Viewing photographs on the iPad is a surprisingly immersive experience, the simple ability to zoom and move between them using finger gestures somehow brings them to life in a new way. That’s not to say the iPad is necessarily the premiere way to engage with true photography, just that the experience brings something dramatically different.
The same could be said about the power of editing photos on the iPad. At first thought it may seem clumsy or awkward to try and adjust details such as contrast and hue using only your fingers for guidance, but in reality it works rather well. In addition to this the gorgeous screen of the iPad is the perfect theatre in which to edit and manipulate photos you’ve taken, or even new ones taken using the iPad 2’s cameras.
In this spirit I’ve complied a short roundup of photography apps to whet your appetite with, including a couple of classics and, hopefully, a couple you won’t have seen before.
Snapseed is one of the leading iPad apps in the field of photography, so it seems apt to start here. With a gorgeous interface and a multitude of features, Snapseed brings an excellent quality of photo editing right into your hands.
It allows you to do anything from basic adjustments such as Auto Correct, Saturation, Contrast, and Cropping, to more complex and creative enhancements. Some of the more interesting enhancements include:
- Black & White – a classic.
- Grunge – a grimy, yet hip, filter.
- Vintage Films – with lots of potential for fine tuning.
- Center Focus – allowing you to put your subject in the limelight, a few simple gestures blur the background.
Snapseed also allows you to share your photos, or even print them using Apple’s AirPrint.
Price: $1.99 (currently on sale)
Developer: Nik Software
If you’re an avid Flickr user, then FlickStackr may be the perfect app for you! It’s designed to allow you to browse photos, upload new photos, and edit your photos’ metadata. It’s a seamless way to keep in touch with Flickr from a native iPad app, and features a simple but slick interface that gives your photos their rightful prominence.
It can also be used rather effectively to showcase your photography, as the app comes with a slideshow function that includes support for external displays (TV and VGA) – saving you precious time uploading your photos to a bespoke portfolio app, all your photos are already ready in there anyway…
Photogene has been one of the front running photo editing apps on the iPad for a long time, you may have already heard about it or have it in your arsenal. It comes with a vast array of photo editing tools, most of which are incredibly intuitive, with actions happening in real time.
The app has undergone a recent popularity surge due to a recent update, which has gone above and beyond, adding localised effects, a collage maker, and comparison mode. That last one in this list could be unendingly useful, allowing you to immediately compare an edited photo with the previous version – all with a simple touch.
Developer: Omer Shoor
Colour Splash is an interesting photo editing app in that it only gives you one area of key functionality, retaining a single subject in colour while converting the rest of the photo into black and white. While this may sound a little limited, the effect, if you’re partial to it, is certainly dramatic.
All of its features are aimed towards achieving this specific effect, and they really do make it rather easy. You can even save your partially edited photos and come back to them later.
Developer: Pocket Pixels
Filterstorm Pro come at iPad photo editing from a different angle altogether. It is specifically designed with photojournalists in mind, as a key cog in your photography workflow. Filterstorm’s batch processing features let you edit, add IPTC metadata, and transmit multiple images at once.
With a robust and vast collection of features, Filterstorm Pro is currently leading the field in photo editing on the iPad – although its slant is definitely towards photography professionals. With an iPad 2 you even export photos up to 22 megapixels in size!
These last couple of apps are perhaps more in the novel and entertaining category, somewhere to go once you’re tired of super serious photo editing. 8mm HD is a slight departure from our them, as it’s actually a video editing application.
8mm HD allows you to give your videos a gorgeous retro chic, with 42 aged and stylistic looks your videos will never be the same again. The great thing is that, although you can film videos straight from the app, there is also an import feature that gives you the ability to apply and adjust effects while they are playing, like you are filming them for the first time.
Diptic is another app that takes a simple concept and builds a whole app around the idea. In a nutshell, Diptic is an app that allows you to easily make photo collages. It’s a basic tool, but one that can be used to great effect!
There are 19 layouts and the app features the ability to make all the quick adjustments you need to make your collage stand out. It’s a graceful way to tell a story in pictures.
Developer: Peak Systems
Hopefully these apps have given you new ways to play with, and manipulate, your photos (and videos) on your iPad. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list and as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts – simply post a comment below! What are your favourite photography apps on the iPad?