Since its release in April 2010, the iPad has changed the way we read and write, the way we play games, even the way we communicate. It’s a device we use in a variety of ways with pleasing, and often surprising, results.
With the wide expectation that next generation iPads are soon to hit shelves, it seems we’re only at the tip of a tablet iceberg in exploring its extraordinary range of capabilities.
One area that’s undergone rapid change over the last year is photo editing, which has emerged as a hugely popular field for app downloads. Programs on the iPad now rival computer software in both cost and capability. The usability of apps like Photogene are simple and effective; fast becoming a photographer’s preference when editing images.
71-year-old Gordon Stubbs, a forum member of Australian Macworld, has been an avid photographer for 50 years. During this time he has used a wide range of cameras and software to edit his work. His current tool for image editing is Photogene on his iPad (also made for iPhone and iPod touch, developed by Omer Shoor). Said to be an intuitive and fun guide to working with photography, the program offers a suite of comprehensive editing tools for the amateur, or professional photographer.
Curious to learn more about how Photogene is used and the developments that have been made over the years in photography and image editing, I had a chat to Gordon about his own experiences as a photographer and why, now, he has opted to use the iPad and the app to edit his work.
GR: When did you first become interested in photography?
G.S I first became interested in photography a few years after joining the Australian Navy, this was in the early 60′s.
GR: Do you remember the make and model of your first camera?
G.S My first camera was a Zeiss Ikon Prontor 125 (which i still have), this was then replaced in 1970 by the first of the compact fixed lens automatic cameras, a Yashica Electro 35GS, great little camera which gave sterling service over a long period of time. Then i progressed to SLR’s also Canon, my favourite being the Canon F1 which i used up until the changeover to digital.
GR: What make and model of camera do you currently use?
G.S: Currently i have three Canon DSLR’s 450D, 500D and a point and shoot Canon Power Shot SX10IS with numerous lenses. My two stock lens are the 15-85 and 28-135 zoom. The reason i use these cameras is the weight.
G.R: Can you describe your style as a photographer?
G.S: I guess i would fit into journalist style as i tend to shoot what captures my eye and only when asked shoot in more formal settings.
G.R: How has image editing software changed over the years?
G.S: The days of the dark room seems like light years away now. Really i was a latecomer to digital as i had no interest in computers until some four and a half years ago. It wasn’t until i learned the basics of computing (self taught) that my interest in digital took on a whole life of itself.
G.R: Can you list some of the programs you have previously used to edit images?
G.S: My stable of editing software is Photoshop CS5, onOne Photosuite, Topaz Photosuite and Neat Image.
G.R: How do these other programs compare to Photogene?
G.S: I am surprised that Photogene has such options that one would expect to see in more expensive editing software.
G.R: Do you find Photogene easy to use?
G.S: The navigation is well laid out and after only a few trial runs the editing of images was easy to follow. Those who are relatively new to editing would be pleasantly surprised by the ease of use.
G.R: Why did you decide to start editing your images on iPad, using this program?
G.S: I do a lot of travelling overseas and was interested in finding out the capabilities of both the iPad and its editing software. I do some work for friends who are in the tourist industry and this will be a great platform for showing them what i believe would interest them. I know that even those photos i had on my iPod touch generated a lot of interest.
GR: Can you give any advice to photographers who are thinking about editing images using the iPad?
G.S: I thoroughly recommend anyone even considering trying out the capabilities of their iPad to give editing photos a try as i can guarantee they will be well and truly pleased.
G.R: Would you consider taking photos using the iPad 2′s inbuilt camera?
G.S: In the first instant yes, to see what sort of a result can be obtained, but long term no. I like to shoot in RAW and there is always a camera close at hand.
G.R: What trends do you see with the type of users now switching to a tablet device, like the iPad?
G.S: All the people who I have introduced to the iPad are mostly those who have never owned a computer, of a mature age and are pleasantly surprised at the ease of use.
Below are some before and after images that Gordon has edited, using Photogene on the iPad.
Photogene is $2.49 and available to purchase at the iTunes App Store.