Google Updates Snapseed with New HDR Scape Filter

Google announced improvements to its Google+ service today, with a focus on photography. One of the items mentioned was an update to Snapseed that adds a new HDR Scope filter to the versatile image editor. According to Google, this implementation uses pixel edge detection instead of relying solely on tone mapping. As soon as the iOS app update was available, I had to throw an image at it and see what the results were.

Here’s an original photo, shot with a Nikon D90 and imported to my iPad via Eye-Fi. This is the JPEG portion of the Raw+JPEG pair I shot.

Snapseed HDR before

Here’s the same shot taken into the HDR Scape filter. This is with a setting strength of +83, the default that Snapseed used.

Snapseed HDR after 83

That’s too much HDR effect for me, so I dialed the effect down to +47. Total time editing: about two minutes.

Snapseed HDR after 47

iPhoto 2.0 Syncs with Camera Roll, Can Delete and Hide Images

Federico Viticci at Macstories writes about a very interesting change in Apple’s latest iPhoto 2.0 app for iPhone and iPad. In the first version of iPhoto for iOS, images you edit stay in iPhoto unless you explicitly share them back to the Camera Roll. This situation applies to other applications, too, due to the sandboxing security architecture that keeps apps separated in their own virtual workspaces.

iPhoto 2.0, however, manages to tunnel under the sandbox walls and updates edited photos in the Camera Roll without any additional export step. If you view the image in the Photos app and tap the Edit button, you can edit the original.

IPhoto2 edited camera roll

In another great move, you can now delete photos from the Camera Roll from within iPhoto: Tap the More button (which looks like an outlined ellipses … ) in the bottom-right corner and choose Delete. There’s also an option to hide a photo from view in iPhoto there.

Go read Federico’s article for more details. Currently this functionality doesn’t seem to be accessible by third-party developers, but I’m hoping it doesn’t stay Apple-only.

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.)

New iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, and Apps. Hoo boy!

Apple just opened the floodgates of its product releases, announcing new iPads, iLife apps, MacBook Pros, and the Mac Pro. (Oh, and OS X Mavericks, which is available now and free; my OS X Mavericks book is being printed now!)

IPadAir 200pxFor photographers, the new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini are really exciting. The iPad Air replaces the fourth-generation 9.7-inch iPad and is lighter and thinner—both welcome improvements! The Retina iPad mini will appeal to photographers who want great image quality in the smallest form factor (although the new iPad mini is a hair thicker and heavier—0.73 lb. vs 0.68 lb.—than the regular iPad mini). But I’m going for the iPad Air, which weighs just 1.0 lb. and is 0.29 inch thick.

I’m also looking forward to new versions of iPhoto and iMovie for iOS (and on the Mac—Apple has been busy!). I’ll write more once they’re installed. The iLife and iWork apps are now free with the purchase of new devices; updates aren’t yet available as I type this, but they’re supposed to be available today.

From what I can tell, these releases don’t impact the book terribly. iPhoto will look different, and of course now that iOS 7 is out many of the screenshots in the book are likely to be different as well. I wrote about the changes to the Camera and Photos apps for TidBITS: Photos Get Renewed Focus in iOS 7.

More info as I get a chance. It’s suddenly very busy over here!

Transfer Photos Wirelessly without the Camera

20131009-153426.jpg

In the “learn something new” department, I ran across an interesting discovery today.

First, some setup. I woke up before dawn to catch the sunrise in the Columbia River Gorge, and for some reason my camera’s battery didn’t last very long—I think it was the combination of the cold weather, composing my shots using Live View, and transferring the images from my Eye-Fi card to my iPad. With a full day of shooting ahead, and only one extra battery available, I was in trouble.

Jump ahead a few hours, I want to transfer my newest photos to the iPad but not kill the spare battery in the camera. So, I attach my iPad Camera Connection SD adapter to copy the photos directly. The problem is that connecting the SD card to the iPad using the adapter means I need to import the raw versions of my photos in addition to the JPEGs. (I’m shooting raw+JPEG so I can edit better-quality photos on the iPad than the previews generated by the camera.) What I want to do is import into ShutterSnitch which includes an option to copy only JPEG images.

That brings me to the surprise: I opened ShutterSnitch to see if it could import directly from the adapter (it can’t; Apple blocks access to the sync port, I believe), but suddenly the photos started importing anyway. The trick is that I’m using an Eye-Fi card. And when the card is connected to the iPad using the camera adapter, the iPad is also supplying the card with power, which in turn activates the Eye-Fi’s wireless hotspot.

So even though the card is physically connected to the iPad, it’s transferring images via Wi-Fi! Pretty cool when you don’t want to tax your camera battery and bypass the Camera Roll.

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.)

Cedar Creek Grist Mill

20131008-150717.jpg

I’m at a photo workshop in Oregon and putting my iPad photography skills to work in the field. As I type this, I’m sitting in a van driving down the freeway from our last shoot, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Despite a lot of rain, I had a blast shooting this old structure and the water that runs alongside it. (Others in the group saw a few large salmon jumping up the falls, but I never spied one.)

But as we’re traveling, I took the opportunity to import my photos from my camera’s Eye-Fi wireless card onto my iPad (using ShutterSnitch), review them, and edit a couple in Apple’s iPhoto app. I’ll do more processing on the raw files later on my computer, but this gives me a chance to not only see what I captured, but also perform some basic edits and share a couple shots with friends… and write this post.