iOS7 24 hours later

iOS 7 Well its now just over 24 hours since I updated to Apple’s latest and greatest iOS.  If you read the internet forums its either the greatest thing ever or the biggest disaster ever and Apple will go bust in days.

So far I like it, lots of improvements to functionality.  I do find it slightly less intuitive but one quickly finds ones way around.  The biggest issue is for me is the icons look a little odd and a bit like cartoon icons.  They may work better with the more colourful iPhone 5c.  Also so I am not sure I like the way folders take on the colours from the background it can look a little odd sometimes.

Overall I like it, and its a much improved OS.  In case you are wondering the photo above that I am currently using on my lock screen was taken last year in the studio.  A strongly lit background with no light on the model.  I had her repeatedly jump up in the air while I photographed her.  It was a fun shoot, quite a laugh for both of us but very tiring.  The pink gradient was added later in photoshop.



Macbook Air -topRAW processing has always been the preserve of the standard computer not the modern tablet which is viewed as a consumption device and not a device for actual work.  I have for a while wanted a RAW processor for the iPad but have always been disappointed with what is available, even Apple’s own iPhoto for the iPad can not handle RAW files.

iPad Mini

The best solution has been SnapSeed but now I have discovered PhotoRaw. SnapSeed, while it claims to be a RAW processor is not, it actually allows you to edit the imbedded JPeg used for imaging previewing, which is how most apps like Apple’s own iPhoto for the iPad works.  Now for many this is not an issue, and for many of todays top cameras one can configure the size and nature of the jpeg.

While many of these are not a bad solution, I wanted the real deal for when I am away on photography trips traveling light with the iPad.  I also wanted a solution that did not impact too much on my normal work flow.

When shooting in certain situations I shoot RAW + JPG with the jpeg set to Black & White. When I import these into Adobe Lightroom I thus get the full colour RAW plus a Black & White image. I can then quickly compare and decide if I want a colour or Black & White final image and edit the RAW accordingly.

The problem is working like this is not an option on the iPad as it only sees the imbedded jpg.  Thus I only get to work with the Black & White image.  So if I want to work on the iPad I either needed to change my work flow and camera settings or find a better iPad app.

With the release of Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe demonstrated Lightroom running on an iPad and syncing back to your normal Lightroom database via the Cloud.

While this looks good, it’s still early days and there is yet no release date. Well now I have PhotoRaw and for once this does exactly what it states, real RAW processing.  The initial import can be slow but once that is complete and the RAW has been rendered one can then do basic editing, export a jpeg of the size, quality and crop you want and at that point take it into, the iPad’s iPhoto, Snapseed or Photoshop Touch (insert your favourite editing software here), and do the final editing.  Like many iPad apps its not a single solution but requires other apps, and once back home you will have to re-import the RAW and re-edit potentially.

I’ll give it good test on my next major photo trip and post more on what I thought.  Long term I think if Adobe can pull off Lightroom on the iPad and seamless syncing back to the desktop with the Creative Cloud, then for professional travel photographers that will be the solution to go for if you can put up with Adobe’s monthly fees.

Photoshop Touch

Well by now after the weekends leak and Mondays official announcement, Photoshop Touch for Tablets is finally out. One of the most hoped and wished for Applications for the iPad.

For people wanting to make a start on there images before they go to there office and power up there main computers it looks a good option.

For people like me who want to travel light, then with apps like this, PhotoSmith and Nik software’s SnapSeed, you can now go out on site for a few days, leave your laptop at home and just have your iPad tucked in your camera bag.

Here is a quick review from Terry White.

Apple’s 12 Days of Christmas – Snapseed

I was gutted and also rather pleased that one of my favourite iPad apps was being given away the other day in Apple’s 12 Days of Christmas Event.

In case you don’t know, each day Apple give away an, app, book, song, or video.  I was gutted because I had already paid good money for the app and now it was free, but also pleased because it is a great app.

When I am away I can leave the laptop at home, backup my images to the iPad and try out some processing ideas.  Also being from Nik Software there Black & White Conversion is of a very high standard.

iOS comes of age: A True Smart Phone Arrives

Today iOS 5 is released, and with it the iPhone truly becomes a Smart Phone.

As a bit of a geek and working in IT, I have used PDA’s and Smart Phones since the Psion3.

Smart Phone’s and PDA’s have come and gone. The great Sony P series running Symbian OS and various Palm devices over the years.

These phones & PDA’s were punctuated by different Windows devices, these often had the most potential and the most ability, but were always handicapped by reliability and a frustrating OS that hindered rather then helped.

I always seemed to come back to Palm.

Then I saw Steve Job’s present the iPhone in 2007 and I thought this had great potential. A colleague of mine could be described as an Apple fan boy and within a matter of days of the original iPhone launch had one shipped over to the UK. This gave me the chance to try one out.

As a Smart Phone it was a joy to use, the terms delightful and magical, often used to describe the iPad is was came to mind.

As a Smart Phone it was ‘smart’ in a limited fashion. As a phone it was basic. No third party apps, no cut and paste, no multitasking (not quite true), no integration with Microsoft Exchange (essential for me).

But, and it’s a big but. What it did, it did better then any other mobile device.

  • Email – True HTML email
  • Web Browser – real web, not WAP, and do not even try and compare it with that sorry excused for a browser that was on Windows Mobile
  • The Best iPod Experience
  • Plus things like google maps, YouTube, stocks and shares app, notes, contacts etc.

    Still even with its limitations I left my frustrating Windows Mobile Phone in the car to act as my GPS SatNav and bought a iPhone one day one of there release in the UK.

    Gradually each new version of iOS has counted these points, added apps, more multitasking, Exchange Synchronisation and cut and paste.

    Now with iOS5 the iPhone becomes a true Smart Phone. Better alerts, over the syncing and upgrading.

    I have always been a bit slow to upgrade my hardware. I kept my iPhone1 until iPhone4, and now instead of getting the iPhone 4s (Siri May tempt me) I’ll just be upgrading my OS.

    Have to admit really enjoying iOS5. Little things like Landscape calendars, and finally a ToDo App, do not sound like much, but the geo fence features of the ToDo list are very cool. Having a reminder go off when I arrive or leave a destination is genuinely useful. Photo lovers will like the fact they can now create Photo Albums direct on the device.

    I had an issue with the ToDo’s at first, as I had Exchange sync switched on, it had my Exchange ToDo list, which of course does not understand GPS information, once I created a new ToDo list on my phone the GPS option appeared.

    My favourite is the notifications, finally we have caught up with the old Windows Mobile and with Android.

    A nice touch is being able to swipe between apps on the iPad, just like Alt-Tab (Command-Tab on OS X) in Windows.

    Also a four fingered swipe brings up your running apps, together with the five finger close, means you can use the iPad now just with gestures and not have to touch the home button.

    All together loving it. Simple, easy to use, whether your are a geek like me, or a Pensioner like my mother. And now a truly powerful iOS.

    SnapSeed for the iPad

    I love our iPad, and more and more Photography focused apps keep appearing.

    SnapSeed is a app recently updated with RAW support, which is what attracted me to it.  If your away with just your camera equipment and your iPad sometimes you want to play with your images and test out your ideas.

    I shoot RAW and until now there has been a lack of applications for the iPad that support the camera manufactures RAW formats.  Until now with the updated SnapSeed from Nik software.

    Nik are a big player in photography processing, products like Silver Efex Pro, produce the best black and white conversion I have found.

    This is not a review and not a recommendation, but it is a fun app.  The image above was initially processed in Lightroom then during my lunch break last week I had my first real play with the application and produced this.

    Have not had time to test the RAW support, according to their website RAW files are supported when Apple’s camera connection kit is used.

    To keep the weight down on our motorcycle road trip we took, once SLR, two lens and an iPad.

    The photo in the previous post was taken on my iPhone then processed on my iPad while I was on my road trip.

    PhotoSmith for Lightroom 1.05

    Well the other day I installed the latest Photosmith the Adobe Lightroom companion for the iPad.  I also updated the Lightroom plug-in to 1.0.10.

    Caroline had been shooting some macro shots of flowers and local wildlife (mainly Damsel Flies, and Toads), so I borrowed her compact flash card to test the update.

    I am please to report that it worked perfectly.  I imported the photos, keyworded a few.  Added some location information to one, and rated them and colour rated them.

    I then tested the sync, and wirelessly imported them back into Lightroom.  I then made a few changes, sync’ed common information across all the photos and resync’ed again.

    This information was then transferred back to the iPad.  During the day in spare moments I continued to update the metadata and keyword information on the iPad, and at the end of the day sync’ed again.

    I am pleased to report PhotoSmith worked perfectly and can be well recommended.  Now we are just waiting for the batch syncing of metadata, and for me the killer feature, two way sync of photos, so I can take a shoot from the Laptop to the iPad, do some work then sync back.

    PhotoSmith Bug in 1.04

    After upgrading to PhotoSmith 1.04 for the iPad, it became unusable, not rendering a full screen image just a small thumbnail.

    While waiting for the bug fix 1.05 that the developers have already released to Apple, I tried several things to fix it myself.

    I managed to fix it by deleting the application, rebooting the iPad and re-installing the app to the iPad. Its now working again for me.

    Already available is an updated Lightroom plug-in.  Keep up the good work guys.

    PhotoSmith out now

    PhotoSmith, the companion iPad application for Adobe Lightroom is now available.

    As soon as it became available this morning I downloaded and installed it.

    When I am away from home and don’t have my laptop with me, it will be come an essential part of my work flow.

    Import is simple.  I just plugged my Compact Flash card reader into the USB connector of the Apple connection kit and I had soon imported the hundred odd photographs I had taken at Whisby Nature Reserve yesterday.

    The app itself is relatively simple.  With the ability to select all, or by a two fingered tap, just the ones you are interested in, you can create Collections.  With a Grid view, Loupe view and a full screen view, interacting with your photographs is simple and direct.  Zoom in and check you focus, flag them with Ratings, Keywords and Metadata.

    Once your back home, either wirelessly sync or if you have a lot of images, sync with your iPad cable back to lightroom. iTunes is not necessary, just download the free Lightroom plugin from

    A simple but killer app which will make my work flow easier and faster, when away from home.

    I can think of a number additional features I would like to see, such as presets to quickly add common details to lots of photos at once, and two way sync, so I can take a batch of photographs out of lightroom and onto the iPad for updating metadata when I have some free time.

    So far its worked as advertised, does it have any bugs, well not really, I have been a little unfair to it, such as cancelling mid sync over wireless then trying to continue over a wired connection.  I had to quit both Lightroom and PhotoSmith and restart them before they would carry on where they left, but to complain about such things is a little unfair. Sometime the refresh can fail but just click to another section and all is updated.

    Can I recommend it, Yes definitely, and I look forward to putting it into some real action next time I take a trip as I will be leaving the laptop at home.

    Rating 4 stars out of 5.  If it gets the ability to apply presets and two way sync, i’ll make that 5 stars.  For the amount of effect the develops have put in and for the amount of time this will save it is well worth the £10.99.

    If your an iPad user and you have Lightroom, buy now.