It’s Here: Direct Lightroom Import on iOS 13.2

Adobe released updates to the Lightroom ecosystem today which finally brings the ability to import photos directly from a memory card or camera to the Lightroom library, bypassing the iPad’s Camera Roll or Files app. I’ve been waiting for this feature since the first version of Lightroom on iOS.

The Lightroom Queen blog has more information about what’s in the latest updates: What’s New in Lightroom (Cloud Service) December 2019 release?

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It’s Coming: Direct Lightroom Import on iPad and iPhone

Since the release of iOS 13/iPadOS 13, the options for importing photos directly from a camera or memory card reader have increased, letting you import to the Files app or the Photos app. Now, Adobe has previewed an upcoming version of Lightroom Mobile that allows you to import photos directly into Lightroom on the iPad or iPhone. Adobe hopes to release this version by the end of the year.

9to5 Mac has the story: Adobe previews direct photo import coming to Lightroom on iPad.

And here’s Adobe’s video:

2019 Guide: Apple iPad Pro for Photographers

Are we there yet? Can an iPad replace a laptop for photographers? I’ve been asking this question since the first iPad was released, and every generation gets a step closer to that ideal. The current iPad Pro is tantalizingly close: the hardware is there, but the software still has some catching up to do.

Over at DPReview, I’ve published an in-depth look at using the iPad Pro for photography. Check it out and let me know if you agree in the comments below.

Read it here: 2019 Guide: Apple iPad Pro for Photographers.

[Photo by Dan Bracaglia]

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Bypass the Camera Roll in iOS 13

At Apple’s WWDC Keynote today, previews of iOS 13, macOS Catalina, watchOS 6, and even a new iPadOS were shown to whet developers’ appetites and upcoming caffeine levels between now and fall, when these versions will be released.

One thing in particular stood out for me, given my history with the iPad and photography: we won’t be forced to import photos directly to the Photos Camera Roll, as has been the case since the release of the first iPad. Images can be copied to the Files app, which supports reading any USB, SD card, or hard drive. The import process will allow you to review photos before copying them, including raw files. Or, image files can be imported directly into an app such as Lightroom Mobile. According to the iOS 13 preview, the latter will require developers to tie in to the Image Capture API.

Why is this a big deal? Until recently, you had to live with two copies of the same imported image on your device: the one in Photos, and then one imported from Photos into your photo editor/organizer of choice, dramatically reducing your free storage on the device. At the beginning of this year, a novel solution emerged using the Shortcuts feature in iOS 12: after importing images, the shortcut ran an automation that imported them into Lightroom, and then deleted the original copies from the Photos library. It works, but it’s far from elegant.

The Photos app under iOS 13 gets some interesting enhancements, like a refreshed UI, more editing controls, and the ability to edit video using the same controls. But right now, I’m feeling a definite sense of “finally” at this one change.

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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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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)

iPad Photo Backup with a Raspberry Pi

Making backups of your photos while you’re on location is essential, and there are plenty of ways to do it. I own a WD My Passport Wireless hard disk that works well (and it’s been supplanted by the new My Passport Wireless Pro).

But for some people, the solution is to build it themselves. Lenin at Moving Electrons put together a package built around a Raspberry Pi to store and access photos from his iPad Pro. It’s definitely a more geeky approach, involving lots of custom code, but looks like a great project. Check it out here: Backup Photos While Traveling With an iPad Pro and a Raspberry Pi

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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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Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Adds Raw and Gradient Selections

Lightroom for iOS 2.4

Adobe just released a significant update for the iOS version of Lightroom, bringing two features mobile photographers are going to love: raw import and editing, and linear and radial graduated adjustments. The first could change how we work with photos in the field, and the second is a feature I use more and more on the desktop and have in the past resorted to interesting workarounds to implement on the iPad.

I need to dig more into this release, but it looks promising. Photos you import using Apple’s Lightning adapters are brought into the Photos app Camera Roll, and then recognized by Lightroom as raw. (Oh, but now I lament Apple’s choice of sticking with USB 2.0 speed for photo import on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.) This could mean no longer needing to shoot in Raw+JPEG just to get a high-resolution JPEG to work with on the device.

(Remember, until now Lightroom wouldn’t even display raw images when importing them from the Camera Roll, and in most apps, the JPEG preview the camera creates to display on its LCD is what’s used for editing.)

Adobe says the app supports all the same raw formats that Lightroom on the desktop supports; I had no trouble opening and editing a handful of raw .RAF files from my Fuji X-T1.

Lightroom ios 2 4 raw badges

I’ll be writing more about this, looking at how Lightroom syncs the raw files back to the desktop, whether it’s practical to import a lot of images or just selected ones, and what this means for Apple’s upcoming raw image support in iOS 10.

For now, here’s more information from Adobe: Lightroom for Mobile July Releases.

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