So you finally got an iPad and you spent hours scouring the App store for your photography needs. Well there are a few gems that you may not have discovered to get you up to speed that I’d like to share.
I am a bit late to the game in getting an iPad, waiting to see if it was really worth having and then procrastinating and never quite getting around to buying one. I received one as a gift for Christmas this year and I have been thrilled and giddy with excitement with this new toy. As photographers we are always seeking new gadgets to help us in the quest for creating and learning and the iPad seems to be perfectly suited for that never ending quest.
After receiving my gift and getting the “go codes” to upgrade as I felt necessary, I knew there were a couple of features I wanted. First, I wanted at least 32Gb of space and I needed the 3G option. A few days after Christmas I took the hour long drive to the Apple store and walked in and did a quick exchange and upgraded. My first thought was that it would take some time to fill out the paperwork for the Verizon data plan, but it was as simple as “When you get home, you can sign up on your iPad”. Cool I thought, this is too easy. Racing back home, I let those around me know that I would be off the radar for awhile as I played with my new toy.
Having an iPhone I knew all the standard apps that were out there to play with to make your images look like it was shot with a Holga or can twist photos of your face into images you can text to your kids. What I was on the quest for was for apps that would help me learn more about photography in addition to the standard editing apps.
First up was Zinio, I have used this program before on my desktop, but I really wanted the option of reading magazines on the iPad and figured this is a great start. The interface is simple, just go to the explore icon and start your search. I found the usual suspects like American Photo and Digital Photo Pro, but as I looked further into the choices, some gems came up like N Photo, a magazine dedicated to Nikon camera owners that was not beholden to Nikon. There were also numerous magazines dedicated to Photoshop, Portraits, Making Money with Photography and more.
The rates to buy the magazines were typically the retail price of $4.99 as you would expect to pay for a magazine. American Photo had a nice surprise when I subscribed by giving me a bunch of free issues from the previous years.
So after spending about $40 on magazines, yes I went a bit crazy, it was time to start looking for some apps.
When I picked up my iPad, I added the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit so I could download images directly from a memory chip or camera onto the iPad. Not a bad thing to have when I’m out in the field shooting. But when I’m at home, I want an easy alternative to uploading files to share with people. PhotoSync does that perfectly by uploading through your wi-fi at home to your computer, iPad or iPhone. All you do is install the app on your iMac, load the app on your iPad and select the action to copy. It will copy from your iPad to your Pictures/PhotoSync directory. At only $1.99 this is probably the best bargain out there for us Photographers.
Photographers i, has ushered in what is going to be the leading edge of Photography Magazines on the iPad. Just the list of contributors like Jay Maisel and Paul Harcourt Davies and many more equally talented photographers. I am very impressed with the effort of the publishers on this Magazine/App.
First you’ll have to download the app at the App store which is free, but as you soon learn the magazine is not. You can download a “Taster Issue” to see what all the fuss is about, but for a $1.99 the real deal is more than worth it. Here the magazine had me saying “Wow” to myself as I watched embedded video and listened to Michael Freeman share ten frames from a shoot with audio commentary on each. There is also an interactive option (see image below) which goes along with the commentary to point out specific parts of the image to help you understand his thoughts on composition.
The bonus for this magazine in my mind is that their only “Focus” or theme is the “reality of taking photos to professional standards”. These guys are not a bunch of gear heads talking about the latest pocketswiveltripodmount thing a ma jig, but talking about what it takes to make a great photo and the art of image making.
The last app I want to talk about (Don’t worry I’ll share more in later posts) is Flipboard. Flipboard is the app that we all dream about, it allows you to aggregate your favorite websites into a newspaper style reading approach. Just add your favorite websites and it will create a flipboard (see below) for that site, Provided they have an RSS feed.
So there you have it, just a few of my favorite apps so far for the iPAd. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section and I’ll be adding more as I make the discoveries.