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The announcement of Carousel by Dropbox presents a new and interesting option for viewing your complete photo history stored on a Mac, iOS, and Android devices. If you're already a Dropbox user, this new capability is particularly intriguing.

What Carousel does is create a more practical interface for viewing and sharing Dropbox-stored images. It creates a chronological stream of thumbnails that you can browse by swiping up and down on the iPhone screen, or by swiping left and right on the timeline scale at the bottom of the interface. This sounds simple, but it actually works very well.

Photos are presented as collections with location and date as their title. Up to eleven thumbnails from the collection are initially displayed. If there are more pictures in that collection, a number is shown that you can tap on to reveal the remaining photos.

When you first log in to Carousel with your Dropbox account information, the app integrates all the photos it can find in your existing Dropbox account with those currently in the iPhone's Camera Roll. Additionally, if you're using Dropbox to automatically archive your iPhoto library, those images become part of your Carousel as well.

In a short period of time, the bulk of your photo history is available on the iPhone with very little effort on your behalf. Moving forward, the Carousel is automatically updating itself via these sources.

From that point, you can easily view your collection, or share via email, Twitter, and Facebook, or open in an app for editing. Images that you want to retain, but don't want visible in the scrolling Carousel, can be hidden from the stream and viewed only through an option in the Settings menu.

Using Carousel will require ample storage on your Dropbox account, but frees up space on your mobile device. If you have available space on Dropbox, this is a solution worth considering. Of course, you can always purchase more if necessary.

Currently, Carousel is not compatible with the iPad, and is an iPhone and Android app only. I'll keep you posted as this service evolves.


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

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Folded Foldio Studio

We take a lot of pictures with our smartphones. But product photography? Yes you can, and I'll prove it.

This quest started when I learned about Foldio through a Kickstarter initiative. I ponied up $45 (Kickstarter early adopter price) and received a foldable, portable studio, two LED light strips, and four sweep backdrops. I can fold up the studio, lights, two batteries and one backdrop and fit it in an 11" x 11" carry bag. And with this little studio, I can take some pretty good shots.

Foldio Studio in Action The Foldio studio in action. One LED light strip on top, and another at the base.

Foldio will fit in any messenger bag that can accommodate a laptop. I can set it up in minutes thanks to the magnets that click everything into place. I have one LED light strip adhered to the inside top of the studio, and the other is free floating so I can position it as needed.

For the images captured with my iPhone, I use Camera+ ($1.99) because it has an effective exposure compensation slider that makes it easy to compensate for the bright white background. Without exposure compensation, your phone will underexpose both the subject and white backdrop. (My kit also included a black, gray, and green backdrop. Exposure will change with each of them.)

Because the LED lights are color balanced, you can use auto white balance on your phone or camera, and the rendering should be pretty accurate.

I photographed two different products with the Foldio. One item was shot with the iPhone 5S and Camera+. The other item was photographed with a Pentax K-5 and 50mm f/1.8 lens. Can you tell which is which below?

product-shot-in-foldio.jpg Product shot #1 captured in the Foldio using the two LED light strips.

product-shot-2-in-foldio-studio Product shot #2 captured in the Foldio using the two LED light strips.

If you really want to know right now, you can download one of the images and look at the EXIF data. Otherwise, I'll post the answer tomorrow on the TDS Facebook page.

The point is, you can create some lovely product shots with very simple tools. The folks at Foldio will open their store soon. You can get on their mailing list and be notified once they're selling kits. It's a nifty setup that's fun, easy to use, and produces good results.


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

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Lightroom Mobile for iPad

Lightroom is now available for the iPad.

You can download the app from the iTunes Store for free, upgrade your existing desktop version of Lightroom to 5.4, then share Collections across devices... for 30 days. After that, you'll need a Creative Cloud account to maintain functionality.

lightroom-mobile-ipad.jpg Lightroom on the iPad.

On first impression, the tools and user interface for Lightroom Mobile seem useful and well thought out. There are a number of editing tools and filters. And when synced with desktop Lightroom, you have lots of flexibility when on the go. Pocketlint has published a good article about the specifics.

lightroom-5pt4.jpg Synced file in Lightroom 5.4 for the Mac.

Since Creative Cloud for Photographers is still on sale for $9.99 a month, this mobile version of Lightroom might be just the thing to encourage current fence-sitters to make the jump.

I follow up after a bit more testing.

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The Eye-Fi Mobi is already one of my favorite WiFi-enabled memory cards. With the recent addition of Desktop Receiver, it's become even more interesting.

Versions of the beta software are available for both Mac and Windows platforms. When enabled, you computer goes into "listening mode," on the lookout for images available from the Mobi card. If you take a picture, the file is transferred to a folder.

In my tests with the Fujifilm X20 compact, which doesn't have built-in WiFi, the process worked smoothly. I shot Raw+Jpeg. The Jpegs were copied to my Mac and the Raws remained intact in the camera.

One thing to keep in mind about the beta software: if you also use the Mobi card to send images to your mobile device, be sure to exit the software on your computer first. My experience was that the iPad couldn't recognize the Mobi when Desktop Receiver was active.

You can download the beta software for free from the Eye-Fi Labs site. There's also a handy FAQ there that handles the most common questions.

For me, this capability will be handy for blogging. I can shoot a subject and have it appear immediately on my computer for posting. What about you? If you have an Eye-Fi Mobi, give this software a spin and see where it takes you.


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

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Handy Photo for iPad Image Editing

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One of the apps that generated chatter at the recent Macworld/iWorld event was Handy Photo for iOS ($1.99). And for good reason. This image editor is chock-full of powerful tools, is easy to use, and sports an attractive user interface.

When you first launch the app, you're greeted with a friendly welcome screen that asks you what you want to do: take a picture or open one from your gallery. I selected a shot from my Photo Stream that I had captured this morning with the iPhone. The image appears onscreen waiting for you to tap the hand in the upper right corner to select your next action.

I typically start with cropping, so I picked the Magic Crop tool. By doing so, options for that tool are available in the lower left corner. Pick the particular action you want, and apply it with your finger tip. Image editing categories to choose from include: Tone & Color, Retouch, Clone Stamp, Move Me, Filters, Textures, Magic Crop, and Frames.

They're all relatively easy to figure out, but if you need help, return to Handy Photo Home, and tap on the Tutorials button. They've posted YouTube videos for their tools that show you how to proceed. Once you've learned a new technique, you can return to the app and apply it.

Depending on the device and the processing power that you have on it, Handy Photo has some pretty robust file handling features. For example, they list: 100% size image editing, up to 36 MP image handling, RAW format support. Here's the breakdown listed device by device:

  • 5 MP - iPod touch 4th Generation / iPad
  • 10 MP - iPhone 4 / iPhone 4s / iPod touch 5th Generation
  • 15 MP - iPad 2 / iPad mini
  • 36 MP - iPhone 5 / iPhone 5s / iPhone 5c / iPad 3 / iPad 4 / iPad Air

The images of the resolution higher than maximum allowed will be automatically resized.

The Bottom Line

Handy Photo is an excellent value for $1.99. The image editing tools are powerful, and there's quite a variety of them. The application itself is easy to use. And you can save the pictures back to your camera roll or upload them to Twitter or Facebook. All in all, I really enjoyed the app and I'm going to keep it on my iPad.


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

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Take Your Camera to Dinner

Part of life on the road is eating alone. One of the ways I make the best of this situation is to take my camera to dinner.

I travel light in these situations, packing my mirrorless in the Walking Man Shoulder Bag or a pouch such as the Lowepro Dashpoint 30, as shown below.

Late afternoon exploration

Having my camera with me doesn't help during the meal itself. But when I'm alone, I discover that I'm more attuned to my surroundings before, during, and after eating. Suddenly I see shots, and am willing to work them, that I might have missed before. Here's a shot I captured while having my after-meal coffee.

So yes, it might be a bit lonely during the entree. But by taking my camera to dinner, I've discovered that desserts can be fantastic.

You might also enjoy Table for One on The Nimble Photographer.


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The Walking Man Shoulder Bag and Lowepro Dashpoint 30 have a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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I just read a post on Pop Photo about the X-Rite ColorTRUE Mobile App. The goal is for photographers to be able to calibrate their iPad screens for presentations. My question is: "how necessary is calibration for your mobile device?"

iOS 7 Photo Apps on an iPad

For years, we've been publishing our images on web pages for the world to see. We prepare them as best possible. But once they hit someone else's monitor, we have no control over their calibration, luminance, or resolution. During this period, photography has grown in popularity.

The iPad and its kin present us with another opportunity to share our work. I know for a fact that all of my mobile devices and computer monitors are not in absolute sync when it comes to color and tone. In a perfect world, I would love for everything to match.

But the fact of the matter is, my images look good on each individual device. Overall, the color, contrast, and sharpness are pleasing to the eye. Plus, I'm showing images in a variety of lighting conditions (mobile device!); there's no way I can calibrate for all of those scenarios. So, for 95 percent of my sharing, this uncalibrated workflow will have to suffice.

I understand that there are photographers who need precise color representation on their mobile devices. And maybe they have more control over the ambient lighting conditions. For them, the X-Rite ColorTRUE solution might help.

I'm curious to hear if you feel the need to color calibrate your iPad? If you want to share your thoughts on this, please visit our TDS Facebook page where this story will be posted. You can leave a comment there.


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

Kanex iDevice Stand

The Kanex Foldable iDevice Stand is a nifty accessory for iPhone and iPad toting photographers who need a very light, foldable platform for viewing content and taking pictures. Kanex is selling a two-pack directly from their site for $19.95

I've tested the iDevice with the iPhone and iPad mini. It works great for both. (I'm not sure that I'd trust it with a full size iPad, although the manufacturer says it can handle it just fine.) The stand can be positioned at three different angles. It uses rubber non-slip feet and a bumper to keep items from sliding around, even on an airplane folding table. When not in use, it folds flat, taking up virtually no space in your carry-on or shirt pocket.

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The stand accommodates your phone or iPad in both the horizontal and vertical positions. You'll have to use landscape mode if you want plug-in power, such as using your iPhone as an alarm clock at night. There's no way to plug in the connector when the phone is placed vertically in the stand. This is probably the only drawback to the folding design.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the Kanex stand. It's light, very clever, and something that I'll keep stashed in my camera bag. I'm sure it will save the day sometime soon.


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The Kanex folding stand has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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olloclip-pro-photo-adapter.jpg

The olloclip Quick-Flip Case + Pro-Photo Adapter design has its pros and cons. On the negative side, it doesn't offer much protection against drops. The hard plastic shell is thin and feels a little slippery. And the $48 price tag seems a bit high compared to the competition.

But there is a plus side to this rig, and that's the Pro-Photo Adapter that's included with the case. As it turns out, even though I like the convenience of using olloclip lenses with the flip function of the case, it's been the tripod adapter that I've found most useful. It's actually the real reason I still have the olloclip case on my iPhone.

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I like the Pro-Photo Adapter because it takes up very little room in my pocket or bag, is super light, has two threaded sockets to make vertical and horizontal orientations easy, includes a "cold shoe" adapter, and it mounts in seconds.

Because it has a fairly low profile, there are days when I just leave it on (especially if I plan on shooting a lot.)

The Bottom Line

If you shoot often with olloclip lenses and want an easy way to attach your iPhone to a tripod, the olloclip Quick-Flip Case + Pro-Photo Adapter is worth consideration. Personally, I think you'll also need a more robust case for when you're not in photography mode. And I do think the price is a bit high for the Quick-Flip Case.

But I do like that tripod adapter...


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The olloclip Quick-Flip Case + Pro-Photo Adapter has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Loom in an iPhone

After using Loom for a week to backup photos from my iPhone and iPad mini, I give the service high marks.

I particularly like using the iOS version of Loom. It's easy to navigate and create folders for organization.

The Timeline at the top of the organization panel shows all of your pictures in chronological order. Below that, each of your devices are listed where you can see the photos residing in each of them.

Then, there are the albums. You can create a new album and add virtual copies of pictures to it. I've created my usual Animals, People, Places, and Things collections. When 2014 rolls around, I'll create categories for the new year too.

As for the Web interface, I still haven't warmed up to it. Sharing images has been a challenge, and overall performance is clunky. It's almost as if the designers tried to port the iOS app to the computer browser. My hope would be that they revisit the web interface with fresh eyes.

Aside from that nit, I would say that I'm quite pleased with my first week of using Loom. If you need to augment your mobile photography backup solution, it's worth a look.


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

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