Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Trouble with Lightroom Mobile

Lightroom mobile is a great idea. Photographs made on the iPhone automatically connect with desktop Lightroom, in theory. This is especially desirable since the new iPhone 7, via Lightroom, can make photos in DNG format.
I've read everything I could find from Adobe and LR gurus about the process, but I couldn't get the upload to happen with my system. Every instruction was followed precisely, repeatedly checked. Nothing.
Turns out, a Google search reveals lots of people with this problem. Lots of advice that doesn't produce the desired result.
The problem is bandwidth, folks. The upload doesn't happen directly to one's desktop or iPad. It is all processed via the cloud. If it doesn't get to Adobe's cloud site, it doesn't get to the desktop, even if the desktop is sitting next to the phone. It's easy to send photos directly via Airdrop, but the photos are first converted to jpg. If one has a slow internet connection, as I do with DSL, the phone always says it's syncing, but it never syncs. A reasonable broadband connection, via cable, and magically it happens, just like all the instructions say. But they never tell you it won't work without adequate bandwidth.
So, I live in a rather remote spot. Remote enough that the cable companies aren't interested, and DSL is the best I can do. The only way I can get the transfers to work is to visit friends with better internet. This considerably blunts the convenience of using the phone as a camera. For me, the process is way easier if I just use a camera and transfer the files via memory card.

Is Landscape Photography Political?

Short answer from my hero, Robin Morgan: "There is no atom that is not political."
Longer answer: when the planet is in danger from climate change, and when the post powerful man on earth can detonate nuclear winter, of course it is. Especially when we have overwhelming evidence that that man has the emotional maturity of a 12 year old boy.
How can we care about our beautiful places, lit by the best of special light, without concern that they, and we, are in grave danger?
Is there anything we can do, living in a "democracy" where only some votes count?
Is it enough to photograph the special places?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tablet Challenges

I've used a pen tablet by Wacom for years for my photo processing. It makes everything more precise. My old tablet lacked features of the current models, so I got a new Intuous Pro model for Christmas.
It seemed to work as I gradually learned the features and customizable keys, but I was not convinced that the pen pressure sensitivity was working, supposedly a default characteristic when using Photoshop. Then, one day, the lights defining the perimeters and keys no longer stayed on.
A call to Wacom was an exercise in frustration. While the tech support representative agreed that something wasn't right, she had no idea how to sort it out or solve it. Send it in for repair, she said, a feat made more difficult by the fact that I never got the follow-up email with instructions to do so. For a product that was malfunctioning 2 weeks after being unboxed, I could only wish there were another maker of tablets that had any credibility.
Amazon seemed the easiest route to return, but I decided to give a software approach another look. I uninstalled and re-installed the same current driver. It's working properly now, and I'll give it another couple of weeks to prove itself functional. Failing that, it's back to Amazon and a quest to find another company with real support. Does such a thing exist?