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iPhotographer: Photo Posting For The Photog On The Go

Posted by Chris Nitz on October 7th, 2010

iOS has brought users a great all-in-one stop shop for taking photos, manipulating them, posting them online, and composing a whole blog post over that spectacular shot. In fact, because the iPad and iPhone have such great apps, there are some pros that don’t even carry a laptop with them onto photo shoots. Everything they need for quickly getting photos to the world can easily be handled right on these magical devices. Let’s look at just a few tools that make this possible.

Shooting The Photo
The first major change is just how the iPhone takes photos. Long gone are boring, under/over exposed, bland photos. Now we have HDR embedded right in the included camera app. If this is not powerful enough for you, apps like TrueHDR and Pro HDR can take your HDR photos to higher levels than what is already available.

Maybe you like adding a bit of flair to your photos -- this is where wonderful apps like Hipstamatic come into play. I use this app all the time when I am shooting fun setups with all my Lego People. The various lenses and films all add up for some fun, and unique shots that I have thought of recreating with my DSLR and Photoshop.

Processing Without Photoshop
The next part of any good shot is the post-processing step, and yes, just about any photo worth its weight in metallic paper is photoshopped in some form or another. This may be as simple as removing dust particles or increasing saturation levels, to full-blown photo manipulations in layers that a slice of Tiramisu would be jealous of.

Apps like Filterstorm, or Photoshop Express, allow for some basic photo-editing while away from your computer. Filterstorm even allows you to make adjustments in that all too familiar layer workflow so many of us are comfortable with. Are these apps going to allow you to completely avoid using Photoshop on a laptop? Of course not. However, what you do have is the ability to post process while sipping on a beer at the local pup without all the worry of dropping a pint on your precious laptop.

Uploading Those Shots
Uploading photos does have a few gotchas, as there is not one single great app to handle the huge number of uploading services. There are apps to handle some of the most popular sharing services like Facebook, Smugmug, Flickr, Twitter, and Picasa, however. Worst-case scenario is you have to email your photo to a client or a photo sharing service. This is undoubtedly one of the bigger downfalls of doing photography with the iOS devices, rather than a laptop.

Composing A Photo Blog Post
Once your photo is captured, processed, and uploaded, you just might want to quickly write up a small blog post about the photo. There are apps to allow you to do just that as well, but again, this will be limited to your choice of blog host. Some services may even support one iOS device over another device, as is the case with SquareSpace only supporting the iPhone at this time. There are applications like BlogPress and WordPress that can be used to update blogs, too. A tip here: if you can’t post from an app, type it up, email it to someone you trust, and have them add the blog posting. We all know that content is the key to keeping your viewers coming back.

iOS is not perfect, but it is getting better with every release. More companies are releasing apps that easily allow photo manipulation, sharing, and blogging for those who are constantly on the go. How has your iDevice changed your workflows while travelling? Are you one of those few who now leave your laptop at home in exchange for the lighter iOS devices?

Apps Discussed In This Post:

eStarling TouchConnect - 802.11n Touchscreen Connected Photo Frame Review

Posted by Jeff Scott on December 17th, 2009

I've been looking at connected photo frames for a while now. Until recently they have been been too closed and lacking in features. I think that the eStarling TouchConnect comes the closest I've seen to what I envision as the perfect digital photo frame. And the best thing is, it works, and works well with the iPhone.

This main way you will get photos and videos to this frame is via email. That's right, email. The ingenious way that eStarling have come up with to get photos on to the frame over the network involves you connecting the frame to a GMail account and sending photos and video to display to that account. An interesting solution to how to get images to the frame. I've set up an account [email protected] -- feel free to send me your (clean) photos.

Photos and Videos

Not only can you email photos, you can also mail videos right to the device from anywhere from your iPhone. Traveling and want to send the family back home some pictures or a short video (less than 20 MB)? Just email it. Give one of these frames to the grandparents and be able to send photos to them anytime from anywhere with your iPhone. A fantastic feature.

The frame will automatically download the photos and videos in the background and they will be added to the rotation on your frame. You also have the option of pulling up thumbnail screens and navigate between the photos stored in the 2 GB on board memory.

Connected Services

Connected is right in the title of this frame. And it is connected. It allows access to your photos via email as stated above, Flickr, Picasa, RSS Feeds, and even Facebook. Setting up these services is made very easy and done by either entering in your login information or utilizing the same email address you set up to send photos to the frame to activate links.

RSS Feeds

You can grab an RSS feed from one of many places to feed photos into the photo frame. A great and very flexible feature. Just search for "photo RSS" for a huge list of feeds you can use from news sources, photography sites, etc. Here's a great one from the Boston Globe's Big Picture feature.


The Flickr connection allows you to authenticate with your Flickr account. Even though you need to authenticate there is no way to choose what pictures to show. Only your public pictures will show on the frame. I chose not to authenticate with Flickr as the authentication was requesting delete access. There's no need for that and I consider it a risk, so I chose to not authenticate. You'd be better off just choosing one of the RSS feeds from Flickr and using those as it will get you the same result without needing to authenticate and giving the frame delete access.

You can get creative with the Flickr RSS feeds as well and use tags to designate which photos should show up on the frame. What I did is create a unique tag for the frame and pull the RSS feed for the photos with that tag. To do this, navigate to the Flickr page for the tag you want to use and grab the RSS feed link from the bottom of the page.

Flickr videos are not supported at this time.


Authenticating with Facebook was pretty easy. Clicking on a link and giving the app access. The frame then quickly pulled down all of the photos I had uploaded to Facebook. Would really like the ability to grab photos friends have uploaded too.


You have the option of signing into any Google account to authenticate with Picasa. Good if you already have an account set up and don't want to move things to the Google account you are using for the photo frames email address. From there the photo frame pulls your latest photos. Again, with this service, I'd like some ability to designate which photos to download.

Google Calender?

That's right, there's also Google Calendar integration. You can authenticate to any Google Calendar and have your daily calendar shown on the screen. Did we mention this frame was connected?

Twitter Is Everywhere

Yep, now you can read and sent tweets from a photo frame. I'm not sure, can you even use Twitter from a computer anymore?

How About The Screen

The screen on this photo frame is a pretty decent 10.1 inches. The resolution isn't that fantastic at 800x480, but good enough for most pictures viewed from more than a few inches away. The real issue is that it collects fingerprints like crazy. Keep something close by to clean those off.

On screen navigation allows you to move between photos and turn on / off the different connected features. In addition, there's an optional sidebar that allows you show the time, date, and local weather. As the screen is 16x9, for 4x6 images, this sidebar fills in the extra space.

SD Card Support

When you insert an SD card into the frame it will switch from showing your connected photos to the photos on the card. Great for quickly showing family recent photos. Unfortunately videos on the SD card are not supported.

Overall, I think the TouchConnect frame is the most connected frame I've seen yet. I really appreciate all of the connection options they have provides. And while you can turn them on and off at will, all of the images blend when they are all turned on. Would be nice to be able to navigate the images from each service individually and find a way to limit what is downloaded. If you turn everything on it's easy to have hundreds of images all at once with no way to segment them.

But, with conservative and proper set up, it can really work well.

Want to know more about this digital frame? Here's the eStarling product page and the PDF Product Manual.

It's available right now, on special price, for $199 from the manufacturer's web site.

Disclosure notice: eStarling provided us a review model of this photo frame for the purposes of completing this review.