IPAD (Pro) Workflow

Its been quite a while since my original iPad workflow post. Software has improved and the speed of the iPad Pro has totally changed the game so of course, my iPad workflow has moved on quite a bit.

The first stage of my workflow continues to be ShutterSnitch.  In my opinion this is still the fastest, most reliable method of using the WiFi connection to get the images from the Fujis on to the iPad. When I am sending just a few images (or sending a few at a time as a job progresses) , I can select on the camera and transfer individually via WiFi with ShutterSnitch instantly saving the images to the iPad Camera Roll. The problem comes when I have Job that involves many hundreds of images, all of which have to be looked at, selected then basic edits made, metadata (caption etc) added and sent. WiFi is just not fast enough for this many images. This is the problem I faced when travelling to Cannes for the annual film festival.


As I was flying and would also be carrying my kit most of the day I really wanted to keep weight to a minimum so I decided to stick with the iPad and develop a workflow that would work.

My iPad is a 256GB/4G model and so has more storage than my old MacBook, even so I was paranoid about storage at the start and wanted to ensure the iPad only contained the images that were  “keepers” so my workflow actually started with the camera configuration. I decided to shoot JPG only on to 64GB cards in both slots – slot 1 as the primary storage and slot 2 for backup. At the end of each job (or day) I would ingest the images to the camera roll from the slot 1 card using the standard apple camera connection key. The card was always wiped after ingest. The card in slot 2 remained in place, building a backup of all the image files, only being switched out to my suitcase as it became full. (Note: RAW image files could be used but would be slower).

When working on a full Laptop/Desktop it is common for most press photographers to use Photomechanic to select and caption first before transferring only their “keepers” to their editing software (photoshop or Lightroom). Because of the way iOS protects files and stops apps interacting on the same data, my workflow is actually the reverse. I use Lightroom mobile to select and edit before captioning and sending in PicturePro.

Lightroom Mobile (on Creative Cloud).

There are a number of key settings / stages to make this reasonably quick.

Mobile data: Ensure “sync on mobile data” is turned off.  (Tethering to a phone brings a whole different set of issues as you really do not want LR to try and synchronise all images until back at base).  An iPad on its own 4G connection is a real advantage here and simplifies the sending process.

Collections: Keep a collection per job or day.

Auto Add:  Use the … next to the collection name to enable Auto Add to the relevent collection.

Switching to split view with the photos app running next to Lightroom as the images ingest from the card, they will be added too Lightroom at the same time (see you can multi-task on an iPad).


Speed Flagging: This enables images to be picked or rejected with an upward or downward swipe whilst in the editing screen.


Once the images are ingested, the card is cleared and put back in the camera. I switch to single image view and enabled a filter on the collection to show only unflagged images. I then swipe down to reject, skipping those I am not sure about until i get to the first image I want. Before I swipe up to pick it, I complete the basic edits – crop, curves, levels etc. and then holding the finger (or pen) on the screen I use the pop up to copy the settings (all settings excluding crop). Only then do I swipe up. The process then continues, swiping down to reject and pasting the edits, (hold down again), cropping then swiping up to pick going through all of the images.


Once at the end I know I have all the selects and rejects. I switch to the “All Lightroom Photos” selection, set the filter to “Rejected” and delete all the images.

The next stage is surprising! I go to the camera roll and delete all the images  just ingested (it’s ok! They are held within Lightroom now – its made copies in its database).

I now export the images from Lightroom to the camera roll (this is a slow process as there is a limit on exporting 15 at a time), selecting the maximum size option.  This leaves just the edited selected images on the camera roll ready for captioning and sending.

PicturePro

In PicturePro I make extensive use of base templates. Upon opening the correct image folder / date should be selected.


Load the metadata editor on the first image and load the relevant template and edit the data to suit. I then copy the data before using the save and next button, paste in the data from the last image, tweak and move on.  Each image that is annotated has a small icon on its lower centre (in grid view).


Once done I select the annotated images (hold to select a batch, double finger tap to add single images to the selection) and export using the FTP panel, resizing, renaming and saving the images in relevant folders as they are transmitted. Each image that is exported has a small icon on its lower right (in grid view).

Once Back at Base
PicturePro has stored all the captioned and edited images in folders which can be accessed via FTP. Lightroom will synchronise all the original images, with edits via Creative Cloud to the desktop machine. (But no metadata on them). I add the PicturePro images to my Lightroom to sit alongside the originals which I leave uncaptioned because I know I can find them via the captioned exported versions.

Conclusion

There are obviously advantages and disadvantages to this workflow. I find the iPad an extremely nice tactile thing to use, using the Pencil and Keyboard I can work on my lap, on the floor, seat, basically anywhere, much easier than if I were balancing a Laptop. Using the pencil on the image itself as a tablet is a joy with the keyboard folded back out of the way until needed for captioning. Batch editing is minimal though, I cant apply the same edit to 100’s of images in a single manoeuvre but I dont see this as a huge issue as I normally have to look at each to crop it as I want so pasting the settings as I crop does not really slow me down. Its always pointed out that iPads have no colour management. Correct, the screen cannot be calibrated but its a mobile platform, it’s not used in a nice controlled environment. Every day I am out shooting and editing in different light with differing ambient levels and colours, so is this really the issue many flag it to be?

Comparing the captioning between PicturePro and Photomechanic the main loss again is batch processing. In PicturePro I do have to check and paste the metadata into every single image but this does have the advantage of ensuring I think about every caption.  At the time of writing PicturePro doses have one or two issues. It will crash every now and then but with this workflow I do not lose any work – its more just having to restart the software (which is almost instantaneous). PicturePro also has image editing which I have used in the past for small batches when I need to be very fast but a bug affecting only the iPad Pro means I am waiting on a software update before I can do this again.

This post has been a long time coming, the workflow has been tweaked and will continue to be but it was working this way that I sent almost 3000 images over 10 days from Cannes so I think it works. let me know your thoughts, comments , questions.

Julie

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BAFTA’s 2017 – A monochrome slide show

Last Sunday (the 12th) was my annual trip to photograph the stars arriving for the British Academy Film Awards which, this year, took place at The Royal Albert Hall. As usual I was shooting on on Fujifilm X-Series, mostly the X-T1 and 50-140 with some on the 56mm mounted on a second X-t1. The wide images are using the 14mm mounted on an X-Pro1.

One interesting fact is that despite shooting over 1700 images on the 2 X-T1’s, I only changed the battery once in each camera (and the 50-140 body shot way more than the 56 body). In very cold weather, thats not too bad

Normally I would post a series of images here but I think its just easier to pass you over to my main side and a slideshow.

Back on the Red Carpet

Last night I was back on the red carpet for the Fifty Shades Darker UK Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square.

Julie Edwards Photography: Fifty Shades Darker UK Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square on 09/02/2017 &emdash; Jamie Dornan

All shot with Fuji X-T1 mostly with the 50-140/2.8 but the wides were with the 16-55/2.8

 

Here is a  small showcase  of images:  http://www.julieedwardsphotography.co.uk/fiftyshadesdarkeruk

Working: Gig Photography

I’m still working on the White Balance post; so much I want to cover in it, I will probably have to split it into two.

To keep the blog rolling though, here is a quick look at my work last night. I was at the Brighton Dome to cover City and Colour with Lucy Rose as the support.

Browsing around the inter-web as we do I come across lots of discussions about “Can’t use this camera for so-and-so”, “thats the wrong lens for that”, quite often with no follow up argument (yes trolls). Quite often the discussions are about using Fujis in low light or in Gig situations.

Last night I started with the 16-55/2.8 & 50-140/2.8 “Red Label” lenses getting the basic shots, for the 3rd song I switched to the 56/1.2 basically because I had not used it in a darkish gig and wanted to see what I could get…

Lucy Rose plays Brighton Dome on 18/02/2016. Picture by Julie Edwards.  X-T1, ISO800, 1/180th @ F1.2, Astia Simulation

Lucy Rose plays Brighton Dome on 18/02/2016. Picture by Julie Edwards.
X-T1, ISO800, 1/180th @ F1.2, Astia Simulation

The Q menu

I was talking to a colleague the other day and he seemed unaware that the Q-menu was customisable. I offered to write a short blog on it (based upon the X-T1, the X-Pro-1 is very similar).

Not sure what I’m talking about?  What is the Q-menu? Basically the Q button on the rear of the camera (Fuji X-T1  X-Pro1) provides fast access to a number of settings arranged in a grid as below. This grid is called the Q-menu.

Here is my current Q-menu (although it is always in a state of flux). I don’t use all of the functions and my aim was to have the items I need to change often quickly accessible.

Q-Menu-now

You will see my first two items are to do with the focus system – to change between single point and group of points and the second item to switch on and off face recognition. I need quick access to White Balance as I change it between “Auto” and a custom setting often (this will be the subject of my next post).

So, how is the Q-menu customised?

Go to the following menu option (by pressing the centre “Menu” button and using the cursors).

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Press the menu button again and the Q-menu with be displayed in Edit mode.

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Use the cursor/arrow buttons to select the item to change. and press the centre menu button.

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Select the function you require, confirming with the centre/menu button and using the back button to cancel.

Once finished press the back button again.

And there you are….

The Names BOND.

Just a quick post of some of the work I shot last night at the World Premiere of the latest Bond film SPECTRE. Really just to give an idea of typical work and results. Not really a blog post, just a “did this with these cameras”

Apart from one shot, they were all shot on the X-T1’s  into JPG in Astia film simulation then slight edit in Lightroom. Further details under each shot.

Daniel Craig: X-T1/50-140@F2.8

 

Monica Bellucci : X-T1/50-140@F2.8

 

Lea Seydoux: X-T1/50-140@F2.8

 

Lea Seydoux & Monica Bellucci: X-T1/50-140@F2.8

Ben Whishaw: X-T1/50-140@F2.8

 

Dame Shirley Bassey: X-T1/50-140@F2.8

 

Sam Smith: X-T1/55-200@F4.8

 

Joan Collins: X-T1/50-140@F2.8

 

Lea Seydoux & Monica Bellucci: Wide on X-Pro-1/14mm@F4

The Long Problem: Part 2

Footnote: Just as I was publishing this the Metabones adaptor was delivered. If the packaging is anything to go by, this is going to be a very good investment. Thats how I finished off The Long Problem: Part 1.

The adaptor in its (superb) packaging next the the Nikon 300/F4

I have now had this adaptor for just over a month and have used it on a number of jobs. Cutting to the chase, it lives up to it’s supurb packaging giving a secure reliable mounting for (in my case) the Nikon 300mm/F4.

Corporate Golf Day. X-T1/Nikon 300/F4/ISO1000

In addition to providing a more secure and reliable mount, the adaptor differs from the lower cost items by its graduated and ‘geared’ aperture control. All of these adaptors ‘adjust’ the aperture using the  ‘blade’ that potrudes from the older F-Type nikon lenses (and not the newer electronic control of the newer lenses and hence unable to control the aperture on the newer G-Type lenses). The lower cost products link to this blade directly meaning real control is almost impossible with the lever having such a short throw. The metabones product seems to be ‘geared’ having the minimum to maximum about of almost 1/4 turn with a numeric scale marked, (I assume) to correspond with full F stops, meaning full control is possible (if not very precise).

Sadiq Khan at the Labour v Lobby XI Football Match on 27/09/2015 at Brighton and Hove Albion FC’s American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. X-T1/Nikon300/F4/ISO1250

This results in the lens  being far more usable (either in aperture prority or full manual modes). In either of these modes the EVF (on the X-T1) gives the correct exposure feedback (as you would expect) meaning the less precise aperture control is manageable.

Showing the aperture scale

Focusing the Nikon 300 in this setup is tricky and definatly requires the 2x zoom in the EVF offered by the F.A. Focus Assist button. I also (still) find it far more sensitive to “camera shake” than using the lens on a Full Frame DSLR, I could try and compare this with using the lens on a Nikon D200  (cropped sensor Nikon) but it’s probably not worth the effort.

Corporate Golf Day. X-T1/Nikon300/F4/ISO1000

The colours are definatly slightly different through this lens compared to the Fuji products but it is possible to get perfectly good, sharp images.

Party Leader Tim Farron MP takes questions from the delegates at the Liberal Democrat Autumn 2015 Federal Conference. X-T1/Nikon300F4/ISO4000

Overall it’s definatly a usable, although slightly slower to use, solution until the Fuji long lens is released.

300/F4 mounted on the X-T1 via the adapter with the 50-140 shown alongside for size comparison.