I was taking a nap the other day and I had this random idea:
What would it be like to make photos on an iPad?
It might be like shooting with an old school 8×10 film camera, as the “ground plate” (viewfinder) is about the same size as an iPad.
I didn’t want to be theoretical, so I just tried it out on an old iPad Air. My thoughts:
- It was pretty fun. I am never used to having a viewfinder or LCD screen so big. It is an all-encompassing experience. The screen takes up your entire face, so you’re actually really integrated into the shooting process. You forget there is a “real world” outside of you while you are making pictures. So it is a zen-like experience shooting with an iPad, especially with non-moving objects like urban landscapes and details of textures.
- Fun to process your photos. I used VSCO and the A6 preset, and it was fun to see the picture SO BIG instantly on the iPad, instead of processing it on a tiny phone screen. Also, it was more convenient than dealing with a standard digital camera with importing the picture via memory card, into Lightroom. Therefore the benefit was the process was much more streamlined, easier workflow.
- In terms of the shooting “experience” it was more fun than shooting with a phone. Because you can’t move quickly. You gotta slow down, and take your time.
- I read a lot of books on my iPad in bed or around the house. So I’ve been able to shoot pictures that I couldn’t have otherwise. For example I’m reading a book, then taking a break, then drop my iPad for a second to rest my eyes, and I see a good photo opportunity of Cindy working on the desk with her laptop. I frame her with the sheets in the foreground. A pretty unique perspective (shot while lying in bed).
Downsides of shooting with iPad
- Because the iPad is so big and the camera is on the top right corner, it is a bit confusing when you lift the iPad to take a picture (because you assume the lens is in the middle of the iPad). It is almost like having “parallax error” when shooting with a rangefinder. Therefore there is a disconnect when you lift your iPad before taking a picture and actually taking a picture, which is jarring and unpleasant.
- Less mobile. If you wanna shoot quickly on the go, shooting with a phone is better.
- Hidden benefit: You look like a dumb tourist shooting with an iPad, so nobody will hassle you. Benefit in disguise. Idea: if you’re self-conscious shooting street photography, try it with an iPad.
As technology advances, we will have very good cameras on all our stuff and devices.
Imagine, you got a phone camera. Tablet camera. Front facing laptop camera.
Soon, camera on your refrigerator. Camera on your car (front facing inside the car) and also outside cameras (in front, side, and back of the car). A camera on your backpack, or your wallet, or your key chain, your glasses, sunglasses, or purse.
What are we gonna do in a world where we have cameras on EVERYTHING we own and use?
Fun idea to ponder.
Have fun, play, and be CREATIVE EVERYDAY!
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