Every post that I’ve written here at Less Gear || More Photos has been done on my laptop. I process all of my photos through Lightroom and write using WordPress in a browser. I’m really comfortable with that workflow, but have always wanted to see how much I could “break away” from the computer and embrace a truly mobile workflow. The time is definitely right for it. Between pro level editing apps like Snapseed, high resolution displays on tablets, wifi connectivity in cameras and cheap and readily available cloud storage, one can see that it’s only a matter of time until the traditional computer as we know it becomes obsolete.
This post is a proof of concept. I’m composing it entirely using the WordPress app for writing and Snapseed for photo editing. My Olympus OM-D E-M5 doesn’t have wifi built in, so I’m using an eyefi card to pull the photos I’m taking over to the iPad for editing.
My bag of choice is the Think Tank Urban Approach 10. It has more than enough room for all of my gear as well as a 10 inch tablet and still comes in at a fairly small size. Inside I have my Olympus O-MD E-M5 along with the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8, 25mm f/1.8, 45mm f/1.8 and the Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye. Even with some extras like filters, batteries and memory cards in there too, this bag still has enough room to fit small gifts, souvenirs, a sandwich or a bottle of water.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to go away for an entire weekend and in terms of equipment, just bring the camera bag and tablet. At the moment I’m visiting my in-laws in Portland, Oregon so it’s easy for me to grab a bike, throw the Urban Approach on my shoulder and head out for the day.
One of my favorite spots in Northeast Portland is Alberta. I love to get some coffee in the morning at Barista when I’m doing some work.
Alberta is home to lots of colorful walls and murals, with one of the most beautiful at The Community Cycling Center — a non profit that sells used bikes, makes sure that bikes are available and accessible to all, and runs youth and adult biking programs.
Not far down the street is one of my favorite spots for lunch and amazing Indian food, Bollywood Theater.
After lunch, I traded my bike for a car and my wife and I found ourselves at at Peninsula Park in Northeast Portland, a beautiful rose garden and park that spans more than a few city blocks. Our first child is due in July, so we made use of the idyllic setting for some maternity shots.
Portland is a haven for beer, wine and all kinds of amazing food. After our maternity photo session, A dinner of chicken mole enchiladas at Que Pasa Cantina in Southeast did not disappoint.
Well, now that I’m done writing that I can confess that it was a bit painful. Not all of it, but definitely some. I’m still going to finish up this last part on the iPad, but not without wishing I was on the desktop.
- The mobility — having one bag with you, with an extremely capable camera kit and a tablet with some serious editing tools makes you feel powerful from a “shoot/edit/share” standpoint.
- I really came to enjoy Snapseed for quick edits with tons of control.
- Not having the desktop and “serious” tools make you take everything a little less seriously and not get so wrapped up in the perfection of photography. Sitting at a coffee shop or enjoying a beer and editing photos by dragging all over your screen is a lot of fun.
- While I love that eye fi cards simply exist for me to be able to transfer my images to my iPad, the process has always been a bit clunky and the cards are slow to write to. I’m sure that once I have camera with built in wifi, this process will be much easier and this bullet point won’t exist the next time around.
- Writing this in the WordPress app has been hit or miss. There are lots of great things, but also lots of editing controls that are missing from the normal browser version, and often my changes wouldn’t save and I would have to try them over and over.
- I don’t have access to all my other WordPress “stuff” on the dashboard, such as plugins like Yoast (an SEO plugin)
- While Snapseed is wonderful, I do miss some of my controls in Lightroom, especially things like the removal of chromatic aberration, the ability to work on RAW files rather than JPGS and input/output sharpening controls. I also miss editing on a profiled display.
Will I continue to use Snapseed to edit quickly and share to Facebook, Google+ or Instagram? Most definitely. But, unless I really need to, I don’t see myself composing an entire post using just the tablet for a while.
Have you played around with Snapseed or tried writing an entire blog post just using your tablet? If you have any suggestions or experiences let me know in the comments!