I like to pack light when I go somewhere new as the less thing I have the less I am worried in general. I also tend to simplify the things I have and to buy good design, better quality, well built and durable items. This apply for any of my purchases however there is always a trade-off when it comes to simplifying your photography gear.
In 2017 we are in a weird time, our smartphones and cameras can shoot massive files and 4K videos, we have pretty good personal computers with all the cutting-edge softwares and apps for photo and video edition but… we still compress and upload all this content to the web and thus reduce its output quality and very few of us are watching all of this on a 4K display. What’s my trade-off taking into account all of these parameter right now?
I shoot Fujifilm X100F (6000 x 4000 pixel) with its 35mm fixed lens for 80% of my shots but it can happen that the 35 mm is too narrow for some subjects so I pair it with my iPhone 6S (2448 × 3264 pixel) for the rest of the shots which are mostly panoramas or wider angle shots or situations when I can’t have my main camera with me.
The purpose is to synergise your cameras, the fujifilm X100F is amazing for most of the situation but it sucks at stitching panoramas while the iPhone is really good at it. Plus, when you shoot panoramas with the iPhone you are sort of increasing its output resolution as the larger side becomes your smaller side, i.e. the output files become something like 3264 x 4896+ pixels. Now you got 2 different type of files, coming out of 2 different devices, that need to look the same so all images blend together and your audience will not spot the differences and focus on your content. How to do it?
My secret to keep a consistent look is to (1) shoot RAW and (2) edit in Lightroom with my own presets taking into account the camera profile. For example, I will need to correct the distortion of the iPhone and the colour balance of the Fujifilm in a way that they look similar prior to applying your post-processing preset.
Smartphones are real computers these days and I totally understand you want to keep it even simpler and shoot on your iPhone or transfer your photos from your camera to your iPhone and then edit them on it on-the-go. I do it myself and it works just as fine, the most important is to have a workflow that is upgradable and efficient.
I personally use VSCO app when it comes to iPhone edition. OK, applying a filter is easy but if you want to keep a consistent look for both workflows (on your laptop using Lightroom and on your iPhone using VSCO) you will need to understand what are the changes the filter apply on your image… so there we go, I will tell you how to obtain similar results taking as an example the VSCO F2 filter, some blue tones in the shadows and a bit of Fade.
First, let’s adapt the workflow to whatever the camera maker is, You need to set it up right at the very beginning and you will adapt quickly and won’t worry about changing/upgrading your gear. What you need is to make sure you have your camera profile into Lightroom. The camera profile is sort of builtin in your version but you can always add it yourself by downloading your camera profile on the website of your camera maker and dropping the files in this path on MacOS:
The tone curve is the tool that will affect the most the rendering of your image. I recommend googling for tutorials on how to use it as they are plethora of articles on the topic! This is one of them which is quite well suited for an introduction to the tone curve. There is what the tone curve tool looks like in Lightroom to imitate the VSCO F2 filter in terms of output scale and fade:
The tone curve used on RGB will be applied on all the colour channels of your image, I personally like to go further and to adjust the highlights and shadows tones using the split toning to add that small amount of blue in these extreme tones:
Once you have fine tuned your parameters on the various development tools you can save these parameters. In the development panel, on the left side you can ‘create’ your own preset based on the current edition parameters:
Make sure your white balance is set to ‘as shot’ before you save your preset, else you will apply the current white balance when applying your preset and you don’t want to do it.
To apply your preset on a new image, just select your image in the development tab and click on your preset. You can also setup Lightroom to import your pictures and apply your preset at the same time which is a massive time saver advice if you process loads of pictures at the same time, typically when you come back from a journey with 150+ images.
I hope you enjoyed these few tips and that it will help you share more images!