eXtensions - Wednesday 11 July 2018
eXtensions - The Wednesday File (65): 10 years of the App Store; Shifting Photography Ideas
By Graham K. Rogers
I saw this as distinctly unfair and let my feelings be known to those at Apple whom I knew. They were sympathetic and explained, that despite certain users round the world being excluded, the management insisted on the iTunes store as delivery mechanism. In the end the device was on sale in Bangkok by the end of the next month.
At a dinner later in the week, I spoke to one of the directors, bemoaning the lack of the iTunes store which was really down to copyright problems. While many here blamed Steve Jobs and his indifference (without a shred of evidence), there was nothing to deliver as the MPAA and RIAA controlled the content; and with Phantip Plaza in full swing, there was understandable reluctance to allow anything to be sold here.
At that dinner I suggested a 2-tier store for things not under such copyright restrictions. Apple could control the distribution and have the double benefit of a massive database of user names and their credit card details. The director said he would pass this on.
10 years ago this month, the App Store appeared and this was open to users in Thailand. It was more or less what I had wanted, but I am not arrogant enough to claim it was my idea - the 6 month timeline would not allow that - but at least I was thinking along the right lines.
The App Store is one of those features that has brought about considerable change: for developers, users and for Apple; and it has had a huge influence on the popularity of iOS devices. Online there have been several looks back at the 10 years and what it has meant.
My iOS devices are musical instruments, writing tools, cameras, image editors and (occasionally) games machines. There are also downsides as social networking apps have taken over the world and it is sometines difficult to walk through the streets, malls or stations because of the total absorption of those using their devices.
As a Road Traffic policeman I saw many accidents and it was clear to me how effective these were. Not long before the law was brought in I went to an accident at which a woman had driven into a narrow lane and not seen a truck coming towards her. When I got there, her face was trapped in the toughened glass screen. She ended up not only scarred for life, but lost the sight in one eye. Of course, Bangkok taxi drivers and policemen know much better.
The price is expected to be $1000 when it is released in September which is ridiculously low (in relative terms) for such a combination, although the sensor will not be as large as some higher end cameras. According to Nikon Rumors, pre-orders are now open. There is more information on the Nikon Global site (and my thanks to Nikon for the image).
The designer Thomas J Müller has looked at the problem, which includes the use of the right chemicals and the right temperatures, and come up with the Kanton DX35 which is an all-in-one device for developing 35mm or 120 film. He is looking at investment opportunities right now and if this is released as a commercial product, it will be worth a look.
I had been perfectly happy with Aperture until recently. It still works, but my recent purchase of a Nikon D850 sealed its fate as usable software for me as it will not handle the RAW output from the camera. Photos does, so it appears that some RAW software is available for one and not the other. That had also been the case when a couple of years ago I was able to test the Hasselblad H6D-50, which produced some phenomenal output: the lens I was using also had something to do with the classy images.
When I tried Aperture with the images I had taken, it was unable to recognise the file type and I ended up installing Hasselblad's own Phocus. I am not totally at one with the interface, but it works and I can also open the D850 RAW images that I store on the SSD I use. I tried ON1 RAW recently and that worked with the D850 files as well as the Hasselblad images, but would not recognise the scanned TIFF images from my own Hasselblad film camera: something to do with colour profiling, but these are greyscale.
Apple Photos on a Mac
I already run a version of a 2-tier workflow system. I import all photographs from the D850 and because of their size go through a process of deciding what to keep and what to cull. This is a normal process for anyone taking many photographs. Some of the images are awful and need to be trashed right away. Some might be usable, but after a careful look are not going to make the grade. That brings me down to a selection of 25% of which not all may truly be worthwhile. Self-criticism is essential.
Recently for example, I took over 300 photographs in one day, just walking around a town about an hour from Bangkok. In the end, I kept around 10% of the photographs, applying some careful editing to bring out what I think was the best in them. Sometimes, I would just use the tools within Photos, but for some images, more editing might be needed, which is where extensions in Photos are so useful, albeit a little slow with the larger files. With space limitations, I end up with optimised images on the Mac and iOS devices, with the ability to download the full image from iCloud when needed.
When Apple first announced that Aperture was not being supported any more, apart from the anger many expressed, it was necessary to think of replacements. Although many expected to move to Adobe Lightroom a lot of people, including me, were not interested in this solution. I went looking and checked out several potential workflow applications, some clearly better than others. I concluded then that version 8 of Capture One Pro would do the job, but put things on hold for the moment as Aperture was still working.
It is now clear that it is no longer a viable solution and I will miss it. Photos is really a compromise for those who work seriously in RAW, so I had another look at the Phase One site and Capture One. A local user has version 9 installed and uses it regularly although does not favour the interface, which is one of the things I did like when I reviewed it in 2015. He was also unhappy with the update cycle: he bought it a few weeks before the application was updated and was not able to claim the loser update rate. He kept the same version and Phase One lost a sale.
Working in Capture One - Version 8
Working in Capture One - Version 8
I have found a number of videos about using Capture One on YouTube. We may criticise this, but like Wikipedia and other online sources, there is a wealth of information there to help entertain and educate. You just have to be critical when choosing what to read or what to watch. I have not made the final decision on this yet, so the screenshots are from Version 8 and you may be able to gauge why I was so taken by this. The latest version is far better.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
For further information, e-mail to
Back to Home Page