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For one week, beginning today, you can receive free shipping on the following Nimble Photographer Gift Sets. Use coupon code: freeshipping

  • Water Bottle Gift Set $39.95 - includes a 26-ounce Stainless Steel water bottle, Wenger gift box, D-Ring attachment, the embroidered Walking Man Shoulder Bag (yes, the water bottle fits inside!, two artisan holiday gift cards with blank interior, and a holiday gift bag.
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  • Walking Man Cap and Shoulder Bag Gift Set (Navy cap) $49.95 - includes the Walking Man Cap (Navy/Tan colors), Walking Man Shoulder Bag (Black with silver embroidery), two artisan gift cards, and a holiday gift bag.
  • Walking Man Cap and Shoulder Bag Gift Set (Port cap) $49.95 - includes the Walking Man Cap (Port/Navy colors), Walking Man Shoulder Bag (Black with silver embroidery), two artisan gift cards, and a holiday gift bag.

Orders can be shipped to any United States postal address via USPS Priority Mail. Typical delivery time is 2-5 days from when your order is placed. Each package is ready to give. All you have to do is sign the card.

"I think my favorite item in the store is the cap. All of the items look great, but I wear caps all the time and this one has a classic look to it," C. Jones

"My favorite thing in the shop is the Walking Man Shoulder Bag, which I just picked up from the Post Office. It is perfect for my light, walkabout kit," D. Chiuchiolo

To get your free shipping on these gift sets, or any order that totals over $38, just add coupon code: freeshipping

Happy Holidays!


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These products have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Over the course of the year, our photo libraries tend to become a bit disheveled. As I prepare for 2014, I like to have my 2013 images in shape. One technique that I use regularly is "Merge Projects" that allows me to combine multiple projects into one.

Merge Projects in Aperture Using the Merge Projects command in Aperture.

For example, I realized that I had created and backed up multiple projects for my trip to Oahu this summer. In part this was because I had shot with three different cameras.

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I was able to combine them easily by selecting the two projects in the Library tab of the Inspector (by holding down the CMD key), then going to File > Merge Projects. Aperture presented me with this confirmation message.

Once I click on the Merge button, Aperture moves the images, albums, and any other parts I've created over to the other project. Typically, the application will move the lower project into the one that's positioned higher in the library. But I don't worry about it either way. Once I'm finished merging, I can rename the project by tapping on its name and typing.

Keep in mind that you can use Folders to organize your projects (File>New>Folder). Just drag the Projects into the new Folder, give it a name, and position it where you want it.

Those of us who are trapped inside by cold weather can put that confinement to good use by getting our photo libraries in order.

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!


An article on PhotographyTalk makes the argument:

"Having a fully functional computer that also acts as a tablet with you wherever your photography may take you is the primary advantage of the Surface Pro 2 for photographers. You have a different kind of job to do than most tablet users, even in a business setting, which is why the Surface Pro 2 is the horse of a different color you should want to ride into your sunset."

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I guess it depends on what you're trying to do with a tablet computer. The article certainly did not sway me. But if you want to see for yourself, check out For Photographers, Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 and Apple iPad Air May Be Horses of Different Colors.


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These products have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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LED lights are making a big impact on photography. Another example is Foldio - the first foldable studio for smartphones. It's currently a Kickstarter project that's available for as little as $34.

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The folding box design is clever. And it includes a sweep backdrop (the deluxe kit adds a variety of colors) and LED light strip. It all packs neatly in its own carrying bag that will fit in the laptop compartment of many backpacks. The specs say Foldio measures 10.2" x 10.2".

Foldio is made of laminated paper, held together by magnets, and powered by a 9 volt battery. What's not to like? The Kickstarter project is open until Jan. 2, 2014.


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

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I met Frederick Van Johnson at the Warriors game last night at Oracle Arena, each of us armed with our nimble photographer kits.

Frederick was sporting Google Glass and a Panasonic GX7. I had the OM-D E-M5. We swapped lenses back and forth using the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 and the Olympus 17mm f/1.8. I captured this image of Frederick working with the 75mm on his GX7.

Frederick Van Johnson with Google Glass

Since I was toting the innocent looking Walking Man Shoulder Bag, I had no problem getting through security with my gear. Frederick, on the other hand, was traveling with his thinkTANK Photo SubUrban Disguise 30, and attracted the attention of the inspectors. He was delayed about 15 minutes entering the arena, but we finally met up in the Club right before tipoff.

I enjoyed swapping lenses and trying out the GX7. It's a fun camera that feels solid and sports a handsome design. Frederick had a chance to try out the Olympus 75mm prime on the GX7. It looked like a match made in heaven. He loved it, and I suspect he'll be purchasing one in the future.

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You can see for yourself how wonderfully sharp and fast this lens is (photo above). We were taking pictures from Row 16, and had no problem capturing the action.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post a movie soon that Frederick recorded with his Google Glass. Stay tuned.


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These kits 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: Hands on with the Olympus OM-D E-M1; on the Nimbleosity Report - the super handy Lowepro Dashpoint 30; from the Photo Help Desk: the world's simplest, but highly effective flash bounce card - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Hands on with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Camera - This $1,400 body includes everything you'd expect, then adds some delightful surprises. A few of the niceties include:

  • Outstanding WiFi, for both downloading and camera control
  • Built-in microphone port (finally!) with modest audio controls
  • Four Thirds lens capability with adapter
  • Twin dial control wheels with function lever
  • Built-in HDR
  • Template mode to build multi-shot compositions
  • Timelapse function with movie assembly
  • Lens IS Priority for optically stabilized Panasonic glass
  • PC socket for traditional flash cords

So, how does this all add up for the E-M1? I render my verdict in the first segment of today's show.

Story #2 - The Nimbleosity Report: The Lowepro Dashpoint 30 versatile camera case that protects cameras up to an OM-D E-M5 with 14-42mm zoom. Highlight features include horizontally/vertical attachment option, removable shoulder strap with snap hooks, and #5 YKK zippers with pull tabs. I cover how I use this nifty case in today's second segment.

Story #3 - From the Photo Help Desk: the world's simplest, yet effective flash bounce card. I make sure I always have business cards and rubber bands in my camera case. Why? I explain in the third segment of today's show.

Photo Assignment News

Photo Assignment for November is High ISO.

And we have three new winners for the SizzlPix Pick of the Month: August 2013 - Street Scene - Dominick Chiuchiolo; September 2013 - Grab Shot - Michael Fairbanks; and October 2013 - My House is My Castle - Keith Hartman.

For The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club members ... if you'd like additional copies of for gifts, or SizzlPix! of any other of your images to make spectacular, amazing holiday gifts, order any two SizzlPix! to be shipped together, and we'll give you 25% off on the second one! Order any size up to a mind-boggling 48 by 72" Imagine -- six feet! and no sacrifice in resolution, luminance, and impact. Just put "TDS " in the comments space on the sizzlpix.com order page. Of course, you may apply the discount to any number of pairs. And free shipping to any US mainland address.

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.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (31 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.


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.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

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It's the little camera that keeps on getting... high praise, that is. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 scored very well in the recent PhotographyBlog review where Gavin Stoker wrote, "In a nutshell, if you loved what you saw of the output of the GX7 but felt the body would be better even smaller, then the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 could be well worth giving a proverbial spin."

This followed DP Review's Allison Johnson citing that the GM1 is her personal favorite of mirrorless cameras this year. She wrote, "It struck a chord with me particularly, since it seemed to be a weird mashup of each of the cameras I'd previously reviewed for DPR. If you took the concepts behind the Pentax Q7, Sony RX100 II and Olympus E-PM2 and threw them in a blender, the GM1 might be the thing that comes out."

Despite all of this online praise, the GM1 hasn't been a huge hit with consumers. In part, I think the $748 price tag has been the stumbling block. (It does include a handsome 12-32mm zoom lens.)

Reviewers cite that it's very well made and produces great images, justifying the price tag. So this is one to keep an eye on. If we start to see discounts on the GM1, you might want to revisit this gem of a mirrorless camera.


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

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For online guys like me, Cyber Monday is far more fun than Black Friday. Here are five great deals for photographers.

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Lowepro Pro Roller Lite 150AW for $119.95

This is an outright steal for the nimblest of roller bags. It fits on any plane and holds a trip's worth of camera gear. Normal price is $279. But B&H is blowing them out for $119.95. If you've been procrastinating on getting a roller because of expense, then take a close look at this deal.

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Canon 320EX Flash for $139.99

This is a great wireless flash that I paid over $200 for. It's available today at Rakuten.com for $139.95. That's the best price I've seen for my favorite strobe.

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Nimble Photographer Gift Set for $49.95 with Free Shipping

Perfect gift for the Nimble Photographer or traveler in your life. Gift set includes the Walking Man cap (Navy/Tan colors), Walking Man Shoulder Bag (Black with silver embroidery), and two artisan gift cards, blank on the inside, (one to give and one to keep!) -- all neatly packed and ready to give. All you have to do is sign the card. The entire kit is only $49.95, and if you use coupon code: blackfriday2013 - the shipping is free to any deliverable address in the US.

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Benro MeFoto Roadtrip Travel Tripod w/ Dual Action Ballhead (Orange)for $149.99

Save $40 on this very popular and highly rated travel tripod. Hunt's Photo is is offering the MeFoto for $149.99. That's a great deal on a handsome set of sticks.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 for $278

A great enthusiast compact at an even better price. Adorama is selling the LX7 for $278. If you've been longing for a high end, nimble camera, this one is worth a look.


Nimble Photographer Logo

These products have high Nimbleosity Ratings. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Stephen Crossan

For the October 2013 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters explored their inner castle (and sometimes the outer too). See for yourself in our gallery, My House Is My Castle. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?

Photo by Stephen Crossan. "Eilean Donan is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland second only to Edinburgh, but most of the shots are taken from the side showing the bridge that leads to the castle. I wanted to taken something different and waited until there was no one on the bridge and took the shot so the the bridge was leading you to the castle."

"I wish this was my home. I proposed to my wife here and later we got married in the castle. The best day of my life. See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the gallery page.


Participate in This Month's Assignment

The Dec. 2013 assignment is "High ISO." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is Dec. 31, 2013. 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: Dec. 2013." 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 October 2013 at the end of November, the Nov. gallery will be posted at the end of Dec., and on and on.

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


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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.

Many of our most convenient cameras capture in Jpeg mode only. They don't offer RAW. Typically this isn't a problem for snapshots and vacation candids. But what happens when we want to recover highlight and shadow information from these Jpegs? Is it possible?

University of Readlands After Highlight and Shadow Recovery Edited in Aperture - Both highlight and shadow information was recovered using tools in Aperture. Image captured at the University of Redlands by Derrick Story.

The short answer is, yes, you can recover detail in the light and dark areas... just not as much or as elegantly as with Raw files.

The top image was recorded as a Jpeg, then edited in Aperture. I used the Highlights and Shadows sliders, and a few other tools to balance out the tones. Compare it to the original shot below.

University of Readlands Original Jpeg Original photo from Canon PowerShot N - Original version prior to editing.

You'll see that, even though the original file is a Jpeg, I was able to open up the shadow areas in the top image quite a bit. Then using highlight recovery, show a bit more detail in the building.

I could probably enhance the picture even further if the original was a Raw file. But the point is, don't be afraid to shoot Jpegs when needed. With great tools such as Aperture, iPhoto, Adobe Camera Raw, and Lightroom, you can still refine these images and make them quite presentable.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about image editing in Aperture, take a look at Portrait Retouching with Aperture. You may want to check out my other Aperture titles, including Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012), Using iPhoto and Aperture Together, and the latest, Enhancing Product Photography with Aperture. 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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