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For the April 2013 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters captured the glory of manmade structures. See for yourself in our gallery, Architecture. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?

Matthew Jeanes Architecture Photo Assignment

"It's a cracking new building with lots of lovely lines and materials," writes Matthew Jeanes. "It was my first time chasing the light. I was there at 4:30 and took this one at about 4:50 am. I love the reflection of the rising sun in the glass and the warm tones on the skin of the building." See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Architecture gallery page.


Participate in This Month's Assignment

The June 2013 assignment is "Stylish." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is June, 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: June 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 April 2013 at the end of May., the May gallery will be posted at the end of June, and on and on.

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


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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.

Frederick and I grab a table at an outdoor cafe in Yerba Buena to discuss mobile photography and to answer the question, "Can you travel with just an iPad and your digital camera?" The short answer is, "Yes."

Watch this interview and discover, in detail, how nimble photography can enhance your creativity and enjoyment without sacrificing quality.


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.

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You might not realize that iPhoto and iMovie can talk to each other on your iPad. This is great news for those wanting to author slideshows with a bit more pizzaz and control compared to what can be created in the Photos app.

In my latest Macworld Magazine article, Building Better Slideshows on Your iPad, I walk you through the process, step by step.

Mindi Model Posing Slideshow iMovie for iOS You have much more control over your presentation in iMovie for iOS than with the Photos app.

The basic workflow is to organize and edit your images in iPhoto for iOS. Once you have everything looking the way you want, send the images over to iMovie for iOS. From there you can add Ken Burns effect, transitions, titles, and music. When the presentation is finished, upload it directly to YouTube or a handful of other social media options.

And like other creative projects on the iPad, it just feels more fun to create a slideshow on a tablet than a computer.


iPad for Digital Photographers

This is the kind of stuff I write about in iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks format.

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Trees at 75

Infrared image of trees at 75 miles per hour captured with a Fujifilm X-20 at 1/8 of a second.

Trees at 75

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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: The Flickr Facelift, Joby UltraPlate accessory, and an interview with Oliver Breidenbach, CEO of Boinx Software. Plus, a special offer from SizzlPix! All of this and more on The Digital Story podcast.

Story #1 - The Flickr Facelift: Many of the pages, but not all, for Flickr online received a makeover. Plus there are some new rules for membership. Bottom line is, if you have an existing Flickr Pro account for $24.99 a year, you can continue with an ad-free account and unlimited storage for same annual fee (plus the photo and video size limits will be upgraded to those offered with our new free account). Current "free" users will have to spend $49.99 a year for ad-free and 1 TB of online storage. And if you want 2 TBs of storage, it will cost you $499.99 a year.

Story #2 - The Joby UltraPlate Arca Swiss compatible quick release plate for DSLRs. This $19.95 accessory attaches to the bottom of your camera adding very little height to the body. You can attach a variety of straps to it, such as the Joby UltraFit Sling and use it on your tripod at the same time. Very convenient.

Story #3 - Interview with Oliver Breidenbach, CEO of Boinx Software. Among other apps, Boinx created the wonderful iStopMotion for iOS that I featured in the book, iPad for Digital Photographers. Oliver talks about the development of iStopMotion, and I chime in with the joys of creating time-lapse videos with a tablet computer.

Reminder! - If you're going to purchase gear through Amazon or B&H Photo, please stop by the TDS home page first. Look for the "Products" box about half way down the page in the second column. There you will see display tiles for Amazon, lynda.com, and B&H Photo, in that order. By entering those sites through those display tiles, you help support The Digital Story.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (28 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The May 2013 photo assignment is Food.

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.Special Offer! Anyone buying Derrick's new book, iPad for Digital Photographers, even at Amazon's or Barnes And Noble's discount, and putting the password for the Book Owners lounge in the comments space of their SizzlPix! order, will get 10 percent off their entire order -- the equivalent of more than a full refund for the book!

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to save 20% at check out.

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Sigma 17-70mm Zoom Macro Mode Canon 60D

There are many things to like about the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM lens. Its high quality optics, built-in image stabilization, fast f/2.8-f/4 maximum aperture, affordable $499 price tag, and... built-in macro.

To me, having macro on an already terrific all-around enthusiast lens feels like a luxury. So I decided to test its capability, just to make sure I wasn't getting excited about, well, nothing. Fortunately, I wasn't.

I mounted the Sigma zoom on a Canon 60D and played with different close up settings. The maximum reproduction ratio is 1:2.8, but it felt tighter than that. Maybe the cropped sensor of the Canon 60D added to effect.

Lady Bug on Lavender Sigma 17-70mm Zoom Macro Mode Ladybug on Lavender - Sigma 17-70mm on Canon 60D - ISO 640, 1/500 at f/9

The images were crisp with good color and detail. And now that I can trust the close-up ability of the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro, I can move in and out on my subjects even more. Terrific!

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Most Arca-Swiss quick release plates cost between $30-$50.The new Joby UltraPlate quick release plate that's Arca-Swiss compatible is only $19.95, plus it has a few very handy features.

Joby UltraPlate Swiss Arca Ball Head Joby UltraPlate (right) shown with compatible Ballhead X and UltraFit Sling Strap.

First, it's compatible with the affordable Joby Ballhead X. Second, the UltraPlate has sockets to accept a strap, such as the Joby UltraFit strap. And third, it only weighs 47 grams (1.67 ounces).

I have the UltraPlate mounted on my Canon 60D. When I'm on the go, I attach the new XXL UltraFit Sling. If I need to mount the 60D on the tripod, I don't have to remove the sling. I just slide the camera into the ballhead with the strap still on. Very convenient!


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography.

Some photographers question the ability to move content seamlessly from iPhoto to Aperture, and back again. It almost sounds too good to be true.

In this 5-minute movie that I created for the lynda.com title, Using iPhoto and Aperture Together, I compare how an iPhoto library looks in Aperture, and vice-versa. Do albums stay the same? What happens with Aperture folders in iPhoto? And will my slideshows play in either app? All of these questions, and more, are answered in this short movie.

More Aperture/iPhoto Tips and Techniques

To learn more about using Aperture and iPhoto together, visit my Using iPhoto and Aperture Together on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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The first shock waves have passed. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has apologized for her statement, "there's really no such thing as professional photographers anymore." Flickr Pro users can continue to renew at the current $25 a year price. And the new look, though not evenly applied throughout the site, is quite attractive.

The New Flickr Interface

In other words, it's just another week on the Internet. I suspect that over the coming months, we'll see continued refinement of the Flickr redesign. The current look was probably rolled out earlier than planned because of the improvements Google+ and 500px have recently announced.

Meanwhile, those pronouncing the death of Flickr, or its second coming, are both wrong. It will continue to roll along because of its passionate, talented users who care more about photography than Internet grandstanding.

If you don't believe me, just go to flickr.com and click on the Explore tab.

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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.

Gariz Leather Metal Half Case for the Olympus OM-D Camera

I use the Olympus OM-D two distinctly different ways.

In the studio with the 12-35mm f/2.8 Panasonic zoom, I like the Olympus HLD-6 Battery Holder for a firm grip and for its vertical shutter release controls.

But when I'm traveling light and street shooting with a prime lens, I'm enjoying the Gariz Leather Metal Half Case for Olympus OM-D ($90) that's less bulky than the power grip. The half case also provides good bottom protection for the camera and allows quick access to all of the ports, including the battery.

Gariz Leather Metal Half Case for the Olympus OM-D Camera Bottom

On the left side, there's an opening to allow access to the port door. There's also a tripod socket on the right. It's not centered, but again, can be used with the case on. If you have a Black Rapid strap, you can connect it to the Gariz via the fold out Gun Shot Ring. Gariz also makes sling straps that works with the case.

After some informal testing of taking pictures with and without the half case, I figured out what makes the camera easier to hold with the case on. It's that bit of additional height the Gariz provides. That little bit of extra makes a big difference on how the OM-D sits in my hand.

So, for street shooting and light travel, I'm happy with the Gariz. In the studio and for longer shoots, the power grip is my choice. I love the versatility of this camera. It can transform from a discreet compact to a DSLR replacement in just a matter of seconds.

Thanks to Frederick Van Johnson for showing me the Gariz on his OM-D!


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.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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