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Monster Y Splitter

Airplane entertainment systems are certainly welcome on long flights, but I like to watch my own selection of content too. For example, currently I'm hooked on Breaking Bad and am working my way through past seasons.

This is even more fun when shared with a travel partner. It's just like going to the movies: You can watch it together, then discuss the show over a cup of coffee afterwards.

For these occasions, I keep a Monster iSplitter 1000 Y-Splitter with Volume Control/Mute ($9.99) in my carry-on bag. With it, I can share music, TV shows, and movies with another. It even has separate volume controls.

The iPad is a terrific travel companion in many ways, and entertainment is definitely one of them. Sharing that content with another makes it even more fun.


Nimble Photographer Logo

This Monster Y Splitter has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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When image editing in Lightroom, when do you use the Whites slider vs the Highlights slider?

There's a terrific post on Improve Photography that answers that very question. The difference between highlights and whites sliders in Lightroom explains that the Whites slider helps you set the white point, and the Highlights slider is designed to recover detail from that tonal range. They provide plenty of examples on how this works.

Keep in mind that either highlight or shadow recovery is more effective with RAW files than Jpegs. There's more information to "retrieve" with RAW. But that doesn't mean that these tools aren't useful for Jpeg editing too.

If you know that you're going to be shooting in contrasty situations, then I recommend you take advantage of RAW... and of course, review the informative article on Improve Photography.

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The most vulnerable moment in our photo workflow is when we first capture an image, and the camera writes it to a memory card. The fate of that picture rests in the hands of a $30, plastic-encased accessory.

In my latest lynda.com title, Recovering Photos from Memory Cards, I show you how to protect your captured images, and if necessary, recover them if something goes wrong.

Memory card Recovery

You can watch the introduction movie to get a feel for the course. Topics include:

  • When the Worst Happens: Recovery Strategies
  • A Closer Look at Photo-Recovery Software
  • Avoiding Problems
  • The Difference Between Erasing and Formatting
  • Formatting: In the Camera or the Computer?

Even though this is a serious topic, it's a fun course. I hope you give it a look.

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For the May 2014 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters explored new territory around their homes (with camera in hand). See for yourself in our gallery, Around the House. And which one will be the SizzlPix Pick of the Month?

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Dominick Chiuchiolo writes, "Here is a shot from around the corner of my house. I love this horse farm. I shot this just as it started to rain and the horses were having a little 'horse play.' It's definitely around their house." See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Around the House gallery page. Photo by Dominick Chiuchiolo.


Participate in This Month's Assignment

The July 2014 assignment is "Smokin' Hot." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is July 31, 2014. No limit on image size submitted.

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 this month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: July 2014." 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.

Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting May 2014 gallery at the end of June, the June gallery will be posted at the end of July, and on and on.

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


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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.

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: The End of Aperture development by Apple, a Great Vacation Camera Bag, and the Ins and Outs of Copyright Law - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - The Weekly Update: Ansel Adams' 4x5" view camera to be auctioned off - The auction is to be held on July 9, 2014, and prospective bidders can still register online. If you'd like to own a piece of American photographic history, be ready to grab deeply into your pockets, as Adams' Arca Swiss is expected to sell for $300,000 or more. (source: Imaging-Resource.com).

In other news, Everything You Wanted to Know About Copyright but Were Afraid to Ask - Presented by B&H Photo, photographer Jack Reznicki and lawyer Ed Greenberg demystify and illuminate the gray areas in an easy, humorous, and understandable manner that only this pairing of a photographer and lawyer with so much "real-life, in-the-trenches" experience can provide. (Source: B&H Event Space).

And finally, Canon Lens Microsite for Canon shooters who want to determine the best lens for the task at hand. The microsite also features educational videos from Canon's "EF 101" series that show some practical examples of how to use each type of lens.

The End of Aperture

Story #2 - Apple Halts Development of iPhoto and Aperture, Migrates Users to New Photos App. Aperture users have three basic options: do nothing, switch to Lightroom, or migrate to Photos. I talk about these options in today's second segment.

Story #3 - The Nimbleosity Report: "Packing for Maui" - I'm changing my bag to the Lowepro Photo Hatchback 16L AW Backpack that is a great bag for vacation travel. I'll explain why in the 3rd segment of today's show.

Story #4 - From the Screening Room - Photoshop Color Correction: Advanced Projects with Taz Tally. One of the things I really like about this title is that Taz also shows you how to identify color problems and discusses options to fix them before attempting actual corrections. Very helpful.

You can watch Taz in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com/thedigitalstory. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch other design, photography, and computing titles, plus every other topic in the library (including my brand new "Photographing High School Senior Portraits."

Virtual Camera Club News

From SizzlPix: Now, for The Digital Story listeners and readers, this month only, SizzlPix will knock off 20% of the price for your SizzlPix, any quantity, any size up to 6 feet! Just put the initials TDS or "The Digital Story" in the comments space of their new, simplified online order form. SizzlPix.com.

Save on Ground Shipping for Red River Paper: Use coupon code ground50c to receive a 50 percent discount on UPS ground shipping for Red River Paper. No minimum purchase required.

Photo Assignment for July 2014 is "Smokin' Hot".

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story 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.

Virtual Camera Club News

From SizzlPix: they've streamlined the SizzlPix! website, so that ordering is now easy as 1-2-3.

  1. From any page, go to "Original Low Prices." Decide on your size and hanging option.
  2. From there, click on the big blue button, "From Yours" at the top of the page.
  3. After filling in the abreviated order form, you're taken automatically to the upload page to send in your image.

Save on Ground Shipping for Red River Paper: Use coupon code ground50c to receive a 50 percent discount on UPS ground shipping for Red River Paper. No minimum purchase required.

Photo Assignment for June 2014 is "Any Kind of Light but Natural".

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story 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.

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 January!

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Shutter for iOS

If you're look for additional backup for your iPhone photos and videos, Shutter by Streamnation has an interesting proposition: unlimited storage for free.

Their iOS app, Shutter combines a useful camera with a clever storage service, and lots of sharing features. One of the things that initially caught my eye was the fact that I could capture an image in Shutter, then open it directly in Instagram.

When you're taking pictures with either an iPhone or iPad with the camera function, you have the basic features you'd expect: focus point, flash control, and a handful of filters. Nothing fancy, but it certainly gets the job done.

Local Backup Too

Beyond that, Shutter saves all of your photos and videos to your account, keeps the last 200 available locally in case you don't want to use bandwidth to play with them, and will even automatically backup your existing camera roll.

You can save your Shutter images to you camera roll (or leave them in the Shutter app), post them online, or email to a friend. The sharing options are strong with good connections to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Because we've had some bad luck with great services closing down in the past, I don't recommend putting all of your backup eggs in this basket. But I think it's worth testing and using as a redundant service to your primary archiving system. I'm particularly interested to see how this all ties together with the StreamNation app that I've loaded on the iPad that lets my manage the content I have in their cloud service.

I'm on the road in a week. That will be a good opportunity for further testing.


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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In a statement from Apple this morning, the new Photos App that will run on Mac OS X Yosemite, will replace Aperture.

"With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X," Official Apple statement.

So the new chapter begins. I'll be working with Apple to get the best information possible to help photographers move forward. More to come.

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Light is the soul of photography. And when it comes to portraits, it's one of the first things I think about. In the title, Photographing High School Senior Portraits, I talk about the lighting considerations and preparations for capturing an engaging portrait.

The focus in this movie is scouting locations prior to the shoot so you're confident about the light you'll have to work with when the subject is there. It's good food for thought. And if you have a portrait shoot coming up, or are ready to add senior portraits to your freelance business, I think you'll find this video helpful.

If the movie doesn't play here, you can watch it by clicking on this link.

Learn More About the Art and Business of Portraiture

In my lynda.com title, Photographing High School Senior Portraits, I'll show you how to organize, photograph, and deliver great images for fun or profit. Take a look at the free movies and see for yourself.

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Many Aperture users are feeling like they don't belong to the cool club anymore. While Adobe Lightroom 5 users enjoy annual full release updates, a mobile app, and faster turnaround for new camera RAW support, Aperture is still chugging along at version 3.

So the temptation to switch is natural. If you're thinking of moving your photo library to where the party is happening, then here's a brief list of things to consider.

lightroom5-europe.jpg Lightroom 5.5 sports the latest image editing tools and is compatible with Mobile Lightroom for the iPad and iPhone.

Step 1 - Read my article Moving from Aperture to Lightroom on the lynda.com Article Center. I detail the various options available for moving content out of Aperture and in to Lightroom. All of the options involve a certain amount of work. Some are better than others.

Step 2 - If you're not pleased with the options for a complete relocation, take a look at the article, One Library Shared by Both Aperture and Lightroom that explains how to point both applications to the same set of master images.

With this approach, you still use Aperture as your main organizational tool (a function for which Aperture is superior), but still have access to Lightroom's Develop module and mobile app.

Step 3 - Evaluate the financial costs involved with a move. The best option for Lightroom is the $9.99 monthly Creative Cloud subscription that gets you Lightroom, Photoshop, and Mobile Lightroom. Currently, Aperture updates are free through the Mac App Store.

Step 4 - Identify the Lightroom tools that you want to use in Aperture. Then explore the plug-ins and presets available for Aperture. For example, I wish Aperture had gradient screens. But I have Color Efex and Perfect Effects plug-ins that give me that functionality while staying within the Aperture ecosystem.

Step 5 - Review your ties to the Apple ecosystem. If you're using the iPad, iPhone, Photo Stream, iPhoto, and looking forward to Mac OS X Yosemite, then you might want to evaluate Aperture's role in that ecosystem.

No move is easy, and switching to Lightroom definitely has its challenges. For some, the effort is well worth it. Just make sure you weigh the pros and cons before making the leap.

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.


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


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It's a question I'm asked often: "What's the best way to jump start my photography career?"

There's no secret formula. Everyone knows that. For some shooters, it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But for most of us, building a career is exactly that. We advance in our profession brick by brick.

I talk about this process in a new title for lynda.com, Insights on Photography: Business and Social Media. Over the years, I've had to reinvent myself a number of times: moving from the world of print and staff photography jobs to an online presence to social media.

In this movie, Getting Started in the Business of Photography, I discuss how the building blocks of my career helped me through those changes. Taking pictures isn't really that much different, but how we expose them to the world certainly is.

If the embedded movie doesn't play, you can watch it here.

If you like what you see, you might want to check out the other conversations that cover: Exploring options for ways to use social media, Utilizing social media to its best advantage, Looking at how photography gear has changed, and Evolving and expanding the business of photography. They are all part of the title, Insights on Photography: Business and Social Media.

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