Photographers of all levels eagerly embraced the iPhone as a powerful shooting, sharing, and editing device. Indeed, the number of photography apps available for the iPhone and iPod touch is overwhelming. The iPad 2, however, has proven a less popular device for the snap-happy crowd.
There are, of course, a few logistical reasons for that, such as the iPad’s size and weight. Plus, the rear camera’s resolution is a paltry 0.7 megapixels compared to the iPhone 4S’s 8-megapixel offering. But that doesn’t mean the iPad can’t enjoy a predominant place as a photographic tool. Its larger screen allows for easier photo editing, better photo display, plenty of light, and more.
This quartet of apps can turn your iPad into a productive photography tool.
SoftBox Pro Not all useful photo apps are for taking, editing and sharing images. SoftBox Pro (£1.99; App Store) acts as an accessory that turns your iPad into a softbox light. This simple app handles one task – lighting. You’ll use another camera to shoot the photos, but like a standard softbox light, SoftBox Pro provides diffused lighting for your shots. You can choose from over a dozen shapes, patterns, and colours, and even adjust the brightness. It’s handy if you shoot in dark settings and need to travel light.
PhotoSync This handy app (£1.49; App Store) is perfect for photo enthusiasts who want to sync their pictures across multiple devices, but are sick of cables and unreliable Bluetooth connections.
PhotoSync makes wireless photo transfers incredibly easy – this is especially helpful if you shoot photos on your iPhone but edit them on an iPad. You can transfer an unlimited number of images at one time; the app keeps track of which pictures you’ve synced and where, to avoid duplicate transfers. Other perks include a web browser for viewing photos from any computer and support for photo transfers to Dropbox, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, and SmugMug, and via FTP.
Photogene If you’re looking for a full-featured image editor for your iPad, Photogene (£1.99; App Store) is one of the best available. This app lets you crop, rotate, flip, or straighten photos with a couple of easy taps, and there are adjustment sliders for exposure, saturation, contrast, shadows, highlights, colour temperature, and tint.
Photogene features a Retouches tab that includes a Heal/Clone and a Red Eye correction function, along with five masking overlays – Dodge, Burn, Blur, Grayscale, and Effect. Lo-fi filter lovers get plenty of attention – the app has numerous options to choose from, with 16 presets ranging from 20s Vintage to Purple Haze. Users can also add a vignette, frame, and text in variously shaped text bubbles. The app supports a number of raw formats, and you can export to Flickr, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, and via FTP and email.
Color Splash Calling attention to one colour or object in a photo is a fun artistic technique that’s made simple with Color Splash (£1.49, App Store).
To start, you select an image from your photo library, and Color Splash automatically turns it into a black-and-white photo. You then paint colour back onto parts of the picture using your finger as a brush.
One great feature in Color Splash’s iPad app is the ability to adjust brush size (the iPhone and iPod touch version offers only one brush size). If you make a mistake, don’t worry, you can either undo the last move or tap Gray to paint parts of the image back to black-and-white. You can also zoom in and out of a photo for more detailed colouring.
If you want to take a break, the app gives you the option to save the image as a Session for future editing.
When you’re finished, save the image to your photo library, email it, upload it to Facebook, print it, or copy it to paste into another document.