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This is The Digital Story Podcast #664, Dec. 4, 2018. Today's theme is "Prepare for Your 2019 Now." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If you wait until January 1st to choose the improvements that you want to make in 2019, it's already too late. Before you know it, the month will be gone, and you won't have accomplished a thing. If you really want to up your game next year, now is the time to start. And I have some great ideas for you in today's TDS photography podcast.

Prepare for Your 2019 Now

Yes, December has its share of holiday madness. But that also means that friends, family, and clients can be a bit distracted, leaving you with a few windows to work on your 2019 game plan.

The reason why I like December for this is because it gives me time to research options, test out my ideas, then have everything locked and loaded by the time I pop the champagne cork on Dec. 31st. If you like this reasoning, here are a few things to consider for the month.

  • Update Your Budget - Most great ideas need funding. I like to pay for things as I go, so a budget is vital to managing my business and personal life. I map out my expected expenses and revenue streams. Part of those allocations are for new projects that I hope will be successful in the new year.
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  • Take Stock of Your Gear - By this point in the year, there are items I'm not using that should be sold, and things that I need for upcoming projects. A good example was investing in additional SSD storage so I could more easily manage big photo projects. Lighting and lenses are also top of the list review items.
  • Create One New Project that You're Willing to Take a Risk with - You can settle for the same projects and revenue streams year to year. You'll go backwards as things fade way if you don't have ideas to replace them. Some of my best new projects in the past included the TDS Workshop Series, TheFilmCameraShop, and The Value of Journaling for Photographers. This began as a personal project 3 years ago, and has become an important part of my creative life.
  • Commit to Being Bold - If you listened to Kelly Cox last week, you heard a perfect example of this when shot presented 10 of her Canon Rebel images to Berkeley Athletics in hopes of securing an internship. She now shoots the Super Bowl. Be bold and give yourself a chance to succeed.

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 http://www.simonerudloff.com/. Simone Rudloff is a photographer from Byron Bay, Australia, now residing in Hamburg, Germany.

Simone's next big project for 2019 is: "I'm currently opening a photo studio/event space in Hamburg with my boyfriend (also a photographer) which we plan on renting out and using ourselves. We've spent 6 months renovating and are officially opening at the end of November!"

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.

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.

Jarine Lombardo did exactly that, writing: "I will send the camera tomorrow and I will take care of the shipping. It is the least I can do for all you have done for me in photography. I've gone back to Olympus because of you and I could not be happier. You are on my bucket list to take a photography workshop with in 2020. Living on the East Coast makes it a little more difficult, but I will make that happen."

Thanks for your contribution Jarine!

Photokina 2019 gets postponed, will become an annual event starting May 2020

DP Review writes:

"In 2017, Photokina's organizers announced the world's largest trade fair would 'reposition' itself an annual event starting in 2018 and subsequently announced that after this year's Photokina, which took place in September, the event would be moved to the month of May going forward.

"Naturally, it was expected the next Photokina event would take place in May 2019, but plans have changed. According to the German Photo Industry Association (PIV), conceptual sponsor of the trade fair, and Koelnmesse, the event's organizer, the 2019 Photokina event has been postponed a year, meaning the next Photokina event will take place from Wednesday May 27th, 2020 through May 30th, 2020."

Updates and Such

The 2019 TDS Workshop Season is Now Open

- We had a great response to last week's unveiling of the 2019 TDS Photography Workshop Season. Every event already has multiple deposits. If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops page and find the event that's perfect for you.

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.

IMG_3530.jpg

Three years ago I wrote my first journal entry for what I called then, The Film Project. The concept was to augment my analog photography with metadata captured with the iPhone. The system has worked quite well. So well, in fact, that it has become much more than I expected or hoped for. Here's why I'm recommending it for you.

  • I take more pictures. Journaling has been the engine behind my Instagram feed. I have more than 1,200 posts there, and most of them began with a journal entry. It's safe to say the journaling has reenergized my personal photography.
  • I feel more in touch with my life. Journaling helps me better appreciate my life. And I don't have the lost feeling of "when did that happen?" I know when it happened. I have the image and the story. And it feels great.
  • I'm continuing to grow as an artist. If I haven't written a journal entry for a day or so, I begin contemplating what I can do. I initiate an activity. I try to create an opportunity. It really gets the juices going. And as a result, I become more creative.

What started out as a way to record camera settings, location, and weather conditions has evolved into a true accounting of my life. So many things have happened since Dec. 2015, and most of those important moments are recorded in the journal.

journal-entries.jpg

Thanks to the capabilities of the smartphone, this work goes well beyond a dear diary. To create an entry, I first capture an image with the iPhone. This is a critical step of the process. By doing so, I immediately have the visual story, plus that capture records time, weather, and location.

In my case, I also take an analog image with a film camera. But that isn't required for this particular project. What is required, however, is a few lines about the moment. I typically tap those out during the first break that follows the event. Time for a cup of coffee? Great, I'll write my journal entry as well.

I use Day One because it's easy, powerful, and the data syncs across all of my devices. So I can view or augment journal entries from my iPhone, Mac, and iPad. In addition to the metadata captured by the iPhone and my written entry, I also use tags so I can sync the images with rolls of film. I can find the story behind any 35mm frame in my binders in just seconds.

No matter how dull or exciting you think your life it, it's your life. And looking back on it through a journal will help you appreciate the things you've done and experienced. That translates into a new attitude as you move forward.

You have the entire month of December to get your tools together for a journal, write some test entries, and see how it feels. Try it. And be ready for 2019.

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

I have some very fast moving assignments. For those portrait gigs when I have just a few minutes to prepare, I've created a quick-release lighting rig that takes only seconds to set up.

DSCF0773.jpg

I use a FotodioX C-200RS FlapJack LED Bi-Color Edge Light with a flat tripod quick-release head that I had laying around the studio.

I mount the quick-release on the top of a Manfrotto Alu Air-Cushioned Compact Stand that fits on the side of my backpack en route. The stand also sets up quickly. The mounting plate is already attached to the FlapJack light. So the procedure is to unfold the stand, attach the light, and shoot.

DSCF0777.jpg

I use LED lighting for fill when capturing indoor environmental portraits. It allows me to add a little twinkle to the eyes and control the shadows. The FlapJacks have built-in diffusers so I don't need to mess with any additional gear.

If you want a super-quick portrait setup, and have a quick-release plate laying around, you might want to construct your own kit. They are quite the blessing when working in the field.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #663, Nov. 27, 2018. Today's theme is "Kelley Cox - Pro Sports Photographer and Olympus Visionary." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

As a working sports photographer, Kelley knows that she needs every advantage to compete with her peers on the playing field. Her Olympus E-M1 Mark II provides her with a competitive edge by not weighing her down and allowing her to maintain her energy during a long day of active shooting. Kelly joins me on today's show to discuss technique, gear, and how she broke in to this exciting profession.

Kelley Cox - Pro Sports Photographer and Olympus Visionary

PB146921-Kelley-Cox-1024.jpg

Kelley is a photographer based in Berkeley. As a freelancer with USA Today Sports Images, she regularly photographs all major sporting events including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, and NCAA football and basketball. She has covered multiple championship events including the World Series, the NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl. She photographs sports, love, corporate, adventure... and her feet!

She has had her images published by: Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, The New York Times, the Boston Globe, Fortune, USA Today, California Magazine, Swimming World, Business Sports Journal, among other print and online publications.

You can see more of Kelley's work at her web site. I think you will enjoy our chat in 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 November, 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.jakobbackrud.com. Jakob Bäckrud is a 22-year-old photographer from Sweden.

He writes about Portfoliobox, "Portfoliobox is a great way of getting your work out there. It is very, very simple to create a good looking webpage where you can upload all your work to have it displayed in one place. I never have to do any sort of programing. I just upload my newest images and then it updates immediately on my personal page. Running my page recently helped me get a job in the industry. The work you are proud of should always be available for other people to enjoy and share and this is a great place for it, you never know where publishing could take you!"

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.

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

The 2019 TDS Workshop Season is Now Open

- We had a great response to last week's unveiling of the 2019 TDS Photography Workshop Season. Every event already has multiple deposits. If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops page and find the event that's perfect for you.

Inner Circle Members: Continuing this month - Photo Critique. Check out the post on Patreon. Send your images to me with the subject line, "Photo Critique." 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.

I just delivered a job using Capture One Pro and Luminar 2018 for the post production. And to be honest, the final product wouldn't have been as good without Luminar. I'll explain a bit more about that in a minute, but first I want to cover why now is the time to purchase this app if you've been thinking about it.

luminar-black-Friday.jpg

Currently Skylum has the app on sale for $59. That includes Luminar 2018 (with free upgrade to Luminar Libraries in Dec.), 1 year free SmugMug Portfolio Plan ($180 value), plus 119 Dramatic and Romantic Sky Overlays ($29 value), plus 20 percent off COOPH apparel and accessories. On top of that, you can save extra $10 with coupon code: THEDIGITALSTORY - Total is $49 for everything.

On top of using Luminar to help prepare my images for clients, I use SmugMug to deliver them. Smugmug's presentation of my work makes a great impression, and the ease at which I can control permissions is very helpful for me. It's a great combination. And it's one that I've been using successfully for years.

Going a step further, Skylum will release Luminar with Libraries on Dec. 18. This will be a free upgrade for current Luminar users, which you would be if you took advantage of the Black Friday offer for $49. Over time, the library function will evolve into a photo management system that should be able to handle all of your organizational needs. You can get in now, essentially for free.

Going back to my own workflow, I can create images in Luminar that are impossible for me to build any other way. The amazing AI tools combined with the creative filters such as Image Radiance give me editing options unlike anything that I've experienced before.

And what's really interesting, is that I can bring this workflow to my personal work as well because Luminar doubles as an editing extension for Photos for macOS. So all of my iPhone pictures can also be enhanced with these tools.

So Luminar has become an important part of both my professional and my personal work. I really can't image post processing without it.

The Black Friday sale ends November 28. If you're leaning this way at all, I would take a close look at it.

Rock Luminar with my Essential Training

You learn all the ins and outs of Luminar 2018 via my Essential Training on lynda.com and on LinkedIn Learning. It's fun, and I promise, you will learn a lot.

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

The big story, as I see it, with Photos for macOS Mojave, is Mojave itself. It's a very photographer-friendly operating system. And in my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Mojave Essential Training, I show you how the Photos app and the OS work together to make your iPhone-mirrorless-DSLR experience efficient and enjoyable. Here's a "What's New" movie from the title that will get your feet wet.

The cool thing is, this software is already on your Mac. All you have to do is learn how to use it. And what better way to do that than with me showing you my favorite tips and tricks.

Here's an overview of the course: "With the Photos app for macOS Mojave, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. In this course, photographer and educator Derrick Story takes you on a detailed exploration of this Apple photo management application. To start things off, Derrick discusses what's new in Photos for macOS Mojave. Next, he goes over ways to add photos to your library, and then sort, organize, and delete those images. Later, he walks through how to use the application's basic editing tools, as well as how to leverage third-party editing extensions while editing in Photos. Plus, learn how to work with video and Live Photos, share and export your work, and more."

Topics Include:

  • What Photos on the Mac can do that an iPhone can't
  • Importing images from your hard drive or camera
  • Sorting, organizing, and deleting photos
  • Creating Smart Albums
  • Using face recognition and the People album
  • Capturing and cropping screenshots
  • Recording videos with your Mac
  • Enhancing and adjusting photos
  • Working with live photos and videos
  • Working with metadata and location information
  • Sharing and exporting photos

Mojave-Whats-New.jpg

Photos for macOS Mojave Essential Training is available on lynda.com and it's also ready to view for LinkedIn Learning subscribers. See for yourself how the Mojave/Photos workflow is both powerful and fun to use.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #662, Nov. 20, 2018. Today's theme is "TDS Holiday Gift Guide and Stocking Stuffers." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Window shopping is a long standing holiday tradition. And these days our computer screen is just as much part of the experience as the storefront display. On this week's show, I have assembled a delightful gift guide and a bonus list of stocking stuffers. So make yourself a cup of cocoa and join me for our annual holiday extravaganza.

TTDS Holiday Gift Guide

  • 3 Legged Thing Toolz Multi-Tool ($7.99) - The perfect stocking stuffer for every photographer - Sturdy, lightweight, cool tools, and it fits on the keychain.
  • SanDisk 128GB Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive ($28.74) - Think about it... 128GB of fast storage for less than $30. This could be a life saver.
  • Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo 5 ($20.75) - Far and away my favorite lens case these days. Comes in green or black. Great for most mirrorless optics.
  • Tenba Tool Box 8 ($37.95) - With 7.0 x 8.0 x 2.75" interior dimensions, 10 compartments, and translucent cover, this is the perfect way to stow and organize gear. Comes in different sizes too.
  • Tenba BYOB 10 Camera Insert Gray ($35.08) - The gray BYOB 10 Camera Insert from Tenba is designed to carry and protect a camera and gear inside other non-camera bags including larger backpacks, suitcases or handbags. Its soft outer shell molds to the shape of a variety of carry bags. The gray BYOB 10 will hold a DSLR or mirrorless camera body with up to 4 lenses and accessories and can fit a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached to the camera body. Super handy!
  • Olympus Fisheye Body Cap 9mm f/8 Lens ($98.72) - One of the coolest lenses in the world - 18mm (35mm Equivalent), 2 Aspherical Elements, 140° Angle of View, and Extremely Slim Body Cap Profile.
  • SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD ($109.99) - Incredibly light and compact - 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 Type-C interface, which is also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2 and delivers read speeds of up to 550 MB/s. Additionally, this SSD is IP-55 rated and features resistance against water, dust, and shock. It can withstand a water flow of up to 30 kPA for 3 minutes, 1500 g of shock, and 5 gRMS of vibration @ 10-2000 Hz. I've been using one and I love it!
  • Zoom H1n Digital Handy Recorder ($119.99) - The H1n is geared for musicians, journalists, podcasters, and more, recording WAV and MP3 files to meet your professional needs. The H1n has a stereo X/Y microphone configuration that captures a realistic stereo image. The unit records audio to microSD or microSDHC flash memory cards, supporting capacities up to 32GB. The H1n records WAV audio at rates up to 24-bit / 96 kHz, and MP3 audio at rates up to 320 kbps. The pocket-sized device runs on two AAA batteries, providing up to 10 hours of continuous operation. If you ever need to capture audio, this is the device for you. I use one on the road for the TDS podcast.
  • Genaray Ultra-Thin Bicolor 288 SMD LED ($139) - All-Aluminum, Slim, Lightweight Design, 3200-5600K Adjustable Color Temperature, 10-100% Brightness Dimmer, 2.4 GHz Receiver for 98' Remote Control, Integrated Barndoors & Diffuser. These LED panels are so handy, from portraits to product shots. Easy to transport as well. Very nimble.
  • Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens ($148 - $100 savings) - This is a compact, fast, sharp, and versatile optic for Micro Four Thirds shooters. Every photographer should have one of these in his/her bag. What a great value!

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 November, 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 Detomsign. His clean, engaging fashion photography is truly engaging.

He writes about Portfoliobox, "I like that this is not only a website creation tool, it's much more than that. It's like a community of creatives which are supported by professionals like Portfoliobox. I'm always recommending everyone that Portfoliobox is the best, easy to setup and ready to go at a minute. Will be using Portfoliobox for a long time and none of the others are as good as Portfoliobox You want the best? You can't go wrong with Portfoliobox I would say."

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.

Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Photographers

  • Pedco UltraClamp Assembly Camera Mount Accessory for Cameras, Scopes, and Binoculars (1.5-Inch) ($23.47) - The Pedco UltraClamp Assembly adjustable camera mount accessory for cameras, spotting scopes, and binoculars allows for stability and flexibility in attaching an optic device to bike and motorcycle handlebars, car windows, roll bars, railings, tables and other objects and surfaces. The ball and socket head provides a wide range of angles for framing subjects, and can be quickly and easily adjusted.
  • tripod-table-web.jpg

  • Mini Tripod Table Stand with Pads and Soft Pistol Grip for DSLR 1/4" Cameras Weighing up to 2.5lbs ($8.99) - The ZaxSound is a heavy-duty tripod, can support cameras weighing up to 2.5lbs because it has 1 support leg that is built into the tripod main frame structure, which handles all the weight. and the other 2 legs that provide stabilization to the tripod.
  • Lume Cube - Bluetooth LED Light (Single - Black) ($79.99) - Proudly known as the World's Most Versatile Light™, Lume Cube represents the future of LED Lighting. Built with professional quality specs, the Lume Cube is pocket sized at 1.5 inches cubed, emits a powerful 1,500 Lumens of daylight balanced light and is waterproof to 100 feet and made with a custom lens. Diffuse, Gel or Modify the light output via the Lume Cube Light-House. Mount it to any of your devices via the built-in 1/4" 20 tripod mount on bottom. Control with manual buttons for quick adjustments or our Bluetooth App, this powerful little light can be used as a Flash (down to 1/125 of a second in Slave Mode) or constant video light.
  • LensPen New DSLR Pro Camera Cleaning Kit, NDSLRK-1 ($16.75) - Digital lens, filter and compact lens cleaning kit. Safe for use on all optical devices. Kit contains miniPRO II, FilterKlear and LensPen. Patented carbon compound. Over 500 cleanings.
  • Giottos AA1903 Rocket Air Blaster Large-Red ($11.99) - Large black Rocket Air Blaster easily removes dust and debris from cameras, lenses and filters with a powerful blast of air. Made of rubber. Includes a one-way valve to prevent Blaster from breathing in dust and spreading it back to your equipment.

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

The 2019 TDS Workshop Season is Now Open

- We had a great response to last week's unveiling of the 2019 TDS Photography Workshop Season. Every event already has multiple deposits. If you want to join us in 2019, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops page and find the event that's perfect for you.

Inner Circle Members: Continuing this month - Photo Critique. Check out the post on Patreon. Send your images to me with the subject line, "Photo Critique." 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.

I have a location assignment on Monday where I have to shoot wine bottles at the winery, both with scenery backdrops and on seamless paper. Fortunately, I've designed a semi-portable product shot studio using an iMac box, a table, seamless paper, and lots of clips.

If this has piqued your curiosity, read on. Let's start with a finished product using this setup.

Whiskey Bottle Black Backdrop Whiskey bottle photographed using the "iMac Box" semi-portable studio. One LED light in a softbox. RAW file file processed in Capture One Pro 11.

I always bring my own table because I've learned not to depend on clients for suitable working surfaces. This puts me in complete control of my shooting environment. At this point, I'm sure you're wondering about the iMac box. It is a critical element for this rig.

DSCF0700.jpg

Why? Because it is the right height for my backdrop stand, it is very stable, and the way the box opens allows for an adjustable connector for the seamless paper. That way I can get just the right slope so I can create a gentle curve for a studio effect.

For the white backdrop images, I use a small softbox for the front lighting and a second light on the background to keep it nice and bright. The second light can also provide a bit of rim lighting on the product if necessary. These are both LED units that run off batteries.

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I cut the seamless paper so it fits semi-perfectly with this set up. Wooden yardsticks help me expand the width slightly beyond the iMac box, and they provide nice helpful anchors on both ends of the seamless.

The camera, (in this case a Pentax KP DSLR with the wonderful HD DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 ED Limited now on sale for $596, $200 off and a steal) is positioned on a tripod with the flip LCD angled upward for easy viewing. I also bring my own stool that's just the right height for this working environment.

From here, it's just basic photography. Adjust the lighting, set the exposure, check the color, then take the picture. Once the first product is successfully recorded, the process is fast for additional shots.

Whiskey Bottle White Backdrop Test subject with portable studio on white seamless. Two lights, one on the background

When this part of the shoot is complete, everything breaks down quickly and can be carried for transport in the back of the Audi A3. Yes, I have to drop the back seats to accommodate the table.

DSCF0709.jpg

Some folks may wonder why I don't use a popup cube product studio for this assignment. I do have one, and I love it. That's what I use for the product shots for the TheFilmCameraShop that I run. The problem is that the popups are not quite big enough for group shots of wine bottles and other larger subjects. If I knew all the items were going to be small, then I would indeed go that route.

So there it is... a versatile portable studio that's relatively nimble and very efficient. Wish me luck on the shoot.

==========

Want to learn more about Capture One Pro? Take a look at my course titled, Capture One Pro 11 Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning. You can also tune in on lynda.com if you prefer your training there. Either way, I have four hours of entertaining education that will help you master this excellent photo management and editing application.

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

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What a fun way to close out a busy 2018! This year's Holiday Gift Guide features quality items at a great value for the discriminating photographer. Take a look and snag a few of these for your holiday stockings.

  • 3 Legged Thing Toolz Multi-Tool ($7.99) - The perfect stocking stuffer for every photographer - Sturdy, lightweight, cool tools, and it fits on the keychain.
  • SanDisk 128GB Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive ($28.74) - Think about it... 128GB of fast storage for less than $30. This could be a life saver.
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  • Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo 5 ($20.75) - Far and away my favorite lens case these days. Comes in green or black. Great for most mirrorless optics.
  • Tenba Tool Box 8 ($37.95) - With 7.0 x 8.0 x 2.75" interior dimensions, 10 compartments, and translucent cover, this is the perfect way to stow and organize gear. Comes in different sizes too.
  • Tenba BYOB 10 Camera Insert Gray ($35.08) - The gray BYOB 10 Camera Insert from Tenba is designed to carry and protect a camera and gear inside other non-camera bags including larger backpacks, suitcases or handbags. Its soft outer shell molds to the shape of a variety of carry bags. The gray BYOB 10 will hold a DSLR or mirrorless camera body with up to 4 lenses and accessories and can fit a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached to the camera body. Super handy!
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  • Olympus Fisheye Body Cap 9mm f/8 Lens ($98.72) - One of the coolest lenses in the world - 18mm (35mm Equivalent), 2 Aspherical Elements, 140° Angle of View, and Extremely Slim Body Cap Profile.
  • SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD ($109.99) - Incredibly light and compact - 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 Type-C interface, which is also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2 and delivers read speeds of up to 550 MB/s. Additionally, this SSD is IP-55 rated and features resistance against water, dust, and shock. It can withstand a water flow of up to 30 kPA for 3 minutes, 1500 g of shock, and 5 gRMS of vibration @ 10-2000 Hz. I've been using one and I love it!
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  • Zoom H1n Digital Handy Recorder ($119.99) - The H1n is geared for musicians, journalists, podcasters, and more, recording WAV and MP3 files to meet your professional needs. The H1n has a stereo X/Y microphone configuration that captures a realistic stereo image. The unit records audio to microSD or microSDHC flash memory cards, supporting capacities up to 32GB. The H1n records WAV audio at rates up to 24-bit / 96 kHz, and MP3 audio at rates up to 320 kbps. The pocket-sized device runs on two AAA batteries, providing up to 10 hours of continuous operation. If you ever need to capture audio, this is the device for you. I use one on the road for the TDS podcast.
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  • Genaray Ultra-Thin Bicolor 288 SMD LED ($139) - All-Aluminum, Slim, Lightweight Design, 3200-5600K Adjustable Color Temperature, 10-100% Brightness Dimmer, 2.4 GHz Receiver for 98' Remote Control, Integrated Barndoors & Diffuser. These LED panels are so handy, from portraits to product shots. Easy to transport as well. Very nimble.
  • Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens ($148 - $100 savings) - This is a compact, fast, sharp, and versatile optic for Micro Four Thirds shooters. Every photographer should have one of these in his/her bag. What a great value!

And as we wind down 2018, a special thanks to all of the members of The Digital Story community. I so appreciate your support of this site and the weekly podcast. And I'm looking forward to a creative, productive, 2019.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #661, Nov. 13, 2018. Today's theme is "The 2019 TDS Workshop Season." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Every year we strive to make our photography events even more compelling than the season before. For 2019, we have what I consider our best offering to date. Four unique events in fantastic destinations at truly affordable prices. And in today's TDS Photography Podcast, I will share each one of them with you. So sit back, tune in, and contemplate the possibilities for your next photography adventure.

The 2019 TDS Workshop Season

Here is the event slate for 2019! You can reserve your spot by visiting the 2019 TDS Workshops page and placing your $100 deposit for the event of your choice.

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  • Joshua Tree National Park - March 13-15, 2019 - This will be our first workshop visit to Joshua Tree. This fascinating environment is perfect for landscape work by day and night photography once the sun sets. We'll also visit the Salton Sea to capture migratory birds and to explore this unusual body of water. During our lab sessions, there will be instruction on maximizing your results with Aurora HDR, Lightroom CC, and Luminar. Add a little aerial photography, and we're set for photographically satisfying adventure. Three days, $725
  • San Francisco Street Photography - April 26-28, 2019 - We'll work entirely on location in San Francisco. We'll book a hotel in picturesque Union Square that will serve as our headquarters during the event. No rental car will be necessary. We'll explore the City's hidden treasures and capture them through our lenses. And we're adding new shooting locations again this year, including twilight assignments. This is San Francisco like you've never seen it before. And as a bonus, Olympus Visionary Mike Boening will be joining the teaching staff and leading sessions on street shooting and night photography. Two instructors, three days, small group, and all for just $725. (That's right, it's 3 full days in one of the most photogenic cities in the U.S.)
  • The Sonoma Coast Exploration - July 17-19, 2019 - Northern California's rugged coastline is the perfect setting to fine-tune our landscape and long-exposure water images. Plus, we'll visit a former Russian fort, movie locations, and interesting fishing villages. This workshop is the perfect escape from summer heat and humidity while adding hundreds of beautiful images to your photo library. During our lab sessions, there will be instruction on maximizing your results with Aurora HDR, Lightroom CC, and Luminar. If a workshop could be relaxing and stimulating all at the same time, this is it. 3 days - $725.
  • Humboldt Redwoods Photography Workshop - Sept. 18-20, 2019 - There is magic in the forest. If you've never experienced the magnificent redwoods of Humboldt County, you are in for a treat. Every detail of this vibrant ecosystem presents a photographic opportunity. The fern-covered floor with Dogwoods and azaleas, the towering Redwoods, fallen logs across bubbling streams... so much to work with. Additionally, we'll explore the fascinating Eel River and its wildlife. During our lab sessions, there will be instruction on maximizing your results with Aurora HDR, Lightroom CC, and Luminar. This workshop will delight your eyes and satisfy your soul. 3 days - $725

You can reserve your spot by visiting the 2019 TDS Workshops page and placing your $100 deposit for the event of your choice.

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 November, 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 Eva Fidziukiewicz. Not only is her fashion work outstanding, but her unique Portfoliobox design is equally appealing.

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.

Using Aperture and Automator to Add IPTC to Your Pictures

Former Aperture users... don't delete the app quite yet. I have a helpful, practical purpose for keeping it on your hard drive: to add IPTC metadata (semi-automatically) to your pictures.

I'm using the Automator/Aperture tandem to include my copyright and author info with images that may fall outside my normal workflow, and don't have camera functions to include them. I've been adding data to iPhone images and those from the Fujifilm XF10. Here's how it works.

Coming Next Week - The Official 2018 TDS Holiday Gift Guide

That's right. It's that time of year. And I have handpicked 10 fun, creative, useful gift suggestions for that favorite photographer in your life (who also might be you!). You definitely won't want to miss this show.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Continuing this month - Photo Critique. Check out the post on Patreon. Send your images to me with the subject line, "Photo Critique." 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.