These images are from a walk with the Leica CL and the 50mm f1.2 TTArtisan lens.
They have nothing to do with the written content of this particular post.
Just here for fun.
I've always mostly ignored phone apps that interface with cameras. I tried some early on, mostly from Olympus and Sony, and found each company's attempts at creating a piece of software that would control their cameras by phone, and (more importantly) allow me to transfer camera files to my phone for rapid delivery to clients, and found them wanting. Or worse, un-usable. I also pushed back on clients because I'm always loathe to believe that clients don't have time to wait for me to get back to the office to do a proper edit and optimization of the images I shoot before I deliver them. Since the demand for rapid turnaround jobs came to a screeching halt with the pandemic I assumed I'd wait everyone out and never have to come around to mastering a phone app in order to do parts of my business.
That changed on Friday when a long time client connected me with their P.R. agency in order to cover a very high stress event that's coming in the near future. The event is a non-repeatable one and the turnaround times are strict. That being the case I bid the crap out of the job, halfway hoping I'd priced myself out of the running. But I'm guessing that even if the P.R. agency balked the client wants what the client wants and in this case that's me.
One thing the contact at the agency was adamant about though was the fact that all the files from the event need to be delivered to them within three hours of the program and further, that three newsworthy photos need to be delivered no later than one hour from the end of the show. I've never had to work under a deadline that was so tight. I'm not even sure I could exit the event, get through traffic and be back in the office in under an hour on a busy week day. Especially coming from the middle of the downtown area.
That led me to do something I've been reticent to do. I downloaded the Leica Fotos app which has two functions. It allows a user to control and shoot photographs with any of the current Leica cameras remotely, and it allows the same user to see all the images on the camera card and to select one or more, or all of them, and download them to one's phone.
At the outset I was pretty leery about being dependent on a free app, an iPhone and a German camera all working in concert. But, since actual cash was on the line, I committed to learning how to use the app with all four of the Leicas I have in house. I downloaded Leica Fotos from the Apple App Store and got it up and running on the phone. I paired the SLs via their wi-fi functions. They work well and make a good, reliable connection but they are not speedy. Then I moved to the SL2 and it uses a combination of Bluetooth and wi-fi for a much more responsive connection.
I fumbled a bit at first but finally figured out a step-by-step method that allowed me to make a good connection on every try. I can now set up the camera and phone to chat with each other, go back to shooting and have some assurance that the phone screen will populate with small thumbnails that I can click on to enlarge across the full screen of the phone. Once I pick certain images I can select them and download them from the camera to a gallery on the phone. When I get them on the phone I can do some edits in the phone's photo software and then send them via e-mail, text or even Airmail.
Since I'm so far behind the curve on accepting and adapting to this method of working I've been randomly circling back during the day to try connecting again and again. So far it's working. I intend to practice ten or more times a day between now and the event so I can get as close to "muscle memory" as possible. If I can duplicate my results from here in the office I should be able to have three images selected, properly sized, lightly edited and in the e-mail stream within 20 minutes of the end of program. Then it's a leisure drive back to my hidden lair in the West Austin hills and a romp through the rest of the images on my trusty iMac Pro. I can pop the finished files onto my broadband connection and rocket the rest to the client.
I have to admit that in cases like this, with ridiculous delivery demands, apps like these can be lifesavers. But what I'm really looking forward to are all the times when I'd like to be able to control the cameras without having to tether to a laptop or tablet. If I can pull off this project before Thanksgiving I'll award myself a merit badge in photo phone apps. I'll be so proud...
The Leica Fotos app used to require a yearly license that cost $50. That's so Leica. But someone in marketing must have figured out that every other camera company in the universe provides a similar app for free. And in this case the company caved to convention. Bless their little hearts...
It's not a bad app. It's pretty straightforward to pair up with the various cameras and it stores at least three cameras' connection information at a time which makes reconnecting pretty easy. They also did a nice job with the interface.
I'm making progress with my very slow motion acceptance of phone apps. But I'm still not a fan of high speed turnarounds. Ah well.
handheld and shot at ISO 6400. Perilously close to failure.