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Here's a clever idea that I read about on Engadget. It's a macro ring light that you can use topside or underwater that fits over the front of any of the Olympus TG cameras (TG-1, TG-2, and TG-3).

olympus-lg1-on-camera.jpg Photo by Engadget.com

The Olympus LG-1 LED Macro Ring Light channels the camera's LED illuminator into a round, even light source perfect for close-ups and macro photography. So you don't have extra batteries to worry about or concern underwater about using a supplemental light source for close-up shots.

There are a number of sample pictures with this accessory over at the Engadget article. So you might want to take a look. I'm hoping that it arrives before my trip to Maui in July. If so, I'll report back on my experience with it.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Olympus LG-1 ring light has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Much in the way that a new lens can invigorate your passion for taking pictures, presets and plugins can do the same for working in Aperture. If you haven't explored this brave new world, I have a treat for you.

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Presets are recipes that other photographers have created that use the existing tools in Aperture. Plugins are separate applications that work in concert with Aperture. I cover both in my latest article for lynda.com titled, Spicing Up Aperture with Plugins and Presets.

In terms of file management, presets are more friendly because you can try different looks for your pictures without adding megabytes to your library. Plugins, on the other hand, use largish Tiff files for the round trip from Aperture to the editing application. For that reason, I only use plugins for my favorite photos.

If you feel like your image editing life could use a pick-me-up, then read Spicing Up Aperture with Plugins and Presets and give a couple of these tools a try.

Personally, I love 'em. They've done a lot to keep me and Aperture together all these years.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


The Digital Story on Facebook -- discussion, outstanding images from the TDS community, and inside information. Join our celebration of great photography!


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Who says compact cameras are dead? Sony just announced the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III ($799) that features a pop-up electronic viewfinder and fast Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm T* f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens. Add a 1" image sensor, and you have a lot of camera in a small 10 oz package.

Other specs include:

  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • 3.0" 1229k-Dot Multi-Angle Xtra Fine LCD
  • Full HD Video in XAVC S, Clean HDMI Out
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • ISO 12800 and 10 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Manual Control Ring & Built-In ND Filter

The zoom lens is faster than its predecessors, but it's also shorter, topping out at 70mm instead of 100mm. Also, the multi-interface port with hotshot is gone with this version, although it's hard to complain about that when you get in exchange a pop-up SVGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 1.44M dots.

To be honest, this looks like an amazing camera. At $800, it's certainly not an impulse purchase. But if the reviews back up the specs, this compact just might find itself at the top of the heap.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Sony RX100 Mark III has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Once you've enjoyed the speed of a solid state drive in your laptop, I doubt if you could ever return to spinning platters. So how do I manage my ginormous Aperture library with just 256 GBs on my laptop?

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It's easier than you think. Thanks to the ability to merge and separate libraries with Aperture, I create a fresh library when I hit the road, then simply merge it into my master library on the Drobo when I return. I spell out the entire scenario in my latest lynda.com article, The Unlimited Laptop and Aperture.

If I want to bring a portion of the master library on the road with me, let's say all of my 2013 photos, I can use this technique to extract those images from the master collection and put it on a portable hard drive. I usually don't make changes to those past photos while traveling, but if I did, I could simply merge those files back into the master library when I'm back at the studio.

It's a great system that is easy to use and practically fool-proof. Check out The Unlimited Laptop and Aperture and see what you think.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


The Digital Story on Facebook -- discussion, outstanding images from the TDS community, and inside information. Join our celebration of great photography!


It's 2014 - WiFi is now Required

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Whenever I read a new camera announcement and see that WiFi is optional, instead of built-in, I move on. It happened this morning when scanning the specs for the Nikon S2 1-System mirrorless camera that requires an optional module for WiFi.

Next.

It's 2014, and WiFi is required - especially in compact and mirrorless cameras.

The problem is, once you've experienced good wireless connectivity with your mobile device, going back feels like washing your clothes in the stream. Great while camping, but not for everyday life.

I have excellent WiFi on my Canon S110, 70D, Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M10. Guess what cameras I carry with me when I walk out the door? I do make an exception for the Fujifilm X20 (with a Mobi card), but it's been around for a while. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the X30 has WiFi.

When I see a shot that I want to share with the world via Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr, I want to capture and publish in one swoop. WiFi allows that. I love having an intelligent remote control app on my iPhone that allows me to put my camera on a tripod an shoot without vibration. WiFi makes it easy.

We get to a point when certain features are expected: image stabilization, TTL flash, and now... WiFi.

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

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Coming this June, Canon will start shipping the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM for $299. This is great news for APS-C shooters who want an affordable wide angle lens.

According to Canon: The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM ultra wide-angle zoom lens features a compact and lightweight design with an Optical Image Stabilizer for shake correction up to four shutter speed stepsiii, enabling handheld shooting in low light. The lens' stepping motor and newly designed focus mechanism are ideal for Canon EOS Movie Servo AF (available on EOS 70D, EOS Rebel T5i and EOS Rebel SL1 cameras) to provide smooth, quiet and continuous autofocusing during video shooting, as well as when taking photos.

I can't wait to test it!

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This week on The Digital Story photography podcast: Canon G1X Mark II, B&W Printing Tips; Fujifilm XT1 Sharpness, To Watermark or Not? - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - The Weekly Update: Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Review (Source DP Review)

In other news, Is the Fuji X-T1 the sharpest APS-C camera out there? You be the judge: Image comparison tables posted on Imaging-Resource.com.

And finally, Cactus V6 Trigger is Capable of Being Used with Almost Any Flash System. (Source: Petapixel)

Story #2 - B&W Printing Tips - Have you seen Red River Paper's Best Inkjet Photo Papers for Black & White Printing that includes a downloadable "basics" guide? This page covers "the best" papers for the task and breaks them up by warm and cool tone. That segmentation resonates with older customers who remember buying darkroom paper that was either warm or cool. It also gives people a mental image of how paper contributes to the end result.

Story #3 - The Nimbleosity Report: "To Watermark or Not?" Photographer Sean Duggan wrote on The Nimble Photographer: "I favor a very small, subtle watermark in one of the lower corners of the mage (or sometimes along a vertical side...also in a corner) that has a lower opacity. I want it to be visible and legible, but not get in the way of the image. It's there to help honest people track the image back to me if they want to use it for anything. I can't worry about those who would crop it off or retouch it out of the image. But it's so easy for web images to become 'orphaned' and disconnected from their original posting context, as well as having embedded metadata stripped out, that a subtle watermark is important." I think he makes a great point.

Story #4 - From the Screening Room - iMovie 10.0.2 Essential Training with Garrick Chow. iMovie is sometimes overshadowed by Final Cut Pro X. But it can produce professional results easily. And Garrick is an excellent trainer.

You can watch Garrick in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com/thedigitalstory. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch other design, photography, and computing titles, plus every other topic in the library.

Virtual Camera Club News

May is Wow and Double Wow Month For Mothers Day, Graduation, Engagements, June Weddings, Birthday, Fathers Day ... and, because SizzlPix! loves making you a super hero with a camera strap around your neck, order TWO: one for them; one for yourself, and your second SizzlPix! is 25% off! Any two SizzlPix!, from the same image or two different, any sizes, any hanging options, save 25% on the second or more.

Workshop News: I've sent out invites to the Reserve List for the Fall Color with Safari West Workshop, October 24-26, 2014. You can learn about them both, plus request a reservation form by visiting the TDS Workshops Page and using the "Send Me Info" box.

Photo Assignment for May 2014 is "Around the House".

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story Podcast in iTunes.

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

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (33 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

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

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

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until August!

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Dust Off Your Old Glass

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Let's face it: you're probably not going back to film.

But you might have a few choice lenses from the SLR days that you just can't bear to part with. I do too. That's why I bought an adapter for my Olympus OM-D camera bodies and put my Zeiss lenses back to work.

I have a nice collection of primes from when I shot Contax SLRs: 35mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.7, 85mm f/2.8, 135mm f/2.8, and a 200mm f/3.5 that's inscribed, "Made in West Germany." I bought a lens adapter and started experimenting with these optics on my OM-D cameras.

It's been fun, and the images have a different look than my Olympus primes. For example, the photo in this post of the Zeiss 50mm was captured with the Zeiss 85mm, wide open, on a OM-D E-M5.

If you want to see more pictures and get more of the story, check out my article, Classic Lenses on Modern Cameras on c't Digital Photography.

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With a terabyte of free storage, it's easy to think of Flickr as the hall closet where you stuff all your photos. But consider its immersive audience and sharing tools; you may want to revisit your approach.

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For example, if you click on the Photo Gallery button of The Digital Story, it takes you to my Flickr Photo Stream. Once Flickr redesigned their site, I felt that the presentation was strong enough to showcase my images.

In my latest article for lynda.com, Use the New Flickr to Promote the New You, I advocate the following points for increasing your online presence with Flickr.

  • Think of Flickr as a showcase, not a dumping ground
  • Use Flickr as a tool to help you develop your photographic style
  • Stay out of ruts
  • Post-processing is a good thing
  • Don't be afraid of filters
  • Follow interesting people
  • Look at the metadata of the images that you like

You can still use that terabyte of free storage. Just keep the bulk of those images "private" and only make public the interesting shots. By doing so, you can begin to project your style as a photographer, and hopefully attract others to it.

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Flickr Essential Training 2013 - I explore the entire Flickr universe, mobile and computer, in my lynda.com title, Flickr Essential Training. Stop by and take a look.

I've just been reading in-depth articles on Build Your Own Studio Gear and Time-Lapse Photography from the new Free Articles Downloads page on c't Digital Photography's website. The time-lapse article is 12 pages and the studio gear is 24 pages long.

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This technical library was just launched this week, and new items will be added on a regular basis. There's no charge for any of the content, but you do have to provide your email address for the c't Digital Photography Newsletter to enable the download button.

If you're grabbing multiple articles, be sure to use the same email address so that you only receive one newsletter.

These are actual articles from c't Digital Photography Magazine. In part the library is made available to you as a introduction to this great content. If you like what you read (and I'm thinking you will), then consider a annual subscription that includes both the paper version of the publication and the electronic editions too.

c't Digital Photography Magazine is offering an "Open House" 20 percent Discount for the month of May.

In the meantime, check in with the new c't website a couple times a week to keep up on the world of serious enthusiast photography.

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