Category Archives iPad

Just a quick update for the folks that have been having a hard time downloading either issues #2 or #3:

(1) What’s driving us crazy, is the download problem is only happening a few users which makes it harder to track down. In our offices, all of our employees that downloaded issue’s 2 and 3 had no problem except one woman. She has an iPad 2, she downloaded the free update from the App store, and everything seems to be set perfectly, but for some reason she still can’t download issue #2, but she can download issue #3 no problem (uggh!). Either way; we’re working on it.

(2) One fix that has worked for a lot of people is to do this: Go to settings, and turn Restrictions ON.
Under Allowed Content make sure In-App Purchases is ON. (If it is already, then toggle OFF, then back ON for good measure.) Then try the download again.

(3) If the download didn’t work after trying it a few times, try it again today. For some reason, people who couldn’t download it two days ago now are suddenly able to download it even though nothing has changed.

It’s Slealthy
Big bugs apparently are easier to fix then problems that just a few people are experiencing, but if you’re one of the people it’s happening to, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating, so please accept my apology for the problem and know that our developer is working on it daily. We’ll get it sorted out (we have to), but in the meantime I wanted to just let you know that if you’re having a problem downloading either issues #2 or #3, we’re working on. Thanks for your patience (and believe me, nobody wants you to get your issue more than we do). :)

I’m having a flash back
This reminds of some of the problems we’ve had with our print magazines over the years. Sometimes, the magazine just doesn’t arrive in the mail. We put a stamp on it. Carefully address it, and send it to the post office, but with each issue we hear from subscribers whose issue for some reason never arrives. They’ve gotten every other issue, but this month—nothing, and for no obvious reason. But with Apps, I think we (you, me) expect that delivery isn’t going to be the problem. I guess some things never change. Double-uggh!

One last thing
If you’re having any problems, make sure you follow us on Facebook as it’s the first place fixes (and announcements of updates, and new issues) are posted. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/LightIt 

 

 

NOTE: Whatever you do, stop right now and get the FREE UPDATE from the App store. This is an important bug fix so download it right away. Now, onto our story:

After taking what seemed to be 5 lifetimes to approve issue #2, issue #3 is already here and ready for downloading! (Whoo Hoo).

It’s an awesome issue, which includes a very cool article from Jason Groupp on “Lighting for Weddings,” plus Frank Doorhof’s “Studio Techniques,” My “Photo Recipes” column, Tom Bol on “Location Lighting,” Erik Valind with “Little Lights, Big Shadows” and our feature story is “Visualizing Lighting for a Composite Image” is from James Quantz, Jr. Don’t wait—-go download that puppy now!

P.S. Did I mention that you need to download the free update from the App store?  :)

 

I figured after doing my Holiday Gift book picks, it’s time for some App picks that would make great holiday gifts for photographers (especially the free ones!).

By the way: you can send an iPad or iPhone App to someone as a holiday gift: just tap the “Gift this App” link in the top right corner of the App Store screen. You just type in their email address and then Apple does the rest (including charging your account for the App purchase). If you want to give them more than just one App, then it might make more sense to give them an iTunes Gift Card (you can send them via email), and then they can redeem the card on the App Store by clicking the “Redeem” button at the bottom of the App Store home page on their iPad or iPhone.

OK, let’s get to the Gift App list (not in any particular order).

1. Photo Manager Pro
Although Apple’s own Photos App got better in IOS 5, putting your files in order after they’re imported is still a pain (and I finally gave up on using iPhoto to arrange them on my computer and then syncing), but this inexpensive App ($2.99) works great, it’s easy, and it’s got lots of nice features so this is what I’m using now and really liking it (and I’ve tried almost every Portfolio App for the iPad, and most of them have a major flaw or two, but this one just seems to keep it simple, which I love). For iPad and iPhone. (App Store link for iPad)

2. 500px (for iPad only)
Their site has become “The” site for serious photographers, and their iPad App is absolutely gorgeous. The folks at 500px know that how things look really matter to photographers, and everything they do has a great UI, and this App is no exception. This App is my #1 spot to go for photographic inspiration. Beautiful! Oh yeah, did I mention it’s free? (Yay)! App Store link.

3. Plastic Bullet Camera
When you’re in a totally creative mood, this is the App for you. It could not be simpler, and you don’t have to know a thing about editing—-it will generate lots of cool effects, and you just choose which one you like the best. The effects are varied, the previews are big so you can see what the effects look like, and the whole thing just feels like fun (which is why the App has so many fans). It’s only $1.99  For iPad and iPhone. (App Store Link for iPad)

4. Snapseed 
I know, I know, picking the App that Apple themselves chose as their “App of the Year” is a no-brainer as for a Gift lists go, but this App is so brilliantly designed, and has such great effects, that I couldn’t leave it out. If I had to be on a desert island with just one Photo App for the iPad, this might be the one. The quality of the effects are absolutely top notch, and the control is as useful as it is fun. Apps like this are what the iPad is all about. Only $4.99. Worth 10-times as much. For iPad and iPhone. (App Store Link for iPad)

 

5. TrueHDR (for iPhone only)
Moose Peterson turned me on to this App, and if you love HDR, you have got to have this App. I use it in Manual Mode where I take one shot exposed for the Highlights, one for the shadows, and it combines the two into a single HDR image, and I am constantly amazed at what a great job it does with just two shots, taken it two seconds. Wish I had something this fast, and this easy, for Photoshop. Just a $1.99.  (App Store Link)

6. Filterstorm
If you an editing App that’s Photoshop-like, this is it. It doesn’t look like Photoshop, but it has a lot of the functionality, with everything from Curves to Hue/Saturation to Cloning to Sharpening, and loads of other Photoshop-like features, all presented in an easy-t0-use interface. Absolutely that they can do something this sophisticated for only $3.99. For iPad and iPhone. (App store link for iPad)

7. Photogene
This was the App that made me realize that the iPad could actually be a great image editor. It does a lot of the same things that Filterstorm does, but since it does a few things that Filterstorm doesn’t, I still keep it in my editing App bag. If I had to choose either it for Filterstorm…..well….can’t I keep both? Please! How can it be only $1.99? For iPad and iPhone. (App Store link for iPad)

8. StuckOnEarth (iPad only)
If you’re a fan of beautiful photography and a beautiful interface, man are you going to love this App from Trey Ratcliff. It’s very clever, very useful, and very fun (everything you’d want in an App). It’s a visual photography adventure around the world and if you’re going anywhere on a shooting vacation, this App should be your first stop, and your companion along the way. Very clever, and amazingly, it’s free! (App Store Link)

9. Camera+ (iPhone only)
If I want to create HDR-looking effects with just one click (or maybe two) to a single image, this is the app to reach for. Their Clarity effect preset is the worth the price of admission alone (and I love their simple frame borders), but as far as Camera Apps go, this one’s the best. Perfect for folks who want to apply simple effects quality without really having to learn an editing App, plus it’s a great, fast-launching camera, too! (put that combination together, and you have an App that has downloaded more than 5-millions times)! Best of all, it’s only 99¢. What’s not to love? (App Store Link)

10. Diptic
All I want for Christmas is a Photoshop plug-in that makes multi-image layouts as easily as this one (yes, I know Lightroom can do this, but you pretty much have to create the templates yourself, where Diptic has a bunch all ready to go). I’ve also tried different scripts for actions for Photoshop, but this simple 99¢ App still beats them all hands down. Very cleverly designed, with lots of functionality, all at an insanely low price. For iPad and iPhone. (App Store Link)

It’s Hero Time!
If you bought the photographer on your App gift list every one of the photography Apps I’ve listed above, your Gift Basket you’d be under $20.00 (OK, not a lot under, but under) and you’d be a Holiday Hero!

But wait….
If you’re thinking something along the lines of  “Scott, how could you have left off [insert your favorite photo App’s name here]?” then just add your favorite App picks here as a comment (just remember to leave a short description of why it’s your favorite, cause everybody (me) wants to find a cool new App this Holiday Season). :-)

This has been one of the most frustrating things for us ever. We launch “Light It,” this kick-butt new magazine. We get over-the-top incredible feedback from it, and people can’t wait to get issue #2, which is really exciting for us.

Issue #2 was already complete when we launched issue #1, so we wanted to launch it pretty soon after the first issue. However, there was something we didn’t count on….

…Apple’s App Store has turned down our App FOUR TIMES IN A ROW now.

When they turn down your App, they send you an email why, then you have to go try and fix the problems (ours were related to IOS 5.0, and then our in-app purchasing, and then a memory issue, and then a testing issue, and so on).

Then you have to (wait for it….wait for it….) resubmit the App all over again. Apple has from 7 to 14 days to test and or approve/deny your App, and they’ve been really consistent about denying it.

It was turned down once again last week (uggh!), but it has finally been turned down so much that we have an actual live Apple person assigned to our case, and she seems really helpful and we hope to have the problem resolved now with her help, and hopefully we’ll see issue #2 very soon, since issues #3 and #4 and also already done.

I am SO sorry you guys have had to wait so long for the 2nd issue (believe it, it was not part of the plan), but it’s kind of been that kind of year (if you know what I mean). Thank you to everyone who has waited patiently, who has shown their support, and who has hung in their eagerly waiting for issue #2, which when it finally does get released, will truly earn the “….the most eagerly awaited issue of the year….” slogan). :)

One last thing
I want some of you (you know who you are) to resist the overwhelming urge to write comments like “This wouldn’t have happened if you released it on Android” and stuff along those lines, because it won’t make anything (issue #2, or a release on Android) happen any faster. So, rise above that urge, be a better man/woman (though I rarely ever see snarky comments from women here ever—thank you ladies), and just go about your day as if none of this ever happened. See, don’t you feel better now? I knew you would.

First a big thanks to everybody who downloaded our new magazine, “Light it” yesterday. Launching a magazine in this day and age is tricky business, but the initial response was even better than we had hoped, and we’re very grateful to our readers, writers, and the industry for their support and enthusiasm for this launch. It was really an exciting day for us.

Of course, with something new like this it has generated a lot of emotion (ahem) and questions surrounding the launch, so I thought I’d addresses a few of them here today in a quick Q&A. Here goes:

Q. I know the premiere issue is free, but how much are subsequent issues?
A. They’re just $2.99 per issue. Cheap.

Q. How can you sell it so cheap?
A. We followed the model of more established magazines in that we clearly have no business plan, or a dream of ever making a profit. However, if at any time we suddenly feel like it somehow could become profitable, don’t worry—we’ll raise the price.

Q. Why is everybody so mad that you released this new magazine?
A. Everybody’s not mad. Just the folks who don’t have iPads.

Q. Are you planning to release an Android version?
A. For now, we’re just releasing this iPad version.

Q. You are totally being an elitist by just addressing people who can afford an iPad, aren’t you?
A. A Nikon SB-900 flash runs around $497.50 at B&H Photo. You can buy an iPad for $2.50 more. I guess anyone who has two dollars and 50 cents more than what a SB-900 costs is now part of a privileged, elitist group. Where does that put people who own an Nikon or Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 at around $2,200? Clearly, they should be in jail.

Q. How much do you actually get each year for hawking Apple’s products?
A. In the interest of full disclosure, we are paid approximately $631,000 annually from our product promotions deal with Apple, including what we do in print, in our Podcasts, and at live events.

Q. Are you kidding me?!
A. Of course I’m kidding you. We don’t get a dime from Apple. Never, ever have. We couldn’t get Apple to send us as much as a free pencil if we tried (though I did get a free Apple t-shirt about 7 years ago from a guy who worked at an Apple store, which was pretty cool).

Q. So you mean, you chose to release for the iPad because that’s what the vast majority of people are using?
A. This is going to be shocking, but….yes. It was a business decision. A simple one at that.

Q. But what about all the Android tablets and all other tablets?
A. Read this article from CNN.com two days ago, and that should make it obvious.

Q. I understand the desire to to just release on the iPad, but you are seriously limiting your market.
A. I really appreciate the business advice, and even more so, you being so concerned about us limiting our profits.

Q. So will there ever be a version for Android?
A. Aquafadas (The French company that we worked with to create the iPad mag App) doesn’t currently have a solution for Android, but they’re hoping to have one in place by November of this year. If we feel the magazine is a big enough success to expand its distribution to Android (which I hope it is), it ‘ll take us a couple of months to test the new software, get the kinks out and so on, so the first possible launch of an Android edition would be after the first of the year.

Q. How about a version for the Mac App store, so I can watch it on my MacBook Pro
A. When we came up with the idea for this magazine, we didn’t say  “We want to create a digital magazine.” We wanted to create a magazine for the iPad. It is precisely what inspired us. This was never intended to be a Web-based magazine, or one that could be read on a computer, or a PDF—we wanted to create something around the iPad. If there wasn’t an iPad, we never would have wanted to create the magazine in the first place.

Q. But aren’t we entitled to have this App on the operating system we chose?
A. The creation of the App was not funded by your tax dollars, so therefore….no.

Q. But…but....
A. No buts. This isn’t the only resource in the world for lighting techniques. Try this (link)

Q. Why are there two downloads for just one App?
A. The first one is basically the magazine rack—-where future will be available, and that’s the smaller download. The big download (the second one) is actually the magazine itself. The good news is; you only have to download the magazine rack once, so in the future it’ll just be issues that download.

Q. Why is the download so large?
A. Most magazines we’ve seen on the App Store run around the 250-300MB or larger range. Embedding HD video like we did does affects the file size, but at the same time thanks to that you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to watch the video. That being said; never fear—-we’re definitely working on ways to keep the file size smaller and more manageable.

Q. Are you planning on adding any new features? (bookmarking, highlighting, downloading in background, and so on?
A. You betcha. We are the first U.S. customer for the French developer of the mag App and they’re very responsive and forward thinking, so we’re going to be adding lots of great things going forward, but we’re being careful to keep it simple and intuitive and not making it gimmicky or complex.

Q. When is the 2nd issue coming out?
A. The 2nd issue is already complete, and we’re going to release it a little sooner than the normal 8-issues per year because we just can’t wait (so look for it in September, or very early Oct). The 2nd issue is that much better, that much slicker, with more pages, and just some flat-out amazing tutorials, tips and lighting techniques.

Q. What about a version for iPhones or Android phones?
A. I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one.

Q. Why not?
A. Because eventually you’ll pass out.

Q. Well, can I still carry on and whine about the whole Android thing like I never read any of this?
A. Absolutely. Could I stop you anyway?

Well, that’s it for my Q&A today. Of course, we have a more detailed FAQ on the Light It landing page, so I hope you’ll check that out, too.

Thanks again to every one who helped make this launch such a success, and in particular I want to thank our in-house Creative Director and all around wonder-guy, Felix Nelson, who led this product from an idea to a full-blown magazine in just a few short months and did a brilliant job from initial layout to launch. He and his team did a remarkable job (a special shout-out and major gratitude to our own Dave Korman who was instrumental in making this all happen, and who helped in the development and testing of the process).

Thanks everybody for making it a very exciting time to be a magazine publisher again! :)

I have way too many photo Apps for my iPad. If somebody tells me about a good one—I go download it and give it a shot right away, and that’s how I found some of my favorites, like Photogene, Filterstorm Pro, and Photosmith—all excellent apps—the best of breed. However, although it has only been out a few days, Nik Software’s new Snapseed is already my go-to photo app, and my hands down favorite, for five reasons:

(1) They nailed the iPad experience
The way Nik used the iPad’s touch controls is brilliant. I have to imagine when Apple themselves first saw this they said, “Yeah, this is the type of stuff we hoped developers would tap into.” It feels immersive, intuitive, and more like you’re crafting something, rather than just moving sliders. It sounds silly as I write this, but it feels very organic, like you’re creating the effects on the fly, and using it you feel more like an artist and less like a post-processor. A brilliant interface, and I imagine others will follow their lead.

(2) The quality of their effects are outstanding
A big buzz right now for iPad photo apps are one-click effects, but Nik’s presets are among the very best. Great looking one-click effects, but the ability to tweak those so easily so create your own custom effects takes it up a big notch.

(3) It’s much deeper than it looks
At first glance, it seems like there’s a few filters, a few adjustments, some frames and textures. However, don’t let the simple,  clean interface fool you—this App is like an onion, and you just keep peeling away layers to find more and more depth. I think that’s part of the strengh of the App—-you can just do your thing and keep the power tucked out of site, or dig in and really do some serious editing. The fact that Viveza-type controls are in Snapseed just blows my mind.

(4) The Fun Factor
This App is just plain fun. It’s probably the most fun I’ve had using an iPad photo app yet, and I found myself spending more time experimenting and playing with Snapseed than any other. Plus, it has all the online sharing features any cool photo app would have these days.

(5) The price is too right.
If this were a desktop App, it would cost over $100. Maybe more. And people would buy it. A lot of them. I would buy it as a Photoshop plug-in in a heartbeat, but it’s a standalone App for the iPad, and costs only $5 bucks. That is insane. Seriously.

Anyway, as you can see I’m pretty psyched about Snapseed, but I’m not alone—the buzz it is generating is amazing. For those of you that already have Snapseed, let me know what you think. For everybody else, here’s a link to it on the iTunes Store, and here’s where you can go and watch some videos about it over at Nik’s site.

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