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My Quest to Free Up iPhone Space

Even if you have a 64 GBs of storage on your handset, things can get a bit tight over time. My 2 year old iPhone 6S was down to 10 GBs of free space. With 12,000 photos, 134 videos, and tons of apps... no wonder the closet was getting full.

On the photography front, I do use optimized photos to help manage space. The masters are in iCloud with the optimized versions on the device itself. That really helps, especially for those instances when I shoot RAW with my iPhone.

But videos are another matter. There isn't a user-controlled way to optimize their storage (that I've found). There does seem to be some magic happening under the hood, but it's hard to understand exactly what's going on. So I decided to do a little experimenting.

video-cleanup-mac.png I exported all of my videos out of the Photos library at 1080p, the same resolution that I had originally used to record them. I did include the Location information as well.

First, I exported copies of all my video files out of Photos on my Mac to an external hard drive. This took a few minutes because there was 7.76 GBs of movie content. Much of this footage had already been incorporated into other projects, so it was safe to relocate it to my backup drives.

Once everything had been copied and archived safely, I deleted all of the files from the Photos app, then emptied the trash. (Photos doesn't delete content right way. Instead, it moves it to a trash bin. But you can force the trash to empty.)

Then, I rebooted my iPhone and checked the available memory in Settings (Settings > General > About). I hadn't regained any storage space, even after deleting the videos. I checked the Photos app on the phone, and the movies were gone, but no change in numbers. Rats!

At this point, I tapped my ace in the hole. I had a software update waiting, iOS 10.3.3. I decided to run that to see if it would clean house on the iPhone. And indeed it did. I went from 10.25 GBs available to 13.59 GBs. That wasn't as much as I expected, but still quite an improvement.

The bottom line is this: with a little persistence, you can recover storage space on your iPhone. I don't want to mess with my photos. I like having them available all the time. And optimized storage really helps me manage that. But the videos? They were low hanging fruit as far as I was concerned.

I'm not exactly sure how I regained 3 GBs of storage on my iPhone. Some of it should have been the reduction in movies, maybe some of it from the software update, who knows for sure? What I have learned is that a little housekeeping usually yields positive results. And for now, I have a little more breathing room on my mobile device.

Book or Videos: Photos for macOS

Explore the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

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

Many photographers try to use Spot Removal instead of cloning in Capture One for a very simple reason: they can't find the cloning tool.

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That's because it's tucked away in the Local Adjustments panel. Then, someone could tell you that, and you still might not find it. You'll see adjustments for just about everything else - white balance, exposure, etc. - but not cloning.

The trick is to long-click on the new layer icon (+) until a popup menu is revealed displaying: New Layer, New Clone Layer, New Healing Layer. Choose New Clone Layer, and now when you select the Brush, it will transform into a cloning tool that works pretty much like everyone else's.

Give your layer a name. Then make sure the brush icon is highlighted or press the B key. Use the bracket keys to control the size of the brush, and Shift-bracket keys to control feathering. Option-click on the area that you want to sample. Then paint over the area that you want to clone. When you're finished, tap the V key to disable the brush.

(Another nifty way to go about this is to create a regular Adjustment layer, then change it to a Clone layer by click on the "Adjustment Bubble" that reveals the popup menu.)

There are a variety of options in the brushing tool itself that allow you to control the appearance of the mask. And since all of this work is created on a layer, you can turn it off and on by simply unchecking its box in the Adjustments panel.

After a little trial and error, you should get comfortable with Capture One's cloning tool. And now you can save Spot Removal for what it was designed for... removing sensor dust and other specks.

Master Capture One Pro

Start with Capture One Pro 10 Essential Training that will quickly get you up to speed with this pro level imaging application.

Then drill down into mastering the editing tools with Capture One Pro 10: Retouching and get supremely organized with Advanced Capture One Pro: Catalog Management.

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

Why I Stick with Square on Instagram

A while back, the Instagram gods deemed that it was acceptable for us to publish rectangular images in our feeds. And it was a good thing... but a feature that I will probably never use.

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There's something evenly perfect about the square format. The world has both width and height. It seems fairer. I like the way my IG images fill up the entire space. I feel like I'm looking at the real world.

People use Instagram in many differ ways. For me, it's my visual diary. Here'e what I saw, felt, thought about, or was surprised by today. I'm going to fill up the whole box. I don't want to waste a pixel of space. I don't want to miss a moment of life.

Some of my favorite moments as a photographer are when I tap the Share button and see today's slice of life fill up my iPhone screen. Square is cool. And Instagram is the one place where squares rule.


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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #600, Sept. 5, 2017. Today's theme is "6 Ways that Photography Has Changed." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I was composing a shot at the Santa Monica Metro Station the other night when I felt someone staring at me. I looked up and saw this man at the top of the steps with his eyes directly fixed on me. I looked back for a moment and waited for him to say something. Finally, he spoke: "We're you taking my picture?" he asked. This is the type of encounter that I'm experiencing more and more these days. And for our 600th show, I thought I'd explore 6 ways that photography has changed since I started this podcast in 2005.

Meanwhile, Back at the Santa Monica Metro Station

I paused for a moment before answering the man who had been glaring at me. His body was stiff with anger. I took a deep breath, exhaled, then replied, "I have been taking pictures here for about an hour. If you've been here during that time, you may be in some of them. I couldn't tell you for sure. But you have not been the subject of my work."

"That's freaking uncool," he spit out. "You should be ashamed of yourself."

"I'm sorry if I bothered you," I replied. "That was not my intent."

I then walked away without saying anything else. There was nothing to add to the story. I put my camera away and walked back to the hotel. The night was over.

I started thinking about all of the encounters I've experienced while working recently. And how much the act of photography has changed, as well as its perception. Some things are better, many are not. And since we're at a milestone today, show number 600, this seems like a good time to take stock of the situation.

Six Things that Have Changed

  • Maturation of the Digital Workflow - In 2005, the year I began this podcast, Aperture was released by Apple, with Lightroom soon to follow. This was the next step in digital photography because it represented a true RAW workflow for all levels of photographers. Today, we have many software options and anyone can produce technically outstanding images.
  • Increased Resolution, Capability, and Storage - On Flickr, I have a shot of my boys captured in April of 2005. I used a Canon Rebel XT. Canon wrote this about its camera: "The EOS Digital Rebel XT features Canon's 8.0 Megapixel CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensor, which captures images of exceptional clarity and tonal range and offers the most pixels in its class." It had a 1.8" LCD viewfinder with 115K dots resolution. Today I'm capturing around 20MPs with 3" LCDs at a million dots. At the same time, storage became cheaper. In 2005, hard drives were relatively expensive and cloud storage was anything but robust. Today, I can buy 3TB hard drives for about $90 and I have 200GB of Cloud backup for $2.99 a month. And all of this storage is optimized.
  • More Sharing Options - (Here's where things really begin to change.) In 2004, both Facebook and Flickr launched. Twitter followed in 2006, and we didn't see Instagram until 2010 and Snapchat until 2011. The impact of these social networks has impacted photography dramatically.
  • The Emergence of the Selfie - The iPhone 4 was introduced in 2010 with a front-facing camera. This single device poured gas on the self-love portrait phenomenon known as the Selfie. Combined with the emerging social networks I mentioned earlier, the tone of consumer photography shifted from an outward exploration of the world to inward reassurance. I think in many ways, the convergence of these technologies is what put us on the rails that we're riding now.
  • The Devaluation of Artistic Imagery - With the improved hardware and software, little ability was required to create a technically acceptable photograph. Unfortunately, this has had an adverse affect for artists and professionals. Technically acceptable has become good enough for stock, public display, weddings, annual reports, and other business opportunities for professional photographers. Our value has diminished, as well as our ability to support our families.
  • Post September 11, 2001 - All the while these other events were unfolding, the effects of 9-11 continued to surface, and to some degree, expand. Anyone taking a picture in public may be subjected to questioning by security guards, pedestrians, shop owners, and police. To my knowledge, photography did not play a role in horrific attack by terrorists, yet it somehow has suffered collaterally ever since. People are not the same in public. And hostility toward photographers has increased.

So where does that leave us? If we're not careful, we could find ourselves in a wholly unsatisfying position. Where on one hand, we have these marvelous tools. Yet the world we have to use them in is highly suspicious, inwardly facing, and satisfied with the average.

As artists and professionals, it is our role to not be content with the status quo, and to push back against hostility, narcism, and visual mediocrity.

santa-monica-pier.jpg

I was back on the streets the next night in Santa Monica. The image that I captured on that second shoot featured a young mother holding her child and looking up at the lights and magic of the carnival atmosphere of the Santa Monica Pier. She was clearly happy to be there. She was enjoying it with her daughter. At that moment life was good, for all of us. And as one viewer commented on Instagram, "I can't stop looking at this picture."

For me, that shot represented the good things about my photography today. I captured the image handheld at ISO 3200, processed it in great software, and was able to share with the world on Instagram. Those are my positive takeaways. I'll deal with the other things as they come up.

Photography has changed greatly since my first podcast in 2005. There are some things I miss from then. But like that image of my boys playing basketball that I captured with the Canon Rebel XT, I will always have those pictures.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

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

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Cascable - Cascable is the best tool available for working with your camera in the field.

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

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.

scenes-earbuds.png

Imagine plugging a set of great sounding earbuds into your iPhone, tapping the record button, and instantly capturing crystal clear 3D audio. That's exactly what Lifelike 3D Audio earbuds by Scenes can do.

The Lifelike headset looks like regular earbuds, and it doesn't take up any more room in your camera bag. For listening purposes, they are terrific... crisp and clear. They would be a great music listening device if nothing else. But these earbuds go well beyond simply enjoying your favorite song.

When you plug them into your iPhone via the Lightning port, they are also a sophisticated recording device. Each microphone is positioned naturally outside each ear, capable of recording the world as it happens all around you.

Lifelike 3D earphones come with a Digital Box built-in best-in-class high fidelity processor, which is equipped with a MFi-certified lightning connector to integrate seamlessly with all compatible iOS devices. Use the Lightning port to your iPhone, open the video app, and then you will have a realistic, immersive 3D video. After sharing, use any headphones to replay, audiences will feel like they are there.

That's right, once the recording is captured, anyone can experience your 3D audio with their standard earbuds. No special equipment is required. Here's a movie that I made at the Santa Monica Metro Station using the Camera app on my iPhone and the Lifelike 3D earphones.

To create this movie, I recorded the scene with the iPhone set to standard video mode. I was wearing the Lifelike earphones that were plugged into my handset. I tapped the record button.

Once the footage was captured, the video with the 3D audio was automatically uploaded to my Photos for macOS app. There, I created a slideshow project where I added a few stills, transitions, and background music. That was it. High quality 3D audio with the mere tap of the record button.

You can learn all of the details about the Lifelike 3D earphones at their Indiegogo page. The early bird prices are as low as $79. They are projected to sell for $149 on the open market.

Having this high quality audio dramatically changes even the simplest videos. And to be able to do so without any extra work is just amazing.

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

Creatures of the Night

The Santa Monica Metro Station connects travelers to the greater Los Angeles area. It's an attractive, well-lit area that's perfect for night photography. So I mounted my Olympus 17mm f/1.8 and went searching for those who commute after dark.

Between-Cars.jpg A peek between cars. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, 17mm f/1.8 lens at f/4, ISO 2500, 1/15th. (Out of camera image.) Photo by Derrick Story.

Getting-a-Ticket.jpg Getting a Ticket - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, 17mm f/1.8 lens at f/4, ISO 2500, 1/40th. (Out of camera image.) Photo by Derrick Story.

It's a great way to get an evening walk, and the images provide a completely different look than daytime travel photography.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #599, August 29, 2017. Today's theme is "5 Scenarios When Analog Makes More Sense." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've been reading a lot about the Nikon D850 and what an impressive 45MP, $3,300 machine it is. I've also been following the Fuji GFX story and how the market is responding to the 51MP, $6,500 digital medium format body. The numbers made me a little dizzy. And it got me thinking about more affordable alternatives for creative photography. And that's the subject for today's show.

5 Scenarios When Analog Makes More Sense

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I had coffee the other day with a customer who had purchase a Contax RTS from TheFilmCameraShop. He was in town via a road trip, and it was easier to hand over the camera rather than ship it. Kyle is a professional travel and landscape photographer. And it was fascinating to listen to the direction he's taking today.

He shoots Sony mirrorless most of the time. But he has collection of Zeiss lenses with the Contax mount that he's adapted to his digital body. "I can't describe how good these lenses are and how utterly affordable."

He was preaching to the choir. And his story is my first example of when analog makes more sense.

  • Great Glass, Affordably - One of the best zoom lenses ever made is the Zeiss 35-70mm f/3.4 in the Contax mount. Pop Photo commented in their testing of it that every focal length performed like a prime lens. I bought one in pristine condition for $289. I can mount it on any mirrorless camera.
  • Medium Format at a Fraction of the Price - You can buy a Hasselblad 500C with Zeiss 80mm lens and back for about $900. That's about 1/10 the cost of a digital medium format kit. Since most of us only need medium format for special assignments, this is a wonderful alternative.
  • Archive for the Ages - Properly handled film has a very long life expectancy and is device independent.
  • Improving Your Skill as a Photographer - It's amazing the motivation that sets in the moment you get your processed images back from the lab, and they are all over the map exposure wise. Shooting digital RAWs has made most of us lazy at capture. There is no better (and unforgiving) way to sharpen up our skills than by shooting a monthly roll of film.
  • The Cameras Themselves - Many of the analog cameras I shoot with are my favorites. And because of this, I want to shoot more often with them. And as a result, I have more images at my disposal than ever before. I shoot digital at work. But analog gets me off the couch in my free time.
  • Using the Intervalometer for Cascable 3 "kas-ka-ball"

    One of my favorite features in Cascable's Shutter Robot is the Intervalometer Module. It's both powerful and flexible, and perfect for taking full control of your time-lapse sequences. The Intervalometer is a PRO feature.

    Start by setting the Interval, which can be as short as 1 second or as long as 59 minutes, 59 seconds. Then set the Stop parameter. You have three options: manually, after a fixed number of shots, or after a fixed amount to time. Once those are set, tap the Engage button, then the shutter release to begin the sequence.

    Cascable is available to get started with for free from the iOS App Store. Cascable's Pro features come with a free trial when subscribing from $2 per month, or can also be unlocked with a one-time $29.99 purchase.

    We have a tile on all the pages of The Digital Story that takes you directly to the TDS landing page on the Cascable site.

    You Don't Always Have to Take the Shot

    The story about my younger brother getting to steer the ship during an important family event.

    A Look at Our First The Nimble Classroom

    It was all systems go last Saturday for our first The Nimble Classroom focusing on Capture One Pro Catalog Management. Here's how it went.

    Here are the upcoming sessions.

    • September 9, Expert Editing, Capture One Pro
    • September 23, Luminar Pro Techniques
    • October 7, Photos 3 for macOS SOLD OUT
    • November 4, Photos 3 for macOS

    You can learn more about them and sign up for your favorites by visiting The Nimble Classroom online.

    Updates and Such

    Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

    B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

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

    Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

    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

    Cascable - Cascable is the best tool available for working with your camera in the field.

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

    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.

As we rev up for the next iPhone super cycle (10 year anniversary and all), it's sounding like the top of the line handset will tip the scales at $1,000. That's more than what I would spend on a new Pentax KP or OM-D E-M5 Mark II (and the OM-D comes with a free $400 lens). Both are serious tools that I use in my photography business.

iPhone-Black.jpg

Based on Apple's track record, we're also pretty sure that we're going to have to purchase the top of the line model to get the best camera. In a very real sense, many mobile photographers have to look at this investment as photography gear. And as such, it should be pitted against the other cameras and lenses we're considering.

The waters get muddied a bit by the fact that we typically buy our smartphones on payment plans rather than splashing a big charge on to our credit cards. It makes the purchase easy, and therefore the investment might not be accounted for properly.

I'm thinking about all of this because I have an iPhone 6S that will be paid off in September. It's a great handset with a very capable camera. Typically I upgrade my phone every two years.

But I think I need to look at this in a more businesslike matter. If I spend a $1,000 on a new iPhone, that should be accounted for that in my budget (spanning two years). What else do I need? How will the iPhone purchase impact those other items?

The days of getting a semi-free phone with our carrier plan are over. The next iPhone will be a substantial investment, and it should be viewed as such for photographers on a budget.

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

As we're getting closer to the release of Apple's macOS High Sierra, some diehard Aperture users are wondering if the latest operating system will support their favorite photo management app. The answer appears to be yes.

Aperture-Yes.jpg

As of beta version 6 of High Sierra, users are reporting good performance. The only nagging issue seems to be full screen mode. And one tester, Henrik Lorenzen, commented that he was able to fix that glitch with a clean install.

This is important not only for photographers who want to keep using Aperture full time, but also for those who have extensive Aperture archives and want to be able to tap them as needed (myself included). It's a relief knowing that I can plug my everyday laptop into the Drobo and open a library from 2014.

On a related front, the Mac Observer is reporting on other compatible pro apps stating that Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4, Motion 5.3.2, Compressor 4.3.2, Logic Pro X 10.3.1, and MainStage 3.3 (or later) all will be compatible with High Sierra. If you're running earlier versions of any of these apps, don't upgrade your OS until you get things sorted out.

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

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There are two factors that allow photographers to be more fluid in their equipment choices. The first is a thriving online marketplace that enables us to easily sell gear. And the second is that digital cameras have a longer shelf life now that their technology is stabilizing.

In my mind, these two factors give us the freedom to choose the gear that we really want instead of locking ourselves in to brands that are viewed as safe. To make this point, I'll tell you a story from yesterday.

I was working a commercial shoot for one of my favorite clients. They also hired a videographer whom I've worked with in the past, and who I like. Later in the shoot he noticed my Pentax KP with Pentax HD 20-40mm zoom and asked,

"When did you stop shooting Canon?"

"A while back," I answered. "I wanted something different."

"Well, don't invest too heavily in that system," he said. "All they care about these days is panorama devices."

"I like this camera, though." I said. "I really enjoy shooting with it."

Pentax-KP-kit.jpg

For me, the KP works great. I have a large inventory of Pentax lenses from their SLR days that work great on the digital body. In fact, one of the key optics from yesterday's shoot was the Pentax-FA 35mm f/2.0 lens that I had bought on the used market for my ZX-5n. It's a wonderful prime that I use digitally as much as with film.

In objective terms, the KP has sensor-based image stabilization, 24MPs, a great metering system, DNG RAW files, compact weather-resistant body, articulated LCD with live view, WiFi, and a lens library that goes back to the early 1980s. It works great for me. In fact I love it.

I know that Pentax is having its financial challenges. Olympus did a few years ago as well, and it didn't faze me a bit. My favorite camera in the world is the PEN-F. That was in development during their roughest of times. It's true, I don't know if either Pentax or Olympus is going to be here next year. For that matter, I don't know if I'm going to be around either. That's not how I base my decisions. For now, I'm assuming yes on all fronts.

P3033851-gear-kp-back-LCD-4way.jpg

If all of this love changes for me, then I can sell the gear online, and make new decisions. Because the technology for digital cameras has stabilized, I can sell a body that is 3 or 4 years old and get a decent return on my investment. And lenses fare even better.

So I'm not locked in to either Olympus or Pentax. And I'm loving my photography these days because I'm shooting with cameras that I want to use, not ones that are viewed as "safe."

During yesterday's assignment, I used the Pentax HD 20-40mm zoom, Pentax-FA 35mm f/2.0, Pentax-DA 70mm f/2.4, and the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, got great images and had a blast.

(BTW: I processed them in Capture One Pro, not Lightroom. Again, I don't care. I like C1.)

As an independent businessman, one of my mantras is: "do not make fear-based decisions." If I don't want to shoot with Canon, it doesn't matter how safe that company is. I want tools that excite me and energize my photography. And that's how I'm going to make my purchasing decisions.

More Articles About the Pentax KP

Pentax KP Review - Part One - Top Deck - An overview of the Mode dial, Function dial, and other controls on the top panel of the camera.

Pentax KP Review - Part Two - The Back Panel - An overview of back panel controls and the menu system for the Pentax KP.

Pentax KP Review - Part Three - Image Quality - A hands-on look at how the camera performs with Pentax Limited Edition optics.

Pentax KP Review - The Final Verdict (Did I make a mistake switching from Canon to Pentax?)

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