iPad Pro - a new future for my hobby

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 4,335
Re: iPad Pro - a new future for my hobby

KiwiTux wrote:

Andy Hewitt wrote:


Anyway, just some ramblings, and perhaps a bit of a mini review.

Hi Andy,

I remember chatting about this stuff with you a couple years ago, when you were 'on the wagon' with Lightroom. I've really put the hobby down in the last year or so, and there was a breaking point with me- I loved taking photos, and hated the organising and post-processing (and had little time to do so with a toddler).

To be fair, if Adobe had included some of the key features I find missing in Lightroom, I wouldn’t have been looking elsewhere - things such as batch editing, virtual copies, external editors, and even printing, are all easily possible using Photos and external editors.

When I started picking the hobby back up again a few weeks ago (with a new 2020 13" MBP 13"), I found somewhat broken backup LR libraries in several places. Since I use Google Drive and USB hard drives, I had some images in the cloud, some on local drives-- in short, it's a gigantic mess. It's of course 100% my fault, but I'm just not good at maintaining strict discipline with collections.

Yeah, it can be easy to get into a mess. I did manage to find a sensible organisation setup when I first started digital photography 20 years ago, so everything is on a couple of hard drives in logical date format folder order.

Your post had me download RawPower again to see what has changed, and it's a different beast. The fact that it can do 1) star ratings 2) batch edits 3) edit the Photos library directly and nondestructively are real game changers for me.

Indeed so, the non-destructive collaboration with Photos did it for me too, none of the other apps can manage it so seamlessly.

I'm trying out the 2TB plan and uploading all of my originals as we speak. I'm in the Apple ecosystem for the long term, and I really like the idea of a permanent home for all photos in a central, immutable (essentially) library. With a laptop-only workflow, I'm sick of USB drives and syncing them to Google Drive et. al for backup, etc. In short, I want a solution that is always there that I can't easily break due to my own negligence. With RAW Power's new powers, I think this is finally a reality.

Yes, I think I was always going to be using the iCloud ecosystem into the future too, it was a small cost to upgrade to 2TB from the 200Gb plan, with so many benefits to myself and my family.

As Adobe are going to charge me £50 to cancel my account, I think I might just let it run until expiry next year, simply as a secondary cloud based backup, until I’m completely sure I have the iPad + Photos + external editors thing working satisfactorily.

So, I'm rambling here, but it was great to see your post. Some questions, if you'll indulge me:

1) How do you delineate between iPhone snaps / memes / junk and "real" photos? Just by using albums? Do you mix iPhone snaps with the RAW files if you took photos with each during a (e.g. family) event, or keep them separate?

I tend to use Folders and Albums, I recreated my setup from Lightroom, so I have a few master Folders - such as ‘Digital Photos’, ‘Scanned Images’, ‘Printing Collections’ and such like. As well as those I have ‘Subjects’ and ‘Places’ folders.

My main collection is in ‘Digital Photos’ folder, where I then have nested folders for Year/Month and inside each month a set of Albums for each event. I keep all images taken that day inside each album, although it’s easy to also add separate albums for different image types, or different cameras (in my case iPhone or Nikon D5300).

I don’t bother separating, as I generally want to browse all images taken on an event. In Raw Power you can separate them by Raw or Non-Raw in the filter dialogue and then edit them separately, which is what I do.

2) I think RAW Power will tackle the lack of keyword editing in time, but for now, how are you managing your workflow? I.e. do you keyword on your desktop and do the rest on your iPad (which sounds horrible)? Or just rely on the machine learning keywords auto-generated?

I must admit, I used to apply keywords quite religiously, but more recently I don’t brother, many things can be found surprisingly easily using the AI search system, as for trees, or seaside, and it seems to find them pretty well.

Besides, I’m quite good at finding most images I need by simply using my hierarchical system, as I generally remember roughly when images were taken.

Any collection of criminal images I tend to bung in an album together, such as all images taken at my local coastal locations, or local parks and gardens, or museums, that kind of thing.

3) There is no way on the desktop RAW Power to (gracefully) round trip to an external editor. Is this different on the iPad/iOS app?

That’s just a general limitation of Raw editing regardless of the apps used. No software can round trip to more than one external app for Raw editing, as all Raw editing is proprietary to the individual app used.

In Raw Power (as far as I can see, RP works the same in iPadOS as it does the Desktop OS), as long as the image is unedited in Photos, a Raw image will open and can be edited as Raw non-destructively. As far as I can find, it’s’ the only app that can save the image back into Photos seamlessly, along with it’s Raw editing data, and can be re-edited by Raw Power in a later session. However, if you edit that image in Photos (on top of the RP edits) it becomes a JPEG, which can be sent to other apps, but only as an edited JPEG. The great thing with RP here is that you carry over the re-edit data between  devices, so you can do editing on an iPad, and then carry on later on a desktop/laptop.

The other apps, such as Pixelmator or Affinity Photo, can open a Raw (or non-Raw) image, and edit as a Raw, but can only save non-destructive data externally (using in an internal storage folder, on on the iCloud Drive, and save a JPEG (I think Affinity can save other formats too) back to Photos. Pixelmator images a can be re-edited, but it has to save an accompanying data file in iCloud, which is generally quite large (at least as large as the original file), so will increase storage needs. These are a bit more of a ‘workaround’ than integration. Of the two, Pixelmator has the more elegantly solution, but Affinity is a much more powerful editor.

All said, this is pretty similar when using other apps top, such as Lightroom, you basically get one shot at editing a Raw in an external editor.

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Andy H

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