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Wide aperture zooms are typically bulky and expensive. But when I mount the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, I feel like I can work all day.

Though not cheap at $1,499, this optic does provide an equivalent of 80-300mm focal length with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8. And when mounted on the E-M5 Mark II with its excellent 5-axix image stabilization system, I can shoot handheld in nearly any lighting condition.

mono-lake-bird.jpg Captured at Mono Lake after 7pm handheld. Photo by Derrick Story.

The PRO 40-150mm balances nicely on the Micro Four Thirds body, focuses quickly, and renders outstanding image quality. I also like the included retractable lens hood that allows me to pack the camera in a small bag without having to remove the accessory.

I wouldn't say that the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO is as light as a bird, but when I need a fast telephoto zoom that I can carry all day, it's certainly a feather in my cap.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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

The DxO ONE is a palm-size camera that features a 6-element f/1.8 aspherical lens and a 20 MP 1" CMOS sensor that produces stunning images. Via a rotating Lightning connector, it connects to an iOS device such as an iPhone, to compose the image and control the camera. It can also capture photos as a standalone device, albeit without a viewable LCD.

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I carried the DxO ONE in my pocket last week as I explored the Eastern Sierra. Because of its excellent image quality, I was able to rely on it for my wide angle shots (thanks to its 32mm fixed focal length lens). That allowed me to work with a long telephoto on the OM-D, and not have to worry about switching lenses in a breezy environment. The images I came home with were absolutely beautiful.

Tufa and Water at Twilight "Tufa and Water at Twilight" captured with the DxO ONE. Photo by Derrick Story. Click on image to see high resolution version.

Thanks to the maximum aperture f/1.8 optic and ISO range of 100 to 51,200, I was able to work in just about any type of lighting condition. When the ONE is connected to the iPhone (a 5s in my case), I had plenty to hang on to while making the exposure. When not in use, it detaches from the mobile device and takes up just a small amount of space in my pocket (measuring 67.5 x 48.85 x 26.25 mm and weighing a mere 3.8 ounces).

Mono Lake Tufa at Twilight "Mono Lake Tufa at Twilight" captured with the DxO ONE. Photo by Derrick Story. Click on image to see high resolution version.

The DxO ONE captures both Jpegs and DNG RAW files. Using the free iOS app, I was able to automatically save the Jpegs to the iPhone's Camera Roll for immediate sharing, then work with the DNGs (saved to a microSD card) later on my MacBook PRO using DxO Optics Pro software. Here's where the images really take on a new life.

Because the hardware and software are made by the same folks, you can squeeze every drop of quality out of the photographs using Optics Pro or Film Pack (both come bundled with the camera). Lightroom users can have the photographs exported straight from Optics Pro to their LR library, ensuring a smooth workflow.

Padlock "Padlock" captured with the DxO ONE. Photo by Derrick Story. Click on image to see high resolution version.

I've included a bit more technical information in the article, DxO ONE Unlocks Mobile Photography for Artists. What has really impressed me is how such a palm-sized device can capture so much quality, and work so well with the iPhone I'm already carrying. When used with a larger screened device, such as an iPad mini, it's almost like having a view camera in the field... at a fraction of the weight and inconvenience.

You can preorder the DxO ONE for $599 with a shipping date set for September. Bundled software includes DxO FilmPack, and (for a limited time) the Elite Edition of DxO OpticsPro, their professional editing software (a $300 combined value).

Bottom line is this: The DxO ONE is an impressive camera that works well with the mobile device that many of us already have in our pockets. It's conceivable that you could traverse the globe with only your iPhone and the ONE, and return home with an amazing collection of artistic imagery.

More to report in the coming weeks and months...


Nimble Photographer Logo

The DxO ONE has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.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.

Basic Editing in Photos for OS X

Image editing in Photos for OS X is quite intelligent. You can go as simple as one-click enhance, or drill down through the set of smart adjustment sliders. In this video, I show you the first two levels.

Most images can be spruced up in just a few seconds using this approach. In the following movies for this title, I drill down to more advanced adjustments, allowing you to get just the right look for your picture.

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For more free movies, check out the links at the end of this post.


Get Up and Running with Photos for OS X

Want to learn the ins and outs of 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.

Previous Articles on Photos for OS X

How to Switch to RAW Files in Photos for OS X.

Converting an Aperture or iPhoto Library to Photos for OS X.

How to Open an Aperture or iPhoto Library in Photos for OS X.

How to Migrate from iPhoto or Aperture to Photos for OS X.

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: 5 Photo Tips from the Eastern Sierra, A Handy Portrait Technique, A Tempting Leica - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Leica Q (Typ 116) is a 24MP full frame compact camera with fixed 28mm f/1.7 lens". Imaging-Resource reports: "Leica announced the Leica Q (Typ 116), a fixed lens compact camera that packs a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor and 28mm f/1.7 lens into a compact frame.
Despite its small size and much more wallet-friendly price, the Leica Q (Typ 116) still dons the German manufacturer's signature red dot and rigorous build quality, brought over from Leica's M-series digital rangefinders.
To coincide with the release of the Q (Typ 116) camera, Leica has developed a camera-specific iOSapp that will let you remotely control camera settings.The Leica Q is available starting today for $4,250. As with all Leica cameras, the Q (Typ 116) comes with a free copy of Adobe Lightroom 6."

In other news... "LensProToGo Suffers Theft of Estimated $500K in Gear" Stoppers reports: "An early estimated $500,000 worth of mostly Nikon, Canon and Sony equipment was taken out through a hole made in the drywall and smashed windows. The thieves gained access through a storage closet and then cut through an interior wall into the shipping department. LensProToGo's Facebook page commented this was likely to avoid motion detectors. Thankfully nobody was hurt."

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Story #1 - "5 Photo Tips from the Eastern Sierra" -

  • Talk to Strangers
    Unlike urban life where we generally avoid contact with strangers, just the opposite is helpful in rural areas. Just over the last week, I learned of a handful of new spots to visit that are off the beaten track. Each one of them the result to talking to someone I didn't previously know.
  • Know your physical limits
    Traveling puts a strain on the body, and visiting high altitude locations even more so. Be honest with yourself about how far you should push your body while on the road. Yes, great shots are important. But good health should top the list.
  • Work in Pairs
    Many remote locations don't have cell phone coverage. We forget that because we're so used to having it everywhere. So it's important to travel with a photo buddy to assist you if something goes awry. Plus it's fun.
  • Tripods are still relevant
    Street shooters don't need them often, but working in the great outdoors demands a tripod now and again. Long exposures, HDRs, high quality panos, and twilight shooting all need a good set of sticks. At least put them in the trunk of the car so they're accessible on the road.
  • Practice first with Neutral Density Filters
    Since we don't use ND filters that often in our daily shooting, we might not be aware of the color shift surprises they might present during a shoot. Don't trust that spectacular waterfall shot to an untested ND filter.
  • Review your images each night
    Bring a laptop or tablet to review your pictures each night. We can't trust those tiny 3" LCDs for an accurate rendering of a day's work. If you or your camera is doing something wrong, you need to know while you're still on the road so you can correct the problem.

leah-by-gary.jpg Leah Gerber photographed by Gary Angelo at the TDS Eastern Sierra Photo Workshop.

Story #2 - "Portrait Tip - Have the Model Hold the Reflector"

We don't always have an extra set of hands to hold a reflector for us, but don't rule out the model helping out. You can capture great head and shoulder portraits with the model holding your reflector at waist level and bouncing light up into his/her face. Continue to have them pose, twist, and shift weight from one foot to another. You'll be surprised at how good these images look.

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - iMovie 10.0.2 Essential Training with Garrick Chow. iMovie is a highly capable video editor, and you can't beat the price. Learn how to tap its full potential with Garrick.

You can watch Garrick 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 Garrick's movies, plus every other title in the library (including over 20 by yours truly).

Virtual Camera Club News

Moving from Aperture to Photos or Lightroom - August 7-8 - Now that Aperture will no longer be developed, many photographers are contemplating their next move. In this software workshop, we'll explore the two leading contenders: Photos (part of the Yosemite Update) and Adobe Lightroom. By the time we conclude, you'll have a much clearer idea about your photo management future. Two full days plus breakfast and lunch - all included for just $495.

Show Off with SizzlPix

Do you want to blow away friends and family with your photography? Then hang a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix on the wall at home. You won't believe the comments.

Give it a try. They'll send Digital Story listeners and readers a free mini-proof before production; just put "proof first, TDS" in the comment space on the SizzlPix order page.

Red River Paper Discounts

Did you know that Red River Paper has a Discounts and Clearance page? Ink, paper, greeting card stock, all at big savings.

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 - MP3 Version

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (30 minutes - MP3 version). 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.

Many of the places we visited during the Eastern Sierra Workshop were perfect subjects for Black & White photography. And we discovered that the inspiration can increase dramatically when we captured our images in monotone.

BW-at-mono-lake.jpg Mono Lake at twilight. Image captured by Derrick Story with an OM-D E-M5 II, 40-150mm f/2.8 Olympus zoom in Monotone Picture Mode.

I was shooting with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 II with a Olympus ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. When it was time for B&W capture, I set the camera to RAW+Jpeg, then went to Camera Menu 1 > Picture Mode > Monotone. But wait, there's more.

There's another sub-menu for Monotone that provides options for Contrast, Sharpness, Tone, Gradation, and yes, B&W filters. I went with Red for this image at Mono Lake. To get the most out of this scenario, the Jpegs are set to Super Fine quality; they are the B&W images. The corresponding RAWs are in color. So if I want to do something else with them later, all of my options are open.

We had shooters using this technique (with different options) on Fujifilm and Canon cameras too. Check yours to see what you can do with B&W in RAW+Jpeg mode. It's very inspiring to see this images on your LCD in the field.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 II has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.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.

If you have an Aperture or iPhoto library that you would like to bring in to the Photos for OS X environment, then migration makes a lot of sense.

I recommend that your start with a smaller library to get a feel for the migration process. And there are a few gotchas you should be aware of.

  • Unless you make the migrated library your "System Library," it won't be connected to iCloud and available across all devices. You can only have one System Library.
  • It isn't easy to merge libraries. There isn't really a process for this. So if you wanted to combine an existing System Library, with a newly converted library, you'll most likely be disappointed.
  • You can switch among libraries in Photos for OS X. So you can go back and forth between a System Library and one that has been migrated.

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Of course all of this could change in future updates. But if you want to know the best procedure for migration now, and what you can and cannot do once go through the process, watch my lynda movie on the subject. I'll walk you through the migration steps.


Get Up and Running with Photos for OS X

Want to learn the ins and outs of 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.

Previous Articles on Photos for OS X

How to Switch to RAW Files in Photos for OS X.

Converting an Aperture or iPhoto Library to Photos for OS X.

How to Open an Aperture or iPhoto Library in Photos for OS X.

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Photos for OS X Gets Update with El Capitan, Conflicting Reports on the State of the Camera Industry, Free Film Emulator - all of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Weekly Update - "Sony rides wave of US Mirrorless sales surge". DP Review reports: "Mirrorless sales in the USA are rising, with sales values up 16.5% over the past year, says market researcher NPD Group. Sony highlighted the figures while celebrating its own success: with the success of the a7 series helping it generate 66% more income from mirrorless sales over the last twelve months. NPD Group says DSLR sales values fell 15% over the same period. Sony also points out that the Consumer Electronics Association has recently chosen 'Mirrorless' (short for Mirrorless Interchangeble Lens Camera) as its approved term for the class of cameras, with ILC as an umbrella term for Mirrorless and DSLRs."

In other news... "April numbers show 40 percent increase in DSLR shipments, stagnant for mirrorless" Imaging-Resource reports: "Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has published the numbers for April camera shipments. According to the publication, DSLR shipments have increased roughly 40 percent, a surprising stat when you take into consideration DSLR sales declined steadily over the past few years. Also revealed in the numbers is the continuing trend of stagnant mirrorless camera shipments. Since early 2013, mirrorless shipments have been been all but flat, with a few dips, both up and down, in Fall of 2013 and Winter of 2014, respectively."

Story #1 - "Photos for OS X Gets Minor Update with El Capitan" - If you scroll down a ways on the El Capitan Preview Notes, you'll see two notable items:

  • New editing extensions let you go further with your photos
    OS X El Capitan supports third-party tools that will be available from the Mac App Store and accessible right in the Photos app. Use multiple editing extensions from your favorite developers on a single photo, or use a mix of extensions and the editing tools built into Photos. From adding subtle filters to using beautiful texture effects, you can take your photo editing to a whole new level.
  • Everything in its place
    Photos has been fine-tuned to make it even easier to manage your library. Now you can add a location to a single image or to an entire Moment. Naming your favorite people in Faces is faster with a streamlined workflow. You can also sort your albums -- and the contents inside them -- by date, title, and more.

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Story #2 - "Free Online Film Emulator"

This is really cool. I first learned about Film Emulator from a PetaPixel article. So I had to try it myself. All you have to do is point your browser to http://29a.ch/film-emulator/, upload an image, and play with a variety of presets and adjustments. I do recommend turning on "Show advanced controls" in the Settings window. Also, in my testing, the downloaded image needs a name and a .jpg extension. Fun stuff!

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Foundations of Graphic Design History with Sean Adams. We wander off a bit from the photography path this week, but it's an interesting look at graphic design history.

You can watch Sean 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 Sean's movies, plus every other title in the library (including over 20 by yours truly).

Virtual Camera Club News

Eastern Sierra Workshop This Weekend - We have a great crew congregating at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA for the debut of the TDS Bodie and the Eastern Sierra Photo Workshop. I'll have images and reports for you in the next podcast.

Show Off with SizzlPix

Do you want to blow away friends and family with your photography? Then hang a 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix on the wall at home. You won't believe the comments.

Give it a try. They'll send Digital Story listeners and readers a free mini-proof before production; just put "proof first, TDS" in the comment space on the SizzlPix order page.

Red River Paper Discounts

Did you know that Red River Paper has a Discounts and Clearance page? Ink, paper, greeting card stock, all at big savings.

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 - MP3 Version

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (29 minutes - MP3 version). 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.

WWDC News for Photographers

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The focus of WWDC news during the keynote at San Francisco focused on Mac OS X, iOS, Watch OS, and Apple Music. There were a few tidbits for photographers. Here are the highlights for shooters.

Mac OS X 10.11

The next version of Mac OS X will be called El Capitan. The flagship feature is side by side windows, which allows us to split the screen in two, then work on each half. Split view is great for managing photos with other documents.

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iOS 9

iOS 9 features an improved Siri that will let you ask questions such as, "Show me my photos from Hawaii last July." The images are fetched and displayed on your screen. The Notes app will be enhanced in many ways, including easily adding pictures from the device to a note, without having to leave the app. Photo Mosaics will be incorporated into the new News app. Images from articles will be displayed artistically.

"iOS 9 will elevate the iPad to a whole new user experience."

Multitasking is the headliner for iOS 9 on the iPad. This allows multitasking with multiple apps, even in a split view on the device. To fully utilize all of the features, such as full split view, you'll need an iPad Air 2. Most of the other less processor intensive goodies will work on other models. The Public Beta will be available in July.

Interesting quote: "The iPhone made photography universally accessible."

Watch OS 2

A new "Photos Face" will be available that lets you select a single image, or pictures collected from an album, and use them as the background on your watch. For a single image, display it on the watch face, apply force touch, the choose "Use as watch display."

One More Thing

It's not photography related, but Apple Music was the "One More Thing" announcement. It will be a comprehensive music ecosystem, that uses your music and the content available online to create a personalized experience. Artists can, additionally, add photos and commentary via Connect in Apple Music.

The Bottom Line

There wasn't much news for photographers during today's keynote. Music lovers, yes. But for shooters the enhancements were subtle at best.

Additional Updates Since Original Post

PetaPixel published a short piece titled, Apple OS X El Capitan to Improve the Performance of Adobe CC Apps.

And if you scroll down a ways on the El Capitan Preview Notes, you'll see two notable items:

  • New editing extensions let you go further with your photos
    OS X El Capitan supports third-party tools that will be available from the Mac App Store and accessible right in the Photos app. Use multiple editing extensions from your favorite developers on a single photo, or use a mix of extensions and the editing tools built into Photos. From adding subtle filters to using beautiful texture effects, you can take your photo editing to a whole new level.
  • Everything in its place
    Photos has been fine-tuned to make it even easier to manage your library. Now you can add a location to a single image or to an entire Moment. Naming your favorite people in Faces is faster with a streamlined workflow. You can also sort your albums -- and the contents inside them -- by date, title, and more.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

I have two boys graduating from high school today. Like every other dad, I can't believe it's here already. And in a few hours, we'll all head to the ceremony at the school football field.

We've talked about how we're going to take pictures. Last night, for example, we had a short pow-wow and decided to meet near the goal posts once the ceremony had concluded. We'll take a few portraits, have a few hugs, then send them off to their grad night celebration.

I'm writing this post now because I'm trying to figure out what to pack. And my feeling is, that I'm a dad first today, and a photographer second. I want my attention focused on them, not on my camera's mode dial.

nba-finals-gm-1.jpg Derrick and Max at Game 1 of the NBA Finals, where the Warriors defeated the Cavs in overtime. It was our first finals game.

I'm actually OK with relatively average family snapshots. A good example is a photo from last night, at Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. It was our first finals ever, and now I have a photo to always look back on. (In case you were wondering, Max's brother, Zach, goes with me on Sunday to Game 2.)

At that moment, I was a dad, not a photographer. I handed the camera to a fellow fan, asked him to get the scoreboard in the shot, and just let go. I didn't even review it until later. Max and I turned our attention back to the festivities at hand. (BTW: I thought his composition was pretty darn good. Thanks fellow Warriors fan.)

I'm going to stick with this frame of mind today. I'll pack a mirrorless camera in my Havana 21 shoulder bag, a couple of lenses, and plenty of sunscreen.

I'm sure I'll get some shots. They might not be perfect. But I'm betting they will be good enough. And for darn sure, I'm not going to miss a moment of this once in a lifetime event.


Nimble Photographer Logo

My bag today will have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.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.

I love reflectors for portraits, but they don't work very well in the shade. In those situations, I pull out the flash, position it off-camera, and reduce its output for a natural look.

crystal-petaluma-with-book-web.jpg

I snapped this image as we were preparing for a commercial shoot. I often have one of the clients sit-in for testing while the subject is getting ready. They do their prep; I do mine.

I used a Canon 5D Mark II with the Yongnuo 35mm f/2.0 and a Canon Speedlite on a dedicated flash cord.

In Aperture Priority mode, the f/stop was set to f/5, shutter speed 1/200th, ISO 640, EV +1.0, and flash exposure compensation was -0.67. By using a fill light for the subject with reduced output, I was able to create a natural look. And that's the key to fill flash... don't use it full tilt.

When our model was ready, so was I. (And thanks to Crystal for sitting in for the test shot. You look great!)

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