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This is The Digital Story Podcast #701, August 20, 2019. Today's theme is "The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Mistakes are sometimes in the eye of the beholder. An off-center subject may be viewed by one person as poor composition and seen as dynamic by another. After visiting the exhibition, Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes at SF MOMA, I have 5 techniques that can be dazzling to some folks and head-scratching to others. Tune in and see which camp you fall in to.

The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations

I want to start by reading you the opening text to the exhibit at SF MOMA, because I think it frames this conversation well.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, proscriptive texts by self-proclaimed photography experts proliferated in amateur manuals and periodicals. The next generation saw the rise of photographers who challenged these rules and strictures.

Pairing modernist images by artists including Man Ray, Florence Henri, and Lisette Model with historical documents, this exhibition examines the shifting definitions of "good" and "bad" photography, while considering how tastes evolved during this transformative period for the medium.

BTW: This show runs through Dec. 1. So if you're in San Francisco, I highly recommend visiting MOMA and seeing it for yourself.

So here are five of these "mistakes" that could turn into real works of art.

5 Techniques that Could be Wonderful

  • Off-Framing - In the early days of photography, tripods were required because of the low sensitivity of photo medium. Compositions tended to squared up and realistic. But as film speeds increased and handheld photography became more common, so did composing mistakes and victories. One of my favorites is the 1956 image, "Little Man, Stepping Off a Cable Car" by Dorothea Lang.
  • Reflections - Shop windows, for example, can be perplexing for photographers. If you shoot straight on, you see yourself in the picture. From an angle, the surrounding environment appears in the shot. Many books recommended avoiding this situation all together. That is until more adventurous photographers began to integrate these reflections into their shots showing dual realities at once.
  • Motion Blur - Standard advice to prevent motion blur was to use faster film, adequate lighting, and increase the shutter speed. But later artists discovered that blur could actually convey motion or indicate speed. And to even get more creative, a blurred moving face could convey an emotional state.
  • Distortion - Photographers were instructed to not position an arm, hand, or leg closer to the lens than the other parts of the body because distortion would elongate or enlarge that body part. But then more adventurous artists discovered that they could create abstractions, similar to modern art techniques, that departed from making photographs always look realistic.
  • Lens Flare - Photographers were cautioned about pointing their lenses in the direction of strong light sources, such as a bright lamp or the sun, because it increased the chances of lens flare. But because of its unpredictable nature, art photographers embraced the technique and were eager to see how the effects of flare impacted their compositions.

Photography is an ever-evolving medium. And the rules are seldom adhered to for very long. And to be honest, sometimes images that feature these "mistakes" are far more interesting than the "perfect" ones.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number 1 request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This one day event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?. Pop over and let us know if you're a Spotify, Overcast, Apple Podcasts, or fan of some other platform for listening to your shows. Plus, it's fun to see what others are saying.

moma-1024.jpg

Alfred Stieglitz: 5 Random Don'ts

From the SF MOMA exhibit: Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes.

  • Don't believe you must be a pictorial photographer... Bad pictorial photography, like bad "art painting," is a crime.
  • Don't plagiarize if you can help it. It can't give you any real pleasure to know yourself akin to a thief.
  • Don't believe you became an artist the instant you received a gift Kodak on Christmas morning.
  • Don't believe that experts are born. They are the results of hard work.
  • Don't go through life with your eyes closed, even though you may have chosen photography as your vocation. The machine may see for you, but its eye is dead. Your eye should furnish it with life. But don't believe that all open eyes see. Seeing needs practice - just like photography itself.

PS: Don't believe I claim any originality for the above random remarks.

From Photographic Topics 7, January 1909.

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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.

When photographing people in motion, I prefer to have the action coming toward me, not moving away. I think it makes for a more dynamic image. Here's an example.

IMGP9157-Kunde-Move-In-1024.jpg Moving In - The more exciting shot is the movers coming up the stairs toward me, not me at the bottom having them go out of the frame. Photo by Derrick Story.

Another technique that I use to get people shots when they are in a group is to position myself so they are "walking through me" and I photograph them during this process. (This is helpful for tours and other situations like that.) Also, the idea of having a photographer standing there taking pictures usually causes a few reactions and smiles along the way.

IMGP9204-PET-Welcome-1024.jpg

Of course the trick to all of this is you being comfortable enough to position yourself front and center in the action. Generally speaking, photo subjects are fine with this. You will get reactions such as people covering their face or giving you an odd look. But it's all part of the mix. And if you're there in an official capacity, this technique is even easier.

Give this a try yourself. Try these shots from both angles, and see which one is more interesting to you.

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

Students at Santa Rosa Junior College are preparing to return to class, so I've been on campus capturing images for the PR Dept. The weather is hot and the light is harsh. So I've been leaning on fill flash to help me tame the contrast.

IMGP8783-SRJC-08-14-19-1024.jpg Fill flash outdoors to help tame contrasty light. Photo by Derrick Story.

My preferred strobe is the Metz mecablitz 26 AF-2 Flash ($129) that's available for practically every brand of camera. It's compact, versatile, and works seamlessly with my Pentax and Olympus bodies.

The nice thing about fill flash is that you can let the gear do all of the calculations for you. In this environment, I put the camera in program mode and set the flash to TTL. The two units work together to provide me with a balanced exposure.

The results are typically very good. And for any type of environmental portrait in harsh lighting, the subjects benefit greatly from this technique.

Indoors, I often position the flash in the up position (bounce lighting), then rubber band a white business card behind the head. This creates a nice little diffused light source that's more pleasing for skin tones in flatter light.

IMGP8814-SRJC-08-14-19-1024.jpg Fill flash indoors to augment existing light. Photo by Derrick Story.

The Metz mecablitz is smaller than my iPhone, so I can carry it in my pocket. Or better yet, just leave it on the camera.

IMG_3857.jpg Metz flash mounted on a Pentax KP. So compact, but quite powerful.

Either way, if you have to come away with good portraits in bad lighting, fill flash can save the day.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #700, August 13, 2019. Today's theme is "Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The Canon G5X Mark II is compact enough to fit in your pants pocket, but it pairs a 24-120mm zoom lens with a 20.2 MP 1" Stacked CMOS Sensor. That's a lot of imaging potential in a small package. And it seemed to me worthy of serious street photography. So I headed off to South San Francisco to see what it could do. I share my findings on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II

Canon-G5X-Front-1024.jpg

You may be wondering why my first inclination for the Canon G5X was for street photography. Well, the answer came within minutes of my exploration of South San Francisco with the camera.

I was photographing a fabulous neon blue hotel sign downtown when a middle-aged man came storming out the front door calling to me, "What are you doing? What are you doing!"

I lowered the camera and turned to him, "I'm taking pictures of that sign."

"Why are you doing that?" he asked with way too much intensity.

"Because I like the way it looks," I responded. "I'm just having fun. Look," I said holding the diminutive Canon G5X up to his face. "Just having fun."

"Well, OK," he said begrudgingly and went back inside.

We have come to the point where we can't take a picture of a hotel sign on a public street without an inquiry as to our intentions. And one of the reasonable lines of defenses against this unreasonable behavior is a small camera that looks like something only a tourist would carry.

That's why I thought the G5X was a good choice for the day. And as it turns out, I was right.

After a week of steady shooting with the Canon, there are five features that I think are worth discussing for those interested in a compact camera for travel, street photography, and family outings. Let's dig deeper.

S. SF Ex Phone Booth

5 Noteworthy Features on the Canon G5X Mark II

  • Electronic 2,360,000 dot Viewfinder and Tilting 3" 1,040,000 dot LCD - The popup viewfinder works well for both left and right eye photographers. Once popped up, the eyepiece pulls outward providing plenty of viewing distance. This adjustable diopter is a great touch, and the image is outstanding. The tilting LCD is wonderful for street photography when you want to get low or high angles. This tandem really makes this a versatile, easy to use camera.
  • Front Control Ring for More Precise Zooming - The adjustable ring around the lens can be programmed as a step zoom with click stops for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 120mm. Since I'm already familiar with those focal lengths, I found this far more useful than just randomly pushing a rocker switch in one direction or the other to adjust the zoom.
  • Easy to Use Exposure Compensation Ring - If you enable Exposure Simulation, you can take full advantage of the easy to adjust exposure compensation ring that provides real time visual feedback as your rotate it with your thumb.
  • Relatively Fast f/1.8 - 2.8 Zoom lens - Not only is the zoom range good - 24mm to 120mm - so is the maximum aperture ranging from f/1.8 - 2.8. This makes it easier to capture images in a variety of lighting environments without having to jack up the ISO.
  • Versatile Charging Options - In-camera battery charging, from a power bank, outlet, or computer, is possible via the USB port. And unlike many other cameras that allow for USB charging, Canon also includes the standalone charger in the box. So you have both options available.

Stanford Mall Shopping

I do have a few nits as well. The battery indicator is less than accurate. It may show half charge available one minute, then suddenly shut down the next. The back panel controls are too easy to accidentally change during the shooting process. And I would love to have a custom function button or two.

But overall, I really like the Canon G5X Mark II ($899). The imaging pipeline produces excellent shots, there's a bounty of useful features, and the body is truly compact. It's a winner!

The B&H Deal of the Week

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens with UV Filter for Micro Four Thirds

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 lens is on sale for $147.99 - that's $100 off.

One UHR (Ultra-High Refractive Index) element pairs with two aspherical elements to reduce spherical aberrations and distortions for consistent edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. A Nano Surface Coating has been applied, too, and helps to reduce flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color fidelity. The optical construction also helps to realize a compact overall form factor, measuring just 2"-long and weighing 4.4 oz. Benefitting both stills and video capture, this lens also incorporates a stepping motor for smooth, quiet autofocus performance that is compatible with Lumix cameras' high-speed contrast-detection focusing systems.

Great for both Panasonic and Olympus MFT cameras, especially at this price!

74 Samsung officially unveils 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX mobile camera sensor

You can read the entire article here. Here's the scoop:

The ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile sensor to feature a 1/1.33" size, according to Samsung, which says its Tetracell tech enables the HMX to 'imitate big-pixel sensors' for better quality 27MP images.

The 1/1.33" format equates to around 9.6 x 7.2mm, which is around 40% smaller than a 1"-type sensor, but nearly 3 times larger than the 1/2.5"-type chips in the many of smartphones. The Tetracell design, much like Sony's 'Quad Bayer' technology, places four pixels under each color of its color filter, making it easy to combine pixels to give better performance at 1/4 resolution, but also means additional processing needs to be done to attempt to replicate what a standard Bayer sensor would capture, if it had 108 megapixels.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number one request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the 2019 Workshops tab.

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.

Sometimes you can stand there in the city, on a bright, contrasty day, and not see a single thing to photograph. That's when you need to reach into your bag of tricks. And one of those techniques is working with frames.

Burlingame Train Station Burlingame Train Station - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

Working with structures to create frames takes that contrasty light and actually makes it interesting. You can arrange those alternating bold tones into compelling patterns that can delight the viewer's eye if they take a moment to explore your composition.

Take your time to compose the image so that you're managing all of the elements artistically. Look for repetition of theme, darks and lights, and of course, proper placement of people.

These compositions are also fun to play with in post production, where you can further enhance the texture and lighting. Don't be afraid to push the envelope a bit. What started out as a terrible photo op can result in a compelling image.

So when the light gets hot, change gears, and go with it. You might be delighted by the results.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #699, August 6, 2019. Today's theme is "How to Defeat Routine." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

My favorite definition of routine is by Merriam-Webster, which says "habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure." As we do something over and over, our brains can take shortcuts because we're familiar with the sequence of steps, such as taking a picture. And this certainly can dampen our creativity. But today we will restore vitality to our photography in 5 easy steps.

How to Defeat Routine

Don't get me wrong. There are moments in my life when I like routine. Mornings are an example. I don't want to reinvent the first hour of my day. I want it to be as mindless as possible. Feed the cat, pour the coffee, check email - it's all I can handle before 6am.

I also like my first 30 minutes at work. Unpack my bag, once again feed the cat (a different one this time), make another cup of coffee, read the day's news, post online, have breakfast. I truly enjoy this. The joy of routine is that it's easy on the brain. I can gently work up to my day, and by 8:30am or so, be operating at full capacity.

But routine can work against us as well. It can dampen our enthusiasm for romance, stifle innovation, and dull our creativity.

As photographers, we work so hard to master the steps that lead to professional image making. We learn about exposure, color, motion, composition, depth of field, focal length and more. These tools of the trade are important. But we often make a critical mistake once we're comfortable with them. Instead of springing headfirst into the creative unknown, we rely on our ability to make an image that's simply good enough.

Unlike our morning coffee, we must resist this urge to operate on autopilot. And here are five ways to to defeat routine.

5 Ways to Defeat Routine

highway-1080.jpg

  • Get in the Car and Go Somewhere - Most of us can set aside a day for a road trip. Make it happen. Go somewhere and experience a change of scenery. It's invigorating.
  • Try a New Lens - Whether you rent or buy, it makes little difference. But a new optic is a new way to see the world. Go wide, go long, run into the darkness with a wide aperture.
  • Work with New People - During my scouting trip, I had lunch in Eureka with Richard. He's a local, but he's attending our Humboldt Redwoods Workshop. Why? "Because I want to see this scenery through new eyes, the eyes of those attending the workshop." Working with new photographers is both amazing and invigorating.
  • Design a Photo Challenge - People love the assignments that I give them on our workshops. But you can create them for yourself as well. Challenge yourself to shoot with a new technique for the day, such as HDR. Often this opens up the passages for other creative perspectives.
  • Shoot in Manual Exposure Mode - Setting the exposure mode is at the beginning of most of our photo routines. So by disrupting the first step, you change the entire sequence, thereby forcing your brain to kick in to gear again.

Routine helps us conserve our energy to get through the day. But do not let it become the day, especially when we're making pictures. Fight back and surprise yourself with something fresh and new.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number one request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the 2019 Workshops tab.

New Nimble Interview: Chuck Leavell, Keyboardist for the Rolling Stones

An interview with musician Chuck Leavell, whose journey began with Allman Brothers Band, and who is currently touring with the Rolling Stones on their No Filter tour. In this conversation, Chuck talks about the Stones, Eric Clapton's unplugged album, his work as a writer, and his definition of success.

The entire conversation is terrific. I think you will enjoy what Chuck has to say. To ensure that you don't miss any of the podcasts, I recommend that you subscribe to The Nimble Photographer Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you tune in.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII: What you need to know

You can read the entire article here. Here's the scoop:

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII is, as the name suggests, the seventh completely new model in the company's pocketable large sensor zoom compact series. Like 2018's Mark VI, the VII is a 1" sensor pocket superzoom, with a lens that stretches from a wide-angle of 24mm equiv up to the telephoto realms of 200mm equiv at the long end.

Like its predecessor, it features a stacked CMOS sensor with DRAM storage built into the chip itself, allowing it to buffer the data it so quickly reads out from its sensor. But the main thing the latest camera brings is updated autofocus capability and usability, which could prove to be bigger steps forward than it might sound.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII is available for preorder for $1,198 and should ship by the end of the month.

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.

I think many of us are searching for that iconic portrait when hitting the streets with our cameras - and for good reason. A compelling image of a single subject can be very powerful. But I've also discovered that group interaction brings its own intrigue to the day's collection of photos. And once you start looking for it, there seem to be endless possibilities.

Hoppy-Days-1024.jpg "Hoppy Days" - These four guys were enjoying a beer and each other's company on a weekday after work. Photo by Derrick Story.

The key to group photography is capturing more than one frame. I've noticed that subtle changes in body position have a big impact on the effectiveness of the image.

In the Hoppy Days shot, for example, the two guys in the center are interacting with each other, while the two on the outside are otherwise engaged. Of the series, this worked best compositionally. I also like the different position of the feet as you work from one side to the other. And this is one of the aspects of group photography that I really enjoy, which is the slight variation of theme, in this instance shoes, that's captured in the photos.

Since I've added group compositions to my radar, I've found that I come home with a more interesting, varied set of pictures. See what you think the next time you hit the streets with your camera.

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

Setting your camera on the ground and using the articulated LCD screen to compose provides two benefits for landscape photography.

Redwood Opening Ground level view of redwood tree opening. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Photo by Derrick Story.

First, it often provides a more dynamic perspective. Compare the top image, which was captured at ground level, to the image below, which was shot at normal standing height.

See Through Redwood.jpg Standing height view of redwood tree opening. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Photo by Derrick Story.

In many ways, these feel like two completely different shots. I'm not saying that the ground level image will be the best every time. But you have to admit, this is a "two for one" opportunity.

The second benefit is that setting the camera on the ground provides more stability during exposure. This is particularly helpful if the shutter speed is a big longish because you're trying to maximize depth of field by stopping down the aperture.

I watched people take a picture of this scene while I was scouting for my upcoming TDS Humboldt Redwoods workshop. Not one of them shot at ground level. So I guess a third benefit is that your stuff will look different than everyone else's.

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

The Nimble Podcast Series is about artists and their views on success, craft, and expression. The latest show features a conversation with Chuck Leavell, who is currently on tour with the Rolling Stones.

chuck-and-mick-1024.jpg

Leavell first began working with the Rolling Stones in 1982 when promoter Bill Graham suggested him to the group as they prepared for their Tattoo You summer tour in Europe. Leavell subsequently performed on the Stones' Undercover (1983) and Dirty Work (1986) albums. With Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, he co-authored Back to Zero for the Dirty Work LP.

During the Stones' three-year hiatus (1986-1989), Leavell remained in contact with Jagger and Richards. Jagger invited Leavell to perform on his 1988 solo project, She's the Boss, and Richards chose him for two projects - Aretha Franklin's Jumpin' Jack Flashvideo and single, and the all-star band that backed Chuck Berry in the 1987 Taylor Hackford Hail, Hail Rock 'n 'Roll feature film. Leavell again worked with Richards on his debut solo album, Talk is Cheap, in 1988.

When the Rolling Stones regrouped in 1989, it was only natural that Chuck would be asked to be their piano player. In June of that year, Leavell was called to London for the sessions for the Rolling Stones' hit album Steel Wheels, and in July he began rehearsals with the band for the imminent tour. He's been with them since.

The Nimble Podcast Series highlights artists from all genres so that we may see the similarities in their arc, regardless of their particular form of expression.

Photographers, for example, can learn from musicians, illustrators, and writers, as well as other photographers. This becomes even clearer as you listen to the different artists talk about their careers on the show.

Currently, Chuck is traveling with the Stones on their "No Filter" tour. I caught up with him in between shows for this interview. I think you'll enjoy hearing what he has to say.

The Nimble Photographer Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and wherever else you listen to shows. You can also hear what Chuck has to say at The Nimble Photographer site.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #698, July 30, 2019. Today's theme is "Ding-Dong - It's the Ring Video Doorbell." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I have a Ring Video Doorbell mounted by the front door of my studio. 24 hours a day it watches and listens for activity within its 180 degree field of view. It's like a mini-Truman Show for my neighborhood. And it's far and away the most unique form of photography that I currently use. More about my first week with the Ring Video Doorbell in today's TDS podcast.

Ding-Dong - It's the Ring Video Doorbell

I bought the Ring Video Doorbell with HD Video on sale at Amazon. I had no idea if I was going to like it or find it useful in any way.

If you're not familiar with this device, it works like this. You mount it near your front door where is uses a 180 degree video camera and audio to monitor activity. It can detect motion and stream live video day and night.

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Ring connects to your router, and you connect to it via the Ring app that is available for computers, smartphones, and tablets. Once everything is connected, you can view the world outside your front door at anytime through its live feed, or be notified of activity via its motion sensors. It works quite well.

For me, the photographer, it's an inexpensive, but powerful remote camera that not only monitor the wilds outside my front door, but records it and saves the movies for viewing at a later time.

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This is like something out of a crime show. And I find it fascinating. You can purchase your own Ring Video Doorbell for as little as $99 on Amazon.com.

New Nimble Interview: Chuck Leavell, Keyboardist for the Rolling Stones

An interview with musician Chuck Leavell, whose journey began with Allman Brothers Band, and who is currently touring with the Rolling Stones on their No Filter tour. In this conversation, Chuck talks about the Stones, Eric Clapton's unplugged album, his work as a writer, and his definition of success. Here's an excerpt from the show.

The entire conversation is terrific. I think you will enjoy what Chuck has to say. To ensure that you don't miss any of the podcasts, I recommend that you subscribe to The Nimble Photographer Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you tune in.

Stranger Things Fan Goes Viral for Not Knowing what a Darkroom Is

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

A young fan of the popular Netflix show Stranger Things earned a bit of Internet fame (or is it infamy?) this weekend when they asked a question about that strange "red room" in the show where Jonathan goes "to 'refine' his photos or something." In other words: a darkroom.

Of course, it didn't take long before someone saw the post and shared it on Twitter alongside the caption "*crumbles further into dust*" to highlight just how old this question made them feel: And thus, a meme was born. The screenshot quickly showed up on Imgur, Reddit's /r/memes subreddit, and then got picked up by international news outlets. Meanwhile, responses to the Tweet above--which has been liked over 61K times and retweeted over 13K times--began pouring in:

Several of the commenters were also quite harsh, calling the original fan "dumb as rocks" and stereotyping all young people as stupid. But we prefer to look on the positive side of this story. As Twitter user Chris Wood wrote, "Hey, give the kid credit for being willing to ask."

Not that this stopped us from feeling like dinosaurs or relics of a bygone age, but look on the bright side: a whole lot of kids who would not have had the courage to ask this question now know the answer. Here's hoping a few of them pick up a roll of film and give the darkroom a try.

Update on My Kickstarter Projects

Speaking of film processing: I received my daylight Lab Box and will soon start testing it. I have a bottle of single bath chemistry ordered from Jeremiah's Photo Corner, and soon I will process my first roll of B&W film.

I also received this notice today from the Kamlan Optics folks:

Finally, The shipping for is coming ! We are about to ship from Aug. Here are some updates before that.
1. Manufacturing is quite fluent.We will post some pictures later.
2. We plan to close the option of shipping address change on July 31st. Please make according change before that date if your shipping address is different from what you have entered.
3. As the survey can only be sent once, we can't send survey for a 2nd time. For those we still can't find the survey, please enter the shipping information here.
4. We plan to complete the refund process for return backers in 7 days from now on.
5. No custom fee will be charged for EU customers this time,

So they seem to be on track as well.

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.

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