The Sweet Setup: “Using an iPad for Photography Workflows”
The Sweet Setup just updated their comprehensive iPad photography workflow guide, and it’s probably the best thing I’ve read about using an iPad for importing/managing/editing your photos, especially if you shoot a dedicated camera. Marius Masalar has done a lot of work to talk about the different hardware and software involved, but also provides helpful reasons to choose certain tools/processes over others (for ex: a filter-based approach to editing, vs hands-on adjustments to exposure/color).
My photography workflow is very basic these days compared to when I last wrote about it, mostly because I replaced the Fujifilm X100S with an X-T30. Unfortunately, the X-T30 RAW files requires the latest version of Lightroom, which requires at least macOS 10.13 — but my home laptop is so old it tops out at El Capitan (10.11). (Let that be a lesson that upgrading one part of your toolchain can have a cascading effect on other parts). So my primary workflow these days looks like this:
- Use the in-camera RAW processor to generate JPGs (which are usually great to begin with, since Fuji has plenty of film simulations)
- Import those into my iPad’s camera library
- Use Darkroom for adjustments (usually a little tweak to the curves for more contrast, and tweaking white balance). I used to use VSCO for filters but haven’t touched the app in over a year.
- Back up RAW files to an external drive, which is cloned locally (using SuperDuper!, and to the cloud via Backblaze.
On the rare occasion that I want to edit some RAW files I import them straight to Lightroom on iOS using that program’s new external device support, make my edits, and save JPGs into the camera library. I don’t do this as much because I have an older iPad Pro 9.7-inch model, which still uses a Lightning port, which means that importing RAW files is slow. You can start to see how aging hardware is a recurring theme in my life.