The Three Dot Lounge for Photography email newsletter is a compendium of things photographic. This list is for those of you interested in improving your photography both in the field and in the digital darkroom.
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Google Photos Has Arrived
Rumored for a while, Google Photos has officially been split off from Google+, and it is beautiful. Buzzfeed has a really good overview of this new release. Steve Levy goes in-depth with Google Photos leader Bradley Horowitz with some nice insight into why some of the changes and decisions were made, and with some interesting hints about upcoming changes being planned for Google+ —< I’m just happy for the hint that it’s not dead, and not going to be sent out to Orkut-land. Not everyone is thrilled — there are some people questioning the rights and usages Google reserves if you upload images there, and while I understand their issue, I think their worries are unfounded and it’s not going to stop me from using the service. I do hope Google recognizes this and clarifies the language.
Another question that’s been raised is the compression that Google is applying to images if you use it without paying for the upgraded capabilities ($10/month). People are evaluating this compression, and the results seem to be pretty good. And there is always the issue of “you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product” and Serenity Caldwell does a great job of putting this into perspective at iMore. Understand the issues and make the decision that’s right for you. I’m comfortable with the content and information that I upload to Google. Others aren’t.
For those that do choose to use Google Photos, John Nack points to an interesting solution for getting your photos uploaded into the system using Google Drive. This is probably the tactic I will use.
Confused about what system(s) to use with your Photos? Mashable did a nice job of comparing some of the key tools like Apple’s Photos and Dropbox’s Carousel (oh yeah that still exists).
My take: If you’re an Apple user, Apple’s iPhoto replacement, Photos, and Google Cloud via Google Drive seems like a great setup. Easy and pretty simple to manage. If you have multiple machines with different Photo collections, they can all be placed on Google drive next to each other and save yourself the pain of trying to sync everything up. I would definitely use this instead Apple’s iCloud offerings right now — better overall, and cheaper to boot.
I think Google Photos blows Flickr out of the water, which is too bad — because Yahoo had years head start and while their latest releases are a nice improvement, they’ve done too little, far too slow to keep Flickr relevant, and now clearly there’s a better option from a company showing committment to the service. if you’re already established with Flickr and happy with it, I don’t think there’s a persuasive reason to change, but if you’re not sure Flickr is right for you or just starting out — take a long, close look at Google Photos before you commit to a service.
Well done, Google. I’ll be discussing this in more detail after I have a chance to play with it in more depth.
This is the ‘Dehaze’ Tool Coming to Lightroom
Petapixel points to a new tech preview of a “Dehaze” filter that Adobe showed off last year for Photoshop. Adobe’s just let it be known that it’s coming to Lightroom CC as well.
When Adobe released the new Lightroom, I found the fact that it had multiple names curious. If you get it through a Creative Cloud subscription it’s called Lightroom CC, but if you buy it shrinkwrap, it’s called Lightroom 6. I’ve been wondering why Adobe did this, and I’m beginning to think I understand the thinking.
My guess is that new features like this Dehaze are going to be released into Lightroom CC as part of their normal Creative Cloud updates — which they’ve been doing with regularity with Photoshop and the other tools. I expect the release of features like this to Lightroom 6 will be much slower, or it’ll be held back to Lightroom 7.
If I’m right, it creates a nice incentive to move from shrinkwrap to th subscription model as the two versions diverge, and I think it’s a reasonable one if Adobe does adopt this idea. I know those of you who are in the “never rent my software” camp won’t agree with me, but I think when features like this are made available in a couple of months rather than a year or more later with the next major release, it makes the new model a lot more acceptable.