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Camera Myths that Seem to Persist

When you've been doing something for a long time, it's reasonable to have confidence in your opinions. You know how things work.

For example, a seasoned handyman has a stash of tricks that you would never dream of. Let's say that you're trying to figure out how to remove a stuck screw with a stripped head. You just can't get any torque with your screwdriver. The darn thing won't budge.

The handyman digs around in his toolbox, pulls out a chunk of duct tape, puts it over the stripped head for a bit of traction, and gently removes the stubborn problem with his screwdriver.

Experience is a beautiful thing.

But it can also blind us to change.

Screws haven't evolved much in the past 20 years, but cameras have. And those of us who have been taking pictures for a couple decades have to constantly update our knowledge base. If we don't, we're vulnerable to missed opportunities and passing along outdated information.

Here are three myths that I encounter regularly as a photography educator.

IMG_2524.jpeg

1) You have to keep your ISO setting low for good image quality. True in 1999, not so today.

Modern digital cameras capture fantastic images with ISO settings of 1600, 3200, and yes, even 6400. I've embraced auto-ISO where I let the camera choose the setting in a range between 200 and 3200. And if I need more speed, I will override it. The pictures look great.

2) Serious outdoor and adventure photography requires a full frame sensor camera. Definitely not true.

I just read the Outdoor Photographer's editor's choices for 2022 cameras, and it included two APS-C models and a Micro Four Thirds as well (Fujifilm X-H2S, Canon EOS R7, OM System OM-1). Yes, larger sensors still have an edge in low light shooting and dynamic range. But that gap has narrowed. Increased processing power in the imaging pipeline, computational photography, and improved hardware have moved us to the point where you can use any format you want for serious work.

3) The more megapixels, the better the camera. Nope.

Megapixels are a measurement of graphic resolution. They do not determine the overall quality of a camera. In fact, going back to the Outdoor Photographer editor's list, they chose the lower resolution Fujifilm X-H2S at 26 megapixels over the higher resolution X-H2 at 40 megapixels.

Why? Because the X-H2S is faster allowing it to capture moving subjects with exceptional speed. And 26 megapixels is still plenty of resolution. If you need more, there are plenty of AI-driven resampling programs that intelligently add pixels to those pictures. (Oh yeah, that's fairly new as well.)

I guess these aren't really photography myths. They're just beliefs that aren't true anymore.

Photography can be as simple as pulling out your iPhone and capturing a snapshot, or as complicated as mastering a Sony A7 IV mirrorless camera. Regardless of which you use, we are all benefitting from dramatic hardware and software innovations.

I say, enjoy the ride. It's OK if it's easier than it used to be.

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This is The Digital Story Podcast #882, Feb. 14, 2023. Today's theme is "Your Camera's Hidden Features." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Every camera I've owned had one or two tricks up its sleeve that I didn't initially discover. Then one day I'd be reading a review or listening to a podcast and learn about it. Which make me think, what sort of magic resides inside your camera that you haven't uncovered yet? I'll share a few of my favorites in today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 882

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Your Camera's Hidden Features

5-axes-IBIS.jpg

To help illustrate my point, I have tips for the Sony A7 IV, Ricoh GR III, Fujifilm X100V, OM System OM-1, and the iPhone. Even if you don't have one of these cameras, knowing about these tips can help you search them out on your device. Let's get started.

Sony A7 IV

HEIF instead of Jpeg. HEIF stores twice as much information as Jpeg in the same file size. For example, Jpeg color is limited to 8 bits, where HEIF can manage 16 bits of color.

The Sony A7 IV allows photographers to choose between Jpeg or HEIF for their compressed format. The setting is:
Menu > Shooting > Image Quality > Image Quality Settings > File Format.

In this menu, you can also select RAW+HEIF for a true power couple. Nearly every app supports HEIF now, in part thanks to Apple's iPhone use of it. And it truly is a cut above Jpegs.

Ricoh GR III

Automatic Horizon Correction. When composing on a LCD screen, it can be difficult to get the horizon perfectly straight. Fortunately, the Ricoh GR III has a Horizon Correction setting that you can enable.

It's in the (7) Shooting Assist menu at the bottom of the screen. When you turn it on, the camera corrects 1.5 degrees if the IBIS is on and 1 degree if it's off. That may not sound like a lot, but it makes a huge difference in your pictures.

BTW: Did you know that the GR III has built in memory that provides up to 40 RAW or 140 Jpegs captures in case you have an SD card problem? You can switch to Internal Memory in the Format menu.

Fujifilm X100V

Film Simulation Bracket. One of the many reasons that Fujifilm photographers love their cameras is because of the great color science express through the various film simulation settings. But what if you weren't exactly sure which one is best for any given subject?

The Film Simulation bracketing that allows you to choose three different styles and have them recorded with each press of the shutter.

Start by choosing the simulations you want via: Menu > Shooting Setting 1 > Film Simulation BKT.

Back out of the Menu, then press the Drive button, navigate down to BKT, and select Film Simulation Bracket. If you shoot RAW+Jpeg, you will capture three RAW files and three film simulations with each press of the shutter button. And the RAW film simulations look different than the Jpeg versions.

One bonus Fujifilm tip: If you mount the excellent WCL 28mm lens on the X100V, the camera automatically identifies it and adjusts the electronic viewfinder and LCD for a 28mm field of view. You can see the difference by switch between the electronic viewfinder and the optical.

OM System OM-1

One-Touch White Balance. We usually know when we should use Custom White Balance to adjust for mixed or artificial lighting, but usually don't because it feels like a hassle. But on the OM-1, it's as simple as pressing a button on the front of the camera.

The top button on the front of the camera, the one with a dimple in it, is for One-Touch White Balance. Just point the camera at a white object or a white sheet of paper that's reflecting the lighting of the room, press the One-Touch button with your middle finger, then while still holding down the button, fire the shutter with your index finger. The camera will ask you if you want to save that setting by pressing the OK button. Once you do, you're set!

Bonus Tip: Handheld Assist. When Handheld Assist is On, the status of camera shake is displayed on the monitor when the shutter button is pressed halfway or during exposure. This is useful for reducing camera shake during long exposure in hand-held shooting.

The gray frame indicates the range that camera shake can be corrected. To minimize camera shake, hold the camera so that the outer indicators (roll shake) are stabilized near the center right/left on the frame and the center indicator (horizontal and vertical shake) near the center within the frame.

How to set Handheld Assist: Press the [MENU] button. In 8. Image Stabilizer, select Handheld Assist. Select Off (default setting) or On.

The iPhone Pro

Lens Correction. In the Camera Settings menu, there's a toggle for Lens Correction. Make sure that it's on so that your images have less distortion with the wide and ultra wide lenses. If you want distortion for effect, toggle it off.

Reveal Additional Settings While Taking Pictures. Some people never discover the hidden settings menu that includes Night Mode, capture proportions, exposure compensation, self-timer, and more. You can reveal it by tapping on the Angle Bracket that's pointing up at the top of the camera interface. Hide the menu by tapping on it again.

OM Digital Solutions releases OM System M. Zuiko Digital ED 90mm F3.5 Macro IS PRO

You can read the entire article on DPReview.com.

The 90mm F3.5 Macro IS PRO is an autofocus lens that delivers up to 2x macro (or 4x with a 2x teleconverter). Its stabilization system is compatible with the Sync IS system, allowing it to work in conjunction with in-body stabilization of Olympus / OM System cameras.

The lens is constructed from 18 elements, arranged in 13 groups. Its design has two focus groups that act conjunction, allowing very close focus when the focus limit switch is in the 'Macro' position. The lens also has a focus ring that can be snapped back to reveal a focus distance scale and (on Olympus or OM System cameras) engage manual focus.

In addition to the slide to switch between MF and AF, there's also a dedicated IS toggle, an L-Fn (lens function) button for assigning custom functions and a focus limit switch which is split between macro, 0.25-0.5m, and 0.25-infinity. The lens weighs 453g (16oz) and measures 136mm (5.4") long with a 70mm (2.7") diameter.

For very close-up work, the lens has a groove behind all these controls, which should be compatible with the tripod collar from the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 Pro (though OMDS isn't promoting it as such). OMDS says it has no plans to sell the collar separately but it may be possible to source it from service centers.

The OM System 90mm F3.5 macro IS pro will be available in March 2023 with an MSRP of $1,499.99 in the U.S, and CAD $2,049.99 in Canada.We have a wonderful workshop headquarters reserved that puts you right in the middle of this natural goodness. Not only is it a peaceful place for us to gather and work, but you can walk right out your front door and photograph the amazing diversity of wildlife there.

Controversial AI Program Generates Photorealistic Police Sketches

You can read the entire article Petapixel.com.

Two developers have created artificial intelligence (AI) software that generates photorealistic police sketches using DALL-E. Forensic Sketch AIrtist was made to cut down the time it takes to create a police sketch of a suspect. It was created at a Hackathon event in December 2022 and works by inputting facial features.

"First, the artist collects a description from the witness by using our client," explains the software developers.

"Then the client sends the description to our server where the request is parsed and sent to DALL-E's API. After a few seconds, we have the sketch ready to be sent to the client and, in turn, to the artist.

"After that, the artist can opt to end the drawing process or to download the generated sketch and perform some small corrections to it."

In an interview with Vice, Jennifer Lynch, the Surveillance Litigation Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that the use of AI in police forensics is "incredibly dangerous."

"The problem with traditional forensic sketches is not that they take time to produce (which seems to be the only problem that this AI forensic sketch program is trying to solve). The problem is that any forensic sketch is already subject to human biases and the frailty of human memory," says Lynch

"AI can't fix those human problems, and this particular program will likely make them worse through its very design."

"If these AI-generated forensic sketches are ever released to the public, they can reinforce stereotypes and racial biases and can hamper an investigation by directing attention to people who look like the sketch instead of the actual perpetrator," adds Lynch.

Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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.

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

See you next week!

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

Thanks to OM System for the illustration of their 5 axes image stabilization system.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #881, Feb. 7, 2023. Today's theme is "Recording Video to Enhance Your Still Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Many stills photographers overlook the fantastic movie capture tools built into our cameras. Primarily, because they are not interested in making movies. But what if those ignored features could greatly enhance your photo presentations? Wouldn't that be useful? Find out how on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Digital Photography Podcast 881

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Recording Video to Enhance Your Still Photography

I can tell you why I don't make more movies than I do. It's because I hate video editing. It bores me to tears.

But that doesn't mean that I completely bypass the video features on my iPhone and OM System OM-1. Why? Because many of those settings can record content that vastly improves my photo presentations. Let me show you a couple examples.

Environmental Audio

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When your record a movie with your camera, you are capturing both sound and pictures. Those two elements can be separated and used independently.

Here is an example that you can see for yourself. Recently I was scouting for our upcoming Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop. I found a wonderful spot where the geese were talking and the toads were croaking. It was so melodic and peaceful.

I initially captured a few still pictures. But they just didn't do justice to what I was experiencing at the moment. So I set my iPhone to movie mode and recorded the scene. The movie itself is good and does a better job of telling the story than just the still pictures. But what if I could combine the two?

In Photos, I exported the audio only which gave me an .M4A file. I then opened the file in my favorite audio editing app, Fission. I trimmed the soundtrack, added fade-in and fade-outs, and boosted the audio volume.

I added my new soundtrack to my Apple Music library. Then I opened Photos and selected the images I wanted and created a Slideshow Project.

Using the Ken Burns effect to keep things moving, I substituted my "marsh sounds" audio track for the canned Apple music. I've published a short teaser here so you can see for yourself how well it works.

A Few Tips

  • Capture Panos - Broad panoramas play really well in slideshows with the Ken Burns effect enabled.
  • Get Yourself a Handy Audio App - For the Mac, I really like Fission by Rogue Amoeba for $35. But there are many good ones for Mac and Windows.
  • Keep Your Audio Files Organized - You'll find that you'll build up a sweet audio library that you can go to time and time again.

One final note on the value of movie capture. If you camera can record 4K video, you can pull out individual still frames from that footage to fill in gaps in your slideshows. This works really well.

It's worth it to review your recording settings on your smartphone and your camera. They can prove to be very valuable for immersive photo projects.

Two Seats Left for the Pt. Reyes In-Person Photography Workshop - May 16-19, 2023

Pt. Reyes and its surrounding areas (Tomalas,Inverness, etc.) provide a wealth of landscape and wildlife photography - and we will explore both!

This four-day photography adventure takes you to rugged Northern California coastline, rolling hills, seashore wildlife, Tule Elk, tranquil inlets, and so much more.

This is the perfect getaway to relax, breath fresh air, enjoy the company of your fellow photographers, eat good food, and fill your memory cards with beautiful images.

We have a wonderful workshop headquarters reserved that puts you right in the middle of this natural goodness. Not only is it a peaceful place for us to gather and work, but you can walk right out your front door and photograph the amazing diversity of wildlife there.

You can sign up for any of these events by visiting our Photography Workshops Page. Inner Circle Members receive a 10 percent discount on all events.

Go Wide! A look at four top ultra-wide primes for Micro Four Thirds

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

One of the great things about the Micro Four Thirds system is that it's easy to find a good long lens - including the ones you used to use on your DSLR (remember those?). With its quarter-size sensor the system gives us the reach of a 400mm lens when we've only mounted a 200mm. The downside of course comes when we want a wide angle view, as the 2x crop factor means we need a 10mm lens to get the same view we'd achieve with a 20mm on a full-frame camera.

Fortunately though, we now have a pretty decent array of extreme wide-angle options for the system (including quite a few zooms). For this article I've restricted myself to prime lenses, and have still put together a good little collection to compare. The idea is both to demonstrate what's available and to show what impact slight differences in focal length have on the angle of view of the lens. I've picked four lenses of about the same focal length and within a tight price range, but which have a number of characteristics that lend each a distinct identity. The lenses going head-to-head are:

  • Laowa 7.5mm F2 MFT $499
  • Meike 8mm F2.8 $399
  • Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm F1.7 ASPH $498
  • Samyang 10mm F2.8 ED AS NCS CS $430

As is often the case now, those looking for ultra-wide options, especially at an affordable price, should consider the many manual focus lenses on the market. Thus only one lens in this comparison offers autofocus and comes from a mainstream Micro Four Thirds manufacturer. I'll be looking at the physical characteristics of the lenses, their coverage, how nice they are to use as well as the quality of image they produce.

In all the following images taken with these lenses, the aperture was set to F8 to help eliminate vignetting as much as possible. All samples were made with a Panasonic Lumix G9. We're including the angle of view in the specs so you can get a better idea of how much of a scene you'll see, something not always accurately reflected by the focal length in millimeters.

Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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.

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #880, Jan. 31, 2023. Today's theme is "Top Gear for Outdoor Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When we explore the great outdoors with gear in hand, we require ruggedness, dependability, and usually an extra bit of reach. So among all the different options available today, what are the items favored by experienced outdoor photographers? In today's podcast, we review their recommendations. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 880

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Top Gear for Outdoor Photography

NIKKOR-Z-400mm.jpg

I found an article titled 10 Best Cameras & Lenses of the Year: OP Editors' Picks 2022 on OutdoorPhotographer.com, and I thought it was one of the better recommendation pieces I had seen in recent history. I particularly liked that it was based on the research and experience of their editors who are top tier nature photographers.

I want to share with you some of their findings because it's already that time of year when we start thinking about our upcoming adventures in 2023. I also have some comments on their preferences.

Regarding the OM-1, Harold Mancusi-Ungaro wrote me: "Coincidentally your email found me in Antarctica photographing penguins with my OM-1. I can tell you that the AI subject AF for birds finds penguins on land as well as swimming and diving long the shores. And with its weather sealing I don't worry about the occasional splash in the Zodiacs. I love the camera."

So lots of good hardware in this segment.

AI-powered watermark removal poses uncomfortable implications for content use

You can read the entire article on DP Review.com.

Artificial intelligence being used to create photorealistic artwork is already causing significant unrest within the photography industry, but a new tool, WatermarkRemover.io, is among the most concerning.

WatermarkRemover.io, which is available for free, uses AI to remove watermarks from images - as implied by its name. While there are some benign reasons to want to remove watermarks from an image, for example, if you own the rights to an image but can't locate a version without the watermark, but it's easy to imagine much more nefarious scenarios in which someone wants to remove a watermark from a photo.

This isn't an article centered around bashing WatermarkRemover.io. It has every right to exist, and the developers aren't completely responsible for whether users download the tool to do something illegal - removing watermarks to steal photos is illegal, at least in the US. However, it's worth considering how the tool fits into an increasingly murky AI landscape.

You can already edit watermarks out of images with photo editing applications like Adobe Photoshop. In some cases, it's very easy to do so. Where AI comes in is making complex tasks, like removing multi-colored watermarks with different opacity values, much easier.

I've Joined Mastodon

I'm now posting and surfing on Mastodon. I've joined the Medium group there, but I'm available site wide. If you're on Mastodon as well, look me up so we can follow one another.

I polled our Inner Circle Members about Mastodon, and only 14 percent said that they were active on it. 36% knew about it, but hadn't pulled the trigger. And 18 percent said it just wasn't their thing.

We will see...

Follow Up to Mac mini M2 Pro Setup

Much has changed since last week's show on Luma Display and the new Mac mini. Here's an update.

As for the cool little 15.6" full HD display for $99 that I'm using to configure the Mac mini M2 Pro, it's an QQH 15 inch Portable Travel Monitor. And they are currently offering another $10 off if you clip the coupon box on the display page.

Now that I have things dialed in, I'm really enjoying using the Mac mini M2 Pro with the 2017 iMac 4K display.

Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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.

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #879, Jan. 24, 2023. Today's theme is "Will Astropad Luna Display Work for Our Photography?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Astropad Luna Display is a $119 dongle with supporting software that enables you to turn your iPad or Mac into a wireless secondary display and create a portable dual monitor setup with the devices you already have. It supports Macs, PCs, and iPads in a variety of configurations. But, is it robust enough to use for our photography workflow? I tell all in today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 879

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Will Astropad Luna Display Work for Our Photography?

luna-display.jpg

Alright, so here's the backstory.

I have a 2017 4K iMac with a gorgeous screen. And it fits perfectly in my studio workstation. But being 2017, its brains are getting a bit laggy with today's software. I don't want to ditch the entire computer just because it needs a new processor.

So, I was thinking, what if I invested the $119 in the Astropad Luna Display, purchased a brand new M2 Mac mini, and used my existing iMac as the display?

This approach would save the iMac from the electronics recycler and save me the $1,600 required for the companion Apple Studio Display. Plus, I would still have the brains of the iMac as a backup computer.

I decided to test the feasibility of this approach by purchasing the Luna Display and testing it with my 2020 Intel 13" MacBook Pro. If using the iMac as a secondary monitor for the MacBook worked, it certainly would suffice with the more powerful M2 Mac mini. Here's what I learned.

  • Do not use the WiFi connection for the two devices. It's way too laggy. I'm using the Ethernet cable, and the performance is much better. I tried to get USB-C to USB-C to work, but could not.
  • The configuration options are really nice. I'm using the iMac as a secondary screen, and I still have all the screen real estate of the MacBook Pro. Plus, I can use the mouse for the iMac on both the MacBook and the iMac. Both keyboards work as well. Very nice.
  • At first I thought the performance was going to bug me, because working in Capture One Pro on the iMac display was a little different than natively on the MacBook Pro. But to be honest, I forgot about that as I became absorbed in my editing. So not as fast, but not bad either.
  • A downside is that I'm now using my Ethernet port for the display, making it not available for other uses. I do have a powered multiport connector that would solve the problem. I haven't tested it yet, but I will.
  • You can take full advantage of the iMac's 4K Retina Display, but you have to enable Retina in the Luna Display software settings.
  • It's fairly easy to switch the iMac back and forth from secondary display mode to native iMac mode. Simply hold down the ESC key to exit Luna Display.

So, what's my bottom line? So, I am going to order the Apple Mac mini M2 and use the iMac as the display. I'm not recommending that everyone do this, because some folks may find it too much hassle compared to a dedicated display, or the performance just a bit short. I will report more once I get all the pieces in place.

Apple announces updated MacBook Pro and Mac Mini models with new high-end M2 chipsets

You can read the entire article on DP Review.com.

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro and Mac Mini lineups to make the most of its new M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets. The new 14" and 16" MacBook Pro units are available with the company's high-end M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets while the updated Mac Mini is available with the M2 and M2 Pro chipsets.

The M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are featured in new MacBook Pro models. The new 14" and 16" MacBook Pro laptops feature the same design as the previous iterations, including the displays, albeit with improved performance and connectivity.

While the general arrangement of ports is unchanged with the new models-MagSafe 3, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an HDMI port-the HDMI port is now HDMI 2.1. The prior MacBook Pro models used an HDMI 2.0 port, a much-maligned decision that limited the MacBook Pro to a single 4K display at up to 60Hz. The new models allow support for up to four external displays, including an 8K display at up to 60Hz and 4K displays at up to 240Hz.

When Apple announced the M2 last summer, many wondered when Apple's popular and affordable Mac mini would receive an update. The wait is over. You can now purchase the Mac mini with the standard M2 or the new M2 Pro chip - the M2 Max is not an option. It's worth noting that the prior M1-powered Mac mini wasn't offered with an M1 Pro or M1 Max. You can purchase the Mac mini with either the M2 Pro chip, the 10-core CPU/16-core GPU version, or the more powerful M2 Pro with a 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU. RAM is configurable up to 32GB.

The M2 version of the Mac mini supports up to two displays, whereas the M2 Pro version can use three displays. The M2 Mac mini supports up to 6K resolution at 60 Hz. The M2 Pro version supports up to 8K resolution at 60 Hz or 4K at up to 240 Hz over HDMI, so the M2 version apparently still uses HDMI 2.0, whereas the M2 Pro Mac Mini has an HDMI 2.1 port.

All versions of the new Mac mini include DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 4, USB 4 and USB 3.1, Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, a pair of USB-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet and a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the M2 Pro model includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports, whereas the M2 model has just two. The prior Mac mini had Thunderbolt 3 ports. Like the new MacBook Pros, the Mac mini supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.

Online Printing Workshop Scheduled for March 8, 2023

One seat just opened!

This inkjet printing workshop will help you tame your printer, enabling you to create beautiful prints and fine art greeting cards. We'll cover paper stocks, printer setups, project design, and even how to choose the best inkjet photo printer for you. Weekly printing assignments with class support will help you hone your skills.

March 8, 15, 22, 29, 2023 - Two Class Options Each Day. Each class is recorded and made available to participants. Plus, class members will have access to our growing online printing community on DerrickStoryOnline.

You can sign up for the printing workshop ($145) by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10 percent discount on all events.

Light Pollution Might Be Worse Than Previously Thought

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.com.

It turns out light pollution might be worse than it appears by satellite. The problem has been steadily increasing over the years, which creates added difficulties for night photography.

Satellite data previously estimated that light pollution was increasing at a rate of 2% annually, but new research puts that number closer to 10%, according to a new research article published in Science. The problem in getting accurate numbers, according to the article, is due to LED lights. This is equivalent to a doubling of light pollution every eight years.

"Satellites can measure the light emitted upward, but they are not sensitive to all wavelengths produced by LED lighting or to light emitted horizontally," the article states.

To obtain the new estimates, 51,351 citizen scientists from 2011 to 2022 were shown maps of the sky at different levels of light pollution and selected which maps best matched their views. The gap between the two figures is likely due to the fact that LEDs have become more common and have become a go-to option for replacing older, less-efficient bulbs.

The increased light pollution can have effects on sleep patterns and even agriculture as the light can distract insects, The Verge notes. However, it also presents an issue for night photographers. While a washed-out sky of an urban area will always make for a more difficult canvas for astrophotography than a dark, remote sky, increased light pollution anywhere will require adjustments when shooting at night. There are light pollution filters, and photographers can upgrade their overall gear. PetaPixel's astrophotography guide suggests a number of cameras to check out. Additional light pollution might mean more tweaking of ISO and apertures settings as well before a photographer can take that perfect shot.

Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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.

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #878, Jan. 17, 2023. Today's theme is "The Uncomfortable Reality of AI Generated Images." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In many ways, Artificial Intelligence is a friend to photographers. This technology makes our cameras smarter and our software easier to use. But there's also an uncomfortable side that creates computer-generated images based on text input. I'll explore some of those issues in today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 878

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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The Uncomfortable Reality of AI Generated Images

AI-Keyboard-1024.jpeg

Last week I talked about the popularity of analog photography. In many ways, this could be a response to the relentless march of digital imaging supplanting hand-crafted images.

One surging aspect of digital technology is the AI-generated image. Current software such as Stable Diffusion, Jasper Art, Starry AI, Dream, and DALL-E 2 work by entering a text prompt into a text-to-image generator that produces visuals based on those prompts.

The output ranges from surrealist illustrations to hyper-realistic photos. Much of the artwork I've looked at feels like a really good video game.

Understandably, there has been some concern in the photography community about AI-generated art. Is this something that will eventually replace all of us?

The short answer is no. AI-generated photography will no more replace picture taking than photography replaced painting. They are different art forms.

But that doesn't mean that Artificial Intelligence won't disrupt segments of the photography world. I could see, for example, AI dominating stock photography at some point.

Imagine an art director being able to enter text prompts into a web interface and presented with a variety of options based on those words. That seems quite plausible to me.

I could also see Artificial Intelligence playing a role in social media where people have lots of ideas to communicate, but not necessarily the skills to illustrate them.

But when it comes to documentation, my belief is that photography will still rule the roost. Areas such as real estate photography, education, science, and even portraits will still lean heavily on the tools that we use now.

That being said, there are still some areas of concern for photographers. First of all, where do all those images come from that computers use for machine learning? It is likely that copyrighted work has been used to fine-tune the algorithms that are constantly improving.

And what about distinctive artistic styles? What if a style is learned from a specific photographer, then incorporated into output, but without credit or compensation to its creator? That's troubling.

Here's an interesting anecdote from the article, "Why AI Is a Threat to the Photography Industry" on DIY Photography.

Alex London has worked in Costume and fashion design in New York City for the last ten years. His work is intricate and detailed and a large portion of his work is spent working with Art Directors and photographers on editorial shoots and brand campaigns. He shared with DIYP how he had recently lost a job to AI.

Alex was hired to create some concept work. After agreeing initially to his fee, the next thing that Alex knew was that the company had bypassed his creative ideas and fed a sample of his body of work into the AI. He says that he was shocked at the output that the machine managed to create. "It looked like something that I would have done," Alex says, "which was really surreal," he adds. "Not to put too fine a point on it," he says, "the whole thing feels like yet another way not to pay creatives a fair wage."

There have also been stories in chats online about models being hired for a casting. When they arrived they were shocked to be told that in fact their likeness was being scanned to be used as data for AI software, to help the machines learn as it were. And it's this slightly underhand hiding the truth that is getting people upset. It's one thing to lose work to a computer, but when a whole industry and its related industries crash because of it, we could be in for a world of hurt.

Author Peter Dench expands on these points in his article, The Human Cost of Artificial Intelligence in Photography published in Amateur Photographer.

After less than an hour of my own exploration into image generation I'm frustrated and bored. I can see the potential but ethically it's questionable. Software like Stable Diffusion scrapes copyrighted images from the web, taking aspects from other people's work and recombining them. It's not straight up plagiarism but it feels uncomfortable and certainly doesn't feel like photography.

Mellor is on point. 'One of the interesting philosophical questions about it is that it takes away the eventfulness of photography. When we think about photography you often think about it in terms of someone with a camera who was in some place at some time and they recorded something happening, even if it's a stillness, even if it's nothing, there's a kind of an event of a photograph whereas what these do is they have 'eventless' photography.'

'There never was a time when this was created other than someone like me who has absolutely zero photographic skill, typing in text prompts and pumping out an image.'

I think that clearly some of these issues need to be sorted out. I don't think any of us want to be unwitting contributors to our own professional demise.

While we work through the copyright challenges, there are many AI benefits to our imaging work. I truly enjoy taking pictures with my iPhone and OM-1 mirrorless camera, both of which rely on computational photography.

Using object recognition for search in Apple Photos feels like magic at times. And text recognition is truly useful for fast lookup and information retrieval.

So if we can navigate the potential dark side to Artificial Intelligence in photography, and continue to develop the positives, then we may just survive this latest technology disruption.

NVIDIA's Live Streaming Software Can Digitally Fake Eye Contact

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.com.

NVIDIA Broadcast, the company's tool for live streaming and video conferencing, can now digitally alter a subject's eyes in real-time to make it seem as though they are looking directly into the camera.

One issue with shooting live-streamed video at home for professional use -- and it even crops up in simple video calls -- is that many people are uncomfortable staring directly into the camera instead of either on a script or at other people on screen. While doing so makes the user uncomfortable, not doing so breaks engagement with audiences.

To help solve this problem, NVIDIA has been developing a type of "deepfake" technology that can artificially adjust a subject's eyes to make them appear as though they are making contact with the camera. Called Eye Contact, it improves audience engagement with a subject by simulating eye contact.

"The new Eye Contact effect moves the eyes of the speaker to simulate eye contact with the camera -- achieved by estimating and aligning gaze.," NVIDIA explains. "The eyes retain their natural color and blinks, and there's even a disconnect feature in case you look too far away, to transition smoothly between simulated and real eyes."

Online Printing Workshop Scheduled for March 8, 2023

This inkjet printing workshop will help you tame your printer, enabling you to create beautiful prints and fine art greeting cards. We'll cover paper stocks, printer setups, project design, and even how to choose the best inkjet photo printer for you. Weekly printing assignments with class support will help you hone your skills.

March 8, 15, 22, 29, 2023 - Two Class Options Each Day. Each class is recorded and made available to participants. Plus, class members will have access to our growing online printing community on DerrickStoryOnline.

You can sign up for the printing workshop ($145) by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10 percent discount on all events.

DPReview Readers' Choice Awards 2022: Product of the Year

You can read the entire article on DPReview.com.

And the winner of our 2022 Readers' Choice Product of the Year award goes to the Fujifilm X-H2S, with 34.7% of the total vote. The X-H2S delivers the highest performance in an X-mount camera, thanks to its 26MP stacked sensor. Its much-improved AF system can track complex motion at high frame rates, and a large buffer makes high-speed shooting very usable.

It's also an impressive video tool: it can capture 4K/60p video (and even 6.2K/24p), includes internal ProRes LT recording, and can capture 14-bit video at up to 30p for slightly expanded dynamic range when using Fujifilm's new F-Log2 gamma profile. There's even an optional cooling fan for dedicated video shooters. It's no surprise that DPReview readers chose the Fujifilm X-H2S as their Product of the Year.

As always, thanks to everyone who voted in our polls. We appreciate your participation and couldn't do any of this without you!

Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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.

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

See you next week!

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

When Apple rolls out a new operating system, such as macOS Ventura, there are so many little improvements, that sometimes it takes a while to uncover all of the gems. The much-improved straighten tool in Photos is one of those. And it's terrific.

ventura-straighten-1400.jpg The improved Straighten tool in Photos for macOS Ventura.

Compared to what we had to work with in the Monterey edition of Photos, Ventura both improves the interface and adds vertical and horizontal adjustments. Plus the straighten command is so much easier to use. Just click on the Crop tab to reveal it.

Here's what we had in Monterey.

Monterey-Crop.png The Straighten tool in Photos for macOS Monterey.

First of all, the annoying "dial" is replaced by a more logical linear slider. Plus, we can correct buildings now with the vertical and horizontal sliders - a much needed tool.

iPhone photography just got a bit more versatile!

Learn More About the Power of Photos for macOS

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #877, Jan. 10, 2023. Today's theme is "Is Film Photography Really Making a Comeback?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We keep seeing the headlines, but do we know what they really mean? And if indeed analog photography is making a comeback, how does that play out in the overall world of imaging? Thanks to my TheFilmCameraShop that I run on Etsy, I'm in frequent contact with those who fancy a fresh roll of Kodak Tri-X, and here's my take on the state of analog photography. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 877

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Is Film Photography Really Making a Comeback?

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I think a better way to frame this discussion is that analog cameras have become more in demand over the last two years. And I think there are some very logical reasons why.

  • Outside of top-end models from Leica and Nikon, no one is making quality 35mm film cameras right now. So like oil and other finite resources, when they're gone, they're gone.
  • We're seeing a pushback to the perfection of digital imaging. Some creatives are looking to film to create that artistic, somewhat imperfect look, while others are turning to old digital cameras.
  • Film is expensive, but there is a wide variety of options that are truly intriguing. And we are seeing new film emulsions all the time.
  • Film photography is easy. I know this sounds weird, but think about it. You don't need a computer, backup system, or have to learn software. Take the picture, send off the roll, and get back finished prints.
  • And finally, film photography is cool. Most folks won't give you a second look if you say you like to take pictures. But if you say that you like to shoot film, they are interested.

You know it's interesting, film photography has become part of our cultural DNA. Just go to any used book store and dig around in the old magazine section. When you flip through the pages of Life, Time, and others, it's like looking back through your artistic ancestry. And the fact that we can create pictures like those today has an almost time machine feel to it.

The very first article that I wrote for Medium was Why Film Photography Won't Go Away. For a first effort, it was a hit.

But it wasn't my writing that grabbed the spotlight, it was the subject: Film Photography. People are interested in it, even if they never intend to shoot a single frame of Kodacolor 200.

There isn't a film photography resurgence, it never really went away. It's the fact that it's still here that impresses headline writers.

It feels like the Pentax K1000 should have been buried with 8-Track tapes and shag carpet. But here it is today, alive and well with its audio brother vinyl records.

You don't have to be popular to be good. You just have to be good. And film photography is indeed very good stuff.

New Eco-Friendly Film Lab Lets You Pick Which Photos to Print from a Roll

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.com.

The company says that it realized photographers are not likely going to want prints of every photo on a roll of film, which means that every time a photographer asks for prints to be mailed along with developed negatives, a large number of those prints will be discarded -- Analogue Wonderland estimates between 50% and 80%.

"This represents a huge environmental waste -- every one of those prints takes paper, ink, electricity, and shipping -- irrespective of the quality of the focus, colors, and composition," the company says.

"On the other extreme there are photographers who never choose prints, worried about the risk or lacking the confidence to bet that something magical will have been captured. This is an entirely different type of waste -- artistic instead of environmental -- but equally avoidable."

Its new system works like this: photographers order film and scans through Analogue Wonderland. After the film has been processed, customers are emailed a link to view those scans in their account. From there, the photos can be reviewed and the ones that a photographer actually wants to be printed can be selected. When the negatives are mailed, they include only the photos that a photographer specifically denoted as the ones that they wanted.

Analogue Wonderland says that this process is more eco-friendly, results in higher quality prints since its editing team has the opportunity to fine-tune color, contrast, and crop the image before sending it to the printer, and the system is no less convenient than other established methods and there is no requirement to download, change, or reupload images.

Analogue Wonderland is UK based. Hopefully we'll see a service like this in the States before too long.

Online Printing Workshop Overwhelming Favorite for March Addition

I polled our Inner Circle Members about topics for a potential March Online Workshop, and the overwhelming favorite was a redux of the Inkjet Printing Class.

So stay tuned while I pull together some details, and hopefully I can make an announcement next week.

You can sign up for any of our events by visiting our Photography Workshops Page. Inner Circle Members receive a 10 percent discount on all events.

Meet Luminar 100, a new 35mm color film stock made from Kodak Aerocolor IV aerial film

You can read the entire article on DP Review.com.

As the film revival continues strong, another new color film stock has been released, this time by Montreal-based Popho Camera Company. And unlike other respooled rolls of film, Popho Camera Company comes right out and says what its new Luminar 100 film stock is: respooled Kodak Aerocolor IV 2460, historically used for aerial surveillance.

Popho Luminar 100 is a daylight-balanced color negative film stock that Popho describes as having 'medium saturation and contrast' with 'warm tones, enhanced red sensitivity and a wide dynamic range.' Popho notes the film stock is 'well-suited for landscape and other general photographic applications.'

Kodak, in its data sheet for Aerocolor IV 2460, says the film uses the company's 3.9-mil (0.10mm) ESTAR Base with gel backing for 'flexibility, moisture resistance, high tear resistance, and excellent dimensional stability' and has an 'abrasion-resistant emulsion, an antihalation undercoat, and a dyed-gel backing.' Kodak also says the film doesn't have integral color masking,

Unlike many of the recent film stocks we've seen pop up, Luminar 100 isn't a limited release, meaning it should be around for years to come.

36-exposure rolls of Popho Luminar 100 are available to pre-order for $10.51 each. This isn't a crowdfunding campaign and the first units are produced and will be shipped out (without the paper box) by mid-January 2023. We have pre-ordered a roll and will feature the results once we shoot and develop the film after its arrival.

Limited Ricoh GR III 'Diary Edition' Debuts a New Film-Like Photo Mode

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.com.

Ricoh has announced the GR III Diary Edition, which features a different "warm gray" finish, comes with specially-designed accessories, and debuts a new image mode that provides "a negative-film finishing appearance."

Other than aesthetic changes, the GR III Diary Edition is the first Ricoh camera to receive a new image mode that the company says provides an appearance that is similar to negative-film.

"Based on the visual effects possible only with negative film, this mode produces an exquisite balance between rich colors and the uniquely discolored prints resulting from using negative film," the company says.

This new photo mode will be available for GR III and GR IIIx-series models via a firmware update that is scheduled to be released following the availability of the Diary Edition. At the time of publication, Ricoh did not provide any examples of what photos taken in this mode look like.

The Ricoh GR III Diary Edition Special Limited Kit will be available in late January 2023 from Ricoh's website for $1,149.95. The company says that it plans to sell the camera as a standalone (without the strap, ring cap, hot shoe cover, or case) in the spring.

Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

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.

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

See you next week!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #876, Jan. 3, 2023. Today's theme is "Shoring Up My Backup System with the Synology DiskStation DS220+" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In last week's show I discussed getting what I needed (instead of what I wanted). And now I've done exactly what I should have: shore up my backup system with the Synology DiskStation DS220+. This week, I talk about how I have this $299 workstation setup, and how it's working for my photography. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 876

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher

Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In

Shoring Up My Backup System with the Synology DiskStation DS220+

I've made tremendous progress filling the gap in my backup system. As you may recall from last week, my weakness was the immediate backup of working files and photo shoots. I really like the solution I settled on.

synology-side.jpg

I now have running the Synology DiskStation DS220+ 2-Bay NAS Enclosure with a pair of WD 8TB WD80EFZZ Red Plus SATA III 3.5" Internal NAS HDD internal drives.

After initial setup and testing, here are the reasons why I like this solution.

  • Good Value for the Money - $299 plus hard drives feels like a good price for what I get.
  • Can Run on My Network, But Don't Have To - I could plug the DiskStation directly into my router and use across the network, and even tap via the Internet. But after testing that, I've decided to plug directly in using Ethernet cables (RJ45 included) and the twin Gigabit Ethernet Ports.
  • Good Choice or RAID Options - RAID 0, 1, JBOD, Synology Hybrid - I'm using RAID 1.
  • Decent Read/Write Speeds - Reads up to 225.98 MB/s and Writes up to 192.21 MB/s.
  • Tons of Supported Protocols - CIFS/SMB, CalDAV, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, NFS, SMB 3.0, SNMP, and iSCSI.
  • Good Admin Software - Easy to setup and easy to use.
  • Currently I have an iMac and MacBook Pro plugged directly into the DiskStation using RJ45 Ethernet cables. The iMac has an Ethernet port, so that's easy. And I purchased a uni RJ45 to USB C Thunderbolt 3 - Type-C Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter for $16 to use with the MacBook.

    I use the Connect to Server > Browse > Synology DiskStation sequence to access the RAID unit. You can get there even faster if you add Network to your Finder Sidebar. Once you're connected, the DiskStation shows up as a Shared Disk on the Desktop.

    The Synology DiskStation DS220+ 2-Bay NAS Enclosure is easy to use, relatively fast, and I can have multiple computers connected to it simultaneously, even without getting the router involved. It solved my backup problem perfectly.

    52Frames Weekly Photo Challenge: Improve Your Photography One Week at a Time

    You can read the entire article on FStoppers.com.

    Make 2023 a year of creative breakthrough. We all know the key to getting better is consistency. Doing something over and over again will eventually make you better at anything. 52Frames is a photography community that encourages you to improve by prioritizing consistency over perfection: a photo every week for a year. Photography, like any other skill, requires practice. It's like going to the gym: you need a training plan, with clear goals and ways to achieve them.

    52Frames is an online community that helps people to engage in creative play and personal growth through a weekly photo challenge.

    It is a friendly community of people who want to improve their camera skills in a fun and easy way. There is actually a hidden photography lesson behind each week's challenge. The challenges encourage the photographers (who call themselves "Framers") to feel creative freedom and express their own creative take on their submissions. Week 29 of this year, for example, was "Common Object," which allowed the Framers to take pause during the week and observe the many photographic opportunities around them that they would usually just pass by. Perhaps this is one of the beautiful things about 52Frames: everyone responds to the same brief in a different way. The result is like taking a virtual tour around the world through the album each week.

    Each week, 52Frames issues a challenge, which often is a new opportunity to explore outside your comfort zone and learn something new. The challenges may be centered around a technique, like a principle of composition, or it may be something more creative and story-driven, like "Red." Levitation Week inspired the members to learn layer masking in Photoshop. Fast Shutter Speed Week was an opportunity to capture fast-moving subjects and learn to work with your shutter controls. One challenge that stood out to me personally was Portrait of a Stranger. Being a studio photographer, I am mostly comfortable with my subjects. In short, they know why they are there, and I simply need to photograph them. Going out on the street and asking a stranger to take their photograph is a whole different ball game.

    The 2023 TDS Photography Workshop Lineup

    • Inkjet Printing Workshop for Photographers Online Workshop - Nov/Dec 2022 and Nov/Dec 2023. SOLD OUT
    • Maximizing Your Micro Four Thirds Camera Online Workshop - Feb. 2023. SOLD OUT
    • Ultimate B&W Photography Online Workshop - April 2023. SOLD OUT
    • Pt. Reyes In-Person Photography Workshop - May 16-19, 2023
      Pt. Reyes and its surrounding areas (Tomalas, etc.) provide a wealth of landscape and wildlife photography - and we will explore both!
      This four-day photography adventure takes you to rugged Northern California coastline, rolling hills, seashore wildlife, Tule Elk, tranquil inlets, and so much more.
      This is the perfect getaway to relax, breath fresh air, enjoy the company of your fellow photographers, eat good food, and fill your memory cards with beautiful images.
    • Infrared Photography Online Workshop - July 2023
    • Sedona Arizona In-Person Photography Workshop - Oct. 2023. SOLD OUT
    • Wine Country in Autumn In-Person Photography Workshop - Nov. 2023

    You can sign up for any of these events by visiting our Photography Workshops Page. Inner Circle Members receive a 10 percent discount on all events.

    Do's and don'ts to building a great portfolio

    You can read the entire article on PhotoFocus.com.

    Just Released! Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training

    With Photos for macOS, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. It's evolved into a powerful, but easy to use imaging application. And it's free!

    In this course, I take you on a detailed exploration of how to use Photos for both the Monterey and Ventura versions, plus tips for iOS as well.

    I start with an exploration of the interface, then move into the new features. Noteworthy topics include how to remove duplicates from your library, different ways to use Live Text to transform your camera into a personal assistant, how to search for pictures by object type, copy images from messages to Photos, use Quick Notes with Photos, and automate common tasks with shortcuts and built-in Mac intelligence.

    Also included are updates on some of the recent improvements to the importing process, with lots of useful tips for organizing and editing your pictures. (The editing tools are terrific!) Upon completing this course, you'll be working more effectively with Photos for macOS Monterey, Ventura, and iOS.

    If you use a Mac and haven't explored Photos for a while, I think you'll be surprised by its power. Take a look for yourself by visiting Photos for macOS Ventura and iPhone Essential Training.

    Virtual Camera Club News

    The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

    Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

    My Writing on Medium.com: I now have 51 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

    The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

    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.

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

    See you next week!

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

The latest version of the robust photo manager for the Mac, Peakto 1.3, features faster performance, improved AI categorizing, and a few user interface tweaks.

peakto-one-pt-three-1600.png AI view showing how Peakto sorts photos into categories.

My install is running on a 2017 iMac with the latest version of Ventura. Upon launch, it takes Peakto a few moments to get up to speed. But once it's rolling, performance is quite good, even on a 5-year-old computer.

What's New in Peakto 1.3

Highlights in the update include:

  • A new filter bar provides easy access to the structure of any photo catalog, from people identified in the images, to sorting of pictures by keywords or dates.
  • AI automatically gathers images under categories (portraits, nature, wildlife, architecture...). The new interface now makes aesthetic scores, and is more quickly accessible. Peakto's AI now recognizes documents, memes and drawings. It has also been trained to identify blurs, unusual white balance, and the presence of a haze.
  • Find all versions of the photo more easily. Peakto can group all the modified versions of the same photo together, no matter which editing software was used (Lightroom, Capture One, Luminar or Apple Photos). This function is now accessible from all views of the software, in the status bar.

Different Options for Viewing

Instants-View-1600.png Instants view that reduces the clutter of multiple versions. You can control this view with the bottom toolbar.

Versions-view-1600.png Versions view. If you want to see all of the versions, you can, with the click of a mouse at the bottom toolbar.

I find Peakto particularly useful for viewing my old Aperture libraries on the Ventura iMac. Not only do I have the confidence that my photos are still alive and well on the Drobo drives, but when I want to retrieve one, I can easily get to it.

Retrieving Images Once Your Find Them

There's a nice Export function that works well. Although one of my nits is that it doesn't remember my preferred destination folder and keeps defaulting to the Pictures directory.

Export-1600.png The Export dialog box.

Over time, what I've found is easier is to use the "Show Master Image in Finder" command, then simply drag and drop the picture from my external hard drive to the Desktop. This is a great option for single retrieval. The Export is handy for outputting multiples or changing file format during output.

Bottom Line

Peakto is evolving in the right direction, and each release is more enjoyable to use. For me, it's an Aperture library lifesaver. And the fact that I can point it to multiple libraries created with a variety of applications enhances its value even more.

It's still not perfect. But without Peakto, I would be missing out on years of my photography.

Peakto 1.3 is available now as a perpetual license for $189 or as a subscription for $99 a year. They also offer a free 15 day trial.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. 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.