The New iPad – Week 1 – Snapseed Image Editing

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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)

I installed Snapseed last night, and today copied some images over using iTunes.  It was time to play!  Snapseed’s results were impressive.   When I heard there were tablet image editing apps I was skeptical. How could you really do serious image editing on a tablet screen?  Today I found my answer.

I opened an image shot on my Canon 50D using my Canon 10-22mm EF-S lens.  I’ve used this lens heavily over the past 3 years.  I’ve taken it to flower shows, prior car shows, and on vacations.  I can tell you from experience that the images taken with this lens can be prone to chromatic aberration (CA).  Frequently I perform an HDR workflow on my images which magnifies the problem.  I was amazed at the quality of results I got today when I took a single image, and edited with Snapseed to simulate HDR.

I did some selective adjustments, image tuning, and then applied structure, and contrast at several points in the editing process.  I was amazed at the lack of excessive CA in the image.  I wasn’t doing a true HDR bracketed workflow, but merely simulating by making local adjustments, and then bumping up detail.  I expected to see red or blue fringing, but when I was finished, and transferred the image over to my 27″ display to see the results I found there was very little CA present.  I figured that the image looked better primarily because it was on a small screen; even one as small as the iPad Retina display.  It looked good on the big display at my desk.  Surprising.

It’s not the most technically perfect photo, but it exceeded my expectations.  I wouldn’t hesitate to leave my laptop at home when in the field or on vacations, and do my edits on the tablet.  It doesn’t offer all the options available when using Lightroom or Photoshop, but does provide a different method of creative exploration, and expression which is what it’s all about for me.

More to follow on this as I explore.    Also – coming soon – iPhoto for iOS.

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