The Digital Story Photography Podcast-logo

The Digital Story Photography Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Where photography meets technology. Weekly podcasts, photo tips, equipment reviews, and more. Author and pro photographer Derrick Story shares his insights, experiences, and opinions.


United States


Where photography meets technology. Weekly podcasts, photo tips, equipment reviews, and more. Author and pro photographer Derrick Story shares his insights, experiences, and opinions.




Why I Love Graduations and a Review of the New XApp - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #897, May 30, 2023. Today's theme is "Why I Love Graduations and a Review of the New XApp." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue Photographers are witnesses to the good and bad of life. Since I've left the newspaper business, I photograph mostly good. And one of my favorite positives is documenting Junior College graduations. There is something very special about these people. And being there to watch them celebrate their accomplishments reminds me that there is hope for our community, and for society overall. I'll explain why on today's TDS Photography Podcast. Digital Photography Podcast 897 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Why I Love Graduations I was one of a handful of credentialed photographers hired to cover the 2023 Santa Rosa Junior College Graduation Ceremony. Each of us had specific assignments and were tasked with overall coverage as well. Basically, we're there to retell the story that is happening before us. This moment features hundreds of graduates, each with their own story. But what is different about this collective is, generally speaking, the odds they had to overcome to reach this moment. Junior College life is different than at a four-year university. I know this firsthand from my two years at Chaffey Junior College in Southern California that saved my academic career that was eventually completed at a university. JC graduations, at least the ones I've covered, do a great job of capturing the challenges and accomplishments of those seated in their caps and gowns. The speakers on stage tell stories of adversity, financial challenges, doubt, and ultimately, triumph. For many families in the stands cheering for those seated on the football field, they are seeing the first from their clan receive a higher education diploma. Their child, sister, brother represent the hope that following generations will have more opportunity than those before them. Many of the graduates had to balance their studies with one or more jobs, often being key providers for their family. Their life consisted of work, study, family, more work, more study, and if they were lucky, some sleep. They often had to piece together small scholarships and grants, in addition to what could be spared from the paycheck, to pay for books and tuition. And remarkably, thanks to the genius that is the junior college system in California, most of the graduates received their diplomas debt free of educational expenses. Many of the graduates will go one to four-year schools, as I did. Some will enter the workforce now as dental hygienists, medical assistants, firemen, computer programmers, hospitality specialists, fashion designers, and electricians, just to name a handful of the disciplines. These are people we need in society. And not only do they graduate with the technical skills required for their career, they are disciplined and are willing to exert the effort required for success. They are prepared to meet the challenges of the workplace because they are already battle tested. Every educational milestone is an accomplishment, from high school diploma to doctorate degree. But there is something unique and special about those who battle to achieve an AA Degree or Certificate. And for me, it's a real honor to be able to share that moment with them. Fujifilm's new XApp simplifies mobile sharing for recent X-camera models You can read the entire article on Fujifilm unveiled a new phone app for its cameras. The Fujifilm XApp replaces the old Camera Remote app for users of supported cameras and will be the new default going forward. XApp looks to roll image transfer, sharing, remote control, firmware updates, and even some unique stats into one convenient interface. Fujifilm is boasting improved image transfer times, more reliable Bluetooth connections and a minimalist design....


Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #896, May 23, 2023. Today's theme is "Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue Being the creatures of habit that we are, it's easy to stick with things we're comfortable with. In the world of photography, that could mean landscapes only or "I'm really a Photoshop guy." But what would happen if you stepped out of your comfort zone into the unknown waters of experimentation? I have a few real life stories to share of photographers who did just that. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 896 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Point Reyes Shipwreck by Steve Csoto. It's not that most photographers don't want to experiment, but sometimes they need a little nudge. I just spent a week with a group of artists in Northern California who were doing exactly that. Their stories are interesting. And I thought that you might way hear the different ways these folks stuck their big toes in the pool of uncharted creativity. Scott: I'm Primarily a Street Photographer Scott generally packs a compact Ricoh GR when he heads out the door. But last week he brought a Fujifilm mirrorless camera and a humongous telephoto zoom lens. "I told my friends that there were elk in Pt. Reyes, and they challenged me to come home with a picture." On the first day were were standing on a deck overlooking Tomales Bay with his rig in hand. Here's what happened. Harry: I'm Not Going to Shoot Big Landscapes Harry's story is how he began working with Intentional Camera Movement, Close Ups, in-camera processing, and quadpics. Rich: Going the Extra Mile The most senior member of the group, Rich, doesn't do that much hiking these days. But in Pt. Reyes, he pushed himself out to areas that he normally wouldn't explore. And he returned with some very compelling images. Steve: I'm Not Going to Be Bound by Conventional Standards One of the best examples of Steve's artistic rebellion was when we visited the Pt. Reyes shipwreck. Everyone returned with a unique angle or approach to photographing the old ship. Steve went way beyond that. Michael: Experimenting with the Illusion of Depth Michael saw the lingering fog as an opportunity to add more depth to his images. He would find a foreground subject that was detailed, then position it against a distant tree in the background shrouded in fog. Each of these photographers stepped outside of their comfort zones and shared their images with the others. And to be honest, they left Northern California different artists than the ones that had arrived a week earlier. Pentax's first 'Film Camera Project' release to be a fixed lens compact, hints film SLR may be next You can read the entire article on In the midst of the film resurgence, Ricoh announced last year that they were going to explore the idea of building a new film body camera under the Pentax banner. Details were scant; we knew that Ricoh was launching a 'Film Camera Project,' to formally house a research and development team, but we didn't know timelines, form factor, price points they had in mind or what criteria they were using to use to decide if actually building a film body was a viable idea. The last peep on that front from them was Pentax's December 2022 announcement, until this past weekend when Ricoh published a pair of new YouTube videos that detailed the project's progress. In a video released we learn more about the camera that Pentax has committed to building, along with a hint of a possible second film camera to come. Pentax's first film body will be a compact fixed-lens camera, according to Pentax product planning/design team member Takeo Suzuki. Pentax clearly sees an opportunity in film cameras and may be positioning itself to fill the void left by its competitors. The company has famously kept...


Scouting for a Photo Shoot Is a Photo Shoot - TDS Photography Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #895, May 16, 2023. Today's theme is "Scouting for a Photo Shoot Is a Photo Shoot." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue I've been exploring some of the most beautiful corners of Northern California in preparation for our Pt. Reyes Photography Workshop that begins this week. I love scouting missions. No pressure, no timeline, no expectations. Just looking for the best places to bring my crew for their upcoming shoots. But if it's just a scouting mission, why do I always come home with such great pictures? We'll find out why on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 895 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Scouting for a Photo Shoot Is a Photo Shoot So, technically, a scouting mission is designed to find great locations for photo shoots and decipher the best time to return for optimal results. Typical scenarios include locations for movie making, ideal spots for portrait shoots, hidden treasures for photo workshops, or great vantage points for wildlife and landscape photography. The thinking is that you can scout any time of day, in any weather condition because that isn't the real shoot. You gather the information, look up a few things, then return when the conditions are ideal for your project. And that's what makes scouting missions so fun. Basically you're just following leads, exploring tips, and sometimes just wandering aimlessly out in nature. I like to pack a lunch, plenty of water, and an extra layer so I don't have to return to civilization any earlier than absolutely necessary. I do bring a camera, of course. My favorite for these days is the X100V with a couple specialty filters. The camera is light, versatile, and records great pictures. My iPhone Pro Max fills in the gaps. I think there's a bit of a psychological thing going here, however. Because I don't feel the need to capture great images, I always seem to do so. I guess you could say that the pressure is off, and the bar is set low. Listen to this audio segment I recorded out at Tomales Point last week when scouting for the workshop. I had just completed a hike on a beautiful day, captured lots of pictures, and had returned to the car where I was sitting with the hatch up watching the world go by. [Insert audio here] I don't sound very stressed, do I? That got me thinking about frame of mind and our approach to photo shoots. Maybe there's something to lower expectations. What if we just go out with out camera and have fun? I was taking pictures with a pro mist filter, R72 IR filter, switching to B&W film simulations, playing with weird angles, and just sitting on the ground. I never really cared about how good any of those shots would be. I was like Rainman with an expensive camera. After playing with a handful of images on the computer back at the house, and really enjoying the pictures, I decided to look up other scouting trips. And darn it, if I really didn't like those photos as well. I'm beginning to think that Scouting for a Photo Shoot Is a Photo Shoot. All I have to do is forget that fact the next time I pack up the car to go exploring. Amazon sues its own Marketplace sellers for selling fake Canon batteries You can read the entire article on Canon USA and have filed a joint lawsuit against sellers of counterfeit Canon camera batteries and chargers sold through The statement from Canon (opens in new tab) specifies that the joint lawsuit was filed with the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against 29 Amazon accounts selling fake products, infringing Canon's trademark rights. The fact that Canon is pursuing trademark infringement is to be expected, as fake Lithium-ion batteries and substandard charging equipment being fraudulently sold with Canon branding could well...


I Asked ChatGPT 5 Photography Questions - Here's What It Said - Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #894, May 9, 2023. Today's theme is "I Asked ChatGPT 5 Photography Questions - Here's What It Said." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue Amid the looming doom and gloom in the photography community about AI, I began to wonder about its usefulness to help enthusiasts take better pictures. I decided to put ChatGPT to the test and ask it 5 reasonable photography questions. How it responded, is the first segment of today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 894 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In I Asked ChatGPT 5 Photography Questions - Here's What It Said AI may still destroy the world. It's too early to tell. But in the meantime, can ChatGPT help us be better photographers? "ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by OpenAI and released in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI's GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 foundational large language models (LLMs) and has been fine-tuned (an approach to transfer learning) using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques." From Wikipedia. I wanted to see how good its photography chops were, so I asked it the following questions. To hear its answers, tune in to the podcast. And finally, I asked ChatGPT to write a poem about photography. Here's how it replied. Imaging Resource is Now Offline as the Camera Website Shuts its Doors You can read the entire article on It was first reported back in 2019 that Imaging Resource was to be shuttered but the website was seemingly saved when it was bought by Madavor Media in 2020. The website operated for a couple of years under Madavor but without Etchells as the editor. That was until the BeBop Channel bought Madavor Media in March 2023. However, when BeBop purchased Madavor it was made clear in a press release that the only publicly traded company for jazz, dance, and theater was most excited about acquiring another of Madavor's brands; JazzTimes. As PetaPixel's editor-in-chief Jaron Schneider noted in March, "BeBop's focus on theater and music seems to put the multiple photography publications the corporation now owns in a strange spot, as the new owner does not have a history in the niche or even in general technology." Madavor Media also owned Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo, and Digital Photo Pro. Imaging Resource was a respected camera review site founded in 1998 and was the only other United States-based photo publication with a dedicated camera testing lab except for DPReview which itself is being closed down by Amazon. This Week on Live View "The Square Mile Photography Challenge" by Lawrence Lazare; "The Cameras that Made Me" by Andrew Howe. Andrew writes: "IThe accepted maxim is that it is "the photographer that makes a great picture not the camera". I have no issue with that, but I think it is an over-simplification. The camera IS just a tool, but people can have a strong relationship with their tools. I am certainly been guilty in the past of spending hours watching or reading views purely as a symptom of Gear Acquisition Syndrome. However, sometimes we start with a purpose and our search is for the tool that will best serve that purpose. If you choose wisely, then sometimes this new tool will not just facilitate your purpose?-?it will inspire it." If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at Mylio Photos Is Relaunching as a Free App You can read the entire article Mylio Photos is about to be reborn as a free app with some options that will have a price attached. Mylio Photos is a complete photo management solution that allows users to easily collect, organize, browse, search, and...


Wedding Photography Makes You Better at Everything - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #893, May 2, 2023. Today's theme is "Wedding Photography Makes You Better at Everything." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue It's time of year when the flowers are blooming and the weddings are booming. And chances are that at some point you will be asked to photograph someone's nuptials. Should you immediately disregard the request? Maybe pretend that you didn't get the email? I say think twice before declining. Weddings can make you a better photographer. I'll explain why on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 893 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Wedding Photography Makes You Better at Everything Back story on my own wedding history. Here are five ways that I think weddings make you a better photographer. Weddings encompass a variety of photography challenges Weddings force you to interact Weddings help you master your camera Weddings force you to think about how much gear you actually need Weddings improve your post-processing speed If you shoot a wedding or two early in the season, you will be ready for any type of event photography, sports, portraits, and macro. Plus you might make enough to by a new lens. Vintage digital cameras you should actually buy You can read the entire article on By not being as truly perfect as modern cameras and smartphones, they have become the obvious choice to some people for creative and fun photography. The icing on the cake being that you can sometimes find them for a bargain price. Fujifilm F10 (and subsequent 6MP models) Ricoh GR Digital (and subsequent) - non-APS-C version Olympus C-750 / C-765 Canon Powershot S90/S95 Sigma DP1/DP1s/DP1x Sony Cyber-shot R1 Olympus PEN E-P1 Leica Digilux 2 Casio Exilim S100 Contax i4r Lego Camera This Week on Live View "Kodachrome in Black and White - iPhone Photography in Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah" by Cynthia Wehlan; "Beyond Black and White" by Derrick Story. Cynthia writes: "In 1948, a National Geographic Society expedition passed through here and named the area Kodachrome Flat. In 1963, the state of Utah acquired the land from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and established a state reserve. After securing permission to use the name Kodachrome, a popular color photographic film from the Eastman Kodak Co., the reserve was called Kodachrome Basin State Park."?-?Utah State Department of Natural Resources." So what does she do? She pulls out her iPhone and begins shooting in B&W. If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at Leica launches two new watches inspired by the Leica M11 Monochrom You can read the entire article The Leica Watch collection consists of two models - both with the mechanical, hand-wound movement developed and produced in-house - the Leica ZM 1 and Leica ZM 2, which are now available in the new Monochrom Edition. Following the holistic view of the Leica product portfolio, the ZM in the name stands for "Zeitmesser" - which is the German descriptive word for an instrument that measures and displays time (not a clock). Following the success of the latter series of Leica Watches that were launched in 2022, the ZM collection is now available in 25 Leica stores worldwide including the USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, Portugal, China, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. The recommended retail price starts at £9,900 (approximately $12,400 / AU$18,800) for the Leica ZM 1 Monochrom and £13,300 ($16,700 / AU$25,300) for the Leica ZM 2 Monochrom. Virtual Camera Club News The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is...


Going Beyond the Polarizer- TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #892, April 26, 2023. Today's theme is "Going Beyond the Polarizer." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue It's true, we just don't need many filters these days for our digital cameras. Maybe a protection filter. Maybe not. Many photographers, if they carry anything at all, it's a polarizer. But if you're interested in distinguishing your work from the masses, there are a couple other filters I recommend. And I'm going to share those in the first segment of today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 892 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Going Beyond the Polarizer In our digital cameras, White Balance has replaced a whole slew of color correction filters. And I say, "Thank God!" What a pain in the neck strap they were. In fact, I have an entire shoebox filled with amber and green and gosh knows what in various sizes. I still have yellow, orange, red, and green screw-ins for B&W photography. But I don't really need them since they too are emulated in my digital cameras. However, I still find the polarizer quite useful. It can tame distracting reflections, deepen a blue sky, and slow the shutter speed by 2 stops. No wonder it's still quite popular. But I'm going to share a secret with you. The polarizer isn't the only filter in my bag of tricks. There are two others that I depend on. One of them you probably know about. The other, I would be surprised if you did. Let's start with the one your know about: the Hoya R72 Infrared filter. I just talked about it recently, and it allows me to convert my Fujifilm X100V into a harsh light IR capture device. I find it indispensable. The one you probably don't know about is the NiSi Black Mist Filter. Now we've all had our disappointments with external diffusers and softeners. Forget about all of that. NiSi filters are a whole different ballgame. They come in 3 strengths, and the effect is subtle, but profound. Here are their basic characteristics. Reduce highlights and lower contrast Can be used to create a cinematic look Doesn't derail sharpness Comes in a variety of sizes I'm currently using the NiSi Black Mist 1/4 Filter for FUJIFILM X100 Cameras (Black) $69. And Ricoh GR IIIX photographers can use the NiSi Black Mist Filter Kit For Ricoh GR IIIx $95. And the NiSi IP-A Filmmaker Kit for iPhone $149 includes IP-A Filter Holder, Black Mist 1/4 Filter, P1 Prosories Case, and a True Color ND-VARIO Pro Filter. I'm posting two examples with the Black Mist 1/4 on a X100V in the Show Notes. Both images were captured around midday. The first is a bumble bee collecting pollen on a Blue Blossom Ceanothus flower. The NiSi filter helped me tame the contrasty light for a lovely image. And the second is Sylvester the cat resting her chin on a shoe in the bright light streaming in from a south facing window. Regardless of which camera you use for your creative work, there's probably an artistic filter that fits it. And the best part is, you don't have to do anything in post. Just take the picture and enjoy. The Pentax K-3 III Monochrome is so Popular, Ricoh Can't Keep it in Stock You can read the entire article on Ricoh has already sold out of its Japanese allocation of Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome cameras twice. Clearly, the company's latest DSLR is extremely popular. Announced earlier this month, the Pentax K-3 III Monochrome is the only black and white DSLR on the market. Based on the original K-3 Mark III, Pentax's flagship APS-C camera, the body of the Monochrome version is not substantially different other than a lack of color in the design and the fact that the sensor is only capable of capturing black and white photos. Clearly, the camera is extremely popular, at least in Japan, since Ricoh has not been able to keep it in stock. While the camera doesn't start shipping...


Are You Nuts? (buying a monochrome-only camera) - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #891, April 18, 2023. Today's theme is "Are You Nuts? (buying a monochrome only camera)." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue I would imagine that most people's first reaction to the just-announced Pentax K-3 III Monochrome DSLR would be, "Who would buy that?" In fact, I may have uttered the same thing. But after a little research on the idea, I'm not so sure. Find out why, and lots more, on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 891 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Are You Nuts? (buying a monochrome only camera) The Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome is variant of its highly regarded 25.7MP APS-C DSLR, but with no color filter array. What happens without the color filter array? Well, according to Pentax, typical color image sensors are designed to receive light passing through red (R), green (G) and blue (B) color filters, so each pixel detects only one color-data component. To compose a monochrome image, color sensors must convert color data into monochromatic data by interpolating the color data they collect. The new monochrome-specific image sensor, however, can faithfully reflect the brightness data obtained by each pixel in the image -- without the interpolation process -- to produce extra-fine monochromatic expression, in images high in resolution and rich in gradation. Plus, there's no AA (anti-aliasing) filter either. The changes just weren't on the inside either. The PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome provides white backlight illumination on the LCD data panel positioned on its upper panel, while featuring "Monochrome" lettering printed on the upper-left shoulder of the back panel. Its menu screen features a black-and-white visual scheme as default, while the SR (Shake Reduction) badge is finished in silver. The icons printed on buttons and switches across the camera's exterior are finished in three shades of gray to assist the users with their camera operation. All in all, the concept of monochrome photography is evident throughout the camera body. Plus, since WB isn't an issue, the white balance button of the PENTAX K-3 Mark III is replaced with the Fx (function) button. Still not swayed? Fair enough. Let's dig a little deeper. This is only the third monochrome-only camera on the market. Leica and Phase One each have an offering, at many times more the price than the Pentax. Leica is just getting ready to release the M11 Monochrom Rangefinder Camera. What's interesting about the M11 Monochrom is that this is, I believe, the fourth edition in its monochrom line. Far from a one and done. As I continued to research and think about the Pentax Monochrome, I realized five things that weren't initially apparent to me. Total Embodiment of B&W Compatible with Every Vintage Pentax Lens Affordable by ComparisonLeica M11 Monochrom Better Low Light Performance, No Color Noise No Post Processing Required Am I saying that you should check your credit card balance and buy the K3 Monochrome? No, I'm not. It is a specialty camera for a niche audience. But what I am saying is that I'm thrilled that Pentax continues to explore all aspects of photography and deliver tools for those who want this experience. I'm very much hoping to get my hands on one. I just hope that I'll be able to let it go once I do. You can now order your Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome. Meike's New 85mm f/1.4 to be the First 3rd Party Autofocus Lens for Canon RF You can read the entire article on Meike has announced a new 85mm f/1.4 autofocus lens for Sony E, Nikon Z, Leica L, and -- surprisingly -- Canon RF mounts. If this stands, Meike will be the first third-party manufacturer to come to market with an autofocus-equipped lens for Canon's mirrorless mount. While Meike isn't the first third-party camera lens manufacturer to make an...


The Thing About Sunsets (and other notes from Maui) - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #890, April 11, 2023. Today's theme is "The Thing About Sunsets (and other notes from Maui)." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue When you're on an island in the Pacific during springtime, the sky is a moving picture show of clouds. And when the sun begins to set, well, that's the main feature. Photographers are drawn to sunsets like moths to flame. And in my view, there's more to it than just another pretty picture. This, and other notes from Maui, on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 890 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In The Thing About Sunsets (and other notes from Maui) Sunset is about a quarter to seven in Maui right now. So around 6pm, regardless of what you're doing, we usually put a bookmark there and head down to the beach. It's fun to watch the gathering crowd in what has become an evening tradition on the upper west side of the island. Some folks bring fish and veggies to barbecue while others are holding cocktails in a plastic cups. And you can hear fragments of conversations wafting in the air. The other night, as the sky was lighting up in shades of orange and blue, a lady walked by and noticed how stunning it was. "Will a picture of that turn out?" she asked out loud. I said, "Of course. Try to frame it with those palm trees. The silhouettes will add some depth to your image." "Oh, that's a good idea she said," while holding her iPhone up to the sky. She was not alone. Many of us were capturing the moment with our cameras. It's not that I have a shortage of Maui sunsets. But each one of them is a little different and often has its own story. And that's the thing about sunsets. Yes, the common denominator is that they are beautiful. But they are also different. And just because you captured one the night before, doesn't mean you should pass on the next. Because they will be as unique as two snowflakes landing on a frozen leaf. One of the reasons I never get tired photographing Maui sunsets is because I always have other elements to play with. On the horizon, there are the islands of Molokai and Lanai that always attract their own clouds. I can count on at least on sailboat drifting by. And then there are the silhouettes of palm trees and people in the foreground. No reasonable photographer can turn their back on a striking sunset without pulling out their camera. Nor should they. There is no better way to end the day than standing with loved ones and strangers admiring nature's final flourish before the evening stars take over the sky. Meet Me at High Noon If sunsets are the epitome of beauty and ease, photography at high noon is its scurrilous sibling. With the sun high overhead and the landscaped bathed in harsh, contrasty light, middle of the day compositions can be a real challenge. I remembered to pack a Hoya R72 IR filter to use with my X110V in monochrome+R mode, and immersed myself in hyper B&W photography. I love the results! DPReview closure: an update You can read the entire article on We've received a lot of questions about what's next for the site. We hear your concerns about losing the content that has been carefully curated over the years, and want to assure you that the content will remain available as an archive. We've also heard that you need more time to access the site, so we're going to keep publishing some more stories while we work on archiving. Thank you to this community and the support you've shown us over the years. This Week on Live View "Get Outside and Leave that Big Camera Behind" by Scott Houston and "How to Make Your RAW Files Look Even Better" by Derrick Story. If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at Hope to see you there. Tesla Sued Over...


Why Being Good is Great - TDS Photography Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #889, April 4, 2023. Today's theme is "Why Being Good is Great." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue It feels like we live in a world of extremes right now. Big successes and tragic failures dominate our headlines, and often our approach to work and creative pursuits. The goal is to be great, to be admired as the best, to be on top. That's fine if it happens. But my observation is that folks who are good at what they do seem to be happier. How could that be? Find out on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 889 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Why Being Good is Great I think the easiest way to begin this discussion is with a look at my own career. Then we can meander from there. I am good at a few things. I'm a good writer, photographer, podcaster, educator, and musician. But, I am not great at any of these. Most likely, I will never win a Pulitzer Prize, hang a show in a museum, win a broadcasting award, accept a professorship at Harvard, or write a Top 10 song. And yet, I am wildly happy. But how could that be? By every measure of pinnacle success, I have fallen short. Do I not have the appropriate fire in my gut to climb the mountain of fame and fortune? Am I short on talent? Maybe I just don't work hard enough. All of those may be true. But I don't think that's my problem. My issue is that I like being good at what I do. When I publish an effective article, make someone smile during a podcast, see someone's eyes sparkle when they learn something new in class, or giggle at one of my silly songs, I feel good. Maybe I have a small glass of whiskey before dinner. Watch something interesting on TV afterward. Then sleep like a baby. I think the achievement of being good at what you do is undervalued. I marvel at people who are good at things that I am not. I appreciate the plumber who fixes my sink in a fraction of the time that it would take me to do so. I know that am not good at plumbing. Doctors who prolong my vitality, administrators who fix bureaucratic mistakes, a food server who manages to overcome the shortcomings of the chef she has to work with that night - these are all people who are good at what they do. And they are the folks who make the world a better place. In our world of photography and creativity, what does being good actually mean? I have 5 bullet points that you may find helpful. Being a good photographer means: If you are accomplished in these five categories, you are a good photographer. And if you continue to work on your craft, you will become better. Does this mean that if you try even harder you will become great. Who knows? And what difference does it make? What's important to me, and I suspect this may be true for you as well, is that others respect my work. If I overhear someone say, "Yeah, he's a pretty good writer," I'm ready to celebrate with a couple tacos and a cold beer. I like being good at what I do. I sleep well at night. And I try to see the admirable capabilities in others. I think some of the happiest people on earth are those who understand they are good at what they do. This is why, I say, being good is great. Digicam Finder is a New Resource That Replaces DPReview's Camera Library You can read the entire article on Digicam Finder is a new resource that has successfully ported over a huge amount of information from DPReview in an attempt to keep a historical record of every digital camera released since the early 1990s alive. Last month, after DPReview announced that it would cease operations on April 10 and eventually close, fans of the website scrambled to retain the site's massive library of content before it was deleted. One such endeavor kicked off almost immediately after the news broke and has already launched: Digicam Finder. "Ever since...


The Distraction That Is Color - TDS Photography Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #888, March 28, 2023. Today's theme is "The Distraction That Is Color." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue The bulk of my photography is captured in color. But there are those moments, when I look at the preview on the back of the camera and think to myself, "this just isn't right!" And the majority of the time the problem is the color itself. Sounds crazy? Well, I'll explain myself on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 888 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In The Distraction That Is Color Here's what happened the other day. It was about noon, and the sun was high and bright. I had made a stop in Morro Bay and wanted to photograph my cool campsite. The sky was blue with plenty of clouds. There were tall trees in the background, and there was the campsite itself with my VW ID.4 sporting a patio cover on the passenger side with a comfy Coleman camp chair and table in the shade. Sounds perfect, right? I pulled out the Fujifilm X100V and mounted the 28mm lens to give me a bit more elbow room. Took the picture, reviewed it on the LCD, and recoiled. How could such a lovely scene photograph so poorly? Well, the bright midday sun was definitely part of the problem. It added a nasty contrast to the scene. But the real culprit was the over-abundance of color. There was just too much. My ingenious campsite was lost in a cacophony of blues and greens. The protagonist of my visual story was being consumed by the supporting cast. When I shoot with the X100V, I carry two filters with me: a circular polarizer and a Hoya R72 Infrared. The polarizer was definitely the wrong direction. But the R72 could solve my problem. I screwed it into the front of my lens, set the aperture to f/2.0, switched film simulation to Monochrome+R, and recomposed the shot. Jackpot! My protagonist had returned to center stage, and the sky and trees were now a lovely supporting background. I had eliminated the distraction that is color. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind if you ever encounter a similar situation. Like I said at the top of this segment, I normally shoot in color. But I'm not hesitant in the least to switch to B&W if the situation calls for it. And I'm generally quite please with the outcome when I do. Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake Join PetaPixel to Lead its YouTube Channel You can read the entire article on Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake are joining PetaPixel and will lead its new YouTube Channel. The two have been a mainstay in the photography industry for more than a decade as hosts for first The Camera Store and then DPReview. Their current home at DPReview is shutting down, but the two have no intention of stopping their excellent video reviews and photography-based content as they will be joining PetaPixel as the faces of its new YouTube channel launching in May, providing a nearly seamless transition from their previous home to their new one. "I'm thrilled that PetaPixel is not only giving us the opportunity to keep our photography YouTube show going, but also the chance to make some fun changes to our format in upcoming episodes," Drake says. "Sure, we'll still be releasing reviews for the latest photo/video gear shot in the frozen lands of Canada, but we're already working on field tests, documentaries, and episodes that are bigger than anything we've done before." "This is a big move, but one that I'm very excited about. Working with PetaPixel brings me back to the reason why I got into this industry in the first place: a deep love for photography," Niccolls adds. "I can't wait to work with a team that is as passionate about the craft as I am. Our show will still continue the high standard of technical knowledge that we are known for, and our dedication to testing gear in the field," Niccolls continues. PetaPixel...


Gearing Up for Spring - TDS Photography Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #887, March 21, 2023. Today's theme is "Gearing Up for Spring." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue For those of us north of the equator, spring is just around the corner. Even though some folks may still have a month of slush and snow before the flowers grow. Either way, it's time to get in shape for one of the best photography seasons of the year. Tips on how do that, and much more, on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 887 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Gearing Up for Spring I look at spring activities through two lenses. The first is physical. Bad winter weather tends to take its toll on my fitness. And if I really want to enjoy outdoor life again, I have to be in decent shape. The second lens is my camera gear. What do I need, if anything, to have the right tools for my adventures? And once I capture those images, is my workflow ready to accept them without strain? Let's start with lens #1 - the physical aspect of our craft. I've long held the opinion that the greater our energy, the better our creativity. Now I'm certainly no triathlete, but I do strive to be able to enjoy a full day of activity without cutting corners on my photography. I've already started working my way back in to shape. Every non-rain day here in Northern California, I get out by bike and go for a 20-30 minute ride. I have a few different routes that I alternate with to keep things interesting. And after just a couple weeks I'm already feeling stronger. On bad weather days, I have a 20-minute workout indoors that incorporates a variety of stretches, weights, and tension using a surgical tube. Many of these exercises were learned as part of my physical rehab from injuries. Others were learned from magazine articles and advice from friends. Regardless of which routine I'm able to do on a give day, I plan for early afternoon. This provides the added benefit of propelling me through the remainder of the day with much more energy than I would have otherwise. Honestly, there are no downsides here. DxO PhotoLab 6 Now has Full FUJIFILM X-Trans Support You can read the entire article on Dan Bailey Photo Blog. Instagram Co-Founder Doesn't Like What the App Has Become You can read the entire article 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 I now have 51 published articles on 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, 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...


Crazy Retro Weekend - TDS Photography Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #886, March 14, 2023. Today's theme is "Crazy Retro Weekend." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue So I did the craziest things this weekend, at least photography-wise. I was off on a road trip with some good photo possibilities, and the only camera I brought was a 10-year-old compact. Why would I do such a thing with the wonderful capture devices I have at my disposal? I'll explain myself on this week's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 886 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Crazy Retro Weekend As you probably know, we still have an atmospheric river flowing through California. On one hand, these things can be really destructive. On the other, there are countless photo opportunities if you can navigate the water. I had to hit the road on Saturday for family activities, and since I didn't have to drive, I could use this opportunity to take pictures during the excursions. Of all things, I decided to pack my Fujifilm X20, vintage 2013. Why would I do that? Well, I've encountered article after article about the popularity of older digital compacts, and I wanted to fully immerse myself, pun intended, in this concept. The X20 had been one of my all time favorite cameras, as a sidekick, but this weekend it's going to be the only game in town. Let's step back to 2013 when popular compacts such as the Canon PowerShot G15, Sony Cyber-shot RX100, and the X20 were turning our heads. All of these devices are amazing photographic tools. By comparison, the iPhone 5, which was the hot smartphone at the time, featured an 8-megapixel camera that was fine, but not in the same class as any of these compacts. Of the trio, the Fujifilm X20 is my favorite. Here's why. It starts with the 2/3"-type X-Trans CMOS II sensor. When I open a RAW file from the X20 in Capture One Pro, it's beautifully toned and elegantly editable. Highlight and shadow recovery are smooth and gradual, the colors are natural, and the sharpness is wonderful. The pictures look like photographs, not digital images. As lovely as the output is, the process of taking pictures is just as pleasing. It starts with the advanced optical viewfinder that adjusts the field of view as you zoom from 28mm wide to 112mm telephoto. When you press halfway on the shutter button, a digital overlay appears with exposure settings and focus confirmation. And of course you can still compose using the 3", 460k dot LCD. Fujifilm includes 10 of its film simulation modes, including four monochromes. I use Astia Soft for my color work, and Monochrome+Yellow filter for black and white. Owners of the X100 series of cameras will understand just how important these are. And it's this shared DNA that adds to the X20's allure. The Advanced modes provide panorama, a variety of filters, multiple exposure, and my favorite, Pro Focus that's a forerunner to Portrait mode on our iPhones - sharp subject with soft background. And finally, the Fujinon Super EBC 28mm-112mm f/2.0 to f/2.8 zoom lens is the crown jewel. It's fast, colorful, sharp, and covers a field of view that allows you to artistically compose in just about any situation. Plus, it's stabilized. That's something the X100V still doesn't have. Comparing to today's cameras, the X20 doesn't have many of the X100V's bells and whistles, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, tilting LCD, and a 24-megapixel sensor. But it does have what we love about Fujifilm cameras: beautiful design, click-stop dials, Fujinon aspherical lens, X-Trans sensor, Fuji color science, gorgeous optical viewfinder, built-in flash, Q menu, and images that have a certain magic to them. So how did it go? Well, because of the conditions, I was shooting RAW+Jpeg, using BW+Y mode. That gave me a lovely BW Jpeg and a full-color RAW file if I needed it. In the rainy, stormy conditions of the Bay Area, the...


A Workflow You May Find Interesting - TDS Photography Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #885, March 7, 2023. Today's theme is "A Workflow You May Find Interesting." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue With all of the great editing tools available, plus a myriad of backup options, how do we craft a photography workflow that maximizes our options while still providing the flexibility to enjoy and share our images on all of our devices? I've cobbled together one such workflow, and I'll share it in today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 885 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In A Workflow You May Find Interesting Last Saturday was a wild weather day in Sonoma County. We had off and on rainstorms, a glistening landscape, big crashing waves, and at times, magnificent skies above. So my friend Oliver and I got in the car and spent the day outdoors. I took the OM-1 with the 12mm-40mm PRO II zoom and photographed everything from redwood trees to seashore cliffs. Given the lighting extremes, I stayed in RAW capture the entire time. When I think about the objectives for the day, there was an interesting variety that didn't naturally mesh with one another. What kind of workflow is that? A crazy one. Here's what I do today. My master RAW files are housed in Capture One Pro and backed up to my Synology RAID drive. I can always return to that library to revisit other shots or fine tune the images I've already worked on. I have my 3-star favorites on my iPhone, iPad, and all of my Macs via iCloud. I can show them off to anyone who will sit still, plus I can use my favorite editing extensions on them via Photos, such as Luminar and ON1 Effects. And at the end of the day, I have the best images from the shoot in a variety of places, both online, in computers, and on RAID drives. Yes, I'm not overpaying for online storage because I'm not putting every RAW file I shoot in the Cloud. It sounds like a lot of work when I say it here. But to tell you the truth, it feels effortless, maybe because I'm having so much fun. Have You Ever Made a Series of Landscape Photos From One Location? You can read the entire article on Visiting beautiful locations for landscape photography can be quite rewarding. Often these, are one-time occasions. If you want to visit the same location more than once, you have to look for something close. This article is about making a long-term series of photos of one location. Back in the eighties, I visited a forest nearby almost daily. I remember how I made a series of four images from a nice forest path with trees lined up, one for every season. Although this is nothing new, it is kind of special to have such a series of photos of a place you visit a lot, especially when you look at it many years later. With digital photography, it has become much easier to take photos of one specific place on a regular basis. You can take as many images as you like. At the same time, it's become much more difficult to do so. The world has become so much smaller, which means we can easily travel to the farthest reaches of the Earth to visit amazing locations, only to forget about the nice places nearby. Often, these travels are a onetime experience. Although amazing in most situations, you never get a connection with those faraway locations. You're a passerby, and if you're lucky, the light and weather conditions are perfect for a beautiful one-time landscape photo. The benefit of having a nice local patch is the ability to visit it as often as you like. It means you learn everything about it -- how the light is flowing at different moments of the day or how weather conditions influence its appearance. If you shoot that same place more than once, you end up with a series of photos that will become quite special as the years go by. Paul McCartney on Linda McCartney: 'I was into photography, but she was...


AI Photo Editing on Your Smartphone- TDS Photography Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #884, Feb.28, 2023. Today's theme is "AI Photo Editing on Your Smartphone." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue Using AI editing tools on a smartphone makes even more sense than on your computer. Image enhancement on mobile devices is not the easiest task in the world. Their smaller screens and less precise input (aka our fingers) present a bit of a challenge. AI tools can help, and today, we're going to look at one such offering from Skylum that can really speed things up. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 884 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In AI Photo Editing on Your Smartphone Skylum just updated their imgmi app to include AI Skin and AI Body adjustments. Added to the existing tools - Sky Replacement, Remove Powerlines, AI Enhance, Basic Adjustments, Crop & Rotate tool, Erase, and a collection of LUTs called filters - this app is rounding out nicely, especially for one so young (Sept. 2022). Think of it like Luminar Neo for your phone. There are versions for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. I haven't tested the Android version, but the ratings on the iOS app store are more favorable than those on Google Play. The iOS version taps your camera roll and allows you to save finished pictures as a new image back to the same location. Once you return to Photos for iOS, you can continue working on the picture with its tools. Together, Photos + imgmi, you have a powerful image enhancement package that's easy to use. Before Editing After just a few clicks. Select Sky This is a very powerful feature in the app. The AI identifies the sky area of a photo, then presents you with a number of different substitute options divided into categories such as Blue, Dramatic, Sunset, etc. Once you choose a sky, tap Tools again for a set of refinements including Adjustments such as Relight, Defocus, Haze, plus, other goodies such as Orientation and Mask. And if you wish, you can even add your own stock sky images from your camera roll, and they will be available as well. Nice touch! Remove Powerlines I think a more apt title would be "Remove Lines." The app can indeed identify power lines and remove them. But in my testing, it often didn't stop there and removed other lines that it found, such as the pin stripping on a car driving by. Even with these minor hiccups, I'm still glad they included this feature. Power lines are tough to deal with, and this gives us a fighting chance. AI Enhance Any Skylum user knows how wonderful this tool is. The mobile version isn't quite as intelligent or powerful as what we use on the computer, but it's still pretty darn good. Skin and Body AI These are the two latest features just added this week. And I thought Skin AI was particularly helpful, especially for portraits with side lighting that were not kind to the subject. Filters These look like Luts to me, and I like them. Again, broken out into categories such as Creative Portraits, Great Landscapes, Pets, Selfie, and B&W, these filters are far more sophisticated than what we normally see in mobile apps - and you get a lot of them. Adjust and Crop A solid set of basic tools that you would expect to have in an app of this caliber. Erase I love having an Erase tool, especially since Photos still haven't included one. The Skylum version lets you set the diameter of the eraser, then you just drag your finger across the area you want gone. It does and intelligent content away fill to replace the removed object. And there is a Restore option if you need to fix an over zealous swipe. Final Thoughts I've been waiting for Skylum to bring some of their AI magic to mobile devices, and imgmi is a great start. I like it best on my iPad mini where I have a bit more operating room to use it. It's a wonderful complement to the Photos app. Skylum offers a 7-day free trial, then an...


7 Photography Sins to Avoid - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #883, Feb. 21, 2023. Today's theme is "7 Photography Sins to Avoid." I'm Derrick Story. Opening Monologue One of things my mom used to say to me as a child was, "Derrick, you should know better!" Sometimes I did and forgot. Other times I really didn't know better, but that rebuttal only earned me the follow up admonishment, "There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action." (Goethe) Life is complicated, but photography isn't, and today I'm going to remind you of 7 things that you probably already know, and possibly may have forgotten. I hope you enjoy the show. Digital Photography Podcast 883 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In 7 Photography Sins to Avoid There are two types of sins in photography, technical and behavioral. We'll start with behavior. Rule 1: Don't Act Innocent When You're Not If you're going to take a picture of something, then do it. But don't act like you didn't snap the shutter when you really did. You can always ask for forgiveness when confronted with, "Did you just take a picture?" The answer is, "I did. Why do you ask?" (Say this politely, don't be a dill weed.) Let the inquirer explain their concern, then try to respond as intelligently as possible. Rule 2: Don't Take Pictures When Posted Signs Say "No Photography Allowed." You may not understand the reason why photography is not allowed in certain locations, but nobody cares about your opinion, especially the security guard who caught you on CCD camera. If there's something forbidden that you really want to photograph, then you'll have to go through the steps of getting permission. BTW: If you get caught, see Rule 1. Rule 3: Do Not Use a Telephoto for Unauthorized Public Photography I love street photography. But there's an unspoken rule that I'm now going to speak: You need to keep it fair by using a lens that gives the subject a chance to know they are being photographed. Standing a half block away with a long telephoto lens is creepy. Don't be creepy. If you are confronted after taking a picture, see Rule 1. Now let's cover a few technical sins to avoid. Rule 4: Don't Let Your Camera Decide What to Focus On Autofocus cameras are great. But if you let them run the show unchecked, you're going to miss a lot of got shots because the camera did not focus on the most artistic element in the frame. Invest some time in learning how your autofocus system works, then intervene as appropriate. I like to use a medium cross pattern that I move around the frame with the jog stick on the back of the camera. That way I'm deciding what's interesting, not the camera. Rule 5: Don't Rely Solely on Auto Exposure Indeed cameras are pretty smart about exposure. But they will still turn a black anvil into a gray one, and will make that beautiful white snow a shade of yucky. With mirrorless cameras, exposure compensation is so easy because you get realtime feedback in the electronic viewfinder. There's really no excuse for a poorly exposed shot. Rule 6: Don't Let Lens Flare Kill Your Contrast Shooting in the direction of the sun or any bright light source can lead to intriguing and sometime artistic images. But if the sun above can also kill the contrast of an image if glarey light is bouncing off the front of your lens. And when the sun is low, even a lens hood might not provide enough protection. I often cup my hand around the lens hood to shade the front of the lens. And if you don't believe it makes a difference, test this yourself with before and after pictures. Rule 7: Don't Over-Sharpen in Post Production I don't know why we have this weird obsession with ultra sharp images that also suffer from too much clarity and dehazing. If you want your final picture to look like it was captured with a 2003 digital camera, just be heavy handed with these adjustments. Yes, many of our pictures can...


Your Camera's Hidden Features - TDS Photo Podcast

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 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Your Camera's Hidden Features 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...


Recording Video to Enhance Your Still Photography - TDS Photo Podcast

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 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In 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 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 Get Yourself a Handy Audio AppFission by Rogue Amoeba Keep Your Audio Files Organized 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...


Top Gear for Outdoor Photography - TDS Photo Podcast

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 Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Top Gear for Outdoor Photography I found an article titled 10 Best Cameras & Lenses of the Year: OP Editors' Picks 2022 on, 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 Artificial intelligence being used to create photorealistic artwork is already causing significant unrest within the photography industry, but a new tool,, is among the most concerning., 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 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...


Will Astropad Luna Display Work for Our Photography? - TDS Photo Podcast

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! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In Will Astropad Luna Display Work for Our Photography? 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. 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 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...


The Uncomfortable Reality of AI Generated Images - TDS Photo Podcast

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! Apple Podcasts -- Spotify Podcasts -- Stitcher Podbean Podcasts -- Podbay FM -- Tune In The Uncomfortable Reality of AI Generated Images 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...