Top 10 iPad apps for photographers

One thing I have always loved about this time of the year is the look back at the past year and top 10 lists. There are always so many top lists of the year and I think it’s a fun way to look back and reflect on the year. We will have a few different top 10 lists the next few days and I wanted to kick it off with my favorite gadget for 2010, Apples iPad. I waited in line longer than I want to admit on launch day to get my iPad and have to say it hasn’t disappointed at all. For a review of the iPad I did awhile back check out our iPad review for photographers.

Although 2010 was a great year for the iPad and I think an awesome device that will be looked back as a game changer I still think apps have a long way to go to maximize the touch experience and am pretty excited about what 2011 will bring to the app market for the iPad. With that there still were some big winners for 2010 that put out some great iPad apps that we can all benefit from as photographers. So here is my top 10 list of 2010 of iPad apps for photographers (in no particular order).

1) iOS 4.2 new features – OK, I am starting off the list with not one particular app but the recent update that Apple put out for the operating system. I wanted to point this out because some of the apps that come with the iPad really can easily be overlooked but are extremely useful apps. The mail app now is a such a robust app, it has a universal inbox and threaded messages which really is a great way to be able to view your emails. I just love threaded emails now and don’t know how I emailed before without it! You can take care of a lot of your day to day business activity with just what comes already on your iPad.

2) Lighttrac – I reviewed this app a few weeks ago here, LightTrac iPad app, and it really is a useful app for anyone who photographs outdoors. A quick and easy way to see the angle of the sun and when it will set on a map view and a must have for any location based shooter.

3) Photogene for iPad – While there still isn’t a advanced photo editor like lightroom for the iPad just yet Photogene does a pretty good job making adjustments to your photos. You can crop, rotate, sharpen, do level and curve adjustments and more.

4) 1Password for iPad
Keeps all of your passwords in sync with your desktop. This is another app I love for my computer, you can create strong passwords and it remembers them all for you and keeps them safe. The only downside with the iPad is that safari on the iPad doesn’t allow plugs-in’s so to login to a website you have to copy/paste your login info from the app back to safari. Kind of a bummer compared to how good it works on your computer but I still use this app on my iPad every day.

5) Pages
I am a big fan of Apple’s Pages desktop software. As a visual person I had always been aggravated by using most word type apps like Microsoft word, I always wanted to move a image a few centimeters to the side or do little graphic changes that could never be easily done. Then pages came out and it was amazing, now I could finally edit a word doc like I wanted to. With Pages for the iPad you have most of the same great features that Pages for your Mac has all in the iPad and its great touch screen. You can easily move photos around your word doc with a flick of your finger, its a must have for anyone who needs to create any type of docs. Check out our full review of Pages for iPad.

6) TiltShift Generator for iPad – Fake DSLR – Art & Mobile – If you love the look of tilt shift photos like I do ipad apps for photographers tilt shift this app is awesome. Really quick way to get a tilt shift feel to your photos and also make some saturation, contrast and other changes to your images. The effect is well done and will give you a very authentic tilt-shift look to your photography.

7) Diptic – This app lets you choose from 19 different templates to create an Diptych or Triptych image. Its a great way to tell a story form a group of images and has a clean and easy to use interface.

8 ) Hootsuite – Twitter may not be an app you use to edit your photos but it is a great way to connect with other photographers on the web, get your photography questions answered and market to potential clients. I have used every twitter app out there and the latest version of Hootsuite is by far my favorite twitter app. It automatically synchs with your Hootsuite account so any feeds you enter on your computer will automatically show up on your iPad. The feeds feature is really cool also, you can create a search for something like your website and every time someone tweets about your website you will see it in that search list. It’s really a great way to keep track of people out there who are mentioning you in real time. It also has a great interface and I love the little owl guy that pops out when you send a new tweet.

9) CameraBag for iPad – For those of you who love your Photoshop and Lightroom actions this is your app. It gives you 11 different filters to apply to your images and includes some like “Helga” (to give you a Holga type effect) and “Lolo” for all you Lomo photographers out there. Check out some images people have edited with this app on flickr at:

10) Angry Birds HD – Being creative means that sometimes you need to step away from Lightroom and clear your mind. Angry birds is a perfect mobile game that provides hours of fun. It has a funny storyline and great graphics. You always need a few fun games on your iPad and this is a definite must have. After a busy day of shooting what better fun that flicking Angry birds on your screen and having them knock over evil pigs. It really is a fun and challenging game where you have lots of play time. With hundreds of levels it requires logic, skill, and brute force to crush the enemy.

And to end the list a little bit of shameless self promotion. I worked so hard on these two apps I have to include them in the list. Portraits 101 and Wedding Photography 101. These guides walk you through some key concepts to improve your photos. Everything is explained in real life terms with cool large sample images. If you want to learn to improve your portrait or wedding photos check them out for some great tips and ideas.

Also as a little note, one review out there knocked the apps since they thought there would be 101 ways to improve your photography. Sorry everyone, 101 means they are apps to cover some of the basics not there is going to be 101 lessons in here. For only a couple bucks there is no way I could write 100 articles and keep the price that low and it was important to me to price these so everyone could get them. If you are looking for some great tips on improving your wedding or portrait photography check them out. I am going to add more content to these next year as free updates so get them now. Also if you like them I really appreciate a nice 5 star rating on iTunes 🙂 That does help the app out and I appreciate it.

I wanted to include an honorable mention for BlurFX for iPad This app is a really cool way to add a blur to your photos and you can “paint” out the blur with your fingers to really customize whats in focus and whats not using a gaussian, motion or median blur. It also lets you change the saturation and adds a vinette. Very cool app and really accurate masking abilities. The only reason it isn’t on my main list is it did crash on me many times. It seems to have a problem with larger files and my guess is has some memory issues. If the developers can fix that then I would give it a definite thumbs up.

Also if you are looking to store photos on your iPad you do have to purchase the iPad camera connector kit to import your images. We did a review of this awhile back you can check out, it does have some limitations but can easily work to transfer your images right to your iPad.

Do you have a favorite iPad app? Let me know, I am always looking for some great apps to review so send a comment below.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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  1. I used IProofPro for the first time at a proofing session today, and my clients loved it! Two of my favorite features are the “thumbs up/down” selection, which then allows you to see only those “uprated” proofs; and the “email notes” tab which I use to send myself all of their favorite image numbers!

    This app is a little pricey at $49.99, but the money spent is well worth it when I don’t have to drag my laptop around! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the review of iPad apps. I have spent more hours reading reviews of what are the best apps for photographers and your reviews appear to be more complete, easier to understand and credible due to your experience and background.

    I encourage you to keep up the good work. Both amateur photographers and professionals are seeing great potential in the iPad as an essential tool. What I don’t see are apps that meet many of a photographer’s needs. Or maybe the apps exist and I just haven’t discovered them yet.

    I’m still looking for an iPad file manager that allows one to place image files into custom folders while providing an easy method for sorting utilizing keywords or tags. It is my understanding that there are apps available that do these functions, but not without creating copies (in other words, no change to the original photo files). All the photos that I transferred to my iPad exist in one album named “Saved Photos”. This limits the number of photos that I can manage on my iPad.

  3. Just discovered Filterstorm Pro , it looks like a top 10 for journalist like me…..Just one thing I bought Filterstom 2 first cause I didn’ t know about the pro version, so watch it first. And it is 33% off for some days.
    I’m not a friend of the creator, but it look like a small, photomechanic and photoshop, for Ipad.

    Just what I was expected

  4. Here’s a couple of really exceptional photo apps for the iPad:

    iAlbum Pro is a new Virtual Photo Album for the iPad that looks, feels, and works just like a real photo album, and comes with multiple options for covers, pages, page corners, and photo borders. It includes special photo effects, such as B&W, Sepia Gold, and Sepia Rose, plus you can size, rotate, place, and mask your photos any way you want on any page. Includes cover photos too! It’s a beautiful and intuitive way to showcase your favorite photos in a format that’s a pleasure to use.

    Photo Shack Pro is a fantastic new photo management app for the iPad, that many say is the perfect iPad app companion for the professional photographer and photography enthusiast. It allows you to create your own photo libraries on the fly, fill them with the photos you want, in the order you want, access your photo’s embedded detailed photo data, map the location where the photo was taken, zoom in to full resolution, add titles and comments to your photos, and iTunes transfer selected photos to your desktop or email them.

    Both are available on the App Store from

  5. It’s almost getting to the stage where you can’t be without an iPad!!!

  6. I have used this app and found it very cool. being an experienced photographer, I found these features really useful Being an experienced photographer are you looking for some impressive iPhone/iPad app to make your photographs masterpieces instantly with a few taps? Try Photo Splash Fox that has the following unique features that you can’t find in any other app altogether.
    • Make shots awesome, no matter if they are old vintage black and white or new high resolution colorful images, by applying a plethora of special effects
    • Use selective colors, variety of brush sizes (either manual or automatic), gestures like Pan/Zoom/Splash, unlimited undos, Colorize, Tintalize, Recolor, blends brush to create custom effects and text blending in the image.
    • It supports both landscape or portrait mode and options like loading/import photo from Cloud, instead of just from the camera or photo library.
    • Choice of 130+ built-in effects on different parts of the same image with numerous attempts and still having the option of creating your own custom effects .
    • The option to make a favorite list of built-in effects to choose them easily for future.
    • Share your masterpiece with your friends through Email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picassa, even export to photo and photoshop or post it in the form of card to anywhere in the world


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