I use 4 tools on the iPad to edit and improve my images on the iPad 2. The iPad’s touch screen is an invitation to manipulate (from Latin: Manus = Hand) your photographs. I edited all images in this post with the iPad 2 and you will see the different effects, each of the editing apps has on an example image. (I resized the images in Photoshop on my Mac for website use.)

Before you can start working with your image on the iPad, you need to import them. Apple offers the Camera Connection Kit.

2 In 1 Camera Connection Kit

The Camera Connection Kit has 2 slots, one for SD cards and the other for an USB cable to connect from your camera. The Connection Kit plugs into the Dock Connector on the iPad and triggers the import tool once an SD card or camera is connected. The iPad displays the preview of the available images fast. You can select to import all images available or select single images by tapping on them. Remember to shoot either in Jpeg format only or in a combination with RAW. You can only edit images in Jpeg format. If you import raw, the preview image will be imported and nothing else.

After you completed the import, you can either delete the images from your card or camera or keep them. (I recommend to keep the images on the card.) You will find your imported pictures in the Last Import album.

The 2 in 1 Camera Connection Kit retails in South Africa for over R300 and in the States for USD 14 (R95!).

The camera connection kit is an essential tool, if you want to use your iPad with your camera. It is overpriced in South Africa. If you take a lot of images on the go, it is still a worthwhile expense.

3 Apps

Luckily, prices for the apps in the App Store are the same for users in the States and in South Africa. I have tried a good number of apps for photography on the iPad. Most of them are good, but 3 of them stand out for me.

The 3 Apps are

  • TiltShiftFocus HD
  • 100Cameras in 1
  • Snapseed

I use these apps more than any other photo app on the iPad. These apps allow me to do, what I want to achieve quickly and with more innovative user interfaces than other apps. This is a personal preference and I am sure, you might have your own favorites.

The Out Of Camera Image

TiltShiftFocus HD

I recommend TiltShiftFocus HD by Dev.Lux for two reasons. It is fun to use and can improve your images taken with cameras with smaller sensors. Smaller sensors do not give you a limited depth of field in most cases. What does this mean in practice? Most pictures taken with those cameras don’t show an accentuated are of focus and out of focus as you know it from professional portraits.

Tilt ShiftFocus HD, let’s you not only add this effect to your image, but it also can create an effect, where your cityscape look like little models. It is a lot of fun to play with.

You can apply different out of focus filters, adjust the direction of the out of focus area, convert the image to b/w and add a frame to the completed result.



TiltShiftFocus HD retails for $1.99 in the iPad Appstore.

100 Cameras in 1

100 Cameras in 1 by Trey Ratcliff jumps right into action. After you imported your image, it immediately applies the first filter. You apply filters by swiping your finger over the image. Once you find a filter, you like, you tap on the image once to open a slider on the bottom to fine tune the effect. Pull the slider up with your finger to find more adjustment options. You can combine a number of filters on top of each other. They all follow the same principle. The names of the filters have some of the most interesting names. “A child’s shoes, swinging from the chair” is just one of many.

100 in 1 Camera retails for $3.99 in the iPad Appstore.


Snapseed from NikSoftware is one of the newest contenders. I use NikSoftware’s plugins for Aperture for much of my editing work. Obviously, my expectations for this app were high and I was not disappointed. Snapseed offers a selection of filters arranged by categories like Auto Correct (for color and contrast correction) or Vintage. Snapseed lets you customize the level of application of the filters easily, by horizontal finger movements. You choose, for example, within Auto Correct with a vertical finger movement Color Correction or Contrast Correction. It works fast and easy. I like to use the organic frames Snapseed to give my pics a finishing touch. Snapseed includes also a defocus function similar to TiltShiftFocus HD (, though not as detailed).

Snapseed retails for $4.99 in the iPad Appstore.

Which apps are you using to edit your images on your iPad? Please share your recommendations in the Comments.

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