Sunday, April 07, 2013

Post Processing in the Age of Coffee & Free WiFi

IMG_1005-8The time taken from image capture to world wide sharing can now measured in seconds, and the most amazing part is that this is likely to be free, or only at a small cost. You may have to buy a coffee to get the WiFi free.The hardware to do this is pretty common now as well. Smartphones with camera and Ipads are in so many people's hands and a common sight on cafe tables. There are also Eye-Fi cards for DSLR and some camera manufactures are adding android processors to some models (eg Polaroid, Samsung & Nikon but these are definitely not low cost yet!). However transferring the photos is just part of the story for a lot of digital photography addicts, who really want to do at least a little post processing. Fortunately here the story is also cheaper (if not free) and faster.

A Multitude of Apps

I know the apple-verse is overwhelmed with solutions here, but I’m dragging my feet joining the party. Clearly instagram is the most popular but the apple store is awash with photographic apps. I’m more familiar with the android market, and google play also have plenty to choose from. If up have an android phone I suggest you check out Aviary, Snapseed, Pixlr Express, and/or Photoshop Express all free to download. I also love HDR Camera+, which does the processing and sharing “inphone” (no computer or other software required)

My USB Digital Darkroom

I have been carry around a universal card reader and USB key with some photo portable apps in my camera bag or a while now and they have been real life savers on several occasions. These do need a cyber cafe;s computer or your laptop to connect into but you can get very close tom if not as good as, photoshop and lightroom level work with portable apps like Gimp Portable & Raw Therapee Portable just from an application that doesn’t need to be installed!

On-line Photo Editors

There are now many places that let you perform decent post processing on full size images from a web browser, so you probably want to have your netbook or laptop connected. I personally like Aviary for Google Drive (a chrome app) but Pixlr is damn good as well.

There is really no reason why you can’t take a great photo, then collect your thoughts over a coffee while you tweak it into being a true masterpiece and have it published on-line before you leave the cafe. However please use this new power wisely don’t choke the available bandwidth with copycat blandness or fill the social end of cyberspace with banality and imitative junk.

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