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Photo editing with iPad Pro

ndwgolf

Active member
Morning guys,
Today I am planning to go and buy myself a new 12.9" iPad Pro and use that exclusively as my photo editing tool using Snapseed until the new Photoshop cc arrives for iPad in the New Year. I have been practicing with Snapseed on my hand phone and find it fairly simple to use. My current camera systems are Hasselblad H6D100c Leica S and M. I read this blog by Austin Mann and he uses the same H6D100c camera along with the 12.9 iPad Pro.
So my question to the group is how many of you guys use a iPad Pro to edit your pictures and if you do how is it???

Neil
 

jerome_m

Member
I have a 10.5" iPad pro and I found it extremely frustrating as an image editing tool. The software is fine (I used pixelmator and have yet to try affinity photo), the hardware is surprisingly powerful. The pen and screen interface is wonderful.

What makes it frustrating is that Apple decided that the actual data should be completely abstracted to the user. You can import files, but you don't know whether you import a raw or jpeg file, when the two are in pairs. The data will then be uploaded by default to Apple servers, maxing out your connection quickly and soon requesting an upgrade of your Apple drive (you can disable these functions). If you want to post the files to a blog (for example), you will need third-party software to reduce the resolution and size of the pictures, because the built-in functions will not tell you.

Basically, the iPad (and iPhone) are designed with a single paradigm in mind: you take the pictures and videos on the devices themselves (pictures taken with the phone will magically appear on the pad), add some filters et edits and post the full resolution to approved social networks. Everything is stored in the cloud (at a price) and you have infinite connection and bandwidth. Other workflows are possible, but will make you jump through loops to achieve your aims.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Some notes:

  • I went for the 11 inch model because I want it to fit into a smallish bag ... a larger heavier bag for the 12.9" model is an annoyance since my camera equipment today is small and light (Leica M-D, CL, and Light L16). I don't find the smaller screen a detraction ... It's nearly always the case that I AirPlay the photos to a large display for sharing with a group anyway, and it's just fine for doing editing in a confined space like an airline seat.
  • With a 1T machine, I have more than enough storage for a several week long photo trip. No need to carry additional drives or hunt up fast WiFi.
  • I have my cameras set to RAW only. Downloading to the iPad Pro is always raw files, it generates the JPEG previews when I open the files to edit.
  • Going through the Photos library is a plus if you use RAW Power because it works with the Photos library directly. I don't use LRCC, and have no intention of using LR Mobile. SnapSeed and Affinity Photo, along with RAW Power, do the job for me. I'm transitioning away from LR on macOS too, since I refuse to pay a monthly use fee to Adobe and LR 6.14 is slowly dying.
  • NONE of my photos go onto Apple's cloud services, unless I send them to my iCloud drive explicitly. I have yet to see much use for the Photos sharing capabilities since I work with my photos and want to present to the public only finished images. My finished photos are presented outside of the Apple ecosystem.
It's working well for me so far. I haven't got a longish trip scheduled until early February. I'll know more after that.
 

DB5

Member
Depends on what level of post you re doing.

For colour balance and small adjustments, an iPad could do the job I guess.

I wouldn't consider an iPad for the level of Post I do. It would be a frustrating experience and when a desktop does it perfectly I don't feel the need to change.

Also, I would not consider using anything less than a calibrated monitor with as close to adobe98 as possible. You are just essentially making blind changes and have no idea what the images look like elsewhere.

If you want something simple, take a look at the new Mac Mini. It can be spec'd crazy powerful and when paired with an EIZO or NEC monitor it gives top notch post capability.

If you have such a camera, why consider something that is such a compromise?
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
I purchased a 1gb 12.9” pro pretty much on launch day and have been using it for nearly all my editing since then.

Context: I use a 2013 Mac Pro for my main LR catalogue and historically have travelled with a MacBook Pro and then exported the catalogue from that to the the Mac Pro on return to base. I had experimented with versions 1 & 2 of the iPad Pro and found them wanting. I had also, like the OP, got really fed up with the LR subscription model and used a variety (all the usual suspects) of alternatives on both IO and Mac OS. Some of them were really great but it slowly dawned that I was cutting my nose off to spite my face because I have a great deal (70,000 + photos and a LOT of experience) tied up in LR.

So after a great deal of research I then did the following, which works really well for me:

1) On my Mac Pro, I filtered my LR Classic Catalogue to give me every image with 3* or more
2) Exported them all as a catalogue. It came to about 2,500 images.
3) Took out a bigger storage package with LR and then imported all those images into LR CC on my Mac Pro.
4) Allowed the Mac Pro to synchronize all that to the cloud (it took a few days)
5) realised from time to time that there were favourite images that for some reason had not made it across, and discovered that you can export as many new catalogs (and then import them into CC) as you like, as long as they all get different names.

Now what I do is as follows:

1) I purchased a USB C reader that fits into the iPad Pro. This is used for my Nikon Z7 files and it is astonishingly fast. Way, way, waaaay faster than any Mac OS import I have ever seen. Like, about 7-10 70mb files PER SECOND - and much much faster than importing direct from the camera using a USB cable - even one designed especially for that purpose.
2) Import the files into Photos, which is disabled from cloud sync. Once they are there, import them from that into LRCC on the iPad. At this stage you can either delete the files from Photos or if you want belt and braces, leave them there until you are sure everything has synced to LR’s cloud.
3) Do all my preliminary editing on the iPad including the wonderful pencil for local adjustments.
4) Allow, wherever possible, the iPad to upload those to the cloud and sync with my other devices. - or wait until I have the bandwidth for that to happen.
5) Get home days or weeks later and find that my LRCC catalogue on my Mac Pro has all the images, wel edited and ready for viewing on a lower resolution screen (very important) and for any final touches - theoretically these would mainly be about color, but actually he iPad Pro has good color rendition.

So what I have is a fully integrated workflow that lets me work at home, in my studio or on the road in an environment I understand and that respects my historical editing practices and cataloguing, and which is blazingly fast. As a clue, the iPad Pro not only imports more quickly, it also processes and renders more quickly than either my Mac Pro 2013 or my MacBook Pro touchbar.

This has, literally, changed my life. It is almost perfect.

I was SO close to giving up on LR. My advice to everyone is, don’t: take some time to understand how to use LRCC across devices and in conjunction with LR Classic and know that when Photoshop for iPad arrives, this combination will be the single most useful thing you ever had, bar your cameras and lenses themselves.

Controversial but true.

But I still really dislike Adobe ;-)
 
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I am surprised you guys are happy editing on an 11" or 12.9" screen. I generally don't edit my images when traveling. I wait until I get home where I can edit them on my 27" monitor. I'll edit images on my laptop in a pinch, but I always re-edit them on a big screen.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I am surprised you guys are happy editing on an 11" or 12.9" screen. I generally don't edit my images when traveling. I wait until I get home where I can edit them on my 27" monitor. I'll edit images on my laptop in a pinch, but I always re-edit them on a big screen.
All a matter of perspective. I started digital image processing back in the middle 1980s when a 1024x1024 image on a RAMTEK display amounted to 13 hours of processing time and the system cost $21M dollars (at NASA/JPL). It was many years before a 27" display on a fast desktop system was available for editing at a price I could afford ...

I find my edits and final images are different on my desktop system with 27" display and Lightroom compared to on my iPad Pro 11": Not better or worse, but different. With the right software, the editing is just as fluid and fun on either. The IPP11 is a bit faster than my 2012 Mac mini and has some better tools.

But in the end, it doesn't really matter all that much. I work in taking photographs to make my image editing process quick and minimal. I rarely spend more than a few minutes editing a photo either way. And I'm satisfied ... happy! ... with the results from either system. Oft times, if I have edited a photo on the go on the iPad, I upload it into LR next to the original and see if I get anything more out of it, and find I've got just what I wanted already. No need to polish a finished thing, that's usually the best way to ruin it... :D

G
 
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tcdeveau

Well-known member
I purchased a 1gb 12.9” pro pretty much on launch day and have been using it for nearly all my editing

....

This has, literally, changed my life. It is almost perfect.

I was SO close to giving up on LR. My advice to everyone is, don’t: take some time to understand how to use LRCC across devices and in conjunction with LR Classic and know that when Photoshop for iPad arrives, this combination will be the single most useful thing you ever had, bar your cameras and lenses themselves.

Controversial but true.

But I still really dislike Adobe ;-)
Thanks for sharing! I agree that LRCC has potential but haven’t quite wrapped my head around how to make use of it.

I think this iPad Pro workflow would be really useful for me right now. Im taking a million pics of my son and family, and importing them into my 2013 Mac Pro for editing with LR, but this has become inconvenient for quick edits when I only a couple minutes to edit here and there. I need a faster workflow that’s accessible from any room in my house, and don’t feel like plopping down $$ for a touchbar MacBook Pro yet.

Which USB-C reader are you using if you don’t mind me asking?
-Todd
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
Thanks for sharing! I agree that LRCC has potential but haven’t quite wrapped my head around how to make use of it.

I think this iPad Pro workflow would be really useful for me right now. Im taking a million pics of my son and family, and importing them into my 2013 Mac Pro for editing with LR, but this has become inconvenient for quick edits when I only a couple minutes to edit here and there. I need a faster workflow that’s accessible from any room in my house, and don’t feel like plopping down $$ for a touchbar MacBook Pro yet.

Which USB-C reader are you using if you don’t mind me asking?
-Todd
I'm really happy to help. I almost drove myself crazy trying to work this out. Rule #1 - NEVER to be broken, is "do not sync LR CC Classic to the cloud. Export everything you might ever want in the cloud to a catalog, import that catalog to LR CC desktop, then base you desktop/mobile workflow on that. There are lots of other wrinkles but that is the main one, if you want to retain your sanity and not end up with your life littered with duplicate files.

The USB-C reader was a very generic one from eBay, it doesn't have a brand name on it and was the only one I could find with an XQD slot. It feels and looks a bit cheap but boy does it ever work extremely fast! It's here : https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253953856806?ul_noapp=true

Good luck and do ask further questions. I got fairly good at this workflow after asking a zillion questions on the Adobe and other forums and doing a lot of reading an experimenting.
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
I am surprised you guys are happy editing on an 11" or 12.9" screen. I generally don't edit my images when traveling. I wait until I get home where I can edit them on my 27" monitor. I'll edit images on my laptop in a pinch, but I always re-edit them on a big screen.
It is remarkably useful, when travelling, to be able to really interrogate a capture when you are still close enough to shoot it again if you screwed up. Also, for me, I often want to capture not exactly how a scene looked, but how it felt. I find it easier to do that if I can process the file within a a small number of hours of capture.

Also, with these displays at around 260PPI, they are arguably a more accurate representation of the size at which most of the files might be printed (and therefore the correct amount of sharpening, NR, clarity, etc) than is a large 4K screen, which is likely to have a resolution of around 140PPI - which with a Nikon Z7 would be too low a resolution for a good quality print even if you did want to print it to 59" wide.

I think that for over half of use cases, the iPad Pro is a BETTER machine for editing hi-res RAW files than most desktops (rather than just an acceptable short term alternative) and it also happens to be faster....
 
I think that for over half of use cases, the iPad Pro is a BETTER machine for editing hi-res RAW files than most desktops (rather than just an acceptable short term alternative) and it also happens to be faster....
What you say makes sense; what are the less than half use cases where editing on a large monitor would be better?
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
What you say makes sense; what are the less than half use cases where editing on a large monitor would be better?
For me:
1) where absolute colour accuracy is required and the monitor is both wide gamut and carefully calibrated
2) where local adjustments aren’t required - or are simple enough to do with a mouse (assuming no Wacom)
3) where print resolution is to be in the the region of 180 dpi

Additionally, benefits of desktop OS:
4) where presets and/or adjustments are to be applied to or synced across a large number of images
5) where keyword handling needs to be complex and sophisticated.
6) where files need round tripping through photoshop
7) where files need a multitude of export options.
 

SrMphoto

Active member
As I always travel with a MacBook Pro (13" or 15") and an iPad Pro, I think of using 1TB iPad Pro as a backup for MacBook. Yes, they do fail, typically on the beginning of a 30 days trip in the bush ;-).
 

earburner

Member
So my biggest thing against Ipad's is the lack of external storage access. I want to be able to plug in my phone/camera/usb drive/memory card be it xqd, cf,sd,cfast or camera with out pissing around... I don't want to F**k around with the cloud as far to often im in poor net access and want simple access to my files.. using any old usb adaptor, not some Ioverpriced adaptor that I can't buy a new one from the arse end of know where :)

I think it will have some uses, good battery life and very light. I have Ipad pro for Capture one pilot and I got the impression from a phase one tech there might be something new coming as the IQ4's have a apple security chip installed inside. Maybe direct tether via usb to ipad… :D
 

Jrsforums

New member
I'm really happy to help. I almost drove myself crazy trying to work this out. Rule #1 - NEVER to be broken, is "do not sync LR CC Classic to the cloud. Export everything you might ever want in the cloud to a catalog, import that catalog to LR CC desktop, then base you desktop/mobile workflow on that. There are lots of other wrinkles but that is the main one, if you want to retain your sanity and not end up with your life littered with duplicate files.
I really wish that Adobe would fix that “wrinkle”. It is a pain even if you are not using LRCC, but only Classic and syncing. When you stop syncing a collection, the images should come out of the cloud!
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
I really wish that Adobe would fix that “wrinkle”. It is a pain even if you are not using LRCC, but only Classic and syncing. When you stop syncing a collection, the images should come out of the cloud!
I almost drove myself nuts trying to work with classic on the desktop and CC on mobile. It’s a recipe for pain. There are so many weirdnesses to deal with. But as soon as you make the decision, as I did, that Classic is for legacy and back catalog stuff and CC is for new stuff and a small-ish subset of your back catalog that you’ve exported to it, everything falls into place.
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
Looking for suggestions on how to backup iPad Pro in the field when there is no network connection. Thanks.
Sandsk made some very useful options for the old style connector so I’m sure there will be good options soon. In the meantime I do,what I did when I travelled with a MacBook Pro; treat the camera memory card as the backup and connect to the cloud where possible.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Looking for suggestions on how to backup iPad Pro in the field when there is no network connection. Thanks.
Normally, the iPad is the backup for camera, etc. :D You back it up when you get back to a WiFi spot or your desktop system.

My personal experience with the iPad as mobile computing and backup device is that it's rock solid. I've been using iPad devices since 2011, when the iPad 2 came out, and I have yet to have a single lock up or missing file on any of them. I *never* worry about data on the iPad at all. I back up my iPad and iPhone devices to web storage with WiFi when available, and to my computer with a wired connection. When I can't connect either way, I just keep working and don't worry about it. I've not lost a single file regardless of the thousands of image files and other stuff I've created or downloaded into the iPads. Not one.

That said, Sandisk has flash and SSD drive backup solutions for Lightning connector iPads/iPhones. The USB-C connection on the current iPad Pro models is brand new and they haven't upgraded their app and devices for it just yet, at least that I can tell. I'm sure they will in short order. Ideally, they would create a backup system that allowed backup to any compatible bus-powered USB-C SSD or flash drive. It's not too difficult to do.

(I could probably write an app like that myself, given some time and motivation to do it. Maybe I should... :) )

G
 
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