You read that right, I just joined the modern world as a photojournalist. I finally put a few bucks down and purchased an iPad Mini. Many other photojournalists, have done this. But, I have finally made the move, myself.
Why the iPad Mini over the full sized iPad? It fits comfortably in my camera waist pack. It will always be with me. The full sized iPad was a little too large.
I can import, edit and file photo and video files from the iPad Mini. The other benefit is that, outside of publication work, I can show commercial clients what some of the photo or video files look like, during a job.
Now, for the nitty gritty.
Importing photo and video files onto the iPad, with the Lightning to USB Camera connector, is simple. You plug in the camera, and the Photos app comes right up. You can import the whole take or select individual photo or video files. The only problem is that the thumbnails are tiny. I would hope Apple would eventually give larger thumbnail options in the future. But, transfer is fast. The iPad also imports the full size images and video files. It retains the camera file names. I can create albums in which to place photos and videos from each card into, after importing.
Video editing is simple. With iMovie, you can quickly edit footage and send it off. You won’t be creating any masterpieces with it. But, if a publication needs to show high quality footage right away, this is one option. You won’t be adding custom lower thirds or other graphics, easily. You might be able to place already saved opening and closing titles. But, that is about it. Save the major editing for Final Cut Pro X, which can import iMovie files, or another editing program on a desktop or laptop. But, it is definitely a viable tool for sending footage right away, even bypassing iMovie if you want.
Photo editing couldn’t be any easier. I love Photogene 4. It is a great app and I have had it on my iPhone since version 2. It has great image editing tools and supports IPTC metadata. But, I can only work on one photo at once. So, I have moved to Filterstorm Pro, on the iPad. Why? It is as close to a Photo Mechanic/Photoshop workflow as possible. I can work on many photos at once, which is always a benefit. Filterstorm Pro is pretty fast, as well.
Filterstorm Pro, just like Photogene, allows you to create IPTC sets, which means you don’t have to enter basic info every single time. You can do the same with automations, which is Filterstorm’s version of Photoshop Actions. So, if you always run a basic Unsharp Mask, you can automate that.
Within Filterstorm Pro, I copy files from the Photos app to the Filterstorm Pro library. I can then quickly go through the take, renaming files and adding IPTC metadata. I have a basic Unsharp Mask automation that I run. Then, I open each image and run curves to adjust brightness or contrast to each image. If they are all similar, I can quickly create an automation for that. At that time, I can add specific captions to each photo.
Once I am done, I can select the photos I want to file and Filterstorm Pro transmits them all at once via FTP. There are limited options for file transfer. So, if you have a custom website for uploading, you would have to export to the iPad Photos app photo library, which unfortunately renames the files, and then upload to a website. Currently, you can upload to FTP, SFTP, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, email and the iPad photo library. It would be nice to be able to send a file to another app. It would be even better if the iPad Photos app didn’t rename the files exported from Filterstorm Pro.
Processing takes time, especially if you are filing full resolution files. Filterstorm Pro caps file sizes at 22MP. That should be more than enough for newspaper and some magazine work. The one thing that would be nice to see is if Filterstorm Pro could give you an estimated file size based on export settings. There are clients who want to see files capped at a certain file size.
Will the iPad Mini replace my iMac and Macbook? No way. Just typing on the iMac Mini can be frustrating, especially if you have chubby fingers, like me. This is for situations where I need to file while a news event is going on. It could be breaking news, a presser or any situation where a publication needs a few photos or video footage right away. I can finish the take or edit the footage into a presentable video later on one of my Macs, later. Who knows, I edit an entire photo take on the iPad, someday.