Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The iPad in Photography

Just how popular has the iPad become?  Apple holds 68% of the market share of tablets in the U.S. between the two generations of iPad.  The iPad 2 has sold over 9.3 million units in the few short months it has been on the market.  Software and app development for mobile computing is growing exponentially, and the potential for the tablet is being acknowledged by the photography industry.  Personal computing is seeing a shift from the laptop and desktop to the tablet, because how much power do you need to cruise facebook and watch cat videos?  When we’re not watchingMaru play with a giant box, here is how we use the iPad for photography.
1.  Portfolio

A screen might not ever be able to replace the beauty and detail of a good print, but it just isn’t feasible to carry a traditional portfolio around with you everywhere you go.  With an iPad (and the help of an app) you can carry thousands of images and different portfolios in the double digits.  I have about 10 different “portfolios” of images that I can swap in and out in a couple of seconds, tailoring my book to whomever I am showing work to.  One of our favorites is Padport for its level of customization and ability to play video.  There are a bunch of these available from the App Store, so poke around and read some reviews before making the leap, at an average of $5-$15 per app trying them all might be prohibitively expensive.

2. Keeping clients happy while shooting tethered
Before you get too excited, tethering directly to the iPad is not there yet.  Update: Yesterday Eye Fi rolled out an app that, in combination with their wireless memory cards, allows for tethering using an iPad without jailbreaking.  We haven’t played with it yet, but when we do it’ll be on the blog.  However, by using the latest version of programs such as Leaf Capture Remote Server, Capture One, and Phocus, the iPad can free up your digital tech to continue working on his monitor while clients can still view images at their own pace.  These programs allow you to view, rate, and zoom in on any picture from the shoot, as long as the computer you are tethering to and the iPad are on the same network (wifi is easiest).  LC Remote Server has the same functionalities as the other two, but does not have a rating system.  Both Phocus and Capture One also allow you to change aperture, iso, shutter speed, and remotely trigger the camera.  Capture Pilot’s camera control is $15, while Phocus integrates these capabilities in when shooting with a Hasselblad.
Leaf Capture Remote Server 2

Capture One’s Capture Pilot

Phocus for iPad

Phocus Camera Controls

3.  Sun Seeker
With the iPad 2 came a revolution in “augmented reality” that had only previously been seen on mobile phones, and on.  The Sun Seeker app uses the rear-facing camera to overlay the path of the sun (and moon) over the street in front of you.  There is also a built in compass as well as an overhead view with arrows indicating where the sun will be throughout the day.  The date can be changed in the app to show you the position of the sun on specific days throughout the season.

4. Photo Editing and snapshot camera
By using the Ipad Camera Connection Kit you can download images on your way back from a shoot or use the iPad as a backup.  Also, if you shoot RAW+Jpeg on an dslr you can use an app like Snapseed to start roughing up how you would like to retouch the images.  Also, the camera on the iPad is not dissimilar from your normal cell phone camera, making it ideal for quick photos.

5.  Photographer Entertainment