A complete mobile workflow: Photographer takes his Fuji gear to Iceland, leaves laptop at home
posted Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT
Armed with a Fujifilm X-T2 and a trio of Fuji XF lenses: XF 16-55mm f/2.8, XF 50-140mm f/2.8 OIS and XF 14mm f/2.8, landscape photographer Dan Cook headed to Iceland. What made Cook’s trip unique is that he was editing and sharing his fantastic images directly from the field using his iPhone.
Cook notes that "In order to show your work at it's best, you need a fast and easy setup for editing camera shots on your mobile that doesn't compress your files too much. I feel I have found this ideal balance with the Fujifilm X-T2, an iPhone 7 and the VSCOCam app.” He has his X-T2 set up to shoot JPEG and RAW files simultaneously, but he has the JPEG size set to 12-megapixels so that the files will be faster to transfer to his iPhone than the full-size 24-megapixel images. Cook lauds Fujifilm’s work with their JPEG engine. I’m sure many of us who have shot with Fuji digital cameras will agree with him, the JPEG files that come straight out of the camera can look incredible.
After transferring the 12-megapixel JPEG images to his phone through Fuji’s iOS application, Dan imports them into VSCOcam. Of the VSCO app, Cook says, “My advice to everyone looking to improve their mobile phone photography in any way is to install and use the VSCOcam app and filters.” A quick look through Cook’s work makes it clear that he has a distinct style and he’s able to achieve this style on his phone using the VSCOcam app and a variety of filters and presets. When you find a style you like in the app, you can copy and paste it across selected images, making editing a breeze. “Landscape photography is a lot about the editing process. Don't listen to anyone who tells you images must be natural and ‘as shot.’ A digital image is in no way natural, it's using digital technology and algorithm to capture light and transform it. In every situation the resulting file is just pixels that form a base for you to create your own style,” Cook says of editing landscape images.
After finishing his edits, Cook exports high-quality files from VSCOcam to his iPhone’s Photos and then they are ready to share on Instagram. Instagram’s recent addition of Stories, allowing users to upload multiple photos at once, has significantly changed how he uses the app and he thinks it makes Instagram feel much more instant.
You don’t need a Fujifilm camera to have a similar workflow as Cook used in Iceland, basically every recent camera allows for some form of communication between the camera and your mobile device using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and a proprietary mobile application. Cook concludes that, “Taking a great camera, a fast phone and some great photo editing apps for a quick nip around Iceland without lugging a laptop was a real change for me. I feel these images are high enough quality to represent this trip. If I was a travel photographer producing content on the go (for brands) this would be my way of streamlining the process and save weight in my luggage while still reflecting my own style of photography.”
Readers, do you ever utilize your phone for quick editing and sharing while out in the field with your camera gear? If not, are there features that are lacking in current mobile photography apps? Let us know in the comments below. To see more of Dan Cook’s work, visit his website and follow him on Instagram.