eXtensions - Monday 2 July 2018
Cassandra - Rethinking Photo Workflows (3): Photos on iOS
By Graham K. Rogers
With the Mac, much editing work can be done using Photos, especially with the access to third party apps using extensions. On the iPhone, the Photos interface is deceptively simple and has limited access to equivalent extensions, but the wide range of photo and editing apps available also provide some sophisticated editing tools for those who wish to make use of them, although looking at input on social networking sites there is a strong case for some users to make some basic adjustments.
In my case, I also work with RAW images, either created in specific apps on the iPhone, or taken with a DSLR camera. It is possible to work with such images in Photos, but I favour other apps for editing. There are also specific apps that I might want to use for editing an image: these need different workflows which I will address later.
CropThe image is displayed in an adjustable white frame, with a protractor below. This allows the user to straighten an image. As this is done, a grid is shown on the image to help the user see vertical and horizontal surfaces. As the small lens on the iPhone may cause some perspective problems, selecting specific line (on a building for example) may assist. Several apps (for example, Tadaa) have perspective tools. When using straighten, a Reset item appears below and the user can return to the original.
The lines (and corners) round the image can be adjusted using the fingers to crop the image. Reset is also available when this is used. Below right is a white icon that reveals specific image aspect ratios (Original, Square, 3:2 and more) if needed. When a specific aspect ratio is used, the icon turns blue. Reset is available.
Crop and Filters (right)
FiltersApple provides 9 filter options for users of Photos on iOS. The same 9 filters are available on the Mac. This is a limited choice and there are several apps that provide a greater range of options, but these may suffice for many users.
EditSelecting any one of the three options in Edit (Light, Color, B&W) reveals a slider with a representation of the image and how the effect might appear. Changes are applied by running the finger left or right to apply the effect. This is simple enough and might be enough in many cases, but tapping the three-line icon reveals fine-tuning options.
If any changes were made using the original scrolling tool, these are shown (numerically) beside the option. Tapping on any option shows the image and a scroll wheel. As the indicator is moved left or right the image is adjusted. A grey dot above the scale shows the original setting. If the scale is returned to this point, there is slight tactile feedback. The same applies for other adjustments.
When the B&W editing scroller is used, the image changes depending on red, green and blue filtering applied by the software. I find that particular care needs to be applied with faces which may either be too pale or too dark depending on how the effect is applied. Trees, buildings and the sky are also affected by the use of the scroller.
Editing and More (right)
MoreAs well as Apple's own editing tools, the user may also access some third party apps from within Photos, in a similar way to how extensions are made available in Photos on the Mac. Some apps may only allow access to limited features, such as filters, through Photos, with their editing tools only available through the standalone app.
I have found that some of the effects applied when using these extensions can be used by other apps on the iPhone (Instagram, Twitter), but may not synchronise with the Mac via iCloud. If I particularly want an image edited in this way to be available on the Mac, I may transfer by email or AirDrop. There are other inconsistencies with the way some of these 3rd party apps may work within Photos, so if I want a specific effect, I may resort to working with the standalone app
Ping River, Ban Tak, Tak Province
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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