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5 Great Photo Deals Available Right Now

If you didn't get your photography gear itch scratched during the holidays, here are five great deals that you might want to take advantage of right now. They are good through Saturday, Dec. 29.

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Kodak Photo Printer Mini - $49.99 ($50 off) - Create fun snapshots as you wander the world or hang out with your friends with the portable and battery-powered white Photo Printer Mini from Kodak. This compact and lightweight printer connects directly to your smart device using Wi-Fi and can perform a one-touch connection thanks to built-in NFC. From here users can then open a mobile app for their iOS or Android device and print from a variety of sources quickly and easily. Using D2T2 dye diffusion thermal transfer technology, the Photo Printer Mini can then produce a full-color credit-card sized 2.1 x 3.4" photo in about one minute. It also places and overcoat on the image that will protect the image from damage, including by being fingerprint and water resistant.

Joby GripTight POV Kit - $9.99 ($30 off) - Enhance your smartphone photography with the Joby GripTight POV Kit. This kit consists of a Joby Impulse Bluetooth Remote and the Joby GripTight POV, which fits devices 2.2 to 3.6" wide. The GripTight POV also features a cold shoe adapter and a poseable handle, which can be removed and used with pin-joint style accessories for action cameras like the GoPro. The remote connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and acts as a remote trigger from up to 90' away.

Lowepro ProTactic BP 250 AW Mirrorless Camera and Laptop Backpack - $49.95 ($100 off) - Inspired by the urban landscape, yet at home wherever you may roam, the black ProTactic BP 250 AW Backpack from Lowepro is designed to store and protect your mirrorless camera with mounted lens, 3-4 extra lenses or flashes and accessories. Larger items are stored in the main compartment and organized with padded, touch-fastening dividers. Opposite the main compartment is a lid with two, zippered clear mesh pockets for smaller accessories, and a large CradeleFit laptop pocket for an up to 11" MacBook Air. (Terrific backpack!)

SLR Magic 8mm f/4 Lens for MFT - $119 ($230 off) - Ultra wide and ultra lightweight at just 3.9 oz, the 8mm f/4 Lens from SLR Magic can easily find a home on your drone or gimbal stabilizer. Designed for these demanding applications, this lens offers a 16mm equivalent focal length with minimal distortion and high sharpness, ideal for vast landscapes, tight interiors, and architectural work. Also, it has an f/4 aperture that allows for the lens to remain extremely compact.

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MeFOTO BackPacker Air Travel Tripod (Red) - $29.95 ($50 off) - The red BackPacker Air Travel Tripod from MeFOTO is a sturdy, lightweight, and compact aluminum alloy support designed for the modern enthusiast and smartphone photographer.

Happy browsing!

And here's one bonus item that everyone needs right now...

Panasonic Eneloop CC55 Quick Charger Kit - $34.99 ($20 off) - The Eneloop CC55 Quick Charger Kit from Panasonic contains eight Ni-MH AA batteries with a capacity of 2000mAh and four AAA batteries with a capacity of 800mAh. The batteries have been pre-charged by solar power, so they are ready to use out of the package. The included CC55 charger has four charging bays with individual LED charge indicator lights, which shows how much each battery has charged. To charge a fully depleted battery, it can take between three and four hours, and once all the batteries are fully charged, the charger will automatically shut off for overcharge protection.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #667, Dec. 25, 2018. Today's theme is "The Inside Scoop on Luminar 3 with Libraries." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

On Dec. 18, Skylum released the long-awaited Luminar with Libraries. What was originally perceived by customers as a Lightroom replacement proved to be an asset manager of a different type. Some love it, others are disappointed. Where you land on this spectrum depends on your needs. Helping you determine that is the focus of today's TDS Photography Podcast.

The Inside Scoop on Luminar 3 with Libraries

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After being through the beta testing program, monitoring the online Skylum Public Photography Group, and preparing for my recent Nimble Classroom on the subject, I feel like I have a good handle on the first release of Luminar 3 with Libraries. I cover the highlights in the first segment of today's show.

The Portfoliobox Inspirational Photographer

I got to thinking about some of the great PortfolioBox photographers out there, and how they could inspire us both artistically, but also in terms of our presentation online. So I started digging.

Each week for the month of December, I'm going to feature an inspirational photographer who uses Portfoliobox as his/her platform for presenting their work. This week I want to point you to www.luigiquarta.com/. Luigi Quarta is a conceptual photographer, who uses photography as a means of expression to represent concepts, feelings, and moods.

He writes about Portfoliobox, "Portfoliobox has a modern design that I like a lot and is very easy to use. It's really a great platform to open your personal website."

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published. I will add it to our PortfolioBox Pro Directory.

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.

What Are Your Real Life Shots of 2018?

As photographers, we have this unique opportunity to see our lives in ways that others cannot. Find those real life moments, look at them, then think about what you want to do this coming year. Here's why.

I've Booked Our Accommodations for the Joshua Tree Workshop this Coming March

We have two more spots on the reserve list for the Joshua Tree High Desert Adventure this coming March. Full itineraries go out this week to reserve list members.

The Adobe Rockpile is located conveniently on the way to Joshua Tree National Park,just minutes from the west entrance. Enjoy our Hammock,hot tub,views, and desert scenery!This Property is the perfect blend of comfort, convenience, nature, and high desert style.

The Adobe Rockpile is located in the most beautiful neighborhood in the hills of Yucca Valley. It feels like you are out in the national park, but are only one to two miles away from all the in-town amenities. Surrounded by open space, boulders and other custom homes with plenty of space in between, you will feel all the comforts of home and more in this neighborhood.

If you want to join us in March, If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: We'll start a new Photo Challenge after Christmas. Stay tuned to your Patreon page for upcoming details and the prize.

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.

Most photographers are this wonderful mix of artist and historian. But many of the images that we share online tend to be more from the artistic nature rather than the storytelling. That's OK. Nothing wrong with impressing our peers with our creative chops.

Kitty-Carrier-1024.jpg "Trip to the Vet" - Sylvester had developed a constant sneeze that needed attending to. I took her to the vet for advice. While we were waiting, I noticed the photo of another Tuxedo cat on the wall. I really liked the juxtaposition of Sylvester in the foreground against the image on the wall. BTW: Sylvester is fine now. We treated her with some meds, and she's back in the pink. And she has been one of my many blessings this year. Photo by Derrick Story. iPhone X.

But here's an exercise that I think you will really enjoy. Go back through your photo collection from 2018, and mark the "real life" images. You know, those snapshots from gatherings, home repair, pets, kids, tough moments, family members, and friends.

Put those images in a collection, and build a simple slideshow with them. Be sure to add a dash of your favorite music. Then, on New Year's Eve, share that collection with any friends or family who you happen to be with. And if you're flying solo, share it with yourself.

Regardless of how good or bad you're feeling at the moment, I promise that a faint glow will come over you. If the images are challenging, then know that you met that adversity and made it through the year. If the pictures are heartwarming, then give thanks for your blessings. For many of us, it will be a mix of both.

As photographers, we have this unique opportunity to see our lives in ways that others cannot. Find those real life moments, look at them, then think about what you want to do this coming year.

Happy Holidays and Peace on Earth.

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

Time for Your Instagram Top 9

What were your most popular Instagram shots of 2018? You can find out by visiting TopNine.co. They will compile your most popular images, then send them to you via email as a Jpeg.

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You can also download the iOS app Top Nine for Instagram 2018 or the Android Top Nine and get this on your smartphone as well.

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You do have to provide your email. So if you're uncomfortable with that, then this might not be for you. But I've done this in the past without any ensuing problems. Speaking of email delivery, Gmail will probably place your TopNine delivery in the Promotions tab, so look for it there.

If you do seek your TopNine, I think you'll discover a few surprises that made the cut. It's a great reminder that we can't always identify our most popular work. Notice that I said "popular," not best. It's good for perspective as we continue to evaluate our photography. And... it's fun.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #666, Dec. 18, 2018. Today's theme is "A Visit to Mom's." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Every year at this time, I like to talk about the importance of photography during family gatherings. This year, instead of just discussing it, I'm bringing you along to a visit at my Mom's house in Southern California. We're going to ask her about the importance of family, photography, and staying in touch with your roots. I hope you enjoy the show.

A Visit to Mom's

There's 8 hours of highway between my Mom's house and mine. I don't make the trek as often as I should, and she will probably mention that during our chat. But seeing her is very important to me, and I look forward to our visits.

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I thought listening to her perspective about the holidays and family would be interesting to the family historians in our podcast audience. I hope you enjoy our visit, sitting around the family table that I've know since childhood.

The Portfoliobox Inspirational Photographer

I got to thinking about some of the great PortfolioBox photographers out there, and how they could inspire us both artistically, but also in terms of our presentation online. So I started digging.

Each week for the month of December, I'm going to feature an inspirational photographer who uses Portfoliobox as his/her platform for presenting their work. This week I want to point you to www.luigiquarta.com/. Luigi Quarta is a conceptual photographer, who uses photography as a means of expression to represent concepts, feelings, and moods.

He writes about Portfoliobox, "Portfoliobox has a modern design that I like a lot and is very easy to use. It's really a great platform to open your personal website."

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published. I will add it to our PortfolioBox Pro Directory.

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.

Luminar with Libraries Releases Today

If you already own Luminar 2018, you will automatically be upgraded to Luminar 3 with Libraries.

I've Booked Our Accommodations for the Joshua Tree Workshop this Coming March

The Adobe Rockpile is located conveniently on the way to Joshua Tree National Park,just minutes from the west entrance. Enjoy our Hammock,hot tub,views, and desert scenery!This Property is the perfect blend of comfort, convenience, nature, and high desert style.

The Adobe Rockpile is located in the most beautiful neighborhood in the hills of Yucca Valley. It feels like you are out in the national park, but are only one to two miles away from all the in-town amenities. Surrounded by open space, boulders and other custom homes with plenty of space in between, you will feel all the comforts of home and more in this neighborhood.

If you want to join us in March, If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Night Shot is our current photo challenge. More details on our Patreon page.

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.

5 Tips for Family Holiday Travel

It's that time of year when many photographers are hitting the road, not only with their gear, but with family members as well. The art of family travel is a delicate one. And even with the change in circumstances, there are usually plenty of photo opportunities to be captured as well. So here are five tips to help you make the most of your adventure.

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  • Be Flexible - When traveling alone, you get to make all the decisions based on the moment. But needs vary for other folks in your group, so be sure to check in with them often and adjust accordingly.
  • Stretch Your Creativity - Being creative takes many different forms. Sometimes finding a new way to meet a challenge is the height of creativity. "How can I get this shot in just a minute before we move on?"
  • Be a Passenger - Since you have others who can drive and wait in line, use those moments to ride shotgun for photography or nose around looking for shots. You'll be surprised what you can come up with.
  • Negotiate Ahead of Time - If there's something that you really want to photograph, come up with a plan, and present it ahead of time. Getting early buy in allows others to decide what they're going to do during that time and keeps everyone happy.
  • Don't Forget the Subjects Right in Front of You - Yes, an early morning sunrise is beautiful, but so are candids of your travel mates. These trips are great opportunities to document the activities of those you care about.

Embracing the moment is good for your art, as well as your relationships. Have a great trip this holiday season.

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

Back in the day, Olympus made a nifty accessory grip for the OM-2S Program. It's not easy to find, and the only one on eBay right now is selling for a ridiculous $99. It's a piece of molded plastic with a screw. I'm not paying more for that than the camera itself.

Fortunately, clever designers with 3D printers, like the folks at Butter Grip have provided me with a reasonable $21 alternative.

PC117087-OM-Grip-1024.jpg The Olympus OM-10 grip mounted on my OM-2S Program. (Olympus OM bodies are very consistent in design.)

This handsome grip fits the camera perfectly, screws in to the bottom tripod socket, and even has a compartment to store spare batteries.

PC117086-OM-Grip-1024.jpg There's even a compartment to store spare batteries.

If I ever do score an Olympus OM Grip 1 at a reasonable price, I can still use the Butter Grip on my OM-10. It's light and helps protect the bottom of the body, not to mention feels good while shooting.

I anticipate that more hard-to-find camera parts will show up on the market thanks to 3D printing. I'm sure happy about how that technology has solved this particular problem for me.

Derrick is the owner of TheFilmCameraShop that specializes in 35mm photo gear from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. He shoots a roll of film a week for his artistic health.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #665, Dec. 11, 2018. Today's theme is "Inside Capture One Pro 12 with David Grover." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Phase One has just released Capture One Pro 12, its robust image management and editing software. Capture One has been gaining traction over the last few releases because many consider it a high quality alternative to Lightroom, myself included. Today, we have David Grover on the horn. He's Phase One's business support and development manager. And he's also one of their best trainers. I hope you enjoy his insights on this latest release of Capture One.

Inside Capture One Pro 12 with David Grover

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David and I sit down for a chat about the new features in Capture One Pro 12.

10 Qualities of a Successful Online Portfolio

Even if you very actively promote your work on social media, your online portfolio is still the mothership: the primary showcase of your talents, into which all other promotional streams will flow. But putting together a successful portfolio website can often seem like a daunting task. Where to begin?

Actually it's pretty simple, and the best portfolio sites all tend to share the same qualities. Follow our ten-point guide to creating an effective online portfolio and you'll soon be up and running.

See all 10 tips by visiting 10 Qualities of a Successful Online Portfolio on the 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.

I've Booked Our Accommodations for the Joshua Tree Workshop this Coming March

The Adobe Rockpile is located conveniently on the way to Joshua Tree National Park,just minutes from the west entrance. Enjoy our Hammock,hot tub,views, and desert scenery!This Property is the perfect blend of comfort, convenience, nature, and high desert style.

The Adobe Rockpile is located in the most beautiful neighborhood in the hills of Yucca Valley. It feels like you are out in the national park, but are only one to two miles away from all the in-town amenities. Surrounded by open space, boulders and other custom homes with plenty of space in between, you will feel all the comforts of home and more in this neighborhood.

If you want to join us in March, If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Night Shot is our current photo challenge. More details on our Patreon page.

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.

How and Why to Get a Photo Assistant

Whether it's a wedding, outdoor portrait, or casual event - having a second set of hands increases your odds of a successful photo shoot.

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Photo assistants don't have to be trained photographers. The skills they bring to the set include a second set of eyes for wardrobe malfunctions and stay hair, a second set of hands for reflectors and fill flashes, and a trusted caddy to consult with before a big shot.

At weddings, photo assistants are invaluable for assembling groups for family portraits, checking in with the food service and DJ for timing, and for running out to the car to get that tripod you forgot.

But how do you find a helper? In many instances, I've brought on folks who expressed an interest in photography. They could be a friend, family member, neighbor, or co-worker who wants to learn more about event photography and portraits. When someone asks me, "How can I get experience with freelancing?", I typically reply by starting out as an assistant.

From there, the next step is second shooter, then on to their own gigs. I've seen this progression time and time again. And I think it's great for everyone involved.

And finally, if you're in the middle of a shoot without an assistant, don't be afraid to ask the boyfriend or mom to help. They're usually there for moral support for the subject, and I've found that they're more than happy to lend a helping hand to become part of project.

In addition to improving the final product, photo assistants help make the task at hand more enjoyable. I bet you know someone right now who would be interested in lending a hand.

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

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Between running the blog and TheFilmCameraShop, I shoot a lot of small product shots. I need to create these efficiently and beautifully. In other words, I want them to look good, and I don't want to spend a lot of time in the process.

I've set up a small product studio that would work in any office or home as well. It consists of a Translucent Shooting Tent and two lights. The positioning of the lights is the key to this endeavor.

In most demonstrations, you'll see the lights placed on either side of the product. Personally, I don't think that's the best look. It can make your subjects look too one-dimensional. Instead, I position one light to the side, and the second above, shining down through the top of the tent. The second light serves a dual purpose of illuminating the backdrop and the top of the product. I like the Fotodiox Pro FlapJack LED Light for this type of work because it has variable intensity and it includes a built-in diffuser, which makes everything easier.

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The lights must be softened. I use a small softbox for the one positioned on the side. The top light is diffused by shining through the shooting tent. This configuration creates both pleasing tones and a sense of texture and depth.

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As for the camera and lens, you can use just about anything. I have an older Olympus OM-D E-M5 just for my studio work combined with a Panasonic LUMIX G LEICA DG 25mm f/1.4 lens. I will confess, that I do like a sharp lens for this type of work.

I handhold the camera, set the aperture to around f/4, and the ISO is usually 1600. Since I use continuous lighting, I can position all the elements exactly as I want and see the composition clearly before snapping the shutter.

Once you get all of the factors dialed in, you can knock out any type of small product shot quickly and beautifully. The latter is very important, especially if you sell on eBay or Etsy. If your products look better than the competition's, trust me, you have an advantage.

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