One of my hopes for the iPad is that I would use it for presenting my photography to clients, friends and family members. While the built-in Photos App is great for doing basic slideshows, you can do so much more with Keynote including adding text, graphics, movies, sounds and wide variety of transitions and builds. While you can build presentations right on the iPad and include the photos in your iPad photo library, I'm most likely going to build most of my presentations in Keynote and the Mac and transfer them to the iPad to run in Keynote. However, If I need make any last minute changes or additions I'd most likely do those right on the iPad itself. I could also see using the iPad to do presentations on the road for work. Although I usually have software to demo on my Mac, sometimes those presentations start out with a slide presentation. Now I can see having the slides on my iPad and the software I'm demoing on my Mac. This way I could go back and forth between the two as needed.
Presenting from the iPad
Of course if you're going to present from an iPad you're probably going to want a way to hook it up to your projector. Apple sells a iPad to VGA adapter. I'll have a review of this adapter and other iPad accessories on my tech blog this week. The VGA adapter may disappoint some. Unlike your computer, it doesn't mirror everything. It will only display the Apps by Apple (to date). I've tried Keynote, YouTube, and the Videos App with great success. However, 3rd party apps like Netflix and ABC Player get no love on the big screen. So if you were thinking of broadcasting any of your other Apps or the Home screens to do iPad demos on the big screen, think again. However, for what the adapter was designed for it does a great job. I connected the iPad to one of my Epson projectors.
Getting your presentation on the iPad – Like I said I plan to do most of the authoring on my Mac. So the question I had right off the bat was how do you get files onto the iPad. I was fully expecting a WiFi transfer like so many other Apps do. However, Apple insists on making everything sync through iTunes including Keynote, Pages and Numbers documents. Once you have Keynote installed on your iPad and you plug your iPad into your computer, you'll see the special Keynote section in iTunes. This is where you can drag your documents back and forth.
Keynote goes for $9.99 here on the
When I reviewed the original Bento App for iPhone I was actually pretty psyched about it back then because I thought the technology was neat to be able to carry around custom personal databases on my iPhone and even do some data entry if necessary. However, I found that I really wasn't using it as much as I thought I would. Don't get me wrong, the App definitely works. It's just that I didn't really have a need for it. Yes I need to manage data every day, but the light never came on for me as to what the Killer App would be in my life
Bento for iPad changes the rules
I don't know what it is, but I'm guessing it's the large display. When I first saw Bento running on my iPad my jaw hit the floor. Why? Because it looked like Bento running on my MacBook Pro! It was gorgeous and while the iPhone App was functional, it just didn't come across as well as the iPad version does. The iPad version is so good that it made me look for a reason to use it and I found one. The one thing that I'm struggling with managing these days are the details behind all my travel. The more I thought about it the more I realized how much I could benefit from using Bento on the iPad as my event planner. I love the fact that it's just what I need and not too much and yet not too little either. I could start with one of the NEW built-in Libraries and then add in the fields that I need. Although I'm just getting started with this new database I'm seeing the potential and pay off right off the bat. I need to keep track of things like the event name, location, dates, times, coordinator and expected attendance. I also need to keep track of my travel to these events and since they are international events in many cases I need to know things like the status of my Visa application and whether or not I've booked all my travel. Right now all of that information exists in different places like my calendar, email, contacts and notes App. However, I bring it all into one ELEGANT place with Bento for iPad!
Bento for iPad goes for the low price of $4.99 here on the App Store.
This is the 3rd App of this type that I have reviewed (see my review of mRelease and Photographer’s Contract Maker). Each of these Apps promises to eliminate the need for carrying around paper based Model and Property releases. The first App I tried, mRelease was really slick but lacked the ability to create a “custom” release using your own text. Then BestAppSite readers turned me on to Photographer’s Contract Maker, which does allow for custom text but lacks the ability to put in a photo of the model/building on the release and doesn’t let you put in your own logo. Although I knew about Easy Release, I immediately dismissed it back then because it also lacked the ability to do custom releases. However, that’s all changed now with their latest update.
Easy Release 1.5 Almost Does it All!
A BestAppSite reader turned me on to the 1.5 update and while I am satisfied with Photographer’s Contract Maker for the most part (I used it at Photoshop World for both model releases and custom corporate interview releases and it rocked!), I wanted to give this App a spin. Being the most expensive of the bunch at $9.99 I was a little hesitant, However, I was lured in by the fact that it had the missing features I wanted. Not only did the update bring custom releases, but it also has the ability to have a photo (from either your iPhone camera or your Camera Roll/Albums) on the release AND allows you to put in your own custom logo/branding! Cool!
Get it here:
There is one problem though…
We buy books on photography, we take classes, we watch tutorials, we ask the photographers we admire for tips. We do this constantly because every photographer wants to be a better photographer. I haven't met a photographer yet that says, "I'm perfect and there's nothing else that I need to learn." We're always looking to learn new ways or better ways of capturing an image. I'm here at Photoshop World in Orlando and of course I'm surrounded by some of the best photographers in the world. So needless to say, I'm learning! I ran into Rick Sammon during a break and we started talking Apps. I was reminded that Rick has an App that is geared give you tons of photography tips to make you a better photographer right in your iPhone or iPod touch.
It's like having Rick Sammon in your pocket
Rick's App is very well organized with practical tips and techniques about various aspects of shooting AND editing your images. Rick's App is aimed at one thing, making you a better photographer. The content in the App is organized into 5 major sections, Seeing, Making, Editing, Tips, and Help. It's one of the first Apps that has a section on "Seeing". What this means is learning how to see a picture in your mind before ever picking up your camera. I know lots of people that take pictures, but they lack vision! This simply means that they don't have a good eye. I'm not sure that this is something that can be learned, but if it can this section of the App will definitely help you! There is over 100MB's of content in this App. While that may sound like a lot to take up room on your device, the good thing is that once the App is installed you can use it offline.
As great as cameras are today, they all seem to have one problem. They're not as good as the human eye. Your eyes can distinguish between shadows and highlights very easily. However, most times when you take a photo the camera tries to expose the photo based on the available light. If you have two extremes such as a very bright sky and and person standing under a shade tree, the camera is going to choose one or the other to expose for. This also happens with people. Say you have a person of color, but they're wearing a bright white suit. The camera makes a guess between the two to expose for. So either the person's face looks great, but the suit is totally blown out or the the suit looks fine, but the face is too dark. HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography is all the rage today with the pros. Pro shooters are shooting landscapes and other subjects with their DSLRs and shooting in bracketed exposure mode to produce 3 or more shots of the the same scene at 3 or more different exposures. Then they use software to blend the 3 or more images together into one composite keeping the detail between the range of exposures.
You can do HDR with your iPhone photos too
The iPhone seems to even have a harder time distinguishing between the two extremes. Now that's no longer an issue thanks to Apps like Pro HDR. Pro HDR lets you take two photos with your iPhone camera (or choose from your library) and it walks you through the process as you take the photos of exposing for the highlights and shadows by simply tapping on the screen in the light and dark areas. Then it automatically aligns the two shots and blends them together producing an HDR image. I was amazed by the results in my testing.