Earlier this week I was watching an 11"x14" print emerge from my Canon inkjet, and I realized that this is one of the ways I maintain a connection with my photography roots.

The actual steps are different now. I’m no longer leaning over a tray of developer, gently rocking it and waiting for that moment when white paper transforms into a real photograph. These days I send the file wirelessly from my laptop to an inkjet output device that, dot by dot, fuses the image on to a sheet of coated stock. …


While testing the new Fujifilm X-E4, I had a lightning bolt of an idea: how would my Pentax DA prime lenses work on this camera? I have a 21mm, 40mm, and 70mm trio that I just love. If they worked on the X-E4, I could quadruple my optical options for it, and without spending a dime. The only catch would be manual focusing.

Manual focusing… Why do we even pause at the thought? Is autofocus really the only way to go?

Yes, there are situations when I absolutely love the convenience of AF — chasing kids around the yard, camera…


From the beginning of photographic time, enthusiasts have been obsessed with lens sharpness. And this quest has caused many to bypass optics with great character and creative potential.

I have my own history with scrutinizing lab tests. As a kid, I was hooked on photography magazines. I would go to the newsstand and peruse the latest copies of Modern Photography, Shutterbug, and Popular Photography. Most months I could only afford one, and the winner was determined by the gear it reviewed.

New cameras were fun to read about, but the real juice was found in the detailed lens reviews. I…


An encore career doesn’t have to be a new job. It can be reinventing an existing one. My photography will soon be back on track — and with fewer carbon emissions. Here’s my post-pandemic thinking.

In the last 12 months, I’ve gone from a “roll up my sleeves” photographer who would mix it up with clients and strangers to a Zoom instructor who clears his head by taking 30-minute walks with a mask in his pocket. I can count on two hands the number of people I come in direct contact with.

During this same period, Northern California weather has…


Photography is not a contact sport. Yet these days, a camera bag in public feels like an invitation to conflict. We’re seeing photographers robbed in parks and confronted on downtown sidewalks. Their backpacks are being ripped from vehicles during smash and grab robberies, sometimes while the owners are still in the car.

None of these victims “were asking for it.” They were going about their craft with cameras, lenses, and accessories they believed were helpful to produce the images they desired. But do they really need all that gear with them? I submit they do not. A swinging camera bag…


Generally speaking, photographers aren’t homebodies. It’s not that we don’t enjoy taking pictures of the cat or what we ate for lunch, but it’s hard to make a living memorializing a grilled cheese.

I’ve been looking for something new, something different, a rose-colored filter to put over my lens to transform my neighborhood into a visually exciting existence. My search led me out of the visible spectrum into an unseen world called infrared photography.

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s how it works.

Our eyes can see but a slice of the electromagnetic spectrum. If you want to get…


When I turned on the TV to watch the certification of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I did not anticipate seeing images of Americans storming the Capital to gain unlawful entrance. What should have been a day to celebrate the peaceful transition of power had plummeted into chaos.

Immediately, I pulled out my iPhone and began to capture images of the TV screen. The pictures tell a grim story. And it is history that I will not allow myself to forget.

I was alive during the Vietnam conflict. It was a traumatic event in American history that seemed to last…


Fujifilm X100V and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Headline: Smartphones are Killing the Camera Industry!
Body Text: Actually, it’s the bag manufacturers that should be worried.
Conclusion: You can trim your kit to just your favorite camera and a smartphone, and leave the backpack full of photo gear behind.

Here’s one way to do it.

Most casual snap shooters settle on a single camera. That’s all they need to preserve the moments of their life. And in this day and age, that memory keeper is no longer the DSLR hanging around dad’s neck or the stylish compact in mom’s purse. …


Black and white photography is not merely the absence of color. In the right hands, monochrome pictures artistically blend shapes and tones to help us see life more clearly.

We believe black and white photos are truthful even though the world is in color. The feeling is that we’ve stripped away all the distractions and are left with the essence of a subject.

Try to imagine Alfred Eisenstaedt’s “V-J Day in Times Square” as a color image. As a monochrome, there’s the crisp white of the woman’s dress against the dark tones of the sailor’s uniform. The lyrical curve of…


Years before he died in a plane crash, Galen Rowell spoke at a camera club in Santa Rosa, CA. He shared a valuable bit of information during his talk, and afterward I thanked him for solving my biggest challenge in photography: proper exposure.

This was a moment in the 1990s before computational photography and mirrorless cameras. We had a lot riding on every press of the shutter button. 36 exposures on a roll of film — each one cost money to process and print. And I was tired of wasting my allowance.

Too many of my pictures were excessively dark…

Derrick Story

Photographer, writer, podcaster- Tune in at www.thedigitalstory.com

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