I attended last night’s Rush concert in Philadelphia. Generally I’m unable to get my big camera into concerts, and usually have to fall back to a point and shoot. The point and shoot died last year, and I’ve been unwilling to replace it since I’ll rarely shoot with it. I’ve tried to use my cell phone as a substitute, but it really produces awful images. I managed to get a few decent shots last night, and thought I could stylize them rather than just come up with standard concert shots. I have a few more I may work on this weekend. This one was my particular favorite as you can see lead singer/bassist Geddy Lee’s connection with the fans. They are a great band
I had a few complaints upon Creative Cloud being released. In hindsight they weren’t such a big deal.
- Adobe clarified the point that Lightroom 4 will be included, and available later in 2012. That’s works fine for me. I already upgraded to v4 as a standalone product a few months back. It’s nice to know going forward I’ll have access to future versions as a Cloud subscriber. Win.
- I bristled initially at the touch apps not all being included. I understand that Adobe doesn’t have control the app markets. They have clarified as well on their site how it works – you buy 3 touch apps, and get access to a free month of Cloud access subject to conditions of eligibility. I had purchased Proto last fall for Android to tinker around with wire-framing some web designs I had been working on. Fast forward to today, and I find that I am not using it much primarily because I now use an iPad most of the time when away from the desktop. it would be nice to automatically have Proto on the iPad too.
- I was also interested in using Photoshop Touch, but read luke warm reviews, and the fact that the files have a resolution limit (2048×2048) which as a photographer doesn’t work for me. So for now I will keep my Photoshop love on the desktop for now.
- Currently the other touch apps are such that I wouldn’t use them in my web or photographic workflow. Until I do I’m not purchasing any of them just for a free month.
- I have found the access to all of the Creative Suite apps to be very nice. I can tinker around in apps that I would not have normally had access. I am a prior Web Premium CS user which precluded me from using the video apps. I’m no videographer, but have always wanted to tinker around with Premier, and After Effects for photo slideshows just to see what I could do. Now I can without spending a lot of money.
- I am interested in checking out Muse to see if it will help me with rapid prototyping of web designs – also included.
- I like to use jQuery in my web design for animations, and interactive elements. Now I have access to Edge which looks like a very nice animation tool using HTML 5. Pretty cool. I plan to see if it is for me. I haven’t used it yet so I am not sure if it uses jQuery or not. Dreamweaver has jQuery integration.
- All things considered it is a pretty good deal which I have stated before. Especially if you are an existing CS user since you get a special break on the price for the first year. It’s essentially a no brainer. You can access the cloud for a month, and see if you like it. if not then you can just purchase the upgrade to CS6, and then wait for the point releases going forward to determine whether you need the new features. Subscription based software is where it’s all going. You may as well jump in now.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, and would like to tweak your photos easily then check out Snapseed. It is the free app this week in Apple’s App Store. I have it on the iPad, and iMac, and love it. It’s free for the iPhone, and iPad this week, but usually costs $5.
For those of you familiar with Nik Software’s other desktop photo editing tools you will see the similarities in Snapseed. The desktop filters for Lightroom, and Photoshop allow you to select points in the image to base your edits on using slider controls to change the image. Snapseed is very similar although it streamlines the process a bit for the iOS version, and of course no other software is required as Snapseed is a stand alone app.
I wrote about it in a previous post if you would like to get an idea of the dramatic changes you can make to your photos.
I happened to come across some free apps yesterday in the Apple app store for the iPad that have stunning photos on several topics. I downloaded several of the free apps. I haven’t gone through all of them yet, but figured I would grab them all since they were free. They also have some functionality where you can save trip/travel ideas like Trey Ratcliff’s Stuck On Earth app (which is worth a look too). Check them out. These are the apps I nabbed:
- National Parks – gorgeous images of our National Parks
- North Korea – an interesting collection of images from North Korea
- France – some gorgeous shots of France with many aerial shots.
- Wild Friends – some stunning wildlife images
I played around in Snapseed for iPad last night, and came up with another example of how Snapseed can dramatically change the look of an image into something more interesting.
How many times have you been somewhere with your camera in your bag, or turned off, and hanging around your neck? I can’t count the number of times that something happened, and in a rush to get a shot I neglect to check my camera settings. I shoot a lot of professional baseball for fun, and stadium lighting can be very changeable. The shadow from a cloud on an otherwise sunny day can take your shutter speed from 1/1600 to 1/800 fast. Throw an improper metering setting in, and you can end up with your subject either over or underexposed. For that reason I tend to shoot using center weighted metering which is the closest my Canon 50D comes to spot metering. I have been burned many times by forgetting which metering mode my 50D is set on, and I end up with the wrong exposure.
The example I am using here is a shot I took while on Vacation a few years back. I took a shot of Thomas Jefferson’s house at Monticello. It was midday sun which is hard to shoot in for starters. It was also very hot, and I found my desire to capture a good shot was overtaken by my desire for a cold drink, and some air conditioning. I didn’t pay much attention to any settings, my resulting image was very flat. However I had enough data in the image that I was able to chip away in Snapseed until I found something more interesting. Don’t forget that you still need to have a decent exposure to begin with. I lucked out with this shot as I had enough pixels across the various levels to be able to lighten and darken without strange color shifts or introduction of too much noise in areas that were too dark. Software can only do so much.
I realize this image isn’t going to win any photography contests. However the ability to rescue a flat image to help you remember a fun event is a prize itself. For this image the first thing I did in Snapseed were selective adjustments. I lightened the house up, darkened the grass, and increased saturation. I also darkened the sky, and boosted saturation a bit before adding some drama effects, and increasing structure. Snapseed is so much fun to use because it has such a simple interface.
I think touch based editing adds a feel to creating art that you may not have experienced since grade school finger painting. Perhaps collectively as photographers we haven’t had something quite like this since cavemen painted on walls. The ability to see a direct effect from touching spurs creativity, and I think allows you to more quickly try out artistic avenues that may have been buried under menus and palette options. I look forward to seeing tablet based editing’s evolution.
I am still finding my way in terms of using the new iPad in my photographic workflow. I think any serious editing has to be done on a desktop, or laptop computer. However for fun, and creative exploration the iPad is an obvious choice. I used Snapseed a few days ago to edit my first “on tablet” photo, and I was impressed with the results. Since then I have been moving images over to my iPad to see if anything strikes me as I go through an old library of photos from a trip to West Virginia. Continue reading Using the iPad for Photography
Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery
I’ve been playing with the new iPad, and Apple TV for 4 days now, and continue to be impressed. Last night I purchased Nik Snapseed for the iPad. It was released for Windows, and OS X in the past, and a version for Android is on the way. I thought that an app like this would be most handy in a mobile setting on my tablet so I refrained from getting it for Windows last month. I thought that I would hold off for the Android version, and run it once my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was upgraded to Android 4.0 – aka Ice Cream Sandwich. The surprise twist was that I ended up getting the iPad on Friday. I’m glad I waited. (Backstory – I became an Apple computer, and tablet convert in the past 5 weeks)