Monthly Archives: November 2019

Bittersweet Symphony: Lightroom improves iPad import

“Hey, y’all got a water desalination plant, ‘cause I’m salty as hell.🙃

First, some good news: Lightroom is planning to improve the workflow of importing images from an SD card:

I know that this is something that photographers deeply wanted, starting in 2010. I just wonder whether—nearly 10 years since the launch of iPad—it matters anymore.

My failure, year in & year out, to solve the problem at Adobe is part of what drove me to join Google in 2014. But even back then I wrote,

I remain in sad amazement that 4.5 years after the iPad made tablets mainstream, no one—not Apple, not Adobe, not Google—has, to the best of my knowledge, implemented a way to let photographers to do what they beat me over the head for years requesting:

  • Let me leave my computer at home & carry just my tablet** & camera
  • Let me import my raw files (ideally converted to vastly smaller DNGs), swipe through them to mark good/bad/meh, and non-destructively edit them, singly or in batches, with full raw quality.
  • When I get home, automatically sync all images + edits to/via the cloud and let me keep editing there or on my Mac/PC.

This remains a bizarre failure of our industry.

Of course this wasn’t lost on the Lightroom team, but for a whole bunch of reasons, it’s taken this long to smooth out the flow, and during that time capture & editing have moved heavily to phones. Tablets represent a single-digit percentage of Snapseed session time, and I’ve heard the same from the makers of other popular editing apps. As phones improve & dedicated-cam sales keep dropping, I wonder how many people will now care.

On we go.

[YouTube]

A surprisingly terrific podcast: “The Great Bitter Lake Association”

Two things I should know by now:

  • Some 99% Invisible podcast is going to seem worthy but so arcane that I just won’t really make time to listen to it.
  • If eventually I do, I’ll be really rewarded for it.

The recent episode about The Great Bitter Lake Association—covering the camaraderie that emerged among sailors in the “Yellow Fleet” that became trapped by the Six-Day War & then stuck in the Suez for years—is totally fascinating. I hope you listen & enjoy. If nothing else, enjoy the homemade postage they created amongst themselves (which eventually became recognized by Egypt & thus usable for sending mail), the discovery of which sets the whole recounting in motion.

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“Sea-thru”: AI-driven underwater color correction

Dad-joke of a name notwithstanding 😌, this tech looks pretty slick:

PetaPixel writes,

To be clear, this method is not the same as Photoshopping an image to add in contrast and artificially enhance the colors that are absorbed most quickly by the water. It’s a “physically accurate correction,” and the results truly speak for themselves.

And as some wiseass in the comments remarks, “I can’t believe we’ve polluted our waters so much there are color charts now lying on the ocean floor.”

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[YouTube]

Google donates $1M to help first responders

Happy Veterans’ Day, everyone. I’m proud of my first-responder brother (who volunteers his time to drive an ambulance in rural Illinois), and of my employer for helping vets & others better serve their communities:

A challenging, but often unrecognized, aspect of this work is the preparation required ahead of potential disasters. Therefore, Google.org is giving a $1 million grant to Team Rubicon to build out teams of volunteers, most of them military veterans, who will work alongside first responders to build out disaster preparedness operations.

[YouTube]