Category Archives iPad

First, thanks to everyone who downloaded the long-awaited (and incredibly way overdue) Kelby Training App for the iPad and iPhone (nearly 10,000 of you already since it’s release on the iTunes Store on Friday). If you haven’t downloaded it yet (and you’re a Kelby Training Online subscriber), here’s the link.

It was so exciting to get this puppy out the door, and even more so to see such great comments from people who downloaded it and were totally loving it! (I watched two classes on it myself this weekend, from Frank Doorhof and Jack Reznicki). Of course, with something new like this, there were lots of questions, so I thought I’d tackle a few here today.

Q. Have you fixed that bug where the screen goes black if you change apps and then relaunch?
A. Yup. In fact, we’ve already submitted a fix to the iTunes store, and as soon as they approve the updated version, it’ll be available for download. Thanks to everyone who let us know about the problem, which primarily happened if you were watching videos at full screen size, then you left the app to do something else, then came back to the app and the screen was just black.

In the meantime (until Apple approves the update), you can do either of these two things:

(1) try to avoid switching apps while in full screen mode (I know, lame, but hey…it’s only a bandaid until the fix is approved), or

(2) you can force quit the app by holding down the Power Button and when the Red slider appears, just hold the “Home” button down for a few seconds until the app force quits and you return to the Home Screen. Now you can relaunch the app and it works. Unfortunately it doesn’t remember where you left off, so you have to manually go back to the video you were at last. I know, that stinks, but at least a fix is already on the way (thanks to the amazing Shawn for getting on this so quickly).

Q. Are you planning to offer offline viewing?
A. It wasn’t in the initial plan, but it’s certainly something we’ll be talking about in the coming weeks. I can totally see the benefits of this for people who are on the move, and I’m going to do some research and find out what’s involved, and what it would take (I always think these things are going to be easy, and then I find out shortly thereafter when it comes to engineering, I have a fantasy world timeline) but at this point, I’ll give it a qualified “maybe.”

Q. How come it won’t work on a Verizon iPhone? (in other words, why does it requires IOS 4.3?)
A. Here’s what Shawn told me about this:

“We had to make a decision between allowing AirPlay to an Apple TV or supporting Verizon iPhones. Up until about 3 weeks ago, the App was planned as “iPad only” (so the Verizon thing wasn’t an issue). We decided to go with requiring iOS 4.3 so that AirPlay would work. [Note; we’re getting lots of love for including the Airplay feature]. However, Apple’s big developer conference [WWDC] is June 5th, and I suspect you will see new iOS versions announced there.”

So, in short; we were just making an iPad App, but at the last minute we were able to expand it so most iPhone users can use it, too. Hopefully, shortly, this won’t be an issue as Apple releases the next ISO update.

Q. Will there be an Android version?
A. We had to release a specialized App for iPad users because iPad’s don’t support Adobe Flash (the format our videos at Kelby Training are currently served up in). However, the Android platform does support Flash so Android users can already watch these videos right on their Browsers. So, at this point, we’re not planning to create an App for Android that just duplicates what their web browser already does.

Q. OK, now that we have the App, where’s “Another Day With Jay Maisel?”
A. I’ll have an announcement about that possibly by tomorrow (I hope), but the announcement isn’t that his class is going live tomorrow. It’s cooler than that!

Q. Did I see you in New York City on Friday?
A. Yup. I was there, on location, filming “A Day with Joe McNally.”

Q. Really?
A. Really! It was amazing. We started at Joe’s house/studio, and did a behind the scenes tour of his studio, and the cameras were rolling as he chose the equipment for the next day’s assignment (lots of great tips here), he and his assistants loaded up the trucks, and then we drove into the city, to an incredibly cool location for two shoots, using usually just one or two Speedlights, and I gotta tell you—it was amazing.

We even interviewed Joe’s studio manager Lynn, who shared how she finds locations, sets-up shoots, and manages Joe’s crew for success on location. There’s LOTS of behind the scenes stuff, including candid interviews as we’re driving to New York, and honestly it’s the best, most revealing, and most insightful project we’ve done with Joe to date. You will learn an amazing amount about off-camera flash, but also, you’ll learn a lot about the man behind the lens. Seriously, an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Q. So….when will we get to see it?
A. These classes, which are also very much like a documentary in their production values and complexity (a traveling three camera location shoot), take a long time to put together in editing and post production, and a lot of thought and planning goes into them (ask anyone who saw the original “A day with Jay Maisel”), so I imagine it’ll be two months before it’s done (heck, the camera gear isn’t even back from New York yet). I wish it was sooner, because I learned a lot from Joe that day (seeing what Joe can get out of just one SB-900 off camera flash was nothing short of inspirational), and I want to watch the whole thing myself, but I won’t get to watch it a day earlier than you do (well, maybe a day, but not more). I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready, but just remember, after waiting a year for the iPad app to ship, 60 or so days for Joe’s class seems like nuthin’

Q. Scott, why did it take so long for the App to be released?
A. It was our own fault. Totally (and mostly mine for jumping the gun on mentioning it in the first place). It was our first time doing something like this—-we’re fairly new to the App game (my other Apps, like Photo Recipes, were produced by Peachpit Press—not by us), so it was a HUGE learning curve setting up a streaming video app that is along the lines and scope of a Hulu-type App.

The biggest roadblock was that we had to have thousands of individual lessons converted into six different formats (there was no way around this), but after we had converted more than half of them, only then we did learn that we had done them all wrong. Uggh! Back to square one.

It was really one thing after another (none of it Shawn’s fault—he was a champ!), but it was one of those things where we thought we were so close, but then we’d find a major problem, and we’d have to go back to the drawing board. It was way, way, harder and took WAY longer than we ever imagined, but at the end of the day, it came down to us, and our inexperience with something of this complexity (it had to tie into our Web back end, our databases, we had to be able to upload new classes and have them go live, and so on).

The good news is: although we took a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, we’ve learned a lot, and it will help us big time moving forward. In fact, we have some really cool announcements coming soon, but I’m not breathing a word of it, or even hinting when, what, or where about it until I know they are 100% ready and complete.

Q. So this was your fault?
A. Well…yes. I promised something we weren’t ready to deliver, and it made a lot of people really upset who wanted to watch Kelby Training online on their iPads, and I’m truly sorry. It wasn’t intentional—each time I mentioned it was close to being ready, I really thought it was, but nevertheless, I shouldn’t have jumped the gun and said anything until I was certain, and that’s 100% my fault.

I want to offer my humble apologies to everyone who waited so patiently for us to get our “stuff” together (and stuff is not the word I wanted to use), and I want to apologize to Shawn Welch, our App developer, who took lots of slings and arrows too, even though it was totally out of his hands. He did an awesome job, and he’s committed to taking this app to the next level (and I know he will). So, I’m sorry to everyone we let down in getting this App out so late, and my thanks to everyone who wrote on Friday, or emailed me personally, to say “it was worth the wait.”

Q. So what’s the next big thing and when is it coming out?
A. Why, I have no idea. ;-)

Hi Gang: I have been dying for Adobe to come out with a Lightroom App for the iPad, and although this isn’t from Adobe, it’s the next best thing, and I personally am really excited about it.

It’s called “Photosmith for iPad” and it’s designed to work as a mobile companion Lightroom by letting you create Collections, rate, tag, add keywords and metadata to your photos, and then (wait for it, wait for it) sync your Collections to Lightroom on your computer wirelessly. It’s the dream baby!!! The dream!!!!

Now, as I’m writing this, I haven’t spent much time with it—I downloaded it last night and started playing with it, and it sync’d beautifully with Lightroom—first time! (you do have to download and install their plug-in for Lightroom first), but after using it for a just an hour or so, I can see I’ll be using this a lot when I travel.

Although it doesn’t do image editing (just sorting and stuff) it does let you share photos from your Collections directly up to Facebook, Drop Box, Flickr (hugs), or you just email them directly from the App, but at this point, the real reason to have it is to make Collections, rate and sort your photos, and have that all go over to Lightroom.

Of course, this is just version 1, and I already have some features I would love to see them add, but one of the things I love about iPad Apps is how quickly developers are able to update and add new features, so although it’s not perfect yet—I imagine it soon will be. It’s $17.99. My hat’s off to the developers; Chris and Jonah—-way to go guys! :-)

Here’s a link to their site,  and here’s the direct iTunes downloads link (or, on your iPad, go to the App Store, and search for Photosmith).

Last night I was talking with a buddy, and we started talking about what we would really like to see in a Photoshop iPad app. I think all the things that Adobe is doing right now in that space, especially with their introduction of a Software Development Kit (SDK) enabling other people to create apps that interact with Photoshop is incredible. However….

…..what I really want is for Adobe to create Photoshop as an App for the iPad. Real Photoshop. Basically, “Photoshop for the iPad” with the same type of interface, where everything is where we expect it to be—not some reimagined program that really isn’t Photoshop. I don’t want to learn something completely new, or I’ll just stick with the iPad photo apps I have now. I want PHOTOSHOP! Real Photoshop!

We can’t have it all
Now, I know there’s no way possible to have the complete version of Photoshop CS5, which is designed to run on a very powerful computer with literally Gigs of RAM, run on an iPad with just Megs of RAM, and that’s fine because I don’t want everything that Photoshop CS5 can do in “Photoshop for the iPad.”

For example, Photoshop CS5 has 108 filters. I just need six.

Photoshop has more than 80 tools. I just need 19.

There is tons of stuff I don’t use on my full version of Photoshop, so I surely don’t need them in my iPad version. For example, I don’t need the single-pixel Marquee tools or the Art History Brush. I don’t need the Paint Bucket tool, or the Note tool, or the rotate view tool, or the Background Eraser tool. I could go on and on.

I don’t need all this stuff either:
Same thing with Panels (we can’t have them all, right?). I can live without the Animation panel and the Measure Log panel (yes, that’s a real panel), and the Navigator and Tool Presets (among others).

I don’t need all those Image Adjustments either, like Variations and Channel Mixer, and Posterize and Threshold (if any of those made you gasp—NOT THAT ONE!!!! Just remember, you’ll still have Desktop Photoshop—you don’t have to trade it for the iPad version).

So, I went through Photoshop and looked at stripping it down to just the bare essentials that I’d need for editing my photos, retouching my photos, and doing what I need to do daily in Photoshop. I wouldn’t use my “Photoshop for iPad” for magazine production jobs, or building Web sites from scratch, or processing 1,200 images from a Wedding shoot (that’s for “Lightroom for the iPad”). But I don’t want to learn the 3rd party Apps out there, and keep switching every three weeks to the new “Latest & Greatest” photo app. I want one App that I can stick with. I want Photoshop for the iPad.

Here’s what I want in it (and just this stuff, unless of course, I forgot something really useful, which is entirely possible):

Tools:
The Move Tool
Marque Selection Tools
Lasso tool
History Brush
Crop Tool
Eyedropper Tool
The Healing, Brush
The Clone Stamp Tool
Gradient Tool
Pen Tool and Path Selection Arrows
The Line tool
Type Tool
Mag Glass (Zoom tool)
Grabber Hand
Eraser Tool
Quick Select Tool

Filters:
Gaussian Blur
Liquify
Lens Correction
High Pass
Unsharp Mask
Add Noise

Adjustments:
Levels
Curves
Hue/Saturation
Photo Filter
Shadow/Highlight
Desaturate
HDR Pro
Invert

Panels
Character Panel
Actions Panel
Brush Panel
Channels Panel
Layers Panel
History Panel
Adjustments Panel

Other stuff
Smart Objects
Free Transform
Transform Selection
Refine Edge (+ remove mattes + Defringe)
Image Processor
Define Brush Preset
Photo Merge (auto-align layers)
Load Selection
Rulers & Guides
Image size & Canvas Size

So that’s the list, but again—it has to look and feel JUST LIKE PHOTOSHOP. If I wanted another program, I’d be using that instead.

What do YOU want to see?
OK, so that’s what I’d like to see included, but to make this what “We” really want, I’d love to hear what you guys would expect in a full-blown Photoshop for the iPad (if Adobe would even consider it?).

What do YOU want to pay?
If you’re thinking $9.99, you can absolutely guarantee that Adobe will never produce this App. They’re not going to take a $700 software application, and make it into a $10 App and stay in business very long. So, would you pay:

(a) $49
(b) $99
(c) $199
(d) $299
(e) $399

If it did all those things, did them all very well, and it was REALLY Photoshop for the iPad?

Let me know what you think on both counts. I really want to see what you guys think of this idea (and I want to Adobe to see, too!).

P.S. I’d like a separate app called simply “Camera Raw for iPad.” :)

I know a lot of you are really anxious to have us release a Kelby Training iPad App, and believe me, no one is more anxious for it to be ready than I am.

We’ve been working with our developer Shawn Welch (who is incredibly awesome, by the way) on this project for months now (as people who follow me on Facebook and Twitter know), and we have a working Beta copy of the App in house which we’re using for testing, but there’s still work to be done in the App itself; in integrating with our Web servers, and in converting thousands of videos to a format that works on an iPad.

But, it’s getting so close to being done now, that I thought we might give you a sneak peek at how it’s coming along so far.

This new Kelby Training iPad App now under development will let you:

$#x2022; Browse courses by Category, Recently Added, or Instructor
$#x2022; Search for specific courses and topics
$#x2022; Manage your Kelby Training Favorites (marking something as favorite on the kt app favorites also marks it as a favorite on kt.com and vice versa)
$#x2022; Access your history (again, same history as the website)
$#x2022; Create an Offline Playlist (so you can watch on a plane, at the gym, during your commute, etc.)

(Above: Here’s the view once you’ve started a class. Of course you can watch full screen size, and flip to a wide view as well).

Our Launch Timeline
We’re shooting for a “soft release” by late next month, and then releasing the full featured App with all the goodies by some time in January. I know you want it now (and so do I), but something like this is much more complex than I surely thought (when you see what all has to be done on the back-end of this App, it’s pretty staggering), but Shawn is working daily with our crew to make it all work like you hope it would.

Thanks for your patience as we develop all this, and thanks so much for your enthusiasm for the project. If you’ve got any killer ideas for the App, now’s the time to share those with me while we still have a chance to get them added in (that sentence will probably cause Shawn untold sleepless nights). ;-)

KTOipad

Showing your photography portfolio on your own iPad is no problem. In fact it’s about the best showcase you can possibly give your photos on a screen. The iPad was born for this stuff. That’s not the problem.

The problem is what happens when people visit your web site on their iPad to look at your portfolio, which is probably a Flash-based portfolio (it’s tough to find a pro photographer’s web site that isn’t Flash-based these days. They’re out there, there’s just not that many of them), and the iPad doesn’t support Flash.

Now, this isn’t a debate about whether or not the iPad should have Flash. That debate is over—it isn’t there, and I don’t think you’re ever going to see Flash on the iPad period (just like we’ve never seen it on the iPhone), so let’s just deal with what we’ve got, and move on (in other words; please skip the debate. For more on the whole Flash on the iPad thing, you’ve got to read Terry White’s review today. It’s a must-read—here’s the link).

So, if you have a Flash-based portfolio (like me), what do we do now?
Millions of people are going to buy iPads. It’s estimated that nearly three quarters of a million people bought them just this weekend. But let’s put that aside for now. What about the iPhone users? They don’t have Flash support either.

Just how many of them can’t see your portfolio on their iPhones? Well, Apple sold about 25 million iPhones in just 2009 alone, so we’re somewhere in the area of 70 million iPhones sold total so far. None of those 70 million or so people can see your Flash-based portfolio on their iPhone.

When In Doubt, I Call RC
If we want iPad and iPhone users to see our portfolio, we’re going to have to use something other than a Flash-based portfolio, or keep the Flash for your computer-based viewers, but swap out iPad and iPhones users for some sort of HTML portfolio.

Now, I’m lucky. I’ve got RC Concepcion on my team. As you probably already know, RC is a Web/photography wizard, and in just two days, RC was not only able to come up with a solution for me, he added something that totally blew me away.

First, if you click on the Portfolio link here on my blog, you get my full Flash-based portfolio (the new version we updated earlier this year, which was based on flash-templates from Diablo Tibi, one of the talented designer brains behind Flashcomponents.com)). However, if you come to my site on an iPad, and click that same link, RC set it up so you go to a different version of my portfolio—an HTML and Javascript version that works on an iPad or iPhone, and (get this), you can change images by swiping your fingers, just like you would normally on an iPad or iPhone (he did that using a common jquery library – Galleria).

(ed Note: Single Finger Swiping on the gallery is now live – RC)

Now, he had some help from Alan Brusky of Fireleaf Design (link), and together they created this alternate portfolio, complete with thumbnails, finger swiping (or you can tap on the photo to advance to the next photo), and the good news is—RC is making all this a part of his new class called “Portfolio Power” (I’m not sure if it’s an online class or just a DVD), but either way—he’s including four templates you can use for this type of stuff today (which includes the one he using for me).

We Need a Plan Now
By next weekend, more than a million US users will be missing your Flash-based portfolio. Don’t wait. Come up with a plan now. I’m having to do the same thing here on my regular blog. I use a Flash-based player for videos I embed on the blog, but I can get around that, and make my videos playable on iPhone and iPads by simply uploading them to YouTube.com instead.

Now, I’m not giving up on Flash—-I love Flash personally, but I want to make sure I’ve got a Plan B—a back-up plan, for anyone visiting my site without Flash support. Also, I know a lot of photographers have been doing this “visit the HTML version” for a while now, so I’m not breaking new ground here, but Flash has received such wide support that few photographers have had to worry about a browser not supporting Flash. Until now.

Let’s Help Each Other Out
That’s my plan for now, but it’s still evolving, so I’m totally open to hearing your ideas for serving video to this market, and for having a way to show your portfolio online so it can be seen to iPad and iPhone users. I really want to hear what you’re doing—-my work, what you’ve tried, and I know a lot of others will be interested as well.

Thanks RC for helping me out (you’ve done it again, my friend!), and for passing on what you’ve learned to me, and my readers. Also, many thanks to Diablo for the incredible Flash work you’ve done for the community, and to Alan for helping make sure RC didn’t get any sleep this weekend.

dig2kindle

Here’s what happened: I had ordered an iPad Wi-fi + 3G which means I would be waiting until the end of the month until I got my iPad, but I really wanted to see one in person, so Saturday afternoon my son and I went to the local Best Buy store and played with one for 45 minutes. We were just blown away, so I told the guy at Best Buy “I’ll take one” (I got totally carried away, especially since I already had one ordered).

He asked his supervisor how many they had left. He looked at me and said “Zero. We’ve been sold out for hours.” We asked if they could call around to the other Best Buys in the area. All sold out. Then I found out our IT guy had already bought two for us for testing purposes, so I snagged one for the weekend. Whoo-baby it is sweet! Anyway, here are the seven things that surprised me most:

(1) It’s better than I thought
I was expecting it to be pretty cool. I remember seeing ads and reading about the original iPhone, and I thought it looked cool, too. But once I actually held one in my hand, everything changed. Same thing here. Whatever your impressions of the iPad are, they will change once you actually hold one in your hands. It’s a beautifully designed piece of technology.

(2) It’s heavier than I thought
I knew it was a few ounces heavier than the Kindle, but it feels twice as heavy. Sturdy and well built for sure, but definitely heavier, and certainly heavier than I thought (seeing as it’s so thin).

(3) It’s faster than I thought
I’m really stunned at how fast things happen on the iPad. Photos appear instantly. You scroll through hundreds of photos in an instant. Apps launch fast. Everything just feels really, really fast. I know I’m not the first person to point this out—everybody’s saying the same thing, but I didn’t realize it would be as fast as it is.

(4) The screen is much better than I thought
I knew the screen would be good, but the screen is way over the top crisp, bright and sharp. In fact, I don’t know what they’d have to do to improve the screen itself. I’ve never seen a device this size with a screen like this. Heck, I rarely see a device of any size with a screen like this. Everything looks great on it.

(5) It Makes You Hate Your Old iPhone-sized Apps
To really experience and fall in love with an iPad, you have to use Apps redesigned for the iPad. They’re brilliant. So far, the developers seem to have not merely just up-sized their existing apps—they’ve upgraded them big time. It’s like they’ve broken free from what must have been a very limiting experience (design-wise) creating apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, and now they’re like, “OK, now we can really do what we’ve always wanted to do!” Unfortunately, this makes you kind of hate your old iPhone apps (which get copied over to your iPad when you sync it with your computer), and honestly, I can barely stand to run them. They’re pixelated and almost “old fashioned” looking once you see what can be done at full iPad size and redesign.

(6) The Screen Seems Much Bigger Than It Is
The screen size is so perfect, that it actually seems to be much larger than it really is. It feels like there’s space galore, instead of it being at a premium. Movies look great, and feel big. Maybe it’s because the whole thing is just one big screen, but everything feels nice and big—-bigger than the screen actually is in reality.

(7) Books and Magazine are Much Better Than I Thought
Apple’s free iBooks App is just plain amazing. Way better than I thought it would be. It makes you want to read books on it. Engadget.com said it better than I could, when yesterday they wrote:

“It’s the first e-book reading experience we’ve seen that seems to truly understand the visceral, sensual enjoyment of holding an actual volume in your hand.”

The iBooks App is simply brilliant for reading novels, business books, reference books, etc.. The selection is somewhat slim at present, but like the iTunes Store, it’s going to explode with lots of titles very soon (including a bunch of my own).

Also, Amazon’s Kindle App for the iPad is amazingly good, too (in fact, since it’s in color, my Kindle format books look much better on Kindle for the iPad, than they do on an actual Kindle reader (which displays the photos in black and white), so good job Amazon—your iPad App rocks (which in my opinion, was a very smart business move for Amazon). That’s my book shown in the Kindle Reader for iPad above.

The Bottomline
When people say, “Oh, it’s just a big iPod touch,” they’d be right if all they did was run their old iPod touch Apps at 2X the size, but it’s the redesigned and new iPad Apps (like the iBook App, the Marvel Comics App, and the ABC TV App, among others) that make it an entirely different experience.

I was met with a room full of skeptics during an Easter get-together at my house yesterday—-a room full of “Oh, it’s just a big iPod touch, right?” But everybody left saying, “I have got to have one!” That doesn’t come from running iPod touch apps at twice their size.

It blew everybody away. They all already have iPhones or iPod touches, so they were expecting “more of the same,” but man did they all fall in love once they saw what it could do. I couldn’t get it out of their hands to show the next person how it worked. It has an impact that you can’t get from an article, or an Apple TV ad, or a video on their Website. You have to hold one and try it yourself. Once you do, you’ll hear what I heard half a dozen times or more yesterday. “This is way better than I thought.” I totally agree.

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