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Leica Fotos App

Most of Leica’s current crop of cameras can be linked to your mobile device of choice via wifi.

While I do not make use of the remote control features, being able to quickly download the photographs from my Leica M without having to take it out of its case, removing the bottom place etc, is useful.

We used to have an app for each camera but now Leica have released Fotos. A general gallery and remote control app that works with all their cameras.  With the latest firmware release for the Leica M, even creating an adhoc network became easier, as the camera just shows a QR on the back, which the app sees using the camera in your mobile device and your all paired and setup.  The app supports multiple cameras and is easy to use.

There is however an issue.  I could not get the app to download my photographs.  It turns out that the app has to create a custom album on you mobile device which must be called Leica.  I already had a album called Leica on my phone.  This the app did not like and kept crashing until I deleted my album.

Adobe CC

I took a lunch time walk with the Leica and then later tried a bit of experimentation. After taking a few shots, I popped over to a local coffee shop and downloaded the shots via wifi to my camera to upload to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Once at my laptop I launched the new Adobe Lightroom CC.  I generally use Lightroom classic but this was an experiment.  After a few seconds the photographs appeared and I started to edit them.

The combination of wifi in modern cameras, mobile phones with Adobe CC installed enabling some quick editing.  Then being able to grab any internet connected PC’s and use the web based Lightroom or your own laptop with Adobe Lightroom CC you can get on and edit quickly.  For power users like me who sometimes do more complex edits we can then return to our desktops, launch Lightroom Classic and again the photographs are there with the edits we have already done.

I still prefer Lightroom classic and its an issue that the short cuts between the versions are different, but the new shortcuts are a little more logical.

Shooting RAW & Jpeg

A tip I picked up first from a model who also was a photographer and also used by Thorsten Overgaard, was instead of just shooting RAW, shoot RAW+Jpeg.

With Lightroom set to treat the jpg’s as separate files you end up with two versions of each file, colour RAW and a Black & White jpeg.  You can then quickly see which one you prefer.  Sometimes you prefer the colour and go on to edit the RAW file, sometimes the Black & White.  When the Black & White looks fine as it is, no editing is required you can just use the jpeg, but if it needs a little or a lot of editing then you convert the RAW to Black & White and edit it.  Editing jpegs is not generally a good idea.

The need for more hardware

As a photographer we always want the latest toys; sorry latest necessary tools.

As a photographer I love my Leica M10, and I would love an Hasselblad X1D and Nikon D850.

On the computer side I have the latest MacPro, but my MacBookPro is now ten years old and I feel that my desire for a new laptop is justified.

Leica M8 sample – Boudoir

Now even an old Leica M8 can produce impressive results like that above, but having a modern laptop is extremely useful.

I was disappointed that Apple’sWWDC yesterday did not announce any new hardware but I will be looking out for a new laptop.

After ten years I think deserve one.

Apple WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference)

This Monday was the start of the Apples’s WWDC.  I always try where possible to listen to the CEO’s opening speech.   Sometimes we have new hardware but mainly new software.

As someone who is trying to be more private on the web, limiting their use of applications like Facebook to only a few times a month and stopping internet access after 9 pm at night, there was much to interest me.

I am a self confessed Twitter addict and in Apple’s iOS 12 it will be interesting if I can use the social media limiting side to control my obsession.  As we try to create the right balance of intake of social media IM and Skype interaction with work, and downtime with friends and family tools like this may help.

Adobe Lightroom Classic update

Adobe issued a slight update to Lightroom this week and one of the things they have tweaked is the auto button in the develop settings.

Once you have tried the old auto, you never use it again, it treated all photographs the same and was never worth using; but now Adobe have updated it to use their new AI routines and I have to admit it does and OK job and can make a useful starting point.

Mobile Work Flow and file name change

I took a few snaps in the coffee shop and decided to take a note of the file names.

As you can see above, the Leica iOS app can see the photographs on the camera and its seeing the correct file name. I downloaded the files to my phone and these were saved to the camera roll app.

I then launched Adobe Lightroom Mobile and imported the images, both jpeg and RAW as I shoot both.

As you can see while the meta data is correct but the file name has changed.  So its not the Adobe app changing the name but likely something forced on the Leica app by iOS when it saves out to the camera roll app.

 

Alternatives to Lightroom

If you have a big investment into Adobe Lightroom, its catalogue and backend database then moving is a difficult thing.

For image editing Lightroom and Capture One are now the big two, with a couple of others coming up quickly.  I generally discount software from the camera companies, its at its best terrible and at its worse a crashing virus on your computer.

I keep reading good things about Capture One and as a PhaseOne medium format back owner I have a license, but I still just use Lightroom.  Fuji users in particular are always singing the praises of Capture One as it took Adobe a long time to come to grips with the X-Trans Sensor that is in the X series DX crop bodies of Fuji cameras.

But I read an interesting article the other day on Photography Life and he points out that Capture One does not support none Phase medium format cameras; something I had not noticed.  It certainly puts me of the product.

I am thinking hard at the moment about my future in 35mm full frame and large format, the Hasselblad may go back to just film use and I may trade in my 35mm Nikon gear and Phase One back for a more modern medium format solution that supports my studio and landscape needs.  With Capture One only supporting PhaseOne on medium format, I will not be making it limit my camera choice, so Adobe have me for a while longer.

Consistant File Names

Lightroom reporting a different file name then the one on the memory card

If your like me or most professional photographers then you take a lot of pictures when shooting digital.

Being able to find photographs afterwards in your asset management system is important, and with modern meta data and database systems, the actual file name is becoming less important.

Sometimes though the file name is all you have to go on if your using more then one workflow.

With my desktop Lightroom catalogue, the new cloud based Lightroom CC on my laptop, iPhone and iPad, then keeping track of what I have imported and what I have not can get difficult.

At the weekend i’ll be shooting in the studio with several models and using several different cameras.  Afterwards my work flow will be fairly straight forward.

  1. Copy all the cards to the internal SSD of my Desktop Machine
    1. These then will get backed up by my automatic PC backup
  2. Import to Lightroom Classic
    1. This copies the files to my main external Thunderbolt Drive
    2. This also makes a backup copy to Dropbox
  3. Initial metadata and develop by preset
  4. Then sorting out selects and picks to do a final edit on

When I am shooting more informally then the work flow may be the above, but its more likely me just grabbing the card at the end of the day and then copying the files to Dropbox to sort another day.  Or using my iPad SD Card reader and pulling in the photographs to Lightroom Mobile, or even using the Leica Mobile iOS app to pull off the odd photography.

The problem with these other workflows is that sometimes the process, it the Leica App or the iOS operating system itself is changing the file names.  This then makes it difficult to keep track what photographs have been imported into my master library on the desktop machine and what are still to import.  If not careful you can either loose photographs or end up with duplicate shots in your library.

iOS 11 bugs – 2nd of December restarts

I am loving my iPhone X and iOS11 has up to now been great, especially on the iPad.

But on Saturday we hit the 2nd of December and every time my iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone X received a notification the spring board would crash.  I ended up turning off notifications on my iPhone X in order to be able to use it.

A lot of users have been complaining about software issues with Apple products recently and I must have been lucky as I have been problem free up to now.