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Jackalope Mercado, Santa Fe

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For our morning shoot today, I took the class to the Jackalope Mercado in Santa Fe. This is a terrific place to visit if you're ever in the area. While you take pictures of everything from cattle skulls to pottery, your friends and family can shop for authentic Southwest souvenirs at affordable prices. You can easily spend two hours browsing all of the wares and artwork.

After our morning shoot and some light lunch, we spent the afternoon working with the pictures in Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw. I think it's more motivating, even in a lab setting, to have fresh new imagery to work with while you're learning software.

Tomorrow, we'll start making prints on HP B9180s. Each class member has their own workstation and printer. This is where it really gets fun.

Photo by Derrick Story. Canon 5D, 24-105mm f-4 zoom set to 105mm, Aperture Priority mode set to f-8, ISO 200.

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Postcard from Santa Fe

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I took our class from Santa Fe Workshops to the Tent Rocks National Monument yesterday morning to capture some good content for our work in Photoshop and Lightroom. It's a terrific location with a variety of rock formations including a slot canyon.

For this shot, I mounted the Canon 5D with the 24-105mm L lens on a tripod, and shot in Aperture Priority mode so I could stop down to f-11. I wanted to keep the ISO at 100, so I needed the tripod for the long 1/2 second exposure.

In a few minutes, I'll pack up to go to a local marketplace so we can get some people shots and local color...

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Bottle Cap Tripod Mount

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I saw this bottle cap tripod mount today while I was browsing in the Santa Fe Workshops Store. Basically you can convert most filled bottles into a tripod for your compact camera. Half fun. Half useful. Can usually find them for around $10. Thought you might get a kick out it.

Also, here's a fun video on how to make one yourself. The author says it only takes 5 minutes. But of course that's once you have all the parts together. Still, seems like a kick.


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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This is great news for photographers. Firefox 3 includes color management. It's not turned on by default, but you can read how to do it on Ron Galbraith's web site. Once set up however, your calibrated images should look great on your browsing labtop or any other computer that uses this setup.

I would recommend that pro shooters show their clients how to do this, and if necessary, set it up for them in person. This should improve online photo work for all parties involved.

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Seems like forever since I've been to New Mexico. But I'm going next week to teach my Photoshop class. I know many of you have visited the area, and I'm hoping you might share some recommendations for taking pictures. So what do you think? What should I not miss in the Santa Fe area?

Photo of Blue Doors by Derrick Story.

Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.


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It's fairly easy to calculate how much your paper costs, but did you ever wonder what you were spending on ink? TDS sponsor Red River Paper has just published a report calculating ink usage for the Epson R2400 and the R1900 printers.

Based on their findings, it costs about 90 cents for full ink coverage on a glossy 8x10 print, and about $2.80 for a glossy 13x19. The entire report is interesting. If you're printing with either of these units, you might want to take a look.

For more information, visit Cost of Inkjet Printing.


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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Interesting piece on mediabistro.com about what buyers want (and don't want) when searching for stock photography. They gleaned these tips from PhotoShelter's School of Stock. Here's a nice snippet from the story:

"Survey respondents indicated the worst categories in stock photography, in terms of quality and breadth of available imagery, were healthcare (88%), multicultural and diversity lifestyle (86%), senior citizens lifestyle (86%), and consumer technology and products (84%). And don't even get them started on the dearth of photos of multi-ethnic senior citizens in hospital settings playing video games."

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"It was late on a stormy afternoon in Everglades City, Florida," said Jim Austin. "The wind was howling, and a storm was on the way. Raindrops kissed the hot metal of a car nearby."

"I crouched down. The fins of the car, a 1957 Chevy BelAir, towered above my Canon EF 10-22 lens like a skyscraper. Resting on my stomach so I could gaze upwards, I made three bracketed exposures in color with a Canon DSLR."

"All three shots looked well-exposed in the viewfinder. By now the sky had opened and lighting and thunder were rolling in. The image title, "Chevy Above the Levy," goes all the way back to Don McLean's hit song, American Pie."

The Tools

The three framed were shot with a Canon Digital Rebel and 10-22 mm EFS Canon Canon lens (written up in My Favorite Lens on The Digital Story). Processing was done with Photomatix Pro software, available at www.hdrsoft.com. After tone mapping in Photomatix, Photoshop CS 3 and its channel mixer were used to create a high dynamic range of tones for black and white.

Visual Elements

In the process of making this image, I asked myself what visual elements made for interesting black and white HDR. I came up with shape, and symbolism. Where visual elements of design support a photograph, they expand its symbolic components, and this goes for high dynamic range pictures just as well.

For instance, a photograph can act as an analogy. The brilliant photography critic Susan Sontag pointed this out: “what makes something interesting is that it can be seen to be like, or analogous to, something else.” For example, at first glimpse, the fins of the Chevy Bel Air reminded me of a large modern building.

Photo by Jim Austin.

More Tips from The Digital Photography Companion

"How I Did It" is a new feature of The Digital Story featured on The Digital Photography Companion mini site. These are techniques from virtual camera club members who have built upon information in The Digital Photography Companion, or have come up with new tips altogether.

We're building a living library of knowledge for everyone to use (and contribute to). If you have a "How I Did It" tip to share, just send it to me with the sample photo, and put "How I Did It" in the email subject.


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Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances, including my Beginning Workflow with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom on June 22-28, 2008 in Sante Fe, New Mexico.


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FotoMagico was just honored with "Best Mac OS X Leopard Graphics and Media Application Runner-up" at the prestigious Apple Design Awards that recognize technical excellence and outstanding achievement in Mac OS X software design and development. This was FotoMagico's second trip to the podium. In 2006 it received the "Best Mac OS X User Experience Runner-up" award.

In its current version 2.2, FotoMagico supports powerful Mac OS X Leopard technologies such as Quick Look and iChat Theater, and it sports a brand-new Sharing Assistant that makes it easy to produce stunning slideshows optimized for DVD, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV and other media devices.

Boinx Software, the creators of FotoMagico, are longtime sponsors of The Digital Story. I'm thrilled for them (once again) for this award. Well deserved indeed!


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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Have you been thinking about buying the Canon Digital Rebel XSi, but can't quite come up with the $850 US? Well, you can save a couple hundred bucks and go with the just-announced Canon Rebel XS/1000D DSLR.

After taking a look at Rob Galbraith's post, I must say that there doesn't seem to be a huge amount difference betweek the XS and the XSi. Basically, it's 12 MPs vs 10 MPs, 14 bits vs 12 bits, no spot meter, 3" LCD vs 2.5", and a few other differences. You can dig deeper into the specs by perusing this DP Review Preview. We should see the camera in early July. I still like the XSi a tad better.

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