When Apple announced the release of iPhoto for iPad last year, many people, including myself, ditched their current image editing app in favor of the newcomer, simply because of the prestigious reputation of the software itself. But, the question is, how does iPhoto for iPad compare to the likes of Photogene, an application that has been an App Store favorite for over half a decade? Read on to find out!
Just look at the iPad. Look at that ever-so-thin, yet robust, metallic body. Look at that expanse of touch-sensitive glass, mounted on top of a bold, bright, high resolution display. You’ll just have to make do with thinking about all the processor power squeezed into the unfathomably small crevice between the two. This, surely, is a product made with the photographer in mind.
As any photographer will know, regardless of what equipment they possess, or the quality of their technique, camera-derived art is as much based on post-capture processing, as it is on the pressing of a shutter button and all that leads up to it. The iPhone was one of the first devices truly to combine these two halves of image-making into one package, and as a result, iOS is blessed with both good variety and good quality in the image editing department.
Sadly, many of these fine apps don’t make it onto the iPad, or at least not in a format optimized for the larger screen. This is, of course, because few iPad owners use their tablets for anything other than posterity snaps. But as a keen photographer myself, I’m often left wishing that I could utilize that large ten-inch expanse for some editing; let us not forget that Apple, themselves, manufacture a Camera Connection Kit to facilitate the uploading of externally-taken images.
So imagine my joy when I discovered recently that Afterlight (formerly Afterglow), the iPhone editor of the discerning applier of filters, had been updated to version 1.9, and optimized for iPad in the process. How well has it made the transition, and can it set a new benchmark for photo fiddling on the biggest brother of the iOS family? I set about finding out…
In the world of desktop image editing, there is only one name that springs to mind in front of all others – Photoshop. But when it comes to the iPad, the choice isn’t so clear, despite Adobe’s presence in the App Store.
With this in mind, I approached this review of Photogene with the hope of discovering a more heavyweight alternative. Mobile Pond, the developer of Photogene, is hardly a household name – they only have this one iPad product in the App Store – but this is an app which is slowly gaining popularity. At $2.99, it’s certainly a cheaper alternative to the products produced by the software giants, but when it comes to serious editing, is it a better alternative?
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.