Recently in Show Notes

  Page 1 of 62 in Show Notes  

The Top 5 Photography Products of 2017

This is The Digital Story Podcast #613, Dec. 12, 2017. Today's theme is "The Top 5 Photography Products of 2017." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It's been a good year for photography announcements. Across the board we've seen both innovations and refinements. But at the end of the day, what were the five that really stood out? I'm going to share mine, in no particular order, on today's TDS podcast.

The Top 5 Photography Products of 2017

dji-spark-flight-1024.jpg The DJI Spark is one of my top photography picks for 2017.

The DJI Spark ($349) - This compact quadcopter features an integrated camera with motorized stabilization to capture 12MP photos, 1080p Full HD videos, and even aerial selfies. The drone's compact size, 31 mph top speed, and up to 16 minutes of flight time will appeal to a variety of users, from FPV enthusiasts to racers to those just looking for more dynamic shots than are possible with simply a smartphone or camcorder. The drone features GPS- and vision-based navigation for outdoor or indoor use, a variety of flight modes, and a 3D obstacle-detection system.

Nikon D850 ($3,297) - Revolving around a newly designed 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor and proven EXPEED 5 image processor, the D850 is clearly distinguished by its high resolution for recording detailed imagery. The back-illuminated design of the sensor is able to acquire greater detail and clarity when working in low-light conditions, and the sensor also forgoes an optical low-pass filter for improved sharpness. Working in conjunction with the sensor is the EXPEED 5 image processor, which together afford a 7 fps continuous shooting rate for up to 51 consecutive frames, an expandable sensitivity range from ISO 32 to 102400, and 4K UHD video recording using either a DX crop or the entire area of the full-frame sensor.

Sony Alpha a7R III ($3,198) - Revolving around a full-frame 42.4MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and updated BIONZ X image processor, the a7R III affords an impressive 10 fps continuous shooting rate along with improved autofocus performance for faster, more reliable subject tracking along with wide frame coverage. This updated Fast Hybrid AF System employs a combination of 399 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection areas for quicker acquirement of focus in a variety of lighting conditions, and also maintains focus on subjects more effectively. In addition to speed and AF, the processing improvements also help to realize greater image clarity throughout the sensitivity range from ISO 100-32000, which can further be expanded to ISO 50-102400. Video recording capabilities have also been extended for enhanced quality when recording UHD 4K video with the full width of the full-frame sensor, or when using a Super35 area and 5K oversampling to minimize moiré and aliasing. Additionally, benefitting both stills and video operation, the a7R III retains the 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization, which is now effective to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to 5.5 stops.

Apple iPhone X ($999) - A larger and faster 12MP sensor. A new color filter. Deeper pixels. And a new telephoto camera with OIS.

Olympus TG-5 ($399) - Utilizing a 12MP BSI CMOS sensor and TruePic VIII image processor, the TG-5 offers notable image clarity and low-light performance, to ISO 12800, along with fast 20 fps continuous shooting, 4K/30p video recording, and high-speed Full HD 1080p shooting at 120 fps. Balancing the imaging capabilities is a versatile 4x optical zoom lens, which spans a 25-100mm equivalent range, and has an f/2 maximum aperture to benefit working in low-light conditions. Additionally, the Variable Macro System also positions this lens for close-up shooting with subjects just one centimeter away for true macro photography.

Comparing the Olympus 45mm Primes - f/1.2 vs f/1.8

The Olympus 45mm f/1.8 actually fared quite well in my field tests. It rendered pleasing bokeh, excellent sharpness, and fast performance. It's no wonder that I carry this lens with me all the time. In fact, I have two of them, one black and one silver, to match the camera that I'm packing.

The new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO takes this performance to a higher level, however. First, the feather bokeh is different than any of my other optics. For lack of a better term, I would call it very artistic. The backgrounds have a painterly feel to them.

When I look at the f/1.2 images, the thought of bokeh doesn't jump out at me. Rather, I'm thinking more about an overall pleasing composition with outstanding subject sharpness and beautifully rendered background. In many ways, I feel like this is an optic for grownups (with grownup resources).

The sharpness is downright amazing. The portraits are crisp in all the right places, and softened where they should be. I honestly feel like the lens is doing most of the work for me. All I have to do is compose and focus on the eyes, and everything else just falls into place.

The improvements of the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 do come at a price, however. The lens weighs over 14 ounces compared to 4 ounces for the f/1.8 version. Plus the price is 3 times as much at $1,200, compared to $400 for its baby brother. And I think if you're really going to reap the benefits of the f/1.2, you need one of Olympus' Pro bodies, such as the E-M1 Mark II. Those are all real considerations.

So, is the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 PRO a must-have lens for you? It could be. If you're shooting with the E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, or E-M5 Mark II; regularly shoot portraits for hire or art, and have the budget for a $1,200 optic that is unlike any in its class, then I would say yes. It's magically impressive.

Most Downloaded Motion Backgrounds of 2017

So I've been talking about all of the royalty free content I can download via my videoblocks account. They help expand your horizons by constantly introducing you to new items in their library. This week, it was: Most Downloaded Motion Backgrounds of 2017. Here are just a few of the winners.

  • Fly through outer space nebula and stars
  • Abstract 1217
  • Worship 1017

Over the next few weeks, I'll be your tour guide for this site. But if you need content right now, you can join Videoblocks for $149 a year and gain access to great video, stills, and audio content. This is really a great idea...

A Patreon Change

A new service fee of 2.9 percent + $0.35 will be paid by patrons for each individual pledge starting on December 18th. This streamlines fees for both creators and patrons to ensure that you pay no more than 5 percent. That works out to an extra 50 cents per month for our members.

Since that wasn't the original agreement that we made, I'm going to make it up to you. For January 2018, I will post 3 training movies instead of the scheduled two. The software will be Capture One Pro, Photos for macOS High Sierra, and for Luminar. My hope is that the extra movie will make up for the additional 50 cents per month. Thanks so much for your support!

To become an Inner Circle Member, simple pledge $5 or more a month through the TDS Patreon program.

We have more benefits coming in 2018 for our Inner Circle Members. Join today and become part of the TDS Elite.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Videoblocks - Go to videoblocks.com/digitalstory to get all the stock video, audio, and images that you can imagine for just $149. Save on millions of studio-quality clips, tracks, and graphics.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #612, Dec. 5, 2017. Today's theme is "So Much News, So Little Time." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

There's been a flurry of announcements, updates, and releases lately. Who says there's nothing new and interesting in the world of photography? So this week I thought I'd share a handful of lightening talks to bring you up to speed. So buckle up and let's go.

So Much News, So Little Time

Annotations_2.jpg

Capture One Pro 11 Released - With an updated processing engine, market-leading performance and powerful new features, Capture One 11 is the professional choice in imaging software. Headline new features: 1) Annotations - Annotate your images in Capture One by adding handwritten notes and drawings directly on your images. 2) Layered Workflow - All adjustment tools are now compatible with Layers, making Capture One a truly "layer centric" application. 3) Editing Speed - The overall performance of Capture One has been increased, which gives a smoother and faster experience when editing. This is especially helpful when fine-tuning adjustments. Upgrade is $119.

DxO ONE for Android Devices - Do you have an Android smartphone? Want to enjoy the DxO ONE's exceptional performance (1" sensor, 20MP, f/1.8, RAW)? Well, now you have two options: you can wait for the official launch of the Android-compatible DxO ONE a few months from now, or you can take part in our Early Access program starting today! For $499 your get the DxO ONE, outdoor shell (normally $59), and DxO PHotoLab (normally $199).

Pixelmator Pro for the Mac - The Pixelmator Team has packed a wide range of features and innovations into Pixelmator Pro, such as full RAW support, including support for multiple RAW layers; HEIF file format compatibility; superior support for Adobe Photoshop images; complete macOS integration via full support for iCloud, Versions, Tabs, Full Screen, Split View, Sharing, Wide Color, and others; Metal 2-powered painting tools and dual texture brushes; powerful retouching, reshaping, selecting, type, shape and vector tools; and a lot more. In addition, a number of free updates adding major new features to Pixelmator Pro are already lined up for the very near future. $59.99 in the Mac App Store.

Samsung's new W2018 flip phone features a variable aperture F1.5-F2.4 lens - Samsung just announced something that looks like it belongs in the mid-2000s... but looks can be deceiving. Meet Samsung's new flip phone: the W2018. Announced at an event in Xiamen, China, the followup to the W2017 is an Android-powered flip phone that boasts smartphone-caliber specs. In fact, the 12-megapixel rear camera is nearly identical to the one found in the Galaxy S8, featuring dual pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization and 1.4?m pixels. Price? Estimated to be near $3,000 US.

It does differ in one very interesting way though.

Not only does the W2018 boast an F1.5 aperture--the brightest you'll find on a phone--that aperture is actually variable, switching between F1.5 and F2.4 when it senses there's enough light around. In this way, the phone automatically captures as much of the background as possible.

Hasselblad launches its own online store, offers 5% off for a limited time - Iconic medium format manufacturer Hasselblad has opened its own online store, allowing users all over the world to skip the third-party vendors and local dealer and buy direct from the manufacturer itself. Following in the footsteps of Hasselblad's first brick-andmortar stores in Sweden, China, and Japan, the online 'Hasselblad Store' will be open to resident of the USA, China, UK, Germany and France.

Currently, the Hasselblad Store is selling both X1D and H6D cameras, as well as a limited number of lenses. Opening offers include 5% off some X1D kits and the body-only price, while H6D buyers can get a free hard case with their purchase. These discounts will last until December 7th.

Think Tank Announces the Airport Advantage Plus - Despite having a roller design, retractable metal handle and protection for your gear, the Airport Advantage Plus weighs in at only 6.9 pounds (3.1 kilograms) to help you keep your carry-on under weight restrictions. It also has a dedicated padded 17" laptop pocket. As far as gear capacity is concerned, the bag holds a gripped DSLR with an attached lens, an ungripped DSLR with an attached lens plus five to eight addditional lenses. Or it can hold a pair of gripped DSLRs with five to seven additional lenses. If you're a mirrorless camera user, Think Tank says it can hold two bodies "with a crazy amount of lenses." In terms of the largest lens you can fit inside the back, Think Tank states you can hold a detached 200-400mm lens with the lens hood reversed onto the barrel. Available now for $289.75.

What Do You Do with Your Prints?

Robin posted this question on our TDS Facebook Page: "Hey Derrick, you talk a lot about printing but you never say what you do with those prints. Do you mat them? Put them in glassine envelopes/some kind of archival storage or frame them? If I were to print my 2017 top 10, I'm thinking I would do 8x10s, mat them but not frame them because I don't have the wall or storage space." Here's my answer.

Videoblocks - Their Most Popular Winter Footage

One of the fun things that Videoblocks does is update their home page regularly with new goodies. Today, it was "Our Most Popular Winder Footage".

Click on it and you're treated to titles such as: Sunset View of Snowy Mountain, Tree Branches Covered in Snow, Serene Lake by Mountains, Winter Snow Coating Top of Trees, and so many more.

Plus, today's bonus clip is Lake Tahoe Winter Landscape. Why spend hundreds filming an epic flyover of Lake Tahoe when you can download this clip from the Member Library instead? We're happy to include this stunning shot with your membership! Of course I downloaded it for my library.

You just never know what's waiting for you when you log in to your Videoblocks account.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be your tour guide for this site. But if you need content right now, you can join Videoblocks for $149 a year and gain access to great video, stills, and audio content. This is really a great idea...

December Videos Posted for TDS Inner Circle Members

Our December Nimble Software Videos are: Localized Editing in Capture One Pro 10, and Magic Filtering in Photos for macOS High Sierra. Inner Circle Members just need to click on the Patreon tile that on all the pages of The Digital Story, and make sure they are logged in. Both training videos are available right there on the front page.

Rafael wrote: "Great video. Provides me with new ideas for an efficient workflow to manage my photos. Thanks." And Greg added: "Thank You Derrick. This was really valuable!!"

To become an Inner Circle Member, simple pledge $5 or more a month through the TDS Patreon program. Existing Inner Circle members are automatically enrolled in the Nimble Software Series.

We have more benefits coming in 2018 for our Inner Circle Members. Join today and become part of the TDS Elite.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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, new offer from our friends at Red River Paper.

Use promo code STORYSHIPIT to receive free ground shipping on all inkjet paper items. No minimum purchase required.

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

Videoblocks - Go to videoblocks.com/digitalstory to get all the stock video, audio, and images that you can imagine for just $149. Save on millions of studio-quality clips, tracks, and graphics.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #611, Nov. 28, 2017. Today's theme is "The Creative Photographers Gift Guide 2017." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Now that we have survived Black Friday and Cybermonday, we can take a deep breath and consider gift items for their merit as well as their price tag. For today's show I've handpicked 10 items that photographers will love. And I'm going to introduce you to them right now.

The Creative Photographers Gift Guide 2017

TTP-Battery-Holder.jpg

Think Tank Photo DSLR Battery Holder 2 ($10.75) - The DSLR Battery Holder 2 from Think Tank eliminates the hassle of fumbling around through your camera bag searching for that extra battery. When the shot is there and you need power right away, this small, compact and efficient folding holder will help you get back up and shooting in no time. It's lightweight and easily stores in any optional Think Tank bag, pouch or skin. It features hook and loop closure and holds two standard lithium-ion DSLR batteries. For durability, it's made from rugged rip-stop nylon.

Nimble Photographer Fingerless Gloves ($12.99) - Soft, 100 percent acrylic gloves with exposed fingertips enabling you to adjust devices and keep your hands warm. Rubberized dots on the palm side assist with gripping tripods and light stands. High-wrist design ensures that gloves stay within jacket sleeves, even during activity.The Walking Man logo is embroidered on top of each wrist with silver thread providing a classic look.Designed for men's hands, all sizes.

Flash-Bender.png

Indigo Marble, Wrap & Protect Electronic Equipment ($20.95) - #1 Premium Medium Camera Cover from Indigo Marble, Wrap & Protect Electronic Equipment, Adjustable & Light Weight to Provide Quick Fit with SLR Straps or Slings, 15" Square with Strong External Pocket.

FlashBender 2 Reflector, Bounce Flash, Snoot, Gobo ($27.96) - The small and lightweight shapeable Flash Bender 2 Small Reflector is ideally suited for on-camera flash event photography. The Small Reflector can also be used off-camera to soften, shape and control your main, background, hair, rim, or accent lights. What's New with Flash Bender 2? New Attachment Design: Flash Bender 2 reflectors use an improved belt and buckle design to provide a faster and more secure attachment to your flash. The integrated attachment strap is adjustable to fit all popular brands of accessory flashes with a circumference measuring from 8" to 9 3/4". New Lighter Weight Reflectors: We developed custom fabrics for the Flash Bender 2 Reflectors to reduce weight and soften highlight reflections. The softer fabrics also allow for increased flexibility and improved light shaping abilities.

Soloar-Charger.png

Solar Charger 24000mAh Portable Charger ($39.99) - Lightning and Micro Dual Input - No matter whichever cable you are carrying, you can recharge the power bank with either the attached micro-USB cable or your own lightning cable. Amazing Monster Capacity - Can fully charges an iPhone 10 times, a Samsung Galaxy S7 6 times, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro 2.2 times and other smartphones multiple times. Quick Charging Technology - Auto detects your device to deliver its fastest possible charge speed up to 2.1A. DC 5V/2.1A high-speed input is 2.1 times as fast as normal DC 5V/1A input - a full recharge only takes 11 hours with DC 5V/2.1A charger.

Elvid OptiView 100 3.2" LCD Viewfinder Loupe ($49.95) - The OptiView 100 3.2" LCD Viewfinder Loupe from Elvid is a 1:1 magnifying loupe, which attaches to the back of a camera, over an LCD screen up to 3.2" in size. Because it features multi-coated optical glass, the viewfinder enables you to see your images or videos with better sharpness and contrast. In addition, the rubber eyecup blocks stray or extraneous light, and the viewfinder's built-in diopter can be adjusted +/-3, which allows you to view without glasses.

muslin-backdrop.png

Fovitec StudioPRO - 5' x 6.5' Black/White Double-Sided Pop-Out Muslin Backdrop ($54.95) - The Fovitec StudioPRO pop-out muslin backdrop combines portability and convenience with professional-grade materials and construction. The background is made of high-quality cotton with a matte finish to prevent reflections, and is the staple of every professional and aspiring photographer/videographer.

Finnhomy Professional Portable Photo Studio ($60.99) - 16" Cube Portable Photo Studio, designed for effortless product photography. You can easily take pictures of your item with pure color backdrops. The 5500K daylight white LED bands provide perfect lighting, you can adjust the bands on the steel strips or just place them on the frame bar, the magnets on the back will stick right on!

MeFoto-Tripod.png

MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter Travel Tripod ($172) - The MeFOTO GlobeTrotter is a compact travel tripod that folds up inversely and also turns into a full size monopod without the use of any tools. It's available in Black or Titanium. The GlobeTrotter can be used with many different style cameras including a DSLR with a zoom lens. The GlobeTrotter comes with a dual action Q series ballhead with Arca-Swiss style quick release plate. Carry case with shoulder strap included.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 Lens ($199) - Positioned as the perfect portrait prime, the black M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 from Olympus is a sleek 90mm equivalent lens for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. The short-telephoto focal length pairs with a bright f/1.8 maximum aperture to benefit working in low-light conditions and also offers greater control over depth of field for producing selective focus effects. The optical construction of the lens incorporates two extra-high refractive index elements, which help to reduce distortion and spherical aberrations in order to realize notable sharpness and accurate rendering. Additionally, a Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) autofocus system is employed to deliver quick, quiet, and precise focusing performance to suit both video and photo applications.

Videoblocks - Royalty-Free License Agreement

So I've been talking about all of the royalty free content I can download via my Storyblocks account. But you may be thinking, how could I prove that it's OK for me to use this video if I had to? Well, one of the things that Videoblocks provides is a personalized Royalty-Free License Agreement.

In your My Account page, just complete the basic information such as your name and address. Once you've done that, then you can click on the Get License Agreement button. Videoblocks will generate a personalized License Agreement for you and download it to your hard dive. Keep it on file in case you ever need that backup documentation for publishing your movies that contain Videoblocks content.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be your tour guide for this site. But if you need content right now, you can join Videoblocks for $149 a year and gain access to great video, stills, and audio content. This is really a great idea...

New Benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members

Speaking of video:

Starting in December 2017, I have a great new benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members: Nimble Software Series. Each month I will post two training videos for our Inner Circle Members, covering Capture One Pro, Lightroom, Luminar, Photos for mac OS and more. Each video will run between 10 to 30 minutes, and will show you specific techniques for improving your images.

To become an Inner Circle Member, simple pledge $5 or more a month through the TDS Patreon program. Existing Inner Circle members are automatically enrolled in the Nimble Software Series, and receive their first two movies on Friday, December 1, 2017.

We have more benefits coming in 2018 for our Inner Circle Members. Join today and become part of the TDS Elite.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Videoblocks - Go to videoblocks.com/digitalstory to get all the stock video, audio, and images that you can imagine for just $149. Save on millions of studio-quality clips, tracks, and graphics.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #610, Nov. 21, 2017. Today's theme is "The Conservation Movement Needs a Champion." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've been thinking about my time at WildSpeak ever since I returned from Washington D.C. Through all the talks and powerful images, something had been missing. At first, I couldn't put my finger on it. Then today, I figured it out. Conservation needs a champion. It needs a modern day Roosevelt, or Ghandi, or some powerful figure that can get broader attention. And the reason why I feel that way is the subject of today's TDS Podcast.

The Conservation Movement Needs a Champion

Outside the Embassy of India in Washington D.C. is the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. It pictures him on the move with the inscription, "My life is my message."

Ghandi-in-DS.jpg

I thought about how one person can represent, and even effect change for millions of people. And how I wish Mr. Gandhi was here today so I could talk to him about the health of our planet.

The problem that surfaced in my mind and heart after two days of WildSpeak wasn't the inspiration or education. Once again, I learned so much. One of my favorite talks was "Long Distance Migrants" by photographer and naturalist Gerrit Vyn. These birds that traverse our globe illustrate how interconnected we all are. And how if we damage one area it affects the entire planet.

The problem for me after two days in Washington D.C. was that I didn't see a path forward. I see a cause without a dynamic leader. And until we have our Gandhi, progress is going to be difficult.

You may be thinking, "What about Al Gore?" No disrespect to Mr. Gore, but he has been too much of a polarizing figure. What we need is someone who can reach the other half of the aisle.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. In 1981, President Ronald Regan nominated C. Everett Koop to be our Surgeon General, an office that we typically don't hear much about. And to boot, a conservative physician nominated by a conservative president.

Soon thereafter in his Report of the Surgeon General, it was reported that nicotine has an addictiveness similar to that of heroin or cocaine. Koop's report was somewhat unexpected, especially by those who expected him to maintain the status quo in regard to his office's position on tobacco products.

During his tenure, in 1984, Congress passed legislation providing for new, rotated health warning labels on cigarette packs and required advertising to include the labels. Those labels remain unchanged today.

Koop issued a challenge to Americans in 1984 to "create a smoke-free society in the United States by the year 2000." As Surgeon General, he released eight reports on the health consequences of tobacco use, including the first report on the health consequences of involuntary tobacco smoke exposure. During Koop's tenure as Surgeon General, smoking rates in the United States declined significantly from 38 percent to 27 percent. (From Wikipedia.)

That's real change. One person essentially turned the tide on cigarette smoking in America. One person can do the same for conservation. We need to find that person so he or she can get to work.

How Did My Packing Go?

Here's a follow up report on my preparations for the Washington D.C. trip. As it turned out, the unexpected star was my inflatable neck pillow. I'll explain in this segment of today's show.

Fantastic Black Friday Sale for Audioblocks

I'm going to take a slight detour this week and talk about the fantastic Black Friday Preview Sale going on for Audioblocks. Get unlimited downloads from over 100,000 royalty-free music tracks, loops, and sound effects on Audioblocks - only $49 for your first year. That's $100 off the normal price.

To give you an idea of this value, I recently paid $69 for just one royalty free audio track. So I'm definitely taking advantage of this offer.

All you have to do is go to Videoblocks.com and click on the "I want unlimited audio" button. This is a great deal.

New Benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members

Speaking of video:

Starting in December 2017, I have a great new benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members: Nimble Software Series. Each month I will post two training videos for our Inner Circle Members, covering Capture One Pro, Lightroom, Luminar, Photos for mac OS and more. Each video will run between 10 to 30 minutes, and will show you specific techniques for improving your images.

To become an Inner Circle Member, simple pledge $5 or more a month through the TDS Patreon program. Existing Inner Circle members are automatically enrolled in the Nimble Software Series, and receive their first two movies on Friday, December 1, 2017.

We have more benefits coming in 2018 for our Inner Circle Members. Join today and become part of the TDS Elite.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Videoblocks - Go to videoblocks.com/digitalstory to get all the stock video, audio, and images that you can imagine for just $149. Save on millions of studio-quality clips, tracks, and graphics.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #609, Nov. 14, 2017. Today's theme is "Back into the Unfriendly Skies." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

By the time you hear this podcast, I'll either be in Washington D.C. covering the WildSpeak Conference, or stranded somewhere in between. It's really weird these days to get on a plane without knowing when you will actually reach your intended destination. But that is the reality of air travel in these United States. And what I'm doing to prepare for this journey is the topic of today's TDS podcast.

Venturing Back into the Unfriendly Skies

IMG_5165.jpg

I remember it was a very hot afternoon when I found my way to the TSA trailer parked at the Sonoma County Airport. I had a 3 pm appointment to interview for my KTN, Known Traveler Number. This would give me access to TSA Pre for the next two years.

The big moment was when the TSA staffer scanned my passport and we waited together for the results. "You're clean!" she exclaimed. We can finish off your application. I wondered at the time what would happen if I didn't come back clean. Would they arrest me on the spot?

I received my KTN about a week later, and I've only had to fly once since then - to retrieve my son Zach from New York right after the Santa Rosa firestorm. But now I have two big business trips where I'm packing all my gear. So these will be the first real test of traveling under the KTN umbrella.

I'm leaving nothing to chance, however. So here's how this photographer is preparing for his journey from San Francisco to Washington D.C.

  • Pack Light and Keep it with Me - I have a pilot's roller bag that fits easily in any overhead bin. I would like to have more packing space for a business trip to a cold weather destination, but I have to survive a connection at Dallas Fort Worth. So everything goes in either the roller or my Think Tank Retrospective 7. And it all stays with me.
  • Packing Cubes-One of the reasons that I can get all of my big clothes in that pilot's roller is thanks to my set of Packing Cubes. They keep my bag organized and make it each to compress my clothes into a small space. If you've never used packing cubes before. Treat yourself.
  • Portable Power - Many airports are better than they used to be for providing power outlets in waiting areas, that is, until you really need one. Same goes for on the planes themselves. I carried a OUTXE 16000mAh Rugged Power Bank with Flashlight IP67 Waterproof Solar Portable Charger Outdoor Dual USB Phone Battery Pack with me all through the recent evacuations, and it's coming with me on this trip as well. Seems to be a necessity of the modern age.
  • Work for the Road- One of the huge frustrations of being delayed or stranded is the amount of time that is wasted. Most of us are very busy these days, and right now, I'm busier than I've been in years. I can't afford to write off a day. So I've prepared a number of work items that I can tackle in the air or the waiting room. It will help keep my frustration at a minimum if things do go awry.
  • Food - You would think that in these modern days or air travel, at least we would have food and water available. But a missed connection can lead to late nights in lobbies or substandard backup flights that provide nothing worthy of eating. I always kid myself for packing healthy food. And I almost always need it.

Videoblocks - One Stop Downloading for video, audio, and images for your projects

This week I want to walk you through the steps that I used to find and download some aerial footage that I needed for a project using my Storyblocks account. I started with the search block on my home page, then entered "aerial landscape" and chose "footage" from the popup menu. Other options included "Backgrounds" and "After Effects".

I was then presented with dozens and dozens of options, more than I could count. I chose a snippet titled, "silhouette of trees at sunset" because it had the same vibe as the footage that I wanted to use it with. It was a 13-second video, 1920 x 1080, 29.97 fps. I could either download the .mov file (243 MBs) or a MP4 file that was only 20 MBs. I could download to my HD or save the file to Dropbox. A few seconds later, it was playing on my computer, ready to use in my project.

It's that easy to use. If I'm in the middle of editing and I say to myself that I need this or that, I just hop over to video blocks, search for what I'm looking for, download it, and get back to work. It's royalty free, so I can use it right away.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be your tour guide for this site. But if you need content right now, you can join Videoblocks for $149 a year and gain access to great video, stills, and audio content. This is really a great idea...

Will I Be Testing the New Olympus 45mm and 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lenses?

Yes I will. I will have my hands on both lenses on December 6, and I'll be able to publish my review of them on Friday, Dec. 8. So, if you're contemplating either one of these, I'll be able to give you some more insight into these lenses very soon. Stay tuned!

And if you want to preorder either of these optics, here's some more info about them:

New Benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members

Speaking of video:

Starting in December 2017, I have a great new benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members: Nimble Software Series. Each month I will post two training videos for our Inner Circle Members, covering Capture One Pro, Lightroom, Luminar, Photos for mac OS and more. Each video will run between 10 to 30 minutes, and will show you specific techniques for improving your images.

To become an Inner Circle Member, simple pledge $5 or more a month through the TDS Patreon program. Existing Inner Circle members are automatically enrolled in the Nimble Software Series, and receive their first two movies on Friday, December 1, 2017.

We have more benefits coming in 2018 for our Inner Circle Members. Join today and become part of the TDS Elite.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Videoblocks - Go to videoblocks.com/digitalstory to get all the stock video, audio, and images that you can imagine for just $149. Save on millions of studio-quality clips, tracks, and graphics.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #608, Nov. 7, 2017. Today's theme is "My Top 5 Photo Apps of 2017." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Competition on the photo software space has heated up in 2017. Lightroom still maintains its "King of the Hill" status, but there are newcomers and veterans alike challenging that position. But how do you determine what's right for you? Today I will share my favorite 5 with the hope that this information will make your decision just a bit easier.

My Top 5 Photo Apps of 2017

All five of these apps are the winners. I'm not ranking them because each person has his/her own unique needs, and the program that meets those needs the best should be their top pick.

That being said, I have my personal favorites among these five. And I will share those opinions during this discussion. So let's get started.

IMG_1788.jpg

  • Lightroom - Pick your version - Excellent editing tools combined with a reasonable DAM, Lightroom has the largest support community with a bounty of how-to information and tips. Its cloud connectivity with mobile devices is excellent. And if you don't know what you need in an all purpose photo management app, this isn't a bad place to start. Good for pros and enthusiasts. Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.
  • Capture One Pro - My favorite RAW decoder in this lineup. C1 is know for its excellent, photo-like image quality, but it's also a darn good DAM as well. If you don't care about cloud connectivity and can live with the higher price tag, this app is fantastic for serious RAW photography. Good for pros and enthusiasts. Mac and Windows.
  • Luminar-What started out as an innovative image editor for the Mac is now evolving into a full service application for Mac and Windows. The editing tools are outrageously good. A DAM is coming in 2018. And you can't beat the reasonable price tag. If I had to pick a dark horse contender to 2018, Luminar would be it. Good for enthusiasts and snapshooters. Mac and Windows.
  • Photos for macOS High Sierra - Although it still lives in the shadow of its predecessor Aperture, the third version of Photos is quite capable. Apple RAW decoding is excellent and is tied to the OS, not the Photos app. Performance is outstanding, as is iCloud sharing and backup. If you're an iPhone shooter, Photos is a no-brainer. But it's also a good fit for enthusiasts thanks in part to the excellent lineup of editing and output extensions. Good for enthusiasts and snapshooters. Mac and iOS.
  • Affinity Photo - If you want the power of Photoshop, but with a more modern UI and photographer emphasis, then Affinity is your app. Super powerful tools, great performance, good price, and a killer iOS app to boot. Good for pros and enthusiasts. Mac, Windows, and iOS.

Videoblocks - One Stop Downloading for video, audio, and images for your projects

Over the last month, I've had this ongoing conversation with a group called Storyblocks. They provide downloadable photography, video, and audio for creatives who need royalty free content for their projects. Considering that we have a community of visual artists here, I was interested in learning more.

For me personally, I'm more interested than ever in having additional movie and photo content available. As I record more video and stills with my Spark, there are gaps that I would love to fill. Footage for intros, transitions, and closing content that could augment what I've recorded.

Instead of just editing together a few clips, I could make a real movie. So I started exploring Videoblocks online library of royalty free content.

Two things happened as a result. First, there is a ton of great footage to augment my work. I'm really excited about this because I feel like this will move the ball forward for my projects. And second, the extensive library of content is also stirring my imagination for new creations. "What if I downloaded this footage here, then went and shot that, then combined them?"

This is the perfect time of year to explore Videoblocks. Take those great images and videos for your 2017 adventures, and elevate them to the next level.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be your tour guide for this site. But if you need content right now, you can join Videoblocks for $149 a year and gain access to great video, stills, and audio content. This is really a great idea...

New Benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members

Speaking of video:

Starting in December 2017, I have a great new benefit for TDS Inner Circle Members: Nimble Software Series. Each month I will post two training videos for our Inner Circle Members, covering Capture One Pro, Lightroom, Luminar, Photos for mac OS and more. Each video will run between 10 to 30 minutes, and will show you specific techniques for improving your images.

To become an Inner Circle Member, simple pledge $5 or more a month through the TDS Patreon program. Existing Inner Circle members are automatically enrolled in the Nimble Software Series, and receive their first two movies on Friday, December 1, 2017.

We have more benefits coming in 2018 for our Inner Circle Members. Join today and become part of the TDS Elite.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Videoblocks - Go to videoblocks.com/digitalstory to get all the stock video, audio, and images that you can imagine for just $149. Save on millions of studio-quality clips, tracks, and graphics.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #607, Oct. 31, 2017. Today's theme is "The Thrill of Fast Primes." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The best news to come out of Photo Plus Expo for me was the announcement of the new Olympus PRO f/1.2 primes. But Olympus isn't the only one pushing the wide aperture envelope. Fast primes by Fujifilm and other mirrorless camera makers are boosting not only capability, but price and bulk as well. And they are to subject of today's podcast.

The Thrill of Fast Primes

Olympus-PRO-Primes.jpg

Bigger optics with hefty price tags are the current trend in mirrorless cameras. In many ways, I view these new offerings as the maturation of this product category, not only for Olympus, but Sony, Fujifilm, and Panasonic too. Pros and enthusiasts alike can use these cameras and lenses for their work. Mirrorless has grown up.

What this means for me as a fan of micro four thirds, is that I have tantalizing options for lens selection. I can go compact with modest f/1.8 maximum apertures, or go super fast at f/1.2. So how do I choose? Well first let's take a look at five of these tempting lenses by our favorite manufacturers.

So now, just by way of comparison, let's pick the fast optic that I'm most interested in, the 45mm f/1.2. It measures 2.76 x 3.34" (70 x 84.9 mm) and weighs 14.46 oz (410 g). It has a 9 blade aperture. The smaller Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens has a seven blade aperture, costs only $399, weighs in at 4.09 oz (116 g), and measures 2.20 x 1.81" (56 x 46 mm). That's quite a difference.

The bottom line is this, regardless if you're a nimble photographer or pro who needs the very best, mirrorless now provides options for both.

A Review of the TDS Wine Country Photography Workshop

Beautiful weather, friendly world class wineries, and amazing photographers combine for a fabulous 3-day event in Sonoma County. Here are a few of my impressions.

The Digital Story - Digital Photography Public Group on Flickr

We have more than 3,000 members and 73,000 photos on TDS Flickr Public Group. This is the gallery that I peruse on a daily basis. It's also the source for The TDS Member Photo of the Day on our Facebook page and displayed in the Member Gallery on the TDS site.

Share your favorite images there so others in our community can see them. Plus, you never know, you may be selected for the TDS Member Photo of the Day!

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Cascable - Cascable is the best tool available for working with your camera in the field.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #606, Oct. 24, 2017. Today's theme is "The Cloud's Silver Lining." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We learned last week that Lightroom becomes a cloud based app with the end of the perpetual license. I was also part of a story where cloud-based backup saved a photo library in the face of disaster. This week we look at both the dark side and silver lining of cloud-based photography.

The Cloud's Silver Lining

IMG_1359.jpg

As Adobe moves Lightroom into the cloud, there's a fair amount of confusion about the options available to photographers. The bottom line is, that Adobe believes that cloud computing is the future, and they are embracing it.

And to some degree, I agree. I love Photos for macOS because of its seamless connectivity with iCloud. And the Luminar DAM will definitely have a cloud component.

And by the same token, the one shortcoming for Capture One Pro is its lack of cloud connectivity. Those catalogs are landlocked on hard drives. And I think they will soon have to make a move toward more fluid management of those files.

The challenge as I see it, is how do you manage the balance between files stored locally and online? Adobe and Apple seem to be doing a good job in this regard by providing us enough options to craft a workflow that suits our needs.

But this is a moving target. It's something that we have to think about and adjust as variables change. The dark side of cloud computing is often the fees and subscriptions that we have to maintain. And the silver lining can be when the cloud saves all of our work that would otherwise be lost. I have one such story to share in the next segment of the show.

iCloud and the Forever Lost Computer

As I mentioned in the previous episode of The Digital Story, my brother in law lost his house during the firestorms that hit Santa Rosa. All of his possessions were suddenly vaporized, including his Mac and iPad. His belief was that many of his important files were forever gone as well.

But there was a silver lining to this dark cloud. And Pat agreed to come on the show to discuss how cloud computing provided a ray of sunshine at the bleakest of times.

The Digital Story - Digital Photography Public Group on Flickr

We have more than 3,000 members and 73,000 photos on TDS Flickr Public Group. This is the gallery that I peruse on a daily basis. It's also the source for The TDS Member Photo of the Day on our Facebook page and displayed in the Member Gallery on the TDS site.

Share your favorite images there so others in our community can see them. Plus, you never know, you may be selected for the TDS Member Photo of the Day!

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Cascable - Cascable is the best tool available for working with your camera in the field.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #605, Oct.16, 2017. Today's theme is "Fire Coming Down the Mountain." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In the early morning hours of October 9, 2017, a wind-fueled blaze stormed into Santa Rosa, CA, roaring down the mountain from neighboring Calistoga. My family, my friends, and my cat were evacuated, not once, but three times over the following week. Here's the story about how those events unfolded.

fire-down-the-mountain.jpg Day 1 of the Tubbs Fire as it reaches Santa Rosa, CA. Photo by Derrick Story.

ILCP WildSpeak Coming in November

Conservation photographers from all over the world will gather again at WildSpeak 2017 in Washington D.C. I covered this event last year, and it was one of the most important conferences I've ever attended.

WildSpeak will once again take place at Carnegie Institution for Science on November 14 and 15. Presenters include top naturalists, biologists, and nature photographers who have been immersed in their particular specialities. They share their findings in a series of presentations over the two days of the event.

Plus, you'll learn how you too can participate in the world of conservation photography. Be sure to allow enough time during your visit to explore places in D.C. such at National Geographic headquarters and the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.

You can learn more and register by visiting the WildSpeak site. I'll be there again this year. If you plan on attending, be sure to let me know so we can say hello.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Cascable - Cascable is the best tool available for working with your camera in the field.

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

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #604, Oct.3, 2017. Today's theme is "The Joy of LED Lighting." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I'm working on a series of studio portrait shoots for a project, and have been leaning heavily on my LED lights. They have been serving me well both in the studio, and on location, and I thought now would be a good time to revisit this affordable, versatile, lighting solution.

The Joy of LED Lighting

My current favorite LED light is the Genaray LED-7100T 312 LED Variable-Color Light for $189. The kit includes the light, two batteries, a diffusion panel, a charger, and a nice case.

It's portable enough for location shoots, yet powerful enough to use in a studio softbox. So I thought I would share five reasons why I'm preferring the LED array to traditional strobes.

CDCIM104MEDIADXO_0476.jpg

  • Continuous Lighting with a Broad Source - What you see is what you get. And the bigger panel with diffuser means I don't always need modifiers.
  • Color Adjustable - All I have to do is turn a know to adjust the temperature of the output. And it's so easy to calibrate them to the ambient lighting in the scene.
  • Long Battery Life - I charge the set of duo batteries before the shoot, and they last for the entire session without having to change them.
  • Cool to the Touch - Even though the lights are always on, the room doesn't heat up.
  • More Affordable than Most Strobes - A dedicated flash can cost $350 or more. These LED panels are less than 200, including batteries.

I still carry a flash in my camera bag with an extension cord. Because there are those times when I need the power or portability. But given a choice, I tend to reach for my LED lights whenever possible. And I love them!

ILCP WildSpeak Coming in November

Conservation photographers from all over the world will gather again at WildSpeak 2017 in Washington D.C. I covered this event last year, and it was one of the most important conferences I've ever attended.

WildSpeak will once again take place at Carnegie Institution for Science on November 14 and 15. Presenters include top naturalists, biologists, and nature photographers who have been immersed in their particular specialities. They share their findings in a series of presentations over the two days of the event.

Plus, you'll learn how you too can participate in the world of conservation photography. Be sure to allow enough time during your visit to explore places in D.C. such at National Geographic headquarters and the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.

You can learn more and register by visiting the WildSpeak site. I'll be there again this year. If you plan on attending, be sure to let me know so we can say hello.

How to Shoot an Annie Leibovitz-style Group Portrait with Affordable Gear

Petapixel published this article that explains how to create amazing big group shots by breaking down the subjects into smaller groups, then compositing them together.

One way portrait photographers like Annie Leibovitz light large-scale group photos is by lighting smaller groups by themselves and then compositing everyone together into a large group. Photographer Barry Harley recently employed this technique with relatively affordable gear for a group photo with friends while on vacation.

Harley, his wife, and a group of friends were on a week-long vacation at Duns Castle in Scotland. The ancient site was the perfect location for an epic magazine-style group photo.

In Harley's camera bag was an older Canon 5D Mark II DSLR (~$600 used these days), two Yongnuo YN-560 II flashes (which currently cost about $75), a PocketWizard, and a 43-inch Westcott bounce umbrella (~$20).

The group had brought along outfits specifically for the photo shoot, and upon arrival, Harley decided to shoot the portrait on the main entrance stairway of the castle.

The article walks you through all of the steps with photos. It's really kind of amazing.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

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.

Texas-based Red River Paper recently announced a new fine art paper, Palo Duro Etching. The new paper is a 100 percent cotton rag paper and is free of optical brightener additives. The paper is designed to offer warm white tones, deep blacks and a subtle texture to accurately recreate traditional darkroom fine art prints.

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

Cascable - Cascable is the best tool available for working with your camera in the field.

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

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.