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You know that you can take pictures and videos with an iPad 2's front- and rear- facing cameras, but it could also import this kind of content from a real camera. The means for doing it is Apple's $29 iPad camera connection kit, a kit that includes these two adapters. One adapter includes a slot for an SD card, the kind of storage found in today's cameras and camcorders. The other adapter has a USB port. To use either one, just plug it into the iPad's dock connector port. What we do is we would just take a camera, it's plugged into the USB slot, and you connect the adapter here.
At this point, you just plug it into the iPad's connector, but we are not going to use the camera right now. Instead, we are going to use the SD adapter. So I put the card into the adapter, I plug the adapter into the bottom of the iPad, and the Photos app will launch. And here are my images, and you notice that it opens to the Camera tab. To import some images, I just tap on them.
Now one option is to not have any of them and simply tap Import All, and all the images will come in. I am just going to import a few of them. Done that. I tap Import. You see I have the option to Import All or Import Selected. I'll choose Selected. Little green check mark appears indicating that they have been imported. Now they'll offer the option to either delete images from the card or keep them. I'd prefer to keep them. I prefer instead to erase any images using my camera because I think it's safer. That may be voodoo, but that's just the way I do things, so I will keep them.
So now if I tap Albums, I will see last import and all imported entries plus anything I have already imported. Tap Last Import to see the last imported images, and tap All Imported to see images you've imported via the camera connector. The images and movies behave just as do other images and movies in the Photos app. You can tap to view them as well as show them as part of a slideshow. If a movie is part of the album--and in this case it isn't--you can play the album as a slideshow.
The movie will play when slideshow gets to it. And just as with movies you take with the iPad's camera, you can trim the front and back of the videos you import and we look at trimming movies in another movie. The iPad doesn't ship with an app to edit your photos, but there are a variety of third-party tools that can do this job. If you are looking for something that handles the basics and costs absolutely nothing, there's Adobe's Photoshop Express. Just launch the app, tap the Select Photo button, and a Photo Albums popover menu appears.
Choose a photo you want to edit and it appears on the screen. At the bottom of the screen, you'll find tools for cropping, straightening, rotating, flipping also for exposures, saturation, tint, black & white, and contrast. You can also sketch, soft focus, sharpen, and reduce noise, and then there are a few effects as well. So I can tap Effects here, and I can add a vignette or a rainbow effect, and I will tap Cancel because I don't want to impose these effects on this.
Now Photoshop Express has an interesting interface. Instead of adjusting sliders, you perform most of the actions by simply dragging your finger. For example, I can pull up the Exposure control and I can change Exposure just by dragging my finger to the left or to the right, and we'll cancel that. A more traditional comprehensive photo-editing app is Omer Shoor's $3 Photogene for iPad. Like Photoshop Express, it also has common tools, such as Crop, Rotate, Adjustment and some enhancement for adding effects.
So, tap on Adjustments and you'll find a wealth of color-correction tools. So you find Exposure, Saturation, Contrast, Color Temp. You can lighten shadows and you can darken highlights. Scroll down a bit, and you will also have an histogram and one of the cool things about it is it has a Curves tool, much like more advanced photo-editing programs on your computer. So I can adjust by dragging on Curves, and we'll reset that.
If you tap on Enhance, you will find some filtering. So I tap on Gray. I can adjust the Inner Radius and Outer Radius, and as I do so, you see the parts of the image turn gray. You also have the option to add frames, so I can make this look like a motion picture frame. Tap No Frame to leave that. You can make edges glow, and you can add some filters.
Let's make this a charcoal image. So it's not the real Photoshop, but it's an easy way to adjust images on your iPad. And then there's Tai Shimizu's $4 Filterstorm. This is another powerful and inexpensive photo editor. So you open an image and select the canvas. Within here you find options for cropping, and you can scale. You can rotate if you like, so I'll rotate to right and then bring it back around so it's upright.
You can straighten your image. You can flip it if you like, upside down and right side up. Tap Filters and you'll find a wealth of tools for editing your image. For example, I can take this image and I will tap Luminance, and I'll adjust the Brightness slider. Now one of the very cool things here is that it supports masks. So I will apply with Mask, then I will tap the Brush tool, and now I can just paint on the image to apply brightness.
What I am doing is pretty rough, but I could actually just select a very small part of the image and brighten it up, and I can do that because it does support masks. Similar to Adobe's Lightroom in operation, Filterstorm allows me to do some remarkably powerful things for next to no money. While, the iPad may not be a complete darkroom solution, it's a mighty capable tool for dealing with images on the road. Consider packing one of these when you go on your next photo safari.
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