Fancy yourself as a bit of an iPhoneographer? Own an iPad and want to make the most of it in your photography workflow? Here are our favourite apps for all sorts of photographers, from casual shooters to serious amateurs.
For convenience, we've divided the apps into appropriate sections, from capturing to editing and, finally, sharing. We're focusing on apps for iOS devices in this feature — stay tuned for our picks for other platforms.
Where would a list of photography apps be without Instagram? This is one of the apps that also dips its toes into the world of sharing. Take an image and apply a range of filters to the photo to achieve distinct, vintage-esque effects. Then share them with the world.
This nifty little app takes all the hard work out of creating time-lapse videos. You can select the interval at which the camera takes a photo (at the exact second, minute or hour intervals all the way up to an image every 24 hours. Then it makes it into a neat video all without any effort (HD, too!).
There's a reason that Camera+ makes it onto plenty of "best of" lists, and that's because it does what it says on the box rather elegantly. There's touch control, which lets you set exposure and focus separately by using two fingers, and it can also activate the LED flash on the iPhone 4 to act as a constant fill light. Definitely worth the investment if you want to move beyond the built-in camera app.
Sure, you could buy an expensive negative scanner to digitise all of your film, but with this app, you don't have to spend more than AU$2 getting a quick result. HelloPhoto has a bunch of features, such as light table viewing, but more interesting is its ability to "scan" your negatives. You need two iDevices to do this, and while the results aren't what you'd call lab quality, they definitely hit the mark for sharing purposes.
One area where the iPad really proves its chops for photographers is the ability to view RAW files from a variety of cameras, without the need for conversion to open formats, such as DNG or even to JPEG. piRAWnha is one of a few apps for iPad that capitalise on its RAW prowess by allowing photographers to make common tweaks that would normally be done on a computer, such as noise control and sharpening profiles, available through the sliders onscreen. Actions can be undone with a double tap, and the original image can be restored by triple tapping. Note that you will need to turn location services on in order to edit RAW files.
There are a few limitations to the app, including the ability to edit images only in portrait orientation, and the tendency for the app to keep popping up notifications even when it has access to your image library.
Like piRAWnha, PhotoForge2 also lets you load and tweak RAW files, but the interface is a bit cleaner. Access the main controls for adjustments along the bottom sliding panel, and tweak levels, curves and more to your liking. You can also add frames and textures to the finished image, and it also has a graphical representation of all of your previous edits so that you can step back if required.
Plenty of photographers used to working with images in post-production will be well aware of the software that Nik (the makers of Snapseed) produce. Snapseed translates a lot of the functionality to iOS, with tweaks available for precise selections to exposure, white balance, colour saturation and many more.
Snapseed makes use of the U Point, found in other Nik software applications. This lets you select precise points to target on your image, and then apply specific adjustments to each.
The baby version of Adobe Photoshop for mobile devices is simple and to the point: make adjustments such as cropping, straightening, exposure and basic effects. It does what it says on the tin and does it well, although anyone used to the full version of Photoshop might want something a little more complex for serious iPhone or iPad editing.
There's a myriad of HDR apps in the iOS ecosystem (and, of course, you can even achieve an HDR-like effect using the camera alone if you're running iOS 4.1 or higher) but Dynamic Light makes things really easy. There's a range of preset effects that you can apply to the image, from sepia infrared style to black and white, that work with the HDR effect.
Usually when you want to remove objects or people from photos, you need to dedicate some time to processing in Photoshop. This app lets your finger act as an eraser, removing things from photos. It also lets you zoom in to a 1:1 view, so that you can precisely adjust the image.
An essential for any photographer who needs colour accuracy is the ability to calibrate and create custom profiles across devices. SpyderGallery can apply custom colour correction to photos, and can be calibrated.
Haven't got iTunes hooked up on your PC or wireless device? Never fear, as you can still transfer files from your iDevice over Wi-Fi with this app. Activate PhotoCaster, and your device should show up in your network connections. Drag and drop, data preservation (EXIF, GPS) and full-resolution transfers are all supported.
Here's a novel idea — turn your iPad into a giant digital photo frame. When the app is running, it will pull in photos from Flickr. It can either find photos from tags you enter, the "Most Interesting" section on the site or your own photos. It's pretty basic, but it does the job.
While it may be the most expensive app on this list, for professional photographers or serious amateurs showing off their images to prospective clients, it's invaluable. Xtrafolio lets you personalise the look and feel of your portfolio to present your work in the best way possible.
It's not just limited to photographers, though; any sort of creative who needs to showcase lots of images can use it to construct a portfolio. There are watermarking and passcode options built in as well, so, if need be, you can leave your iPad with a client and not have to worry about your images (just your iPad, then!).