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By Derrick Story | Friday, September 11, 2015

5 Tips for Shooting High-School Senior Portraits

Ashley at Julliard Park

Among the many rites of passage during the final year of high school is the senior portrait.

If your child’s school doesn’t work with a portrait company—or if you already received your kid’s portrait proofs back and don’t like them—don’t panic.

With a little prep work, you can shoot your own senior portraits, creating memorable shots with a look that’s unique to the soon-to-be graduate. Not being herded into a cattle call photo session allows for more creative expression!

Here are the five things you need to know before you shoot:

By Derrick Story | Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Use Dropbox Carousel to Share Your Travel Photos

Figure 10

One of the joys of vacation travel is leaving behind the laptop bag and all the responsibilities that come with it. Exploring new places with just a smartphone in our pockets helps us totally immerse in our adventures.

It’s also fun to share these experiences with friends and family back home. Carousel, a companion app for Dropbox, lets us do exactly that—and allows everyone to leave comments so members of shared albums can have conversations right there within the cozy confines of the Carousel app for iOS or Android.

I’ve set up one of these albums for my family, and I’m going to show you how the Dropbox Carousel works on your smartphone or tablet.

By Derrick Story | Friday, May 01, 2015

What to Pack for a Photo Trip to Cuba: Nine Essentials


Having just the right gear, and not too much of it, facilitates creative travel photography. A light bag means less fatigue. And when you’re not tired, it’s far easier to be creative.

Have you ever passed on a shot just because you didn’t feel like walking a couple hundred yards to investigate it? (Yeah, I don’t like to admit it, either.)

On a recent photo assignment in Cuba, I was allowed 17 pounds for a carry on. I needed to have enough gear to capture the required stills and video, but not so much that I would grow weary hauling it through long days that always stretched into night.

In preparation for the trip, I developed this list of nine essentials for my camera bag—scrutinizing each item carefully to make sure it provided the maximum performance per ounce.

Here are the things you need for a photo trip to Cuba:

By Derrick Story | Friday, December 19, 2014

Drool-Worthy Gifts for Lucky Photographers

The quadcopter: a great gift for photographers

What if you weren’t bound by budget when shopping for your favorite photographer?

If a sudden windfall has blessed your bank account, or you have a new credit card in need of a proper maiden voyage, there’s no shortage of extravagant gifts for photographers with terrific taste.

Or just maybe, you’ll want to add these to your own holiday wish list—and send it to a generous aunt.

Hey—it’s fun to dream.

By Derrick Story | Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Instagram Update: 6.4.1 Adds More Fun with Filters

instagram update

Instagram users who update to 6.4.1 have a handful of new filters and a nifty way to manage them.

The latest effects are more subtle than their older siblings, such as the classic Lo-Fi that is heavy handed, to say the least. We have delicate choices such as Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua. The Instagram update has thoughtfully placed them at the front of your filter list so you won’t overlook them.

Above, I’ve applied Ludwig to my latest post.

By Derrick Story | Friday, December 12, 2014

Rediscover Analog Photography with DxO FilmPack 5 Elite

Rediscover analog photography with DxO FilmPack 5

For years, Kodak Tri-X film was my favorite. I bought 100’rolls, then loaded my own 35mm cartridges. Each roll was hand-processed in Kodak D-76 developer, then printed using an Omega B22 enlarger. I still have many of those prints in my collection.

Since those days, I’ve moved from analog to digital, and without complaint. Photography is as exciting today as ever. But I do miss Tri-X film the same way that I miss my 64 blue VW bug and Yashica SLR (which, ironically, was stolen out of my VW, but that’s another story).

Like skinny ties, though, the good things in life have a way of coming back. I’m printing Tri-X again. This time the “darkroom” is DxO FilmPack 5 running my Mac laptop, and the “enlarger” is an Epson 13” printer.

By Derrick Story | Tuesday, December 02, 2014

11 Great Gifts for Photographers — All Under $100


Photographers aren’t the easiest people to buy for. Ask them what they want, and you’ll most likely be greeted with a grin and a request for a $2,000 camera.

Fear not! The following gifts for photographers are sure to please the most finicky enthusiast. And with every item here priced below $100, you’ll both be smiling as the wrapping paper falls to the floor.

By Derrick Story | Monday, November 24, 2014

The Gift-Giver’s Guide to Premium Compact and Mirrorless Cameras


Traveling photographers and those who just want to lighten the load are taking interest in the current class of premium compact and mirrorless cameras. Because of their popularity over the last few years, there are plenty of options with a variety of features and prices.

If you or someone you know is hoping to get one of these powerful, compact image-making machines as a gift this season, here’s a guide to help you find the right one.

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