OK, I know that’s the oddest sounding title for a post, but let me explain. I posted a while back about moving my workflow off my PC and onto my iPad and hinted at some of the tools I have been using in the process. I also just posted about my current use of the Fuji X-Pro2 as another piece of streamlining what I do. So, this post is to discuss bringing it all together with a consistent look and to share some recent shots from Portsmouth!
Editing on the Fly with the iPad Pro
So not only did I cruise around Portsmouth with the X-Pro2, but I was also armed with my iPad Pro to give editing on the fly a spin. After shooting a quick series of classic New England style homes around the waterfront of Marcy Street, I jumped in my truck to offload the images to my iPad (via a simple USB-C to SD Card adapter) and give them a quick edit in Lightroom CC (typical edit can be seen here, but I will discuss a little more below).
Parked under a beautiful Magnolia tree, the download was fairly quick as there were only a couple dozen shots I had taken that morning. I opened up Lightroom CC on the iPad, then inserted the SD card to perform the import. During the import, I applied my preferred preset (see below) to everything as it kept a standard starting block for the series of shots.
I started off with the above image and made a couple minor slider adjustments to the “light” group in Lightroom. Like I said in a previous post, I only touch a few sliders here to make it a quick process. Once I was satisfied, I then backed all the edits up to the cloud and posted the final image to Instagram. That was with the camera still warm from taking the shot, which was kind of cool in its own way.
NOTE: Since my iPad is the Wi-Fi version, I set-up a hotspot with my phone for the internet connection. Otherwise I would have had to wait until I got back in the house to upload it.
Also, as you know from my IG feed, I did an extra step to add the white borders around all the images, but feel that’s somewhat inconsequential for this discussion. I use Snapseed for this which seems to work across all mobile platforms. I am kind of stuck in the flip-flop grid layout right now, so I don’t dare break it.
Getting A Consistent Digital Look in Lightroom
Scroll back over my last year of digital work and it’s a little all over the place. This is because I have been working to get to a consistent look across all my work and have been playing with a dozen presets and profiles (some purchased, some created on my own) to get it. Nothing out of the box is ever “good enough” for me and I always need to give extra adjustments to get it my way. Many of the Lightroom presets I used over the past year were quite close and several times I really thought I had it, but stepping back it wasn’t quite what I had been seeking.
Though I do not want my digital work to emulate my film work, I do want it to compliment it and allow it to flow together. I found a magic combination this past fall with C1ick. Contrary to my last sentence, C1ick started out with the purpose of emulating Fuji Pro and Kodak Portra film stocks on the Frontier and Noritsu scanners. For me, the ultimate look was some expired Fuji 400H on a Noritsu scanner & Kodak Portra 400 on a Frontier - and I wanted my digital look to honor those scans without duplicating them. My digital needs to be able to stand on its own.
When I dug into C1ick, it had a ton of profiles for various stocks (Fuji 160C, 160S, 400H, 800Z - Kodak Portra 160, 400, 800, etc) across the two scanners as well as +1 and +2 exposure settings that would start as a base for my look. Remember, these are not presets, they are profiles. With that, all the settings are baselined and a preset can be applied on top (think: stacking presets).
So I have created a base profile, based on one of these “emulations” and used it to build a preset with minor adjustments (sharpening reduced to +12 from +40 and a slight WB warming, for example). This is actually what I apply during import so the edits I need to perform are negligible and almost not worth mentioning. For 3 of the above images, there were no additional edits.
The photos took maybe 10 seconds each to edit in this case. Simply creating a baseline profile to work with has made not only an easy process, but has made a consistent look. Something I had been striving to reach for the past 12 months. I think I am at a look I can stick with for some time now.
And all this was done while sipping a coffee in my truck before leaving the location.