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Photos for OS X now accepts Photo Extensions, and this changes everything. Out of the gate, there are four available with many more to come.

apps-for-photographers.jpg Look what's featured atop Apps for Photographers in the Mac App Store: Yes, the first wave of Photo Extensions.

The implementation is very smooth. Now, when you edit an image in Photos, there's an additional option in the right side toolbar called Extensions. Click on it, and you'll see a popup menu listing the Extensions you have loaded. Choose one, and your Photos interface transforms into that of the Extension.

Once you finish your work in the new environment, click on Save Changes, and you're returned to the Photos interface. What's really cool is that this is a totally nondestructive workflow. You can revert back to the original photo by returning to edit mode in Photos, then choosing Revert to Original. Want to see what the master looked like? Press the M key when in edit mode.

tonality-for-photos.jpg Tonality is a B&W Photo Extension that's available right now for El Capitan Photos.

Setting up an Extension is easy. First, purchase the software from the Mac App Store and install it. Then, go to your System Preferences, click on Extensions > Photos and enable your new app. Now it will appear in the Extensions popup menu in Photos for OS X.

I'll keep you posted about new Extensions as they are available. But already, Photos for OS X is far more powerful than it was a week ago.


Get Up and Running with Photos for OS X

Want to get up to speed with Apple's latest photo management application? Then take a look at my latest online video training, Up and Running with Photos for OS X. Soon, both you, and your pictures, will be comfortable in their new home.

And don't forget about the Photos for OS X Special Feature Section on The Digital Story. It's a roundup of tutorials, videos, and articles focused on helping you master Apple's latest photo management software. You can also find it under Photography in the top nav bar.

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If you're see what looks like a white screen overlay on the images in your Viewer when running Aperture 3.6 in El Capitan, turn off Onscreen Proofing (View > Onscreen Proofing). This was the case for me after my initial testing on a mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15" running Mac OS X 10.11 and Aperture 3.6.

Here's what happens with Onscreen Proofing turned on (using any of the profiles):

Screenshot 2015-09-30 13.58.37.png Thumbnail appears normal in Aperture 3.6

Screenshot 2015-09-30 13.59.17.png Viewer mode displays image with washed out appearance when Onscreen Proofing is turned on.

I'll continue to test Aperture 3.6 on El Capitan. So far, this is the first major bug I've found.

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Before Upgrading to El Capitan

Over the next few days, many Mac-toting photographers will be upgrading their operating system to Mac OS X El Capitan. Before doing so, take a few minutes to prepare your machine.

el-capitan-mac.png

Test Machine

Not everyone has the luxury of more than one modern computer. But if you do, prepare your secondary machine for the upgrade first. This will give you the opportunity to test mission critical applications without disrupting your daily workflow.

A big test for many of us will be seeing how Aperture performs on the new OS. The results of that testing, and others, will determine the timing for adding El Capitan to your primary computer.

Back Up on iCloud and Hard Drives

We all know to back up our machines, nothing new there. But the transition to the new OS can be streamlined by making sure your iCloud account is up to date. This will simplify data transfer of Address Book, Calendar, Safari bookmarks, etc.

As for your photo content and documents, those should be on hard drives. Again, going back to Aperture and iPhoto, make sure those libraries are in a safe place so you have all of your options available moving forward.

From all indications, the transition from Yosemite to El Capitan should be a smooth one. Taking these few basic steps should seal the deal.

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Reuters TV Gets iPhone News Right

I've been watching Reuters TV for over a week now on my iPhone, and it is hands down the best news service I've followed to date.

Reuters TV

Reuters builds a video news show for me based on the length I've specified (15 minutes in my case). I can see the story lineup, jump from topic to topic, or just let the show play as assembled, which is my preference. Reuters does a great job of adding segues, title screens, intros and outros.

Turn the phone sideways for full screen viewing. Leave it in portrait mode to see the story line up. Nifty. And when you first open the app in portrait mode, the sound is muted until you turn the phone sideways. Now that's thinking.

The free version includes a couple ads during the newscast. But even they are top notch and presented well. If you don't want the ads, you can subscribe for $1.99 a month. The entire production is tasteful and professional.

If you'd like to keep up on daily events, and don't have a lot of time to do so, Reuters TV may be just the solution. It's available for both iOS and Android. And it's terrific.

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Top 10 Things I Like with the iPhone 6S, Zenfolio for Working Photographers, My iPhone Upgrade Program Experience - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - DP Review reports: Phottix launches Laso Transmitter and Receiver for Canon flashes: "Phottix has launched its Laso Flash Trigger System today for the Canon RT Wireless radio flash system and the camera maker's non-radio E-TTL flashes. The Laso Transmitter can be used with up to 15 radio flashes in five groups, while the Laso receiver enables the setup to be used with non-radio E-TTL flashes. The Phottix Laso Receiver is available now for $99.95 USD from B&H Photo.

The Laso Transmitter can be used to trigger non-radio E-TTL flashes with the Laso Receiver; photographers can also use the Canon ST-E3-RT flash transmitter or similar devices instead of the Laso Transmitter if desired. The transmitter supports a variety of flash modes, including Manual, Ext.A, MULTI, Linked Shooting and E-TTL II/E-TTL. The receiver, meanwhile, supports studio lights in addition to non-radio flashes for incorporating them into a triggering system. The Phottix Laso Transmitter is available for $159.95 USD."

In other news, "How the iPhone 6S Camera Compares to All Previous iPhones" Petapixel reports: "One of the big improvements in the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are the new camera modules, which now shoot 12-megapixel photos. If you'd like to see how the new camera stacks up to its entire line of predecessors, Camera+ co-founder Lisa Bettany has published a series of side-by-side comparison images showing the same scenes captured with each camera."

palace-fine-arts-iphone6s.jpg The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Image captured with an iPhone 6S, automatically saved to Photos and backed up in iCloud. Image by Derrick Story.

Story #1 - "Top 10 Things I Like with the iPhone 6S - My Review"

I've upgraded from an iPhone 5S to 6S, and the differences between the devices are distinct. Here are the things that have jumped out at me.

  • Improved screen. Larger size 4.7" or 5.5", 3D Touch, different resolutions (Display Zoom) - the viewing experience is better than ever.
  • New 12-megapixel iSight camera with A9 processor. (Beautiful pictures!) Every pixel in the sensor has been reengineered to prevent crosstalk between the sub pixels, meaning we could fit a lot more pixels in the sensor for a sharper photo that has less noise and truer color.
  • Live Photos. Some might call this a gimmick, but I really like it. Water shots are the coolest.
  • Touch ID that really works.
  • Low Power Mode.
  • Selfie Flash via Retina Display
  • 4K Video - have to turn it on. 1080p is the default.
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video.
  • AirPlay faster and more responsive than ever.
  • iPhone Upgrade Program - unlocked phone plus AppleCare.

Story #2 - Zenfolio for Working Photographers

Zenfolio is a new sponsor of The Digital Story, and I want to introduce you to them today. They are a portfolio and online client proofing website. Based on my testing, you can be up and running in 30 minutes. The service is perfect for photographers shooting weddings, senior portraits, and business events. The tools and design are fantastic.

One of the coolest features is the Photo Moments app for Android and iOS. It allows your clients to instantly gain access to their digital photos, view them in a beautiful presentation, download to their device and share with others. Users simply open the app, add their gallery, and their images become instantly accessible for client viewing--anytime, anywhere. Sophisticated features include: Option for the photographer to disable photo downloads for extra protection, gallery password protection, gallery expiration dates, watermarking options, and plenty more.

You can learn more about Zenfolio by visiting their site, www.zenfolio.com. You can sign up for a 15-day free trail. And if you like what you see, prices start at only $60 a year. If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit Zenfolio today.

Story #3 - iPhone Upgrade Program

For this iPhone, I made an appointment with my local Apple Store so I could enroll in the iPhone Upgrade Program. Here's the story of how it went.

The details look like this: iPhone 6S 64GB ($749) plus two years of AppleCare ($129) Sales tax ($65.54). Total $943.54

My first installment plus tax is $102.12. Then after that, it's $36.58 a month for 24 months. 0% interest. I can upgrade when the next iPhone comes out. Or I can pay off the 6S and keep it. The phone is unlocked. AT&T has acknowledged the new phone, and I don't see any additional charges for going this route.

Virtual Camera Club News

A Word from SizzlPix

The 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix is the upgrade now in general release on all orders, so you can display your best photography in sizes from 18-inches to 6-feet with resolution and realism one expects only from the small screens on handheld phones and pads. SizzlPix clients say, contrary to expectation, resolution seems to increase as their photos grow larger!

SizzlPix invites photographers to order a print from the assembly-line plants, and a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix from the same image. Compare them side by side. They've never ONCE had a client declare they liked the mass-produced print better. If yours is the first, you may return your SizzlPix for a full refund!

Note from Red River Paper - Red River Paper is proud to be exhibiting at the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, October 22-24, at the Javits Center in New York City, and we hope to see you there. Look for them in booth 1158. And if you don't have a Expo pass yet, you can get one for free from RRP.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (38 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

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The Beauty of Ring Light Portraits

There are days when I enjoy playing with multi-light setups for portrait shoots. But every now and then I meet a subject who needs nothing more than a ring light. And I'm reminded of how good that lighting can be.

P9268864-ringlight-portraits.jpg

My setup is simple. I put an Orbis Ring Flash Attachment Kit on a light stand that I can move up and down, connect the camera via a dedicated extension cord, then position the lens through the "doughnut" opening to take the shot. That's all there is to it.

I certainly would not use ring lighting for every portrait. But it's wonderful for certain subjects who have a model qualities. It's definitely something to keep in mind for your studio portraits.

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LCD Protectors are a Good Investment

Whether you pay $7 for a GGS Optical Glass 3" LCD Screen Protector or $29 for a Phantom Glass high quality custom protector, taking care of your camera's LCD is good business.

phantom-glass-lcd.jpg The Phantom Glass LCD Protector for a Canon 70D.

In addition to maintaining your enjoyment while using your favorite DSLR or mirrorless body, you're helping to retain the highest resale value possible for your camera. One of the first things people look at when considering a used body is the LCD. Even faint scratches can cool off a prospective buyer.

LCD protectors are particularly important for those who carry their cameras around their necks. Shirt buttons and zippers can mar a screen, despite your attempts to avoid contact. Scratches tend to "just appear."

My approach is to keep a stock of inexpensive 3" protectors on hand for immediate application when I first start using the camera. Then, when I have a chance, I'll research a custom cover that's higher quality. That way my screen is never vulnerable to the nicks and dings of the world.

The bottom line is to keep that LCD pristine, for both enjoyment and to help maintain the highest resale value possible.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.02.47 AM.png

If you use Gmail with the Chrome browser, there's an easy new way to send and share photos. The Chrome extension, Dropbox for Gmail, only takes seconds to install, and adds a Dropbox icon to your composed emails allowing you to quickly attach photos.

Even though this doesn't initially sound like ground-breaking technology, in use it's quite handy, especially if you're using Dropbox to backup your mobile photos. The workflow goes something like this.

file-attachment-dropbox.jpg

  • Capture images with your smartphone, tablet, and camera. They all flow into Dropbox if you're using automatic backup.
  • Install the Dropbox for Gmail extension, then compose an email.
  • Click on the Dropbox icon in the bottom left corner of your composed note. Browse your images and find what you want to attach.
  • Send your note. The recipient will receive the image that can be downloaded, plus a link that opens the picture in the shared environment in Dropbox. Here, comments can be added to the picture.

In my tests, I found the feature very easy to use. And since I do use Drobbox backup for my mobile images, I always have the latest pictures at my fingertips.

More Dropbox Tips and Techniques

If you want to dig into Dropbox, take a look at my lynda.com training, Dropbox for Photographers. For those who want to learn more about Photos for OS X, I also have the title, Up and Running with Photos for OS X.

Previous articles on The Digital Story about Dropbox include:

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The Phoblographer reports that Lowepro has added shoulder bags to the ProTactic brand. I used the backpack for my assignment in Cuba and loved it.

lowepro-shoulder.jpg

The design is robust and practical, providing the feeling that you can go anywhere with your gear. You can check out the entire lineup yourself at the Lowepro website.


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Tips for Better High School Senior Portraits, Pentax Full Frame DSLR Coming this Spring, It's Time to Reinvent the Wedding, Free Photo Plus Expo Pass from Red River Paper- all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - Petapixel reports: New Pentax Full Frame DSLR Teaser Site Says Camera Coming in Spring 2016: "Ricoh has put up a new teaser page for its upcoming full frame Pentax DSLR. Back in February 2015, Ricoh announced that the camera would arrive by the end of the year. It looks like that date got pushed back a bit, as the website now says the debut will happen in Spring of 2016."

In other news, "Reports State Canon Working on a New 24-70mm f2.8 L IS Lens." The Phoblographer reports: "Canon's lineup of lenses currently includes both a 24-70mm f4 L IS and a 24-70mm f2.8 L USM-but no f2.8 version with IS built in. There were rumors being passed about this for a while now due to a patent, but Canon Rumors and Photo Rumors are saying that it's a very strong possibility that we may see one in the near future. With Tamron, Tokina and Nikon all having their own version, it just makes sense."

Story #1 - "5 Tips for High School Senior Portraits"

Personally, I really like shooting high school senior portraits. I learn stuff from these kids. The ideas they bring to the photo shoot help me become a better photographer. And in return, I can help capture this important moment in their life. Here are five tips to help you get the best shots possible.

  • Find the right location
  • Insist on wardrobe options
  • Get your lighting act together
  • Help them with posing
  • Capture a variety of poses

bridal-poker-chip.jpg

Story #2 - Reinvent the Wedding

You may have noticed a new tab on The Digital Story nav bar labeled Weddings. What's up with that? Well, I've stepped back and had a close look at wedding photography. And this new site, Reinvent the Wedding is a refreshed approach to capturing the pinnacle of social events. I discuss the details in today's second feature story.

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Creating Black-and-White Landscape Photos with Lightroom with Taz Tally.

You can watch Taz in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch all of Taz's movies, plus every other title in the library.

Story #4 - Rocky Nook Evangelist Program

You can read all about the new program on the Evangelist landing page. Highlights include: early access to eBooks and 5 free print books per year. Plus other goodies such as T-Shirts and coupons. What you need to bring to the table is an online community to share your reviews with. If you have that, then take a look at this cool new program.

Virtual Camera Club News

A Word from SizzlPix

The 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix is the upgrade now in general release on all orders, so you can display your best photography in sizes from 18-inches to 6-feet with resolution and realism one expects only from the small screens on handheld phones and pads. SizzlPix clients say, contrary to expectation, resolution seems to increase as their photos grow larger!

SizzlPix invites photographers to order a print from the assembly-line plants, and a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix from the same image. Compare them side by side. They've never ONCE had a client declare they liked the mass-produced print better. If yours is the first, you may return your SizzlPix for a full refund!

Note from Red River Paper - Red River Paper is proud to be exhibiting at the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, October 22-24, at the Javits Center in New York City, and we hope to see you there. Look for them in booth 1158. And if you don't have a Expo pass yet, you can get one for free from RRP.

Fall Color with Safari West: October 23-25, 2015 - Sonoma County has rolling hills covered in vineyards, beautiful trees, and gorgeous blue skies. What a prefect place to shoot Fall color and bolster your landscape library. But there's more. We include environmental portraiture with a professional model, and an exclusive African wildlife photo adventure at Safari West, led by a professional photographer, plus a few surprises. This is our longest running workshop of the season, and for good reason. Two full days plus pre-workshop reception, breakfast and lunch, excellent swag, professional model, private Safari West adventure with a pro photographer guide - all included for just $599.

Thanks to everyone who recently reviewed the TDS Podcast in iTunes!

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (37 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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