What do I use my iPad Pro for the most?

The first part of this post was written in December 2016.

"One of the main things I use my iPad Pro for is photography related. No surprise there then. This post is all about what I do and how I do it.

Before I go on a quick note about my iPad Pro. It is awesome. Along with some incredible software and use of the cloud it has made a significant proportion of my photography workload fully mobile.

You can buy the IPad Pro 9.7 with 128GB of storage (the version I have) from Amazon for less than £650 (December 2016 price).

OK, back to the how, then the what.

Lightroom Mobile, my PC, my iPad Pro and my iPhone

All my photos are located on an external hard drive. They are backed up to the cloud and to a separate hard drive.

Every image in my Lightroom Catalogue has a Smart Preview. I will write a separate post all about Smart Previews, but basically this is how I edit photos when I do not have access to the actual files.

Yes, I can edit photos without having access to the physical files – I still find this scary!

Anyway, back to the point I was in the process of making.

My photos are on an external hard drive. Lightroom CC (and Photoshop) are installed (though the Creative Cloud) on my laptop, which now never leaves my office.

I have actual Lightroom CC software installed on one PC only. That is it.

The more I write this the scarier/ more amazing it gets.

I add images on my PC to collections in Lightroom. I sync these collections to Lightroom Mobile.

I have the Lightroom Mobile app on my iPhone and my iPad.

And this is how I get to the photos on my external hard drive anywhere I am.

I can sync pretty much as many images as I want.

And I can edit on my phone or iPad and the changes appear on my desktop.

Lightroom Mobile works so much more for me now I have my iPad Pro.

Having explained how I access the images on my iPad, what do I actually do on my iPad?

  • Sort Images
  • Quick Edits
  • Share images
  • Browse/ peruse/ play with images

On my sofa. In my car. In the pub. Anywhere.

Completely awesome.”

That was what I wrote in December 2016.

And here is the October 2017 update.

As well as image editing using Lightroom Mobile, I use my iPad for the following business-related activities.

Client briefs are added to iBooks and are available to me anywhere

Client briefs are reviewed on site with the client – this is particularly useful and is often the starting point of a commercial shoot.

I use Lightroom Mobile to view images at client meetings, even diving into live editing during the meetings! Being able to have sets of images available to view remotely in collections is incredibly useful, but you need to ensure that the previews of the images are there, just in case there is no data.

A further word on Lightroom Mobile – the iPad version has had a significant upgrade, and now has lots more functionality and is much more like Lightroom on my desktop which is great.

Listening to the radio when working on my PC. I have now got rid of the speakers on my PC as I only ever use my iPad, either with the built-in speakers which are excellent, or with Bluetooth headphones.

I extend my listening to music to washing up and cooking!

I keep a schedule of my blog posts and social media sharing of blog posts in Excel which is sat on my iPad. I find it much quicker to update on my iPad than on my PC. It is interesting that there are things that I do on my iPad even when I am sat in front of my PC, mainly because they are quicker and easier to do.

I do all my commercial photography editing however on my PC with large monitor. I do not see that changing yet, but time will of course tell on that one.

Another great thing I do is watch video podcasts on my iPad whilst working, mainly episodes of The Grid where they are doing photo critiques.

And keeping with the Scott Kelby theme, I try to watch one class a week on Kelby One on my iPad. I have not done this yet - all I have done is watch a class when I needed to learn something specific, but I want to make this a regular part of my own photography learning and development.

Other developments that have made my iPad Pro more and more invaluable are these

Plotagraph – the app that allows you to add movement to a still image. I love this app for producing something new.

The Apple Pencil – the only thing that has made me want to go down the Wacom tablet route is the excellent Apple Pencil. I love dodging and burning in Lightroom Mobile using the Apple Pencil. I also use it for masking in Plotagraph.

Obviously, internet browsing, Amazon shopping and Ebaying are all great with the iPad.

With an App called FTP Client Pro I can upload HD videos to Adobe Stock effortlessly, and do some of the SEO work once uploaded.

And I can edit and sort photos when I am flying!

One final final thing – I need to get my iPhone and iPad working with my Canon 6D using the Canon Connect app – this will open up a lot more possibilities for me in the future.

All in all, the iPad Pro has given me so much for not that much money in the scheme of things. And on that point, on the day of writing this post the iPad Pro like mine will cost you £550 here on Amazon.

Rick McEvoy Photography – iPad user