ViewExif is an iOS extension which allows you to view exif metadata of photos. Exif metadata is data about the photo like dimensions, taken date, ISO speed, F number, exposure time, focal length and more. It will add a button to your share sheet in not only the Photos app but any app that displays photos. Since Apple does not give up this information directly in the Photos app, this is a handy extension to have.
With the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus tomorrow, I’ve been anxious to see how the new camera with Focus Pixels perform. While I will do my own comparison photos, Austin Mann did a trek through Iceland taking pictures with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a great review highlighting the improvements of the new camera.
This post is the second in a series. The first post is On the road with the new digital hub
While waiting for the iPad release (oh, the sweet anticipation!) I remember dreaming of using it as a remote photo bank—replacing a smart hard disk/camera reader for storage and archive of digital photos on the road. I try to take the words of Pixel Corps Alex Linday to heart, a file doesn’t really exist until it exists in three places. For photo trips this used to necessitate carrying a laptop and one or more external hard drives or photo bank devices.
Fortunately, a 128GB iPad provides lots of room for backing up camera cards, using the Lightning to USB Camera Adaptor. This is part of my nightly routine. As soon as I’ve settled into the room, I connect the camera kit, and import all of my images from that day. I carry enough camera cards so I don’t have to reformat any until I know the images are safely archived.
Apple’s Photostream adds value and convenience to my backup process. In fact, it was the release of Photostream along with iOS 6 that convinced me to replace my original iPad with an iPad 3 just prior to my last big photo trip.
Photos imported onto the iPad are added to my Photostream. Any images shot using the iPhone automatically become become part of the Photostream too. They quickly become available for editing on the iPad (assuming its connected to the Internet) and are archived on Apple’s server. Any photos that I do post-processing on are also added to the Photostream when they are saved to the iPad Camera Roll. This applies to images edited on the iPhone as well, I often do quick edits during the day to upload to Instagram on-the-spot.
Before I go to sleep I make sure the iPad is plugged in and “awake” (I’m probably using it as a bedside clock anyway) so that it can keep pumping images upstream. Once the local copy is moved up to an Apple server it is effectively backed up—at least for the moment. Photostream only backs up your 1000 most recent photos so if you’re a prolific shooter, you’ll need to take further precautions.
Back at home my MacBook Pro is running three applications. I shut everything else off while I’m away to avoid potential system conflicts. Aperture automatically imports the photos from my Photostream into my photo library. *SuperDuper!* performs a twice-daily backup to an external hard disk. Crashplan continuously backs up all of my files to their servers, providing offsite backup.
If I’m running low on camera card storage, I can check the status of the files on my Crashplan backup remotely using their iOS app to confirm that it’s safe to reformat a card. I can also check the status of the Aperture library & SuperDuper! by logging into my home computer using Remote. (I now realize that run four applications while I’m away—there’s a helper app for Remote.)
Now that my RAW photos are safely backed up, it’s time to work some post production magic. I’ll cover some of my favorite photo apps in my next post, Digital darkroom.
In my last post I mentioned an upcoming photo safari. (Anytime you’re driving a classic Land-Rover it’s a safari!) I’ll fly to Denver. Catch a regional light rail to a Park-n-Ride, then hike to a motel where I’ll meet up with Bill, my partner in Land-Rover/photo atrocities for 18 years. From there we’ll drive—slowly—to the Grand Canyon, stopping to take photos and add oil along the way. After that we’re off to Vegas to catch Penn & Teller and keep the party goin’ until my return flight the next day. EZ-PZ. What could go wrong?
I believe in the Pack Light, Go Fast mantra. I won’t be lugging a MacBook along with me; The iPad will provide entertainment, communication and information while serving as my photo bank and digital darkroom. I thought others would be interested in my workflow for backing up, editing and sharing my photos from the road.
I use micro four thirds cameras and my iPhone 5S to capture images. I’ll write more about the MFT gear in an upcoming post. First I’m going to outline the iPhone, iPad and the apps that I use.
I’ve been an iPad user from day one and was soon convinced that I would use the device as a laptop replacement. I’ve always outfitted myself with the top of the line iPad—maximizing the memory allows ample room for photos, videos, books, comics, and music. My current iPad Air is the 128GB-Verizon version.
I choose the the cellular equipped models even though I don’t turn on mobile data very often. $24.95/night for wifi? No thanks. Oh, the promised free wifi isn’t working tonight? No worries. Either way, I’ll provide my own. If I don’t use it? Then like ketchup in a French restaurant, it’s just nice to know its’ there. Besides, I do use the GPS—only available on the cellular equipped models—for mapping and navigation.
My iPad is protected by a rooCASE Origami. I carry an eCase waterproof envelope in case of wet weather or extreme dust. I’m considering a Pelican Progear vault for adventure travel, but I don’t think I’ll be getting it in time for this trip.
Gear fetishists will appreciate that my luggage is by GORUCK. My daily carry/camera bag is a GR Echo backpack that easily accomodates my camera gear, iPad & accessories along with other travel essentials—like a Source hydration bladder. My clothes and other kit are stowed in a GR2. It meets the airline carry-on requirements (unfortunately, my hiking staff/monopod does not) and its little sister Echo slips into the front compartment so I carry only one bag on my back.)
An Anker 5-port USB charger provides a single-Plug source for charging iPad, iPhone, Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker and other USB devices. For redundancy and field use there’s an Apple iPad charger and a Griffin car charger in my ruck. On this particular journey, the Land-Rover has been equipped with several USB ports for charging on-the-move.
I bring along an Apple Wireless Keyboard that travels in a Casemate Origami case. The keyboard generally stays back in camp during the day. It won’t go into my EDC ruck unless my plan includes an all-night writing bender in a local tavern.
That’s the basic set up. I’ll outline my backup workflow in the next installment, Images in the bank.
If you're an iPhone/iPad photographer you'll find Dan Rubin's How to get the best out of photo apps on your smartphone video to be worth watching. I'm preparing for an upcoming photo trip to the Grand Canyon and, thanks to Dan, I just added several new tools to my pocket camera bag/darkroom.
(Note that the release of the SKRWT app for fixing lens distortion and parallax has been been delayed until later this month.)
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