The Great Journey in Photography

iPad for Photography

I have had my IPad going on a year now and I have to say that it has become an indispensable device in my life. I think people have a tendency to expect too much from devices like the IPad and my original 3G model certainly has it’s limitations but I still use it every day and it is great for photography.
Last year I wrote a post 3 Things the IPad Needs and now I want to update everyone on that post.

  1. Photo books are a nightmare. This is still kind of true. Apple has made it easy to import PDF into iBooks and that helps a lot. I have imported many PDFs and they work very well, in fact I have not purchased a single book through iBooks but rather purchase PDF books and import them. PDfs look great but lack any real interactive features. I suppose another option for creating a book and selling it is to have an app created but I think that can get rather expensive and you will give 30% to Apple right off the top. I am going to give Apple a 50% improvement in this area.
  2. Graphics Tablet. Pretty much a bad idea to begin with. There isn’t any pressure sensitivity and that is a deal breaker, plus that is just not something I want to do with my iPad anymore. I have since bought a Wacom tablet and that works fine.
  3. Better syncing of apps. There will always be room for improvement in this area and it really has to be a collaboration between the content providers and the Operating System developers. iOS 4 brought a lot of new features that are very helpful and in many cases syncing is possible in some cases it is a clunky procedure of importing and exporting data. I give everyone a 70% improvement for syncing.

Are there new things I think the iPad needs? Not really. The device has pretty much settled into it’s niche for me and I really don’t want for much. The release of the new iPad2 brings cameras and better performance and that is always welcome, but honestly does not have much to do with photography for me. Yes I get the irony that getting 2 cameras does not impact my photography, but it is not something that I think I will use much. I might be wrong. I would bet that there are some photographers out there that wish the iPad was really good at interfacing with cameras, storage, and processing photos. I have a macbook pro to do all of those things. I can shoot tethered, store, organize, process and print as many photos I wish. It does that very well and frankly I have no desire to do any of that on an iPad. I know as well as anyone that this set up is really expensive, in fact I think of it as being one really nice lens that I could have in my bag but it is the price of being in the game. For anyone who wants to do those things on the iPad, put on your big boy pants and go out and get the gear you need!

Here are the top three photography related apps that I use.

iBird Pro is the digital bible for any one who is interested in birds. It is kind of expensive at $29 and is an iPhone app that really does not scale up to the iPad very well but still is a necessary item. In iBird pro you will find detailed info of every bird in North America, photos, illustrations, and links to Wikipedia. There are cheaper regional versions of iBird and also 1 or 2 iPad apps but the pro version with all the info in one place is the choice for me.

Light Trac in a phenomenal application. Its primary function is as the name implies tracking the position of the sun across the horizion at any time of the day. Oh did I mention that it is for any place and any time and any day? That is what makes it really cool. Light  Trac on top of Google maps so you can get data for any where there is a google satellite view. It gives the sun and moon positions as well as moon phases sunrise, sunset time, and location coordinates. You can also save locations and that comes in real handy for trip planning. Light Trac sells for $5.99

Weather Bug and Weather Bug Elite are the 2 weather apps that I rely on the most. They are both from the same company and are very similar. Weather bug is the iPad application and it is free. It has a beautiful interface with a large map that shows the recent radar loop, has forecasts, hourly micro forecasts, wind information, and National weather Service alerts. You can also program in any number of locations and that comes in very handy for travel. Weather Bug Elite is an iphone version with all the same info but I prefer to use that one at times because the interface for hourly forecasts and active alerts is much larger any easy to read.

*Note-This author is a shareholder of Apple Inc.


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