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If the release of the Canon Digital Rebel T1i and the Panasonic GH1 are any indication of trends for 2009, HD video capture with our "still" DSLR cameras will soon be commonplace. I've been using the Canon 5D Mark II for a video project for The Digital Story, and am planning some fun tutorials on getting the most out of these types of devices.

But I have one simple reminder right now for those playing with video on their digital cameras (DSLR or compact): Don't forget to grab stills too.

Right after you shoot a video snippet, change modes and grab a few still shots too. If possible, even re-inact a scene or two. You can use these high resolution stills with the video, especially to cover mistakes and things that went wrong during the shoot, such as a misfocused moment or someone walking through the frame when they shouldn't have.

The nice thing thing about having a big high resolution still photo is that all of your options are open. You can animate it using the Ken Burns effect such as slowly zooming in or panning through the image. These effects are easy to achieve in iPhoto, Fotomagico, and iMovie.

So yes, have a great time shooting video with your still camera. Just remember to grab a few stills too. At some point, you'll be glad you did.


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Ready to make the move from iPhoto to Aperture? If so, I have a great tutorial for you. In iPhoto to Aperture: Going Pro, I show you everything you need to know to make a smooth transition from iPhoto to Aperture.

And if you're not sure that you should even attempt the move, then take a look at the free videos titled, Ten reasons to move to Aperture and Comparing the strengths of Aperture and iPhoto. They are both available on the catalog page.


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Leopard users receive a nice bump in Raw support with the latest Mac OS X 10.5.7 update. In addition to a slew of security fixes, network performance improvements, printing, and more, the are 14 additions to the supported Raw formats list. This additional Raw support is automatically tapped by Aperture, iPhoto, and Preview.

Additions in 10.5.7 include:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 50D
  • Canon PowerShot G10
  • Epson R-D1x
  • Pentax K2000/K-m
  • Leaf AFi-II 6
  • Leaf AFi-II 7
  • Leaf Aptus-II 6
  • Leaf Aptus-II 7
  • Leica M8.2
  • Nikon D3X
  • Nikon Coolpix P6000
  • Nikon D90
  • Sony DSLR-A900

I was disappointed that Raw support for the Olympus E-30 and some of my other favorite devices was not included in this update. But if you're working with one of the cameras in the list above, then you finally have fine-tuned Raw support in both Aperture and iPhoto.

You can grab Mac OS X 10.5.7 using Software Update on your Mac, or get it on the Apple Download page.


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What can you do with a couple of ladders, 8' pole, and bed sheets? Among other things, you can create professional portraits. In this Digital Photography School article titled, Shooting Portraits like a Pro On a Tight Budget, LA photographer Alexis Godschalk describes how she got started in portrait work with a rig just that just about anyone can cobble together. She provides sample portraits that she captured with this set up.


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Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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Canon Blogger features a handy tutorial titled, Shooting Tethered with Canon Gear, where Jason Anderson explains how to use the EOS Utility when your Canon is connected to the computer. This is a particularly handy technique when working in the studio where you want to control the camera and see the results directly on your Mac or PC.


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You really can take the "work" out of digital workflow. In my upcoming Santa Fe Workshop, Beginning Workflow with Adobe Lightroom (July 19-25, 2009), we explore the entire Lightroom toolbox then create a workflow that is customized for your needs. Since we're working in the stunning Santa Fe environment, we'll go on location go capture images that you will use while designing your post production approach.

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If you've never attended a Santa Fe Workshop before, there are other benefits you might be interested in. First of all, it's a week where you focus only on your photography. No business meetings, household chores, or other daily obligations. Also, the digital lab we work in provides each attendee with his/her workstation with calibrated monitor, powerful computer, software, and printer. During many of the evenings we gather with other photographers for presentations, food, and the exchange of ideas. Santa Fe Workshops provide a total experience for passionate photographers.

During the week, I'm also going to show how to integrate Photoshop CS4 tools into the Lightroom workflow. Bridge and ACR provide some handy on-the-fly alternatives that give you maximum flexibility when working efficiently with your images.

It's a great week. You can register now online, or call call (505) 983-1400, ext. 11 for more information.


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Among the thousands of photographs posted in the Flickr community, what are the most popular DSLRs, compacts, even cameraphones used to capture them? If you shoot Canon, for example, how do the Rebels stack up against one another? How do the different brands compare? All of this and more can be discovered on the Flickr Camera Finder page.

As you drill down, you'll be able to compare basic specs, get Flickr stats, view graphs, and see actual images captured with the devices. The Camera Finder provides an informative snapshot about the cameras we're using to make all of these great images.


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"Workflow" is the kind of word that makes most hobbyist photographers cringe. But the fact of the matter is, if you've taken great photos with your digital camera, don't you want to find the easiest way to organize them and share with others?

If this sounds appealing to you, then you might be interested in my workshop this coming weekend titled, I've Taken Great Photos, Now What?. You'll learn about the coolest photo management applications including Adobe Lightroom, Apple iPhoto, Photoshop CS4, Photoshop Elements, and Apple Aperture. We'll build a workflow tailored specifically for your needs. And by the end of the day, you'll see that managing your images can be as fun as taking them in the first place.

The workshop begins at 10 am on Sat. May 9 at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa, California. You can sign up for the class online, or call for more information at 707-527-4372. The course fee is $63.


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Chase Jarvis Photography

"The best camera is the one that's with you," writes Chase Jarvis (hmmm, where I have heard that before!). He takes photos everyday with his iPhone, processes them on the device, then shares online. Chase maintains a gallery of his favorites on his site.

There is so much good work you can do with these types of devices: iPhone, Nokia, Blackberry, Sony, and on and on. I think mindset has much to do with success. Take a look at Chase's work, and you'll see what I mean.

iPhone App Reviews and Camera Phone Tips

A Look Inside Shutterfly for iPhone

Flickr Tip: Manage Permissions During Mobile Workflow

Cropulater Brings Picture Cropping to the iPhone

Panorama 2.1 for the iPhone

FotoTimer Provides Self-Timer for the iPhone

HP iPrint App Makes Printing Easy from iPhone or iPod touch

True Photo App for iPhone: CameraBag

"Exposure" (Now "Darkslide") Puts Flickr on Your iPhone


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Editor's Note: I had a conversation on Twitter with Kip Beatty about the difficultly of editing HD video from the Canon 5D Mark II in Apple's iMovie '09. Kip said he had researched a solution, and I want to share his findings with our readers. Here's what Kip Beatty wrote.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II shoots stunning 1080p 30 fps video. However, if you're using iMovie '09 to edit your movies, you'll find using anything but a Mac Pro to edit the native .264 files from the camera will bring iMovie to its knees. In fact, Apple recommends using the "Large" (960 x 540) setting when importing movies from the 5D Mark II. Even if you don't encounter the unexpected quits mentioned in the support document, you'll likely encounter a lot of stutters, pauses, and sluggishness. A simple workaround is to convert the .264 files to iMovie's preferred AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) format using the free MPEG Streamclip.

Copy your movie files from your CF card to your computer (you can, if you prefer, convert them directly from the CF card). Open MPEG Streamclip and open the movie you want to convert. From the File menu choose Export to Quicktime... (CMD-E). At the top drop down menu, change the compression to Apple Intermediate Codec and slide the quality slider to 100 percent. You may also wish to open up the Adjustments options and bump brightness, contrast, and saturation just a bit to get an exact match, but be very conservative with any changes to these sliders (I'd suggest running a couple of tests on a small file to get the look you like). Click Make Movie and you're done with MPEG Streamclip.

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You'll find the resulting file, once imported, plays much more nicely with iMovie, especially on a MacBook Pro or iMac. Unfortunately, you'll also find the resulting file is much larger than the original .264 version. In my tests, it's almost twice as large. This is the main drawback to using AIC. Nonetheless, if iMovie is choking on your native files, it's a worthwhile tradeoff. If you're going to do a lot iMovie editing with AIC converted files from the EOS 5D Mark II, you'll need a lot of storage space. Look at it this way, it's a great excuse to pick up a DroboPro.


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