Category: Opinion

Lightroom Mobile for iOS

Lightroom Mobile is the worst

Getting photos from a Lightroom catalog to an iPhone has always been like treading through treacle. Until Lightroom Mobile there was no practical way of doing it without creating an intermediate copy of the photos in iPhoto or the file system, which then has to be kept up to date. If you have photos that appear in multiple albums the situation is even more of a maintenance nightmare.

My requirements are simple enough; I use Lightroom on the desktop to organise and post-process my photos, and I want the results of that work to appear on my phone for viewing and sharing. I’m sick and tired of having to work so hard to achieve this simple objective, so I decided to sign up for Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan which offers the promise of automatic catalog synchronisation to a mobile device. I wish I hadn’t bothered. Against all odds Adobe has managed to make the mobile sync experience even worse with Lightroom Mobile than using iPhoto as a sync hub.

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Jumping Spider by Thomas Shahan

Extreme macro photography is not for me

Jumping Spider by Thomas Shahan

I want to be able to take photos like the spectacular example above by Thomas Shahan. Well, not exactly like it; as photogenic as those little critters are, spiders and I don’t mix, especially when jumping is involved, but I’ve always been impressed by extreme close-up macro photography, so when I read about the Yasuhara Nanoha Lens 4x-5x Super Macro Lens I decided to take a punt and buy one, even though I already had the 1:1 Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro lens. There’s something so compelling about the idea of getting really, really close. I expected working with this lens to be difficult, but it turned out to be way harder than I had imagined. So hard in fact, that I’m giving up. Read the full article »

Battersea Power Station

Why photographic purism makes no sense in the digital age

Some photographers subscribe to a philosophy of modern photographic purism, frowning upon any use of post-processing techniques and seeing them as a form of cheating. This idea was popularised popularised in the 1930s but few photographers today subscribe to the movement’s ideals of ridding one’s work of “qualities of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form”. Today’s photographic purists have no such ambitions; conversely, they often strive to create highly artistic photographs using only their camera (and physical accessories such as lights and filters) and they extent to which they consider themselves successful correlates directly to the extent to which their results appear to have been created through post-processing when in reality they have been achieved in camera. There are many legitimate reasons not to post-process your digital photographs but the popular notion that all forms of post-processing are somehow inauthentic is deeply misguided.

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Constructing Danbo

Thumbs up for Flickr’s new design

There’s a lot of hate amongst the user community for Flickr’s bold new design. Some of the complaints are justified, but as a professional web developer I’ve been at the business end of the intractable problem that Yahoo! is up against here: that you can’t please everyone, no matter what you do. For years Flickr has been lambasted as an Internet backwater because Yahoo! was neglecting innovation on the platform in favour of integration. Now that the Flickr development team has made a determined effort to re-imagine the user experience of Flickr, many users are understandably upset that the site they have known and loved for years is changing radically in ways they are not comfortable with. Well, I think the new design is great.

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