Recently in Photography

  Page 72 of 307 in Photography  

open-macgyver-box.jpg

All the stuff that ends up in the bottom of your camera bag - spare change, rubber bands, bandaids, pain reliever packets - and more. The problem is, you're carrying it around all the time, yet you can't find the items when you need them. It's a lose/lose situation.

My solution? The MacGyver Box for Photographers. This is just one of the weekend projects that I write about in my latest post for lynda.com Article Center, Photography Hacks: Power Charging, Repurposed Loupe, MacGyver Box.

You'll have to jump over to the lynda article to learn about the alternative charging methods for your mobile devices and how to repurpose an inexpensive loupe for field work. But I'll cover the MacGyver Box right here.

closed-macgyver-box.jpg

Start with an emptied-out filter box, then assemble all the widgets that you need to have accessible in your camera bag. I use rubber bands, coins (as screwdrivers too), paper clips (SIM removal tool), Bandaids (great for emergency tape also), pain reliever, flash drive, white business card (bounce flash card and ID too), wire ties, and safety pins.

They all fit nice and neat in this box that stashes easily in your bag, yet can be located quickly. No more digging around in the depths of your kit, only to be rewarded by being pricked in the finger by an open safety pin.

More about the MacGyver Box and the other goodies at the lynda.com Article Center.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

oi-share-art-filter.jpg

If you haven't checked-in with Olympus OI Share (2.4) for a while, the app has evolved into a full-featured remote control for WiFi-enabled PENs and OM-Ds. I'm using it with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 ($699) with the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ zoom ($349). More on the lens choice in a moment.

OI Share works on both smartphones and tablets, and it enables you to set exposure mode, white balance, exposure compensation, drive mode, ISO, and of course, trip the shutter. The application is organized into four basic areas: Remote Control, Import Photos, Edit Photo, and Add Geotag. My focus here is the Remote Control mode.

Review Your Settings

Set up the app by tapping on the gear icon in the upper right corner to reveal Settings. Tap on Remote Control. One of the defaults that I change is Live View Quality. Out of the box, it's set for Speed Priority. But I think the image on my iPhone or iPad screen looks terrible with this selection. I recommend Image Quality Priority. Unless you're having performance problems, it makes capture far more enjoyable to view.

remote-control-settings.jpg

When it's time to take pictures, enable WiFi on the camera and set up your mobile device by scanning the QR code on the camera's LCD screen. Keep in mind that you need to access the WiFi network that the camera creates in order use remote control. Then launch the OI Share app.

Zoom In and Out

If you have a power zoom lens (which I recommend for remote use), then you can zoom in and out by using the control that appears on the left side of the screen. This is very handy for fine-tuning your composition when you're not within reach of the camera.

zooming-control.jpg

Experiment with Art Filters

Tap on the Exposure Mode Control in the upper right corner, and review your options: iAUTO, P, A, S, M, and ART. Take a look at Art Filters and experiment with your options. Some of those effects might get your creative juices flowing. If you shoot RAW+Jpeg, the RAW will remain untouched and the Jpeg will display the Art Filter effect. It's the best of both worlds.

art-filters-options.jpg

Drive Mode Flexibility

Not only do you have the standard single frame and burst mode options in the upper right corner, but Olympus has added some nifty self-timer settings. You can delay the shutter release in increments of 2 seconds with a range of 12 seconds to 2 seconds. As an added bonus, you can set multiple exposures and the duration between them too.

drive-control-menu.jpg

And Plenty More

You can tap the screen to set the focus point, or initiate the shutter. And once you capture your images, save them to the Camera Roll to share online. The original photos remain on the camera's memory card.

OI Share is available as a free app in iTunes and Google Play. It is the robust remote camera control that we once dreamed about.


Nimble Photographer Logo

Olympus OI Share has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

For the July 2014 Photo Assignment, (Our 100th!!!) TDS shooters turned up the heat to produce these smoldering shots. See for yourself in our gallery, Smokin' Hot. And which one will be the SizzlPix Pick of the Month?

rodney-campbell-pa-july14.jpg

Photo by Rodney Campbell. Rodney writes, "This final image is actually a composite of two (along with near zero photoshopping skill). One 394-second long exposure shot at f/7.1 and ISO 100 - a little lighting of the dunes with low sculpted light from the far sides (most on the right and a touch of fill from the left), and a touch of white light on the tree, some red light torch shining up into the tree from below along with a burning steel wool spin behind. Combined with a 31 second shot wide open at f/4 and ISO 6400 to capture the stars in an almost clear sky (just a few whisps of clouds left)."

"Each of the two individual shots actually look pretty good - however even the 394-second (over six minutes) long exposure shot had essentially a black sky with a few trailing stars - but together they just give you more of everything good." See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Smokin' Hot.


Participate in This Month's Assignment

The September 2014 assignment is "Shot from Behind." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is Sept. 30, 2014. No limit on image size submitted.

Please follow the instructions carefully for labeling the subject line of the email for your submission. It's easy to lose these in the pile of mail if not labeled correctly. For example, the subject line for this month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: Sept. 2014." Also, if you can, please don't strip out the metadata. And feel free to add any IPTC data you wish (These fields in particular: Caption, Credit, Copyright, Byline), I use that for the caption info.

Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting July 2014 gallery at the end of August, the August gallery will be posted at the end of September, and on and on.

Good luck with your September assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for July.


Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Olympus PEN E-PL7, Jerry Uelsmann, DIY LCD Shade - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Very flashy: Ricoh unveils Pentax K-S1 DSLR - The K-S1 offers a 20.1MP APS-C sensor, an AA filter simulator (as seen on the Pentax K-3) and burst shooting at 5.4 fps, but none of that is quite as attention-grabbing as its headline body specification - a set of green LEDs on the camera's grip and power switch. (Source: DP Review).

In other news, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography by J. Chris Hansen has just been published ($24.95). Topics include camera set-ups and the use of backgrounds and photo blinds, composition styles, step-by-step projects for the do-it-yourselfer and techniques to attract birds using feeders and perches. (Source: PhotographyBlog.com).

And finally, Dropbox now offers its pro users 1TB of storage for $9.99 a month. Dropbox now offers its pro users 1TB of storage for $9.99 a month. And if you sign up for a year (in the US), the price drops to $99. (Source: Imaging-Resource.com).

oly-self-portrait.jpg

Story #2 - Olympus Debuts the PEN E-PL7 Aimed at Social Media Photographers - The latest Micro Four Thirds PEN camera from Olympus takes aim at two segments of the photography community: women and online publishers.

The styling and the size of the E-PL7 is a better fit for female photographers. In addition to the design of the camera itself, Olympus has created smart looking accessories that further enhance the device's appearance.

Furthermore, Olympus has updated their O.I.Share app and created an easy-to-use wireless system that connects the E-PL7 to a smart phone or tablet. BTW: O.I.Share 2.4 is now available in the App Store. The clever "flip down" LCD screen makes it easier than ever to hold the camera for selfie capture. They've even built an entire feature set around self-portraits.

I discuss how all of this hangs together in the second segment of today's show. (And you can read my preliminary report on the E-PL7 at c't Digital Photography Magazine.

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - Jerry Uelsmann & Maggie Taylor: This is not photography. Jerry and Maggie are two of the best surreal, visual storytellers of our era. In this compelling documentary, the filmmakers at lynda explore their vision and technique. It's a compelling journey.

You can watch Jerry and Maggie 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.

Story #4 - Tried of Trying to Compose Photographs on an LCD in Bright Sun? I have a solution for you... and you can create it yourself in just a few minutes - Photography Hacks: Make an LCD Shade, Battery Protector, and Lighting Field Kit.

Virtual Camera Club News

The SizzlPix September Discount Order early, starting today, and for every day between now and the end of September, SizzlPix will subtract 1% (one-percent) from the cost of your order. Remember the rhyme, "30 days hath September ..." You can see how much you'll save! Remember to put TDS September Discount in the comments field.

Red River Paper just released RRP Luster Card Duo again. It's a double-sided luster paper pre-scored for cards. It is related to Arctic Polar Luster, but the surface is more pearlescent. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/om9zapu

Visit the Red River Paper Card Shop. You can peruse top selling cards, order the card sample kit, and read tutorials on card printing. Save on Ground Shipping for Red River Paper. Use coupon code ground50c to receive a 50 percent discount on UPS ground shipping for Red River Paper. No minimum purchase required.

Photo Assignment for September 2014 is "Shot from Behind".

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.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (31 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 January!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Make a Shade for Your Camera's LCD

lcd-in-shade-place.jpg

Very few things in photography are as tough as composing on an LCD in bright conditions. It's basically "guess and shoot."

I've designed a simple solution using a cardboard jewelry box. It's easy to make, has adjustable depth, and can double as an accessory storage container. And the best part is, in bright conditions, it really works.

I explain how this gem works in my latest article for the lynda.com Article Center titled, Photography Hacks: Make an LCD Shade, Battery Protector, and Lighting Field Kit. It's the first installment of a 3-part series that I'm authoring for the site.

accessories-in-box.jpg When it's not shading your LCD screen, the shade can serve as a handy accessory box.

If you've got a little time to tinker this weekend, you might want to take a look at this post. I think you'll like what you end up with.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

dropbox-sharing.jpg

Dropbox is one of the best cloud storage services available. And now, with their new Dropbox Pro offer, you can enjoy 1 TB of online storage for $99 a year.

When you look at the plan's features, combined with the ability to share files across all of your devices, I would say that we've reached a sweet spot. Here are a few of the highlights.

  • 1 TB of storage for just about any type of file, not just photos.
  • Easy to collaborate and control. You can share files with others and control the permissions.
  • Remote wipe for lost devices. Delete data from a lost or stolen device. Rest assured a copy is backed up in Dropbox.
  • Automatic backup of your photos from your devices. Never lose another photo, even if your mobile device goes missing.

I've been using Dropbox for a couple years, and they've continued to refine and improve their service. The feature set is excellent, the mobile apps are easy to use, and performance is outstanding.

If you pay annually, the price for Dropbox Pro is $99. The monthly payment plan is $9.99. Either way, this is a cloud service that makes good sense.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

olympus-25mm-black.jpg

The handsome, snap-focus Olympus ED 12mm f/2.0 lens is now available as standard issue in black.

This all-metal wide-angle prime has an 85 degree angle of view, seven aperture blades, 8 groups/11 lenses, fast 2.0 maximum aperture, and weighs only 4.59 ounces. You can quickly switch from manual focus by pulling back the focusing ring until it "snaps" into place. I love this feature and use it often with my 17mm f/1.8 prime.

By doing so, you can set a precise focusing distance. I've found this quite useful for astrophotography when I have to find the infinity setting in the dark.

lens-hood-for-25mm.jpg

Olympus has also created a black version of the LH48 metal lens hood for the 12mm. I don't have pricing or release date yet for the lens hood, but I estimate that it will be in the $75 neighborhood.

The 12mm f/2.0 lens is available for preorder now ($799). It should ship by early September.

Also, you're curious about the new PEN E-PL7 "social photographer" camera ($599), then you should check-out Olympus Debuts the PEN E-PL7 Aimed at Social Media Photographers, published on c't Digital Photography Magazine.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Even though the original attraction to mirrorless cameras was their high nimbleosity rating, over time, that's evolved into all around photographic capability. I have a few editorial assignments on the horizon, and I'm packing my Lowepro bag for these jobs. I thought you might be interested to see what's inside.

urban-reporter-kit-editorial.jpg

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 - when it comes to professional work, this is the most capable mirrorless body in my arsenal. It is rugged, light, and very sophisticated.
  • Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens - this is my workhorse optic. I can shoot indoors existing light or outdoors in full sun. It's optically exquisite, fast, and solid. (A highly capable alternative is the Olympus PRO 12-40mm f/2.8 zoom.)
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 lens - this is the optic I reach for when I need a portrait with a soft background. At f/1.8, it is incredibly sharp where I focus, and creamy soft everywhere else.
  • Olympus 9mm Fisheye body cap lens - I love having a fisheye in my kit, and this little gem hardly takes up any room. The pictures it produces, however, are grand indeed.
  • Olympus 60mm Macro f/2.8 lens - not only does this prime optic bridge the gap between my 12-35mm zoom and 75mm portrait lens, but it has outstanding 1:1 close-up capability. The 60mm is very handy when you have to get really close.
  • Fujifilm X20 compact camera - I like the X20 as my back-up camera because it has a silent mode (thanks to its leaf shutter) that's perfect for street shooting, ceremonies, and other locations where going unnoticed is important. Plus it includes an optical viewfinder, film simulation modes, and great image quality. (As an alternative backup, the Panasonic GX7 or petite GM1 have electronic shutter options and can shoot silently. And they accept these lenses.)
  • Lowepro Urban Reporter 150 - I've modified the interior of this bag to accommodate this kit, plus a flash and my iPad mini. It looks professional, yet is discreet. Great bag for city assignments.

I'll usually pack the MeFOTO DayTrip tripod in my suitcase during flight. But it will fit in the Urban Reporter if I need to bring it out on location. That means, of course, I would have to leave another piece of equipment back in the hotel.

With this kit, I can photograph just about any editorial assignment that comes my way. Yet, it's very nimble, and quite honestly, a joy to use.


Nimble Photographer Logo

This kit has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: Silent Shutter, Huge Price Drop for the Panasonic GX7, Traveling with David Hobby, Luxurious Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 Lens for Micro Four Thirds - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Cactus Releases the V6 - The Cactus Wireless WRLS Flash Transceiver V6 is the world's first non-TTL wireless trigger that can control power of cross-brand system flashes of Canon, Nikon and Pentax. You can adjust power levels in 0.1EV increments for perfect control of light output. And the best part, they sell for $59 each.

In other news, The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX7 Price Drop - The Micro Four Thirds GX7 is now available for $697 that's a huge price drop for its $999 list price. I'll be talking more about the GX7 for street shooting in the next story.

And finally, Rumor: Zeiss Will Soon Announce the "Loxia" Lens Line for Full-Frame Mirrorless Systems (Sony Alpha) - All are designed by ZEISS itself, unlike the 55mm f/1.8 FE, which is a Sony product with ZEISS branding. All are said to be manual focus prime lenses, will feature a physical aperture ring and be made of high-quality materials. (Source: PetaPixel).

new-fujifilm-x30.jpg The new Fujifilm X30, along with its older siblings the X10, X20, X100 and X100S, feature a "silent shutter" option that's impressive.

Story #2 - Silent Shutter - We often don't realize just how noisy our cameras can be until we're in a quiet environment, such as a church. But there are a few stealthy capture devices out there, and I discuss their advantages for street shooting, weddings, and other situations where you don't want to draw attention to yourself. Four of the cameras I discuss are:

Story #3 - From the Screening Room - The Traveling Photographer: Fundamentals with David Hobby. David might surprise you with his approach to this title. It's not just about f/stops and lenses. He provides insights to traveling as a photographer while balancing the other aspects of your trip.

You can watch David 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.

Story #4 - I Got to Touch the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm/F1.2 lens for Micro Four Thirds. My friend and Lumix Luminary Joseph Linaschke stopped by the studio this morning with this optic in his bag of tricks. I immediately mounted it on my Olympus OM-D E-M10 to see how it would perform.

Story #5 - SizzlPix Winners! Here are the latest class of winning photographers for the SizzlPix Pick of the Month:

  • Michael Hoffman -"HDR" - March 2014 Photo Assignment
  • John Dillworth - "Flower Power" - April 2014 Photo Assignment
  • Victor Hermand - "Around the House" - May 2014 Photo Assignment
  • Richard Messenger - "Any Kind of Light but Natural" - June 2014 Photo Assignment

Congratulations on your excellent work!

Virtual Camera Club News

Red River Paper just released RRP Luster Card Duo again. It's a double-sided luster paper pre-scored for cards. It is related to Arctic Polar Luster, but the surface is more pearlescent. You can find it here.

The SizzlPix Challenge is Back! (for one month only). Each week the first 10 TheDigitalStory listeners/readers to order SizzlPix from their own favorite images will receive a mini-sample of each SizzlPix prior to production by return mail absolutely free! Just put the words "free sample first" and your mailing address in the comment space of SizzlPix's new simplified order form.

Photo Assignment for August 2014 is "My Favorite Close-up".

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.

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (29 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 January!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

panasonic-prime-on-em10.jpg

Early start to the day. I received a text message at 6:19 AM from my friend and Lumix Luminary Joseph Linaschke. He was heading north from the Sonoma Racetrack and wanted to see if I was available for a coffee meeting. He had a bag full of Panasonic gear with him.

You bet I was available.

After catching up for a bit, Joseph pulled out his Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH Power OIS lens. What a beauty!

I mounted the prime on my Olympus OM-D E-M10 and shot a few pictures. I wanted to test its "soft background" capability, so Joseph suggested we step outside for a quick portrait.

joseph-linaschke-with-panasonic-42_5mm.jpg Joseph Linaschke with Panasonic 42.5mm prime lens on an OM-D E-M10: ISO 100, f/1.2, 1/500th. Photo by Derrick Story.

The lens was everything you'd expect from a premium optic. Focusing was swift and accurate. Design and build were outstanding. And image quality was top notch with beautiful softness in the background. Most photographers wouldn't expect these results from a Micro Four Thirds sensor. But yes, you can enjoy full frame quality from your compact Panasonic or Olympus body.

The Nocticron 42.5mm has a click-stop aperture ring near the front of the barrel, and a switch for optical image stabilization on the side. Olympus shooters can leave the aperture ring set to "A," because the OM-D firmware doesn't acknowledge the click stops. (They're still fun to play with, however!) But the optical stabilization does work if you prefer to use that over the sensor-based stabilization on the OM-D.

The nine circular diaphragm blades help create very smooth bokeh in the background. And the metal lens hood, which is very similar to the metal hood I have for the Olympus 75mm f/1.8, adds a nice finishing touch.

The Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens is a dangerous lens to test. After about 3 minutes, you'll be checking your credit card limit to see if it can accommodate another $1,600.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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