Photographers of all levels—from professional to hobbyist—eagerly embraced the iPhone as a powerful shooting, sharing, and editing device: the sheer number of photography apps available for the iPhone and iPod touch is overwhelming. The iPad, however, has proven to be less popular as a device for the snap-happy crowd.
There are a few logistical reasons for that, starting with the iPad’s size and weight. Lifting the larger device to take photos is far less convenient. Perhaps more importantly, the rear camera’s resolution is less than a megapixel (a mere, and somewhat ridiculous, 0.7 megapixel) compared to the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel camera. But that doesn’t mean the iPad can’t enjoy a predominant place as a photographic tool. Its larger screen facilitates easier photo editing, better photo display, plenty of light, and more.
Here are seven apps that take advantage of the iPad’s interface and size, and turn it into a productive photography tool (click on any of the images below for a larger view).
Each section contains multiple options. For example, with Tune Image, you can adjust brightness, ambiance, contrast, saturation, and white balance. Selective Adjust gives you slightly more advanced options with the program’s Control Points, used for fixing parts of your images. You can change the location and size of a Control Point, and then edit a particular area for brightness, contrast, or saturation.
What sets Snapseed apart from other iPad photo-editing apps is its gesture-based interface. You can tap and slide your finger anywhere on the iPad screen to switch between editing options or to adjust a discreet element of an image—a much more intuitive method than trying to work with small sliders or a Curves tool. If you want to make quick edits in an app that makes sense, Snapseed is perfect.
Snapseed; $5 (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
Softbox Pro; $3 (iPad)
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 such as ’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.
Photogene; $3 (iPad)
Choose photos from your camera roll or photo library, and tap a button to connect with another device. To transfer images between iOS devices, you need to have Photosync installed on both. You can also download a Mac client for transfers between a computer and an iOS device.
There are no limitations on how many photos you can transfer at one time (1000 photos? Sure!), and the app keeps track of which photos you’ve synced and where, so that you don’t accidentally duplicate transfers. Other perks include a Web browser that you can use to view all of your photos from any computer and support for photo transfers to Dropbox, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, SmugMug, or via FTP.
PhotoSync; $2 (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
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 coloring. 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.
Color Splash; $2 (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
The most noteworthy feature, however, is the app’s ability to convert negatives into positive digital images. You will, however, need an iPhone to make this bit of magic happen. Just place the negatives on the iPad light tray, and take a photo of the negative within the iPhone HelloPhoto app, and voila your negative springs to life. From there your image is ready for sharing with the digital world—save it to your camera roll, send it via email, or post it onto Facebook.
HelloPhoto; $2 (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
100 Cameras in 1
Filters include such options as “A gentle feeling of warmth against my side,” “The first smell of summer chlorine,” and “A child’s shoes swinging from the chairs.” After choosing a filter, you can make adjustments from the menu at the bottom of the app. You’ll find Yin and Yang sliders for seven blending modes: HardLight, Overlay, Multiply, Luminosity, Screen, Hue, and Dodge. Playing with these will change the effect in seemingly endless ways. Users who want even more editing control can adjust the brightness and contrast of the image, or add a vignette. iPad 2 users can also take in-app photos, though original iPad users can only use existing photos. The app supports photo sharing through email, Twitter, Facebook, SmugMug, Flickr, Instagram, and more.
100 Cameras in 1; $4 (iPad)
And if that’s not enough photographic goodness, check out Macworld’s roundup of iPhone photo apps that go beyond the lo-fi.