The best way to extract every bit of image quality from your camera is to shoot in its raw mode. A raw image contains the exact data recorded by the camera’s sensor. By comparison, when a camera creates a JPEG image, it discards significant amounts of data in order to make the image more compact.
But life is full of trade-offs. Raw files provide far more flexibility when adjusting exposure and color balance in a post-processing program such as Adobe Lightroom, but use far more storage space than JPEGs. Many cameras have a “best of both worlds” mode in which they create a companion JPEG file along with a raw file. This lets you use the JPEG for minor edits but fall back on the raw file should the image require significant adjustments that, with a JPEG, could compromise quality.
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This week on Monday Productivity Pointers, we’ll take a look at the iOS 7 update, and some of the handy new features it brings to Apple devices. iOS 7 represents a big step forward for iPhones and iPads, complete with a fresh new “flat design” user interface, and over 200 new features across almost every functional area of your device. If you’re still undecided about updating your Apple mobile devices, this week’s Pointer is right up your alley. I’ll focus on the most helpful new features and key workflow changes in iOS 7 so you can be productive right away.
It’s a scenario no one wants to think about—but it happens all the time: You lose your iPhone or it gets stolen. What do you do? Fortunately, a native iOS app called Find My iPhone can help you track its location as soon as you realize it’s missing.
When you think of using an iPad as a photo accessory on the road, chances are you think of using it in place of a laptop computer—for example, to store photos transferred from your camera’s memory card, and to edit photos using apps like Snapseed from Google.
Those are indeed popular tasks for iPad toting photographers. But the iPad isn’t actually an ideal tool for them, particularly if you shoot using your camera’s raw mode. Raw-format images deliver better quality and provide more editing flexibility than their JPEG counterparts, but they utterly inhale storage space—it’s easy to fill up an iPad with the results of an afternoon’s shooting. Then there’s performance. No iPad can crunch through raw-format images as well as a laptop can, and most iOS photo apps can’t work with raw-format images at all.
But there’s another way to put an iPad to work on the road: to assign metadata to photos, such as ratings, keywords, and even geotags that record where you took each shot. This is a great way to put an iPad to work in field: cull your best shots and do some essential housekeeping, but save the photo-enhancement tasks for a real computer.
The process is straightforward. Use the Apple Camera Connection Kit to transfer photos to your iPad, but don’t delete the originals from the memory card. Next, use PhotosInfoPro to add ratings, keywords, locations, and other details while they’re still fresh in your head. Finally, email XMP files to yourself using PhotosInfoPro (or stash them on Dropbox or an FTP server). Then delete the photos from your iPad to free up space. You can work through a large photo shoot in less time than it takes to watch a rerun of L.A. Law on your motel room’s TV set—and it’s one less thing you’ll have to do when you get home.
There’s a secondary message to this week’s installment: Take the time to assign metadata to your photos, whether you do this in the field on your iPad or back at your desk with your favorite imaging software. It’s an unglamorous but important task that will make your photos easier to organize and find. You’ll find details on assigning keywords and other metadata in many lynda.com courses on Lightroom, Aperture, Bridge, and iPhoto. For an overview of the process, check out Derrick Story’s Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos.
Adobe and Lightroom are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or countries. Aperture, Apple, iPad, and iPhoto are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Dropbox is a trademark of Dropbox, Inc. Google and Snapseed are registered trademarks of Google Inc.
Is it Monday already? Welcome to the latest edition of Monday Productivity Pointers. Last week I talked about Google Hangouts. This week I’m creating presentations on the iPad using Keynote, Apple’s presentation software. This week’s first video will cover the actual creation of a presentation on the iPad.
Not only can you create gorgeous presentations quickly on your Apple computer, you can also create them on the road with your iPad. I’ll show you how to create a presentation based on an existing template, and how to add content to it.
Published by David Franz | Friday, September 28th, 2012
You may find the Apple iPad touchscreen useful for many things in your everyday life, but did you know that you could use it to play violin, viola, cello, and upright bass? Even if you use a different Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for your music production, you might want to consider using Smart Strings in GarageBand for iPad if adding a string part to your songs is something that interests you.
In iPad Music Production: GarageBand, Garrick Chow shows how to play the Smart Strings, including how to play in chord mode and note mode. In chord mode, the chords are made by up to five instruments: 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, and bass, or any combination of the five. Choose the key of the song and eight chord strips appear, one for every chord in that key.
Tap a chord strip to play short (pizzicato) chords. Slide your finger back and forth across the chord strip to create longer (legato) bowed notes. Adding speed to a finger slide increases the volume of your legato bowed sound. This technique can be used to create string swells.
Switch from chords to individual notes, and you’ll access a fretless neck where you can play one of any of the five stringed instruments right on the screen. Touch a string to play a plucked or bowed note. Drag your finger to slide up and down a string. Or choose a specific scale and GarageBand will only make the notes of that scale available, adding frets to the neck. It might technically be “cheating,” but it sure will make you sound great.
Then there are the auto-play patterns. The patterns are premade string parts in various styles and inversions that you can choose to have all five of the strings, or just your selected favorites, play in.
In addition to Smart Strings, GarageBand also has Smart Drums, Smart Guitar, Smart Bass, and Smart Keyboards. In each, Garrick Chow demonstrates how to play and capture great recordings with Smart Instruments, as well as Touch Instruments, and real instruments. He also shows how to edit and mix your performances, and how to export and share your finished tracks with the world.
With the release of the iOS 4.2 update in November, one of the most valuable features of MobileMe was made available for free to all iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod Touch (4th generation) users. The Find My iPhone feature allows you to track the location of a lost or stolen iOS device. If you’ve lost your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you can use this tool to locate, lock, and even erase your missing device if necessary. Plus, you no longer have to sign up for the MobileMe service to get this tool. The only catch is that you have to do a little bit of setup before you lose your device.
We think Find My iPhone is so valuable that we decided to release this movie from iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training for free. In this movie, author Garrick Chow will show you how to get everything set up so that you will be protected next time you lose your precious device (though we can’t guarantee the police will send out the choppers). Garrick will also show you a handy trick for getting Find My iPhone set up on older iOS devices.
Want to learn more tips and tricks for your iPhone, including new features from the iOS 4.2 update? Be sure to check out the rest of iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Long before he was our cofounder and Chief Creative Officer, Bruce Heavin was an acclaimed painter and illustrator. With his busy schedule, he’s found the iPad to be an ideal companion to be able to conveniently create on the fly, using his finger to paint in his trademark style. Thanks to the Brushes Viewer application, we’re able to share both the end result and show recordings of Bruce’s progress so that you watch how he put each together. Here’s the third, New Friends.
If you’re new to the iPad as a creative tool, check out iPad Tips and Tricks with Christopher Breen to learn the basics of using the iPad, including using gestures and syncing and moving documents. Brushes Viewer is a free Mac OS X application used to record each of your brush strokes for replaying and exporting paintings as QuickTime movies. If you have videos posted showing your creations, please share the link with us in comments, below. And check out a couple of Bruce’s previous iPad creations, Monkey Sports Car and Sad Robot.