Technology: Tech and the Photographer-Mobile

Mobile Systems – Being Small Doesn’t Mean Weak

I swear, every day I spend on this article, something new in tech happens!

This be the category that’s been the busiest and had the most happen since the last article. Not sure about revolutionary, but definitely a good leap. So about today…

Adobe released updates on all their Creative Cloud applications. Which if you didn’t know, is quite a bit of work! What got me truly excited was what I saw with Lightroom. Specifically, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile.

I bought an iPad Pro specifically for photography work. I want to be able to do some light editing, choose photos from shoots and show them to clients. Adobe was promising to have these great apps to use with it. For about two years, it’s been largely a disappointment. Until today.

The iPad. Image: APPLE.com

The iPad. Image: APPLE.com

The first big problem was simply a lack of teeth the applications had. You simply couldn’t make good enough adjustments. It was even worse before iOS supported RAW files. While RAW support has been around for just over a year, the apps weren’t powerful enough to take full advantage of them. I but all gave up hope.

Thank you Adobe

Then, I stumbled onto the announcement Adobe made from their conference and saw the Lightroom application overhaul. You still have regular Lightroom with some great performance upgrades over the previous version. It’s also called Lightroom Classic. The big surprises came in Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile. Lightroom CC is heavily cloud-based and will synchronize photos across all the devices you have Lightroom Mobile installed on. The biggest welcome is the overhaul Lightroom Mobile got.

While I had Lightroom Mobile installed, it sucked. Adjustments didn’t make enough difference. Exporting a pain. Synchronization clunky. User interface. Horrible. All that has changed. I had some great news on multiple fronts today but what I wanted to do most? Check out the new Lightroom apps when I got home!

The first thing I noticed was how the cloud integration started working all by itself and seamlessly. It just started synchronizing when I opened the app. Then the user-interface. It’s incredibly intuitive. While I know I still have some bits and pieces to learn, I did some pretty impressive adjustments. Sharpness and noise reduction really works. The amount of adjustment you have with colors is absolutely amazing! Being able to export to different Social Media channels and formats. Finally. Finally, Adobe is making good on their promises. Still some work ahead. Especially in getting photos from the camera into the iPad. But that’s not really Adobe’s problem. We’re so close to the promise.

Phones

I’ve never been much of a phone photographer. But I can’t ignore it. The camera technology in phones is simply stunning! I know there are people on Instagram that have a pretty decent career going. Just with a camera phone. You can even use phones as backup devices with the storage they have!

At the end of the day, I think it’s how inexpensive going mobile these days is and the processing power you get. I was in Starbucks a couple of nights ago and I saw a guy processing a real movie on his MacBook Pro. If you watch the extras for the movie “Black Swan”, you’ll hear one of the production guys talk about it. That was seven years ago! Processing and storage has multiplied 2 – 3 times. Of course, people are editing 4k video now. So that adds a whole other level of performance needs. But still impressive.

It’s About the Vision. Not the Tools

Many photographers from the film era loathe computer tech in photography. It’s an exciting time. It’s opened a whole new set of door while expanding the boundaries of photography. Technology allows us to do new things while making regular work infinitely faster. The more you know about tech, the more the advantage you have. I have this great story….

Lillian Bassman

Lillian Bassman is one of my all-time favorite photographers. She was a fashion photographer back in the 40’s and 50’s. A true artist that used that vision to create some of the most fantastic and beautiful fashion photography I’ve ever seen. She mentored Richard Avedon. That should tell you something.

Lillian Bassman

Lillian Bassman

Then in the 1960’s, she hung it all up. Quit cold-turkey. She felt there was too much attention being focused on the models. They were becoming difficult to work with and she didn’t want to deal with it. From what I heard, she burned all the negatives that she hadn’t processed yet.

Decades passed. Then, someone who was arranging a campaign ad for Neiman Marcus found some of Lillian Bassman’s images. Supposedly, these images weren’t processed. Found in some bag. He set out to contact her and ask if she’d be interested in shooting the campaign. Mind you, Lillian Bassman hadn’t touched a camera in decades. She was in her 80’s. But she was convinced to do the shoot!

The last time she used a camera, film and the darkroom reigned supreme. Now, it was digital and Photoshop. She set out to learn Photoshop. Photoshop, at 80 years old! Yes, when you want to do something, you do it!

You know what the most amazing aspect of this story is. Not that she was 80 years old when she did the shoot. Not that she learned Photoshop at that age. But her new images, which were several decades newer than her previous ones, looked just like her older images! The tools had changed, but the vision didn’t! I turned out to be a fantastic campaign!

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About the author

Ricardo Gomez is a Fashion Photographer based in New York City.

  • Technology: Tech and the Photographer-Desktop

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