Lights, Camera, Capture! – iPad App of the Week

Lights, Camera, Capture! – iPad App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone and iPad Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will work on the iPod touch or the iPad, some will be iPad only apps.

This week’s App is Lights, Camera, Capture!

Lights, Camera, Capture! for iPad is based on the popular book by Bob Davis. Like the book, it helps aspiring photographers learn to achieve the best possible images with minimal lighting equipment. The app features over 100 videos, compelling interactive diagrams to help you understand the effect of lighting and equipment settings, workshop videos, high resolution images, and the full text of the original book, integrated seamlessly.

The author is a professional photographer whose high-profile clients include Oprah Winfrey and Eva Longoria Parker, and whose work has appeared in Time, O, and People magazines. Along with his invaluable advice, this beautiful and engaging app includes hundreds of video clips with Bob teaching you how to see the light so you can achieve studio-quality images in any situation. He covers the elements of lighting, shows his lighting setups, and shares his two-strobe technique that lets you create studio-quality lighting anywhere with minimal equipment.

The title includes incredible interactive exhibits to help you understand the effect of f-stop settings, lighting positions, light strength ratios and more.

This book covers and includes:
* Professional tips and stunning full-color images
* All the key elements of photographic lighting, with informative illustrations and lighting grids
* The author’s pioneering two-strobe technique
* The relationship between aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and the effects of different lenses
* Tips on how to achieve studio-quality lighting outside the studio
* Videos from the author’s three-day lighting and photography workshop
* Author commentary on his photography and how he captures his images

Note that video streaming requires an active Internet connection.


In many of my previous blog posts and presentations I have given over the last year, I have written and spoken about how devices such as the iPad will allow books, magazines and newspapers to evolve. To provide a different and more enhanced reading experience.

One publisher I have mentioned before is Inkling. Lights, Camera, Capture! is the first of their “books” I have downloaded and looked at. Unlike their Inkling App, this book is a standalone App, however it is also available within the Inkling App too.

So how does the reading experience shape up?

Well like any good book, it has an index, making it very easy to find different chapters and sections within those chapters.

You can highlight sections, access a glossary, make notes, add bookmarks and see where you have been. Now you can do some of that with a printed book, however this iPad version allows you to do some of it quicker and smarter.

Not all good news, though as every time I tried to add a note it crashed the App on one of my iPads, however I could get it to work on the other!

As you might expect with a book on photography there are a fair few photographs. With virtually all of these you can click on them to make them larger, but not that much larger!

There are also videos of Bob Davis explaining how he took particular shots. Now this is where I think they missed a trick. These videos are very simple video clips (well the ones I watched and I have not read the whole book at this time). They are simply Bob in front of a computer screen explaining how he took the shot. Personally I would have liked to have seen him taking the actual shot, where the camera actually was, the lighting, models, etc… All I actually get is a talking head, a diagram and the actual photograph.

Or are videos of presentations from workshops, where the quality is quite poor in terms of what you can see and hear.

In other words it doesn’t add much to the experience of reading, it becomes listening, rather than watching and understanding. The reason you use video in a book is not to duplicate what is written, but to enhance and enrich what is written to improve understanding.

I am also surprised that the videos are online and not part of the App, I am surprised as the app is in excess of 300MB in size, which is huge, and I thought this was down to the videos, it isn’t! So if you are not on wifi or want to watch your 3G data limits, then this App may not be as good as you thought it might be.

As for the actual written content? Which is the main reason for buying such a book.

Well I have learnt a fair bit about various things, especially lighting that I didn’t know (and I do take a fair few photographs).

However I think it could be a lot better, as I said above, don’t just have a talking head, use the power of video to show and explain how to do things that are difficult to explain in just text or with diagrams. It would have been nice to see more interactive diagrams to show the impact of changing lighting, exposure or aperture. This is something again which is difficult to explain with plain diagrams in my opinion. There were some, but not as many I would like.

So is it value for money, well the print version of the book has a RRP of £29.99 though you can get it on Amazon for £15.00. So for £5.99 I do think this is value for money compared to the print version.

Overall, a good first attempt at an enhanced book, but in my opinion it could be so much better than it is.

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