Using Lightroom CC for a new mobile workflow while traveling

I was recently in Hong Kong for a week of street photography. While there, I used a different mobile-centric workflow for my images – and, while it wasn’t perfect, it definitely simplified things. Here’s the basic idea:

Gear: I traveled with my MacBook Pro (with LR CC), my iPhone, and my iPad Pro (both with LR Mobile). At home there’s an iMac with my master photo library managed by Lightroom CC Classic. For this to work well, your hotel (or AirBnb, etc) also needs to be “well connected” – especially in terms of upstream bandwidth.

Workflow: After a day of shooting, I used Adobe Bridge on my MacBook Pro to import images from my camera’s SD cards into a date-based folder hierarchy on the MacBook’s SSD. Separately, I used Image Capture to import photos from my iPhone – and copied those images into the same date-based folder hierarchy. (Alternatively, I could have simply opened LR Mobile on my iPhone and imported the iPhone images I wanted into LR from my Camera Roll). Each day I had a new folder with all of the images from my cameras and my iPhone.

Next I opened Lightroom CC (LRCC) on my MacBook Pro and import the new images from the folder hierarchy (e.g. the images imported using Bridge and Image Capture in step 1). LRCC will import these images and immediately begin uploading them with the cloud. For this uploading to be efficient, you’ll want to be sure you’re using hotel WiFi with decent upstream bandwidth – something that worked very well for us in our Hong Kong hotel – but which could be problematic at less well connected hotels.

As LRCC uploads the images to the cloud, several good things happen:

The images are also sync’d to LR Mobile on my iPad and iPhone. They just start showing up as the syncing completes. The images are also sync’d to Lightroom CC Classic running on my iMac back home. If Lightroom Classic isn’t open on my Mac (or if my Mac is powered off), the syncing begins when Lightroom Classic is next opened on my Mac. LR Classic will download the images from the cloud and save them to a special folder – which I’ve pointed to a folder just for this purpose in my images folder hierarchy. In LR Classic preferences, I’ve also clicked the “use date hierarchy” box so that the downloaded images will be stored in a date hierarchy folder structure within that specified download folder.

When I get back home, I can open LR Classic and move the images from the download folder into the normal date-based folders in my image library. LR will remember that these images – although they’ve been moved – are still synced to the cloud. Thus, any changes I make to an image will be sync’d everywhere – including any ratings updates, any photo edits, cropping, etc. Even deletions will be sync’d everywhere.

The net effect of this workflow is that I avoided having to do the old catalog import workflow from LR Classic on my MacBook Pro into LR Classic on my iMac when I got home.

But the BIG benefit of this LR CC-based workflow was having my images quickly available for reviewing, editing, rating, etc. on my iPhone and iPad while I was traveling in the field. In addition, any images I shot on my iPhone could be imported into LR Mobile on my iPhone and they’d automatically be sync’d into the Lightroom cloud and down to my LR Mobile on my iPad and to LR Classic my iMac back home.

I should also mention that once the images have been imported to LR CC on my MacBook Pro, they can be deleted from the folder hierarchy on the MacBook. Once the originals are sync’d to the cloud by LR CC they are no longer needed locally on the MacBook Pro. Of course, I didn’t do any deleting while traveling – as I wanted the redundancy (in addition to keeping the SD cards) – but I could have – and will at some point back home!

I just found a YouTube (10 min long) video by Ted Forbes that also describes this workflow.

Exploring San Francisco’s Embarcadero with my iPhone 7 Plus 

I often meet up with my friend Doug Kaye for a couple of hours of street photography in San Francisco. We often meet  at San Francisco’s Ferry Building and head out from there along San Francisco’s Embarcadero towards Pier 24 (which is directly under where the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge heads out over the Bay).

Pier 24 — a beautiful space dedicated to photographic exhibitions — (one reviewer calls it “the quietly spectacular waterfront cathedral for photography“) has a new exhibition that recently opened titled “The Grain of the Present.” Pier 24 requires advance reservations which we had made a couple of weeks prior.

This particular exhibition “examines the work of 10 photographers at the core of the Pilara Foundation collection — Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lee Friedlander, Nicholas Nixon, Stephen Shore, Henry Wessel, and Garry Winogrand — whose works share a commitment to looking at everyday life as it is.” It also features additional photography by Eamonn Doyle, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ed Panar, Alec Soth, Awoiska van der Molen, and Vanessa Winshi.

It’s quite a collection of beautiful work,  and the opportunity to see it displayed in the beautiful space of Pier 24 makes for a great experience. If you enjoy great photography, do try to see this new exhibition at Pier 24, just remember that it requires you make a reservation a few weeks in advance. Pier 24’s reservation system helps pace visitor entry further enhancing the experience.

Along the way, both back and forth from the Ferry Building to Pier 24, we walked slowly — cameras in hand — and had fun capturing some moments of street photography. I had my favorite street photography camera long (a Fujifilm X100F) but I never pulled it out of the bag.  I was only shooting using the camera in my iPhone 7 Plus. Sometimes I enjoy going very minimalist, and using just my iPhone puts me in that frame of mind!

Below are some example images shot on the iPhone 7 Plus, post-processed using the Photos app on the iPhone, and tweaked using Google’s Snapseed application — also on the iPhone. This was a totally iPhone photography day! Follow more of my street photography on Instagram.

Four Corners

Bay Glow

Smile

Just Resting

Easy Rider

Little Man

Paris in Late September

Untitled

Two years ago I attended a Paris street photography workshop led by Valérie Jardin – see my first post about that here. Most of my Paris posts are here.

This year I repeated the exercise – heading back to the City of Light for another superb week of street photography. Valérie is a superb workshop leader – and my photo buddy Doug Kaye was also signed up to go. I couldn’t resist flying back to Paris for a week on the streets in late September!

The weather was ideal – one rainy morning but otherwise spectacular fall days with beautiful light and the lower sun angle that this time of year provides such niche light/shadow contrasts.

I traveled light – shooting with my Fujifilm X100T and the even smaller Fujifilm X70 – both are superb cameras for street photography.

Below are a few of my favorites from the trip – you’ll find even more here in this Flick set. Enjoy!

Untitled

Mirror magic

Lit

Sweetie

Close #2

Chasing Light on San Francisco’s Streets

Black and White - San Francisco - 2016

Yesterday, I met up with my photo buddy Doug Kaye at San Francisco’s Ferry Building for a couple of hours of San Francisco street photography. I was just back from 10 days in India – and, frankly, in a bit of a time warp still recovering from a bit of jet lag. In spite of my handicap, we had a wonderful time!

I opted to shoot with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the 35mm f/2.0 lens (50 mm equivalent). I setup the film simulation for Acros with the yellow filter – my favorite for street photography with people – and also tweaked the highlights to +1 and shadows to +3 to add more contrast to the JPEGs coming right out of the camera. I was shooting in RAW+JPEG but, as it often turns out, the JPEGs were just perfect coming out of the camera so they were the only images I imported into Lightroom.

We spent the morning chasing light – over the last couple of years our eyes have become pretty finely tuned to seeing the light – and looking for opportunities to exploit it in interesting ways. We walked from the Ferry Building up California Street to Kearny and then to Sutter before settling for lunch at one of our favorite spots: E&O at 314 Sutter.

Looking at these images from yesterday, I’m struck by the light/shadow captures. We took our time, shooting slowly along the way. Just a great way to spend a Friday morning on the streets of San Francisco!

Rays - San Francisco - 2016

Take Out - San Francisco - 2016

Stripes - San Francisco - 2016

Waiting - San Francisco - 2016

Confident - San Francisco - 2016

I Love a Parade!

DSCF1060Here on the mid-Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area – as in many places across the country, the fourth of July is a big day for parades. And, I love a parade!

We have a very big one nearby each July 4th in Redwood City – the organizers claim it is the largest parade in Northern California. I’ve enjoyed that parade several times over the last few years. For a street photographer, it’s great fun – although it can be a bit daunting logistically in terms of parking, etc.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Menlo Park 4th of July Parade – an event that focuses on kids and families instead of the big marching bands, drill corps, and parade floats. For a street photographer, it’s also great fun – much simpler logistically and a much shorter (15-20 minutes) event – but still a lot of fun.

This year I opted to go to the Menlo Park parade – along with InMenlo editor Linda Hubbard Gulker – see her post on InMenlo.com. I used my Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with the Fujinon 18-135mm lens for this photo shoot. I had face and eye detection enabled and, most of the time, shot in burst mode at 8 frames/sec. I came home with over 500 images from a 20 minute photo shoot – and then culled those down to about 15 keepers.

Good fun – always a delight to see the kids and their parents all decked out in red, white and blue having a great time together! I’ve included a few of those keepers below.

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In the moment at 101 California

Scott Loftesness
Scott Loftesness

My photo buddy Doug Kaye caught me in the moment while we were both shooting in the bright Friday morning light in the plaza at 101 California in downtown San Francisco.

This plaza is a place we return to frequently – it’s just a delight – and the light is constantly shifting and moving across a tapestry of interesting people either traversing or taking a break and pausing for a few minutes. It’s one of those “life is good” kind of places.

Obviously, as Doug’s image shows, I was having a great time! One of these days I might get around to washing my jacket – it’s been all over the world with me and I’ve resisted “cleaning things up”!

Fujifilm X-Pro2 on the Streets of San Francisco

Flood - San Francisco - 2016

On Friday, Doug Kaye and I met up in San Francisco for one of our Friday Fotowalks (!) – a pretty steady ritual when we’re both in town at the same time.

I took the occasion to shot exclusively with my new Fujifilm X-Pro2 – this time with the Fujinon 18-55mm zoom lens installed on the X-Pro2 body.

For the last year or more, I’ve been shooting with fixed prime lenses – mostly the 35mm equivalent lens on my Fujifilm X-100T. More recently, I’ve added a Fujifilm X70 to the mix – with its 28 mm equivalent lens. But I decided to try the 18-55mm “kit” zoom on the X-Pro2 after seeing images from another X-Pro2 shooter on Facebook.

I was very happy with the results! The 18-55mm zoom has always been highly regarded – and it was a lot of fun to shoot with it again.

Some of the resulting images follow.

In the Light - San Francisco - 2016

Gliding By - San Francisco - 2016

Friends - San Francisco - 2016

New and Old - San Francisco - 2016

Here comes the Sun - San Francisco - 2016

Prep - San Francisco - 2016

Moment - San Francisco - 2016

At the Pantheon in Rome

Pantheon - Rome - 2016

While I was in Rome in April in a workshop led by Valérie Jardin, we spent a lovely morning at the Pantheon.

A couple of us, including my new friend Ken Lyons, found a lovely cafe and had a cappuccino while watching the crowds. A lot like watching the fire in the fireplace – interesting little insights here and there.

After coffee, Ken headed over to stand behind this obelisk and spent a couple of minutes lining things up – as I watched – and waited – learning from him.

This image was my result – shot with my new Fujifilm X70. It sure brings back great memories of that lovely bright morning in April in Rome!

Roman Holiday

Spritzes - Rome - 2016

Last week I was in Rome – in a street photography workshop led by Valérie Jardin. It was a very special week – with a great group of photographers from Australia, UK, Canada and the US.

This week in Rome was my third workshop with Valérie – having first joined her in the fall of 2014 in Paris and this past February in San Francisco for street photography workshops in both locations. She’s a great leader of these kinds of workshops – the best I’ve experienced.

For the workshop, I opted to go with minimal gear – my Fujifilm X100T, a new Fujifilm X70 and my iPhone 6s (with the Apple Battery Case). I left behind my interchangeable lens and bodies – wanting to just stay as minimal as I could. I was very happy with the results!

This was my first time in Rome where I had time to explore – and I loved it. The weather couldn’t have been better. Our group worked together part of the time and we had ample time to just go exploring on our own as well. A very special week with some wonderful memories was the result. I don’t think I’ve ever walked so many cobblestone streets in my life!

My Rome album is here.

Reader - Rome - 2016

Happy Together!

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Goodfellas - Rome - 2016

Your Turn - Rome - 2016

Bliss

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Trio + 1

Street Portraits – San Francisco Streets

Pals - San Francisco - 2016

Shooting street photography roughly splits into shooting with a fixed lens or shooting with a zoom lens. There are many other genres of course – but I like to think of heading out with my gear setup for one or the other.

For most of the last 18 months, my camera of choice has been the Fujifilm X100T – a rangefinder style camera that’s idea for the fixed lens genre of street photography. I’ve had a lot of fun with my X100T on the streets of San Francisco and other cities. Can’t recommend it highly enough for very enjoyable street photography.

But, there’s another style – I like to think of this as the Jay Maisel style of street photography. In this style, you want to go out with a long zoom lens – one that will enable candid captures from across the street. Today I went back to that long zoom style – shooting with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 using the Fujinon 18-135mm zoom. It’s a very different approach – but can also be a lot of fun. As I looked at my images from today, I was struck by the tighter portrait-like shots I captured.

Below are a few more images from today’s session on the streets of San Francisco.

Pals - San Francisco - 2016

Solo - San Francisco - 2016

Parasol - San Francisco - 2016