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This is The Digital Story Podcast #533, May 24, 2016. Today's theme is "7 Lenses for 7 Years." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In the Spring of 2009, I joined a handful of photographers in New York City to test a new type of camera: the Olympus PEN E-P1. It was the first mirrorless interchangeable lens body I'd ever seen, and I knew then that this camera was the beginning of something big. Now, seven years later, mirrorless photography has earned a rightful place among the most popular cameras of 2016. And to celebrate this success, I'm going to discuss seven of my favorite mirrorless lenses on today's show.

7 Lenses for 7 Years

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I knew I was going to like mirrorless cameras, but what has surprised me is how good the lenses are. Here are seven of my favorites.

  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO ($1,399) - With an effective focal length of 80-300mm and a maximum aperture of f/2.8, this is one of the best lenses I've ever used. It's fast, sharp, colorful, and far less weight than its DSLR counterparts.
  • Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH ($297) - For a lot of photographers, this is the default optic they leave on their camera. And for good reason. This pancake prime takes up very little room, yet delivers big results... and with a maximum aperture of f/1.7. Wow.
  • Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR ($299) - I think this prime is a steal for Fujifilm owners. It's effective focal length is 53mm with a fast f/2.0 aperture. Plus it is weather resistant, has 9 aperture blades, an aperture ring, and nano lens coating. What's not to like?
  • Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Lens (Sony E-Mount) ($720) - With an effective focal length of 48mm, this incredibly sharp optic will help you see the true quality of your Sony sensor. And those Zeiss optical coatings are still the secret sauce of photography.
  • Olympus 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ ($249) This is a true pancake zoom, and I have come to love it more each time I use it. I think the optical quality is very good, and combined with a fast prime, such as the Panasonic 20mm pancake, you have a lot of capability for a reasonable investment.
  • Fujinon XF 16mm F1.4 R WR ($699) - Here's an optic that provides 24mm of effective focal length at f/1.4 that's weather resistant and has 9 aperture blades and nano coating. This is a serious wide angle lens.
  • Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH ($597) - One of the first premium lenses that I bought for my OM-D, and still one of my favorites. Aside from being the fastest optic I own at f/1.4, it's one of the sharpest with amazing contrast. Plus, I love what it can do with soft backgrounds. It's just a beautiful optic.

So, seven years ago it was the nimble camera bodies that hooked me. But the amazing catalog of lenses is what's kept me happy. And as we know, it's the optics that we end up treasuring for years.

In the News

How Drones Are Being Used to Help Stop Poaching as reported by fStoppers.

Tsavo, a region in Kenya, contains the world's largest elephant population, and thus, it is a prime target both for poachers and conservationists. Nonetheless, policing the 8,150-square-mile area is a daunting task. With some clever math and the help of drones, though, Penn State University researchers are helping to make that task much easier.

Once these areas were identified, drones could be programmed to fly mathematically efficient paths to monitor the areas. This not only allowed for more effective patrol of the areas, but it also reduced the risk to conservationists by preventing them from having to physically patrol the areas and risk confrontation with poachers. It's also far cheaper than using helicopters.

Shop Talk

Comments from members of our community posted on theTDS Facebook Page. Here's a thought from last week's Finding Your Place podcast:

Christopher wrote: "Really appreciated this episode Derrick. Your experience clearly touched on something many of us resonate with. Listening to some of your backstory was truly fascinating for me. I'm currently working in the marketing/communication arm of a healthcare system in Portland, and using that opportunity to hone my storytelling and creative skills. I've even been able to start a weekly podcast for our company. As you described, I'm not completely sold that this is the thing I want to do for the rest of my life (though the safety net and benefits of a full time job are very nice), but I enjoy coming to work and knowing that at least part of my day will be spent using and developing skills in the things I'm passionate about. Hopefully I'll be ready when the next opportunity comes along."

Thanks to everyone who contributed a comment. I so enjoy reading what you have to say.

Zeiss 50mm SLR Lens on Mirrorless for Silky Macros

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Talk about a beautiful convergence of the analog and digital worlds. For my morning photo shoot, I mounted a Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 (Contax/Yashica mount) on to an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and added a Contax 13mm close-up ring in-between to photograph flowers around my studio. You can read more about it here.

A Word About Buying New Gear

If you plan on making an online purchase, please consider clicking on our Amazon Link or the B&H Photo Link first, then navigation to the item you're looking for. By doing so, you help support this podcast, and it doesn't cost you a dime. Much thanks!

Updates and Such

Coming Soon: The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

I've been working on a guide to Photos for OS X that's written for photographers who want to use this application at a high level. I cover workflow, iCloud integration, and editing... at the enthusiast level.

We're releasing the eBook version soon, then will go to print after Apple announces its updates to the app at WWDC. This is an exciting, ongoing project that I think you'll want to be a part of. And you can join me every step of the way via the signup page we've created. This is going to be fun...

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #532, May 17, 2016. Today's theme is "Finding Your Place." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When I left Southern California in 1989, I knew where I stood in the photo community. Everyone knew me at the local camera shop, I had paying gigs as a journalist, and I was comfortable in my own skin. I had grown up there. It was home. But when I relocated, nobody knew me in Northern California, and I had to invent myself all over again. And I'll never forget how hard it was to find my place. We all go through this as photographers, sometimes more than once. And that's the main topic for today's show.

Finding Your Place

flag-man177.jpg

People who take pictures are different than photographers. There are many distinctions, but the one I want to focus on today is niche. Snapshooters generally don't care about what type of photographer they are: portrait, landscape, fine art, journalist, or travel. But we do. Even if we say we're a generalist, that indicates some thought has been put into this concept.

And why does it matter? Because it begins the process of connecting our artistic expression to who we are and what we care about. In my view, we're all a photographer and something else. One might be passionate about hiking, another about the care of animals, another about politics, and on and on. When we can connect our passions, then we can begin to find out place as artist. Here are a few reasons to consider this:

  • Doing What We Love - Photography is my favorite pastime, but I'm a writer also. When I was able to connect those two, I flourished.
  • Rising Above Others - When we're in sync, we perform better. As a result, we tend to separate ourselves from the competition.
  • Better Longevity - I can't wait for the next day and the day after that. I don't know how it feels to be bored. And the universe is going to have a heck of a time pulling me away from this life on earth.
  • Financial Reward - How many successful people say, "I can't believe they pay me to do this?" There's a correlation there.
  • Magnet for Others - People who are engaged in what they love tend to attract others.

The takeaway here is to pinpoint your other passion. We already know that we love photography. What are you going to combine that with to truly find your place in this world?

In the News

Canon Releases 2016 Photography Trends Study as reported by PhotographyBlog.

This survey of 1004 adult U.S. consumers has revealed a surprising degree of self-confidence among amateur photographers, with 80% of respondents claiming to have "good-to-excellent" photography skills, and 62% boasting that their snapping skills have improved in the past two to five years. Food photography appears to be one of the favorite genres, with more than half of consumers taking food photos to show off a personal creation or new recipe. More than one in four respondents admit they share photos of food to brag and to give friends and family "FOMO" (Fear Of Missing Out). The survey has also revealed that more people take photos of their pets than of themselves, even as 57% confess to taking selfies on a regular basis. Less surprisingly, the majority (80%) are capturing photos during family gatherings and holidays.

Shop Talk

Comments from members of our community posted on theTDS Facebook Page. Here's are some of the thoughts from last week's Cats and Dogs podcast:

Graeme wrote: "It's taken me time understand what I, personally, want from my photography, and that is to spend more time with the camera and close to zero with the computer (though I wasn't always that way)."

Matthew added: "Choosing Olympus mirrorless (the E-M10) is how I got hooked on listening to your podcast. In my research to switching to mirrorless to lighten the load as I wasn't taking my DSLR with me I found the Nimble Photographer webpage. It was like the website was speaking right to me and my desire to keep it light. As for the PC, I have always been on the PC platform. In the world of photography today I feel like the odd man out still using the PC platform. Most of the coverage seems to slant about all things Apple."

And finally, Bill wrote: "I chose Nikon simply because my soon-to-be wife had a Nikon film camera. I had a Kodak digital camera in the early digital days but once my kids came along I got much more serious about my photography since I now had such an interesting ( and fast moving) subject. My wife, knowing Nikon got me a D50 and from there things just took off for me - still in the Nikon Family with a D7000. So I guess you could say I chose Nikon because of love."

Thanks to everyone who contributed a comment. I so enjoy reading what you have to say.

A Word About Buying New Gear

If you plan on making an online purchase, please consider clicking on our Amazon Link or the B&H Photo Link first, then navigation to the item you're looking for. By doing so, you help support this podcast, and it doesn't cost you a dime. Much thanks!

Updates and Such

Coming Soon: The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

I've been working on a guide to Photos for OS X that's written for photographers who want to use this application at a high level. I cover workflow, iCloud integration, and editing... at the enthusiast level.

We're releasing the eBook version soon, then will go to print after Apple announces its updates to the app at WWDC. This is an exciting, ongoing project that I think you'll want to be a part of. And you can join me every step of the way via the signup page we've created. This is going to be fun...

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #531, May 10, 2016. Today's theme is "Cats and Dogs." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

What's the first thing many photographers do when they purchase a new camera or lens? They corner the pet cat or dog for an impromptu photo session. But cats and dogs provide us with more than that. They represent choice. Either you're a cat person or a dog lover. And that plays out in many ways in the world of photography. I'll explain more on today's show.

Cats and Dogs

dogs.jpg

I knew I was a different cat in 1985 when I turned my nose up at the company's Canon A-1 SLR in favor of my own Contax with three prime lenses. My boss thought I was crazy. "Who's going to pass on an A-1," he asked mystified. "It's a nice camera," I responded, "but I prefer my Contax."

I was a cat. And he was a dog.

And it goes on from there. I chose Macs over PCs, Aperture over Lightroom, Olympus over Sony, and now Capture One Pro. What's the big deal? Well photographers are funny about choices, and I have a few interesting ones to share with you.

  • Why Macs? - In all honesty, it started with desktop publishing and Aldus PageMaker.
  • Why Canon DSLRs over Nikon? - It was all about design and menu system.
  • Why Micro Four Thirds over other mirrorless cameras? - Lens size and selection were the driving forces here.
  • Why Aperture and Capture One over Photoshop and Lightroom? - Interface and organization features were the keys here.
  • Why revisit film when everyone else is shooting digital? - The actual shooting experience and magic are what attract me.

When I stop and think about all of this, it's amazing how important user experience is to me. And that's often what drives me to one brand over another.

In the News

Steel Wool Photographer Burns Down Historic 1920s Landmark as reported by PetaPixel.

"Back on April 9th, 2016, a fire consumed the Monroe Station in south Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve at around midnight. Firefighters responded to the scene, but they weren't able to save the building before it completely burned to the ground. Big Cypress National Preserve announced today that after police investigation, a photographer turned himself in on April 11th after being labeled by officials as a person of interest and primary suspect. The man confessed to trespassing at Monroe Station with two other photographers and climbing onto the roof in order to shoot light painting photos with the sparks from burning steel wool."

MacPaw Releases Gemini 2

Gemini 2 is the new and improved version of their duplicate finder app. Gemini 2 by MacPaw scans your whole Mac, shows you duplicates in detail and lets you remove them in a click. Plus, it's packed with new features:

  • Finds similar files (songs and pics that are almost identical)
  • Scans your iTunes and Photos and external drives
  • Highlights the differences between files
  • Notes how you select files for removal and starts doing like you
  • Lets you put back the files you've trashed if you want to

To celebrate the launch, MacPaw will provide a 50 percent off discount store-wide (the whole range of MacPaw products will be discounted) till May 17th.

Winner of the 5 Rolls of Tri-X 35mm Film

Congratulations to Fred S. Brundick who won 5 rolls of fresh Tri-X film just by sending his About that Shot. It's posted on the www.theAnalogstory.com now. You might want to check it out. Based on what Fred sent in, Tri-X is the perfect film for him.

Sharing Photos with Flickr

Sharing Photos with Flickr is a deep dive into this venerable online photography platform, focusing on how to best use its tools with a Mac or Windows computer. I show you how to configure Flickr to automatically backup your images, organize them, and share your favorites with friends, family, and the entire online universe. This training will show you how to best take advantage of Flickr's 1TB of free online storage and its comprehensive set of imaging tools.

Updates and Such

Coming Soon: The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

I've been working on a guide to Photos for OS X that's written for photographers who want to use this application at a high level. I cover workflow, iCloud integration, and editing... at the enthusiast level.

We're releasing the eBook version soon, then will go to print after Apple announces its updates to the app at WWDC. This is an exciting, ongoing project that I think you'll want to be a part of. And you can join me every step of the way via the signup page we've created. This is going to be fun...

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #530, May 3, 2016. Today's theme is "Drones: The Case For and Against." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Back in April it was reported that a drone struck a British Airways Airbus A320. The story made headlines across the Internet only to be refuted a few days later. Apparently it was most likely a plastic bag that collided with the plane. We're quick to damn drones as an aerial nuisance, but are they really that bad? We'll take a closer look on today's show.

Drones: The Case For and Against

If you've ever been buzzed by a drone, you know what an uncomfortable feeling it is. It's in our DNA to dislike anything that approaches up from above. But to be honest, those are the rare situations, and most drone pilots appear to be responsible.

Personally, I don't use drones for my photography. But that doesn't mean that I've ruled them out either. As part of my vetting process, I've compiled a list of pros and cons that I want to share with you today.

from-above.jpg

The Case for Drones

  • Cost Effective Arial Photography - I've watched amazing footage that once required a helicopter rental, now able to record with an inexpensive drone.
  • A New Perspective - Many of us constantly search for a new way to photograph the world around us. Drones provide an unique opportunity in this regard.
  • Energize Our Craft - Combining drones and cameras can get one excited about photography again.
  • New Business Opportunities for Photographers - Whether it's real estate or some other commercial endeavor, drones may provide new opportunities for working photographers.
  • Just Plane Fun - What boy hasn't wanted to fly a model airplane, helicopter, or hovercraft? Apart from photography, flying an unmanned aircraft is a hoot.

The Case Against Drones

  • Irresponsible Pilots - Just like there are bad drivers, there are bad pilots too. And in these early stages of the drone evolution, there aren't clear avenues of recourse against irresponsible behavior.
  • Expensive New Hobby - Even those drones are cheaper than helicopters, the cost for aircraft, controllers, gimbals, specialized cameras, cases, and accessories can add up. Add this to an already expensive hobby of photography, you may be looking at a sizable investment.
  • Low Nimbleosity Rating - For those who like to travel light, drones take you on a different path all together.
  • More Travel for Less Shooting - Unlike traditional photography where you can walk out your back door and capture a great shot, you usually have to travel to locations for your arial work. I mean, how many shots of your backyard from above do you want.
  • The Drone Stigma - It's bad enough being a photographer these days, and being a drone photographer just compounds the negativity.

All of that being said, we're early in the drone evolution, so the best course is to keep an open mind and see what develops.

In the News

Fuji Giving Up On the 2/3-inch Sensor, Discontinues the X30 as reported by PetaPixel.

Fujifilm just discontinued the not-quite-popular X30, and while some might think this means an X40 is coming soon, they should think again. Fuji may never put another 2/3-inch sensor into an X-Series camera again.

Coming Soon: The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

I've been working on a guide to Photos for OS X that's written for photographers who want to use this application at a high level. I cover workflow, iCloud integration, and editing... at the enthusiast level.

We're releasing the eBook version soon, then will go to print after Apple announces its updates to the app at WWDC. This is an exciting, ongoing project that I think you'll want to be a part of. And you can join me every step of the way via the signup page we've created. This is going to be fun...

Win 5 Rolls of Tri-X 35mm Film

Film photographers, you can win 5 rolls of fresh Tri-X film just by sending me an About that Shot entry. All you have to do is go to www.theAnalogstory.com, review a couple About that Shot entries, then send me your version and accompanying text. I'll announce the winner on next week's show and on theAnalogstory.com.

Updates and Such

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #529, April 26, 2016. Today's theme is "How to Be the Influencer." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Within every social group, there are influencers for different areas. There's the restaurant expert, wine connoisseur, computer nerd, fitness fanatic, and yes, the photography guru. Chances are good that you're the imaging influencer in your world. And today's show discuses how to be effective in that role.

How to Be the Influencer

I spent the last weekend at a father/son event at the University of Santa Clara where my son is a member of Sigma Pi. The fraternity boys plan a weekend full of activities to show their dads a good time.

Over the two days, there's lots of casual conversation that sooner or later leads to our personal interests. In my case, this was accelerated as soon as I pulled out my OM-D E-M5 Mark II to capture a few memories. "What kind of camera is that?" For some reason, I was surprised that everyone didn't already know. Then I realized, I was just anointed the photography influencer for my group.

As such, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips to help you influence effectively.

girl-dog-park.jpg

  • Listen First, Talk Later - If you're going to help someone with their photography questions, you actually have to hear their queries first.
  • Don't Be a Fan Boy - Yes, we all love our choice of camera and photo management software. But what works for us might not be the right fit for someone else. Draw on your extensive photographic knowledge and try to recommend things that work for the other person.
  • Don't Offer Too Many Choices - I learned long time ago that when someone asks for a camera recommendation, they want my favorite, not a top ten list.
  • Help Them with the Things They Don't Ask - You're probably not going to get too many questions about backup, for example, but you can really help them out by offering a easy to use solution.
  • Don't Dis Their Current Approach - As part of the conversation, you'll probably hear about their current choices and approaches. Stay positive and don't dis what they're already doing. Frame your recommendations as improvements, not overhauls.

In the News: New Cameras Supported by Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.19

Here's the list of new cameras that have RAW files supported by Photos for OS X, Preview, and Aperture:

  • Fujifilm X-E2S
  • Fujifilm X70
  • Leica S (Typ 007)
  • Leica X-U (Typ 113)
  • Nikon D5***
  • Nikon D500***
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS60 / DMC-TZ80
  • Sony Alpha ILCE-6300
  • Sony Alpha SLT-A68

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive for iOS Devices

SanDisk wants to expand the storage capability of mobile photographers and with the new SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive. This device plugs directly into the Lightning port of iPhones and iPads, providing between 16 and 128GBs of external memory - perfect for photographers who want to travel light.

The devices uses the free iXpand Drive app, which has a camera function, allowing users to shoot and save photos or videos directly to the drive instead of on their iPhone or iPad. The app also provides the option to automatically back up content from social networking sites, as well as play back music within the app.

App Camp for Girls

We launching App Camp For Girls Orange County at Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School August 8-12, and a Phoenix camp July 25-29. App Camp For Girls seeks to address the gender imbalance in technology professions by inspiring middle-school age girls with a broad introduction to the process of app development, from brainstorming and designing ideas to building and pitching their apps. We believe that the experience of creating an app that runs on a device in one week can spark the enthusiasm that will propel girls to pursue further tech education. More information and signup at appcamp4girls.com.

Updates and Such

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #528, April 19, 2016. Today's theme is "Handling Harsh Light." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've had people walk up to me when I was working and remark, "Oh, it's such a beautiful, bright day for photography. You must be thrilled." And I'm thinking, "How the heck am I going to control this contrast?" Yes, indeed, harsh lighting conditions are a tough challenge for photographers. And that's the focus of today's show.

Handling Harsh Light

The reality is that we don't always have control of when we have to take pictures. Your niece's birthday parties, weddings, travel photography, and events all seem to place us in the middle of the day with camera in hand.

Since these situations are often unavoidable, how does one still capture compelling images? Well, I have a few tips that should help.

Koch-3.jpg Switching to monochrome is one method to handle contrasty lighting conditions. Photo by Mitchell Koch from the TDS SF Street Photography Workshop.

  • Switch to Monochrome Mode - Nearly every digital camera has a B&W mode, and many are quite customizable. Monochrome images can thrive in contrasty light where color shots don't.
  • Experiment with Infrared - This option works in both color and B&W. IR shots look great on a bright, sunny day.
  • Don't forget about Fill Flash - A fill light from the front can eliminate unflattering shadows, dark eyes, and help even out hotspots.
  • Use a Diffuser - If it's good enough for SI photographers shooting bikini-clad models on a sunny Caribbean beach, we can use it too. Fabric diffusers makes harsh sun flattering for portraits.
  • Built-In Camera Filters - Most mirrorless cameras have an array of built-in filters and effects, many of which look great in contrasty light.

The Digital Story Photography Podcast Debuts on Google Play Music

Starting this week, podcasts on Google Play Music in the US and Canada will begin rolling out on Android and be available on the web. The rollout on Android devices will be gradual, so users may not see podcast content on the Google Play Music app immediately.

Among those in the first wave is The Digital Story Photography Podcast. We're thrilled to be on the Google Play Music platform.

April 24th is World Pinhole Day

I saw The Phoblographer stating: "April 24th is World Pinhole Day-a day for all pinhole photographers to get out there and shoot in celebration of the old school format! Right here in NYC, The Phoblographer is teaming up with Lomography for our very own World Pinhole Day Celebration with a cool photowalk. If you've never shot pinholes, have shot them and want to do them in a more social space, then sign up!

Contax 137MD Winner

Congratulations to Kathleen C. who commented on "A Most Beautiful Break": "Very pleasing tones! I am kicking myself for having thrown out about 40 rolls of film in a "spring cleaning" accident about a year ago. Good stuff, too. Fuji velvia (ouch), Kodak Portra, Fuji Superia, T-Max, etc. I thought at the time I would never go back to film. Now, I can't get my mind off of the challenge of applying everything I have learned over the last few years with digital photography to film. I was shooting in auto mode when I was a film shooter..." Kathleen, please click on the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page for theAnalogstory.com.

Updates and Such

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #527, April 12, 2016. Today's theme is "Are Your Pictures Too Perfect?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photographers tend to be obsessed with perfection. Many discussions I read focus on the sharpest lens, the best image sensor, and the most extreme low light capability. But as part of that quest for the best, do we lose the feeling? Today's top story explores image perfection and its side effects.

Are Your Pictures Too Perfect?

I was reading an article titled, In Defense of Steve McCurry (Petapixel, Allen Murabayashi) where the author cited a critical comment about McCurry's new book, India. The comment was by New York Times Magazine photography critic, Tegu Cole, who wrote about McCurry, "Here's an old-timer with a dyed beard. Here's a doe-eyed child in a head scarf. The pictures are staged or shot to look as if they were. They are astonishingly boring." Later, Cole suggests that the perfectness of McCurry's photos somehow invalidates them - also slyly suggesting that McCurry's 1 million Instagram followers is proof of the eye candy nature of his images. Cole's criticism might also imply that the entirety of National Geographic photography is boring and "too perfect."

This got me thinking about the pursuit of perfection, and how it might lead to an absence of emotion. Here are a few points to consider.

  • Wrong side of the brain - When we become obsessed with the technical details, we may find ourselves stuck on the wrong side of the brain.
  • Viewers respond to images that make them feel something. Generally speaking, they don't care about the technical details of a photograph as much as they do about its content.
  • Photographers sometimes hide behind tech. Instead of stretching our artistic capabilities, we take an easy way out by pursuing technical perfection.
  • We forget to seek feedback. Instead of presenting a handful of images to a viewer and asking for comments, we think we know the best photos and move forward accordingly.

Contax137MD-P3040829.jpg

theAnalogstory.com Debuts with Camera Giveaway for Film Photography Day

In celebration of Film Photography Day, we're giving away one Contax 137MD film camera with a 50mm lens. All you have to do is visit theAnalogstory.com and click on the red announcement banner across the top of the site. That will lead you to the page that spells out the details.

What, you didn't know about theAnalogstory.com? That's because it's brand new. Its focus is film photography in the digital age. And with contributions by photographers who have rediscovered film, plus a Camera Shop, Tech Specs, and more, my hope is that you'll find inspiration there too.

Film Photography Day was started by the good folks over at Lomography.com. You might want to wander over and take a look at their microsite too.

Mounting Old Lenses on New Cameras

This piece ties into both themes of today's show: disrupting the perfection of digital photography and enjoying the classic optics of analog gear. So I wanted to revisit the practice of dusting off one of your favorite optics from the film days, finding an adapter to mount it to your digital camera, and exploring the imagery you can create with than tandem.

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #526, April 5, 2016. Today's theme is "Is Aperture Priority the Ultimate Exposure Mode?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Of all the exposure modes, I think Aperture Priority offers the best convergence of control and convenience. I like it because it keeps my head in the composition game without killing my creativity. In fact, I'm a far more expressive photographer in Aperture Priority mode. We lead off today's show with a closer look why.

Is Aperture Priority the Ultimate Exposure Mode?

Practically every camera offers Aperture Priority. You set the f/top and the camera sets the shutter speed. It's so simple, yet shooting in this mode is bound to improve your pictures. Here are some reasons why.

Austin-PEN_F-P1250023.jpg

  • Controlling Depth of Field. This is the biggie. Not every composition should have a soft background, nor should it be sharp from front to back. What works best for your subject?
  • Lens Performance. Most of my SLR optics are best at 5.8 to 11. But my Micro Four Thirds lenses are ideal at f/4 and not stopped down.
  • Keeps You In Touch with Your Camera. Have you ever drifted off while shooting without any idea of what's going on with your camera?
  • Natural Vignetting. Many lenses, especially those without in-camera correction, will vignette slightly wide open. You can use this to your advantage for portraits.
  • Motivates You to Shoot With Primes. As you get more hooked on Aperture Priority shooting, primes become more desirable because of their wider latitude of exposure settings.

In the News

Fujifilm releases several camera and lens firmware updates - covered by DP Review.

In addition to the X-Pro2 firmware update we reported on last week, Fujifilm has released a number of firmware updates for several lenses and camera bodies: the X-Pro1, X-Pro2, X-M1, X-E1, X-A1, and X-A2, as well as the XF 50-140mm F2.8 and XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lenses. Changes and firmware versions vary based on model, but most camera body updates simply add support for a focus limiter function on the XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Choosing to Go It Alone," we had some terrific comments, and I want to share them with you now.

Charles wrote: "Good for you Derrick and the best of luck. Although I switched to digital about a dozen or so years ago, I spent more years as a film photographer (Kodachrome 25, 64, and the 'high speed' 200) and will happily follow the analogue story."

Chris added: "I'm now in a position to start scanning my slides they're from back in 1981 onwards my latest love is a 1950s Mamiya 6 folder - film photography is FAR from gone! Bring it on Big D."

John kicked in: "I recently had my Nikon FE2 refurbished. My first camera was an oatmeal box pinhole. I miss the smell of chemicals and the feel of working under a red tinged light. Looking forward to seeing what you create!"

And finally Andrew wrapped it all up by commenting: "Good luck with this new venture. My film camera collection keeps growing. Your new site is probably going to do nothing to stop that trend."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

Editing Extensions Update

There's been another rush of editing extensions recently added to the Mac App Store. If you haven't checked lately, just enter "Editing Extension" in the search field. My current count of legitimate extensions is about a dozen. I just reviewed Color Filters on TDS. I really like it a lot. And don't forget about my lynda.com training, Photos for OS X Essential Training.

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #525, March 29, 2016. Today's theme is "Becoming Software Independent." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Aperture, iPhoto, Carousel, and a slew of online apps that are too many to mention: they will not be moving forward into our futures. So how does a photographer protect oneself from the seemingly capricious actions of software providers? I'll address that in today's top story.

Becoming Software Independent

This is a phenomenon new to the digital age. With film, you get it developed, store it in a safe place, and retrieve the images as needed. But with software, the game has changed. You can invest time and money into an application that may be gone tomorrow. How should you address this issue?

  • Don't Give Up. Nobody likes disruptive change. But the potential of it shouldn't dissuade you from using the best software available at the time.
  • Create a system independent of the application itself. For example, I do like the managed library approach in Capture One Pro. But during import I can also backup those original files to a separate hard drive. Lightroom and Aperture provide for this too. Think about how you can take advantage of this functionality.
  • Create 4 Star Smart Albums and export those images as Tiffs. Catalog them using a simple folder system.
  • Create an Universal Referenced File System. Using a referenced file system with Lightroom, Capture One, and Aperture allows your masters to be organized and available for other apps up the road.
  • To DNG or Note. Personally, I don't convert my RAW files to DNG. But you may feel differently.
  • Create a robust backup and archiving system.

The best approach is to stay ahead of the curve if you can. You may have to dedicate a computer to the transition process while in-between applications.

In the News

Nik Collection Now Free from Google - covered by The Digital Story.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities - from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images. And you now can download them for free.

silver-efex-pro.jpg

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's Facebook Post: "Nik Collection Now Free from Google" we had some terrific comments, and I want to share them with you now.

Jerry wrote: "Great news, but sadly if you don't use Adobe software, you're limited to using it with the unsupported Aperture on a Mac. It would be nice if they came either as standalone apps or Extensions for the Photos App, and personally I don't see that happening, as Google's got such a reputation for killing good software."

Bud added: "This is bad news. In typical Google fashion, I expect the product to die a slow death with non-development and will ultimately be just another example of a failed Google project, like other software companies they have purchased. It's a shame as I own the whole suite of NIK products and their U-point technology is awesome."

And Bill wrapped up: "I think that, ultimately, this may be bad news. you have to wonder if development will cease."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them. Also, we have a question going on Facebook right now: "If you had to pick one film camera from the past, that you craved, but couldn't afford, what would it be?"

Ready to Photograph Cuba?

If you're contemplating a trip, I have some excellent resources for you.

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #524, March 22, 2016. Today's theme is "The HDR Dilemma." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The biggest frustration I've had with photography has been the disconnect between what I see with my eyes and what the camera records. Even with today's technologically advanced machines, my pictures don't always turn out as I envisioned. So what are the techniques we can use to tip the scales in our favor? RAW capture is certainly a good start. But High Dynamic Range photography elevates the possibilities to a new height. And that's the first topic of today's show.

The HDR Dilemma

I call this the HDR Dilemma for good reason. Because it seems like every time I consider this shooting technique, I have an internal conversation about the pros and cons.

Marina-at-Dusk-web.jpg

On the plus side, HDR photography can capture the images we envision in our minds: shadowy textures and highlight details coexisting in one image. So what's not to like? Well, not everything is in the plus column here. For example:

  • More post processing than with other images. I've been using Aurora HDR Pro lately, and I like it. But I find myself investing a sizable amount of time editing the image, before I even know if I'm going to like it. And half the time, I don't.
  • Finding the right HDR processor. There is a wide spectrum spanning from Lightroom's built-in HDR editor to Aurora's wild ride. It takes time, and sometimes money, to find the right fit.
  • Knowing when to stop. HDR creates the classic trap that if a little is good, a lot is better. Showing some discipline with HDR editing is often easier said than done.
  • Avoiding the HDR stigma. Seems to me that if others know that you used HDR processing, they instantly discount your work as amateur. No serious photography would stoop to this, right?
  • Fighting laziness. I could spend the mental and creative energy trying to figure out how to best capture this landscape, or I could simply record it as an HDR and let the software figure it out later.

All of that being said, I still like High Dynamic Range photography. When I do properly analyze the scene and show restraint in its production on the computer, I can do things never imagined before. And those pictures can be artistic and respectable.

So how do you handle the HDR Dilemma?

In the News

Apple Announces New 9.7" iPad Pro - covered by The Digital Story.

The 9.7 inch iPad Pro will be available March 31 in 3 configurations: 32GB@$599, 128GB@$749, and 256GB@$899 and 4 different colors including Rose Gold.

This is a powerful tool for nimble photographers, especially the 256GB model combined with an SD card reader and Apple Pencil. The ability to work practically anywhere without the bulk of a computer can lighten the load, improve productivity, and add a dash of fun to the photography experience. And for those using the Photos ecosystem (Photos for iOS and Photos for OS X), the imaging pipeline from camera to editing to output will be extremely smooth.

Autumn in The Eastern Sierra - Oct. 21-23, 2016

Within the next week, I'll be sending invitations to the TDS Autumn in The Eastern Sierra photography workshop that begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the reservation list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Tell Us Your Film Story

Within the next month, I'm going to launch www.theanalogstory.com featuring images, articles, tips, workflows, and a used camera store. I know that many members of our TDS community already shoot film. If you'd like to share your story describing why you like analog photography and the gear you use, send me 500 words or less (and no more!) plus a half dozen images. Send your content to theAnalogStory@gmail.com

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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