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This is The Digital Story Podcast #580, April 18, 2017. Today's theme is "The Wedding Civilian" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

After years of donning the official uniform of a wedding photographer - Dual DSLRs tugging at my neck, a utility belt pouches crammed full with flashes and lenses, and a creased white shirt pulled three different ways a once - I am now a civilian. I wear a tailored suit without budging pockets, accessorized by a handsome mirrorless camera accenting my tie as it hangs lightly from my neck via its matching leather strap. And not only has my attire changed, but my attitude as well. And that's the topic of today's TDS Photography Podcast.

The Wedding Civilian

the-wedding-civilian.jpg

First we must define our terms. A Wedding Civilian is different than Uncle Bob.

Now that we've got that squared away, here are five things that a Wedding Civilian should keep in mind.

  • Don't talk to the hired photographer - The last thing that he or she wants to hear about is your camera, your photographic prowess, or your opinion about anything. The official photographer is already dealing with a churning caldron of challenges. Let them be, and stay out of their way.
  • Take advantage of your unique perspective - For the ceremony, choose an angle that allows you to capture the event as a friend or family member. You can record images from the unique perspective of the attendee, surrounded by people, witnessing each moment as it unfolds. I think BTS stories are the most interesting. And you're right there with a backstage pass.
  • Be a silent historian - Turn off your phone, and for the love of Pete, turn off the audible focus confirmation on your camera. Choose the quietest camera you have for the event. And please don't use flash. If you can't capture the shot existing light, wait for another opportunity. Prime lenses are mandatory gear for the Wedding Civilian.
  • Honor the family - You are now an ambassador as well as an artist. In addition to telling the story of the day through your images, honor all requests for portraits and spontaneous group shots. Capture those photos with care, and be sure to share them after the event.
  • Enjoy true photographic freedom - This is what it's all about. You get to sit with friends and family, enjoy the wine, eat when everyone else eats, and take the pictures that you want, when you want to. This is as good as it gets for events. Relish the moment.

The MeFOTO Roadtrip Air on Assignment

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air where it accompanied me to a wedding. Yes, it stayed in the car the entire time. So why was I so happy to have it with me.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

Ricoh Isn't Going to Kill Pentax

First Nikon, then Panasonic, and now rumors have spread about Pentax. Let me read you a few lines from the article, Relax, Ricoh Isn't Going to Kill the Pentax Brand or Their Cameras (Confirmed), then I have some comments on what we can do as photographers to help these companies.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

Registration invitations have gone out to Reserve List members for the Autumn in Wine Country Photography Workshop. If you are on the Reserve List, but didn't get your invite, please contact me. You can learn more about the workshops by visiting the TDS Workshops Page.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #579, April 11, 2017. Today's theme is "f/2.8 and Be There" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

One of the more interesting conversation threads during our SF Street Photography Workshop was about motivation. Our photographers would talk about periods of time where life overtook their art, and during those stretches, the camera seldom saw the light of day. On the flip side, however, it was interesting how quickly they could build momentum once they set aside some time for their camera work. Getting there is half the battle, and how to do that is the topic of today's show.

f/2.8 and Be There

P4091047-SF-chinatown.jpg

First, you may be wondering why I wrote f/2.8 and Be There instead of the traditional f/8 and Be There. It has to do with mirrorless cameras and diffraction.

Now that we've got that squared away, how about that motivation thing? Well, here are a few suggestions.

  • Don't rely too much on your smartphone - Yes, they are convenient, and they do take great pictures. But they also get us out of the habit of making real photography decisions. When possible, carry a traditional camera with you as well - and shoot with it during your daily life moments.
  • Get more exercise outside - Gyms are great for shredding it, but not very good environments for photography, especially if you wish to retain your membership. You need to get outside as well for your workouts (walking, biking, jogging) and take a traditional camera with you.
  • Secure photo time within family time - You don't want photography to drive a wedge in your family life. But you do need to set aside time specifically for your craft. So if you're off on a week long vacation, negotiate before you leave for a few mornings and/or evenings when you can focus on your craft.
  • Spend time with other photographers - The exchange of views and ideas among photographers truly helps keep the creative juices flowing. Workshops, camera clubs, and photo buddies will encourage you to make time for shooting when you might have otherwise settled for another activity.
  • Create projects with deadlines - After everyone in the house has settled down for the night, you can spend some time working on your personal projects. Activities such as organizing, planning, editing, and sharing stimulate the brain. Thinking about your photography before you go to sleep may yield a new idea when you wake up.

The MeFOTO Roadtrip Air on Assignment

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air heads to San Francisco where it joined our group for an evening shoot at the Embarcadero.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

The Olympus PEN-F in San Francisco

I just published an article titled, 5 Reasons Why the Olympus PEN-F Crushed it in San Francisco, and I thought I'd share those with you now, plus a few additional tidbits.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip workshop. And reservation invitations for the TDS Autumn in Wine Country workshop will go out within the week. If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #578, April 4, 2017. Today's theme is "Becoming Part of the Story" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I find it interesting that photographers often are absent from the stories they tell. Whether it be a family vacation, a gathering with friends, or a somber occasion, we tend to record everyone but ourselves. But as the storyteller, we are most likely part of the narrative too. And exploring how we can better integrate ourselves is the subject of today's show.

Becoming Part of the Story

IMG_3189.jpg

It would be easy to blame this on selfies. And what I mean by that, is that most serious photographers don't want to be caught photographing themselves with their iPhones.

But when you think about it, why not? If we capture an image of us interacting with others in the story, or on location, why is that a bad thing? It doesn't mean that we're a narcissist.

This came to mind again this weekend when I was testing the Roadtrip Air, which I'll talk about in the next segment. I had joined a group of hikers learning about the San Andreas Fault. And if I hadn't taken a shot of me, I would have had everything relating to the activity except for the storyteller himself.

So, here are a few reasons to force yourself to turn the camera in your direction.

  • The artist is often as interesting as the art he creates.
  • So often in movies and TV shows, the storyteller narrates the tale, even if he or she isn't shown on camera. Why? Because it's interesting.
  • If you're the photographer in the family, and you never include yourself in the images, then you haven't done a good job of recording history.
  • There's an art to self-portraiture that is worth learning. Who better to capture a portrait of you, than you?
  • And finally, if you use your smartphone to capture a self-portrait, you're also recording the location data, which can be applied to the other images from the event.

The MeFOTO Roadtrip Air on Assignment

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air focuses on removing the center column and using it as a bluetooth-controlled selfie stick.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

The Sigma 135mm F1.8 Art Sample Gallery

In this article posted on DP Review, they wrote, "Recently the new Sigma 135mm F1.8 Art landed in the office, prompting us to get out there and shoot some portraits... from a distance. While one of their heavier primes, performance is exceptional wide-open with very quick focusing. What about that background blur? Take a look at our samples to find out."

The sample images are quite good, and very interesting. I talk about them in this segment of the show.

The Nikon version will be available on April 25, 2017 for $1.399. And the Canon version should be ready by April 6 for the same price.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip workshop. (The SF workshop and Rail Adventure have sold out.) If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #577, March 28, 2017. Today's theme is "What Good is a System that Doesn't Work?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

One of my favorite Jerry Seinfeld routines polks fun at the system failure of car rental agencies. "Anyone can take a reservation," he says. "It's the holding of the reservation that's important." At work and at home we are constantly creating routines and systems to manage our lives. But if put to the test, do they really work? We'll explore in more detail on today's show.

What Good is a System that Doesn't Work?

P1035834-robot-web-v2.jpeg

In this first segment, I begin by telling a story of an actual event that happened to my mother. Then go on to explain how it illustrates, what I consider, a critical system failure.

The MeFOTO Roadtrip Air on Assignment

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air focuses on how its compact size allowed my to carry it all day in my svelte Retrospective 7 while working day and night at the Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, CA.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

The Stylish Think Tank Signature 13 Luxury Bag

I've been carrying the Think Tank Signature 13, and I have to say, it is as beautiful as it is functional.

The fabric is soft, like a fine wool suit, but it's also durable and weather resistant. To complement the fabric, they've incorporated leather accents and metal hardware. The overall look is very professional. Other features include:

  • Full-grain leather bottom and detailing, plus antique finished metal hardware
  • Zippered flap provides full closure and security to the main compartment, or tucks away when not in use
  • Dedicated laptop/tablet compartment that fits a 13" laptop
  • Dedicated phone pocket fits up to an iPhone 6s+ or S7 Edge
  • Dividers and bottom foam can be removed for a completely collapsible bag

Inside my Signature 13, I have my 13" MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Pentax KP with 20-40mm zoom, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Pentax ZX-5n SLR, extra lenses, and plenty of accessories. The Think Tank Signature 13 sells for $279.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip workshop. (The SF workshop and Rail Adventure have sold out.) If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #576, March 21, 2017. Today's theme is "If Only One Lens." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Many of us have toyed with the hypothetical question: "If you could take only one lens to a desert island, what would it be?" My view on this has changed over the years, and now there's finally a clear answer... at least for today. And I will reveal my choice in the top story of today's TDS podcast.

mefoto-timelapse.jpg

Spontaneous Timelapse with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air focuses on perching the tripod atop my Audi at Oracle Arena for a spontaneous time lapse recording.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

My 5 Favorite New Features in Capture One Pro 10

Now that I've had a chance to really get to know the latest version of Capture One Pro, here's my list of favorite new features in version 10.

  • Three Step Sharpening
  • Output Proofing
  • Filter by Orientation
  • New Default Workspace
  • Folder Management in the Folders Area

I just finished recording a new Capture One Pro Essential Training for version 10, and we should see the release in April from lynda.com. And remember, I have the in-depth Capture One Pro 9 Essential Training available now on lynda.com. More than 5 hours of tips, tricks, and techniques. Plus many free movies using advanced techniques.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip workshop. (The SF workshop and Rail Adventure have sold out.) If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #575, March 14, 2017. Today's theme is "Existing Light is Alright." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Having departed to Southern California on a minute's notice last week, I grabbed my daily shoulder bag and headed out the door. It contained the gear I carry on a daily basis to the office, nothing more, nothing less. The only flash I had was the popup on the Pentax KP. And as it turned out, I never used it. So capturing life by existing light is the top story for today's show.

Existing Light is Alright

sharron-charlie-bw-web.jpeg

What are the components and techniques required for effective existing light photography? Here's a look at my list.

  • Prime lenses (or Pro zooms) - Even with great high ISO performance, we still need wide apertures.
  • Effective Auto ISO - For me, existing light photography isn't just setting the ISO to 1600 and shooting everything. I depend a lot on smart Auto ISO that increases sensor sensitivity only as needed, and has a limit at the top end that I can live with.
  • Smart Metering - One of the things that I noticed when testing the Pentax KP was that its evaluative metering was very smart. If there was a window in the frame, it didn't underexpose the rest of the scene as a result. Learning how you camera meters, and adjusting accordingly, is very important.
  • RAW+Jpeg - If I do the first three things right, my Jpegs should be pretty good. But I do want that RAW safety net for situations where I need to recover detail in the shadows or highlights.
  • The Blessed Tripod - Long exposures, HDR, and extended depth of field work better with camera support. Instead of jacking the ISO up to 128,000, You can keep it below a thousand and get tack sharp results with a tripod.

Hitting the Road with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air

This week's three-legged adventure with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air focuses on a giant family group shot, that was unplanned.

As I mentioned at the top of the podcast, I didn't carry a lot of gear on my journey down south. I had my everyday bag and the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air. At my sister's I learned that we were pulling together a family gathering. There were people there that I hadn't seen in years. And after about an hour, I knew we needed a group shot for the history books. And that's when my MeFOTO became invaluable.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

First Impressions of the Pentax KP DSLR

I brought three cameras on the road trip down south: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Pentax ZX-5n SLR, and Pentax KP DSLR. I used all three for various situations, but I'm going to focus on the KP for this segment.

Here are the features and qualities that really stand out for me:

  • Compact for a 24MP DSLR. With the 21mm Pentax prime lens mounted, the KP fits in my workbag along side my mirrorless cameras.
  • Sensor-based image stabilization.
  • Cool lenses.
  • Super intelligent features, including choice of DNG or PEF for RAW files.
  • Customizable grips (standard) and buttons.
  • Up and down articulated LCD.
  • Friendly menu system.
  • Distinctive look that you will either love or hate.
  • Beautiful color rendition.
  • Solid WiFi.
  • Excellent high ISO performance.

As far as nits, I do have a couple. I do think the battery should be a bit bigger and/or last longer. Pentax still uses an old fashioned battery charger that requires a cord.

Overall, I really dig this camera and its cool limited edition lenses.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our Road Trip and Rail adventure workshops. (The SF workshop has sold out.) If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #574, March 7, 2017. Today's theme is "Capturing RAW HDR with Your Smartphone." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Adobe just announced a Lightroom Mobile update that includes an HDR feature that makes use of the Raw capture capability of the latest mobile devices. The app instructs your cameraphone to scan the scene to determine the exposure range, then it captures 3 DNG files that it uses to build the HDR image. We wanted to learn more about this, so we invited Adobe's Josh Haftel to the show to explain how this all works. And that's our lead story for today.

Capturing RAW HDR with Your Smartphone

After capture the files are automatically aligned, merged, de-ghosted, and tone-mapped. The end result is a 16-bit DNG that combines the benefits of the Raw file format and HDR, and can be processed in the same way as the HDR technology in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.

lr-mobile-hdr.jpg

Compared to existing smartphone HDR modes, this method offers better dynamic range, according to Adobe. Members of Adobe's Creative Cloud service get the additional benefit of automatically syncing files and edits with their desktop.

The algorithms of new HDR mode do require powerful hardware and are therefore limited to a relatively small number of devices, though. On iOS it works with all devices that are capable of capturing DNG files, such as iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, or the iPad Pro 9.7. On Android at this point only the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge and the Google Pixel models are supported. However, Adobe says it is working on getting the software to run on a wider range of devices.

This description is from the DP Review article, Lightroom Mobile update brings Raw HDR capture mode.

Hitting the Road with the MeFOTO Roadtrip Air

As you're listening to this podcast, I've already left Santa Rosa for a road trip to Southern California. Packed among my gear is a brand new MeFOTO Roadtrip Air that will be my three-legged companion for the next several days.

Just to give you a bit of background about this super nimble tripod, it's distinguishing features include:

  • Super Fast Setup with the new HyperLock Leg System. Setup is as easy as 1,2,3: 1 - Hold tripod leg and twist counterclockwise until it stops (4 clicks), 2 - Pull the leg to the desired length, 3 -Twist leg clockwise until it stops. (How easy is that?)
  • Perfect for Selfies - removable telescoping center column converts to a Selfie Stick with included smartphone holder and Bluetooth remote!
  • Ultra lightweight - 30 percent lighter than classic MeFOTO models
  • Available in Backpacker, RoadTrip, GlobeTrotter models and 7 colors.

I'll share my initial shooting experiences with it next week. If you want to learn more about the MeFOTO line of tripods, look for the colorful tile on all the pages of the thedigitalstory.com. And if you decide that you want one for yourself, use coupon code THEDIGITALSTORY to save 10 percent and receive free shipping.

My First Experience with Olympus PRO Advantage Camera Service

On Feb. 27, I shipped my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II via USPS Priority Mail to Hackensack NJ for my first service using their PRO Advantage plan.

The $99 annual plan includes two Clean and Check services that include the following checkpoints:

  • Exterior cleaning
  • Firmware upgrade
  • Auto Focus accuracy check
  • Image stabilizer check
  • Function check
  • Sensor and optical check

The procedure goes like this. First you call Olympus at 1-800-260-1625, Option 4 to log in the repair order, get a service number, and the address to ship the camera to.

Then you send off the camera with that information, plus your PRO Advantage service coupon in the box. Once they receive the camera, they acknowledge the possession via email.

The service took one day, then I received it back on Monday, March 6. The camera was packed nicely, and everything looked great. The only gotcha was that my settings had been wiped out via the firmware update. So I had to spend a few minutes getting everything programmed back to my personal preferences.

This service seems like a good option for the growing numbers of pro photographers using Olympus gear.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

We still have one seat open for our TDS SF and Road Trip workshops. If you'd like an invitation to either event, visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MeFOTO Air Tripods - MeFOTO Air Tripods are a nimble photographer's dream.

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 #573, Feb. 28, 2017. Today's theme is "How Many Cameras Do You Really Need?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Over the years, I've had many people ask me, "So, how many cameras do you own?" I'm never sure if the motivation is pure curiosity, or if they're seeking rationalization for their own gear acquisition habit. But believe it or not, there is science to my inventory management. And that's the lead story for today.

How Many Cameras Do You Really Need?

twin-olympus-web.jpg

Photography is both my job and my hobby. So the spectrum of equipment is broad. At the most basic level, every time I walk out the door, I have at least one camera with me. It may be as nimble as an iPhone, or as complicated as a DSLR kit with multiple lenses and accessories.

So how do I meet these varied needs without filling my entire studio with camera gear? Efficiency and discipline. Here are my basic guidelines.

  • The Noah's Ark Approach - For each species I like to have two bodies. First, I always want a backup incase something goes wrong with my primary shooter. Plus, there are times I need to send in once camera for repair or cleaning. Having two equates to peace of mind.
  • Different Designs for Different Jobs - The basic formats that I use are smartphone, compact, mirrorless, DSLR, and 35mm film. Each of these are used during a typical week. Each has its strengths that I rely on.
  • Lens Sharing is Important - One of the primary reasons that I shoot Micro Four Thirds for my mirrorless is because of the extensive lens catalog that can be shared across both Panasonic and Olympus cameras. I've switched to Pentax for my DSLR work because I really like their 35mm film bodies, and I want lenses that work with both film and digital sensors. Having an efficient approach to lens management means that I can get by with less glass.
  • Keeping it Compact - My everyday bag is about the dimensions of a 13" laptop. Yet, I typically have three cameras inside: mirrorless, DSLR, and 35mnm. How does that work? I brands that I favor are very compact: Olympus and Pentax. That makes a big difference in a small space.
  • Selling What You Don't Need - Equipment management for me is a dynamic process. I upgrade as gear improves in the different categories that I use. But in order this to work, I must be disciplined enough to sell gear that is no longer mission critical. A perfect example of this was when I listed all of my Canon gear on Amazon during my transition to Pentax.
  • So how many cameras do I have? Well, I'm not saying. But you can do the math and probably come pretty close with a guess.

    In the News

    It's Never Over Until It's Over

    I was watching the Academy Awards last night and was reminded of a very important lesson. Well, a couple of them, in fact. The first being, just because it's never happened before, doesn't mean that it won't happen to you. And second, and an event photographer, it's never over until it's over... completely over. Imagine how you would feel if you were packing your gear as the executive producer for LaLa Land was making his acceptance speech? Wow.

    Dates Set for the Northern CA Coast Tour Workshop

    Good news for those wishing to join us for a tour up the Northern CA Coast. We've set the dates for this event: May 18-20th, 2017. Originally, we were planning this as a summer workshop. But after working with experts who actually live in the areas that we'll be working, we moved the event to late May. This provides us with Spring weather and far cheaper room accommodations.

    Those of you on the Reserve List will receive your personal invites later this week. You will have 10 days to secure your spot before we open up the event to the general public. If you're not on the reserve list, and would like to be, please visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

    Updates and Such

    Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

    B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

    And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

    See you next week!

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

    Podcast Sponsors

    MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

    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 #572, Feb. 21, 2017. Today's theme is "1Frame4Nature with Alexandra Garcia ." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

After the WildSpeak Conference last November in Washington D.C., I had quite a few inquires about the best ways to get involved with conservation photography. I guess I wasn't the only one. So the folks at ILCP came up with 1Frame4Nature, and it's the perfect way to have your images published right alongside pro conservation photographers. And that's the lead story in today's TDS podcast.

1Frame4Nature with Alexandra Garcia

I met Alex Garcia last summer during her visit to California. During our interview, I was excited to learn just how accessible conservation photography can be. And as a result, I traveled to Washington D.C. in the Fall to cover the WildSpeak Conference.

PB165461-Washington-DCWildspeak-tds.jpg Conservation photographer Lucas Bustamonte presenting at WildSpeak 2016.

That event generated a lot of interest among those who want to use their photography skills to help protect our planet. And as a result, the 1Frame4Nature was conceived.

So Alex and I decided to team up for another interview to provide you with the inside scoop about this project. I hope you enjoy, and think about, what she has to say.

In the News

Canon debuts EOS M6 mirrorless with optional EVF (via DPReview):

Canon's newest mirrorless camera, the EOS M6, is a replacement for the entry-level EOS M3 and slides in directly under the enthusiast M5 (confused yet?).

It shares essentially all of the M5's internal components, including the 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Digic 7 processor and 3" touchscreen. It's also capable of 1080/60p video capture and has Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth.

Differentiating factors between are limited to the built-in EVF on the M5 and the flip-up selfie screen on the M6. The M6 gains an additional top plate control dial compared to the M3, which should improve handling.

Canon also announced an optional EVF (the EVF-DC2) for use with the M6. This 2.36M-dot EVF is smaller and lighter than the EVF-DC1 used by the M3, but do note that it does not tilt upward.

The Canon EOS M6 will go on sale in April 2017 in both black and silver. It will sell for $780 body-only, with the EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM for $900 or with the EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM for $1280. The EVF-DC2 is priced at $250 and also comes in black and silver.

Speaking of Canon...

Yesterday on The Nimble Photographer, I posted Canon: It's been a Good Run, the story about my selling the 5D Mark II and replacing it with then brand new Pentax KP DSLR with a Pentax DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR zoom lens. It's the end of an era for me...

Dates Set for the Northern CA Coast Tour Workshop

Good news for those wishing to join us for a tour up the Northern CA Coast. We've set the dates for this event: May 18-20th, 2017. Originally, we were planning this as a summer workshop. But after working with experts who actually live in the areas that we'll be working, we moved the event to late May. This provides us with Spring weather and far cheaper room accommodations.

Those of you on the Reserve List will receive your personal invites later this week. You will have 10 days to secure your spot before we open up the event to the general public. If you're not on the reserve list, and would like to be, please visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

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 #571, Feb. 14, 2017. Today's theme is "The Home Studio: Easier than You Think." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

As much as I love outdoor portraiture, some shoots are just better inside. Wardrobe changes are easier, lighting is controllable, and the temperature is far more comfortable. And if you do product photography too, a home studio becomes a necessity. But how much room and equipment do you need to have a functional workspace? Probably less than you realize. And that's what I'm going to discuss in today's show.

P2106268-Brittney-orginal.jpg "Brittney" by Derrick Story. Unretouched portrait (no image editing other than a crop) captured at Sunleaf Studio with OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

The Home Studio: Easier than You Think

One of the aspects of having a studio workspace is that it's there waiting for you whenever inspiration strikes. And when you're finished shooting, you can just close the door and tidy up later. Half of my photography happens in this environment.

A lot of folks believe that such a space is expensive. And that the room needs a lot of modification. But this just hasn't been the case for me. And to help you with your considerations about such an endeavor, I'm going to take you behind the scenes of my shooting room. Here's a photo of my working space.

  • How Much Space? - The room I use is a standard bedroom that measures 11'x10', with a north facing window. I did swap out the sliding closet doors with mirror door, which photo subjects really like because they can follow how they look during the shoot. The walls are painted flat white, providing me with a bright, airy feeling. If I want to change the mood, I can always close the blinds and work with just supplemental lighting.
  • What About Backdrops? - When I first set up the studio, I constructed my backdrop frame out of PVC pipe. Later, I bought a backdrop stand for less than $75, and it's great. I use muslin and roll paper for my backdrops. And with the stand system, it's easy to change the backdrop during the shoot if I want.
  • Do I Need Expensive Lights? - I started with simple off-camera speedlights. But when the price of LED lighting dropped, I switched completely to those. I love LEDs because I can control both the intensity and color temperature. Plus, the constant light makes exposure and composition very easy. And they are cool too.
  • What Type of Modifiers Work Best? Since I have a north facing window, sometimes I just that light only with a couple reflectors. This is one of my favorite lighting schemes because it's so beautiful and natural. But I also use inexpensive soft boxes and umbrellas.
  • Do I Need a Lot of Hardware? - Light stands are essential to help you position the lights exactly where you want them. And the good news is, they last forever. You'll also need a variety of clamps and light holders. Most of use just start with the basics, then add on over time. I've been adding to my collection for more than 20 years.

If you can't swing a dedicated room for your studio work, a shared space can work quite well. The main thing to consider is, can you keep the clutter in check? I have tables and cabinets around the edges of the room. But the central area remains open, providing enough space for my shoots.

In the News

Nikon reports "extraordinary loss", "fundamental company-wide restructuring" (via NikonRumors):

In addition to canceling the DL line of premium compact cameras, Nikon also issued several statements describing "extraordinary loss", "fundamental company-wide restructuring" and a revision of their last financial forecast.

  • Nikon Corp. reported a net loss to owners of the parent of 831 million yen or 2.10 yen per share for the nine months ended December 31, 2016 compared to profit of 18.71 billion yen or 47.08 yen per share, previous year.
  • In accordance with the restructuring announced on November 8, 2016, the Group recorded extraordinary loss of 29.79 billion yen, mainly incurred from inventory write-downs/write-off in Semiconductor Lithography Business, as restructuring expenses for the nine months ended December 31, 2016.
  • Nine-month operating income increased by 67.1% year on year to 42.18 billion yen, and ordinary income increased by 42.5% year on year to 44.79 billion yen.
  • Nine-month net sales were 565.89 billion yen compared to 616.50 billion yen, a year ago.

Dates Set for the Northern CA Coast Tour Workshop

Good news for those wishing to join us for a tour up the Northern CA Coast. We've set the dates for this event: May 18-20th, 2017. Originally, we were planning this as a summer workshop. But after working with experts who actually live in the areas that we'll be working, we moved the event to late May. This provides us with Spring weather and far cheaper room accommodations.

Those of you on the Reserve List will receive your personal invites later this week. You will have 10 days to secure your spot before we open up the event to the general public. If you're not on the reserve list, and would like to be, please visit the TDS Workshops Page and use the Send Me Info form.

Updates and Such

Big thanks to all of our Patreon members! I was able to pay for the podcast server and the backup system from last month's pledges. Your contributions are making a positive impact. You can learn more here.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

MindShift Gear - MindShift Gear is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet.

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.