“We’re currently just a two-man team who really wants to help the Analog community out with our development skills,” explains Don Chia to the Phoblographer in an email interview. “The app has changed in a myriad of ways since the alpha creation stage. We have received a ton of support and suggestions from the community and we have taken the suggestions into consideration.” After posting on Reddit, Don learned even more about the needs of analog photographers. One of the biggest problems that they face is logging their EXIF data. Lots of shooters often use a notebook or maybe start a Google Doc on their phone. Then when developing and scanning, they’ll keep this info in mind. This is one of the main motivations behind the Luce App. Currently, there isn’t a whole lot like Luce on the market since it’s very niche.
The duo is a team of iOS developers. “The app was just a random idea that popped into my mind and I’m actually surprised that I managed to get a rough prototype of it.” explains Don about how he started working on Luce. Since it was just an idea, a lot of progress has been made to bring it to the market.
Don’s partner, Diego, on the other hand has been programming for many years. He’s currently a software engineer. “My main rig is a Nikon Z6 with a 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art lens,” explains Diego. “I always found myself drawn to the aesthetic of film. The textures, grain, film stock color.” He continues to relate that it’s a completely different process of shooting film vs digital.
“I am a film camera hoarder. My fav camera to shoot with is the Mamiya RZ67. It’s a tank but fun to shoot with. I also have a Fuji GW690 and a Nikon F3/F4. I recently sold the following that was in my arsenal: Fuji GA645, Olympus XA II, Olympus Zoom and Nikon F4. My daily driver film is Porta 160/400 depending on the sun. Overcast days I shoot with HP5. My favorite film to shoot with is Cinestill 800T. Super fun to shoot with that film.”
When Don originally posted, the idea was to make Luce just for the Apple Watch. Business-wise, that’s always a safe bet. Not only is the Apple Watch the most popular smartwatch on the market, but there’s a lot more consistency. Then Don and his team had a change of heart. “…we realized that the Apple Watch market was a pretty niche one and hence we have modified the project to include an iOS app as well,” explains Chia. It’s an even smarter move. Despite the Apple watch being popular, smartwatches themselves aren’t as popular as phones. Personally, I don’t know a lot of folks who own one. But I know tons of folks who own an iPhone. It’s a sensible decision for Luce as it means that someone can log the info with their phone.
After receiving more feedback from the Reddit community, the team updated their UI/UX to make it easier to use. Some of the community’s concerns were:
– The entry process should be two stage process. Like first enter the Camera and Film info. then it will stay the same for all shots so that process is less time consuming.
– Time field could be auto filled but changeable.
– Shot no. auto changes
– What format will the app export the data?
– Is the app usable with just phone without smart watch? Will you port it to Android?
Another big piece of feedback was about setting different timers for development. Considering the Apple Watch has its own timer and a chronograph, it could indeed be useful in the darkroom when the watch is set to theater mode. In theater mode, the screen is very, very dim. The point of it is so that someone won’t reach for their phone when in a movie theater. Instead, they can check their watch and see the notification. The watch’s dim screen will mean that other customers won’t get rudely interrupted.
So what about AndroidWear? “…we haven’t got [many] plans to enter the Android scene yet as things might get complicated with Android Wear,” explains Don. “However, we are still open to the idea of an Android version and we will actively look into it.”
You can follow along with the development of Luce on their Instagram.