Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling
As a person who takes an awful lot of photos on many different cameras I’ve got a lot of data spread over a lot of platform, and for me the cloud is the best place to store the 20,000+ images I have spanning over 10 years. For the last few months i’ve been using Google Drive for this storage, and Spideroak and Dropbox before that.
While each of these solutions are great, they are cross platform, backed up, secure and systems I can suggest to anyone to use I always felt that photos are supposed to be shown, not just end up as 1s and 0s on a cloud drive in some data centre.
As Always there is an alternative..
Adobe are the image and document company providing packages such as Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects for photographers. Revel previously called Carousel is Adobe’s entry into cross platform photo management. The basic idea is a central location where you can store your photos in “the cloud” and from there view, edit, share, download and generally work with your photos. This is done using multiple devices as Adobe are very much aware of the mobile device revolution and how many more people including professional photographers are doing their first edits on the iPad.
From the outset lets be very aware this isn’t a freemium service, this is a service which you will get 30 days in which to experiment. This is a service which has no 100gb, 1Tb upper restriction on how many photos you upload. I know this because I asked over Facebook and Twitter the very same question and was specifically told there were no upload limits and i’ve just over the course of a 3 week period uploaded 65Gb of photos up to this service. For this reason you need to part with some cold hard cash to use the service long term. Storage space isn’t free and I don’t think Adobe are looking for the 5Gb occasional upload user here. And it was with this information in mind I first saw the service as a place (not the only one) to store my Photos. The uploading for photos would appear to be quicker than getting the same data up onto a Paid Google Drive account that took 6 weeks so i’d be willing to bet that Adobe have invested some time getting the upload infrastructure right because it’s quick.
Revel is no snapseed when it comes to Editing on the iPad, that being said its core editing tools are apparently from the same code base as Lightroom. The tools are intuative however and the usual filters and lighting effects are available while you are on the go. Once an edit is made on one paltform it is automatically available on any other platform your account accesses
Crop and rotate photos
Use crop and rotate tools to remove unwanted content and create the perfect photo for your latest project.
Always get back to your original photo
Edit without worry knowing that you can undo all the photo edits you make in Revel. Your original is always preserved, so you can focus on the fun of making your photos look great.
While in version 1.5 the tools are fairly limited in comparison to other image editors on the iPad and Mac platforms I do like that they are built in, and that the interface on both platforms is exactly the same. I also get the feeling that as Adobe get to grips more and more with mobile web this will only improve over time. For immediate edits on uploaded photos what is supplied is consistant and well done for now.
You may have noted that I’ve mentioned that this is working on iPad and Mac, thats not just because this is my platform of choice (which it is) as of time of writing these are the only two devices supported. There is a Windows version in the works according to the Adobe Revel site and there is an App for Android which at least lets you upload photos from your Android device up to Revel’s site.
I’d believe this has to do not only with the longstanding relationship Adobe have with Apple but the fact that the iPad to date is the worlds biggest selling tablet with the best screen and OSX is part of the whole Apple Ecosystem That being said an Android App for Tablets would be a good step forward.
Having photos in a central cloud system is one thing, once edited you want to share these experiences on social media sites and with the ones you love. What makes Revel interesting is while you have access to all your photos on the App interface. There is no immediate webpage. This means people can only see what you share. The usual suspects are there Facebook, Twitter both can be shared to from within the App however not everyone has access to social media especially possibly older members of your family. Revel has a feature which you can share selections of photos via email on a Web Interface which can be locked down using a password if you want to. This means baby photos, photos of kids can be kept safe from prying eyes yet shared with family members should you so wish in a secure manner. The photos stay in your possession and can be unshared if you wish.
Within the Revel interface the photos you have can be assigned to albums which are shared across platforms as well which makes finding the photos easier.
It’s easy for a company like Adobe to hide behind average software and support, i’m not finding that the case here when i have asked a question on Twitter or Facebook someone has come back to me with an answer it feels much like a small startup which Adobe happens to own rather than a multimillion dollar company launching a new product and I mean that in a positive way.
The Support forum is highly active with bug reports (all software has bugs, some software has user expectations) and feature requests.
Its good that Adobe didn’t go Freemium with this product, its worth paying for as I said photos should be seen not just stored and Revel lets me do this. there are a few feature requests i’d like to see in version 2.0 such as Facial recognition much like iPhoto so i can create albums of people (ok, an Album of my Wife) There are examples of cloud based facial recognition if the iPad isn’t up to it. Finding a way for Tagging thousands of photos would be useful.
These however are additions to what i’m finding to be a polished enhancement since the rebrand from Carousel to Revel and the up-rev from 1.0 to 1.5.
If you are a Mac/IOS user (and you could do this just with IOS) and you want to be able to view photos as well as store them off site then this is a cheap, in so much as for the same cost of 100Gb on Google i get at the moment unlimited faster cloud storage and a well thought out idea.