Lightroom mobile has been out just a week and already there’s evidence that what we’re using now is very much a 1.0, with new features in the works. This shouldn’t be surprising: the original Lightroom started fairly bare and aggressively added new features after its release.
One of the top surprises I’ve heard from people is the lack of a way to edit metadata for photos in the app—star ratings, keywords, IPTC data, and the like. I suspect those were probably planned for the app but held back so Adobe could ship the first version on the schedule they set for themselves.
Now, it’s clear that star ratings and other probably other metadata features are being worked on, following a tweet posted by Adobe’s Tom Hogarty this morning:
LrMobile eng mgr(Torsten) and design lead(Kai) talk star ratings over dinner in SJ.(And yes, that's an iphone) pic.twitter.com/doMoJWDTXT
Premiere photo site 500px has just published an article of mine that takes a high level overview of what an iPad can do for photographers: How an iPad Can Improve Your Photography. Think of it as the ultra-compact version of my iPad for Photographers book, covering the options for using the iPad as a portfolio, importing photos to the iPad and reviewing them in the field, adding all-important metadata, editing the shots, sharing images, and more.
I’m actually quite excited to appear on 500px, not only because I like what the company is doing, but because the people who post and read at the site tend to be extremely talented photographers. It’s fabulous company to be in.
Adobe has already pushed out a version 1.0.1 of Lightroom mobile, fixing little bugs but also changing one behavior that could be costly if you own a Wi-Fi + cellular iPad. Initially, the default was to sync photos and adjustments only over Wi-Fi connections. You could turn that off if you wanted to allow syncing over a cellular connection if Wi-Fi wasn’t an option.
Now, Sync Only Over WiFi is disabled by default. If you set up a collection to sync but didn’t launch Lightroom mobile while on Wi-Fi, those images are sent over the cellular connection, eating up your monthly bandwidth allocation. Depending on your cellular plan and the amount of photos you’re syncing, that change may not be an problem. But it seems like an odd change to me.
To sync only via Wi-Fi, open Lightroom mobile, tap your name in the top-left corner, and move the Sync Only Over WiFi switch to the On position (to the right).
The book features 53 pages of detailed information on how to use Lightroom mobile, including lots of tips on how to get the most out of Adobe’s new remote tool. And it costs just $8! As near as I can tell, this is the first book about Lightroom mobile on the market. (Update: Victoria Bampton, aka The Lightroom Queen, also released a book. Go buy her book, too!)
The book walks you through creating and syncing collections from the desktop version of Lightroom, as well as creating collections on the iPad itself (and why you’d want to do it). It also goes into detail about the app’s editing features, covers the many gestures used to speed things up, and more.
Here are some page samples. Buy it now (not-so-subtle-hint), and let me know what you think!
And here’s a first for me: I’m quoted in Adobe’s press release! (Yes, mine is one of the quotes that journalists often skim over, sometimes rolling their eyes as they do so.) The folks working with the development program for Lightroom mobile approached me, since I’m the author of The iPad for Photographers:
“Adobe Lightroom mobile transforms the way I am able to work with my photographs because now I can review and process photos when I’m comfortable and creative, and not just when I’m at my computer,” said Jeff Carlson, educator and author of The iPad for Photographers and Adobe Lightroom mobile: Your Lightroom on the Go. “It also works as a malleable photo portfolio on my iPad. As I add or remove images from a collection in Lightroom mobile or on the computer, the changes stay synchronized. When I need to show my work those photos are already set up to be viewed.”
I’ll definitely have more to say about Lightroom mobile soon, but Adobe’s posts and my First Look article are good places to start.
It looks like Apple’s supply of iPad 2s has finally tapped out. As of yesterday, the least expensive full-size iPad option is now the fourth-generation iPad instead of the iPad 2. That’s great news for anyone who wants an iPad but can’t afford the iPad Air.
The 4th-gen iPad comes in only a 16 GB configuration, in black or white, for $399 (or $529 for the LTE cellular-equipped model). The differences between this iPad and the iPad 2 is striking: the 4th-gen iPad boasts a vastly better processor, more graphics capabilities, more working memory (1 GB compared to the iPad 2′s 512 MB), and of course the high-resolution Retina display. This model will definitely have a longer useful life than if you were to buy an iPad 2.
Apple released iOS 7.1 today, finally conquering the dreaded crashing bug that would force the device into what appeared to be a restart (actually it was the app that lists the applications, internally called Springboard, that was crashing and bringing up the Apple logo screen). Macworld runs down some of the other changes, but as far as I can tell nothing else directly applies to photographers using iPads. The only camera-related improvement is a new Auto HDR setting, but it applies only to the iPhone 5s, not the iPad.
However, the folks over at C2 Enterprises note that iOS 7.1 introduced a bug that crashes Photosmith when importing images from the Camera Roll. The crash doesn’t affect the images you import—everything completes successfully—but you’re kicked back to the applications screen. They write:
This app crash isn’t as catastrophic as it appears – It’s a display-only bug, and your photos and metadata are perfectly safe. No data loss will result from this crash. Restarting Photosmith after the import crash will show all your previously imported photos in Photosmith’s catalog (including the photos imported just prior to the crash). You may continue working as your normally would in Photosmith.
More importantly, Photosmith will continue functioning as it did prior to updating to iOS 7.1. Importing photos via Eye-Fi, FTP, iTunes, or when syncing with Lightroom, isn’t impacted by this issue. This is an issue specific with how we’re handing the import dialog window after the import is completed. Instead of closing the import window and displaying the normal Photosmith interface, the entire Photosmith app shuts down.
Part of the issue is that Apple didn’t release a “final” build to developers before releasing iOS 7.1; the devs discovered the bug in the shipping version.
Nonetheless, iOS 7.1 has been in the works for a while, and I’m glad it’s here.
As a speaker, I also get to pass along deals like this: Until March 14, you can take advantage of $100 off the price of a conference admission to Macworld/iWorld. If you’re planning to attend the event, please come to one of my sessions and say hi, or if there’s enough interest maybe we can have an informal meetup.
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A few years ago, when I first started covering the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I would turn up with a DSLR, a couple of lenses, a CF card reader, a MacBook (and power cable) and a backpack to carry it all in. I’d have to go to the press lounge to find a power outlet and an Ethernet jack (the Wi-Fi back then was so bad it wasn’t worth trying, even in the press lounge).
Now I can literally turn up with the iPhone in my pocket and cover everything, and arguably do it better. I didn’t really need the X100S to do the job, but I took it anyway because it made the job more fun. That’s pretty neat right there.