More 'integrated smartphone / mirrorless workflow' - Sony A7r - Nokia 1020 - Using the Cloud - Photoshop Express.

This time my 'integrated smartphone / mirrorless workflow' involved my Nokia 1020 and Sony A7r + Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lens. 

 Above Sony A7r - Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lens

Above - Nokia 1020

Now there will be times when I'll just use my phones, when I want to travel light, when I want to be inconspicuous etc., but a lot of times, like yesterday I'll use them in conjunction with something else. 

The Nokia is particularly useful for my 'editorial' library files. i.e. images with people, trademarks, logos etc. and no releases.

I've been struggling to know what to do with these for some time. Some of my libraries do take them and sell them, but the process is a lot more complicated than for landscape and other images that can be sold royalty-free without a release. Plus the library I used to sell a lot of these kind of images with has nosedived in terms of sales. However I've found a library that takes my editorial images, accepts all of them and has them on sale almost instantly. The drawback is that it requires uploading from mobile devices only. I can't do that from my laptop. I have to use my iPad and the trick is to get the images to that. 

So I've been investigating the cloud and the options I have. As I have Macs, I thought simple, use iCloud. Except that iCloud is far from simple. I can save to my Photostream only from iPhoto or Aperture, both of which are extremely flawed programmes and not what I want to use. Typical Apple. Pretend everything is simple and wonderful, when it's not. Unless of course you use their software. I have to say for all their PR to the contrary, Apple are actually very photographer unfriendly. They may be just right for all those sparkling adverts for dentistry that they use in their publicity material, but in the real world they make things fiddly and unintuitive and organise things how they want, not how I want. I also have to say I'm getting pretty fed up with this 'nanny' attitude to how I want to work. Apple used to be the 'creative' platform, but now it's as proscriptive as Microsoft at it's worst.

However, both Google Drive and One Drive (the Microsoft Windows alternative) are very good. I create folders on my laptop, save pictures to a synced folder and there they are accessible on my iPad. Both also give me more storage space than iCloud. 15GB for Google and 10GB for Microstock. I don't keep files on there longer than I have to anyway, so that's fine for my purposes.

However back to the Nokia. I can save files directly to OneDrive from the phone. Only the 5MB versions, but since the library I'm uploading to is for phone pictures, that's no problem. Plus at that size I can get them online very quickly, allowing for the fact that BT don't seem inclined to install fibre optic broadband where I live anytime soon.

So things are changing dramatically. Not only am I shooting on Smartphones, I actually prefer a Windows system over my Macs. And I have to say the Windows 8 phone interface on the Nokia is actually very good. Very simple, very reliable and very intuitive. I guess they had to get it right sometime. Unfortunately, the library app. I use is Apple and Android only, so at the moment I have to use the iPad. I was considering getting an iPhone at some point, but firstly the Nokia is so good I can't see the point and secondly the iCloud nonsense has seriously put me off. There is no way I'm using iPhoto or Aperture to edit my images.

Incidentally, I have Photoshop Express on my iPad. You might think it's a 'mickey-mouse' point and shoot snapshot programme, but I really like it. It's got lots of presets but they are good presets and I can get my images as I want to on the iPad quickly and easily. It's tied up with an Adobe cloud storage system called Revel, but that's about as useless as iCloud. However, the (free) phone / tablet programme is very good for some final 'tweaking'. It even does raw files (see - but having tried it, it's complicated, time consuming and to be honest, pretty pointless. Great for jpgs. though.

And the good things from above are what smartphones give us. Less freedom to "improve' (or mess up) than we might have with a conventional computer / software setup, but because of the nature of phones, which all this is predominantly designed for, things have to made visual and easy to use. I have to say I do like the simplicity of my phone and iPad interfaces. If it wasn't for the fact that I need the iPad apps, I'd get myself the Nokia tablet, but I'll have to persevere with the iPad for now.

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