10 iPad Essentials for Photographers

I have owned an iPad for quite some time now, and found it to be an excellent tool for both amateur photographers like myself and professionals alike. Sure, an iPad will never be able to replace a computer for serious photo editing (well, for me, anyway,) but I feel that it has definitely earned a place in the discerning photographers kit bag.

Hit the jump to discover ten iPad essentials that every photographer should own.

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Digital SLR Photography For Dummies

Whether you are new to photography, or an old-timer wishing to brush up on your knowledge, Digital SLR Photography For Dummies is a must-read. Covering everything from exposure and composition to lighting and more, Digital SLR Photography For Dummies will teach you basic photography in a clear and concise manner, and help you to achieve that perfect shot in no time.

Founded in 1991, For Dummies is the most highly regarded reference series in the world, sporting over 1,800 titles, many of which now readily available on the iOS platform. Each For Dummies app is fully interactive, and includes video footage and high-resolution images to facilitate the learning process.

Price: $16.99
Developer: Wiley Publishing

Scott Kelby’s Lighting Recipes

American photographer Scott Kelby demonstrates various lighting techniques in Scott Kelby’s Lighting Recipes, a training seminar featuring 20 of Scott’s own images, along with commentary from the man himself.

With a runtime of 45 minutes, Scott Kelby’s Lighting Recipes is split up into 13 bite-sized lessons, and includes advice on how to recreate each shot for less, proving that there is no need for expensive equipment to achieve the effect that you desire.

Price: Free
Developer: Kelby Media Group

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit

Import photographs directly from your digital camera or SD card with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit. Simply connect either option to your iPad, and you will be presented with the in-built Photos app where you can then select which images you’d like to transfer.

Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit supports all standard image formats, including RAW, and is a quick and easy way of moving your photographs from one place to another without the use of an internet connection.

Price: $29.00
Manufacturer: Apple


PhotoSync can wirelessly transfer images from your computer to other iOS devices in minutes, no cable necessary. Armed with an internet connection, or Bluetooth if transferring between iDevices, PhotoSync is capable of sending thousands of photographs at once, with a transfer rate of up to 2.5 megabytes per second.

PhotoSync can even upload your pictures to websites such as Facebook and Flickr, and will continue to transfer images in the background while you carry on with your day.

Price: $1.99
Developer: Touchbyte

Easy Release

Easy Release replaces paper-based model releases with a digital document which, upon being signed, will automatically email a copy of said document directly to your inbox in both PDF and JPEG form.

Each release can be customized to include your logo, name, and contact information, and is available in 13 different languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. Easy Release is a great electronic alternative for the modern day photographer, and well worth its $9.99 price tag.

Price: $9.99
Developer: ApplicationGap

SoftBox Pro

Turn your iPad into a rudimentary studio lighting system with SoftBox Pro. This ingenious app will transform any badly lit shot into a professional-looking setup in seconds, and is an excellent alternative for those who don’t wish to spend a fortune on expensive lighting.

SoftBox Pro features 15 different shapes, grids, and patterns, and includes a brightness adjustment of up to eight stops. For an extra 99 cents, an expansion pack is available for purchase which will enable you to tweak each setting even further.

Price: $2.99
Developer: EggErr Studio


LightTrac is an invaluable app for landscape photographers that can help determine the exact lighting conditions for any given time or date, whether that date is tomorrow or a year from now.

LightTrac will also display the times that the sun and moon rise and set, along with its angle and elevation, helping you to get the most out of your outdoor photography.

Price: $4.99
Developer: Rivolu Pte Ltd

Adobe Photoshop Touch

There are a lot of great photo editing apps for iPad, my favorite being Adobe Photoshop Touch. Why? Because Adobe Photoshop Touch is basically a condensed version its desktop counterpart, supporting layers, the clone stamp, magic wand tool, and many more of the Photoshop staples we all know and love.

Supporting images of up to 12 megapixels, Adobe Photoshop Touch also gains you free membership to Creative Cloud, a service offering 2gb of cloud storage plus the ability to sync between devices.

Price: $9.99
Developer: Adobe


500px is an online photography community aimed primarily at professional photographers and serious hobbyists. Described as having a world of incredible images in your pocket, 500px is one of those apps that sucks you in and before you know it, several hours have passed.

Comment and bookmark the work of others, or upload your own photographs for critique. 500px is said to be a more sophisticated version of Flickr, and I highly recommend becoming a member if you feel that you have outgrown Yahoo!’s offering.

Price: Free
Developer: 500px

Portfolio Pro

Portfolio Pro is a hassle-free way of displaying your work that will impress potential and existing clients, and make you stand out from the over-populated crowd that is the photography industry.

A thousand times slicker than a traditional portfolio, Portfolio Pro is fully customizable and doesn’t rely on an internet connection to use. You can even hook it up to Apple TV to view your photographs on a larger screen, or share your portfolio via Facebook, Twitter, and email to reach a wider audience.

Price: $9.99
Developer: Nick Kuh

Have Your Say

Are you a photographer who feels an iPad is integral to your work? Can an iPad ever replace a computer for serious photo editing? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.