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.

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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Aperture’s Golden Hour

Aperture sunsetIt seemed fitting that I heard the news that Apple is sunsetting Aperture while I was attending a photo seminar. Aperture has been largely dormant for the past three years, and as I commented to Jackie Dove in an article at The Next Web, “I have to admit, on one level I’m a bit relieved that we finally know what’s happening with Aperture, instead of the limbo it’s been in for the last few years.” (Is it weird to quote myself on my own blog?)

What does this news mean for photographers who’ve invested countless hours and gigabytes of photos to Aperture? In short, we need to wait and see what Apple’s new Photos for OS X application will bring, but I’m not optimistic it will meet everyone’s needs, especially right away.

I explain in more detail at TidBITS in a new article: “Aperture’s Golden Hour.”

In photography, the “golden hour” is that slice of time just before and after sunset when the sun is low in the sky and the light is often bronze-hued and dramatic. It’s one of the best times of the day to capture photos, but the good light too soon rolls over into darkness.

Apple’s professional photo-management application, Aperture, has enjoyed an extended golden hour. Although Adobe Photoshop Lightroom long ago dominated the market, Aperture has held on in development limbo — working fine (but sludgy, in my experience) for those who use it, but not updated in any meaningful way. Now, its light is close to winking out: Apple announced last week that it will soon halt development of Aperture.

New Articles: Lightroom mobile 1.1 and Adobe Photoshop Mix

Coinciding with the latest announcements from Adobe, two articles of mine were published this morning.

Lightroom mobile 1.1

Mix cutout

For my first article at Lynda.com, I looked at Lightroom mobile 1.1. On the surface it appears to be an incremental update that delivers iPhone compatibility (which Adobe promised was coming when Lightroom mobile came out in April). However, it turns out that having the app on the iPhone can potentially change the way you work with mobile photos.

Right now, to get the shots you capture with the iPhone (and if you’re like me, you take a lot) into your Lightroom library, you need to connect the phone to your computer via a sync cable and import the photos like any other camera. Using the feature of Lightroom mobile 1.1 to automatically add new photos from the Camera Roll to a synced collection means your photos get zapped to your Lightroom library without any intervention.

Read more about it at: How Lightroom Mobile 1.1 May Change Your Mobile Photo Workflow.

Adobe Photoshop Mix

LRmobile stars ipad

Over at Macworld, I wrote a first-look article about Adobe’s new Photoshop Mix app for iPad. It’s an interesting use of the underlying Photoshop technologies that Adobe is putting into many of its apps, enabling you to perform image corrections on photos and also build compositions from different photos.

Take a look at: First Look: Adobe Photoshop Mix.

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Adobe Working on Adding Metadata Features to Lightroom mobile

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:

Of course, Hogarty doesn’t offer a timeline, but it’s promising to see them work on features that will beef up the app.

[As a reminder—I know, I know—I've just released an ebook through Peachpit Press about the app called Adobe Lightroom mobile: Your Lightroom on the Go. It's good, and only $8!]

Also, if you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

At 500px: How an iPad Can Improve Your Photography

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.

Rumors of an iPad companion app for Lightroom surface

Last week, 9to5Mac posted an article about a leak on Adobe’s Web site that revealed what appears to be a Lightroom app for the iPad. According to the leak, the app would be a service that costs $99 per year (or may be included in a Creative Cloud subscription).

A Lightroom app for iPad was teased by Adobe’s Tom Hogarty earlier last year when he showed a very early proof-of-concept app that could edit raw files with apparent ease (on an iPad 2, no less).

There’s no indication of whether the app is imminent or still in development (and I wonder if the subscription pricing might be an intentional test balloon to see how people would react to the pricing). But it’s definitely an exciting development.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume mailing list that I use to announce new projects and items that I think my readers would be interested in. (It’s hosted by MailChimp, so if you decide I’ve gotten too chatty in the future, you can unsubscribe easily.)

Using Cameras’ Built-in Wi-Fi at CES

Derrick Story has an article at Macworld about how he used the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities of the Canon 70D and Olympus OM-D E-1 and their respective iOS apps to share images during the day when he attended CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) early this month. Manufacturers are finally getting the message that built-in Wi-Fi is useful and desired by photographers.

Macworld Reviews iPhoto 2.0 for iOS

Macworld’s Jackie Dove has published her review of iPhoto 2.0 for iOS, the new version of Apple’s mobile photo editor for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. She likes it quite a bit, writing:

iPhoto 2.0 for iOS is a fantastic upgrade to Apple’s mobile consumer image editing flagship program; its streamlined, updated interface is a joy to use. Though not as cute and whimsical as last year’s debut version, its swift operation, direct controls, enhanced sharing, and no-nonsense interface make it a must-have upgrade.

Other pressing deadlines have kept me from digging into the new version in depth, but it’s still the photo editor I turn to first on my iPad. I’m looking forward to seeing how well it performs on my new iPad Air, since Jackie’s review suggests a lot of the processing is now being handled by the graphics processor.