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When you're thinking about traditional 50mm field of view and the options between full frame and Micro Four Thirds, these two lenses sum up your choice pretty well. Both optics will provide excellent image quality. Softer backgrounds will be easier with the Canon because of the larger sensor. Both lenses qualify as professional gear. But what a difference physically between the two... and price.

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The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM currently runs $2,099 and weighs 950 grams.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO is selling for $1,099 and weighs in at 410 grams.

(Because of its smaller size, a 25mm optic on a Micro Four Thirds sensor presents an equivalent field of view to a 50mm lens on a full frame chip.)

I'm not advocating one over the other. But what I do want to point out, and what isn't discussed as much these days, is that you have some distinct options in price and weight for high level photograph gear.

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

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As the saying goes, "It was hot. Africa hot."

I wasn't on the subcontinent with a Panasonic G95 in hand, but rather at Safari West during a heat wave that had stifled Northern California.

I wanted to see how Panasonic's latest MFT camera body would hold up in adverse conditions while working with my Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. The G95 is billed as an excellent travel camera. And for good reason. It's light in weight, relatively compact in size, and it supports a variety of still photography and video features. The oversized handgrip (that's very comfortable) seemed like a good match for the longer telephoto lens. And the 20 MP sensor combined with 5-axis sensor stabilization felt like a robust tandem for this assignment.

White Rhino "White Rhino" - 1/500th at f/2.8, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

The first thing that I had to figure out was the focusing array. After some fiddling around and experimentation, I settled on the Custom Multi pattern with the more compact AF area. This provided me with a little margin for error in the center part of the frame, but limited the focus point choices. There are 3 sizes to choose from with the pattern, I went with the middle option. In the future, I think I'll go with the smallest to provide me with the most control. That being said, most of my images were crisp with very few focusing misses.

Zebra "Zebra Pair" - 1/400th at f/2.8, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

The next adjustment that I made was to reconfigure the dial around the shutter button for exposure compensation. I have all of my Olympus cameras set up this way, and it's one of my favorite features of mirrorless photography. In the menu, it's under custom wrench > Operation > Dial Set. This allowed me to quickly adjust exposure without missing the shot.

Flamingo "Flamingo" - 1/400th at f/2.8, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

In the field, focusing responsiveness with the Olympus 40-150mm lens was good. The manual focus override worked well when I needed it, complete with focusing assist. The exposures were quite accurate and the color was pleasing.

I did switch to Silent Mode (via the menu) so as not to annoy my comrades with focus confirmation beeps. At one point, my brother-in-law turned to me and asked, "Are you taking any pictures?" He hadn't heard a thing. That was exactly what I wanted.

Big Horns "Big Horns" - 1/800th at f/3.2, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

I captured in RAW+Jpeg so I could evaluate both formats. I processed the RAWs in Lightroom 2.3, which did a good job of decoding the RW2 files. The Jpegs looked quite good. But when compared side-by-side with the unedited RAW files, I still preferred the look of the RW2 pictures, even without adjustments.

Wild Pig "Wild Pig" - 1/320th at f/3.2, ISO 400, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

The camera did heat up, but it didn't seem to adversely affect image quality. Performance was good. The battery hung in there for the entire shoot. And the images are pleasing.

I would say that the Panasonic Lumix G95 did itself proud under these challenging conditions. Next stop with the camera is Santa Barbara. Stay tuned.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #691, June 11, 2019. Today's theme is "Thank You Surface Pro for iPadOS." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If you want to get things done, buy a Surface Pro. Up until last Tuesday, that was the pragmatic opinion of those who wanted to ditch their laptops and use a tablet for work. Then Apple announced iPadOS, and suddenly nimble artists had a choice again. And in my opinion, they have Microsoft to thank. I'll explain more and delve into iPadOS on today's podcast.

Thank You Surface Pro for iPadOS

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Here's a quote from a cnet article that sums up what many felt about the Surface Pro compared to the iPad: "OS: The beginning (and possibly the end) of the discussion - For many, the iPad Pro's mobile operating system makes it a complete nonstarter compared to the Surface Pro running on full Windows 10 Pro. Having Windows 10 means you can run full versions of traditional Win32 software and much more that Apple's iOS simply can't.

Other areas where iOS was falling short on an iPad included multitasking, flexible ports, external drive connectivity, and peripherals.

I had tried many times to work remotely with my iPad, only to finally give in and buy an 11" MacBook Air instead. But the scales are beginning to even out with the pending release of iPadOS. And here are five reasons why.

  • Slide Over and Split View - Slide Over and Split View have made working with multiple apps on iPad effortless. Now they can take your workflows to another level by letting you work exactly how you want in even more intuitive ways.
  • Text Editing - iPadOS makes it easier and faster to select and edit text using just your fingers. There are new editing gestures, cursor navigation, multi selection, and intelligent text selection (select a word with a double tap. A sentence with three taps. Or a whole paragraph with four taps).
  • Files - The Files app lets you access and manage your files however you want, all in one convenient place. And iPadOS gives you powerful new ways to view, work on, and share files. Get a more detailed view of your files. And more controls to do what you want with them.
  • External Drives - Connect an external hard drive, SD card reader, and, yes, even a USB drive.
  • Desktop Class Browsing - Enjoy the desktop version of websites on your iPad so you can use web apps like Google Docs, Squarespace, and WordPress. With the Download Manager, you can see your active and recent downloads in Safari and access them easily from the new Downloads folder in Files.
  • Redesigned Photo Management and Editing - The all-new Photos tab lets you browse your photo library with different levels of curation, so it's easy to find, relive, and share your photos and videos. Removes similar shots and clutter Duplicate photos, screenshots, whiteboard photos, documents, and receipts are identified and hidden, so you see only your best shots.
    Enhance control - Enhance now lets you control the intensity of your automatic adjustments. As you increase or decrease Enhance, you'll see other adjustments - including Exposure, Brilliance, Highlights, Shadows, Contrast, Brightness, Black Point, Saturation, and Vibrance - intelligently change with it.
    Nondestructive Video editing support - Nearly everything you can do with a photo you can now do with a video. Adjustments, filters, and crop support video editing, so you can rotate, increase exposure, or even apply filters to your videos. Video editing supports all video formats captured on iPad, including video in 4K at 60 fps and slo-mo in 1080p at 240 fps.
    New Editing Tools - Such as Sharpen, Definition, Noise Reduction, and Vignette combined with pinch-to-zoom support so you can get a better look at the specific areas you're editing.
    Image Capture API - The Image Capture API allows developers to leverage the Camera Connection Kit to import photos directly into their apps.

Thank you Microsoft for creating the powerful Surface Pro. Even though I don't want to switch to Windows, I appreciate the work you've done and the pressure you put on Apple to finally create an operating system worthy of the iPad hardware.

Interview with Rick Sammon about "The Oregon Coast Photo Roadtrip"

I just finished reading Rick's latest book, The Oregon Coast Photo Road Trip: How To Eat, Stay, Play, and Shoot Like a Pro, and I wanted to chat with him about traveling and working with his wife, iPhone and mirrorless photography, and how to get the most pleasure from our photo road trips. Here's what he had to say.

Microsoft's 'Raw Image Extension' Lets You View Raw Previews in Windows 10

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

If you're running the latest version of Windows 10 as a photographer, make sure you install Microsoft's Raw Image Extension. It adds native viewing support for the major raw file formats used by various camera brands.

Windows 10 doesn't have raw previewing built in by default, so while you can work with raw files in specialized software such as Adobe Lightroom, previews won't show up for you in Windows File Explorer or the Photos app right out of the box.

If you're running the latest version of Windows 10 (the May 2019 Update, version number 1903 at the time of this writing), you can install the Raw Image Extension to add raw support.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

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.

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

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

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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.

Finding interesting subjects to photograph depends a lot on your frame of mind while exploring.

For instance, if you're looking for traditional "pretty" scenes, then you might pass by many terrific shots that push the boundaries of your work. Instead, considering looking for shape and color.

Abandonded-Building-1024.jpg "Abandoned Building" - iPhone X in RAW capture. Processed in Photos and Luminar 3. Image by Derrick Story.

When you change what you are looking for, you're presented with a whole new set of opportunities to photograph. Once you have a success with one image, then you begin to see more, and momentum builds.

Photographs such as "Abandoned Building" are fun to work with in post production as well, and they make interesting prints. In other words, their creative potential reaches well beyond initial capture.

Try it next time you go exploring with your camera. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you capture.

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

As much as I love photographs, certain subjects lend themselves to a more artistic rendering. Such as this home in Texas where my sister and her husband live. Here's how to create an etching of a picture in 3 steps using Photoshop.

McKinney-House-Etching-web.jpg Stylized rendering using the 3-step Photoshop method. Image by Derrick Story.

  • After your image is open in Photoshop, go to Filter > Stylize > Find Edges. Photoshop will instantly convert the image to what looks like a pen and ink drawing.
  • Go to Edit > Fade Find Edges and choose Hard Mix from the Mode popup menu. Make sure the Preview box is checked, and adjust the Opacity to taste.
  • Zoom in on areas that you want to clean up, and use the Clone Stamp to adjust them to your liking. Use Save As to preserve your rendering.

You can further play with the image using standard adjustment tools such as Levels. Once you're happy with the artwork, I strongly suggest printing it on some lovely matte paper or making a fine art card with it. I recommend visiting the Red River Paper site for ideas and supplies. For this shot, I'm going to make a fine art card on RRP Arctic Polar Matte.

IMG_4482.jpg Original iPhone picture used as the starting point for the rendering.

Bonus Tips

You can add more "body" to your image with a dash of magic by importing the rendered file into Luminar 3 and applying a little Image Radiance and Orton Effect. It takes the edge off the etching and looks even more artistic.

luminar3-tweak.jpg Rendering run through Luminar 3 with Image Radiance and Orton Effect added.

Snapshots are great for preserving memories. But when the subject lends itself to something a bit more stylized, consider trying this approach as well.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #690, June 4, 2019. Today's theme is "Adventures of a Non-iPhone Photographer." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

My sister lives in McKinney, Texas. And with Summer approaching, we wanted to go out and visit her before it got too hot. So we caught a flight to Dallas Love to meet her and her husband on a warm, humid afternoon. I packed the Fujifilm XF10 and an Olympus OM-2S Program that I was testing for TheFilmCameraShop. And the interesting, sometimes funny adventures that I had with those two non-iPhone cameras are the topic of today's show.

Adventures of a Non-iPhone Photographer

People are so used to seeing photography with a smartphone, that they're not quite sure how to react when you pull out anything else. Here are three recent examples from Northern Texas.

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Bobby's Blue Harley

My first encounter was with Bobby at the Tupps Brewery in McKinney. We were standing outside at a taco truck when Bobby came riding in on a beautiful blue Harley.

He was wearing Day of the Dead cowboy boots and had an excellent ZZ Top styled beard. I really wanted his portrait before he got off his bike. So I approached him with the Olympus 2S in hand. I tell the story from there in the podcast.

Group Shot with the XF10 at Sugarbacon

From Tupps, we headed over to Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen for dinner. I had heard that the pork chop there was out of this world. I started with a flight of local whiskeys. They were all excellent, but I really enjoyed the Iron Root whiskey out of Denison, Texas.

I wanted to get a group shot of the four of us before the food came. In restaurants, I like the group shots before the table gets too messy.

The lighting was fairly dim in Sugarbacon, so I opted for the XF10, which has a super intelligent built-in flash and a good low-light sensor. I pulled it out of my backpack, set it up, and handed it to our waitperson when she delivered the drinks.

She was more than happy to take our picture, but I could tell that she was a bit thrown-off with the camera that wasn't a smartphone. I tell the rest of the story on the show.

Shutter Challenge on Louisiana Street

While we were waiting for our food in Sugarbacon, I was screwing around with the Olympus taking long exposure shots of our drinks. The whiskey in the glasses looked really good combined with the Texas vibe of the restaurant.

I still had the Olympus out when we departed out to a mild thunderstorm that had just rolled into town. There was still light in the sky, and the conditions were good for some late day photography.

We headed down Louisiana Street. Dalene and Theresa ducked into a shop from some exploring, while Jeff and I stayed outside to take pictures.

I lined up a pretty good shot of the street with the McKinney tower in the background. The viewfinder readout on the Olympus read 1/30th of a second, so I still had plenty of light to shoot wide open at f/2.

When I pressed the shutter button, however, the camera recorded a very long exposure - or at least so I thought. I explain what really happened on the show.

Attract More Attention to Your Online Gallery with a Blog

Yes, our pictures can tell a 1,000 words, but a few additional sentences don't hurt either. And with your Portfoliobox site, you can easily add a blog to enhance your visual stories. Here's how.

First, click on New Page that is located at the very top of your admin panel on the right side of your screen. Then, select Blog on the given options in the second panel. Enter a name for your blog then you can start creating and editing your first entry.

Present your best self online and on your phone with a Portfoliobox site. To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

Being a Photographer in Your 30s

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

When I was in my 20s, I could go out and get blind drunk, start work 6 hours later and pull a 48 hour editing marathon to meet a deadline and carry on the following day with few consequences. I remember people regularly telling me that once you hit 30 you wont be able to work like that anymore. I laughed it off and carried on. Now that I am in my 30s, I can't drink and I certainly can't work for 48 hours with 6 hours sleep.

I take weekends off like a normal person now and I often don't work in the evenings (although I am writing this at 8:30pm). I assume things will only get worst from this point on and that my caffeine intake will increase proportionately.

Now I am in my 30s I have just about finished procuring the gear that I need in order to do most jobs without having to rent every time. But this was after 10 years of hard graft. I now want to enjoy my photography money in other areas of my life.

After a good decade of photography and 30 years of being about generally making an abundance of mistakes, by your 30s you probably have a clearer idea as to where you are going. But having that bit of gray hair and a few more years in the industry means I have the confidence to say no to jobs that are not for me and have had enough time to get to the jobs I like.

Now that I know that I can't work as hard as I did in my 20s and that I have a lot more confidence and greater understanding of direction, I plan to really focus on what I want to be doing from the age of 40 - 50 and put in the time now to secure my place in the industry for later. Then hopefully carry on working as long as my body and eyes allow me to.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

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.

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

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

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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.

Harsh Sun - Go Black and White

I'm an advocate of taking pictures any time of day, especially when on the road. I don't always have the luxury of waiting for the perfect light. And one of my favorite mid-day tricks is to switch to monochrome in bright, contrasty conditions.

mckinney-tower-bw.jpg

In these situations, I adjust my approach to composition as well. With monochrome photography, I focus more on strong, simple elements. In this case of the McKinney tower, the structure itself attracted my eye. Then, I knew that the scattered clouds in the sky would complement the metal structure, especially in black and white.

There are two basic approaches at capture. The first is to shoot in color as normal, then convert to monochrome in post. Or, switch to a B&W mode on the camera to make it easier to visualize the composition. If you go this route, which I prefer, I recommend RAW+Jpeg so you have a master as well.

Either way, there's no reason to shy away from contrasty conditions. Just make a few adjustments, and keep on shooting.

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

A Thousand Stories in One Photo

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Thousands of people gathered on a beautiful May morning in Santa Rosa to celebrate the graduation of friends and loved ones.

My job was to capture images that would tell the story of the day. My iPhone X was one of the many tools that I used that day. And this panorama of the crowd before the ceremony tells a thousand stories in image.

To create this 30-second video, I first captured the panorama with the iPhone. I then opened the image in Photos for macOS and created a slideshow with just the one shot. I chose the Ken Burns theme, slowed down the timing a bit, then exported the panorama as a movie.

You can also see a still photo version of it on Flickr. You might want to zoom in a bit to appreciate the individual behaviors of the audience.

Before the Graduation

Panoramas of crowds are seldom perfect because people are moving during exposure. But I think they are incredibly interesting despite their imperfections. And they tell a story that would be difficult to convey as a regular photo.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #689, May 28, 2019. Today's theme is "Gettin' Ready for Summer." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The fast approaching Summer season means more for photographers than just swapping our wardrobe in the closet. Our gear changes as well. And some of the items that I suggest might surprise you, even more than Uncle Bob's flamboyant Hawaiian shirt. So break out the sunblock and don your shades - it's time to get ready for long days and warm nights.

Gettin' Ready for Summer

What does Summer mean for me? Longer days, impossible mid-day lighting, more bike rides, travel, hiking, and outdoor events. Here are five items that you should get ready for this most active of all seasons.

IMG_1731-1525.jpg

  • Polarizers and ND Filters - Not only do we have to tone down reflections and deepen our blue skies, but there are times when I want to shoot at a wider aperture in bright lighting. These filters are a must-pack this time of year.
  • Fill Flash - I bet this one surprised you. But whether it's a backyard birthday party, graduation ceremony, or afternoon wedding reception, you're going to want a fill flash for those outdoor portraits. See my To Fill Flash or Not; That is the Question for more details. Also, my current favorite nimble fill flash is the Metz mecablitz 26 AF-2 Flash $129 for Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica, and Pentax.
  • Collapsable Diffusers and Reflectors - I had to use a diffuser the other day for a 1pm portrait assignment outside, and there's now way I could have pulled it off as quickly or beautifully without it. It's our best option to tame the sun when there's no shade to be found.
  • A Pocketable All-Weather Camera - I have the new Olympus Tough TG-6 camera on order for this travel season. There's now way I'm packing my PEN-F in my board shorts. A quality, tough camera is ready when you are, regardless of the environment.
  • Shades, Hat, Sunblock, and Water - You have to protect yourself and be comfortable if want those creative juices to flow. Find yourself a water bottle that works with your kit and keep it filled. Make sure sunblock is in your bag at all times. And keep that head protected. Take care of your body and the wonderful images will follow.

If you have additional tips, please share them on our Facebook page where I'll post the podcast announcement.

Show Off Your Gallery on Your Smartphone

Most of us spend more time on our smartphones than we do on our computers. So it only makes sense to have your Portfoliobox gallery just a tap away.

iPhone users can accomplish this by visiting their Portfoliobox site in the Safari browser. Then tap on the Share icon at the bottom of the interface. Choose "Add to Home Screen" in the options presented. Now your gallery will have its own "tap and launch" position on your iPhone's home screen.

Android users have essentially the same process. Launch Google Chrome browser app. (Just tap on the Google Chrome icon on your home screen or app drawer.) Go to the website you want to save. Enter the website in the search/text bar and press "Enter." Tap on the Menu button. Tap "Add to Home Screen.

Portfoliobox sites are designed to look great on your smartphones. Take a look, and I think you'll like what you see.

Present your best self online and on your phone with a Portfoliobox site. To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

160 Camera-friendly Canadian airport cuts holes in perimeter fence for aviation photographers

You can read the entire article here.

Qu├ębec City Jean Lesage International Airport, often shortened to Jean Lesage International Airport, has made camera holes in a range of locations around its perimeter fence to allow photographers an unhindered view of planes taking off, landing and moving along its runways and taxi areas.

The airport has propelled itself to the number one spot for aviation photographers with the project. Metal frames surround the holes to prevent wire scratching lenses and accompanying signs to clarify the area is reserved for photographers.

The airport got together with local plane-spotting group YQB Aviation to identify the best angles for photographers and then created a total of 10 sites all around the airport that provide views of exactly what photographers want to shoot, seen in the image below.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

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.

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

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

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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.

It's graduation season, and I've covered a ton of ceremonies as part of my work with Santa Rosa Junior College. Lighting conditions were all over the map, and I had to prepare for anything. So I kept a flash mounted on the camera, just in case.

1024-Cont-Ed-D-Story.jpg Fill flash used in strong backlighting. Photo by Derrick Story.

One of the times that I turn the flash on is when I'm in a strong backlighting situation. I could just expose for the face without a flash, but then the entire background blows out. And for many of these images, the location is important as well. If you graduate from SRJC, you probably want to see the setting as well as the subject. Fill flash is a quick solution to that challenge. You can balance both elements in a single frame. (Plus it allows you to take advantage of rim lighting for the hair.)

On the edges of the day, flash also makes the colors more vibrant. That pop of light really highlights the detail as well.

IMGP8325-Cont-Ed-Flash.jpg Colorful caps and happy grads with fill flash.

NoFlash-Cont-Ed-D-Story.jpg Existing light only, no flash for this version. Photos by Derrick Story.

Sometimes, I will shoot a quick portrait both ways - with and without flash - then choose my favorite later in post. I would love to tell you that I always choose one version over the other. But that just isn't the case. It could go either way.

The one thing that I do know is that some shots are saved by fill flash. And those are the times that I'm really happy to have that option.

Many photographers don't consider fill at all. I think, like many tools for the working pro or serious amateur, that supplemental lighting is an option to consider when covering events. And my advice is to learn and be ready to tap that technique if needed. It just takes one wonderful image to make the effort worthwhile.

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