Entries in photography (30)
We went in-depth in our review of Photosmith when it was released last year (be sure to read that review to find out more about what Photosmith does).
Version 2 brings with it a raft of new features including a re-designed UI and under-the-hood programming feats that make this app an absolute necessity if you use Lightroom and an iPad.
More about those new features in a moment, but first take a look at the new promo video below:
After being on the beta program for the first version of Photosmith last year we were very happy to be invited onto the beta program this time around too and we have to say this update is just what the (Lightroom) Doctor ordered.
Here's a rundown of those new features, many of which have been requested by users of Photosmith V1 (links in this list go to articles about that feature on the Photosmith website - well worth reading):
- Batch Tagging
- Batch Keywording (Yay!)
- Smart Groups
- Two-way sync with Lightroom!
- Choose which iPad albums to import
- Corrupt Image Protection
- Re-worked UI
- Sharing and Cloud storage enhancements including Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and e-mail
- Native support for Export and Publish Services functions in Lightroom
- Direct integration (receiving photos) from Eye-Fi cards
- (and a new icon)
Photosmith 2 also has many speed enhancements and optimisations, which should be welcome news for any users of the 'original iPad' out there.
If you are at all interested in Photosmith, we would encourage you to follow the links in the list above and explore the website to read more about the new features and how the app works.
We will repeat what we said in our review of the original release of Photosmith just over a year ago, only with even more conviction this time:
"If you use Adobe Lightroom you need this app on your iPad. It's that simple."
To further whet your appetite for this app, we thought you might like to see some screenshots of Photosmith V2 in action.
Win a copy of Photosmith 2
Photosmith usually retails for $19.99 and we think that is a fair price for the functionality and workflow enhancement it offers Lightroom using Photographers.
But you can win one of 3 copies of Photosmith 2 in our upcoming giveaway. Check out this post for details of how to win.
Here's an interesting and educational creative concept. Painting With Time is a free download and uses a simple idea to make you (and if you have them, your students) think about the changing landscape of our planet and the people on it.
The basic idea is that there are a number of images for each scene in the Gallery. You choose your scene, then decide how you are going to paint in the detail, for example which season for landscape scenes, an age range for the portrait of a woman, or the time of day on a scene of San Francisco.
Instead of painting in the detail you can select the 'Slice' mode which splits the image up into preset and customisable slices so you can really mix up your image and get carried away exploring the effects of time.
It is a very interesting idea that is a lot of fun for the curious mind. It does get you thinking about the passage of time and its effects on the world around us.
The app is a spin-off from the Exploring Time project and US television special on The Science Channel. On their site you can watch the 2 hour special in segments, there are Teacher resources and other ideas to explore around the concept of time from billionths of a second to billions of years, it is well worth a visit.
App Store link: Painting With Time (Free)
Scott Kelby is a busy chap, what with being Editor of the Photoshop User Magazine, President of NAPP (US group National Association of Photoshop Professionals), key contributor at Photoshop World every year, as well as being a Professional Photographer and Teacher.
Now Scott has launched a new iPad only magazine called Light It, and the first issue is free!
The strap line reads: A How-To Magazine for studio lighting and off camera flash. Here is the very nicely produced video promoting the launch of Light It, we're downloading it now:
We have been waiting for the Album App by Dreamix Studio to receive a much needed update because in our opinion it was missing some key features at release.
Following the recent 2.0 update though we feel the Album App is much more accomplished app and we recommend you have a look at it.
The app now includes essential features such as deleting pages (added in 1.1 to be fair), re-ordering pages, sharing to Facebook and Twitter, plus, importantly for us, AirPrint (so that we can create PDFs of our albums).
Whilst some of the UI interactions are still a little quirky, it is a great app to use for building personal albums that you want to display on the iPad or share with others, including some useful page layouts and fairly straightforward page editing tools.
If you skip some of the more gimmicky bits and pieces and stick with a fairly plain theme you could even use the Album App to create your portfolio and share it with potential customers.
We have been playing with the app for a couple of weeks and the nicely produced video below from Dreamix Studio is a good representation of the app in action.
As always, we are interested to hear what you have to say, especially if you have tried the app yourself. Check out the video below, and let us know what you think.
If you haven't seen our review of the Photosmith app already, or are still undecided on purchasing it to enhance your Camera to Adobe Lightroom (via the iPad) workflow, then Adorama's 10 min video review showing the app in action may be just what you need.
They cover all the main features of Photosmith and the few limitations that it currently has in the great video review below:
AdoramaTV cover quite a few photography related apps for the iPad, so be sure to check out the rest of the reviews on their YouTube Channel.
If you use Adobe Lightroom you need this app on your iPad. It's that simple. We have been involved in beta-testing this app and we tell you why you should run and get it when it is released on Tuesday.
Every now and then an app comes along that solves a problem you have struggled with for a while. Photosmith is one of those apps.
What is Photosmith?
Photosmith's Developers have this to say about the purpose of their app [bold text ours]:
Photosmith brings the ability to manage photos using collections, keywords, tagging, ratings, EXIF, and IPTC metadata. Photographers no longer need to wait until they get back to their main computer or drag a laptop to sort through photos or show clients their latest results.
With Photosmith, photographers can load their photos directly on the iPad, filter, sort, rate, and keyword while in the field/studio. When they get back to Adobe Lightroom on their Mac or PC they can sync all photos from the iPad to Lightroom and all of their tagging and rating will also transfer with no need to duplicate effort.
As we have already said, this app is ideal for any Lightroom user but especially those who want to start their photo management workflow when on the move. That sounds a bit grandiose, but it applies to the holiday snapper on a day out as much as it does the Commercial Pro photographer doing a fashion shoot on the other side of the world.
Photosmith also enables a photographer to travel light, leaving the often heavy laptop at home, taking the far more svelte iPad instead with all of its multi-functional goodness included.
When would I use it?
Let's imagine you have just finished a day's shooting away from your main base (home or studio). You have gone ahead and loaded all your photos onto your iPad (you now have a backup too).
On your return train, car or plane journey, where you may have found it awkward to get a laptop out before, you can just fire up Photosmith on your iPad and start reviewing your shots.
By the time you get back home, or to the studio, you have already begun (and maybe even finished) the often painful process of making selects and adding metadata to your shots, meaning you can get on with editing and the rest of your workflow as soon as you get back in, no time wasted!
What's the process?
Here is a typical photographer-on-the-go workflow for Photosmith:
- After shooting, import photos to the Photos app on your iPad via CCK as normal, photos are placed into the Photos app album.
- Start up the Photosmith app. Photosmith will process the new photos it finds in the Photos app (including Saved Photos and Camera Roll on iPad 2), generate thumbnails/full 1:1 previews and extract the EXIF data.
- Wherever you are, you view, assess, rate, tag, keyword or reject your photos and add any meta data such as IPTC title you wish.
- When you are back at your main machine, start Photosmith on your iPad, then start up Lightroom on your Mac/PC
- Open the Photosmith plugin in Lightroom, wait for it to detect your iPad running Photosmith and hit Sync. All your photos plus any metadata you added in Photosmith will be transferred to your Lightroom library.
Ok, I want it, what's it like to use?
We have been using Photosmith for a few months now, being fortunate (foolish?) enough to be part of the Beta-testing program. The app has really matured over that time and in this release version (1.02) we find a highly useful, carefully programmed and lovingly designed app that will definitely enhance a Lightroom using photographer's workflow.
There is a lot to this app, but let's take a quick look at the main features.
The User Interface (UI)
Any user of Lightroom will feel right at home with Photosmith's user interface (UI). It doesn't copy but echoes the feel of Lightroom so that the controls make sense to the Photographer used to reviewing photos in Adobe's desktop app.
A lot of careful thought has gone into the UI of the app, especially by the designer and it has been interesting to see how it has evolved over the Beta period.
There are three main views to the app:
- Grid view - see thumbnails and select and organise your shots into collections
- Loupe view - (pictured above) gives a 'film strip' along the bottom and metadata/info on right
- Full Screen view - (pictured below) Focus on the images, interface elements are minimised with slide outs for colour, rating and reject selections, but touching the screen anywhere else will bring up the usual UI elements like the filmstrip and title bar, as in Apple's built-in Photos app.
Reviewing and Updating
Once the previews have been built, we found Photosmith surprisingly quick at running through the images, even on the original iPad. If you have hundreds (or worst-case thousands) of shots to work through quickly and find the 'keepers' then there is a very handy Auto advance option (as in Lightroom) which moves onto the next image automatically once a rating, colour tag or 'Reject' setting has been added to an image.
The iPad screen size seems just about perfect for this process and by double-tapping anywhere on the image you can zoom in to a full 1:1 view of your image, even on massive 20+ megapixel RAW files!
This really helps you check the detail and sharpness of an image and interestingly is better, or closer, than the full zoom on the Apple Photos app (for more on this see the Photosmith Grand Tour page).
You no doubt know how powerful collections can be in Lightroom. Photosmith supports creation, editing and organising of collections that are then synced to your Lightroom library. You can select an image or a number of images using the multiple image selection technique described here. Alternatively, use two fingers to tap an image and toggle its selection.
There are a few Smart (or Special) collections automatically generated for you such as Last Import, Rejected Photos and the extremely useful Unmarked Photos so you can see which shots you still have to edit.
When this feature went fully live during the Beta we were so pleased. Like most photo management apps you can use these options to filter by colour and rating and the great thing is that the filter setting is retained as you switch between view mode so that you don't need to keep reselecting your options. You just have to remember that you are filtering your photos or you could panic that photos have disappeared (or maybe that's just us!).
A big part of any photographer's library management is Keywording. Photosmith allows a pretty much unlimited number of keywords (they tested up to 10,000 with some Beta testers) and around 2000 keywords per image being theoretically possible before slowing things down.
Adding a keyword is a simple case of selecting the keyword box which brings up the Keyword selector. From here you can select a keyword to add it (or if it is already applied deselect it to remove), do a search if you have lots of keywords or add a new one. You do this by typing it in to the search box and, because Photosmith recognises it as a new keyword, it will highlight it in green text and put a + sign to the left. Selecting the green text adds the keyword to the photo and keyword database.
We would dearly love to have the ability to add keywords to more than one image, but in this first version of Photosmith that is not included. However, the feature request has appeared on the new Support forum for the app, so we are hopeful this feature will be added in a future version. It is a bit of a bind adding the same keywords over and over again, especially if you have a lot of photos to edit.
Syncing to Lightroom
New keywords, along with any other updated information you enter against your photos is sent over to your Adobe Lightroom library when you Sync with Photosmith. Rejected photos are not synced but left on your iPad.
Syncing has been one of the main things that changed with nearly every Beta release and we know that the Developers have done a lot of work on this as there are so many variables. On the whole, it seems to work well in this release and in our last test we had a no problems at all.
A nice touch is that you can even choose where you are syncing to (Destination Directory), how the photos are organised and the Date Format, so you can match up with your Lightroom library and also choose to have the photos synced from Photosmith placed in another folder by checking the 'Into subdirectory' option, although we chose not to.
Once these selections are made, you hit Sync and leave Photosmith running so that it can transfer your photos and metadata via WiFi.
Advanced Syncing - For When You Have Lots of Photos
If you have got hundreds or even thousands of photos to sync to Lightroom you may find WiFi too slow. In this case you can import your photos directly into Lightroom via USB connection (like you normally would with a Camera/Card as a source). Once that import has finished then connect Photosmith to Lightroom via WiFi and only the edited metadata is transferred to your library.
The Photosmith plugin and sync function is clever enough to match up your photos with their amended metadata coming in from your iPad.
This way, no photos are sent from Photosmith, as they are already there.
If you always have a lot of photos to import after a shoot or holiday, then this may be your preferred way of syncing.
Although Photosmith is not an image editor, if you are skilled enough to get a good enough image straight from the camera, or you want to send your images off to an online backup site, you can still share photos from the app to usual suspects such as Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and via email.
You have a few options such as image size and destination for most of these sharing options. It is not something we have used really with Photosmith, but it is useful to have these sharing options if and when we need them, pre-editing.
Will Photosmith work with my camera?
Most digital cameras will work fine with Photosmith, especially if you only use JPEG files. Even RAW shooters shouldn't have many issues, but due to the odd variations with file formatting in RAW images, there are a few cameras that have been identified as problematic during Photosmith's beta testing.
This affects things like rendering previews and interperting EXIF data in the RAW files of those cameras (JPGs shot with these cameras should be fine though).
Photosmith and Adobe
Although Photosmith is not an official Adobe app, there has been some input and assistance from Adobe's technical team. After tweeting about some of the difficulties they had with the Adobe's plugin SDK, Tom Hogarty (Lightroom Production Manager) replied on Twitter and put the Photosmith team in touch with one of his Developers who has helped the team out a great deal.
The experience of developing functionality to work with an Adobe desktop app seems to have been overwhelmingly positive, Chris Morse told us:
"Adobe is clearly interested in supporting the 3rd party developer community and Photosmith has been no exception."
"One amazing thing about the contact we've had with Adobe, even though they are a large company they are as approachable as a small one. Senior managers are visible, and responsive, right on Twitter."
We would unreservedly recommend Photosmith and in our opinion any Adobe Lightroom user will find it indefinitely useful. Its appeal and functionality will meet the needs of snapshooters through to professionals running big commercial studios. It should be on the home screen of every iPad owning Lightroom user.
We would like to congratulate the Development team on bringing this project to fruition, we have only seen a small part of the hard work and extraordinary effort that has gone into getting Photosmith this far, and we know there are big plans to continue to develop the app in the future.
Photosmith will be launched on the App Store on Tuesday 26th April, at 12:01 EDT. The app will be $17.99 (£10.99), pricing for other countries can be found here.
Photosmith has now been released and is available for purchase in the App Store.
By all accounts, the iPad 2 camera is fairly useless for anything but the lowest quality and generally unusable stills, we have to be honest. But what if you chuck a healthy dose of creativity into the mix?
John Biehler (officially an E-Business analyst, but also has his fingers in other pies) has done just that with his new iPad 2 and the Photo Booth app's Kaleidoscope effect. He posted some of the results to his blog and uploaded a few of the photos to Flickr.
"I think the results turned out pretty cool, if not a little Inception-esque. Being on top of Vancouver probably helped too... A little low resolution but interesting art nonetheless."
We were quite captivated by these images and would agree, they are quite artistic and definitely have an Inception quality about them.
Whilst your average point & shoot doesn't have anything to worry about from the iPad 2's stills ability, John's post goes to show what fun can still be had with any camera and a bit of creativity.
We know you are busy, so in case you missed anything, here are this week's posts all in one place.
First Ever Music Video Shot on an iPad 2 We brought you this story including an exclusive interview with the video makers Remedy Films, this time last week.
Why it's unlikely that you'll even consider a Xoom, PlayBook or TouchPad? Three major advantages that Apple has over its competition now, and in the future.
The Penelope Rose HD: A motion hologram effect 3D adventure book A quick look at this really impressive new motion hologram children's book.
Isle of Tune: The award winning music creation website coming soon to the iPad A fantastic and novel way to make music on your iPad be sure to watch the video.
ZX Piano: A nostalgic 8-bit synth that even Sir Clive could use A brilliant retro synth based on one of our favourite nostalgic computers.
Stereolizer - Let's Radio like it's 1984 More nostalgia, this time our full review of really great radio streaming and audio recording app from French developers Lesmobilizers, we love it!
How to take better photos with your iPad 2 The iPad 2 camera is not great, but we have a way you can get half-decent stills from it, try this out.
iPad 2 + GarageBand + Talent = Amazing A fantastic video example of what can be done with the new GarageBand app.
GarageBand: Teenage Dream Another impressive GarageBand video, this time with some fine keyboard playing skills.
Mobile Artists Hit the UK A quick look at the iAMDA Mobile Artist conference last month with a video created by the galant organiser Paul Kercal.
Ellen Once Again, spreading the GarageBand love So, it is no secret that we love GarageBand for iPad, we can't quite get over how awesome an app it is, at the price point of much lesser apps. We are not the only ones though, here is Ellen Hinton's take on Apple's bar-setting app.
Fotopedia's new app 'Memory of Colors' contains a gorgeous collection of photographs by Artist and Photographer Jaime Ocampo-Rangel. The app is based on his personal project of the same name which culminated in an exhibit of 100, 2 metre tall, images and several short films.
The website describes it as:
A 12-year project that assembles a rainbow of 1,300 photos from 40 unique cultures in 18 countries (from Algeria to Yemen) and across 5 continents.
The colours are intrinsic to these endangered cultures and the colors are used as a way of organising the photographs within the app, along with other keywords such as ethnic group and country. There is also a fully zoomable map view with the customary pins representing the ethnic groups, an interface which should be familiar to any iOS user.
But it is the stunning photography and the awesome physical and emotional detail it reveals about its subjects that is prominent in the Memory of Colors app. This results in a mesmerising journey through the faces and characters from these ethnic groups. The iPad screen displays these images wonderfully in crisp, colourful detail, really showing off the iPad's strength as an art portfolio viewer.
If you want to dig deeper, information on the ethnic groups appearing in the photos is also available in-app via a dropdown menu, with links out to Wikipedia for more extensive information. This adds another element to the app making it more informative and educational.
Memory of Colors is currently available at an introductory price of $0.99 (59p) in the app store which we think is well worth it.
Even at the intended asking price of $2.99 there is so much to justify the price, the photography is outstanding, there are some truly delightful images here that will keep you in wonder for a good while.
It was a pleasant surprise to find this free app featuring the photography of Jeff Bridges. Apart from being a very talented actor and appearing in two of our favourite geek films (Tron and Tron: Legacy), he is also an accomplished Photographer (as well as a Guitarist/Musician).
True Grit: Through the Lens of Jeff Bridges is a promotional iPad app for his latest film, a Cohen Brothers re-envisioning of the classic John Wayne Western True Grit, which is yet to be released here in the UK.
We are given, for free, over 60 black and white photos taken with a Widelux camera, a unique film camera with a wide angle swing lens that rotates through 140 degrees, letting the light through a small slit which exposes the film as it moves across the negative.
Bridges describes his love of photography and the Widelux in an extract from his photography portfolio book Pictures, it is a heart warming read. The results from a Widelux can be a bit hit and miss (no manual focus control and dodgy viewfinder) but the True Grit app's panoramic, monochrome images, some of them quite beautiful, are an attractive way to record the event.
Some images are accompanied by handwritten notes by Bridges himself (the handwriting matches that found on his website so we are assuming this is true). We like that there is a mixture of 'character' shots of the actors with behind-the-scenes images showing some of the crew and off-camera moments during filming.
The app also has a stark, monochrome interface, which fits nicely with the black and white images. As far as promotional apps go, we like this one a lot. It is interesting to see an app like this produced exclusively for the iPad, no doubt because of the wonderful way that the iPad presents photos and enables casual browsing of a portfolio like this, book style.
The True Grit app is a free download from the App Store and features a couple of video trailers (streamed to the app), so it is worth checking out. It would have been nice to see more video but you do get 60+ images in the app which look gorgeous on the iPad's screen.
It may not stay on your iPad for long after you have seen all of the photos, but we found it was a good demo app to show off the device and we are keeping it around for a bit longer.
Let us know if you have seen the True Grit app, and any thoughts you have about it, in the comments below.
Here is something exciting to look forward to in the New Year for iPad using Photographers, Filterstorm Pro is about a month away from beta testing. Developer Tai Shimizu has been kind enough to share a video of the alpha version running on the iPad and it looks lovely with some great features in the pipeline.
We have said before how much we like Filterstorm on both iPad and iPhone, it is definitely one of our favourites, so we are really looking forward to getting our hands on Filterstorm Pro. If you are a Photo-Journalist or Photographer and would like to help Tai out, he will be looking for eligible beta testers soon, so drop him a line and let him know you are interested.
Filterstorm is one of the first apps we loved when the iPad launched and to this day it remains our favourite heavy-weight photo editing app for iPad. We have mentioned the app more than a few times in previous posts.
If you have never tried Filterstorm, we think it is the closest thing to Aperture/Lightroom there is on iOS and we strongly recommend you give it a go now, the app is Universal so you get an iPhone optimised version too.
Developer and Photographer Tai Shimizu has been holding off on the most recent update until iOS 4 was released for the iPad, which of course hit iTunes last night, and Filterstorm 2.6 went live on the app store last night too.
The update brings with it a re-worked crop tool, which doesn't sound like much but if you saw the previous version the crop tool handles tended to get in the way and obscure the actual photo you were trying to edit, it was the one thing we didn't like very much about the app, especially on the iPhone's smaller screen.
The new crop tool takes a different approach to the crop handles and just this improvement alone has made the app so much easier to use. The screenshots below from Tai's blog show the iPhone version of the cropping tool, as you can see it is a nice update.
Old Cropping Interface
New Cropping interface
In addition, there are other new features like Borders that can include integrated captioning allowing you to finish the image nicely, new EXIF import from the Photo Library (a big plus when sending the image on from Filterstorm) and a new creative tool in the Multiple Exposure, which impressed us by allowing selective application of the second image by brushing with a mask.
Be sure to check out the video below from Tai showing some of the new features and we have included a full list of the updated features below the video. Filterstorm 2.6 is available now in the app store for $3.99 (£2.39).
Filterstorm 2.6 Features
• Borders/frames tool added
• Multiple exposure tool added
• Sliders now have numerical indicator as to their value
• New Color Picker
• Completely redesigned cropping tool
• Text tool added on iPhone/iPod Touch
• Improved text tool on iPad
• Pasting photos now supports PNG & TIFF data.
• Metadata, both IPTC and EXIF are ONLY SUPPORTED ON iOS 4.2
• EXIF data can now be read from the photos album and camera.
• EXIF data will be saved to all images, whether going to the photo album or being e-mailed/FTPd
• IPTC generation rewritten
• IPTC generation in XMP format only
• IPTC fields added:
• Country Code
• Usage Terms
• Contact Address, City, State, Postal Code, Email, Website
This is crazy! Nine iPads from a bunch of generous friends, some plywood, and lots of electrical wiring, plus a great team and an innovative idea from photographer Jesse Rosten all adds up to a photoshoot lit by a lovely soft light source and some gorgeous photos.
Read more about the shoot and learn what went into it in Jesse's own blog post and check out the video above but remember, it's just for fun.
Have you ever been out and about taking photos and been presented with a situation where you had no clue how to capture the image properly, or you have tried taking lots of photos but not one of them came out right? Us too! Help is at hand, literally.
PhotoCaddy has been out for a while on the iPhone, but recently Aspyre Apps released an iPad optimised version of the app.
PhotoCaddy HD is basically a virtual photographer’s assistant (hence the name) offering tips, pointers and specific instruction on certain techniques for varying situations.
Covering topics such as Essentials, Outdoor, People and Landscapes each Category is broken down further into different areas, with some topics providing basic information and camera settings for the situation or subject being photographed and some discussing more advanced techniques for the photographer venturing beyond the basics.
In addition to the 500+ built-in tips, an innovative feature is the user contributed tips, allowing you to access advice and pointers from other photographers using the app. This community, collaborative learning, approach is great way to add value to the app and can provide a wealth of information from fellow photographers who have been there before, and perhaps already made the mistakes trying to capture the subject you are considering.
These kind of tips can often produce the little nuggets that you had never considered and may not be the obvious things. As well as being able to access tips from other photographers, you can also vote on them, saying whether you found the tip useful or not. Arguably, this kind of voting system for tips causes the more helpful ones rise to the top and motivate the contributors to provide quality tips that receive positive votes, providing a useful database for other photographers.
The app also allows you to make your own notes for any of the topics, a nice touch for those of us used to carrying around little pocket notebooks for scribbling our observations in for future reference and critique sessions where we pick apart what we did, and could have done better, on our shoots.
PhotoCaddy HD is £2.39 ($3.99) in the app store, and we think it is definitely worth checking out for all levels of non-Pro Photographer.
This video demonstrates an enchanting and mind blowing 'painting with light' technique that uses movies played on the iPad, photographed with stop motion and multiple exposure techniques to produce floating block shaped text.
If you like the video and/or want to know more about the techniques used please follow the links above, they make fascinating reading.
For now though, take a moment, sit back and watch this in HD at Full Screen, it is sure to make you wonder.
Living on the doorstep of one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites (The Jurassic Coast), the iPad Creative team feel very priviliged and we are interested in anything that promotes this world-wide wonder, especially if it also involves our favourite gadget(s).
New and existing features
The 1.2 update brings with it some useful features including an updated navigation system but more importantly a quick and easy search function to your iPad (and iPhone).The search function enables you to quickly jump to any of the 890 UNESCO World Heritage sites and see some of the photos of that area from among the 20,000 contributed by Fotopedia members.
Other features of the app include access to information about the sites you are viewing, integration with TripAdvisor (potentially making the app a journey planning tool) and a browseable world map that looks like the Places module of iPhoto/Aperture.
Never ending story
More photos are being added all the time to Fotopedia's site and so the library of photos that you can browse will continue to expand beyond the 20,000 photos there already. Many of the photos are gorgeous to look at and all of this for FREE.
We have said it before, but we think the iPad is one of the best devices for browsing through and viewing photographs at their best and this app demonstrates that wonderfully.
"The biggest Coffee Table Book ever!"
Equally of note is the name behind this 'endless photo book' app and Fotopedia, former CTO at Apple and Steve Jobs' friend Jean-Marie Hullot. If you have 30 minutes to spare, we highly recommend viewing Robert Scoble's interview with Hullot in the video below.
We found it really interesting and Hullot talks about the iPad being the inspiration behind the Fotopedia Heritage app experience and describes some of the key features and future developments for the app. There is even a mention about working with Steve Jobs thrown in the mix:
We mentioned Sort Shots a few months ago when discussing the absence of professional level photo management software like Photo Mechanic on the iPad.
At the time the big issue was that Sort Shots could not pass any Tags or Rating metadata added in the app, back to your computer, or even import what you had already added in say Lightroom or Aperture. This meant you had to double-up on your Tags and Keyword entries.
With the release of Sort Shots 2.0 the developers have gone some way towards addressing the issues around adding and editing EXIF data to images using the iPad.
Sort Shots have added Metadata import from and export to some of the major image processing apps, although only Adobe Bridge and Lightroom get full import and export at the moment.
Here is a summary from the Press Release:
Metadata keywords can be read by various software packages including:
* Adobe Bridge and Lightroom (import and export keywords and ratings)
* Apple iPhoto and Aperture (import keywords)
* Microsoft Photo Gallery(R) (import keywords and ratings)
* Nikon Capture NX2 (import keywords)
For Aperture users export of Keywords and Ratings back to your Mac is being developed and will no doubt be available in a future update.
If you have imported Photos directly onto your iPad from a camera or iPhone, you cannot edit their metadata while they are in your Photo Library. You must import the photos that you want to work with into Sort Shots first.
You can import photos either from the Photo Library on your iPad or from your computer via the iTunes File Sharing interface. The video below shows how to do this. It is not as integrated as we would like, but probably the best workaround that Developers can offer at the moment due to Apple's restrictions on iOS access.
Full Res or Optimised?
Another key feature is export of full resolution images back to your computer, although they do say this will slow the process down, so there is an option to export optimised versions of your photos if that is acceptable. We think that it is worth taking the 20% hit in performance to stick with full res images but it is nice to have the option to speed things up when the Web might be the final destination for the images and full res is not necessary.
Remember, Sort Shots is not writing anything back to the originals in your Photo Library, so you have to manually move the edited versions back onto your computer using the iTunes File Sharing function and drag and drop back to a folder as explained in the video below.
An important thing to note is that Sort Shots does not work with RAW images, so it will be your JPEGs that are being edited.
The new features in Sort Shots make it worth another look for those who need to Tag, Rate and edit EXIF data in their images whilst on the move or away from home. Whilst the import/export functionality is a workaround, we still think it is very useful when you need it.
We have mentioned Sort Shots' new features here, but it is worth checking out all of the additional ones on their features page. You may also want to take a look at the video below which explains the new import/export features and how to use iTunes to get the photos into Sort Shots.
Sort Shots 2.0 is available now in the app store at £2.99 ($4.99).
This short video from Vincent Laforet shows how the iPad can help Creatives do their job by simply offering a place for collecting all those bits of paper, resources and Internet connectivity in one, fairly lightweight device with a big enough screen to make documents, photographs and illustrations useable, whilst remaining mobile.
As Vincent says in the video, these things carried separately in their 'analogue' form are easy to lose or misplace, but with the iPad, it is always there (or downloadable) when he needs it. Although we have just discovered it on Vimeo, this video is from a few months ago so there are probably any number of apps that Vincent now uses to assist his workflow, and the pace of new app development is picking up fast as more and more people get their iPads, providing good future prospects for the device.
Over to you
What about you? Have you seen or heard any good examples of how Creatives are using their iPads to help them in their activities? We would love to hear from you in the comments.
We wrote about Shacked Software's Flickpad back in May and we liked it, but at the time it could only be used for viewing Facebook photos and albums. We liked the innovations that had been made with the interface though and the way that you could 'flick' photos around the virtual desk on the iPad screen, it made browsing Facebook albums a lot of fun.
Now Shacked Software have released a really nice 2.0 update to their app including access to Flickr photos as well as Facebook, which for us is a big change and probably the most compelling reason to buy it. Now all that lovely UI goodness has been applied to our favourite photo sharing site too, and it is far more valuable having the two big hitters in the photo sharing world available through the same fun interface. Flickpad is now a real winner in our opinion.
One of the new feature we really liked (and would love to see on Flickr's own app) is multiple account logins so that more than one Flickr account can be used on the same iPad, handy for those of us who have a 'family and friends' account as well as a public account and, in our case, a third (iPhoneography) account.
Have a look at the above video to get a good idea of how the app works and also how fun the interface can be compared to some of the other photo browser apps.
Flickpad is available for £3.99 ($6.99) in the app store now, but if you are not sure about plumping for the full version, Flickpad have just tweeted this out in the last few hours:
Flickpad Lite was just approved and should be in app store shortly. For those of you on the fence about the full version, give it a shot!
The free Lite version is limited to 2 User Accounts, 5 active friends per service and 5 searches per app launch, but this will certainly give you a chance to try the interface out and see if you like it, so nothing to lose. The Lite version is available now.
If you are into your photography, especially if you also use Apple's Aperture, iPhoto and/or Photoshop, then you have probably heard of Derrick Story already. He is a Photographer, Writer and Educator (he literally wrote the book on Digital Photography and presents the Lynda.com training on Aperture).
I have just finished listening to Episode 226 of 'The Digital Story' podcast from the end of May this year (yes I am quite a way behind in my podcast listening) and I think that Photographers who are considering incorporating their iPad into their photographic workflow will find this very interesting.
The podcast episode is titled "The Nimble Photographer" and it is all about travelling light when out and about shooting, leaving the laptop at home. Instead of lugging along a big (but beautiful) MacBook Pro, Derrick discusses the merits of bringing along the iPad to lighten the load. Of course, the iPad is not the only weight/space saving piece of kit, he also takes the brilliant Canon S90 instead of DSLR plus lens(es), giving a total weight of just 5.5 pounds, which is about the same as the MacBook Pro on its own.
What the podcast and supporting video above highlight though is how Creatives can use the iPad as at least an interim device for reviewing and sharing their work when on the move, even if it does not completely replace a laptop. This is ideal for when taking along a laptop is simply too cumbersome or even undesirable, e.g. when you need to stay 'nimble' and light.
You might also want to check out Derrick Story's other posts about the iPad over at The Digital Story site, of which there are many. We are loving reading these and we may well mention more nuggets that our readers may have missed as we discover them.
You can follow Derrick on Twitter too.
Thanks go to Derrick for sharing these great articles, podcasts and videos.