all in with apple – photography

January 24, 2016

I’ve talked about using Apple products to help with my photography in past posts. I find, over time, that the iPhone has become my primary go-to tool for photography post processing, especially out in the field. The keys to this evolution is the iPhone’s powerful processing as well as good connectivity, either via WiFi or through AT&T’s cellular networks.¬†This post provides a bit more detail into how my so-called workflow has evolved to use the iPhone 6s+.

For photography I use the iPhone either with its built-in camera or with an external camera and then transfer the resulting JPEG images to the iPhone.

If I use the iPhone’s built in camera, the flow is:

  1. Take one or more photos with the rear-facing camera.
  2. Run the result through the Snapseed app, adjust to my satisfaction, and export the Snapseed result back to my film roll. Repeat in Snapseed as necessary.
  3. Export the result(s), either to Google Drive or Instagram, or both.

If I’ve exported the results to Google Drive that means I intend to use the photos in one of my blog posts here. In that case I download the photo(s) from Google Drive, via the web interface, to either one of my Macs and then move those photos into my posts using WordPress’ media import tool. That import consists of dragging from the Download folder on the Mac and onto the Media target on the web page. Note that all this requires a keyboard and mouse.

If I use an external camera, the flow is:

  1. Take one or more photos with the external camera. In this case it’s my Olympus E-M10.
  2. Put the camera into WiFi mode.
  3. Find the camera via the iPhone’s Settings | WiFi menu. Note that I’ve already paired the camera and iPhone, and this is the fastest way to get them to pair after that initial pairing.
  4. Bring up the Olympus OI.Share app. Wait for app to indicate connection to the camera, then use the app to view all images as thumbnails. Pick the ones you want and import them to the iPhone’s camera roll.
  5. Run the selections through the Snapseed app and export the result back to my film roll. Repeat in Snapseed as necessary.
  6. Export the result(s), either to Google Drive or Instagram, or both.

Yes, it looks like it takes twice as many steps with the external camera as the internal camera. But the amount of time required to do the latter is not that much longer than using the internal camera. And there are reasons why I used the external camera, such at the fact I have a 14-150mm (equivalent to 28-300mm) zoom. Or the fact I can handle fast action easier with the Olympus than I can with the camera. The old adage of the right tool for the right job comes into play here.

The iPhone camera is great because of its quality combined with its convenience. Many of the photos I’ve used since December have come directly from the iPhone. Yet, when I need the Olympus I really need the Olympus. And the fact I can easily use the Olympus with the iPhone via the Olympus app makes the iPhone just that much more powerful. I’d like to note that it’s a lot more convenient to use the iPhone for post processing of the Olympus JPEGs than it is to fire up my Mac or Windows notebook and then fire up Lightroom. I’ll do that if I need even greater control over the final output, but I find that is growing exceedingly rarer as time goes along.

I’m in the process of finding a portable keyboard and mouse that I can use with my iPhone. If I had those two combinations then I could write my posts directly with the iPhone. The screen is big enough and the iPhone 6s+ is powerful enough to cut out using my Macs for the last steps. I just need to find these last two tools and give it all a good try. If it works then I cut out the export to Google drive and download to a Mac steps. With a good keyboard and mouse I can write my posts and transfer everything immediately to my WordPress blog. Now I just need to find those tools…