix: For April, We'll make it easy to delight your friends and relatives with SizzlPix of your or their favorite photographs with a Digital Story exclusive! Take a 20 percent discount; 25 percent on 2 or more shipped together. Just put "TDS April" in the comments space on the SizzlPix.com ordering page.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS 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 (45 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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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 May!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Fujifilm X20

I've been testing the eyefi mobiPRO 32 GB SDHC card with a variety of WiFi-less cameras, and have settled on using it regularly with the Fujifilm X20 compact. (Jump here to see the full report on the eyefi mobiPRO.)

But through my testing I've discovered that the user experience is much better if I follow a specific set of steps when using the new mobiPRO. So I'm sharing that "magical" sequence with you now, because it most likely works for other cameras too.

  • First, set the preferences for your eyefi mobiPRO card by using its bundled USB reader. (More on that here.) For mobile device usage, I recommend that Selective Transfer is on, and that RAW Transfer is off. Eject the card and put it in your camera.
  • In the camera menu, Turn Eye-Fi Transfer to "off." This saves precious battery power while you're out shooting.
  • When it's time to take a break and send your favorites to a mobile device, enable Eye-Fi Transfer on your camera (via the menu) and "Protect" the first photo you want to send to your device.
  • On your device, go to the Wi-Fi settings and log in to the personal network that the eyefi mobiPRO card is transmitting. Then go to the iOS or Android Eyefi Mobi app and receive the first photo.
  • With everything still connected, "Protect" the other images that you want uploaded to your mobile device. They should flow over instantly.
  • Once all the images have been transferred, go to your camera's menu and turn off Eye-Fi Transfer.

At this point, you can play with your photos on the mobile device, upload them to social network sites, or display them for others. I recommend that when you return home, copy all of the pictures off the eyefi mobiPRO card to your computer, and organize them in your standard photo management application.


More Help on 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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When I returned from Cuba, I had many requests for pictures of classic American cars. The thinking being that once the embargo is lifted (if indeed that happens), the streets of Havana will soon look much different.

Instead of putting a gallery online, I decided to make fine art notecards to give as gifts and to sell in the Nimble Photographer store. This was a good choice because the images on paper feel more like my experiences in Cuba than they would as a gallery on a computer display.

Fine Art Notecards of Classic American Cars in Cuba

After selecting a handful of pictures to feature, the next step was to decide the "look" for the prints. I wanted something that felt like traditional Havana. I played with various color palettes and opted for a rendering that had a mild tobacco tint. I then added an old style film edge as the finishing touch.

The Lone Freeway - Cuba "The Lone Freeway, Cuba" - We traveled on this quiet highway from Havana to Trinidad. Photo by Derrick Story.

Red River Paper

The paper selection was also important. I chose 72lb. GreenPix Photo Matte 7x10 by Red River Paper. GreenPix Photo Matte is made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled content (this felt consistent with Cuba's judicial use of resources). Plus it has a subtle warm tone that complemented the tobacco palette I was using for the photos.

Producing these prints feels far more satisfying than a web gallery. During my time in Cuba, I interacted with many artists and often purchased their work to bring home. I remember how carefully I guarded the items until I returned to my room that night.

Producing prints that I can hand to others keeps those good feelings alive. And now, I feel more connected than ever to the artists who inspired me during my visit.

More About Cuba

I've also published the following articles about Cuba:

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