Monday, September 19, 2011

Street Portraits: Las Vegas (and mini workflow review)

There's something quite forlorn about the soft porn litter in Las Vegas. I decided to shoot them as I found them on a walk down the strip and Use them to test a potential phone -> iPad2 workflow...

These were all shot on a Nokia N8, edited on an iPad2 and shared via This is not as easy as it sounds. Here's my experience of trying to use a Nokia phone with an iPad:

I'll preface this by saying that I'm new to the iPad2 thing so adjusting to Apple's foibles may take some time. However, not being able to take the memory card from your camera-phone and (via a standard adaptor) have it recognised as an image card by Apple's Camera Connector Kit is not a good start. I tried this and the iPad only recognised one image on the card. It was the only image that had been taken on an iPhone and sent to my phone. Nice one Apple(#1)!

So, instead, I had to do some exploring to find a way of getting images from my phone posted up somewhere so that I could go get them back down onto the iPad for editing and viewing. Thankfully DropBox exists and has a very nice app for the iPad. But how to get from a Symbian device to DropBox?

Luckily, this is where Droper comes in. Droper is a Symbian app that accesses your DropBox account and let's you upload/download files. (you can only do one file at a time though, and it doesn't remember any file/folder paths, so it's still not ideal (Nice one Droper #1))

After I'd saved the files from DropBox onto the iPad (straight in to the Camera Roll with no options for different destinations. Nice one Apple#2) I thought I'd give Adobe's PS Express app a go. This didn't take long. PS Express is pretty basic. However, I persevered and found a reasonable work flow that I could memorise and repeat for 16 images in this set*. I even got them uploaded back up on to my newly created account on Not that you can do much with on an iPad though; it's all flash isn't it?!

So, on a full desktop machine, I used Firefox (Chrome doesn't like's pop-ups for some reason. Nice one Google!) Once com finally realises you've uploaded images it is actually reasonably straight forward to share the gallery or images to Picassa/Flickr etc.
 I've given Picassa a go for now and the above image and the slideshow below are grabbed straight from there.

Overall, I'm impressed with a: the camera on the N8 for flashed macro shots, b: the iPad for being able to do so much with what feels like so little hardware and c: the ingenuity and availability of some sort of tool that will get you out of a hole if you look hard enough. As I say the Apple mentality may take some time to get used to, but I used to be able to use QuarkExpress on a PowerMac 5500 so it should all come back eventually ;o)

On the other hand PS Express is a bit crap and limited, isn't much better, especially when it comes to captioning and editing tags. And Picassa isn't much better (Slideshows in particular being a bit too fast and crap!)

*ps. I solemnly promise never to use a fake frame again. It just happened while I was playing with these and it stuck ;o)

Update: I've just used to put the same images into a set on flickr. (no tags were transfered, which was annoying) but for a compare and contrast, here flickr's embedded slideshow of the same images...

Nicer transitions, but no auto-play (still!) from flickr.


Elizabeth said...

You're always good for techie problem-solving, Lee, and the workflow stuff is v interesting.

When you say soft-porn "litter" what do you mean? Were these business cards or leaflets or mags or what? And you shot them as you found them, just lying on the street???

Forlorn is right. And interesting.

Lee Irvine said...

Yes, they're business card size and dropped on the street after people unsuspectingly accept them from the hordes of people handing them out. They were all shot lying where I found them, despite numerous hilarious passers by pointing out that I could "just pick it up if you like it buddy!"

Lawand said...

Hello. This is Lawand, the developer of Droper. I occasionally search the web for pages mentioning Droper in search for feedback that helps me improve my application.

I can see now that it would be good if I added the ability to upload a folder instead of just a file. And I can also make Droper remember the last upload/download path.

If you have more ideas on how to improve Droper, please add them here as a comment or send me an email.