Review: WD My Passport Wireless Hard Drive

WdfMP Wireless

Ever since I started writing the first edition of The iPad for Photographers, one aspect of the process has been a sticking point: image backup. I know, that sounds like the most boring part of being a photographer, but it’s also vitally important.

Importing photos onto the iPad for review is one option, but it takes up valuable storage (and digital camera files aren’t getting any smaller). That also means you have just one set of image files, unless you use the SD memory cards you originally captured the photos onto as backup (which is also a good idea).

A number of companies have made hard disks that incorporate Wi-Fi radios, primarily as a means of storing lots of media (movies, mostly) and stream them to the iPad and not take up the device’s storage. The Seagate Wireless Plus also added the ability to copy photos from the iPad to the drive, but its implementation is pretty basic and time-consuming: You need to import photos to the iPad, and then copy them to the drive.

All this is lead-up to a new product that makes the whole problem less thorny. The WD My Passport Wireless is a portable, battery-powered hard disk that adds one crucial element: an SD card reader. With this addition, you can dump the contents of a memory card while you’re shooting with another card, then connect to the drive on your iPad and review your work.

The drive is available in two configurations: 1 TB for $175 and 2 TB for $219. (Those are the current prices at Amazon as I write this; clicking either link earns me an affiliate percentage and helps support the work I do.)

My full review at Lynda.com is here: Review: My Passport Wireless for the Traveling Photographer.

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Article: iPhone Video Beyond Basic: FiLMiC Pro

FiLMiC Pro

One promise of the video-capture capabilities of the iPhone and iPad is being able to create movies without a lot of other expensive hardware. That can be shooting short movies, action clips, interviews, or even news segments. But when you need more than just the basics, turn to the app FiLMiC Pro. I write about this $7.99 gem at Lynda.com and explain why it’s essential for anyone who needs manual control over the video they capture, from locking focus and exposure independently to capturing video at a resolution higher than the built-in Camera app does.

Read about it here: iPhone Video Beyond Basic: Shooting with FiLMiC Pro.

iPad and iPhone VideoI also cover FiLMiC Pro in my book iPad and iPhone Video: Film, Edit, and Share the Apple Way. (Hint: It makes a great gift for the budding director in your family or circle of friends!)

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Article: Make Photo Gifts Right from Your iPhone or iPad

Print gifts finished book2

Still looking for holiday gift ideas? Start with the photos in your iPhone or iPad! Over at Lynda.com, I’ve written about methods for making photo gifts without requiring a trip to your computer. Apps and services can make prints, photo books, and other creations while you wait in line to see Santa.

I also spotlight a couple of interesting photo book options: Chatbooks and Groovebook are designed to make small books out of all of your mobile photos (with the ability to skip shots you don’t like, of course) inexpensively. Chatbooks charges $6 for a 60-page book, while Groovebook works as a subscription that costs $2.99 per month for a book of 40 to 100 pages.

This was a fun article to research. Check it out here: Make Photo Gifts Right from Your iPhone or iPad.

iStick Hampered by Poor Software

When the iStick was introduced earlier this year, it promised something not previously available for the iPad or iPhone: copy files via the Lightning connector. Apple built iOS with the limitation that the connector not be used as a generic USB file transfer mechanism. That meant companies needed to get clever, resulting in methods such as having a portable hard drive create its own Wi-Fi connection to stream media to the device.

I don’t know how the iStick gets around that limitation, but according to Derrick Story, it works. Unfortunately, the software to run it is so basic that it’s almost unusable. Sure, you can copy images from an iPad to the iStick as a backup… but you won’t be able to view thumbnails until you get back to a computer. Currently, it sounds like a fine solution to bring media like movies and music along so it’s not stored on the iPad itself. But that’s about it.

50% Off iPad and iPhone Video Ebook This Week Only

ipadiphonevideo_150pxMy latest book, iPad and iPhone Video: Film, Edit, and Share the Apple Way is currently Peachpit’s Ebook Deal of the Week! This week only, buy it for 50% off—that’s just $10!

The book was a lot of fun to write, and focuses on how to do everything video-related on the iPad and iPhone. In a very short time, Apple has put a small but capable video studio into iOS. The book covers capturing video using the built-in Camera app and third-party apps such as FiLMiC Pro, correcting footage with tools such as Emulsion (for reducing camera shake) and VideoGrade (for adjusting color), and editing in iMovie.

There’s an entire chapter devoted to creating or recording a soundtrack in GarageBand, plus a chapter on making stop-motion animation movies, and then wraps up with all the ways to share video, from uploading to iMovie Theater and shooting-and-sharing Vine and Instagram movies.

And, of course, the ebook—like its print counterpart—is filled with lots of full-color illustrations and photos.

Jump on this deal now, and enjoy!

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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.