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My appreciation of the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 increased over the last three days while shooting a high school basketball tournament. I relied on the fast 75mm f/1.8 lens for the bulk of the action, and I have to say, I very much enjoyed this tandem.

Tip Off

I would shoot the first half on the side of the court, usually from the first or second row of the stands. Then move to the end court for the second half. This provides a nice variety of angles. The tip off here, for example, was captured at 1/500th, f/1.8, ISO 1600. I then processed the Raw file in Lightroom 5.3

Speaking of Raw, the E-M1 did not bog down at all while shooting burst mode, even when I was capturing in Raw+Jpeg. This is one of its big improvements over its sibling, the E-M5. The fast processing combined with the swift autofocus makes the E-M1 the best micro four thirds camera, that I've shot with, for sporting events.

The lightness of my kit was also a big factor. I used the Lowepro Urban Reporter 150 all three days of the tournament. I was able to keep the bag on my shoulder the entire time. Not once did I feel tired or experience the need to set the bag down.

We've known for some time that micro four thirds cameras and lenses are good for travel and street photography. But this latest iteration of the OM-D is a serious action camera too.


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

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Olympus Raw shooters have a new goodie under the Christmas tree: camera color profiles. I saw this note on DP Review and tested it myself. We're no longer limited to the standard Adobe color profiles for our Raw processing.

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You can find the profiles under Camera Calibration in the Develop module. Cycling through them provides you with different interpretations of the image. Choose the one you like best as a starting point, then finish off the photo with your favorite editing tools.


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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Adobe officially released Lightroom 5.3 that includes Raw processing for 20 new cameras. This is great news for Olympus OM-D E-M1 owners who haven't had many options for processing their .ORF files.

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I did some testing this morning with Raw files from the E-M1 in Lightroom 5.3. The default profile by Adobe is comparable to the previews presented by Olympus Viewer 2. Editing tasks, such as recovering highlights and shadows also went well.

I do note that highlight recovery didn't seem as smooth (graduated) as with some of my other cameras, such as .CR2 files from Canon. In some ways, it felt more like trying to recover highlights from a Jpeg than a Raw file. This could have been just my eyes today (not enough coffee?), and I'm going to continue to test highlight recovery with OM-D E-M1 files. I will post an update if I discover something new.

Other areas, such as color and sharpness, responded well to the editing tools in Lightroom 5.3. And at the moment, I would say that this app is your best option for Raw processing if you shoot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

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PhotoHelpDesk.com is a down-to-earth resource for curious minded photographers. Submit your questions, and we'll post an answer.

Is the iPhone Flash Useful Outdoors?

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One of the most popular tricks used by event photographers is to turn on the flash for outdoor portraits. I've used this successfully with DSLRs and compacts. But do you get the same magical benefit from the LED "flash" on the iPhone 5S?

Kathleen and I decided to test this during an assignment photo shoot today. First, I posed her against a bright background and turned on the iPhone flash. As you can see, she was wildly underexposed. With any of my standard cameras, this image would have turned out great.

Then I changed directions and used a shaded area as the background. I wanted to see if the LED could provide any benefit in this type of lighting. We shot with the fill flash on (left), and with the flash turned off (right).

iphone-fill-flash.jpg Fill flash on (left); off (right)

At first I didn't think the flash was making much difference. But later, when I had a chance to compare the images on my Mac, I could see some of the benefits of the LEDs. The skin tones were warmer, eyes brighter, and overall, more glow.

Bottom line is this: with bright, contrasty backgrounds, your iPhone fill flash is like a pea shooter at a bazooka range. But when both subject and background are in open shade, it's worth turning on. Give it a try.


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

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This week on The Digital Story photography podcast: Organizing your 2013 photo library (and preparing for 2014); Nimbleosity Report - Canon PowerShot S110 (great deal on a super camera); Photo Help Desk: the Ziploc bag trick - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - Over the course of the year, it's very easy to let your photo library become a bit messy. Now that we're nearing the end of 2013, this is a great time to tidy up your image collection and prepare for the coming year.

Story #2 - The Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera is currently available for $219. Check out these features:

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  • 12.1MP Resolution 1/1.7" CMOS Sensor
  • 24-120mm UA Lens (f/2.0 at wide angle)
  • 3.0" PureColor Touch Screen LCD Display
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor, Intelligent IS, High Speed AF
  • Full HD 1080p Video with Stereo Sound
  • ISO 12800, ND filter, and Multi-Aspect Ratio RAW
  • Smart AUTO, Movie Digest and WiFi
  • HDR, electronic level HDMI out, and copyright imprinting
  • Weighs 6.1 ounces and is less than 4" wide

I talk about why I think this is a can't-miss deal for nimble photographers looking for a super compact camera.

Story #3 - It's that time of year to put a Ziploc bag in your camera kit. I explain why in the third segment of the show.

Photo Assignment News

Photo Assignment for November is High ISO.

And we have three new winners for the SizzlPix Pick of the Month: August 2013 - Street Scene - Dominick Chiuchiolo; September 2013 - Grab Shot - Michael Fairbanks; and October 2013 - My House is My Castle - Keith Hartman.

For The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club members ... if you'd like additional copies of for gifts, or SizzlPix! of any other of your images to make spectacular, amazing holiday gifts, order any two SizzlPix! to be shipped together, and we'll give you 25% off on the second one! Order any size up to a mind-boggling 48 by 72" Imagine -- six feet! and no sacrifice in resolution, luminance, and impact. Just put "TDS " in the comments space on the sizzlpix.com order page. Of course, you may apply the discount to any number of pairs. And free shipping to any US mainland address.

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 (34 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.


iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

Podcast Sponsors

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

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography.

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For one week, beginning today, you can receive free shipping on the following Nimble Photographer Gift Sets. Use coupon code: freeshipping

  • Water Bottle Gift Set $39.95 - includes a 26-ounce Stainless Steel water bottle, Wenger gift box, D-Ring attachment, the embroidered Walking Man Shoulder Bag (yes, the water bottle fits inside!, two artisan holiday gift cards with blank interior, and a holiday gift bag.
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  • Walking Man Cap and Shoulder Bag Gift Set (Navy cap) $49.95 - includes the Walking Man Cap (Navy/Tan colors), Walking Man Shoulder Bag (Black with silver embroidery), two artisan gift cards, and a holiday gift bag.
  • Walking Man Cap and Shoulder Bag Gift Set (Port cap) $49.95 - includes the Walking Man Cap (Port/Navy colors), Walking Man Shoulder Bag (Black with silver embroidery), two artisan gift cards, and a holiday gift bag.

Orders can be shipped to any United States postal address via USPS Priority Mail. Typical delivery time is 2-5 days from when your order is placed. Each package is ready to give. All you have to do is sign the card.

"I think my favorite item in the store is the cap. All of the items look great, but I wear caps all the time and this one has a classic look to it," C. Jones

"My favorite thing in the shop is the Walking Man Shoulder Bag, which I just picked up from the Post Office. It is perfect for my light, walkabout kit," D. Chiuchiolo

To get your free shipping on these gift sets, or any order that totals over $38, just add coupon code: freeshipping

Happy Holidays!


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These products have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Over the course of the year, our photo libraries tend to become a bit disheveled. As I prepare for 2014, I like to have my 2013 images in shape. One technique that I use regularly is "Merge Projects" that allows me to combine multiple projects into one.

Merge Projects in Aperture Using the Merge Projects command in Aperture.

For example, I realized that I had created and backed up multiple projects for my trip to Oahu this summer. In part this was because I had shot with three different cameras.

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I was able to combine them easily by selecting the two projects in the Library tab of the Inspector (by holding down the CMD key), then going to File > Merge Projects. Aperture presented me with this confirmation message.

Once I click on the Merge button, Aperture moves the images, albums, and any other parts I've created over to the other project. Typically, the application will move the lower project into the one that's positioned higher in the library. But I don't worry about it either way. Once I'm finished merging, I can rename the project by tapping on its name and typing.

Keep in mind that you can use Folders to organize your projects (File>New>Folder). Just drag the Projects into the new Folder, give it a name, and position it where you want it.

Those of us who are trapped inside by cold weather can put that confinement to good use by getting our photo libraries in order.

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!


An article on PhotographyTalk makes the argument:

"Having a fully functional computer that also acts as a tablet with you wherever your photography may take you is the primary advantage of the Surface Pro 2 for photographers. You have a different kind of job to do than most tablet users, even in a business setting, which is why the Surface Pro 2 is the horse of a different color you should want to ride into your sunset."

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I guess it depends on what you're trying to do with a tablet computer. The article certainly did not sway me. But if you want to see for yourself, check out For Photographers, Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 and Apple iPad Air May Be Horses of Different Colors.


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These products have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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LED lights are making a big impact on photography. Another example is Foldio - the first foldable studio for smartphones. It's currently a Kickstarter project that's available for as little as $34.

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The folding box design is clever. And it includes a sweep backdrop (the deluxe kit adds a variety of colors) and LED light strip. It all packs neatly in its own carrying bag that will fit in the laptop compartment of many backpacks. The specs say Foldio measures 10.2" x 10.2".

Foldio is made of laminated paper, held together by magnets, and powered by a 9 volt battery. What's not to like? The Kickstarter project is open until Jan. 2, 2014.


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

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I met Frederick Van Johnson at the Warriors game last night at Oracle Arena, each of us armed with our nimble photographer kits.

Frederick was sporting Google Glass and a Panasonic GX7. I had the OM-D E-M5. We swapped lenses back and forth using the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 and the Olympus 17mm f/1.8. I captured this image of Frederick working with the 75mm on his GX7.

Frederick Van Johnson with Google Glass

Since I was toting the innocent looking Walking Man Shoulder Bag, I had no problem getting through security with my gear. Frederick, on the other hand, was traveling with his thinkTANK Photo SubUrban Disguise 30, and attracted the attention of the inspectors. He was delayed about 15 minutes entering the arena, but we finally met up in the Club right before tipoff.

I enjoyed swapping lenses and trying out the GX7. It's a fun camera that feels solid and sports a handsome design. Frederick had a chance to try out the Olympus 75mm prime on the GX7. It looked like a match made in heaven. He loved it, and I suspect he'll be purchasing one in the future.

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You can see for yourself how wonderfully sharp and fast this lens is (photo above). We were taking pictures from Row 16, and had no problem capturing the action.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post a movie soon that Frederick recorded with his Google Glass. Stay tuned.


Nimble Photographer Logo

These kits have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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