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"Go Take a Hike"- Photography Podcast 603

This is The Digital Story Podcast #603, Sept. 26, 2017. Today's theme is "Take a Hike." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've always had a love/hate relationship with the news, which is ironic for someone trained as a journalist. But there are times when I hear and see things of which I have no control, and as a result, I become disheartened. Bad news seems as intense now as ever. There are a lot of folks that I'd love to tell, "go take a hike." But maybe it's me who should hit the trail. And that's the topic for today's TDS podcast.

Go Take a Hike

One of the headlines I read today referred to The Cultural War that's going on in America. That is so deflating to me. Other troublesome words right now include North Korea, hurricanes, earthquakes, protests, acerbic tweets, healthcare, foreign intervention, and intolerance. A few of those words I can do something about. The rest of it is out of my control.

Thinking about this reminds me of something that I've learned about relationships in general. We often don't have control over the actions of others. But we do have control over our reactions to their behavior.

So, if I'm going to be useful to others, then I need to stay as balanced as possible. And the best way for me to do that is to exercise in nature. It's the perfect activity for photographers. Here are a few tips to get the most from this experience.

Castle-Rock-1050.jpg

  • Get Up Early - There are many benefits to getting out the door early. From a photography standpoint, the light is good. Beyond that, the world is quiet in the wee hours of the morning, and that soft energy is very soothing for soul. A hike a 7am is a completely different experience than at 1pm.
  • Be Safe - I often travel alone. But I'm over 6'7" and weigh over 200 pounds. Not everyone has that physical advantage. So be sure to compensate accordingly. Carry a whistle. It is the most efficient communication and emergency device in nature. Dogs and friends make great trail companions. Take the necessary precautions so you can enjoy your experience outside.
  • Travel Light - If I'm not just a little bit cold when I start the hike, then I know I'm going to be way too hot when I finish. Light layers, nimble camera bag, enough water to stay hydrated, are all you need for most short day hikes.
  • It's Not a Race - You can go fast if you wish, but you will miss many shots, birds, flowers, and much of the joy of nature. Allow yourself to stop for pictures, admire vistas, and have a sip of water. The idea is to break the pace of our daily lives, not simply move it out to the trail.
  • Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket - Unless you're using your smartphone as your camera, keep it tucked away. The Do Not Disturb feature will let calls through from your favorites, which should be friends and family. Let everything else stay on hold until you're back in civilization.

If you're lucky enough to have access to outdoor walking trails, then embrace that activity. Taking a hike won't automatically solve the world's problems. But staying healthy and balanced will put you in a better position to contribute to the solutions we need.

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.

Cascable Transfer with Lightroom "kas-ka-ball"

Cascable Transfer will let you copy your selected images directly from your WiFi camera to Lightroom.

I have two tips for doing this. First, set up a masters folder ahead of time called Cascable Transfer. Then import some images into it, just a few to get the wiring in order. That way you can transfer your masters to that folder when you use Cascable.

Second, if you get the runaround with the Lightroom plugin not being installed, even after you've installed it via Cascable Transfer, just open Lightroom, go to the Plugin Manager, and enable it there. Everything should work fine after that.

Cascable Transfer is a $15 app that supports WiFi enabled Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic cameras. It makes it easy to transfer RAW, Jpeg, or RAW+Jpeg to the Finder, Photos for macOS, or Lightroom (which I'll cover next week).

Each RAW+Jpeg pair took about a minute to transfer. Once the process was completed, my images were waiting for me in Photos. The procedure is easy. First, turn on WiFi in the camera, then connect to the network on your Mac, then launch Cascable Transfer and browse the images on the card.

This is a wonderful safety net for those times your card reader isn't available (or working) and you want to copy pictures from your camera to your laptop.

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 #602, Sept. 19, 2017. Today's theme is "iPhone X and the Rise of Computational Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If I were to place my cameras for 2018 in a line on a table moving from left to right in terms of technical sophistication, it would go something like this: Pentax Super Program SLR, Olympus PEN-F mirrorless, and iPhone X. The Pentax can compute exposure, the PEN-F can stretch high dynamic range and add effects, and the iPhone X can build an image that is a creation of light and algorithms. The iPhone leverages software to process an image that would be otherwise difficult to capture with traditional cameras. And that's the focus of today's TDS podcast.

iPhone X and the Rise of Computational Photography

Cameras have been using computing power for quite some time. My Pentax Super Program 35mm SLR was European Camera of the Year in 1983. It uses a microprocessor to evaluate light and compute automatic exposure, setting both the shutter speed and the aperture.

The PEN-F takes exposure capability to new heights, allowing me to watch a long exposure develop on its LCD screen, then providing the option to end the exposure once the image looks the way that I want. Plus it has in-camera HDR processing, Art Filters, color adjustments, and more.

iphone-x-side.jpg

But smartphones are embracing computational photography in a very sophisticated way, using software for realtime image enhancement that goes well beyond exposure. And as I examine the iPhone X, there are some remarkable features that will literally change the face of consumer photography.

First, let's define computational photography: The theory was that software algorithms could do more than dutifully process photos, but actually make photos better in the process.

"The output of these techniques is an ordinary photograph, but one that could not have been taken by a traditional camera," is how the group described its efforts at the time. (Via CBC News.)

Now let's see how all of this plays out.

  • Image Sensors and Optics - The iPhone X has two new image sensors that are 12 MP each, and both camera modules are equipped with an optical image stabilizer. The wide-angle lens offers a 28mm focal length and an aperture of f/1.8, while the telephoto lens is 56 millimeters and f/2.4. In addition, there is also a quad-LED flash. The sensor is reportedly bigger and thus, can capture 83 percent more light. Assuming a crop factor of 7 and a 1/2.9-inch sensor size on the iPhone 7, this would approximately mean a 1/2.0-inch format, which would be bigger than in other current smartphones.(via AndroidPit.)
  • New Algorithms - As with previous iPhone generations, there is also a portrait mode in the new iPhones, which blurs the background, but the portrait lighting function is new. Portrait lighting works by detecting the face of the photographed person in detail and simulating several types of lighting. To process these elaborate effects, Apple has equipped its new A11 SoC with a standalone image signal processor. It will furthermore assist in focusing and noise reduction.
  • Impressive Video - According to the presentation, Apple divides the captured image into a total of two million squares and analyzes their content. This compresses low-detail image areas more heavily while areas that are rich in detail are preserved as much as possible. Of course, this is nothing new--video encoders also work this way--but Apple wants to be exceptionally good at it. Apple uses HEVC for its video codec and, as usual, speaks confidently about having the best video quality of any smartphone.
    60 fps is possible at the maximum resolution, 4K. Furthermore, there are now slow-motion videos at a 1080p resolution and 240 images per second, which equals a slowdown by a factor of eight when played back at 30 fps. In comparison: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 currently achieves only 1,280 x 720 pixels at 240 fps. (via AndroidPit.)
  • Powerful Front Facing Camera - The iPhone X furthermore sports a 7 MP front camera with a 3D scanner for the new FaceID feature, allowing for portrait mode, including Bokeh effect and portrait lighting, to work with selfies as well. (via AndroidPit.)
    Hidden inside the small notch cutout at the top of the iPhone X is a significant number of new camera parts and sensors that do more than just transpose your face onto an emoji cat or scan it to unlock your phone. The front-facing camera module now contains an infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity scanner, ambient light sensor, speaker, microphone, 7-megapixel camera, and dot projector. All of that together combines into what Apple calls its TrueDepth camera, used for Animoji, Face ID, and a number of cool camera tricks.(Via The Verge.)
  • A Closer Look at Portrait Lighting Mode - Apple says it "brings dramatic studio lighting effects to iPhone." And it's all done in software, of course. Here's how an Apple press release describes it:
    "It uses the dual cameras and the Apple-designed image signal processor to recognize the scene, create a depth map and separate the subject from the background. Machine learning is then used to create facial landmarks and add lighting over contours of the face, all happening in real time."
    In other words, Apple is combining techniques used in augmented reality and facial recognition to create a photo that, to paraphrase the Stanford team, no traditional camera could take. On the iPhone X, the company is also using its facial recognition camera system, which can sense depth, to do similar tricks.
    While the underlying techniques behind many of these features aren't necessarily new, faster and more capable processors have made it feasible to do them on a phone. Apple says its new phones even have a dedicated chip for machine learning tasks. (Via CBC News.)

Take all of this and add an OLED screen: The edge-to-edge display is features Apple's proprietary advantages such as the coloration and brightness-adjusting True Tone display tech and a new Super Retina moniker that means the iPhone X sports a 2436 x 1125 resolution at 458 ppi across 5.8 inches of real estate. It's also Apple's first smartphone to come HDR-ready. All this adds up to an impressive display that is clearly the top differentiator between the iPhone X and the iPhone 8. (Via The Verge.)

Cascable Transfer with Photos for macOS "kas-ka-ball"

Here's a scenario that I faced. I had captured a handful of blue hour images of San Francisco the other evening from the top of the Metreon building. I wanted to transfer a few of them to my MacBook Air 11", but I had forgotten my card reader. (There isn't a SD card slot on the 11".) Fortunately, I had Cascable Transfer loaded, so I could send my selected images directly from the OM-D E-M10 Mark II to the laptop. And the best part is, they went directly into Photos for macOS, RAW files and Jpegs alike.

Cascable Transfer is a $15 app that supports WiFi enabled Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic cameras. It makes it easy to transfer RAW, Jpeg, or RAW+Jpeg to the Finder, Photos for macOS, or Lightroom (which I'll cover next week).

Each RAW+Jpeg pair took about a minute to transfer. Once the process was completed, my images were waiting for me in Photos. The procedure is easy. First, turn on WiFi in the camera, then connect to the network on your Mac, then launch Cascable Transfer and browse the images on the card.

This is a wonderful safety net for those times your card reader isn't available (or working) and you want to copy pictures from your camera to your laptop.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

Our next Nimble Classroom focuses on Luminar Pro Techniques on Saturday Sept. 23. If you want to master this amazing image editing application, join us online for this workshop. We chat among ourselves via a Slack classroom, and I'm teaching via live video and screen sharing. It's a blast!

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 #601, Set. 12, 2017. Today's theme is "HDMI Out - The Untapped Resource." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I haven't shot much with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II since the PEN-F came into my life. It's not that I don't like the OM-D anymore; I love it. But the PEN-F is just so sexy. So I started thinking, "What could I use my OM-D for? What is its special talent?" Well, for one thing, it records amazing video. And it does have that HDMI port. Then it all came together. In this week's podcast I show you the wonders of my recent discovery: HDMI Out.

camlink-connect.jpg

I Just Can't Stand My FaceTime Camera Any Longer

I've been getting by with my FaceTime camera with Skype and other streaming needs. I'm not sure why I stuck with it so long because I hate the video it produces. For one thing, it's too wide. It's too dark. And I look 10 years older than I really am. Yet, I was still using it.

This all came to an end one morning when I was testing mimoLive with my friend Oliver, the head of Boinx Software. Oliver is a very straightforward kind of guy. And when he saw the live video I was producing with his software, he commented, "What are you using? The FaceTime camera?"

I said, "Yes I am."

"Why?" he asked. "You're a photographer. You have cameras. You have lights. Use them."

He was right. But the problem was, I didn't have any experience in streaming video, only recording to the memory card in the camera. I didn't know how to connect to my Mac and an external hard drive.

Interestingly enough, at this time, elgato released a new product called Cam Link. It's a $129 interface about the size of a thumb drive that converts HDMI output from your camera to USB for your computer. I bought one immediately and started testing. And as a result, I've fallen in love with my OM-D and its HDMI port.

What Exactly Is Happening with HDMI Out?

Essentially, instead of sending visual information to your memory card, the camera redirects it out through the HDMI port. Depending on what you're connecting too, this means that you can record full HD footage directly to a hard drive, or stream it via Skype, Facebook Live, or a number of other apps and services.

This opens up a whole new world of movie making. You still have access to all of the settings and controls that you normally use on your camera, it's just that the output feed is redirected.

In my case, I'm using mimoLive to produce my Nimble Classroom series. It's essentially a TV production environment for my Mac. So I can switch between my OM-D and the FaceTime camera for the output. And the difference is night and day. For the first time in my adult life, I look OK on live stream.

I'm using the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens, with the Portrait configuration, white balance, exposure compensation, and manual focusing. I have complete control over the image, and I can stream or record at 1080p at 60fps. And not a pixel goes to the memory card. It's all flowing directly to a 2 TB Western Digital hard drive.

Will Your Camera Work with HDMI Out?

There are a few simple checks you can make to see if your camera will work in scenarios like I've described.

  • Look for an HDMI Port - Many cameras have HDMI out, but not all. So check your specs.
  • Determine the Type of HDMI Port - There's more than one port size. And you have to figure out the port on your camera and the device that you're connecting it to. There's the standard HDMI connector, mini, and micro. Figure out what you need, then order the appropriate cable.
  • Clean Output - Check your camera to ensure that it has clean HDMI output. This means that you can turn off all onscreen menu items and that you get full-size HD output. The easiest way to test this is to connect your camera via HDMI to an LCD TV and view what appears on the TV screen. If it is clean and detailed, you're good to go.
  • Automatic Shut Off - Some camera automatically shut down their output after a certain amount of time. It could be 5 minutes or 30. Some allow you to adjust this via their menus. And some don't have it at all. Find out yours and determine if it will work for your needs.
  • External Power Capable - If you're going to have long recording sessions, you may want to investigate external power options to extend broadcast time. As an alternative, a power grip with an extra battery might do the trick, depending on how seamlessly the camera shifts from one battery to the next.

The Elgato Cam Link works great with my E-M5 Mark II. Beware of the system requirements for your Mac or PC computer however. When it says 4th generation quad-core Intel i5 CPU or better, it means it. I tried using it with a dual core, and the image flickered. No good! You'll also need either Windows 10 (64-bit) or macOS Sierra and an USB 3 port. If you meet those requirements, however, Cam Link will open up a new world for your HDMI compatible camera.

Lifelike 3D Audio Recording Headset

Last week I promised you an audio goodie as well. This is about as cool as it gets for video recording in the field. The Lifelike 3D Audio Recording Headset is currently accepting backers on INDIEGOGO, and this affordable device is amazing.

With just these simple earbuds and your iPhone, you can record panoramic, lifelike audio to use with your videos, or as standalone files. I explain in more detail in this second segment.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

Our next Nimble Classroom focuses on Luminar Pro Techniques on Saturday Sept. 23. If you want to master this amazing image editing application, join us online for this workshop. We chat among ourselves via a Slack classroom, and I'm teaching via live video and screen sharing. It's a blast!

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 #600, Sept. 5, 2017. Today's theme is "6 Ways that Photography Has Changed." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I was composing a shot at the Santa Monica Metro Station the other night when I felt someone staring at me. I looked up and saw this man at the top of the steps with his eyes directly fixed on me. I looked back for a moment and waited for him to say something. Finally, he spoke: "We're you taking my picture?" he asked. This is the type of encounter that I'm experiencing more and more these days. And for our 600th show, I thought I'd explore 6 ways that photography has changed since I started this podcast in 2005.

Meanwhile, Back at the Santa Monica Metro Station

I paused for a moment before answering the man who had been glaring at me. His body was stiff with anger. I took a deep breath, exhaled, then replied, "I have been taking pictures here for about an hour. If you've been here during that time, you may be in some of them. I couldn't tell you for sure. But you have not been the subject of my work."

"That's freaking uncool," he spit out. "You should be ashamed of yourself."

"I'm sorry if I bothered you," I replied. "That was not my intent."

I then walked away without saying anything else. There was nothing to add to the story. I put my camera away and walked back to the hotel. The night was over.

I started thinking about all of the encounters I've experienced while working recently. And how much the act of photography has changed, as well as its perception. Some things are better, many are not. And since we're at a milestone today, show number 600, this seems like a good time to take stock of the situation.

Six Things that Have Changed

  • Maturation of the Digital Workflow - In 2005, the year I began this podcast, Aperture was released by Apple, with Lightroom soon to follow. This was the next step in digital photography because it represented a true RAW workflow for all levels of photographers. Today, we have many software options and anyone can produce technically outstanding images.
  • Increased Resolution, Capability, and Storage - On Flickr, I have a shot of my boys captured in April of 2005. I used a Canon Rebel XT. Canon wrote this about its camera: "The EOS Digital Rebel XT features Canon's 8.0 Megapixel CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensor, which captures images of exceptional clarity and tonal range and offers the most pixels in its class." It had a 1.8" LCD viewfinder with 115K dots resolution. Today I'm capturing around 20MPs with 3" LCDs at a million dots. At the same time, storage became cheaper. In 2005, hard drives were relatively expensive and cloud storage was anything but robust. Today, I can buy 3TB hard drives for about $90 and I have 200GB of Cloud backup for $2.99 a month. And all of this storage is optimized.
  • More Sharing Options - (Here's where things really begin to change.) In 2004, both Facebook and Flickr launched. Twitter followed in 2006, and we didn't see Instagram until 2010 and Snapchat until 2011. The impact of these social networks has impacted photography dramatically.
  • The Emergence of the Selfie - The iPhone 4 was introduced in 2010 with a front-facing camera. This single device poured gas on the self-love portrait phenomenon known as the Selfie. Combined with the emerging social networks I mentioned earlier, the tone of consumer photography shifted from an outward exploration of the world to inward reassurance. I think in many ways, the convergence of these technologies is what put us on the rails that we're riding now.
  • The Devaluation of Artistic Imagery - With the improved hardware and software, little ability was required to create a technically acceptable photograph. Unfortunately, this has had an adverse affect for artists and professionals. Technically acceptable has become good enough for stock, public display, weddings, annual reports, and other business opportunities for professional photographers. Our value has diminished, as well as our ability to support our families.
  • Post September 11, 2001 - All the while these other events were unfolding, the effects of 9-11 continued to surface, and to some degree, expand. Anyone taking a picture in public may be subjected to questioning by security guards, pedestrians, shop owners, and police. To my knowledge, photography did not play a role in horrific attack by terrorists, yet it somehow has suffered collaterally ever since. People are not the same in public. And hostility toward photographers has increased.

So where does that leave us? If we're not careful, we could find ourselves in a wholly unsatisfying position. Where on one hand, we have these marvelous tools. Yet the world we have to use them in is highly suspicious, inwardly facing, and satisfied with the average.

As artists and professionals, it is our role to not be content with the status quo, and to push back against hostility, narcism, and visual mediocrity.

santa-monica-pier.jpg

I was back on the streets the next night in Santa Monica. The image that I captured on that second shoot featured a young mother holding her child and looking up at the lights and magic of the carnival atmosphere of the Santa Monica Pier. She was clearly happy to be there. She was enjoying it with her daughter. At that moment life was good, for all of us. And as one viewer commented on Instagram, "I can't stop looking at this picture."

For me, that shot represented the good things about my photography today. I captured the image handheld at ISO 3200, processed it in great software, and was able to share with the world on Instagram. Those are my positive takeaways. I'll deal with the other things as they come up.

Photography has changed greatly since my first podcast in 2005. There are some things I miss from then. But like that image of my boys playing basketball that I captured with the Canon Rebel XT, I will always have those pictures.

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 #599, August 29, 2017. Today's theme is "5 Scenarios When Analog Makes More Sense." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've been reading a lot about the Nikon D850 and what an impressive 45MP, $3,300 machine it is. I've also been following the Fuji GFX story and how the market is responding to the 51MP, $6,500 digital medium format body. The numbers made me a little dizzy. And it got me thinking about more affordable alternatives for creative photography. And that's the subject for today's show.

5 Scenarios When Analog Makes More Sense

7350_32A-TFP091.jpg

I had coffee the other day with a customer who had purchase a Contax RTS from TheFilmCameraShop. He was in town via a road trip, and it was easier to hand over the camera rather than ship it. Kyle is a professional travel and landscape photographer. And it was fascinating to listen to the direction he's taking today.

He shoots Sony mirrorless most of the time. But he has collection of Zeiss lenses with the Contax mount that he's adapted to his digital body. "I can't describe how good these lenses are and how utterly affordable."

He was preaching to the choir. And his story is my first example of when analog makes more sense.

  • Great Glass, Affordably - One of the best zoom lenses ever made is the Zeiss 35-70mm f/3.4 in the Contax mount. Pop Photo commented in their testing of it that every focal length performed like a prime lens. I bought one in pristine condition for $289. I can mount it on any mirrorless camera.
  • Medium Format at a Fraction of the Price - You can buy a Hasselblad 500C with Zeiss 80mm lens and back for about $900. That's about 1/10 the cost of a digital medium format kit. Since most of us only need medium format for special assignments, this is a wonderful alternative.
  • Archive for the Ages - Properly handled film has a very long life expectancy and is device independent.
  • Improving Your Skill as a Photographer - It's amazing the motivation that sets in the moment you get your processed images back from the lab, and they are all over the map exposure wise. Shooting digital RAWs has made most of us lazy at capture. There is no better (and unforgiving) way to sharpen up our skills than by shooting a monthly roll of film.
  • The Cameras Themselves - Many of the analog cameras I shoot with are my favorites. And because of this, I want to shoot more often with them. And as a result, I have more images at my disposal than ever before. I shoot digital at work. But analog gets me off the couch in my free time.
  • Using the Intervalometer for Cascable 3 "kas-ka-ball"

    One of my favorite features in Cascable's Shutter Robot is the Intervalometer Module. It's both powerful and flexible, and perfect for taking full control of your time-lapse sequences. The Intervalometer is a PRO feature.

    Start by setting the Interval, which can be as short as 1 second or as long as 59 minutes, 59 seconds. Then set the Stop parameter. You have three options: manually, after a fixed number of shots, or after a fixed amount to time. Once those are set, tap the Engage button, then the shutter release to begin the sequence.

    Cascable is available to get started with for free from the iOS App Store. Cascable's Pro features come with a free trial when subscribing from $2 per month, or can also be unlocked with a one-time $29.99 purchase.

    We have a tile on all the pages of The Digital Story that takes you directly to the TDS landing page on the Cascable site.

    You Don't Always Have to Take the Shot

    The story about my younger brother getting to steer the ship during an important family event.

    A Look at Our First The Nimble Classroom

    It was all systems go last Saturday for our first The Nimble Classroom focusing on Capture One Pro Catalog Management. Here's how it went.

    Here are the upcoming sessions.

    • September 9, Expert Editing, Capture One Pro
    • September 23, Luminar Pro Techniques
    • October 7, Photos 3 for macOS SOLD OUT
    • November 4, Photos 3 for macOS

    You can learn more about them and sign up for your favorites by visiting The Nimble Classroom online.

    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 #598, August 22, 2017. Today's theme is "Tales from the Solar Eclipse" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Like so many photographers in the U.S., I had been preparing for weeks to ensure my readiness for the August 21 Solar Eclipse of 2017. And judging by the images I saw on Instagram and throughout social media, many were happy with their results. So I thought that I'd dedicate this show to my preparations, and the event itself. After all, we get to do it all again in 7 years!

Tales from the Solar Eclipse

IMG_4430-Solar-Eclipse.jpg

Here's how I prepared for the big event, the equipment I used, and how it all turned out.

Using Cascable 3 "kas-ka-ball" to Photograph the Solar Eclipse

I connected my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II to my iPhone and used Cascable to control the camera during the eclipse. This was the safest way to view the event.

  • Turn on your camera and enable WiFi Then launch the Cascable app on your iPhone. It will automatically find your camera's WiFi connection.
  • In Cascable, turn on the Histogram, Zebra Stripes (Pro), and Grid. Tap on the green Histogram icon on the bottom toolbar. (When you're in live view mode the histogram appears on the screen above the image.
  • Go to Camera Settings (green camera back icon) and set the Exposure Mode to P, White Balance to Auto, and Drive Mode to Single.
  • View the scene on the iPhone. Check the image, look for zebra stripes, and most importantly, study the live histogram.
  • Tap on the Exposure Compensation icon and adjust the exposure using the histogram and the live view of the scene. The live histogram makes this process very easy.
  • When everything looks good, take the picture.

If you haven't used Zebra Stripes before, keep in mind that many scenes have some spectral highlights. So you're not necessarily trying to eliminate the stripes all together.

The Olympus O.I. app doesn't have the live histogram (free) nor the zebra stripes (Pro) capability.

Cascable is available to get started with for free from the iOS App Store. Cascable's Pro features come with a free trial when subscribing from $2 per month, or can also be unlocked with a one-time $29.99 purchase.

We have a tile on all the pages of The Digital Story that takes you directly to the TDS landing page on the Cascable site.

A Look at Our First The Nimble Classroom

It was all systems go last Saturday for our first The Nimble Classroom focusing on Capture One Pro Catalog Management. Here's how it went.

Here are the upcoming sessions.

  • September 9, Expert Editing, Capture One Pro
  • September 23, Luminar Pro Techniques
  • October 7, Photos 3 for macOS SOLD OUT
  • November 4, Photos 3 for macOS

You can learn more about them and sign up for your favorites by visiting The Nimble Classroom online.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

We still have one spot open for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop this coming Oct. 26, 27, and 28.

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 #597, August 15, 2017. Today's theme is "I've Got Shotgun!" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In my mind, road trips are a two-person activity. One needs to focus on driving, while the other serves as navigator. And with the current mapping technology, sudden route changes to avoid traffic jams are a great benefit if you have someone to monitor the situation. These days, that person would be me. And the side benefit to acting as navigator is that you also enjoy tremendous photography opportunities. And we're going to explore those on today's show.

I've Got Shotgun!

For those of you unfamiliar with "riding shotgun," the term was coined durning stagecoach days when the person seated to the right of the driver was assigned the task of protecting the entire crew, with shotgun in hand, as they traversed the trails of the west.

When I was a teenager, we didn't have to worry much about bandits pulling us over in Southern California, but riding shotgun was definitely the preferred seat because you weren't stuck in the back of the car.

I-5-Twilight-2048-web.jpg

Today, I'm still seated on the right side, but now with an iPhone in hand navigating the complicated California freeway system as we travel up and down the state. My skills as a navigator have earned me that position. And the side benefits of the job are unlimited photo opportunities. If you too can take advantage of this situation, here are a few things to help you maximize your opportunity.

  • Prepare your camera kit for front seat travel. Keep the bag small and gear accessible. Remove any protection filters from lenses that you might use. Be sure that the flash is off.
  • Keep the windows clean. If shooting through the windshield, then position the camera as close to the glass as possible, and be aware of possible reflections in the scene. Roll down the side window when possible (but this depends greatly on the views of others along for the ride.) Your polarizer can come in handy as well.
  • Experiment with techniques that you normally don't have time for. Test art filters, monochrome, film emulations, and more.
  • Be ready for sunrise and twilight.
  • Use motion to your advantage. Practice the "near and far" rule for shooting out the side window.

My last tip is not to judge while you're shooting. You'll have plenty of time later to evaluate what works, and what doesn't. The magic of shotgun photography is to let go so you can capture that wildly unique shot that you never anticipated, but dearly love.

How to Test Your Solar Eclipse Glasses

Time Magazine published a helpful article about fake solar eclipse glasses with some advice that I want to pass along to you.

It's not enough today to just look for the ISO certification, as many vendors have started printing glasses with ISO certifications -- even if the glasses do not meet industry standards, experts warned, so your best bet is to only buy from trusted vendors.

If eclipse glasses were purchased from an unauthorized dealer online, experts suggest conducting an at-home test. When you look through the lenses, the AAS said, you should not be able to see anything except for the sun or anything else significantly bright, like a halogen light bulb or a bright-white LED flashlight. All such sources of light should look dim through real eclipse glasses. The glasses also should not have any tears or scratches on them.

You need to wear the glasses during the partial solar eclipse, when the sun is partly blocked by the moon, but can take them off for the brief totality phase, in which the sun's light is entirely blocked for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

The solar eclipse is coming to North America on Monday, August 21, 2017.

Using Cascable 3 "kas-ka-ball" as a Remote Control for Your Camera

This week I want to cover how I set up my Olympus PEN-F for remote control with my iPhone. Here are the steps.

  • Turn on your camera and enable WiFi Then launch the Cascable app on your iPhone. It will automatically find your camera's WiFi connection.
  • In Cascable, turn on the Histogram, Zebra Stripes (Pro), and Grid. Tap on the green Histogram icon on the bottom toolbar. (When you're in live view mode the histogram appears on the screen above the image.
  • Go to Camera Settings (green camera back icon) and set the Exposure Mode to P, White Balance to Auto, and Drive Mode to Single.
  • View the scene on the iPhone. Check the image, look for zebra stripes, and most importantly, study the live histogram.
  • Tap on the Exposure Compensation icon and adjust the exposure using the histogram and the live view of the scene. The live histogram makes this process very easy.
  • When everything looks good, take the picture.

If you haven't used Zebra Stripes before, keep in mind that many scenes have some spectral highlights. So you're not necessarily trying to eliminate the stripes all together.

The Olympus O.I. app doesn't have the live histogram (free) nor the zebra stripes (Pro) capability.

Cascable is available to get started with for free from the iOS App Store. Cascable's Pro features come with a free trial when subscribing from $2 per month, or can also be unlocked with a one-time $29.99 purchase.

We have a tile on all the pages of The Digital Story that takes you directly to the TDS landing page on the Cascable site.

New Subjects Added to The Nimble Classroom

I've trying to figure out a way to bring more personalized training to photographer without them having to travel. It's one thing to get on a plane to photograph wine country or the French Quarter, but not quite as alluring to sit in a classroom for two days.

As a result, I've designed a new approach called, The Nimble Classroom. And now there are four courses for the Summer Session of The Nimble Classroom.

  • August 19, Catalog Management, Capture One Pro
  • September 9, Expert Editing, Capture One Pro
  • September 23, Luminar Pro Techniques
  • October 7, Photos 3 for macOS

You can learn more about them and sign up for your favorites by visiting The Nimble Classroom online.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

We still have one spot open for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop this coming Oct. 26, 27, and 28.

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 #596, August 8, 2017. Today's theme is "It All Starts with the Bag." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When we're in the great outdoors, open space is a thing of beauty. But in our daily lives, it's a rare commodity. Counter tops, desks, closets, and garages tend to be filled to the brim. This tends to hold true for our suitcases, and yes, our camera bags as well. And before you know it, we're lugging around extra pounds that we just don't need. But there is a simple solution, and that's the topic for today's show.

It All Starts with the Bag

A few months ago, I grabbed my work bag on the way out the door and thought to myself, "Man, that's pretty heavy." When I got to work, I emptied its entire contents on my work table and stood there in disbelief. "I'm carrying all of that around with me?" I thought.

retrospective-7-on-car.jpg

There were too many cameras, too many lenses, extra cables, batteries, card readers, chargers, and more. Looking inside my bag, you would think that I was heading off across the Atlantic, not cross town to my office.

Why was I carrying all of that? Was it left over from my days as a wedding photographer where we needed to have backups for our backups? Maybe. But it was time to slim down. So here's what I did.

  • It all starts with a smaller bag.
  • You only need one of each, except batteries.
  • Tablets and small laptops are just fine for home.
  • Leave room for temporary items, such as lunch, paperwork, etc. so you don't end up carrying two bags.
  • Create an organized storage system so you can quickly interchange bag items for different situations.

Innovations such as the Olympus PEN-F and DJI Spark have made all of this much easier. Try your own gear diet and see how you feel.

Advice for Eclipse Newbies

The Atlantic published a helpful article titled, Advice for Eclipse Newbies where they provide some helpful tips for the August 21 event.

"Be sure to bring the appropriate viewing glasses, a pair of glasses for each member of the group. They are pretty cheap and sharing can be problematic in the moment. Just as totality nears, it gets very exciting. Bring additional batteries and cards for the cameras, and a tripod really helps a lot."

Also, B&H Photo has put together an Solar Eclipse Resources Page with links to gear and articles for the big event.

Introducing Cascable 3 "kas-ka-ball" - The Professional WiFi Camera Remote

Unlock the potential of your compatible Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, or Sony WiFi-enabled camera with Cascable. Built for professional and amateur photographers alike, Cascable is the best tool available for working with your camera in the field.

  • Full control of your camera's exposure settings right at your fingertips. (Free)
  • Shutter Robot automation tool for Self Timer (Free), Bulb Timer, Intervalometer, and Exposure Bracketing (Upgrade).
  • Work smart in low-light conditions with an app-wide night theme. (Upgrade)
  • Put your shutter right on your wrist with the included Apple Watch app. Makes group shots a breeze! (Free)
  • Download full-resolution images to your iOS device straight from your camera one at a time or in batches. You can download RAW, Jpeg, or RAW+Jpeg. (Upgrade)
  • Using an neutral density filter? the built-in calculator performs exposure calculations in a snap. Start with initial shutter speed, then set the filter density, and Cascable will then display the recommended shutter speed to those variables. (Free)
  • Want Sharp Stars (instead of trails)? The Sharp Stars calculator determines the longest shutter speed you can use at night. Set the focal length and sensor size, then read the maximum shutter speed you can use for sharp stars. (Free)

Cascable is available to get started with for free from the iOS App Store. Cascable's Pro features come with a free trial when subscribing from $2 per month, or can also be unlocked with a one-time $29.99 purchase.

We have a tile on all the pages of The Digital Story that takes you directly to the TDS landing page on the Cascable site.

New Subjects Added to The Nimble Classroom

I've trying to figure out a way to bring more personalized training to photographer without them having to travel. It's one thing to get on a plane to photograph wine country or the French Quarter, but not quite as alluring to sit in a classroom for two days.

As a result, I've designed a new approach called, The Nimble Classroom. And now there are four courses for the Summer Session of The Nimble Classroom.

  • August 19, Catalog Management, Capture One Pro
  • September 9, Expert Editing, Capture One Pro
  • September 23, Luminar Pro Techniques
  • October 7, Photos 3 for macOS

You can learn more about them and sign up for your favorites by visiting The Nimble Classroom online.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members!

We still have one spot open for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop this coming Oct. 26, 27, and 28.

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 #595, August 1, 2017. Today's theme is "The Unfriendly Skies for Photographers." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Travel is as important to many photographers as the cameras they carry. Because let's face it: you can have the coolest mirrorless in the world, but if you don't have anything interesting to shoot, it's not worth much. But unfortunately air travel has become increasingly unfriendly for us. So this week's show is dedicated to making our trips as painless as possible.

The Unfriendly Skies for Photographers

On July 26, 2017, TSA announced new security measures for domestic travelers.

a-clear-path.jpg

As new procedures are phased in, TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image.

It is possible that passengers may experience more bag checks, however, through extensive testing, TSA identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags. The new screening procedures in standard lanes are already in place at the following 10 U.S. airports with plans to expand to all airports during the weeks and months ahead:

  • Boise Airport (BOI)
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

In standard screening lanes, TSA officers will be stationed in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the screening process and recommend how best to arrange their carry-on items for X-ray screening. Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving. There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint; food and liquid items that comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule, electronics, and books continue to be allowed in carry-on bags.

For photographers, this new screening approach will be a supreme hassle. So what are some of the things that we can do to mitigate our discomfort?

  • Signup for TSA Pre - By enrolling in the TSA Pre program, you can avoid taking electronics out of your carryon when going through security. You enroll online, then schedule a 10-minute appointment for background screening and fingerprinting. The service fee is $85.
  • Simplify the boarding process - The earlier you can get on the plane, the more options you have for stowing your gear. Fewer devices, camera bodies, and lenses simplify this process. If you're flying for a job, you have to bring what you have to bring. Otherwise, pare down. Airline programs that provide early access, combined with traveling as light as possible, will get you in your seat faster.
  • Avoid red flags - Don't attract attention to yourself by forgetting about liquids, knives, flammables, and other prohibited items. Once you're on the radar, they're going to become very curious about all of that gear.
  • Get to the airport early - Nothing makes me more uneasy than traveling with someone who likes to arrive at the last minute. That might be fine for a friend's birthday party, but no good for a traveling photographer with lots of gear. Even with TSA Pre, I've seen the line back up to the door.
  • Consider adding Clear Pass - CLEAR speeds you through the long line for ID check, and guides you to the screening line. Just find a Clear lane, verify that you are you with a tap of the finger or blink of an eye, and you speed right through. Enrolled in PreCheck? We'll provide you with fast access to PreCheck screening for eligible flights. You can start the enrollment process here. Currently Clear is in over 20 airports and growing. It costs $179 a year.

Even if you do all of these things, they is still no protection against delay flights, obnoxious travelers, and rude airline staff. So pack plenty of patience and as much humor as you can muster. May the skies be friendly for you.

11 Free Apps I Couldn't Live Without as a Photographer

Photographer Paul Adshead posted this article on F-Stoppers. There are some terrific suggestions here.

New Subjects Added to The Nimble Classroom

I've trying to figure out a way to bring more personalized training to photographer without them having to travel. It's one thing to get on a plane to photograph wine country or the French Quarter, but not quite as alluring to sit in a classroom for two days.

As a result, I've designed a new approach called, The Nimble Classroom. And now there are four courses for the Summer Session of The Nimble Classroom.

  • August 19, Catalog Management, Capture One Pro
  • September 9, Expert Editing, Capture One Pro
  • September 23, Luminar Pro Techniques
  • October 7, Photos 3 for macOS

You can learn more about them and sign up for your favorites by visiting The Nimble Classroom online.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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 #594, July 25, 2017. Today's theme is "No Such Thing as Free Time." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Time is like horizontal space in an office. If there's an opening, it becomes occupied. Seems to be a law of human nature that free time belongs to the young and the old. For everyone else, time must be planned. And if your photography isn't on the agenda, it won't make the cut. Ensuring that doesn't happen is the first topic of today's show.

No Such Thing as Free Time

free-time.jpg

It was a little after 7pm when I had finished watering the garden. The plants were thirsty after another 90 degree day in Sonoma County. But things were changing as the day began to wind down. There was a light ocean breeze in the air, and the temperature slipped back to the low 70s.

My chores were done, and I had a decision to make. Should I head inside, make a drink, and park it on couch? Tempting, and certainly justified after a weekend of work. But I hadn't shot since Thursday. And the light was absolutely beautiful right now.

Instead, I grabbed my camera bag and the keys to the Vanagon (that's right, the Vanagon!). Shilo Park was only a mile and a half from my house. I'm going to spend this last hour of light outside.

My first choice was to fly the DJI Spark. I waited about 10 minutes until everyone had cleared out of the parking area. I didn't want to end their day of nature with the sound of my drone. Once everything was clear, I lifted off and shot video for the next 15 minutes. The shadows were long and the colors were warm. It was a beautiful time for aerial photography.

Later that night as I was editing the footage in Final Cut, I thought about that last hour of the day. It made my whole weekend. And I almost let it slip away.

If you've let opportunities slip by you, here are five suggestions to help keep photography on your priority list.

  • Manage Your Energy - At first this might sound like an odd addition, but it's been my long standing opinion and fatigue is the enemy of creativity. The three most important facets of energy management is sleep, exercise, and diet. Keep enough gas in your tank so you can seize the moment when it presents itself.
  • Sell Yourself on the Value of Your Photography Work - If you don't believe that shooting is of vital importance, no one else is going to take your seriously. And you need them to do so if you're going to carve out time for your creative endeavors.
  • Explore New Techniques and Gear - Many photographers feel a little guilty about acquiring new gear. But if a camera, lens, housing, drone, tripod, reflector, or bag excites you to the point of motivation, I think that's a good thing.
  • Create Projects and See Them Through - Projects are vital to creative longevity. Last week I talked about seeing an image all the way through printing to framing. Photo essays, finished movies, printed books are other great examples of completed projects.
  • Get Better - Few things are more motivating than mastery. The first thing that I thought when I reviewed my final movie from Shilo Park is that I can't wait to get out there again and make a better movie. What I did last night was better than any aerial work I had done before, and now I have the confidence to do even better.

If you make time for your photography, it will reward you beyond any reasonable exception. It is one of the best investments in you that you can make.

More On Being a Good UAS Citizen

After my podcast about the DJI Spark (Unmanned Aircraft System), I received quite a bit of mail, some of it kindly chiding me for not being more clear about certification. So, here's a bit more info about flying your UAS, including a link to the getting started page on the FAA site.

If you're flying only for fun, there are no pilot requirements. If you plan to use your drone commercially, however, you must have Remote Pilot Airman Certificate that involves a written test. The big question in my mind is how do you define commercial? Education, BTW, seems to fall into the non-commercial category.

Need to be aware of restricted airspace. Maintain line of sight with your drone, and always yield to manned aircraft. Don't fly over people unless you have their explicit permission. Do not fly from a moving car. UAS flight is for daylight hours only.

And just as important as all of that, be courteous to others and use common sense. If you follow these guidelines, you should have a rewarding experience, and it won't be at the expense of others.

ImageFramer 4.1 Available

ImageFramer 4.1 is available, which includes hiding layers (including image layer) and a drop-down list of templates in Lightroom plugin (needs an update of the plugin).

More information can be found at right here.

ImageFramer on Facebook

For more tips like these, and lots more, visit ImageFramer on Facebook. And give your images the ImageFramer look they deserve.

We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the new ImageFramer. ImageFramer 4.0 is a free upgrade for ImageFramer 3 customers. Note that it requires macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. TDS listeners can receive a 20 percent discount by visiting: our ImageFramer landing page.

New Subjects Added to The Nimble Classroom

I've trying to figure out a way to bring more personalized training to photographer without them having to travel. It's one thing to get on a plane to photograph wine country or the French Quarter, but not quite as alluring to sit in a classroom for two days.

As a result, I've designed a new approach called, The Nimble Classroom. And now there are four courses for the Summer Session of The Nimble Classroom.

  • August 19, Catalog Management, Capture One Pro
  • September 9, Expert Editing, Capture One Pro
  • September 23, Luminar Pro Techniques
  • October 7, Photos 3 for macOS

You can learn more about them and sign up for your favorites by visiting The Nimble Classroom online.

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

ImageFramer 4 - ImageFramer is used by artists, professional and amateur photographers, scrapbookers, framers, and people who simply want their family photos to look better.

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

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