I’m sticking true to my New Years resolution and getting out and shooting more. My goal is to make an effort to get out on at least one of my days off each week. This week I took a quick one-day trip up to Twin Falls. I’m exhausted, but it was worth the drive.
I couldn’t help myself today. I had to go shopping! I’ve been in the market for an even bigger size reduction than I experienced when I moved from DSLR to Micro Four Thirds. Something that would fit in a jeans pocket.
Initially I went looking for a compact camera, when I stumbled on the Olympus BCL-15mm f8.0 Body Lens Cap. It’s an interesting piece of gear. It’s a fixed f/8 aperture manual focus lens… Kinda. You don’t really manually focus. Instead, you choose from close-up and infinity settings. For $49, I figured why not?
It’s a bit of a one-trick pony, and will fit in my bag the way I want it to, but I don’t see myself taking a lot of shots with it. It gets pretty soft once your eyes leave the center of the image. I’ll keep it on the E-P3 now and use it as a daily to-and-from-work just-in-case lens, but I think I’ll still pick up a smaller point and shoot when the one I want comes out in June.
Here are a few shots taken with this lens on the Olympus E-P3 body, edited exclusively from within Lightroom Mobile for iPad.
I’ve been dreaming of Lightroom Mobile since it was first previewed on The Grid almost a year ago. The idea of importing my photos to my computer, editing them on my iPad, then having them automatically sync back to my computer is very appealing. Adobe finally released this product earlier this week. These are my initial thoughts on using it after a day of shooting.
What it does, it does well… Really well. Lightroom Mobile does not feel like a 1.0 application. All the major sliders are there (exposure, highlights/shadows, blacks/whites, vibrance, the beloved clarity, etc.) and function extremely well. And, since you’re working with Smart Previews (lossy DNGs) you get all the flexibility you’d expect from RAW editing, as well as the juicy dynamic range captured by your camera. You also get access to all the pre-installed Lightroom Presets. The syncing is very fast once you’re past that initial batch of uploads from your computer.
Unfortunately, this probably won’t make it into my daily workflow. As of right now, it’s as much a novelty as a useful tool. I say that because you’re limited to little more than the sliders and presets. While these are executed perfectly, the missing features are the ones that keep Lightroom Mobile from being the app I’ve been lusting after.
The tone curve is not present. I never touch the contrast slider because I prefer the fine control of the tone curve.
Camera and lens calibration aren’t there, which are a fairly regular part of my workflow.
The biggest disappointment is that there is no brush tool. In my opinion, the bush tool is the #1 reason to use a touch-based interface. The ability to draw on the picture, rather than by proxy via a cursor would really put this app over the top.
Using this app also made me realize how much I rely on Photoshop for compositing and erasing things. I can’t hold that against Adobe while writing this review, as Lightroom doesn’t do those things either. Still, I found myself going back and forth between the iPad and the computer, which kinda kicks the convenience factor to the curb.
My list of disappointments is long, but don’t let that fool you. It really is a fantastic app. My workflow is probably a little more specialized than yours. I can think of several photographers who could get by in Lightroom Mobile without a hitch. I’m really looking forward to seeing where Adobe takes this product. I’m confident I’ll see a tone curve and a brush within the next year or so.
Below are a few shots I got today and edited in Lightroom Mobile. The barn went through Photoshop for some erasing and the sunken home was a combination of multiple exposures.