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Wanna Talk Shop?


One of the fun side benefits to establishing The Digital Story Flickr Group is that we now have a discussion forum too. Here we can ask photo questions, suggest podcast topics, point out interesting things to shoot, and get to know each other better.

So even if you're not ready yet to share your images on the Member Photo Gallery page, you can still participate in the discussion. All you have to do is sign up for a free Flickr account, then join our public group. You'll see "Discuss" right there in the middle of the page. Jump in and join the conversation.

If you'd like more information about posting a photo to TDS, read how to submit. So, whether you're sharing your photos or your thoughts, we're happy to have you as part of our virtual camera club.

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The Digital Story now has a Member Photo Gallery where you can post up to 5 pictures a week to share and discuss with other virtual camera club members. Participation is simple. We've established a Flickr Public Group to manage the submissions. Once you post an image to the Public Group, it appears on the TDS Member Photo Gallery within 24 hours. It's that easy. Here are the detailed steps.

  1. Establish a free Flickr account (if you don't have one already).
  2. Join The Digital Story Public Group. Look for the "join" link on the Public Group page.
  3. Go back to your flicker home page (by clicking on the "Home" link in the upper left corner).
  4. Click on "Upload Photos" link and add your images.
  5. Choose one of the pictures that you've just uploaded that you want to add to The Digital Story Member Gallery, and click on it. This will open it up on a new page where you can add tags and a caption. You can even change the title if you want.
  6. Once you have everything in order, click on the "Send to Group" link right above the photo. You will see the link to The Digital Story in the popup menu. Select it and you're done!


Within 24 hours, your picture will appear on the Member Photo Gallery page. We'll also use the Flickr Public Group to communicate with each other, such as sending out special notices and alerts.

Visit the TDS Member Photo Gallery to see what your peers are publishing. Feel free to comment on any of the photos by clicking on them (you need to be a Flickr member to comment on these photos).

I'll continue to evolve this page and its functionality. So stay tuned... and start sharing your photos today!

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If you have a photo collection on your iPod that you'd like to move to a different computer (Mac or PC), iPod Access Photo puts you back in control.

You've probably realized that the iPod stores photos in ithmb files. These files contain all the photo data for your iPod to display but can not be read by regular photo programs. iPod Access Photo solves this problem by allowing you to select individual photos and albums to be moved back onto your computer or an external hard drive.

You can try iPod Access Photo, and if you like it, you can buy it for $12.99 US. Findley Designs, the maker of this software, also offers iPod Access for Mac OS X that enables you to copy your music and videos off your iPod.

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Yesterday I talked about how sharp the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L zoom is. This is one of my favorite lenses for portrait work. The only problem is, sometimes I don't want razor sharp optics for certain subjects. A little diffusion can go a long way toward making a client happy.

There are lots of great softening filters out there, often with a hefty price tag. But you can make your own portrait filter for just a few dollars, or even less, if you can wrangle an old pair of pantyhose -- or better yet, knee-highs (you can use them just as is).

All you have to do is stretch a layer of hose over the lens and secure it with a strong rubber band. The more tightly you stretch the material, the milder the effect. The looser the material, the softer the portrait. It works terrific, and makes a good conversation piece to boot...

Featured here are Lenobis Elite SOFFIO DORATO Ultra Sheer TANNING Pantyhose. Tan pantyhose will produce a warming effect too, so experiment to get the color temperature you like best.

This tip adapted from Digital Photography Hacks by Derrick Story.

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There are very few lenses that I would label as "flawless," but the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L is one of them. For about $575 US, you can get a solidly built "L" zoom that is tack sharp at all focal lengths (center and edge sharpness), even on the most demanding sensors, such as the full-size Canon 5D.

I know many pros prefer the f/2.8 version of this lens because of its light gathering power, but that lens costs twice as much and is much heavier and larger. Photographers on the go who want the best image quality possible, and can live with f/4, will be thrilled with the lighter version.

Last year, Canon also released an Image Stabilized version of this lens for about twice as much. Not only do you get the same great optical performance as the original f/4, but you get up to 4-stops of stabilization. You can find out more by reading this review on This is really the only way to improve upon the original.

Either way, depending on your budget, the Canon 70-200mm f/4 is one of the most pleasurable lenses you'll every shoot with. And if that isn't good enough, the pictures it produces are outstanding. Keep your eye on the used market too. A lot of the non-stabilized lenses might be showing up as fans upgrade to the IS version.

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Thinking about getting a serious fine art printer? I've just posted an interview with Rick LePage on Inside Aperture where we discuss the latest offerings from Epson, Canon, and HP. Rick has been testing printers in his "editor at large" role for Macworld Magazine. He has some great insights about the Epson 3800, HP B9180, and Canon's elusive 9500. If you're in the market for a new printer, you should listen to this show.

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CRE8 Conference, Orlando FL
Join Derrick Story for a Digital Photography Field Trip in Orlando Florida on May 11. And don't miss his sessions on Camera Raw and Photoshop Lightroom. CRE8 Conference - May 9-11, 2007


The Lightroom "early adopter" discount ends on April 30. For customers in the US, that means the price jumps from $199 to $299 on May 1. The early adopter program in Canada and UK also ends today, with the UK price increasing from £125 to £175 (ex VAT).

Lightroom is available for both Mac and Windows, and is an outstanding photo manager that provides an easy workflow from upload to output. It's a bargin at $199, so if you've been thinking about making the move, go over to the Adobe Store before the offer ends.

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Quickie Coleman Cooler Light Tent


I was browsing Strobist this morning and discovered what he termed as the coolest free white background ever. Photographer Mike Schellenberger had figured out that by opening up a standard ice chest, such as a Coleman, turning it on its side, and placing small objects inside, you could use it for a photo background for product shots. It's actually very cool (oops!~) and worth a peek.

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What to do About Sensor Dust?


Digital SLR shooters have several advantages over their comrades who use point and shoot compacts. But the cross that every DSLR photographer must bear is sensor dust. Unless you never change your lens, at some point you will have to deal with this problem.

Ben Long has gathered some helpful information over at Complete Digital Photography. He points to an excellent feature he wrote over at Creative Pro, plus offer lots of other goodies too such as video on cleaning techniques.

Ron Galbraith also touches on some of the new devices available to help identify and battle dust in his post about the Sensor Loupe.

There's plenty of good information in these articles. And if you haven't been thinking about sensor dust at all, you might want to investigate a little. It could save you lots of post production work up the road.

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Nearly every digital compact these days records movies. But... when's the last time you took advantage of that capability? Here's a little incentive.

You can record movies with your digicam, then move the best of them to your iPod to share with others. It's really simple. You'll need QuickTime Pro, which is a $29 download from Apple (Mac or Windows version). Open your digicam movie in QuickTime Pro, choose File > Export... In the Export popup menu, choose "Movie to iPod." Click Save.

Now all you have to do is drag the iPod movie to iTunes and sync your iPod. You now have home movies with you on the go.

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