First Impressions: Lightroom for Android

After hearing the announcement that Adobe has made their Lightroom app on Android free, I decided to give it a go. Mind you I have other apps which I use to edit my photos such as Snapseed, VSCO and Pixlr each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Interface

The Lightroom app has a nice clean interface, those who are new to lightroom will appreciate this. One thing to note however is that it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that the desktop version does (such as healing or cloning tools). However it’s easy enough to pick up and work out the settings and editing tools, unlike Snapseed, which is probably the least used editing app my phone right now purely due to the complex menus and settings. In Lightroom the tools are broken into 3 main menus:

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10 Quick Tips To Improve Your Photography

Here are 10 quick tips to help improve your shots (in no particular order).

1. Move your feet

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Photo by Ken Tripp

Instead of just snapping away where you stand, get in close or take a step back, you’ll be surprised at how it can change the look and feel of an image. Try and imagine how the shot will look up close or a little further back, if the background is too noisy/busy then isolate the subject by stepping in closer. If you want more in the frame, take a step back.

2. Try different angles

This works best when combined with point 1, don’t just take shots at eye level, try different angles. Depending on your subject or the type of feel you’re trying to invoke onto the viewer, certain angles work better than others. For example photographing toddlers or young children you should get down low to their level, same applies for pets. For portraits it is almost a sin to shoot from bottom up, instead, shoot top down as this produces a more flattering look for the subject, after all, it hides the double chin :))

Andrew_Tiff_Portrait (21 of 77)

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Lightroom for Android Now Free

Lightroom-CC-logo1

This one’s for all you Android users out there, Adobe has finally made Lightroom for Android FREE! They’ve scrapped the subscription based however you’ll lose the sync functionality, if you wish to keep this feature you’ll have to have a subscription.

This probably won’t win over the hearts of other editing apps out there such as snapseed, pixlr or vsco, but it’ll certain appeal to photographers who are Android devices. For those who exclusively shoot using their phones, you can now finally edit those .DNG files.

If you’re use to using other editing apps, I still recommend at least giving this a try. I’ll be writing up a short ‘First Impressions’ post on the app soon enough so stay tuned.

Coincidence or Clever design?

The_Exposure_Triangle1If you’ve operated a camera in full manual mode then you already know what the ‘Exposure Triangle’ is.

Those of you who are familiar with the Fuji X-T1 and the XF lenses are aware that the ISO and Shutter settings are located on dials on top of the camera body, while the aperture is controlled on the lens. Now if you assign all settings to ‘A’ (automatic mode) and connect the A’s together, you get the shape of a triangle. Coincidence or clever design on Fuji’s part?

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What’s in my bag?

I have two bags, one for travel and one for when I’m out patrolling the streets. My travel bag is the LowePro Sports Flipside 15L (orange) which originally housed my 5D3 and an assortment of lenses, flash, tripod and other accessories. Today it’s primarily used when I need to bring my entire Fuji X-T1 kit with me on shoots or when traveling abroad.

In this bag I have…

  • Fuji X-T1
  • XF 14mm
  • XF 16-55mm
  • XF 50-140mm
  • Fuji EX-F8 Flash
  • Wasabi NP-W126 battery
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Small Maglite torch
  • Peak design pro clip
  • Allen key set

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Why I switched from DSLR to Mirrorless (5D3 to X-T1)

Right, I’m going to get straight into it. Part of the reason why I switched from my Canon 5D3 over to the Fujifilm X-T1 was because my preferences changed, mainly my shooting style among others. As a street photographer, my thought process and decision making is different to say a wedding photographer. Our needs are different, our styles are different and ultimately we have different views when looking to capture that perfect moment. So here are my reasons why I switched.

Weight & Size

One of the main factors that made me switch was the weight difference. When I was traveling around Europe I had a heavy backpack full of camera gear (including tripod). It was frustrating going through customs and other security checkpoints, it was taxing on the body – going up and down stairs, waiting in queues at an attraction under the summer heat etc. It was causing so much discomfort that in the end I was not enjoying the trip.

Canon 5D Mark III + Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 = 1,685kg
Fuji X-T1 + XF 16-55mm f2.8 = 1,095kg.

The size was the other deciding factor, I found that raising a DSLR to eye level was more noticeable than a smaller compact camera. The size of DSLR and lens also means you had to carry a large size bag to fit it all, whereas the X-T1 has a more compact size and as a result looking less conspicuous. This is extremely important for street photography as it allows you to blend in with the crowd and ultimately capture unspoiled, candid moments. 6a00df351e888f883401bb08847054970d-800wi.jpg

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In the beginning…

C.P. Goerz Berlin Dagor f=30 cm lens

Like some people, my hobbies and passion for things constantly changes with the wind. However photography was never on that list, even though my grandfather was a professional photographer (I still have his vintage C.P. Goerz Berlin Dagor f=30 cm lens) and my father was, well, an amateur photographer at best, so it never caught my interest.

The first camera I purchased was the (then stylish) Sony Cybershot T1 back in 2001. Thinking back at it, I purely bought it out of impulse, or should I say for the “Wank Factor”. Back then if you were seen with one of these digital cameras (or any Sony product for that matter) you were perceived as the cool kid, and rightly so, because lets face it, Sony was considered the best innovative technology brand at that time.

Sony Cybershot T1 (2001)
Sony Cybershot T1 (2001)

The camera sported a 5MP Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar optic (I didn’t even know what that meant at the time), with a F3.5 – F4.4 and to be honest, I didn’t even know this until 5mins ago when I had to Google the specs! This just reinforces what I said earlier in that I was never interested in photography, sure I took photos at birthdays, weddings and even abroad but that’s about it.

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