I had the great pleasure of reviewing Joe McNally's new book – The LIFE Guide to Digital Photography and at the time I had no idea that it was also available as an iPad App. If you're even remotely interested in digital photography this is one of those books that you just can't put down. I'm not sure what I expected in the iPad App. Sure I assumed I'd be able to flip through the pages, see and zoom in on the photos, etc. However, what I didn't expect was such an immersive experience complete with video. This App is a prime example of not only how to do it right, but what's to come in terms of digital learning on devices. As a kid I wasn't that interested in reading. I was easily distracted and even to this day I probably write more books than I read :-) Had there been these kinds of books/Apps as I was growing up I'd probably be a lot smarter today. While I certainly learn from reading what Joe has written here. I feel like I haven't really read the printed book at all. The reason is that in the App there are videos where Joe is explaining things and to hear his passion and the way he explains and illustrates a subject just can't come through in the printed word. Don't get me wrong, the printed word is important and is there in the App, but the use of audio, video and imagery makes this a totally different experience. 

 

Easy to navigate with onscreen help

One of the first things I noticed was the onscreen help telling you at glance what all the icons are for and how to navigate the App. This is important because otherwise you may miss something. I also like how it tells you with a side bar when there  are more pages to scroll down. This way you don't waste your time trying to flick every page up to see if there is more. If there is a shot that you want to know how it was captured you can usually tap and see the exact camera settings. 

This App is an example of how books should be done. I feel sorry for any "print only" publisher that isn't embracing this kind of technology. While the App does perform there were a couple of little glitches for example if I started watching a video and then rotated my iPad the page would refresh and the video would stop playing. Not the end of the world, but something that needs to be tightened up in an update.

You can get the LIFE Digital Photo Guide for iPad for $14.99 here from the iTunes If you're a photographer and you want to be inspired you'd be crazy not to get it!