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How to use the iPad to Learn more about Photography

A Guest post by Aaron Hockley from Picture Pundit.

ipad.jpgThe iPad has caused quite a bit of buzz as folks try to figure out where it fits into the world of computing gadgets. A lot of photographers are using it for a mobile portfolio device (and it works really well for that). Quite a bit has been written about using the camera connection kit to look at photos. I’ve found another great use for the iPad for photographers: as a learning tool.

Think about the amount of self-learning you’ve probably done with photography on your computer. You read blogs (or you wouldn’t be seeing this). You probably participate in photography forums. Sure, you can do these same things on your iPad using the web browser, but there are some other opportunities for learning as well:

Apps for Learning Photography

A few applications have arrived that are designed specifically to be instructional tools for photographers. Here are a few that I’ve used and found interesting:

  • The Guardian Eyewitness – an app featuring one photo each day, from the Guardian News publisher in the UK in partnership with Canon. In addition to a descriptive caption under each photo, a great learning opportunity is presented with a photography tip that relates to the particular photo.
  • Rick Sammon’s Social Media for Photographers – a good overview of social media possibilities for sharing and marketing one’s work. It’s a narrated slideshow full of Rick’s tips for getting your work out there.
  • Photo Shootout – a photography simulator. Yes, you read that correctly. The app allows one to complete tasks by simulating photography conditions with various camera settings (aperture, shutter speed, and son on). Based on the settings chosen, the user can simulate photographing models to see how the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture affect the image.

Books (and more) in iBooks or the Kindle App

The ebook-reading features of iBooks and the Kindle app are pretty good. Apple’s ebook store has quite a few titles, Amazon’s has even more, and the reading experience on the device boasts quite a few amenities that make it a pleasant experience. In addition to being used in either orientation, the ebooks readers can be configured with a user’s preferred fonts, backlighting, and text size. Users can create electronic bookmarks and add annotations to the ebooks.

With a software update delivered in June, iBooks can load and read PDF files. This is a great way to store various photography-related texts including camera manuals and PDF ebooks. Instead of carrying the manual for your DSLR, strobes, or other gear along in its paper form, save the weight and load the PDF version of that manual onto your iPad! I’ve lightened my camera bag a bit by eliminating paper manuals.

iPad as Photo Critique Device

I almost didn’t include this but I figure it’s worth mentioning. You’ve probably considered photos on your iPad as a great way to show off your work, but in addition to wowing friends and strangers with your best photos, you can also collaborate with other photographers and talk about the merits of your images. The size of the iPad’s display makes it easy for a couple folks to gather around the device and talk about things like composition, exposure, and other aesthetic and technical aspects of a photograph.

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Aaron Hockley is a photographer and blogger. Read his blog at Picture Pundit or follow him on Twitter.

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Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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