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This is The Digital Story Podcast #723, Jan. 28, 2020. Today's theme is "Is Pro Gear Worth the Premium Price?." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Camera manufacturers build pro gear for the handful of professionals who need its durability for their work, and for bragging rights that create a halo effect for aspiring shooters who want the very best. But for weekend warriors and enthusiasts, is the premium price tag a wise investment? We'll explore this question and more on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Is Pro Gear Worth the Premium Price?

I have made a lot of clients happy over the years using cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D610, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and the Pentax KP. No one every asked my why I wasn't shooting with a Nikon D5 or Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. And the investment difference was substantial, to say the least.

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Similar considerations apply to lenses. One of my favorite examples is the Canon EF 70-200mm. You can buy the amazing EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II for $1,299. It is one of the sharpest 70-200s on the planet. Or you could spend $2,100 (when not on sale) for the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III. That extra f/stop cost $800.

Which lens is best for you? Ask yourself these five questions to help you match the proper investment with your photography needs.

  • How much is emotion driving my decision? - I'm putting this one right up front because it's something that most of us are vulnerable to.
  • Do your research - Research can be the anecdote for emotional decisions. Here's an example: The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens is on sale right now for $299. It is compact, amazingly sharp, fast, and affordable. But it isn't weather resistant, and to be honest, isn't as sexy as the PRO model. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO Lens is on sale for $1,049, roughly 3.5 times the price of the f/1.8 version. It is larger, sexier, faster, and weather sealed. Both optics are sharp. But if you take the emotion out of it and let your research determine which is best for you, you could save more than $700.
  • Renting specialized gear instead of buying - Am I a generalist or do I need special gear for niche assignments? You can get top quality gear for general photography at affordable prices. But if you have a specialized area of interest, you will most likely need more budget. Figure out what you are realistically going to shoot. Once you figure that out, maybe it's better to rent specialized gear for those occasions.
  • Consider resale value - I did exceptionally well when I sold my Canon DSLR gear. I kept the original boxes and paperwork for all items. But you should look at the market and try to figure out where it's going when debating about new gear. If you're fairly confident that you will be able to resell it at a good price, you can factor that in to the bottom line cost.
  • Used vs New - One of my favorite lenses, the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH. lens was purchased used because I needed it at a time when my budget couldn't accommodate a new version. It has served me well ever since.

Using these five steps, I've been able to meet all of my assignment needs while maintaining a tight budget that I could justify to anyone. It feels good to do business this way.

Speaking of Moving Gear Along

We have had some key contributions for community members lately. They have donated analog gear or older digital gear to The Digital Story. Not only does this prevent needless landfill waste, but it puts creative tools in the hands of those who really appreciate these items.

A warm thanks to Kevin, Mark, and Colin for their recent contributions. And those of you took the time to ship your unused items to me last year, I want to thank you again.

Lady Gaga Criticizes Music Pirates with Pirated Photos. Shutterstock Responds

You can read complete article here on PetaPixel.com.

After Lady Gaga's new song "Stupid Love" leaked onto the Internet and went viral last weekend, the singer called out fans who had listened to the unauthorized release. Problem was, Lady Gaga's Tweet used "pirated" stock photos that had "Shutterstock" watermarks splashed across them, and this unauthorized usage didn't escape the company's notice.

"We hear you!" Shutterstock writes. "We like artists to be paid for their work too. Here's a link to the photographer's work where you can license these quality images."

It turns out the photographer behind the stock photos is children's author Richard Nelson, and he doesn't seem to mind not getting paid for the usage -- in fact, he Tweeted out a non-watermarked version of Lady Gaga's message for the singer to use:

@ladygaga As the photographer of this picture, I've got you.

But from the conversations this incident has sparked online, it seems clear that the vast majority of photographers agree with Shutterstock: copyright is important, but not just for musicians -- it needs to be respected and defended for all artists, including photographers.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

What makes these events so special? It's the magic blend of fellowship, location, inspiration, and focus. You can actually be single-minded about your craft. I'll take care of everything else.

When I was discussing this on our Patreon site, one Inner Circle member raised a concern about the class presentation on the final day. I'm going to tell you what I say at every workshop. This is not a competition. It is the most supportive creative environment that you will ever share your work with. And no matter your skill level, the floor is yours to discuss your experience and share a few images. I promise you, you will love it.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • LA Street Photography Experience - March 13-15, 2020 - 1 Seat Remaining - This hands-on workshop guides you on an exploration of classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area. Limited to 9 participants and featuring two instructors (Derrick Story and Mike Boening), you will enjoy great photography, food, and friendship with our fellow enthusiasts. Three days, $749. You can place your deposit here.
  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 0 Seats Remaining -- Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Oct. 1-3, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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

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

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

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In the world of interchangeable lenses, photographers tend to favor matching brand names, such as Canon for Canon, or well-known optics from companies such as Zeiss, Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma. Outliers, especially from China, don't get as much attention. But that doesn't mean they're not worth investigating every now and then. Such is the case with Yongnuo.

I recently purchased a Yongnuo 40mm f/2.8 AF lens for Nikon F mount ($92). I had read the reviews from a couple years ago when it was first released (Review: The Yongnuo 40mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens for Nikon is Bad). The basic consensus was that it was a sharp optic with a plastic feel and terrible auto focusing.

I bought it anyway, thinking, "How bad could it be?" I mean, two years later, it's still around and selling.

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After perusing a dozen images captured with the lens on a Nikon D610, I agreed with the reviewers on one point: the Yongnuo was indeed sharp. What was no longer correct was its poor auto focusing performance. Very few had bothered to revise their reviews after the firmware update that addressed that very issue (Version 1.02, Dec. 2017). The current lens, or those updated with the latest firmware, should perform just fine on the D610 and other Nikons.

Why Even Bother with this Lens?

At this point you may be thinking, "OK, that's great Derrick. But why do you care so much about a 40mm lens that's made in China for a DSLR?"

If you look at the bloating evolution of many mirrorless cameras, and you revisit some full frame DSLRs, such as the super-affordable Nikon D610, you'll see that there isn't much size and weight difference if you get a light, compact lens on the DSLR.

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Plus, I much prefer 40mm lenses to 35mm and 50mm focal lengths. 40mms are neither too wide nor too narrow - just right for an "everyday around the neighborhood" optic. The Yongnuo is compact, light, sharp, and wildly affordable. It has a nice metal mount, digital brains that are upgradable, and looks rather handsome on the D610. And all for that for the price of a polarizer. It's definitely worth exploring.

With an f/2.8 maximum aperture, I can shoot existing light in most situations. The AF isn't for sports photography, but it's fine for everyday life, especially in S Drive mode. And the pictures look very good.

Tips for Success

The optic doesn't ship with a lens hood, but I discovered something interesting. It has threads for a bayonet mounted hood that look familiar. Sure enough, if you own the Nikon G 50mm f/1.8, the hood that comes with that lens, the HB-47, fits perfectly on the 40mm. How smart is that?

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Also, I recommend a quality MC filter to protect the data port, front glass, and focusing mechanism. Since it's the same 58mm thread as with the Nikon G 50mm, again, you can repurpose that as well.

In terms of when to use this optic, it's really nice for nimble photography when you want to travel light and compact. You can mount it on a Nikon DSLR, and suddenly the camera fits in places that it never did before. You can stash a zoom or bigger prime lens elsewhere in your bag if you need them.

Good uses included candids, street photography, travel, and around the house. I wouldn't consider the Yongnuo 40mm for sports coverage or inclement outdoor adventure. It really isn't what I would consider a rugged, all weather optic. It's more of a city kid.

Image Quality

In the final analysis, good pictures are the real bottom line. I've only tested the 40mm on a D610, which makes a lot of lenses look good, but the results have been surprisingly wonderful for a sub-$100 optic. Center sharpness is excellent, edge detail is good, and distortion wasn't a problem for me. (If you process your Nikon RAW files in Capture One Pro, they look really good.)

DSC_0661-Yongnuo.jpg Nikon D610 with Yongnuo 40mm, f/6.3, 1/160th, ISO 200.

DSC_0666-Yongnuo.jpg Nikon D610 with Yongnuo 40mm, f/2.8, 1/30th, ISO 1600.

The Bottom Line

Firmware updates are a wonderful thing. In the case of the Yongnuo 40mm f/2.8, it appears that the update back In Dec. 2017 corrected the biggest grip among early reviewers: poor AF performance.

That issue being resolved for most photography situations, we're left with a sharp, inexpensive, prime optic in a focal length that's not being served by Nikon. It's hard to complain about that.

The oddly wonderful Yongnuo 40mm is currently mounted on my D610. I think I'll just leave it there for now.

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

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Good news for existing Fujifilm photographers with a new firmware update for the svelt Fujifilm XF10 compact camera ($449). Version 1.11 addresses the following issues.

  • The phenomenon is fixed that a display of the focused AF area is shifted when enlarging a recorded image by the touch zoom function.
  • The phenomenon is fixed that images are not recorded in the selected step of AE bracketing under a specific shooting condition.
  • Fix of minor bugs.

Hidden in the third item is improved autofocusing performance including the XF10 no longer back-focusing at subject distances less than 10 feet. I applied the firmware update in just a few minutes, and indeed I feel like it's enhanced that camera that I already adore.

To update your firmware, first check your current version by holding down the DISP/BACK button while powering up the camera. I was at version 1.10.

Then download the firmware 1.11 update and read the installation instructions. Essentially, you format a card, add the update to it, then install by holding down the DISP/BACK button while powering up. Make sure you have a charged battery. The update just takes a minute or so.

Now, enjoy improved performance!

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Slow Sync Flash - TDS SoundBites

Outdoors, we typically want our shutter speed as fast as possible when using flash so our camera can better balance the bright ambient lighting with the illuminated subject.

DSCF1764.jpg Slow Sync Flash with a FujiFilm XF10. The camera set the shutter speed to 1/10th of a second, while using flash to freeze the action in the foreground. This was all done automatically in Slow Sync Flash mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

But indoor flash photography is a different animal all together. And many times our cameras will default to 1/60th or 1/125th shutter speed in Program mode, which is just too fast to capture the interior environment for our images.

This is when slow-sync flash is handy, and I explain it in today's TDS Soundbite.

Technology tidbits that are 5 minutes or less. I cover digital photography, audio, mobile computing, smart home, and more.

Previously on TDS SoundBites

In-Camera RAW Processing.

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 #722, Jan. 21, 2020. Today's theme is "Non-Confrontational Street Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Many photographers who I've worked with over the years like the idea of exploring urban environments with their cameras, but aren't comfortable approaching strangers for pictures. I understand the sentiment, and have worked on a strategy that I call Non-Confrontational Street Photography. And the best part? People shots will still be part of the mix. I hope you enjoy the show.

Non-Confrontational Street Photography

Not everyone is cut out to walking up to a stranger and saying, "Can I take your picture?" Yet, the images that we can capture in urban environments can be truly memorable.

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So how do folks who are a bit more on the shy side work the city streets? Here are five tips for what I call Non-Confrontational Street Photography. We'll be practicing these during my upcoming LA Street Photography Experience Workshop in March.

  • Let them come to you - Many new street photographers think that they always have to be on the move, hunting their subjects like lions in Africa. But that's just not necessary. Find an interesting spot, park yourself with camera ready, and let the world come to you. Be friendly, smile, and make eye contact.
  • Be ready for street performers - Make sure that you have a few $1 bills in your pocket for street performers. They can appear on the corner of a busy intersection, or inside a subway car. They are perfectly fine with photos. Be sure to offer a tip and ask for a hashtag.
  • The more colorful, the easier to approach - When you see someone with an outlandish outfit or dressed very uniquely, they tend to want attention. You can politely approach these characters, tell them how much you love their look, then ask for a snapshot.
  • Have business cards ready - If you're not a stranger to them, they will be more comfortable with you. Carry simple business cards that have your name, email, and website printed on them. Hand the card to a potential subject, and tell them that you are an amateur photographer who loves to take portraits, and you would love to capture their picture. If they ask for a copy, then tell them to send you a note to the address on the card.
  • Have someone friendly with you - In my case for example, I'm a tall, big guy. So I find it helpful to have a friendly woman with me who can make small talk and help people feel at ease while I capture their portrait.

As for cameras, my PEN-F is perfect for this assignment. It's not intimating, looks interesting, and sometimes becomes a bonding topic of conversation.

As I mentioned earlier, I'll be teaching these practices, and more, during my upcoming LA Street Photography Experience Workshop in March. Also, you may want to check out my article, Join Me in March for the LA Photography Experience Workshop that has images and information from last week's scouting trip in Southern CA.

How Sharp is Too Sharp?

This falls into the category of knowing your lenses and not applying the same amount of sharpness in post to all of them. I explain more in this second segment.

The TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

What makes these events so special? It's the magic blend of fellowship, location, inspiration, and focus. You can actually be single-minded about your craft. I'll take care of everything else.

When I was discussing this on our Patreon site, one Inner Circle member raised a concern about the class presentation on the final day. I'm going to tell you what I say at every workshop. This is not a competition. It is the most supportive creative environment that you will ever share your work with. And no matter your skill level, the floor is yours to discuss your experience and share a few images. I promise you, you will love it.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • LA Street Photography Experience - March 13-15, 2020 - This hands-on workshop guides you on an exploration of classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area. Limited to 9 participants and featuring two instructors (Derrick Story and Mike Boening), you will enjoy great photography, food, and friendship with our fellow enthusiasts. Three days, $749. You can place your deposit here.
  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Autumn 2020 - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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

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

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

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I just finished my final scouting trip for the upcoming LA Street Photography Experience Workshop, and I can't wait to lead our group of urban explorers in Southern California.

Photo venues include (but are not limited to) Hollywood Blvd., Venice Beach, Muscle Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Staples Center, and more. I have a terrific headquarters reserved for us in Santa Monica within walking distance of the Metro Rail. This perfect location makes it easy for our night photography at the pier, morning shoots at Venice Beach, and all of the interesting activity in the heart of Southern California.

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This workshop is designed to maximize your photo opportunities. We won't spend hours stuck in traffic on the 405. Instead, we'll be using the LA Metro system that will deliver us to the doorsteps of prime shooting locations.

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This 3-day experience features a tight itinerary of excellent photography opportunities, classroom instruction for effective and safe urban exploration, lab sessions where you receive tips and feedback on your work, and a final presentation allowing you to share your successes and failures in a conversational, supportive environment. It's complete immersion for photo enthusiasts.

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The dates are March 13-15, 2020. You can fly directly into LAX and take transportation to our workshop headquarters in Santa Monica. No rental car or freeway hassles are required. Once you're at HQ, we take care of you from there.

It's easy to join us in March. Just go to LA Street Photography Experience signup page and place a $100 deposit. You can also learn more about the event there. I will then contact you and help you complete the final details for your adventure.

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This is a street photography workshop that you won't want to miss.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

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Today's TDS SoundBite discusses in-camera RAW processing and how it can speed up your quality publishing to social and provide quick turnaround for clients. Many photographers overlook this valuable feature on their DSLR and mirrorless cameras. I'm thinking that you might want to take a second look.

What is it, exactly? This workflow allows you to capture in RAW only. Then go through your images in-camera and select the ones that you might want to share. When you choose a picture to process (in camera), go to the RAW Edit menu, adjust color, brightness, etc., then save it as a Jpeg copy. You can now send it out of camera to your smartphone and share it with the world.

Listen in to find out more about in-camera RAW Processing...

Technology tidbits that are 5 minutes or less. I cover digital photography, audio, mobile computing, smart home, and more.

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 #721, Jan. 14, 2020. Today's theme is "Inkjet Printing in 5 Easy Steps." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I've had a number of listeners comment to me that they really would love to try their hand and inkjet printing, but don't know where to start. I totally get that. So I thought I would dedicate the first segment of today's show to the easiest of ways to enjoy success. Just five easy steps! I hope you enjoy the show.

Inkjet Printing in 5 Easy Steps

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In all honesty, printing at home used to be more difficult than it is today. Much in the same way that technology has made picture taking more reliable, image output has become easier as well.

Once you have your feet wet and have experienced success, then you can fine tune this process. Or not! Because even at the beginning stages, I think you'll be thrilled with what you see emerging from your printer.

Here are my 5 steps to injet printing success.

  • Work from a photo management app - Programs such as Lightroom and Photos for macOS have tried to streamline the printing interface presenting you with logical choices. Plus, all of your images are housed there, making access very easy.
  • Get your hands on a printer that promotes itself outputting photo quality prints - If you don't want to invest in a dedicated 13" printer, then buy an all-in-one model that brags about its photo output. If it has 3 or more ink cartridges, then you're in business. Make sure you computer can see it, either via cable or WiFi.
  • Set up your first test print - Most likely you will see two dialog boxes during this process. The first is from the photo management app, and the second is via the print driver. The first dialog is important for choosing the printer, paper size, surface, and possibly a few other parameters. The second will probably have some duplicate fields. The the think that you want to look for is "Printer Managed." Choose that, and everything will be much easier. If you don't see that, look for color matching. The key here is to have the printer in charge of the handoff.
  • Examine your test print and make adjustments - If you need to brighten your output, which is the most common adjustment, then do so with the printing software, not with your image editing tools. Make a note on the back of your test print the adjustments you made.
  • Output your second print - This version should be pretty darn good. Unlike digital images on a screen, prints are affected by the paper used in the process. Gloss stocks have more punch and contrast. Matte surface have more muted colors and softer lines. Warm-toned papers affect the color rendering, as well as cool white surfaces. If you're not satisfied with the final look of the print, try a paper stock that solves the problem.

A few bonus tips. For a better fit on the paper, duplicate your image and crop it to the dimensions of your printing paper.

Review the Printer Features area in the printer dialog box. It's usually available via a popup menu. Here you can change dpi (I like 600x600), quality setting (fine is usually good, best isn't typically required), and tweak the brightness.

If you have a choice anywhere between Adobe RGB and sRGB, choose Adobe RGB for printing.

Once you get a print to your liking, make another and stash it away. These make great archives of your images. Be sure to let it air dry completely before storage.

Inner Circle Reviews

We have a new feature for our Patreon members, and there's benefit for non-members as well. Derrick describes in this second segment. Our first review will be of the Oben CT-3565 Carbon Fiber Tripod ($209).

The TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

What makes these events so special? It's the magic blend of fellowship, location, inspiration, and focus. You can actually be single-minded about your craft. I'll take care of everything else.

When I was discussing this on our Patreon site, one Inner Circle member raised a concern about the class presentation on the final day. I'm going to tell you what I say at every workshop. This is not a competition. It is the most supportive creative environment that you will ever share your work with. And no matter your skill level, the floor is yours to discuss your experience and share a few images. I promise you, you will love it.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • LA Street Photography Experience - March 13-15, 2020 - This hands-on workshop guides you on an exploration of classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area. Limited to 9 participants and featuring two instructors (Derrick Story and Mike Boening), you will enjoy great photography, food, and friendship with our fellow enthusiasts. Three days, $749. You can place your deposit here.
  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Autumn 2020 - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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.

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You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Nikon-Lite-QD-front.jpg

Leading up to the holidays, I took note of a BMW car commercial where this family was zipping from one event to the next in their very nice beemer on Christmas Day. I thought it was a good spot. And it dawned on me that it would be fun to record something like that on a single roll of film for my holiday.

I had recently become enamored with the Nikon Lite Touch Zoom AF, a super compact 35mm film camera that weighs only 7 ounces, fits in my pocket, and sports a 35-70mm zoom. The other thing that makes this 1990s point-and-shoot perfect for the project is that the flash is fairly sophisticated, including a Slow Sync setting that captures more ambient lighting for indoor shots, mitigating that "overexposed subject/black background" look.

000085010016.jpg Photo by Derrick Story.

So I loaded up the Nikon with a 36-exposure roll of Fujicolor 200 film, stuffed it in my pocket, and embarked upon our Christmas day.

There were a few things that appealed to me about this project. First, I like the set number of frames for the day. I had 36 shots, no more, no less. So I couldn't just go crazy and take 10 pictures of the same thing that's so easy to do with digital.

000085010015.jpg Photo by Derrick Story.

I also liked the idea of having the day preserved on film. My workflow for color work is to shoot the film, then send it to a lab for processing and scanning. The negatives get filed in archival sleeves that are numbered and correspond to the digital images in my Photos album. It's the best of both worlds.

I also liked the challenge of capturing images on film, especially with a point-and-shoot. Indoors, I always used Slow Sync mode, and the Nikon did a great job of balancing the exposure. The mixed lighting makes for some interesting effects. I think the images have a real nostalgic feel to them.

000085010019.jpg Photo by Theresa Story.

It's also fun to hand the camera to someone else so the photographer can get in a few frames. The group shot above was recorded by my wife. With the Nikon Lite Touch, all I had to so was set the camera and hand it to her. She took it from there.

When someone asked me, "How'd it turn out?" I would respond, "I'll know in a week." The anticipation is actually part of the fun. One of the cool things about 1990s compact cameras is that they are dependable. They were designed to deliver images regardless of the situation or skill of the photographer. Granted, the more you know about the settings, the better you can customize the results. But the fact of the matter is, I knew the shots would turn out and my holiday would be preserved on film.

000085010007.jpg Photo by Derrick Story.

From a Nimble Photographer perspective, I think film compact cameras are cool counterparts to iPhone photography. When I'm shooting with the Nikon, I also have my smartphone available in the other pocket. (Thank goodness for pockets!) The iPhone records valuable metadata such as time, place, and even weather. When I mix the iPhone images with the film scans in my Photos album, I have a lot of valuable information that wasn't available to me in the film days. This hybrid approach makes for both an interesting variety and for historical accuracy.

000085010035.jpg Photo by Theresa Story.

So, now that's it's all over, what do I think of my "One Day, One Roll of Film" experiment? I love it. I'm going to do this again for a different event. These are the kind of projects that keep me excited about photography.

Christmas-Day-2019.jpg Here it is: My complete Christmas Day on one roll of film.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS

Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Both the Sands Expo and the Las Vegas Convention Center were filled with an incredible array of gadgets and tools. But after 3 days of exploring, my favorite discover is the SabineTek SmartMic+ ($159, available now).

smartmic.jpg

This little audio powerhouse, about the size of a USB Flash drive, connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and is capable of performing a number of truly useful tasks. And it does so with wonderful fidelity.

I can clip it to my shirt and record audio for podcasting and reporting, even in busy environments. The SmartMic does a great job of automatically balancing the volume of my voice with the ambient sound. You can still here the background, but it's at a pleasant level. You can listen for yourself by tuning in to the first part of my CES Report Podcast where I wore the mic to the Pepcom event at the Mirage Hotel.

If you want to record video interviews on the go, the SmartMic also proves wildly useful. Using the downloadable app (iOS and Android), you clip the mic to the person you're interviewing and press the video record button on the phone's app. The app records the audio and video of the subject (audio via the SmartMic), and the phone records the audio of the person asking the questions. Then it's all balanced together in the final video. Very clever. And it works great.

The SmartMic+ can also be used for vlogging, and with mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. And because it's so compact, you can have it with you always. Buy two SmartMics, and you can enable two-way mode where one mic serves as the input, and the other is the receiver.

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The SmartMic+ kit is nicely packaged and includes accessories such as a sponge cover, headset, charging cable, fleece cover (for wind protection), and even a soft pouch. I've had fun testing it throughout the week here in Las Vegas. And it is the one discovery that I want to take home with me.

You can learn more and purchase the SmartMic+ now at the SabineTek site

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.