PhotoActive Episode 40: Geotagging with HoudahGeo

New PhotoActive episode! We welcome Pierre Bernard, developer of the Mac application HoudahGeo, to talk about geotagging and how it’s beneficial for photographers (or even folks on vacation). Take a listen and subscribe to the podcast here: Episode 40: Location Exploration with HoudahGeo.

Houdah is also the sponsor of this episode, and in the show notes, you can get HoudahGeo for 30% off!

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How to Use Lightroom Mobile while Traveling

One of my photo workshop participants wrote with a question: She’s going on a trip and wants to use her iPad and Lightroom Mobile just for the trip, without syncing her existing photo library to the device. Is it possible?

In my latest article for CreativePro, I explain how to use the iPad as a blank slate just for a trip like this, and how to make sure the photos she imports while away are automatically included in her larger photo library when she gets home.

Read it here: How to Use Lightroom Mobile for Temporary Travel

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Lightroom CC Mobile Review

When my editor at Download.com asked if I could write a review of Lightroom CC Mobile, I figured it would be an easy assignment. I’ve used the mobile version of Lightroom since before the first version was released, publishing an ebook that coincided with the software’s introduction, and have written extensively about the software as it’s evolved.

Well, 2700 words later, the review is now available. There was a lot to say, because the software has grown a lot since that initial version. I cover its organization, editing, and sharing features, and point out areas of frustration and suggestions for the future. This review looks at just the iOS version.

Take a look here: Adobe Lightroom for iOS Review: Industrial-strength image-editing tools on your iPhone or iPad.

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Using iOS Shortcuts to Import Photos into Lightroom CC Mobile

An ongoing frustration with the iPad photo workflow is that everything must pass through the Photos app. If you use another app such as Lightroom CC for iPad or iPhone, you end up with duplicates of everything: the copies of your images in Lightroom, plus the ones that were originally imported into Photos.

A recent update to Lightroom on iOS added compatibility with Shortcuts, Apple’s architecture for automating all sorts of things. In this video, Brian Matiash shows you how to configure a shortcut that takes the previous import into the Photos app, imports those images into Lightroom, and then deletes them from Photos.

Shawn Blanc’s iPad Photo Workflow

Shawn Blanc of The Sweet Setup skipped town this summer, spending a month with his family living in Colorado instead of his home in Kansas City.

The temporary digs meant packing light, so he took just his Leica Q camera and his iPad Pro for photography. In “My iPad Photography Workflow,” Shawn breaks down how he edits and manages his shots. For instance, although he captured Raw+JPEG images using the Leica, he found himself usually transferring (wirelessly) the JPEGs because they were more convenient.

It’s a good read, and, as he says at the end, a teaser for an upcoming mobile photography course.

(Photo by Shawn Blanc)

Affinity Photo for iPad Review

As someone who’s been using the iPad for editing and working with photos since the very beginning, even I was surprised by how capable Affinity Photo for iPad is. The power of the iPad Pro makes a big difference, yes, but Serif has delivered a full-featured image editor that doesn’t feel compromised.

Over at DPReview, I review Affinity Photo for iPad and give it high marks. Go check it out: Affinity Photo for iPad Review.

We’ve come to expect less from iOS software on the iPad compared to desktop applications because, in most cases, they’re mobile—and “mobile” has traditionally meant “limited.” A lot of that has been due to hardware: even as the iPad’s main processors improved, most models included a minimal amount of RAM that made it difficult to pull off operations expected of a modern image editor, such as smoothly dealing with many layers and real-time effects.

The arrival of the iPad Pro, along with a commitment in iOS to take advantage of the hardware, has opened the door for more powerful applications. One of those apps is Affinity Photo for iPad, a full-fledged image editor that doesn’t feel as if the developers had to remove features from a whiteboard to make the app a reality.

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Lightroom mobile Adds Selective Brush, New iPad Interface, and More

Lightroom_mobile_July_2017

Recently I needed to grab some screenshots of Lightroom mobile on the iPad and realized that I’d been running a beta for quite a while. I deleted the beta and re-loaded the release version and was momentarily taken aback: it seemed so basic compared to what I’ve been using!

Now everyone gets to experience the reverse of my awe, with today’s release of new versions of Lightroom mobile for iOS (and Android). Highlights that I particularly like include:

  • Selective Brush: When Adobe added gradient masks, Lightroom mobile became much more versatile, especially when editing landscape photos. Now, there’s a brush tool for painting masked areas or removing areas from gradients (like mountains that poke up into a sky you want to darken).
  • Details Pane: At last, you can apply Lightroom’s sharpening and noise-reduction tools to an image or a mask, instead of pounding away at it with the Clarity slider.
  • Redesigned iPad Interface: The editing tools are now accessible by tapping an Edit button, separating it from the Info interface (and the Rate & Review interface on the iPhone). This does have a drawback, though, in that the editing controls take up an awfully large section of the screen at the expense of the image you’re editing.

Lightroom mobile is free to use, although a Creative Cloud subscription is required to sync photos and collections between devices.

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iPad Pro Is Now a True Photographer’s Tool

Has the iPad Pro finally become a true photographer’s tool? A year and a half ago, with the release of the first 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it was so close… but there were still some significant limitations.

Now, with the latest iPad Pro models, I think we’re finally there. Improved hardware is part of the story—USB 3 speeds at import, finally, for both sizes—and software is catching up. And the possibilities that will come with iOS 11 in the fall are still more intriguing.

At Macworld, I explain in more detail: The iPad Pro: Now a true photographer’s tool.

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Photos Crash Course for iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

Tc photos v2Sometimes, it feels as if I’m a lone defender of Apple’s Photos app under macOS. Many people find it too different from iPhoto, or think it’s too basic (even though it’s actually quite sophisticated), or… I don’t know, they just don’t like change. Except for Aperture users who were abandoned by Apple—their discontent is understandable.

It’s not just because I wrote a book about Photos and Apple’s photo ecosystem. True, I use Lightroom as my primary photo library manager, but I also make extensive use of Photos and iCloud Photo Library.

And now macOS Sierra is out, with a new version of Photos that brings better searching, Memories, revamped people identification, and more!

Alas, when my publisher Peachpit Press all but vaporized early this year, the possibility to update my Photos book also went up in smoke. That’s too bad, because I really enjoyed writing it, and thought it turned out well.

However, I’m not the only Photos defender. My friend and colleague Jason Snell has just released the second edition of his highly regarded, and best-selling, Photos: A Take Control Crash Course. Jason has been immersed in Photos during the developer preview versions of macOS Sierra and knows it inside and out. The ebook is 74 pages of hard-won information, fully illustrated and written in Jason’s friendly, approachable style. And it’s only $10!

Photos is a key part of both macOS Sierra and iOS 10, so before you order Jason’s book using the link above, consider bundling it—at a discount—with Scholle McFarland’s Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course, Josh Centers’s iOS 10: A Take Control Crash Course, or both!

Buy the Photos, Sierra, and iOS 10 Crash Courses for $28
Buy the Photos and Sierra Crash Courses for $17.50
Buy the Photos and iOS 10 Crash Courses for $17.50

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How Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Changes the Mobile Photo Landscape

Birdhouses

Over at TidBITS, I write in more depth about the changes in Lightroom for iOS 2.4, and they’re doozies: Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Changes Mobile Photo Workflow.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, adding native raw file format support to Adobe’s mobile photo editor is a big deal, especially for people who are looking to use just an iPad or iPhone on photo shoots to minimize the gear they carry.

It means you don’t end up with separate edited copies of photos that are synced with Lightroom on the desktop—a raw file editing in Lightroom mobile is synced to your main library with edits intact. And the editing power takes a big leap in quality, pulling detail out of shadows without blocking up sections where JPEGs just don’t hold up.

For example, here’s an underexposed raw photo edited entirely in Lightroom on my iPad:

LRm24 raw before after

There’s a better example in the article that shows extreme pixelation in a JPEG.

I also talk about the new local selection tools, which are great for adjusting selected portions in linear or gradient areas. Here’s another before-and-after, showing the radial tools at work; I was able to bring up the exposure for just the birdhouses without overexposing the background.

Lightroom m24 local original

Lightroom m24 local radial

Overall, this is an exciting release, something I’ve been looking forward to for years. It streamlines the mobile photo workflow and does what I envisioned in 2011 when I wrote the first edition of my iPad for Photographers book.

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