Photosmith iPad App Review

When I first saw a video ad clip for the Photosmith iPad app it looked like a really amazing app that fit a void that I felt has been needed on the iPad, image organizing and selecting. One important part of editing for a wedding photographer is the initial selection of images. When you are going through 2000 images from a wedding it can be very time consuming, so having a great piece of software really comes in handy. For my own workflow I have used a software called iView Media Pro for many years and still love this app. It allows me to quickly go through a wedding and tag images into one of a few different categories. I like to group my images by photos that I will convert to Black and White, artistic tone, normal color or ones that don’t make the cut and will end up in the trash. Then when I import into Lightroom they are imported into folders so I can batch process the images quickly.

Along comes Photosmith, the description from the developers:

Photosmith fills the gap in the photographer’s workflow by letting you organize, rate, tag and label your photos while on the road with your iPad. When you get back you can easily sync with Adobe Lightroom® on your PC or Mac.

Looked pretty interesting so I had to check it out. Lets dive into this app and start with a quick walkthrough.

First lets start with the import. Once you use the iPad camera connector kit to import your photos to the camera roll they will automatically import into Photosmith. It will automatically update with everything in the camera roll and does support RAW files. Unfortunately that is the only way to get files to the app so if you had them on your computer and wanted to put them on the app before a trip you are out of luck.

On the left you have collections which have some smart filters at the top like Last Imported, Selected Photos, Rejected Photos as well as the ability to add your own collection. You can use the Filter and Sort menu to filter the photos and if you want to add any photos to your own custom collection just drag and drop into the collection.

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From the main screen there are 3 different views:

Grid View – The 2 images above are showing the Grid View. Here you have a simple grid with small thumbnails of all your images. You can drag and drop into collections from here, tap once to open up the photo in Loupe view or use 2 fingers and tap to select the photo. From this view you can also share an entire collection by sending the images to Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox or Email.

Loupe View – Loupe view is where you might do most of your tagging. This give you the photo in a large scale with small thumbnails to navigate at the bottom and all of your tagging options on the right. You can also pinch to zoom in on the image.

Tagging Options in Loupe View – When you are in loupe view you have many options on the right hand side. You can rotate, reject (although the reject tag doesn’t sync with Lightroom so in my mind really not useful, I just 1 stared my rejects. You can also color code the images and star rate them. At the bottom you have a lot of keywording you can do and even add in any IPTC metadata. When tagging images you can also tap the Auto Advance button to automatically move to the next photo after you had made an adjustment. This is pretty helpful if you are just going through the images to make your first picks and really speeds things up.

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Fullscreen View

The fullscreen view really maximized your space and expands the image to the entire screen. There is still a small thumbnail navigation at the bottom and the color coding and ratings buttons on the left just tap and hold and the options fly out to make a selection. If you have Auto Advance turned on from the Loupe View it will move to the next photo once you tag the image.

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Importing into Lightroom

After you have your images all tagged and keyworded you will want to import them into Lightroom. First download the Lightroom plugin from the developers website and then install this in Ligthroom. Then all you have to do is make sure the Photosmith app is running on your iPad and go to File –> Plug in Extras –> Photosmith to Lightroom sync. This will bring up a dialog box where you can choose to sync everything or select a specific collection as well as a few other settings. It all sync’s over wifi and for me was pretty quick, I imported about 40 images and it just took a few minutes to process. Everything showed up in Lightroom and ready to process now!

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Overall this app does solve a need. There are some key things that I would love to see like the ability to sync with current Lightroom images so you don’t have to only work on the camera roll images. Also having the ability to import other albums that are already on your iPad would be helpful. I would also love to see a compare feature to compare photos. Many times I have similar photos at weddings of a group and need to be able to view them side by side to see what the best one is. It’s pretty key for me and a huge part of the workflow software that I use right now. And last but not least having a way to tag multiple images so you can keyword a entire set would be key, having everything done one by one can be a huge pain especially for weddings with thousands of images. If they could add some of these items it would be a pretty awesome app. Right now though I would give it a 3 out of 5, it does solve a need out there for quick iPad categorizing but for my workflow doesn’t have the tools I rely on.

You can get the app in the App Store here, the normal price is $19.99 but they are having a sale this weekend only for $9.99:

Photosmith - C² Enterprises, Inc

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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4 Comments

  1. I was hoping that Carousel would be more like this, I was a bit disappointed to find that it’s just, basically, Adobe’s version of any number of other hipster filter apps out there. I realize that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but I had really hoped it’d be more along the lines of something like this, with, as you said, the ability to more fully sync iPad > Lightroom. For me, I think the little things photosmith is missing, like syncing libraries, and batch processing, are keeping me from dropping the $10 on it. I keep hoping something will come out that will fully fill the void in the mobile > desktop detachment there is right now for photographers.

  2. another app to download.. thanks…

  3. Photosmith 2 was just released: two-way sync with Lightroom, batch tagging, smart groups, clever keywords and a slick new UI. Lots of improvements across the board.

  4. Not worth it. This app in version 2.0 still feels like a beta version. Vey crashy, very unstable, syncing keywords is like a weekend in Vegas… You never know what is get synced and what is not.

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