The Pantone Libraries have been a standard in graphic design and printing for as long as I can remember. Although I don’t spec out colors day to day as I used to earlier in my career, there are times that I get stuck trying to figure out what colors to use for a design I’m doing. I’m VERY color challenged when it comes to doing design work. Even when I have the main color I want, I’m not good at picking out the complimentary colors. My friend Sydney showed me the myPantone App and I had to download it that night. It does the obvious. You can browse through the swatches and lookup colors by numbers. That’s no different than having a Pantone swatch book in front of you. What made me download the App as soon as I could was the integrated camera feature. Using the camera on your iOS device you can snap a photo and then use your finger to sample the colors in the photo and the app will find the closest Pantone color to the color sample that you chose. That’s really cool, but to make it even better the App gives you not only the matching Pantone color, but you can also get the Lab, sRGB, HTML (Hex), and CMYK values. This is awesome for web design too. For example, you could walk into a business and snap a couple of photos of their existing decor. Then you’ll have the swatches needed for designing their marketing materials as well as their website. Palettes can be shared via emailed or printed as well as sent to another device in range. Colors can also be saved as Favorites. There’s even a new SkinTones Library.
One thing you have to realize is that your iPhone is NOT color calibrated and lighting conditions for the photo will also make a difference especially if the white balance is off. Since your camera is NOT perfect, this will always be just an estimate and not an exact science. It ill help get you in the ballpark faster than manually searching. However, even with those caveats I would say that this is a must have App for designers. What I would like to see is Universal version that is native to iPad.
Share your color palettes via email
I’ve know for a long time that different animals see things differently. As a child I learned that dogs were color blind. However, I never really knew exactly how they see the world around them. Nor did I know how everyday objects apear to different animals. Animal Eye shows you what your animals see by using your iOS device’s camera to show you a view of how your animal would see it. There are 10 animal eyes built-in, dog, cat, snake, horse, dragonfly, crab, slug, crocodile, monkey and eagle. Of course this is just for entertainment purposes. Seeing how things look to an animal is only half the battle as we are perceiving those things with human brains and not the respective brains of the various animals in question. Nonetheless it’s interesting to see. I was more curious about predator type animals like the snake and crocodile. I’d love to see more predators like a lion, bear, tiger, etc. With Animal Eyes you’ll be able to finally see why your dog tilts his head when he looks at you or why your cat simply looks away You can use either the rear camera or front facing camera and you can snap photos with the app.
Animal Eyes is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and you can get it here:
As a photographer I’m constantly having models sign model releases. Having a signed model release has saved me on more than one occasion when it came time to have my work published in various magazines and ads. With that said, I gave up on paper based releases years ago. Since that time I’ve always done model releases electronically on my iPhone or now my iPad. I’ve reviewed a few different model release Apps here and yesterday I was introduced to a new one. I decided to give it a shot. Top Model Release has a nice clean, straight forward interface. After launching the App you immediately walk through the process of setting up the photographer profile. This involves entering your information such as your name, address, etc. Luckily if you have a contact already setup in the Contacts app you can just choose your card to save time. You can also insert a logo and insert your signature. Next you’re ready to create your first release. You can choose either Adult, Minor or Property Release. The App comes preconfigured with very decent sample releases already built-in. Of course you can customize these to your own specific needs or completely replace them with the wording you use on your actual releases. I did a sample Adult release and the process was really straight forward. You can either manually enter the model info in or choose a Contact. Then you put in the date and location information about your shoot. It would be nice to see a “get current location” option. There’s also a spot to enter Agency information, which I haven’t seen in the other Apps.
Next up you can choose a photo to put on the release or snap one on the spot. Lastly the model can digitally sign right on your device with a finger or stylus. As you would expect the App then generates a nicely formated PDF that you can email directly to your model and yourself by default or print it. Now all of the above isn’t really new and I’ve seen most of this in the other Apps I’ve tried. I will give Top Release kudos for having a few extra bells and whistles. The first one is that you can duplicate an existing release to speed up the process for the next one you create. For example, if you work with the same model often you can duplicate the Model info. If you’re shooting a different model, you can duplicate the shoot info or you can simply duplicate the full release. It’s not apparent at first, but you can create additional “custom” releases to choose from besides the default adult, property and minor releases. This makes it easy to have different releases for the kinds of work you do, perhaps a release for paid work and a slightly different one for trades. The one thing I was immediately surprised by was that it has iCloud syncing that just works in the background. I didn’t have to turn it on, nor did it ask me. I did a test on the iPhone and by the time I got to the iPad to do a test the one from the iPhone was listed there! Overall, I can’t really find anything wrong with this App. It does everything I would need and it does it in a nice way. The one thing that I’m a stickler for is the final presentation of the actual release/PDF and Top Model Release produces a great looking release. As a matter of fact it bears a striking resemblance to Easy Release, however I especially like how it sized my logo larger than some of the other Apps I’ve used. While the App has everything I need in it, I will point out that it does lack a couple of things that others may need. The releases are limited to one page. If you have a lengthy contact this App may not work for you. Also there is no way to customize it with additional fields.
If you’re looking for a great model release App, Top Model Release is a solid choice. It’s clear that the developer has listened to my feedback on other apps in this category and didn’t make the same mistakes!
Yes it can be awkward signing with your finger so get a stylus!
If you’re going to be a doing a lot of these, you might want to make an investment in a touch screen stylus to make it easier for your clients to sign. I got one of these and I LOVE IT! Makes it so much easier to sign! If you want an even better one, go with this one from Wacom or this one which is also a pen.
I couldn’t help but notice the cool photos my buddy Rufus was posting to Instagram. They were photos of the locations he was traveling to, but they had the local weather information super imposed on them. I finally sent him a text asking him which App he was using and it turned out to be InstaWeather Pro. Like most Apps for Instagram and social networking, this App allows you to take a picture right in the app or choose one of your existing ones. Once you choose the photo you can choose between several themes depending on where you want the info displayed. You can also use the built-in support for Foursquare or Facebook to choose your current location from the list and it will super impose the name also in your shot. I find myself posting to Instagram more and more since it can simultaneously post to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr and even email. The App also does a great job in letting you customize the settings. If Instagram is not your thing, you can still use the App to post to Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Foursquare, Email or simply save to the Camera Roll. InstaWeather Pro is great for posting travel shots and letting your followers not only get a feel for what you’re seeing, but also how cold or hot it is there. Chances are you’ll make them even more envious!
photo by Rufus Deuchler
Typing large amounts of text on an onscreen keyboard has never been something I’ve enjoyed. Perhaps my fingers/hands are too big, but I find that anything over a paragraph wears on me quickly. While iOS does a good job with autocorrecting many things as you type, predictive typing may allow you to type faster. The next time you need to type more than a few words, launch the PredictiveTyper App 1st! With a Predictive Typer instead of trying to correct what you’re typing, it tries to guess what you’re typing by offering a list of words. You start typing “fin” and it suggests “find”, “fingers”, “finger”, “final”, etc. once you key in just a few letters more than likely the word you’re typing appears in the list and you just tap it. With predictive typing you can get a lot keyed with just a few letters for each word. Once you’ve completed your text in this App you can share it via texting, email, Facebook, Twitter, Print, the “Open In” command or simply copy and paste it into the app of your choice. This is great for emails and blogging on mobile devices. You can also save these notes as documents in the App. Think of it as a mini word processor for your iPhone or iPad. PredictiveTyper is a Universal App and therefore you can use it on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and take advantage of your device’s full screen size. The only downside is that it is a separate App. Of course this is not the fault of the developer as Apple doesn’t allow you to change the text engine at the iOS level. With that said, from now on I won’t cringe when I get an email that requires a lengthy reply or wait til I get back to my computer to write a more detailed note. PredictiveTyper is a must have App for anyone wishing to type more than a few words at a time on their iOS devices.