Workflow: X100s and the iPad

A digital photography workflow is an end-to-end system of working with digital images, from capture to delivery. It is comprised of a series of inter-connected steps developed by photographers to simplify and standardise their work.     SOURCE

I purchased a FujiFilm X100s compact camera for a range of reasons and am now grappling with some practical issues of workflow. My current workflows, with a phone or DSLR, have been honed and I am very comfortable with these processes. However, I need to rethink what I do with this new camera when I wish to travel light and cannot edit quickly with my regular tools.

To explain in more detail, if shooting with my iPhone 4S I upload to Snapseed, then send to various other apps before uploading to Eyeem which simultaneously sends the photo to Flickr and Facebook (if I desire). When using my Nikon D700 I always shoot RAW, uploading them with a Moshi Cardette Ultra Reader to Adobe Lightroom 4 as DNG files on my Macbook Pro. I edit and save to the appropriate collection before uploading, from within Lightroom, to Adobe Revel, Flickr and/or Facebook. I could easily, although rarely do, use a Topaz or Nik plugin within Lightroom, or send it to Photoshop, before reimporting to Lightroom if needed. It is a really cool workflow compared to what I used to do several years ago, before finding Adobe Lightroom. I can still do this, of course, shooting RAW with my X100s.

Mostly I bought the X100s for travelling light or street photography and did not really think too hard about post-production, especially as I did not realise it would shoot such beautiful JPEGs. The quality certainly tempts me to dispense with shooting RAW all the time. Since buying my new FujiFilm compact I purchased a 16GB Eye-Fi Pro X card for the wifi capacity and am happy with how it uploads to my iPad or iPhone and syncs online or with my Macbook Pro. An outrageously large 128GB Sandisk SDXC card also found its way into my basket as I imagined it would be great for shooting HD video, on the road, editing when returning home (not having to worry about storage). I do need to update my card reader to be compatible though, which was unexpected.

There are several issues for a travelling light workflow that I need to resolve:

  1. How light? Do I just go with an iPhone 4S and my X100s? Should I add an iPad too for the extra real estate while editing? Should I leave my Macbook Pro at home? When do I take my DSLR?
  2. How do I store images? Of course I can make good use of Photostream but maybe it makes more sense to use the Eye-Fi online service or DropBox? As I learn Photoshop Touch it seems that the app only really integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud (or Facebook and Google images)
  3. What is best for editing apps? Snapseed probably. PS Touch? Something else?
  4. How does it all integrate with my existing workflow ideas on an iPhone (or iPad)? What will be the best process? What should change?

Conclusions

I am not certain of the answers to my new workflow questions at the moment. I like the idea of wandering the streets of a new town and being able to sit at a cafe, or in some salubrious locale (with wifi) and do some editing as the world winds by (as I currently do with my iPhone shots). My iPhone is great but the X100s just gives one more chance of capturing high quality images, with more flexibility. It is also very silent compared to my D700.

It is important that my workflow system works well when shooting JPEGs and allows me to share easily but how could I edit RAW files effectively on a mobile device? There’s only so much space on my iPhone or iPad so there needs to be careful consideration given and sensible solution. Is it worth it or just wait until having Lightroom at home? Maybe there will be a Lightroom app at some stage?

Trial and error works well but I’d really like to hear what others are doing to integrate their X100s with an Eye-Fi card and mobile device.

What’s your workflow? What have you discarded through trial and error?

BTW Here’s a brief article I wrote with some tips for online storage of photos.

*UPDATE: Hyperdrive, an iPad storage option may be worth investigating.

Featured image: cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Darcy Moore: http://flickr.com/photos/darcymoore/8645320410/

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The views expressed at this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

7 Comments

  1. I’ll be watching this blog as I just bought a similar setup with the Eye-Fi card. Interestingly, iPhoto does a pretty good job of editing RAW files on iPad.

    • Darcy Moore:

      Thanks for the tip, Mike. I am yet to edit RAW files in iPhoto or any other app on my iPad. I’ll give it a go this week.

    • Shane Nagle:

      Hello Mike,

      I am interested in processing my x100s RAW files on my iPAD Air… you mentioned this is possible using iPhoto. I have iPhoto on the iPad but cannot ‘find’ any RAW files there.

      Is there a step I am missing?

      Shane

  2. Photoshop Touch handles RAW files very well and can sync them with Adobe Creative Cloud, this makes for a seamless workflow if you want to add finishing touches in Photoshop or Lightroom when you return home.

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