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Better Image Importing in iOS 12

Apple fixed one of my most frustrating nits with importing images from a camera card to my iPhone: those tiny thumbnails.

IMG_3272.jpg Tiny thumbnails on an iPhone.

In previous versions, it was difficult to tell which shots I wanted, and those I did not, because I had to make decisions based on thumbnails too small to tell.

Now, I can pinch-zoom on any of the images to unlock a bigger view to make it easier to decide which ones I want, and those that I don't.

IMG_3273.jpg Relief! Bigger views of my images.

This improvement has made it far more fun to bring in images from my mirrorless cameras, then incorporate them into my Photos workflow.

I'm still learning iOS 12. But at the moment, this is my favorite photo improvement.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition

Updated for macOS High Sierra, the The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Ed. provides you with the latest tips, techniques, and workflows for Apple's photo management and editing application. Get your copy today!

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

iPhone X in New York City

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This was a crazy trip from the start. Zach and I caught a red eye flight to JFK from San Francisco on Saturday night. Then we bused in to Midtown at 6 AM and were planning our day an hour later hunched over coffee at the McDonalds across from the New Yorker. Things never slowed down from that point.

I knew that this was going to be the ultimate Nimble Photographer trip. I had my laptop and Micro Four Thirds kit stashed in my backpack. But from the minute we checked in, until I caught the red eye back home 3 days later, my bag stayed in the room, and it was just Zach and I on the streets of New York.

Kids and Pigeons, Central Park "Kids and Pigeons, Central Park" - iPhone X. Processed in Photos for macOS and Luminar 2018. Photo by Derrick Story.

This is precisely the situation that motivated me to spend the extra money for the iPhone X last year. With temperatures hovering around 90 degrees F and high humidity, neither of us wanted to carry a bag of any type. Our kit for the day were shades, wallet, and smartphone.

Columbus Circle
"Columbus Circle, NYC" - iPhone X. Processed in Photos for macOS and Luminar 2018. Photo by Derrick Story.

The thing about it was... I was in NYC, one of my favorite places for street photography. So I wanted to be able to capture the world as we maneuvered through it. And the dual-camera iPhone allowed me to do just that.

I worked quickly and without drawing attention to myself. Zach and I kept our pace as we worked through our ToDo list (he's getting settled for a Summer internship with the NBA), while I also recorded images of us, New York City, and the people who make it interesting.

Inside Out
"Inside Out, Time Warner Building" - RAW file captured with iPhone X. Processed in Photos for macOS and Luminar 2018. Photo by Derrick Story.

I did process most of the images on my laptop once we returned to the hotel. I used Photos for macOS (the images were there waiting for me thanks to iCloud) and Luminar 2018. The changes were saved back to all my devices for sharing on social.

I could never be limited to a smartphone for all of my photography. Just like I could not survive with just a Phillips head screwdriver in my toolbox. But for this whirlwind trip to New York, the iPhone allowed my to stay focused on my son, yet come home with many wonderful visual memories.

After the second red eye home, I'm a little bleary-eyed today, but very happy.

New Photos for macOS High Sierra Training!

Is it time for you to learn the ins and outs of the latest version of Photos? Take a look at Photos for macOS High Sierra Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning, or on lynda.com. Maximize your iPhone photography and complement the work you do with your mirrorless cameras as well. You'll love your cameras even more...

Also be sure to check out my new book, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition. It's completely up to date!

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

I read the announcement about Camera Plus 2 on DP Review and decided to give it a spin. I had been a big fan of the original, and thought the new version might be good for RAW capture with my iPhone.

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After an evening of testing, I do like the updated interface. I had no problem controlling my captures and getting the results that I wanted. As for RAW photography, as long as I shot RAW+Jpeg, the images showed up perfectly in Photos on my Mac. They appeared as RAW+Jpeg pairs with the Jpegs on top - the same way images come in from my Olympus and other interchangeable lens cameras.

If I shot the RAWs and Jpegs as separate files, however, there appears to be a bug where the RAW comes in as a thumbnail only. My guess is that this will be fixed soon. But in the meantime, I would stick with RAW+Jpeg as a combined file for Mac photographers.

All the other features worked great (including the wonderful editing interface). And for a one-time fee of $2.99, this app is a gem. I'm going to continue to test it during my assignment in Orlando. If I discover anything new, I will update here and on social.

New Photos for macOS High Sierra Training!

Is it time for you to learn the ins and outs of the latest version of Photos? Take a look at Photos for macOS High Sierra Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning, or on lynda.com. Maximize your iPhone photography and complement the work you do with your mirrorless cameras as well. You'll love your cameras even more...

Also be sure to check out my new book, The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition. It's completely up to date!

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

There was a time when working with RAW files in a mobile device seemed like a crazy idea. But the processing power of today's handsets like my iPhone X has made this proposition quite feasible. And one of my favorite apps for this task is RAW Power 1.1, just released from Gentlemen Coders.

raw-power-update.PNG RAW Power 1.1 on an iPhone X.

RAW Power brings to iOS the impressive RAW decoding and editing that was formerly only available in Apple's Aperture professional photo application. Using adjustments like Boost, you can improve your images using this powerful core technology. It works great for Jpegs as well. Here's what's new in 1.1:

  • New "RAW Images" Smart Album and ability to filter any album to show just RAWs
  • View complete folder and album hierarchy
  • Export images to Files.app as TIFF-8 and TIFF-16, JPEG, and PNG
  • DPI and Compression preferences
  • Delete image in the single photo view ("1-up")
  • Greatly improved Share features
  • Improved Layout and UI with larger controls
  • "Gear Down" sliders for 10x more precision when adjusting
  • 3D Touch in 1-Up
  • Full-size Curves adjustment in vertical screen mode
  • Show / Hide Thumbnails in Edit
  • Adjustable Thumbnail size in 1-up and Edit
  • Auto-histogram shows and hides itself to avoid covering the image
  • Revert Image feature greatly improved
  • Re-center button for Map

The improved user interface and the clever RAW Images smart album show that Gentlemen Coders is now focusing on our visual experience using the app as well as its under-the-hood muscle. You don't need an iPad to process and enhance your RAW files. I've been taking care of business right there on my iPhone X.

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RAW Power 1.1 is free to download in the iTunes App Store on your device. I recommend purchasing the one-time in-app purchase, Advanced Adjustments Pack for $4.99 that unlocks Curves and a couple other controls. This software is a great value and a joy to use.


Nimble Photographer Logo

RAW Power 1.1 has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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I've been on the road for a week now. And having moved from one island to another with lots of exploration along the way, how does the iPhone fit in with the rest of the gear I've packed?.

beach-bike-1024.jpg Beach Bike - iPhone X back dual camera 6mm f/2.4 - Photo by Derrick Story

As it turns out, the iPhone plays quite nicely with the other kids, but not in the ways that you might think. First, it has been a wonderful reference camera. In other words, if I'm shooting a scene with the Leica Type 109, then I also record it with the iPhone to capture the location data so that the Leica images are organized correctly in the Photos library.

rock-stacks-leica.jpg Cairns on the Manoa Falls Trail. (Gaelic for heap of stones.) Leica D-LUX. Photo by Derrick Story.

For example, I know that I captured the image of the cairn on the Manoa Falls Trail because I have an iPhone image with a similar timestamp and the location data. Speaking of timestamps, it's imperative that all the cameras are in sync for this system to work. So in essence, the iPhone becomes my journal for all the photographs I capture, regardless of which camera I use for the final image.

I've also been transferring shots from all the cameras to the iPhone via WiFi for social sharing. The images you've seen over the last week on Instagram were recorded with other cameras. I've been shooting RAW+Jpeg, and I love the flexibility of being able to share any photo, from any camera, online virtually from anywhere. And the iPhone is the hub that makes it all work.

I'll also use it to document my film project, which starts this week. So anything that I shoot with the 35mm Contax, gets recorded with the iPhone, and organized in a journal with notes about the subject. I've been using Day One as my journal app for nearly two years now, and I love it.

I do take the occasional final picture with the iPhone itself. It's inconspicuous and handy. But with all the great gear that I get to use for work, my smartphone is more of a facilitator than it is the star of the show.

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

Changing Portrait Mode on the Fly

The last thing that photo subjects want when we're taking their picture is for us to waste a lot of time fooling with our camera. If you're using Portrait Mode on a recent model iPhone, you may be tempted to scroll through the options at the point of capture. There's really no need to... that is if you're using Photos for macOS High Sierra to manage your images.

portrait-mode.jpg

When you open your Portrait Mode image in Photos, and go to editing mode, you'll see all of the same options that were available at capture. So if you recorded in Natural, but decided later that you wanted Studio, you can make that change in Photos. No pressure, no problem.

So, just make sure you're in any Portrait mode, then fire away. Your photo subjects will thank you.

New Photos for macOS High Sierra Training!

Is it time for you to learn the ins and outs of the latest version of Photos? Take a look at Photos for macOS High Sierra Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning, or on lynda.com. Maximize your iPhone photography and complement the work you do with your mirrorless cameras as well. You'll love your cameras even more...

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

A New Way to Charge My Smartphone

Just like most folks, my smartphone is an integral part of my working life. It's the camera that I always have with me, my lifeline to clients, the controller for the Spark, my navigation system, and my #1 information source. So keeping it charged is critical to all of these activities.

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In the waning days of my iPhone 6S, it would only hold a charge to about 5 pm each day. My routine had been to plug it in at night, then unplug it the next morning and use it until it ran out of gas.

At first that routine lasted me an entire day, unless I was engaged in something unusual, such as serving as navigator on a road trip. But over time, it began to lose its endurance.

I did a little research on the subject, and I made a few notes. I can't substantiate any of these because I am not a Lithium battery expert. But here's what I came up with.

  • The best time to recharge a battery is when it's about half empty.
  • Leaving a battery in the charger long after it's reached 100 percent capacity puts it through unnecessary cycles, thereby shortening its life.

Based on this, I decided to try a new routine with my iPhone X. Here's my current approach:

  • Do Not plug in the iPhone at night and leave it charging until morning. Instead, I put it in Low Power Mode (which is very easy via the Control Center).
  • During the day, I give it a quick top off when it's at 50 percent level. I can do this at my desk or with the portable charger that's always in my bag (since the firestorm). This usually only takes an hour or so. Then, I unplug it when it's at 100 percent.
  • When I don't need the phone, such as at the movies, I put it in Low Power Mode at the same time I silence it. Again, the easy access via the Control Center makes this simple.

That's all there is to it. I've made a few minor adjustments that are already natural. And over time I'll be able to gauge their effectiveness.

The iPhone X seems to have an excellent battery. I'd love to keep it that way for years to come.

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

The 6mm f/2.4 camera on the iPhone X is a welcome addition for those of us previously using single-camera handsets. Have the option to use a stabilized mild telephoto in addition to the wider lens is helpful not only for portraits, but for landscape work as well.

IMG_0381.jpg "Under the Bridge" - Captured with the 6mm camera on an iPhone X at f/2.4. Photo by Derrick Story.

And since the recorded image goes directly into my Photos for macOS library, I can finish off the image using the Luminar editing extension. The workflow is very fast, and the results are appealing.

This is not to say that I'm ditching my mirrorless. But when I went for a bike ride the other morning, all I had was my iPhone X in my pocket. And thank goodness I didn't have to pass on this shot just because I didn't bring my full camera kit with me.

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.

iPhone X - What Do You Want to Know?

I've received my shipping notification for a 256 GB iPhone X. It should arrive the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (which I think is perfect!). In the meantime, I'm going to be figuring out the scenarios that I will use for testing the new device. And it dawned on me, if you want me to look at anything specifically, now's a great time to ask.

iphone-x-apple-promo.png

Here's my scenario. I'm upgrading from an iPhone 6S. I use Photos for macOS, Photos for iOS, Luminar, and Capture One Pro. I do shoot RAW files with the iPhone, as well as video and Live Photos. iPhone photography makes up about 1/3 of my total captures.

If you want me to look at anything specific, here's how to submit your query:

If I have any follow up questions, I'll ping you back via the email you provide. I can't promise that I will address every question. Sometimes folks get really specific on these things. But I will definitely use these queries to help shape my reporting of the iPhone X.

Thanks a bunch!

You can download RAW Power for iOS for free and transform your iPhone into a powerful mobile post production workstation. The app works on all devices running iOS 11, except: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPad mini 2 and 3, iPad Air 1, and iPod Touch. I tested it on an iPhone 6S, and it worked great.

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The big selling point with this particular processor is that the app was developed by a team led by Nik Bhatt, a former Senior Director of Engineering at Apple and the former Chief Technical Officer of the Apple Photo Apps group. Hence, this app is able to efficiently tap Apple's RAW engine decoder so you can get the most out of your captures. Think mobile Aperture when you think about RAW Power.

In use, the experience is terrific. It interacts seamlessly with iCloud and the Photos library system. Edit in one place and the results are available everywhere. When I opened edited images on my Mac, they looked great and even had the editing badge applied - very, very smooth workflow.

All the tools are available for free except for White Balance, Curves, and Depth Effect (for dual-camera iPhones). You can unlock those for $10.

The one thing to note is that you'll still need an app to capture RAW files with the iPhone. There are a number available. I've been using ACDSee Pro and Lightroom Mobile. I also transfer .ORFs from my Olympus cameras to my iOS devices in the field, then edit those with RAW Power. Either way, once you have the RAWs on your phone, RAW Power does a great job of decoding, adjusting, and helping you organize them. Well done!


Nimble Photographer Logo

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

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