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I met Frederick Van Johnson last night at Oracle Arena to take-in a Warriors game. At one point he said to me, "What's missing here?" We both looked at each other, and neither had a camera other than our iPhones. "Times have changed, haven't they?"

Oracle-Noise-Reduction.jpg Oracle Arena at Twilight. Photo by Derrick Story captured with an iPhone 6S and processed in Photos for macOS with Luminar editing extension.

Obviously, I still shoot with dedicated cameras most of the time. But there are those moments, such as going through security at Oracle Arena, where just having an iPhone is so convenient.

But I do notice, that with shots like this one of the arena at twilight, that the iPhone produces a little more noise in the sky than I like. Since my smartphone images go directly into Photos for macOS, this isn't much of a problem because I have the excellent noise reduction of Luminar waiting as an editing extension. (Luminar noise reduction is far more powerful than the noise reduction slider built into Photos.)

noise-reduction-web.jpg The noise reduction tool built into Luminar.

All I have to do is open the shot in Photos, then choose the Luminar editing extension. Its noise reduction tool provides many options allowing me to apply just the right amount. Plus, it puts the adjustment on its own layer. Nice. I then save the image, and it appears back in Photos, and it's shared across all of my devices.

The process is totally non-destructive, so I can view or revert to the original at any time. And having a robust noise reduction tool to complement my iPhone photography makes it that much easier to travel super light, yet still capture important moments as they present themselves.

Photos for macOS as Your Digital Darkroom

You can learn more about using Luminar as an editing extension in my lynda.com training, Photos for macOS: Advanced Editing Extensions.

And if you'd prefer to cozy up with a book, check out The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features chapters on basic editing, advanced post processing, and editing extensions.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

I remember Macworld 2007 quite well. Thanks to my being on the conference faculty, I had a decent seat for the Steve Jobs keynote... the one where he introduced the iPhone.

iphone-introduction.jpg The Introduction of the iPhone, San Francisco 2007 - Canon Rebel XT, f/4, 1/20, ISO1600, -1.0ev, 28mm. Photos by Derrick Story.

By 2007, we really needed an all-in-one device that could handle phone calls, text, personal organization, and the Internet. We were tired of juggling Palm Pilots and candy bar cell phones. Blackberries seemed too pedestrian. And if we could get a decent camera out of the deal, all the better.

The problem was, that first 2-megapixel iPhone camera wasn't very good. And it certainly wasn't going to challenge the Canon XT I toted to San Francisco in 2007.

john-mayer.jpg John Mayer performing at the 2007 Macworld Keynote. Canon Rebel XT.

But the iPhone's sophistication evolved steadily, and by the iPhone 4, we had a good camera in addition to its other mobile features, and things began to change in the world of photography.

We know that the iPhone has all but killed the consumer compact digital camera. I never really liked carrying them around anyway, to be honest. I have two front pockets in my jeans: one for my wallet and the other for my iPhone. That's all I want with me.

Beyond that, however the iPhone was more than just my new compact camera, it was an integral link in my overall photography workflow. Regardless of what camera I was shooting with, I could upload those images, edit them, and publish from practically any location in the world.

iphone-with-adapter.jpg

During my reporting in Las Vegas last week, I would capture the image with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, send the images to my iPhone 6S via WiFi, and share them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from hotel lobbies, Starbucks, and yes, the occasional casino lounge.

ces-reporting.jpg Reporting during CES 2017.

As much as I like the iPhone camera, and I do like it, what I truly appreciate these days is the mobile connection to my entire photography ecosystem that includes iCloud, Photos for macOS, and all of my social sites. The iPhone is my Swiss Army Knife for reporting on the road. And as such, it has helped me become a more timely, creative photographer.

And to be honest... I'm having more fun than ever.

Photos for macOS - Part of my iPhone Ecosystem

Explore the world of modern photography with my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers that features insightful text and beautiful illustrations.

And if you'd like to cozy up to a video at the same time, watch my latest lynda title, Photos for macOS Essential Training

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

When I use my smartphone and Dropbox mobile to scan a document, the entire process only takes seconds, and the digital file is instantly available across all of my devices. The funny thing about this is, I don't think a lot of Dropbox users are aware of this functionality.

scan-in-dropbox.png

When you tap the + button in the Dropbox mobile app, a popup menu with three options appears: Scan Document, Upload Photos, Create or Upload File. Tap Scan Document, and you're directed to the scanning interface, which is designed specifically for documents and pictures. Here's a short video from Dropbox for Photographers that shows how it works.

Now I can access my new scan from any Dropbox-connected device: phone, tablet, or computer. And since Dropbox is platform agnostic, that means iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

See What Else Dropbox Can Do for You

Take a look at my lynda.com training, Dropbox for Photographers to see how this multi-platform service can easily integrate into your photography workflow.

High quality mobile photography just took another leap forward with the latest firmware update for the DxO ONE camera. Photographers can now enjoy a RAW workflow leveraging the 1" sensor in the ONE and working with those files in Lightroom Mobile or Photos for macOS.

transfer-to-raw.jpg Transferring the RAW file in the DxO ONE app.

The process is easy. First update the DxO ONE app on your iPhone or iPad (it's free and in the Updates section of the App Store). Then update the camera firmware by going to Gallery > Menu > Camera Update. After a couple minutes, both camera and software are ready for action. Just make sure that you're recording in RAW in the camera's preferences.

As you take pictures, you'll have the option to transfer selected RAW files to the iOS device, as shown in the top illustration. (To save space, I normally have Jpegs sent to the Camera Roll and the RAWs saved to the memory card in the ONE. Now I have the option to send selected RAWs to the iOS device too.) Once the RAW is in the Camera Roll, you can work on it in Lightroom Mobile or Photos. It will also appear as a RAW file in Photos for macOS if you have iCloud connectivity, or in desktop Lightroom if you're using Creative Cloud syncing.

lightroom-mobile.jpg Working with the DNG in Lightroom Mobile on an iPhone.

And the best part is, you don't need a brand new iPhone to take advantage of this high quality workflow. I tested RAW photography on both an iPhone 5S and 6S, with the process working beautifully on both devices. All you need is iOS 10 and the DxO ONE camera.

Other enhancements with version 2.1 include direct WiFi connection for remote control of the ONE with an iOS device, improved recording efficiency for RAW files, and a one-tap power saving mode.

I'm going to have the DxO ONE in my pocket during my trip to Washington DC next week. I'll put it through its paces both for street shooting and covering the WildSpeak Conference. I'll share some pictures on social media.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The DxO ONE camera with update 2.1 has an extremely high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Using the DxO ONE Camera via WiFi

The DxO ONE camera has evolved quickly since its release. With the latest Version 2.0 Firmware Update, WiFi capability was unlocked, allowing photographers to detach the camera from the iPhone and continue to take pictures.

wifi-dxo-one.jpg

The firmware update can be applied by connecting the camera to your iPhone, launching the DxO ONE app, and going to the message center where you'll have the opportunity to upgrade. Once the upgrade has been applied, go to the settings menu in picture taking mode. You can do that by tapping on the icon in the upper right corner, then swiping down in the menu to "Wireless remote control," as shown in the above illustration.

The section provides you with two options. The first, Connect through a Wi-Fi network, allows you to tap into an existing network. Once you select that, the iPhone will pass the network credentials to the DxO camera. This takes just a few seconds. Soon, a message appears, "You can now detach your DxO ONE and take pictures." Now have some fun.

DxO also announced a new tripod adapter that looks very nice. Or, you can use a third party solution, such as the MeFOTO SideKick360 shown in the image below.

wifi-in-action.jpg The DxO ONE in WiFi mode stabilized with a MeFOTO SideKick..

Once you've finished, just connect the camera again. The WiFi connection will be terminated, and you're back in connected shooting mode. It's easy, and it works great.

The second option, Direct Option, is currently grayed out. The message states that there's an incompatibility with the latest iOS Update. Hopefully, this will be ironed out soon so we can shoot wirelessly without an existing network.

WiFi connectivity is just one of the many new features in the Version 2.0 update. But it's just so darn sexy, I had to start there.

We're on Apple News!

Find us now on the Apple News App for iOS! Just open this link on your iOS device, then add The Digital Story to your Favorites.

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While many mobile photographers await their upgrade to iPhone 7, there's a lot you can do right now with the 6S, including a nifty RAW workflow thanks to iOS 10 and Lightroom Mobile. It's easy, and the quality is outstanding.

lightroom-iphone.jpg Lightroom Mobile on an iPhone 6S running iOS 10. Original image captured as a DNG file using the Lightroom camera app. No editing quite yet...

Start by making sure you have the latest versions of iOS and Lightroom Mobile loaded. Then open LR on the iPhone and tap on the camera icon in the lower right corner. At the top of the interface look for DNG. If you see Jpeg instead, tap on it and choose DNG from the popup option. Take a photograph. You've just captured a RAW file with the iPhone.

At this point, you can edit it with the excellent tools in LR Mobile. I spent a couple minutes with this file adjusting the highlights, shadows, and color temperature. I then added some clarity and a vignette. The image looked pretty good on my mobile display.

Since it automatically syncs with Lightroom on my Mac, via the Creative Cloud account, I launched Lightroom and examined the shot on the 13" MacBook. It was still a RAW file, and all of my adjustments from the iPhone appeared on the sliders in the Develop module. I made a couple more minor changes, and that was it.

lightroom-macos-web.jpg The image was automatically synced to Lightroom on my Mac, with all changes included.

Since I like to use Photos for macOS also, I saved an edited version of the picture via Lightroom Mobile to the Camera Roll on my phone. Now I have the finished shot in the Apple ecosystem as well.

The entire process was intuitive, and the finished image, even when magnified on the MacBook's retina display, was sharp, detailed, and had excellent tonality and color.

APC_0003-web.jpg The final version of the iPhone RAW file. Photos by Derrick Story.

You might not want to capture every iPhone shot as a DNG, but it's great to have this option for situations where you want to milk every ounce of quality out of the device. I can't wait to see how this looks with an iPhone 7 Plus...

We're on Apple News!

Find us now on the Apple News App for iOS! Just open this link on your iOS device, then add The Digital Story to your Favorites.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

I don't know about you, but I sometimes capture horizons with my smartphone that aren't perfectly straight. (I'm sure it has nothing to do with my one-handed, cavalier shooting lifestyle.) Then there are other times when rotating an image to the left or right actually makes a more interesting composition.

straighten-flickr.jpg

If the destination for this image is Flickr, I can crop, rotate, flip, and straighten right there in the mobile app. This comes in especially handy if you're just ready to upload, notice that the image isn't quite right, and want to fix it without having to exit out of Flickr to another app. Here's a video on how this works.

This is just one of the many conveniences built into the Flickr Mobile app that works wonderfully on Android and iOS devices.

More Flickr Tips and Techniques

If you want to master Flickr on your mobile device, check out Flickr Mobile: Photo Sharing Anywhere. Desktop users might be interested in Sharing Photos with Flickr. Of course the platforms work well together too, and I discuss how you can integrate all of your devices to create a seamless photography workflow.

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You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Photo sharing is great, as long as you're not showing any more than you're comfortable with. A quick trip to the Privacy and Safety settings in Flickr Mobile insures that your posts are handled in a manner that you're comfortable with.

flickr-privacy.jpg

In the following video, I review settings for Default Post Privacy, Location Privacy, Photo Safety Level, and the Safe Search Filter, for both iOS and Android devices. These establish the experience that's appropriate for you, both sharing and viewing.

These adjustments only take a few minutes. And I highly recommend that you review them today on your mobile device running Flickr.

More Flickr Tips and Techniques

If you want to master Flickr on your mobile device, check out Flickr Mobile: Photo Sharing Anywhere. Desktop users might be interested in Sharing Photos with Flickr. Of course the platforms work well together too, and I discuss how you can integrate all of your devices to create a seamless photography workflow.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

When I heard the news that Adobe had released Lightroom Mobile 2.4 for iOS and Android, I couldn't wait to test it on my aging iPad mini 2. I figured if it could process RAW files and add local adjustments on that device, Adobe has really created something special. And fortunately, they did not disappoint.

local-adjust-LR-mobile.jpg Applying a local adjustment in Lightroom Mobile 2.4 on my iPad mini 2

I started with a fresh memory card in my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and set the file format to RAW only. I then snapped a few pictures and put the memory card in the Apple Lightning Card Reader, then imported two files via Photos to my iPad mini 2. I opened one of the images in Lightroom Mobile 2.4.

show-raw.jpg The RAW badge confirms that I'm working on a RAW file.

The first thing I noticed when reviewing the Camera Roll in LR Mobile was the RAW badge over the image that I had just imported into the iPad. So right away I got confirmation that I was indeed working in the format that I wanted.

I then began testing highlight and shadow recovery. For me, that's the quickest way to distinguish editing a RAW from a Jpeg. And indeed the recovery was elegant in both areas, just like working with RAWs on my Mac.

adjusted-image.jpg The editing tools worked smoothly and as expected, providing the results that I wanted.

After a few color adjustments, I applied a gradient screen in the lower left corner to tone down those highlights, then finished off with a dash of clarity. Even on an iPad mini 2, the work flowed smoothly and the results were as one would expect on a computer. This was truly impressive.

I then opened Lightroom CC on my MacBook and inspected the shot I had edited on the iPad. It looked the same as on my iPad. (Yes, it automatically synced and was waiting for me.) The image was a full-sized RAW file complete with all of the adjustments I had made in Lightroom Mobile.

lightroom-cc-version.jpg All of my iPad edits display properly in Lightroom CC on my Mac.

For all of these features, you'll need a Creative Cloud account, which I've been maintaining for sometime now to stay current with Photoshop and Lightroom. And now Lightroom Mobile 2.4 elevates my nimble cloud-based workflow to new heights. And the fact that it works on a humble iPad mini 2 is even more impressive. Well done, Adobe!


Nimble Photographer Logo

Lightroom Mobile 2.4 has a very high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

flickr-friends.jpg

The quality images that flow through my Friends feed is outstanding. But to be honest, I sometimes opt for scrolling through Instagram instead, primarily because it just seems easier. (I know, lazy me.)

I think the real issue was when my Flickr friends posted multiple shots in one session. One one hand, I like seeing the different aspects of a particular subject. Those images tell a more complete story.

But when viewing them on my iPhone 6s, as I do 90 percent of the time, groups of images are less immersive. That is, until Flickr updated their mobile app to be 3D Touch compatible. Now I can just press and hold on any shot in the group, and I get a full screen version, complete with title and name overlay. It's really cool. When I'm done viewing the larger size, I just lift my finger off the screen. Here's a short video about it.

camera-metadata.jpg

It's such a simple thing, but this approach keeps me in the flow of the photo stream. And that makes all the difference when casually browsing pictures.

You can favor the shot by double-tapping on it. If you want to see the metadata or comment, tap once on the image to make it full screen, then use the tool bar at the bottom. BTW: viewing camera metadata is one of the things that I really like about Flickr mobile compared to other apps. Seeing how the photographer got the shot, the settings that he or she used, is interesting to me.

Once I started taking advantage of the tools that were available to me in Flickr Mobile, I started using it more. And as a result, I am seeing more great photography than ever.

More Flickr Tips and Techniques

If you want to master Flickr on your mobile device, check out Flickr Mobile: Photo Sharing Anywhere. Desktop users might be interested in Sharing Photos with Flickr. Of course the platforms work well together too, and I discuss how you can integrate all of your devices to create a seamless photography workflow.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.