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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The Hidden Editing Power of Photos for OS X

Photos hidden 06 levels finetune

Photos for OS X is a consumer application, replacing iPhoto, but you’ll be surprised at how capable it is as a photo editor. In my latest article for Macworld, I look at several unexpected ways the editing features are more powerful than it appears, from keyboard shortcuts to the sophisticated Levels tool.

Read it here: The Hidden Editing Power of Photos for OS X

(Fair warning: the Macworld page includes an annoying auto-playing video. In fact, as I write this, all the comments in the article are about the video. Macworld’s editors can’t do anything about it, unfortunately: it’s a business decision made higher up. I know first-hand that the editors have tried for years to get rid of the autoplay videos.)

Speaking of Photos for OS X, my new book is now available!


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.

New Book! Photos for OS X and iOS


Apple is in the middle of a dramatic overhaul of its photo software, discontinuing iPhoto and Aperture and replacing them with the new Photos for OS X. Since iPhoto was the pre-installed, easy-to-use application for managing digital photos on the Mac, millions of people use it for their photo libraries. But Photos for OS X isn’t just an update to iPhoto—it’s a complete rewrite that often looks and behaves differently than its predecessor, designed to work with the Photos app on iPhones and iPads and with the new iCloud Photo Library.

This is where my new book comes in! The full title is Photos for OS X and iOS: Take, edit, and share photos in the Apple photography ecosystem, and it covers the whole shebang, such as:

  • How to capture photos and videos using an iPhone or iPad (even the Apple Watch!)
  • Smart strategies for converting iPhoto and Aperture libraries, and what changes when you switch to Photos for OS X
  • Importing photos from any camera
  • How to set up and use iCloud Photo Library, and understand its occasional quirks
  • How to edit photos on the Mac (which is more capable than you might think!) and on iOS devices
  • Creating prints, photo books, calendars, and slideshows

I’ve packed a lot of information into 200 pages, along with full-color photos, lots of screenshots, and plenty of answers. The book is now available in stores and from online retailers for as little as $18. (If you order the print or ebook versions from Amazon.com or directly from Peachpit, I get a small commission that helps to support the work I do. Peachpit also offers a bundle that includes the print book and ebook files—PDF, EPUB, and MOBI.)

To celebrate the launch, I’m giving away five copies of the ebook version! To be eligible, all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. You’re welcome to unsubscribe after the drawing if you’d like; the newsletter is a way for me to get to know my readers better, announce new projects, and do giveaways like this. I’ll pick the five winners randomly on Monday, August 10, 2015.

Here’s a selection of pages from the book to give you an idea of what you’ll find. I really like how it turned out:

How Does iOS 8 Time-Lapse Work?

[Video by Dan Provost]

Dan Provost at Studio Neat (the inventors of the Glif tripod mount for iPhones) took a closer look at the Time-Lapse feature in the Camera app under iOS 8. If you’ve tried it out, the mode is dead simple; there are no configuration options, you just start recording and the app’s “dynamically selected intervals” do all the work.

Studio Neat also makes a time-lapse app called Frameographer, so Provost experimented to see what the Camera app is doing. Turns out it’s pretty cool. Read all about it: How Does the iOS 8 Time-Lapse Feature Work?

Announcing: Ebook of Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac

TCoDP coverIt’s a new book! I’m excited to announce that Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac is now available as a standalone ebook.

Although this was always destined to be a Take Control ebook, we turned it into a (highly successful) experiment. As I finished each chapter, we published it at TidBITS, with everything after Chapter 1 available only to TidBITS Members. The idea was to spur memberships and also get feedback on the work in progress. In fact, my original outline for the book included eight chapters, but I added a ninth after discussions with readers (“Migrate Photos to a Different App”). TidBITS members can continue to read the chapters online for free, or buy the ebook at 30% off (just $10.50!).

If you’re not familiar with it, the book tells you how to build a digital workflow to import, tag, rate, and organize your photos. From the page describing the book:

Why bother taking photos if you can’t find them later? If you want to be able to lay your hands on any given photo in your ever-expanding library, digital photography expert Jeff Carlson has developed a simple system you can use to make your photo collection browsable, searchable, and generally navigable!

The ebook includes the same content as the articles, updated here and there based on feedback and in the final editorial passes. All references to sections within the book are linked to make it easy to traverse the topics. Take Control does a great job making ebooks that are functional, easy to read, and easy to navigate.

Astute readers will notice that the title changed slightly: We added “on a Mac” to the end. Although the concepts and workflows I discuss aren’t platform-specific, the book does have a Mac focus for a couple of reasons:

Since the TidBITS readership is overwhelmingly comprised of Mac users, I made the assumption that many people would be coming from iPhoto and looking for other solutions, including Apple’s Aperture, which is Mac-only. (The other two applications I focus on, Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, are cross-platform.) Also, there’s the question of scope: trying to include a lot of other Windows utilities would have increased the size. (I discuss my criteria for choosing a good photo-management application in the book.)

The second reason for the title change is simple marketing: Now that the book is available to anyone, not just Mac-focused TidBITS members, we didn’t want anyone to be disappointed to not find more Windows-specific topics.

For more behind-the-scenes information about how we published the book, tune in to an interview I did with Chuck Joiner for MacVoices: MacVoices #13177: Jeff Carlson Finishes Up Take Control of Your Digital Photos On A Mac.

Macvoices tcodp

I hope you purchase and enjoy the book. It’s an idea I’ve kicked around for several years, and writing it as a Take Control ebook turned out to be a particularly good fit. I want to thank Adam and Tonya Engst for publishing it, and especially my fantastic editor Kelly Turner for helping shape the text.

Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac is available now for $15 from Take Control Ebooks (with a 30% discount for TidBITS members). You can download PDF, EPUB, and Mobi (Kindle) versions to put on all your devices. I expect the book will also soon be available from the iBookstore.