Episode 28: Bang Em Out

Sarah Cornish from My Four Hens Photography joins Steph, Katie, and Peppermint to discuss our photography tool box. What equipment do we love to use? What would we not want to shoot without? From cameras and straps, to lights and lenses. We cover it all in this episode.

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You can download this episode by right clicking and saving this link.

Joining the Discussion
Sarah Cornish
Katie Nelson
Peppermint Granberg

Links from the discussion:

Black Rapid camera strap(not an affiliate link)

Gorillapod(affiliate link)

Katie’s old postabout the macro filters

Support Our Sponsors:

Finding Photo Flow
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Picks of The Week:

Peppermint: Escrow Password Account
Sarah:   Clickin Moms
Katie: Tiffen UV Protection Filter (check your camera lens size) and macro filters (affiliate link)
Steph: WordFoto

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43 Responses to Episode 28: Bang Em Out

  1. Tamara says:

    I saw Katie’s original post about macro filters and bought some a couple of years ago. I didn’t really use them for a while, but they are perfect for up-close baby details! I used them on the pics for this LO: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46686235@N02/5972517446/in/photostream

    Thanks for a great episode!

    • Katie says:

      such cute pictures! Love the closeups :)

      • StudioWendy says:


        Do you have to compensate on the camera? I tried mine in auto mode and the shots came out completely blurry. Do I have to use manual mode to make them work?

        • Katie says:

          They do take some playing around with. Try setting your camera to the flower icon (macro mode) and see if that helps. :)

  2. Angie Gladwell says:

    I don’t suppose anyone knows where to get Katie’s macro filters in Canada?

    • StudioWendy says:

      I ordered some from Amazon last year, but haven’t really played with them much yet. (Not in Canada, but assuming you have Amazon?)

      • Angie says:

        Amazon.com won’t ship to Canada – why I don’t know. I think I might be able to get something like it at walmart and then just drive over the border to get it in bellingham.

  3. mrshobbes says:

    Hi ladies! I missed you! Due to a crazy work schedule and some health issues I haven’t been commenting, but happily I’m up to date with my listening. Also, Steph, Katie, I am now a proud iPhone owner, whee :) I’m having a blast with Instagram & Pixlrmatic and I hope to be a better memory-keeper with this phone’s camera.

    I’m so happy you got Sarah to come by and guest, and I hope you have her again! I love her voice (you don’t sound Valley girlish, sweetie!) and it’s a testament to how informative and entertaining she is that most of today’s podcast’s talk just went over my head, lol (I use a three-year-old point and shoot camera) BUT I enjoyed listening to y’all. Katie, I hope you get better soon, and I LOVE that you documented this period in your history AND took a fun perspective on it. I was hospitalized last week and once the meds kicked in, just took out my phone and snapped a photo of myself with my hospital bracelet, haha.

    Now I’m off to check out Steph’s pick–because now I can! Wheee :D

    • linda says:

      ahh, get well soon! i’ve been catching up on the episodes as well.

      a lot of the camera talk might have flew over my head though… LOL! but still so informative as always.

    • Steph says:

      I’ve been wondering where you went! :) Congrats on the iPhone! I know I don’t need to tell you that you won’t regret it! :)

  4. linda says:

    Had to mention that Christian O’Dell released more presets this month at CatScrap :) http://www.catscrap.com/shoppe/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=11

  5. Sarah Walker says:

    MAC – you will never go back. I am a library media specialist at a K-3 school and switched (biting all my nails off while doing it). I love love love it – and I’m not someone to jump on the bandwagon with stuff, but I have to say it all makes sense. It will take a few months to learn, but I won’t go back ;)

    This is from episode 27 on printing…

    One thing I would have liked to hear more info on would have been your pics for printers. I am thinking of getting a nicer printer – not for scrapbook pages, but just for projects I can’t wait for, hybrids, etc.

    *How much do you have to spend to get a nice printer (average user)?
    *What should I look for in a new printer?

    Also – I put Wendy’s(?) pick (crafting green world) on my pinterest board last night and already had about 30 repins!!

    • Deirdre says:

      I too would love to hear more about home printer options. Do any of you print at home?

      • Steph says:

        In my early digi days, I printed at home but then printing at a lab become more affordable than printing at home and to me, they look so much better. I haven’t printed layouts at home in years.

    • Steph says:

      The printer I loved the most for hybrid projects was an HP Photosmart. I always printed on HP brochure paper and never had a problem with the ink running or bleading when I used Mod Podge. I bought it in 2004 maybe and it was $79 at the time.

    • StudioWendy says:

      I know… neat stuff, huh! I highly recommend Epson printers. When we had to do mock-ups, we used an Epson and it was near print quality. Of course, we had a higher-end model, but many of them get great reviews. I cannot suggest a specific model since it’s been years since I worked with one, but if I were getting one, I’d look at the Epsons, definitely!

    • Peppermint says:

      Our printer was $99 I believe, and it’s only because it’s Wireless and an all-in-one. I could have cared less about the all-in-one, but I wanted the wireless so I could stow it in a closet in the kitchen and not take up valuable desk space. It prints amazing photos (I use Epson and Canon photo papers, whichever is on sale) and I used it for my Project Life items on cardstock and it did a great job.

      My only suggestion is to get a printer that has individual ink cartridges. Depending on what products I was using for Project Life I’d go through a certain cartridge at a 2:1 ratio over the others, like if I was using a lot of yellow supplies for a few weeks. I liked being able to just replace the yellow and not have to chuck the magenta and cyan with it, because sometimes those would still be half full.

      • Sarah Walker says:

        Extremely helpful ladies. I remember you said you had an epson Peppermint. I ended up with an Epson 735 with oil based ink (for my infrequent printing) – which all cartridges come individually. I never realized WHY my cartridges go so quickly – they are water based and could only be using up only like a blue or red.

        I also don’t think I will print layouts from my printer – its just nice to know what everyone is using!!

        Thanks ladies!

  6. Deirdre says:

    I haven’t listened to the newest episode yet—but I’m excited because it is my favorite topic! I just wanted to stop and say thanks. I so enjoy the show for so many reasons, but at the end of 2011 I couldn’t get over how many of my favorite discoveries of the year came from The Digi Show!

    Pinterest—Katie, you changed so many people’s worlds! No more “dream home” cut & paste books for me, or scrambling to remember where I’d seen that cute valentine idea somewhere on line.
    I’ve been using 750words.com since Peppermint mentioned it, and even have my nine yr old son trying it. I took the February challenge & love seeing the # of participants drop as I keep going (my competitive side suddenly comes out).
    Google Chrome, Lightroom. So many things come from this little discussion that is supposed to be about digital scrapbooking but is about so much more. Thanks to all three of you and all your guests!

    • Deirdre says:

      How fun to listen to the episode and hear my comment on the Project Life episode read:) Katie, you pronounced my difficult name perfectly—hope you are feeling better!

    • Katie says:

      Thanks so much! I have to say that so many of the picks have changed my life also :)

  7. Sue says:

    Hi, Love the show and can’t wait for each episode to come out. Love the information, the picks, and the fun. I’ve discovered lots of fun new stuff because of the Digi Show. I have a question regarding memory cards for DSLRs. Does it make a difference what type or speed of memory card is used? I have a kit DSLR (Nikon D60 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses) and sometimes the shutter won’t release again right after I’ve taken a photo. I miss photos sometimes. I’ve been wondering if it’s taking a long time to “write” to the memory card and I need a faster card. Also, Katie mentioned that when she purchased her new DSLR, she had to buy new lenses because the new one was a different size than the old one. How can I tell if my current lenses will fit on a new camera before I purchase the new camera? Thanks and keep up the wonderful fun!

    • Peppermint says:

      SD Cards have “class” ratings that designate the read/write speeds on them. The class rating corresponds to how many Mb per second it can write or read from the card. So a Class 2 card is 2 Mb/s, a Class 6 card is 6 Mb/s, etc. I think they go up to Class 10.

      Generally the higher the class, the more continuous shots you’ll get before they start to lag a bit. If I put a Class 2 card into my camera it taps it out really fast. A Class 10 card will fire off a dozen continuous shots before it starts to space out (keep in mind my old D50 is only 6 MegaPx and I shoot in JPEG, so the higher your resolution and file size – like RAW – the more you’ll be writing with each shot).

      The higher speed class also comes into play if you’re going to shoot video with your camera, which my camera doesn’t do but the newer Nikons do. If you have a slower card in the camera the buffer will fill up quickly and may result in lags and skips in your video while the camera waits for the SD card to free up.

      Same goes for smart phones with MicroSD card expansion, the slower the card you put in, the slower your phone will save photos, documents, apps, etc. if you have those things set to save to the card. I found that out when I tried putting a Class 2 MicroSD card into my Droid. It actually corrupted the card within a month.

  8. Deirdre says:

    I have a question about photo management. I just ordered Lightroom (I blame the 3 of you!), and plan to install it on my PC and laptop. I keep my photos on an EHD and on the PC, but almost all of my photo editing happens on my laptop.
    Will my collections, etc., on Lightroom be consistent on my home network, or will I need to make one the primary? Is there a way to use Lightroom on my laptop without filling my memory with photos? Are the photos still stored on my EHD after I move them into Lightroom or will using LIghtroom on my laptop mean I now store all my images there?
    Thanks for any help you can offer! (And yes, I’d love to take Photo Flow someday…it’s on the list!)

    • Sarah Walker says:

      good question – how does that work when photos are stored on the EHD?

      • Steph says:

        I hope I’m understanding…
        As long as you set it up right on import, the photos will not be stored on your laptop. When you import, make sure ADD is selected in the top window instead of Copy or Move.

        Lightroom can and will recognize photos in multiple locations on multiple drives. You can also have it look in all your folders and subfolders or just a few. The only problem I see Lightroom might have is if you access the Photo from the EHD and PC through your wireless network and they don’t have actual drive names assigned to them. I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know if it will work or not.

        When you edit in Lightroom, it’s not saving another edited copy of the image, it’s just storing the information of the edits you applied. When you export the image, then the edits are applied and can be applied to the image in the original location or copies you place somewhere else on your drive. At least that is my understanding. Peppermint or Katie can probably share more on that since I have just started editing in photos in LR not too long ago.

        Since the tags and information is added to the metadata of the image, if you use LR on your laptop to access photos on your network from your PC and then go to LR on your PC, everything would be the same as you had it on the PC. Just like the photos are the same when you access them. You would need to have LR installed on both machines and you would need to add all of the images to databases on both machines, but the tagging would show up the same on both machines after that.

        What I don’t know about (and Peppermint might be able to help) is if you edit photos on the laptop and then want to access it on the PC if the editing info. would be in there as well. I imagine it would be, but I’m not positive.

        Does that help or did I totally confuse you? I tend to confuse people quite often…lol!!

    • Peppermint says:

      If you store your photos on the EHD and you keep the Lightroom catalog on the EHD (you get to choose where to store that file when you first set up lightroom) then you can move that EHD between computers and everything remains portable. The downside to this is that it can slow down your photo catalog because EHDs write more slowly than an internal drive does. If the portability is of primary importance to you, though, then I would recommend this option because the speed is SO negligible for what we’re typically doing. If you’re also a professional photographer then the speed might be a much bigger annoyance.

      If you store your catalog on your desktop computer, then it becomes much harder to use that catalog on your laptop. You can “export” the catalog to the EHD and then import it once you get to your laptop – make any changes to images that you want to make, then export it again and re-import it back on your desktop. This is a major PITA and I’m always afraid that I won’t be as consistent with the import/export and wind up making changes on both drives, then having Lightroom not know what to do. LOL

      You cannot access your Lightroom catalog over a network drive even if you assign a drive letter. For instance my work drive inside my computer is drive Z: and I also have it assigned as a network drive on my laptop as drive Z: which manages to trick ACDSee just fine. However if I use Lightroom on my laptop and try to point it to that drive it recognizes that it’s not an attached drive and throws an error.

      So my recommendation, if you always maintain an identical photo library between your PC and your EHD, is to house your Lightroom database/catalog on that EHD and then you can access it on both computers. You’ll just point Lightroom to that catalog file on both of them.

      Like Steph said, Lightroom is doing non-destructive edits on your photos so any changes you make to them are stored in that Lightroom database file and aren’t committed to the photo unless you export them. So if you make changes to a photo on your EHD, Lightroom will store those changes in it’s catalog file on your EHD, but if you look at the photo outside of Lightroom it will look the same as it did straight out of camera. Also if you look at the exact same photo in Lightroom, but this time you choose the one stored on your PC hard drive, it will be unedited.

      What I would do is treat your EHD copy as your “main working copy” of your photos and Lightroom catalog and treat the ones on your PC more as your back-up, and also just back-up your entire LR catalog file to there (it’s housed compactly and really easy to back-up). But when you’re importing and editing photos on your PC, just always import them to the EHD and point that Lightroom installation to the catalog on the EHD. The back-up copies would just be for copying over in the event of an EHD failure. And worst case scenario, if you’re without your EHD you can always point Lightroom to that catalog on your hard disk and it will give an error at first saying it can’t find your photo library – but you have the option to “rebind” the catalog to a new location so you could direct it to your photo directory on your hard disk and as long as the hierarchy and organization is exactly the same it will attempt to match your edits to those files based on the metadata.

  9. Kat says:

    Hi again! I am still catching up on episodes I have missed but I thought of a question. I know that you talk about taking classes but I am wondering if you have any recommendations for free classes. I am specifically interested in photography classes like Katrina Kennedy offers. I don’t mind paying for classes (that’s not an issue), but I can’t afford a lot right now because we are moving to North Texas and trying to buy a house. I’d love to try out some free classes to see how I’d like them. Any suggestions? Thanks for all the great shows. :)

    • Steph says:

      I don’t know of any free photography classes. Classes take an insane amount of work to create (speaking from experience) and their aren’t many people willing to put in that amount of work for free. I would check out Digital Photography School: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/

      You can learn a lot from their blog posts and forums (all free)!

    • StudioWendy says:

      CreativeTechs offers live webinars on a variety of photography topics. You might check them out. You do have to be there to watch them live if you want it free, but you can purchase it to download the files later.

      • Kat says:

        I just had to come back to say how awesome creative live is…. I’ve learned SO much just from watching live twice…
        Thanks for sharing that Wendy.

        So my next question is… what are the best paid classes? I’d like to do finding my photo flow for sure but where do I find some more.

        You guys are awesome, thanks!

        • StudioWendy says:

          Big Picture Classes has awesome classes. Jessica Sprague gets great reviews too. And, of course, Lynda.com is a good resource for more general topics.

  10. Related to the password container idea: Have you seen those crafts where someone takes a pop-top can of fruit or soup or whatever, uses a traditional can opener to open the bottom of the can, removes the food, cleans it out, puts stuff in, then glues the bottom back in place? I made some of those once- they’re really fun to give as gifts. The recipient pulls the pop-top to open the present. It wouldn’t work if you needed to continually add passwords to it, so I’m not sure why I’m even mentioning it! :)

  11. LeslieM says:

    This mom of 5 handles computer stuff this way:

    Get a monitoring software and check it once a week to make sure the kid isn’t going where he/she shouldn’t. I don’t read personal chat stuff but I could if I had to. (happens very, very rarely)

    I’ve used SpectorPro and switched to Spytech just because it was cheaper the last time I had to buy it.

    I’m on the 5th and final child living at home and they are all used to it. :)


    • Peppermint says:

      My husband has a program installed on my son’s computer that sends him emails with a summary of what he did each day on his computer, but I’ve never looked at the emails to know what they look like or what’s being monitored and I couldn’t tell you what the software is called. A few times he’s sent me an IM asking about something that looked odd (usually something very vaguely labeled) and I figure out what it was – that’s the most I know about the monitoring going on in our house. LOL

      I’ll look into both of those, though.

      We use OpenDNS as our DNS server so it blocks most malicious things before it can even hit our network. It’s a little overzealous in what it blocks, in my opinion, but I can override some of its blocks at the domain level when I run into them. I also block some sites at the router level within our 4 walls, like I imposed a YouTube ban a little over a week ago (not because he was looking at anything inappropriate, it’s just a consequence for an unrelated incident) so all the rest of our computers can access YouTube but his can’t until I decide to lift the ban. I can do that with any site whenever I feel like it, and he knows he can just LIVE WITH IT.

      The OpenDNS will become a problem if (more like “when”) he gets smart enough to figure out how to use a proxy server – but if we get to that point I have way bigger problems on my hand then whatever he’s trying to access on the Internet, and I’m more liable to just put his laptop in a safe deposit box and tell him he can use the Internet again when he moves out and pays for it himself. The router level blocking remains a viable tool for me as long as he never finds out the admin password for the router. LOL Which I don’t intend to ever tell him, so we should be safe! It’s one of the disadvantages that he has since he has tech-savvy parents – we don’t have to rely on him to do things for us on our home network, hence we NEVER have to hand over crucial passwords to anything so he can “help”.

      • Steph says:

        Woot! You go Peppermint!!!

        We use OpenDNS as well. I have, at times, had to go in and block everything but the school domain to prevent distractions during the school day ;) . I love it! I too love that I am a tech savvy parent and can see what my kids are doing and can control it to some extent.

  12. Nicolle says:

    Love the camera strap. I will be ordering one soon. I really need a good camera bag. I have a Nikon dslr, which I have had for a while, but my hubby recently got me the zoom lens I have been wanting. Can someone recommend a good bag that can hold a couple of lenses. Cute would be great but function is most important. We travel quite a bit and I want something that is easy to carry and easy to get into when I need to change lenses. We also camp in Yosemite so I would like something that is comfortable to carry while hiking or riding a bike.

    Thais so much!

  13. L Squared says:

    I have the Ginger bag from Epiphanie and LOVE IT! It is great quality and holds my DSLR, a spare lens, plus all my other purse stuff. I’m not sure how well it would be for hiking/activities but I use it for my everyday!

  14. Lucrecia says:

    I really enjoyed this episode. I’m always saying I need to take the time to learn to use my DSLR to it’s full potential, but somehow I never make the time!

    I was surprised to hear Peppermint say she is often shy about getting in there an taking a shot! I used to be the same way, and then I’d be mad later that I missed something. I just got back from a cruise with my girlfriends. We had seen a collage page somewhere (pinterest I’m sure!) and I was tasked with taking pictures of all beverages and food from the week. I thought I was pretty slick, until the waiter stood back after placing my dish to allow me time to take a picture before placing the next item!! I was a little embarrassed but I’m sure glad now that I have pictures of the 2 step process they have for serving soup!

    • Peppermint says:

      I have deep-seated psychological issues with drawing attention to myself. That’s a Pandora’s Box that you don’t even KIND OF want to open up.

  15. Steph says:

    You and my daughter…lol!