Photosmith for iOS: Using the iPad with Lightroom

I've recently been in a number of situations where I wanted to look at my just-shot RAW photos but didn't want sit up in my office at a desk all night. I just wanted to sit on the couch with my iPad and have some impact on my overall photography workflow.

Enter Photosmith. This is the iOS app I'd been looking for.

I look at it as a way to sit on the couch, import a bunch of RAW photos to my iPad and do some Lightroom work without using Lightroom just yet. Don't get me wrong, I like Lightroom, but nothing beats an iPad for being able to hold the photos you took in your hands. 

Photosmith syncs with Lightroom using a simple plugin, so all the metadata I add to the photos in Photosmith winds up in my permanent Lightroom library.

As an example, tonight I took 60 photos of my daughter. I imported the RAW files to my iPad and used Photosmith to create a collection, star the photos I wanted to edit eventually, and added some creative commons metadata.  Then I opened Lightroom on my Mac and hit the sync button. Because both my iPad and Mac are on the same network the photos started showing up in my Lightroon library with all the metadata intact. Sweet!

The workflow looks like this:

   1. Take pictures

  2. Plug in Camera Connection Kit, and allow the built-in Photos App to start

  3. Import the photos from the camera or card

  4. Start Photosmith

  5. Do your tagging 

  6. Sync to Lightoom, start Lightroom, run the plugin, and import directly from Photosmith

  7. The images and all the settings are transferred over WiFi and added directly into your catalog

I'm planning an amazing trip to New Zealand in the coming months and Photosmith may become an important tool for my return flight. At 30,000 feet it'll be wonderful going through hundreds of photos on an iPad's touchscreen. When I get home I'll be ready to edit and process the photos I've already picked.