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With iOS 9.2, Apple opened the door to use a Lightning SD Card Reader for uploading images directly from a memory card to an iPhone. We've had that functionality with an iPad, and now it works for iPhones too.

The process is fairly simple. Attach a Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader to your iPhone, and choose Import All or select the individual shots by tapping on them in Photos for iOS.

By doing so, Photos will put a blue checkmark in the lower right corner of the image designated for import. If you change your mind, tap the thumbnail again to remove the checkmark. (You won't see any checkmarks at all if you use the Import All command until the process has begun.)

Now tap the blue Import or Import All label in the upper right corner. The images will be copied from the memory card into your Photo Stream. If you have RAW+Jpeg pairs, only the Jpegs will be visible on your mobile device. You'll see the message, "Multiple formats imported" reminding you of how this works. But the RAWs will be accessible for editing when you use Photos for OS X on a Mac. Of course you'll need iCloud photo sync enabled for the images to automatically appear on your computer too. And when editing, be sure to choose "Use RAW as Original" from the Image menu while in Editing mode.

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OK, now getting back to your iPhone... if you don't see your recently uploaded files in Collections in Photos for iOS, tap on the Albums tab and view the Last Import album. They should be there. The pictures should also be visible in the All Photos album.

From this point forward, you can mark images as Favorites, share them on social sites, edit them with Photos' adjustments, or work on them in other applications.

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This capability is also handy for viewing what's on a particular SD card that you find rattling around in the bottom of your backpack. Either way, with the large screens we now enjoy with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, adding the card reader function makes a lot of practical sense.

For more help mastering Photos for OS X, be sure to take a look at Photos for OS X Essential Training on lynda.com.

More Help and Insights on Photos for OS X

Don't forget about the Photos for OS X Special Feature Section on The Digital Story. It's a roundup of tutorials, videos, and articles focused on helping you master Apple's latest photo management software. You can also find it under Photography in the top nav bar.

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With the recent release of iOS 9.2, camera-toting snapshooters can use the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter ($29) to transfer images from practically any digital camera to an iPhone.

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We've had this capability with iPads, but iPhones were previously left out of the party. Now everyone can play.

This would have been more helpful a while back before WiFi became prevalent with our digital cameras. But it's still a welcome feature for those who have non-WiFi devices they want to connect to iOS 9.2 phones.

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Lightroom Mobile has upped the ante for nimble photography by enabling access via a web browser on any computer connected to the Web. Lightroom Mobile users simply have to log in to https://lightroom.adobe.com, and just like that, their Lightroom Mobile environment is available.

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And it's not just viewing your images... you can also use a fairly robust set of editing tools to adjust pictures. All of this can come in handy when traveling ultralight. Let's say that you're at a friend's house and want to show off a few shots from a recent trip. Just go to his computer, log in to your account, and there it is. Check it out!


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Lightroom Mobile has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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When I decided to embark upon The Film Project, I needed an easy way to create journal entries to accompany my analog images. Since I have the iPhone with me at all times, finding an iOS app seemed like the smart way to go. And what a terrific app I found.

Day One for iOS ($4.99) is handsomely designed software that runs on both iPhones and iPads. I can attach an image to the top of the journal entry, write the information that I want to retain, and even have the weather, location, and date automatically recorded.

I can choose to have the entries backed up to my iCloud account where they are synced across all of my devices, including my Mac if I also purchase Day One for Mac OS X ($9.99).

The workflow goes something like this. I shoot the image with my Contax T2 film camera. I then take a second shot with the iPhone 6S. I open Day One on the iPhone, add the iPhone photo to the latest entry, and type all of the information that I want to retain about the analog shot, such as shutter speed, f/stop, exposure compensation, and details about the composition itself.

DayOne-OSX.jpg The same entry on my Mac where I can edit, review, and enhance. All of the changes are pushed back to iCloud and appear on my iOS devices.

Then, when the processed film comes back from the lab, I can match up the journal entries to the prints. Plus, I can compare the differences between how the film interpreted the scene compared to the iPhone. The iPhone lens is 29mm wide while the T2 is a more narrow 38mm. So the journal images have a wider aspect, which I like, because it captures the surrounding story too.

The bottom line is this: If you need a well-designed journal application to accompany your photography work, you'd be hard pressed to find a better fit than Day One.

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Photographers wishing to leave their laptops at home, but still wanting backup and image sharing on the road, may find the answer in the RavPower All-in-1 Filehub that's currently on sale for $45.99.

PB120440-ravpower.jpg The RavPower with a USB Flash drive at one end and SD card at the other.

This 5.4 ounce device that measures a mere 3.82 x 1.06 x 2.13 inches is WiFi enabled with a USB port on one end and a SD card reader on the other. Using the free iOS or Android FileHub Plus app, travelers can copy files from the SD card to an USB Flash drive for backup. There are many more functions available with the RavPower, but this one in particular is vital to mobile photographers.

The Workflow

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Insert a MS DOS Flash drive in the USB port and a memory card full of pictures in the opposite slot, then fire up the RavPower. Join the FileHubPlus network in the WiFi settings of your device. If you don't see it there, press the button on the RawPower and wait a few seconds. Now launch the FileHub Plus app. You should see icons for both the SD card and the USB device at the bottom of the screen.

Tap on File/Folder and navigate to your SD card. Drill down until you see the pictures on the card. Tap the images you want to copy to the USB drive, then tap on the wrench icon and choose Transfer to from the popup menu. Select FileHub Plus from the popup menu. That will reveal the USB drive. Navigate to the folder on the drive where you want the pictures to reside. You can create folders here too. Tap Transfer. The images will be copied to your USB device.

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You can move entire folders too with just a couple taps. So this process can be fast and easy. Once the images have been copied to the USB device, you can view them in the app, and even copy your favorites to the mobile device, for editing and sharing. You have an array of options available to you.

But Wait, There's More

The RavPower is also a 6000 mAh power bank that can recharge your mobile devices in the field. First, use the eject command for your USB device by tapping on its icon at the bottom of the main screen. (You should do this too for the SD card before removing.) Once the port is free, connect the charging cable for the mobile device to the RavPower. Energy will begin to flow into your smartphone or tablet. You can monitor the reserve amount by pressing the button on the top of the battery. Four LED dots indicate that there's lots of juice. The dots go down as power is transferred from the battery to your devices.

PB120435-ravpower.jpg Recharging an iPhone 6S with the RavPower Filehub.

Final Thoughts

There are more functions available too, such as wireless routing via the built-in Ethernet port, and streaming of music, movies, and pictures from USB storage to your mobile devices.

But the ability to backup my SD cards while on the go is the unique feature that I think makes the RavPower All-in-1 Filehub a steal at $46.

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The RavPower All-in-1 Filehub has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Flickr has updated its mobile app for iOS 9, and it's a beauty. The headline feature is a smart implementation of 3D Touch.

flickr-iphone-ds.jpg 3D Touch now implemented for iPhone 6S. Photos by Derrick Story.

Level one of 3D Touch is available when scrolling through thumbnails and you want a closer look. Not only does the image pop forward with blurred background, but you get the photographer's name and image title.

But wait, it gets better. In your Camera Roll, press on a thumbnail to bring it forward. Now you can scroll through neighboring images by swiping left or right to see an enlarged view of them. When you find the photo that you want to work with, press a bit harder, and it jumps forward into full screen mode. This is as much fun with 3D Touch I've had so far.

For those without an iPhone 6S, Flickr has added Spotlight Search, Universal Links, and App Icon Shortcuts to this update. Helpful indeed, but not quite as sexy. The free update is available now in the iOS App Store.


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Flickr for iOS has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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No self-respecting shooter wants to be caught carrying a selfie stick. But the new Manfrotto Compact Xtreme 2-in-1 Monopod and Pole ($45) just might be the respectable solution that we've been waiting for.

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The Compact Xtreme is a combination of a Manfrotto monopod and what the company calls a "pole." This dual personality adapts to a variety of situations, and works in both modes for mirrorless, compact, and action cameras.

Essentially, what they've done is create a lightweight, compact monopod that retracts to a minimum of 17.34", but can be extended to a maximum of 53.19". It weighs in at 0.62 pounds.

The real trick is that they put a universal 1/4" thread at both ends (with protective covers). So you can attach a camera to either end and extend the pole. Since it's lightweight, you can hold it with one arm when it's in "pole mode," or steady it with the ground when it's a monopod.

The kit includes a small aluminum ball head and GoPro adapter. And when collapsed, the Xtreme should fit in many camera bags or easily attach to the outside. The Manfrotto Compact Xtreme looks like a nifty solution for photographers on the go who disdain the traditional selfie stick.


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The Manfrotto Compact Xtreme has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Version 5.4.7 of EyeFi Mobi is also compatible with more than 50 WiFi enabled cameras. This means that you can integrate image transfer from older models (without WiFi using the Mobi card) and newer models (with built-in WiFi) using just one app.

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In my testing, the system works, but there are a few details you should be aware of. The options are not the same for WiFi cameras as they are for the latest Eyefi Mobi Pro card. The most notable changes are that with camera WiFi, you don't have the selective transfer option, and if you shoot RAW+Jpeg, both files are sent to your mobile device.

For my workflow, this is a big problem. I want to decide which images are transferred to my mobile device, as I can with the EyeFi Mobi Pro. Plus, I need to shoot RAW+Jpeg, but I only want the selected Jpegs to be delivered wirelessly.

So the bottom line is, yes there are over 50 cameras that can send images to the EyeFi Mobi app, but you don't really have any control over that process. Once you connect the two devices, pictures just start streaming to your smartphone or tablet.

There might be some situations where this isn't a problem, and you could take advantage of all your cameras transferring all their images to one location. But for me, I still need the selective transfer of Jpegs only, for the app to be useful with my WiFi cameras.

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Find Your Stuff with Tile

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The Tile Phone Finder - Key Finder - Item Finder is a small, square, Bluetooth 4.0 device that can help your locate lost items.

I've been using it with my iPhone 6S via its free app. The operation is simple. I paired the Tile with my iPhone, attached it to my keyring, and let the two devices keep in touch with one another.

In the event that my keys are accidentally left behind between couch cushions at a friend's house, I can open the Tile app and find out where they were last registered by the iPhone. It will show me the general proximity on a map. Then all I have to do is return to the scene, navigate to the keys via the app, and tap the Find button to initiate musical tones from the Tile so I can discover its location.

keys-in-couch-cushion.jpg Lost keys between couch cushions? A Tile attached to the keyring (the square white object) will communicate with your iPhone to help you locate them.

Tiles run $25 each or cheaper in combo packs, have enough battery juice for a year, then can be turned in for a new tile (at a reduced price). It's not realtime tracking, but the system is clever. Knowing the last spot where your phone and keys were in the same proximity is helpful. And being able to initiate the audible sound when you're close is effective.

Tile is an fun high-tech stocking stuffer. And it most likely will be included on my holiday gift list.

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Lightroom 2.0 for the iPhone and iPad include the newish Dehaze feature that made a big splash on the desktop versions a while back. Adding Dehaze to an already set of excellent editing tools pushes Lightroom up near the top of mobile editing apps.

Dehaze Added to Mobile Lightroom Dehaze has been added to the list of editing options.

I tested Lightroom 2.0 on my new iPhone 6S. I hadn't used this app often on an iPhone previously, opting for the iPad instead, but the additional real estate of the 6S made it a reasonable experience.

A key aspect is being able to take a quality image with the 6S, edit it in Lightroom mobile, then push it up to Instagram or other social sites in a fast, seamless workflow.

Palace of Fine Arts - San Francisco CA I captured this image at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco with the iPhone 6S, refined in Lightroom 2.0 using the Dehaze tool (as shown here), then pushed up to Instagram via the Open In command. Photos by Derrick Story.

Even if you don't have a Creative Cloud account, you can tap your Camera Roll with Lightroom 2.0. There's a robust set of tools there, now including Dehaze.

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