I’ve been a tablet user since the very first iPad and whilst I’ve done the occasional mobile photo edit in the regular ‘Photos’ app or ‘Snapseed’ the tablet has remained predominately a consumption device. So much so that there have been times where I have wondered whether I need a tablet, a somewhat awkward device between the day-to-day iPhone and the powerhouse desktop. The biggest problem I have found with the tablet is workflow. I am meticulous in organising, renaming and key wording my images which is nothing but cumbersome on the iPad. And this is somewhat still true.
So it is a small revelation that as I write this blog the majority of my editing is now done on the iPad. How has this come about? I’ve always been intrigued by technology and as Adobe Creative Cloud user the introduction of Lightroom CC got my attention. After a few moments tinkering on the iPad I was hooked. There is something about using the Apple Pencil and ‘touching’ the images direct on screen to edit. Some actions just seem easier and more intuitive in the touch environment than they do on the desktop, and there is something to be said about sitting on the sofa rather than at a desk with computer fans going.
There are limitations of course and my workflow still involves importing into my computer first to organise, rename and keyword. The biggest limitation probably being the 20Gb standard cloud storage, of course this is upgradable but at a cost. I have found a work around though and stick to my most recent images to place in the cloud. I’ve even found a good solution in iCloud Files to export edited images back to my main computer and thus completing the circle.
Will the tablet replace my computer? It seems extremely unlikely in the short-term. Importing and organising as already previously mentioned with the sheer volume of images to deal with is still a lot easier in the desktop environment. If you’re not a control freak like me and happy to fork out for more cloud storage then I guess there is something to be said for importing straight into a tablet and uploading to the cloud. But who’d have thought I would editing RAW files on a tablet? You can never say never.
The next hurdle in the desktop to tablet conversion is dealing with more complex images. In other words, starting to deal with multiple layers, panoramas etc. Adobe have already teased at the future with Photoshop for iPad so this is an exciting prospect and one I’m looking forward to trying out.
I guess ultimately there doesn’t have to be an end goal of one device over the other, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. And I have found a workflow that works for me and ultimately has got me editing more images than previously. I was finding sitting at a computer a chore in the process but editing on the iPad has been a breathe of fresh air.