​Should you get an iPhone 7? I have and this is my initial review of my new iPhone 7 Plus.

I have a new phone. An iPhone 7 Plus. With 256GB of memory.

Yes. A phone with 256 GB of memory. My laptop has a large hard drive, 1TB. My new phone has a hard drive a quarter of the size capacity in it.

Incredible.

So what am I looking forward to on my new iPhone 7 Plus?

Taking RAW pictures using the camera in Lightroom Mobile. That is the starter for 10. And the main event?

Taking genuine HDR images using the camera in Lightroom Mobile. This is a brand new feature in Lightroom Mobile, which uses the same technology used in actual Lightroom to make HDR images by merging three files. Except that the software takes three images and merges them automatically. And then applies auto toning to the completed Dng file.

I use the HDR Merge feature in Lightroom on my PC all the time, and on most merged images I apply the auto-tone as it provides a great starting point.

Which will leave me with a problem – if my phone can generate the single HDR image when will my actual camera be able to? I will want that feature - will Canon include this in the new Canon 6D?

Combine that with the two lenses and taking pictures is going to be a big part of what I am looking forward to doing on my new iPhone. And video I guess which I need to get into.

Oh yes and the phone is waterproof which is good

Apart from that I don’t know. Or really care at the moment. These things are enough to make me happy.

I know – I am easily pleased. Or as I prefer to say, I don’t ask for much!

But I will take the time to make the best use of the new features. This will be my starting point. The Apple website

One word on moving from one phone to another. It took an evening, but was all done and in the morning I had everything on my new phone. Sure there was lots of password inputting for various apps, but that is pretty good.

One thing that I did forget about was that after you take the Sim card out of a phone these days you still have a functioning device, especially in the range of Wi-Fi.

And also Bluetooth devices. I got in my car, thought I would play something on my phone through my car stereo as I do most days . I pressed play on the touchscreen on my car and picked up on what I was playing the day before. At the same point exactly.

Now that impressed me a lot. I hadn’t even paired my phone!

It was only when I got to my destination I realised that the car had found my old phone in my bag in the boot of the car and was playing a podcast from that quite happily!

Oh yes before I finish I must say that the services from Carphone Warehouse was excellent, and I was more than happy with the price for the phone with this ridiculous amount of memory.

All in all a happy experience going from the iPhone 6 Plus to the iPhone 7 Plus.

I will write more about my new phone over the coming months I have no doubt, and am looking forward to posting some HDR photography taken on my iPhone!

But for now to answer the question - should I get an iPhone 7 - if you only take photographs then yes. 

Rick McEvoy Photography

Saturday 25th March 2017

The new home button on the iPhone 7 Plus - something different

Apple have changed the home button on the iPhone 7 Plus.

It is weird. It sorts of clicks when you press it but doesn't seem to move. You get a physical confirmation when you press the button.

I can't work it out, and for a few minutes I wanted to take my new phone back to the Carphone Warehouse

Just a few minutes, and then I got used to it. 

Then I forgot I didnt like it completely. Quite the reverse. No it is brilliant.

I know it's just a button on a phone but all the same a very pleasing improvement from the iPhone 6! 

Sometimes new things take some getting used to, and I can be so impatient sometimes. 

As someone once said about the wheel - that will never catch on...... 

Rick McEvoy Photography 

Monday morning wisdom

Monday 27th March 2017

My favourite keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop explained.

Yesterday I posted my favourite keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Photoshop. I thought it would be a good idea to explain what they were, so here goes.

J - Spot healing brush. This is one of my favourite tools in Photoshop. The only thing I use more is the clone stamp tool. You can also use this shortcut to get to the patch repair tool, equally awesome and one that I am using more and more. You just have to change the brush using the mouse. And don't think that this tool is for spot removal only - it does much much more than that.

S - Clone stamp tool. Yes this is what I use for everything that the spot healing brush can't do. You select an area to sample from and paint over the area requiring attention. An incredibly useful and powerful tool.

[ - Decrease brush size. With any tool or brush, pressing this bracket key reduces the size of the brush. I use this all the time in conjunction with the clone stamp tool and spot healing brush.

] - Increase brush size. I don't need to elaborate on this any more....

Control 1 - Zoom the image to 100%. I use this before checking an image for dust spots, defects etc.

Home - go to the top left corner of an image. I use this in conjunction with the zooming above - this starts me off in the top left hand corner.

Control 0 - go to the full view of the image. Normally once I have finished some kind of detail work to see how good my work was.

Page Down - to scroll down the image one screen at a time. Whilst going through my editing/ cleaning/ tidying/ polishing of an image.

Space bar - press the space bar key and hold it down. The mouse pointer becomes a grabber so you can navigate around the image

Control S - saves an image back into my Lightroom Catalogue as a Tif file right next to the original RAW file.

Control Z - to undo the last thing I did

Shift Alt Z - to go back more than one step

I hope that you find these keyboard shortcuts helpful. I use Photoshop to clean up images after processing in Lightroom. These keyboard shortcuts allow me to do this quickly and efficiently and save me loads of time.

Rick McEvoy Photography

Sunday 19th March 2017

It is time for me to update the Dorset Photographer page on my website

I have been working on new content for my Dorset photographer page. The content needed a refresh, being over a year old, and there is lots more I want to say about my pictures of Dorset, and a brand-new collection of images to show.

So how did I go about doing this?

Like this.

I put all my Dorset photos into a single Collection in Lightroom, which crosses over with my collections of 2008 and 2009. Well every year actually. This is fine as long as I remember to reject and then physically delete the things I don’t want from each collection. I am trying to attack my catalogue from all angles to get rid of stuff I don’t want.

Having all my photos of Dorset in one collection meant that the images were immediately available to me on Lightroom Mobile, where I could go through them and just select picks of things that look interesting. And being on Lightroom Mobile I could do this anywhere, including in the queue for the car wash!

I started this and it was going quite well but I found something I liked the look of so I stopped and edited it.

I know – I really must stop doing this and stick to going through those few thousand images.

I was not being too scientific with the initial picks – anything that I liked the look of or that was something different. I had decided that I might not go for the headline iconic Dorset tourist landmarks like Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove etc etc (well there might be a few) - no not me – I was going to come up with something different.

Probably…

So, having all my Dorset photos in one collection, I was able to browse these images at my leisure.

Having gone through and crudely picked things I liked the look of I had over 150 images. All I had to do then was narrow them down to a set of twelve images which will go into my gallery of Dorset photos.

I was not sure if I was going to include just landscape photography images, or if I was going to broaden things out to include architectural and/ or interior photography images.

This was another time when my iPad Pro proved invaluable – this is one of the things I really wanted the iPad for – selecting images. And of course, I did some quick edits which I posted – this is pleasurable work for me made even more so by the iPad Pro.

Having picked the set of 12 images what next? Well edits of the images and lots of lovely new text to accompany the images and get me higher up the rankings in Google.

This piece of work will also give me lots of new things to write about on my photography blog – as ever one thing leads to lots of new content and also lots of new images.

At the time of writing I have a shortlist of 12 images, and some text which you can read on my Dorset Photographer web page.

But that is not the end. Oh no. Far from it.

Now I have to go through the images one by one and re-edit them. And I will write about this as I am producing the images which will replace the existing ones on this page of my photography website.

To do this I am going to create virtual copies of the 12 chosen images and then do full edits at my leisure and write about these separately –these edited images will also feed into my commercial stock photography libraries.

This sounds like a plan, and one that I will repeat with other pages. My immediate priorities are

Dorset photographer page

Hampshire photographer page

Poole photographer page

Sandbanks photographer page

Cornwall photographer page

Wiltshire photographer page

So, I will get on with the Dorset page then get on with my Hampshire photography page using the same process.

Rick McEvoy Photography

Thursday 16th March 2017