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Got a tablet? Interested in learning photography? Check out these Apps and get a head start on your classmates.
The ubiquitous presence of mobile digital devices has helped promote the growth of educational apps that help everybody from raw beginner to experienced professionals in any of a multitude of areas. One that has drawn plenty of interest from developers is the creation of apps that deal with photography. If you are wondering how popular apps are, Apple said that on the five year anniversary of its iTunes Store, where it sells apps for all types of applications, it has already surpassed 50 billion downloads.
The Apple iPad, Still King of the Hill
There are now apps for a variety of Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod from Apple alone. Then there is the Android operating system that covers all of Google’s huge number of licensees that make rival smartphones, tablets and other devices. Microsoft is a bit late to the game but has been aggressively courting developers to encourage them to build onto its Windows 8 platform.
Smartphone or Tablet?
While users can use a smartphone, particularly those that fall into the tablet category that have larger screens and serve as a hybrid phone/tablet, the best devices to view instructional videos are from the seven- and ten-inch display sizes that dominate the current tablet market. The ease of viewing and their high-resolution displays are a much better platform that trying to watch on say, the two inch screen of your MP3 player or in the future on a possible digital watch.
Now you to take your photography to the next step. If you also need a tablet then there is no better place to browse for a new one than in Adorama’s Tablet department. It should be noted that many apps are designed for both phone or tablet use and that many of the free apps will tout in app sales of either enhanced versions of the programs, magazine subscriptions or related products.
For those looking for the basics a nice place to start is with Pacific Sprit Media’s Photography 101, a set of free tutorials that explain the fundamentals in a range of basic areas that a user needs to take quality images including composition, lighting, depth of field, framing and more.
The app includes more than 12 online videos (you need to be connected to the Internet to view them) so that you can set your own pace and skip to areas that you are most interested in or need the most work. It also contains reviews of some current camera offerings.
Elements of Photography takes a different direction in teaching users, rather than using video it uses still images and then presents brief, focused commentary on each image. Its chapters are designed for both beginners and experienced users and it supplies a range of tools to help you get started as well as quizzes to test your knowledge.
The free version of the app (from Akshara Studios) covers a huge range of basic issues including focal length, shutter speed, metering, and camera models to name just a few. The rest of the program is available as an in-app purchase.
Learn Photography is a basic course for beginners from Udemy, a company that specializes in developing on-line educational courses. It covers a huge breadth of material and was developed for new timers both point and shoots as well as to DSLR cameras.
The tutorial teaches users the basics including how to use your camera in manual mode. Users have the option via in-app purchase to expand their experience-overall it features 37 lectures and over four hours of instructional video.
Not everybody is looking to make great general purpose photos; some have a more specific task in mind. For those looking at still images of people there is the Portrait Classroom: Baby and Child Photography Tutorials, a $1.99 app from Kim Binfield Photography.
The tutorials are for users that want to snap images with a DSLR and uses simple, easy to follow instruction that walk a user in how to set up, frame and snap still portraits as well as providing details on camera set up.
While Apple gained an early lead in the tablet market with its iPad, the Android operating system, developed by Google and licensed to hundreds of developers, has more than made up for its late start. Developers such as Lenovo, Asus, Samsung and others have a wide array of tablets that can be used to view tutorials and beginners guides.
AppzDepo’s free Digital Photography Basics is just what it says, a beginners guide to the tools, usage and terms of the trade for photographers with dedicated sections that will cover everything that a newcomer to the digital photography world will need to know.
The illustrated guide discusses what to look for, and avoid, when purchasing equipment as well as the essentials in settings and exposures. Also helpful hints such as how to set subjects at ease while taking their photo are included.
In what is claimed is the single largest collection of photography instruction is delivered by Anton Gregory in his Photography Tutorials, a free app that covers a massive range of topics designed for everybody from rank amateurs to experienced pros.
The app leads users to over 2,000 tutorials that cover much of what you would expect such as depth of field and lighting but also cover areas such as use of filters and wide lens as well as advice in such accessories as tripods.
If you need basic instructions in how to add effects to images from Android cameras you might want to download the Photo Editor Photo Effects a free app from Zodinplex that starts with the basics of how to take a photo.
From there it walks users through a wide array of popular effects, including sepia, different black and white effects, fish eye, bulge image, and more. This app is an interesting way to spark awareness of what a camera is capable of, and is sure to inspire users to move to more advanced equipment in the future.
Sometimes a lack of imagination or understanding leads photographers away from the hobby but apps such as Best Photography Tips & Ideas can help renew that interest by presenting advice, shortcuts, and tips that could eliminate the issues that have held beginners back.
It starts out as a tutorial about the basics, such as what gear to buy, providing pros and cons on a variety of cameras, and then moves on to a range of topics including still and studio photography as well as how to turn a photographic hobby into a money making enterprise.
Microsoft is a latecomer to the tablet space (Actually, they entered it years ago but then departed and only late last year reentered with its Surface platform that runs on the Windows 8 operating system) Windows 8 is available in two formats: Windows RT for ARM powered devices and Windows 8 Pro for tablets that use Intel and AMD processors. But not just Microsoft makes tablets for the operating system, which should help this space grow rapidly. Currently it trails significantly in the number of apps available, but it is still early.
The Digital Photography Guide n Tricks, a free app from Praveen Allam, walks users through the basics and gives handy advice and tips on a variety of topics that include everything from the proper way to hold a DSLR to how to follow a subject. Other topics include different types of lens, how to use the settings and how to compose both yourself and your image. The app is available on both versions of Windows 8.
ProPhoto is not what its name seems to imply. Rather, it is an app that is designed to help amateur and enthusiast photographers reach the level where they can create professional-quality photographs. The app has three courses and related tutorials to help budding pro photographers. The free app runs on both versions of Windows 8.