iPad Photography Article at Yahoo Tech

Flickr ipad air stats

Rob Walker at Yahoo Tech interviewed me last week for an article that went live today about iPad photography: iPad Photography: Should We Take It Seriously?

The article mostly focuses on using the iPad as a camera, dispelling the stigma of shooting with an iPad and recognizing that, like it or not, a lot of people use their iPads as cameras. Walker points to Flickr (also owned by Yahoo) and its page for the iPad Air—last year’s model—to discover that 6,254 photos captured with the Air’s camera were uploaded the day before the article appeared; that number is 8,667 for yesterday, October 28.

I also have to admit it’s still fun to be introduced as the person “who literally wrote the book on the subject.”

iPad Air 2 Packs a Lot of Photo Power

Ipad air 2 head

Apple announced the iPad Air 2 today, available for order starting on October 17 and shipping soon after. It’s even thinner than the iPad Air and, finally, incorporates a Touch ID sensor.

In Apple’s keynote announcing it (along with a beautiful new Retina 5K iMac and the shipping of OS X Yosemite), the iPad Air 2’s new cameras and photo capabilities occupied probably half of the time allotted for the device. (Start watching the video at 45:40.) I’m glad to see Apple acknowledge that, yes, people use their iPads to capture photos.

You can read all about the cameras at Apple’s site.

Derrick Story Reviews the WD My Passport Wireless HD

wdfMP_Wireless.jpg

My colleague Derrick Story got his hands on WD’s new My Passport Wireless hard disk, which he calls “the best new gadget I’ve tested in a while.” The My Passport Wireless includes an SD card, which is the essential ingredient for taking it on location: You can make a copy of your memory card’s photos without having to transfer them to the iPad first.

The drive comes in two configurations: 1 TB for $179 and 2 TB for $219. I’m looking forward to using this on my next photo excursion.

How Does iOS 8 Time-Lapse Work?

[Video by Dan Provost]

Dan Provost at Studio Neat (the inventors of the Glif tripod mount for iPhones) took a closer look at the Time-Lapse feature in the Camera app under iOS 8. If you’ve tried it out, the mode is dead simple; there are no configuration options, you just start recording and the app’s “dynamically selected intervals” do all the work.

Studio Neat also makes a time-lapse app called Frameographer, so Provost experimented to see what the Camera app is doing. Turns out it’s pretty cool. Read all about it: How Does the iOS 8 Time-Lapse Feature Work?

Lightroom mobile – Iceland

Adobe’s Russell Brown sent a group of photographers to Iceland to shoot a promotional video for Lightroom mobile, and boy is it wonderful. The visuals are just gorgeous, but the clip also does a great job of explaining some of the editing tools and presets available in Lightroom mobile.

(A reminder: I wrote a Fuel ebook that covers Lightroom mobile: Adobe Lightroom mobile: Your Lightroom on the Go, only $8!)

After you’ve watched the video a couple of times, be sure to take a look at the behind-the-scenes video, especially if you lust after photo drones.

iPhoto for iOS Is Dead under iOS 8

When Apple introduced the updated Photos app under iOS 8, the company showed off a lot of cool new editing tools that were clearly taken from iPhoto for iOS. What I didn’t expect was that iPhoto wouldn’t work at all under iOS 8. (Although I’ve been running betas of iOS 8 for several weeks, I realized I’d never tried to open iPhoto for iOS… which is probably a sign that iPhoto wasn’t being used in favor of other tools; and just that I’ve been really busy lately.)

When you launch iPhoto for iOS, you see this message:

IPhoto dead migrate

Tap Migrate and all the photos you’ve edited in iPhoto are copied to your Photos library.

  • Edits you made in iPhoto are baked into the photos; you can’t re-edit the adjustments. However, you can tap Revert to revert the image to its original state, and then re-edit that.
  • Anything you marked as a favorite in iPhoto is added to a Favorites album
  • Everything migrated appears in the Recently Added album, which can be a little confusing because normally those items are chronological based on when you capture photos.

In a support note about this turn of events, Apple also notes many other circumstances that will apply:

  • Any photos in your iPhoto library that aren’t already in Photos are added.
  • Image adjustments you made in iPhoto are migrated to Photos.
  • If you applied image adjustments to photos synced to your iOS device from iTunes, a duplicate of each photo will be created in Photos with adjustments applied.
  • Photos hidden in iPhoto do not appear in the Years, Moments, or Collections views in Photos, but are placed in an album titled Hidden.
  • Photo Books, Web Journals, and Slideshows are converted into regular albums in Photos. Text and layouts are not preserved.
  • Only projects created on the device performing the migration will be converted. Projects you synced from other devices to iPhoto via iCloud must be converted from the devices on which they were created.
  • Photos marked as Favorites in iPhoto are marked as Favorites in Photos.
  • Tags and captions from iPhoto are not displayed in Photos, but you can use them as search terms and they will show up respectively as Keywords and Titles in Photos search results.
  • Flags from iPhoto are converted to the keyword Flagged.

One thing I miss from iPhoto is the ability to make spot-adjustments, versus making an adjustment that applies to the entire image. However, the Extensions capability of iOS 8 should fill in that gap by letting you use editing controls from other apps you’ve installed.

Raw vs JPEG in Photoshop, a Practical View

Raw jpeg top

While I was traveling last week, Lynda.com published an article of mine that looks at the (digital) age-old question of whether to shoot in Raw or JPEG format. Often this topic is pitched as a fight, and because photographers on the Internet are photographers on the Internet, people draw battle lines and argue.

The reality, though, is that both formats are good, depending on your needs. That’s not as dramatic, but who has time to bicker? I’d rather be out shooting photos. In this article, I look at practical considerations, specifically related to working with photos in Photoshop (otherwise the scope is just too massive for an article).

It was also an opportunity to photograph a shot of bourbon, which then became its own post-shoot reward!

Here’s the article: Raw vs. JPEG in Photoshop: A Practical View. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below (Lynda.com articles don’t have comments).

Whiskey shot cropped

WD My Passport Wireless SD-Equipped Hard Drive

WdfMP Wireless

Now this looks interesting. WD has just announced the My Passport Wireless, an external hard drive that features a built-in SD card reader. Available in capacities of 1 TB and 2 TB, the drive includes its own Wi-Fi hotspot that can be connected to an iPad or iPhone using WD’s My Cloud app.

I’ve written about the Seagate Wireless Plus before, which is a wireless hard drive that can connect to an iPad. The benefit of WD’s My Passport Wireless over the Seagate drive is that SD card slot. While you’re on location, dump your photos onto the drive quickly without having to first transfer them to the iPad’s internal storage. Then you can review shots wirelessly, and have a backup, too. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to test.

The drive includes a USB 3.0 connector for transferring files to a computer. It can also stream media and share an Internet connection with up to 8 wirelessly connected devices. WD claims 6 hours of battery life while streaming media and 20 hours of standby time. The 1 TB model is listed at $179.99, while the 2 TB model is priced at $219.99.

[Originally spotted at PetaPixel]

An Impromptu Lightning Photo Opportunity

Seattle experienced a record-setting high temperature of 96 degrees (F) yesterday, and with it came an unexpected lightning and thunder show. We don’t often see lightning here, so I was thrilled to sit in my living room with all the windows open and watch the display. And then I realized I should try to take a photo and see what happens. Here’s the result:

Lightning cropped

How did I make this shot?

First, I set up my Nikon D90 on a tripod and set it up on my deck facing the storm. I already had a Nikon 18-135mm lens on the camera, which was nice and wide to try to capture as much of the sky as I could. (I switched to a Sigma 10-20mm lens later, which gave me more sky but by then the storm had moved north out of my field of view.)

Since lightning happens so quickly, I couldn’t hope to trigger the shutter when a burst happened. Instead, I set the camera to Manual mode and dialed in a shutter speed of 30 seconds. There’s quite a bit of street light in my neighborhood (a major road runs past our house), so I cranked the aperture to f/18 to limit the amount of light that would come through the lens. That way, I hoped the sensor would better capture the flash and strike of lightning without as much ambient light.

Then I stood outside and pressed the shutter button (actually, a remote cable release to minimize camera shake) over and over in hopes of capturing something. This photo was actually the third frame I recorded. Here’s what it looks like unedited:

Lightning original

I imported the photos into Lightroom on my Mac and quickly reviewed and rated the 47 photos (using the techniques I recommend in my book, Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac). Next, I chose this photo as the one to share and cropped it to highlight the lightning.

Other than cropping, I didn’t do too much editing: I brought the white balance down to 4046 to remove the reddish cast in the clouds, and pushed the Clarity up to +57 to bring out more of the lightning. Lastly, as an experiment, I added a Radial Filter over the lightning area and increased the Highlights to 54 and nudged the Clarity just a bit more (to 19) to make the bolts really pop.

Lightning lightroom

The sensor in the Nikon D90 doesn’t compare as well as modern cameras, especially in darkness, so the shot is pretty grainy. I could have tried to remove noise, but I kinda like it.

The final step was to move the photo to a collection that I use for syncing with Lightroom mobile. On my iPhone, I opened the app and saved the image to the Camera Roll. That let me open it in Instagram and share it there.

It’s not a photo that will win any awards, but I had fun shooting (and standing outside as the air cooled from the storm—did I mention it was really warm?) and editing something to share.

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