Mobile Processing with the Olympus E-M1 and iPad Air

July 29, 2014

Mobile processing has matured in the last year and is easier than ever with the great wifi capabilities of the Olympus OM-D E-M1. I like sharing photos while on the road, but in the past it has been a sub-optimal experience. First, I needed an adapter for my iPad to upload the images from older cameras, and then once the image was uploaded post-processing was cumbersome.

The E-M1 has made uploading the images a quick and trouble-free process. Now, when I’m on the road, I set my camera to capture Raw + Small Jpeg. This gives me a raw file for processing at home and a smaller file that I can upload to my iPad and  tweak with the latest generation of photo apps. I upload the photos using the Olympus OI share app. Once the iPad has been configured for the camera, I just turn on the camera, click the touchscreen to enable wifi, connect to the E-M1 network on my iPad wifi, and finally open the Olympus app. It takes all of 5 seconds to be ready to upload images. The images display very quickly. I scroll through the viewer and select the images I want to upload and I’m done.

The apps I use for processing are Adobe Photoshop Express and Google Snapseed. I use PS Express to do basic editing (cropping, contrast, etc.). If I want to get more elaborate effects, I typically turn to Snapseed. Snapseed is especially good for BW conversions and adding drama effects. Snapseed will also let you add control points to add localized processing to the image. These aren’t full-featured processing programs, but they can really do a lot. I’ve added a couple of images to illustrate my point. The first image is taken from the Great Wall. The smog and pollution in China can be astounding. The day my family and I visited the Great Wall, was a very smoggy day. PS Express’ new anti-fog/anti-haze filter is amazing. As a matter of fact, I can’t duplicate this effect in the full-featured Photoshop. Clarity/contrast adjustments in PS alone, just won’t get you there.

Great Wall - SOOC


Great Wall with Anti-Haze from PS Express

Anti-haze Filter Applied

The second example is a BW conversion done with Snapseed. I was drawn the this scene due to the bright colors, but ultimately I thought that the forms and textures were more interesting. I used Snapseed for a quick conversion. I was able to add significant contrast and even add a bit of a warm tone. I like my conversion in Photoshop with Silver FX more (done once I returned home), but I would be perfectly happy to share this version on social media. Sometimes expediency wins over perfection when posting while travelling.




Snapseed BW Converstion

Both apps are free, but the Anti-Fog/Anti-Haze filter requires the $4.99 Advanced Pack plugin for the PS Express app.

If you haven’t tried mobile processing lately, it’s time to give it another shot.

Equipment Used (with Amazon and App Store Links)

Olympus OM-D E-M1

Panasonic 12-35/ f2.8

Apple iPad Air

Google Snapseed

Adobe Photoshop Express