TWiP #195 – iPad for Professional Photography?

Audio MP3

This week on TWiP: Is the iPad becoming a serious photographer’s tool?, in-camera re-touching for point-and-shoots, and an interview with self-portrait photographer Natalie Dybisz.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson with Andy Biggs and Robert Evans

Three Recent iPad Apps of Note for Photographers
There are a few new iPad apps that might interest photographers.  onOne has released the DSLR Camera Remote HD iPad App to let you remotely fire your DSLR (connected via USB or wi-fi grip) from your iPad.  LRPAD is a multi-touch controller app for Lightroom that lets you adjust, in real-time, different develop settings using the iPad screen.  Finally, Adobe showed off Photoshop for the iPad with layer support at the Photoshop World 2011 keynote address.  Frederick says this moves the iPad from being mainly a media “consumption” device towards more of a creative tool but still doesn’t see running Photoshop on his iPad.  Andy uses his iPad more as an entertainment device and will still will use his Macbook Pro to process images until the iPad has a lot more storage.  Robert is glad he held out for iPad 2, but also wants to be convinced of the device’s power before putting it through its paces.  Frederick also brings up the (widely unaddressed?) issue of color correction on iPads.  Andy speculates if the target audience of Photoshop for iPad would be non-professional photographers.

Panasonic Camera Whitens Teeth, Removes Wrinkles and Applies Makeup In-Camera
The title of this story says it all.  Frederick is not a fan of the images that come out of this camera.  🙂  He’ll still bring images into the computer to makes tweaks there rather than baking-in this retouching.  Robert definitely thinks this is aimed at the consumer market.  Nor will Andy be using this kind of technology to get smooth, wrinkle-free elephants wearing blush, but he’s happy just to see manufacturers not being obsessed with the megapixel race for once.  Andy brings up the bigger problem of over-post-processing that seems to be ubiquitous in digital photography today.

Parents Sue Facebook Over Photos of Dead Daughter
An EMT took a photo of murdered woman on the scene of the crime and then posted the photo on Facebook and now the victim’s parents are suing Facebook with hopes of forcing the company to turn over the image, preventing it from being further distributed, and to identify any party who downloaded the image when it was on the site.  Frederick points out that once the image is released onto the Internet, there is no way to undo it.  Andy says the irony is that the lawsuit calls more attention to the image which will undoubtedly cause more people to find it or view it.  On a more positive note, the hosts then talk about Facebook overall as a tool for photographers these days and the need to pay attention to and figure out how to use it to promote their business.  And speaking of promotion, make sure to mark your calendar for May 24th when Andy Biggs will be on the Today Show showing tips for taking better travel photos!

Interview with Self-portrait Photographer Natalie Dybisz
When Frederick last interviewed Natalie Dybisz, her popularity in the photographic world was beginning to skyrocket.  Since then she has consolidated her brand and focused her business to write a new book and exhibit her images in galleries.  Natalie talks about her background, motivation, and process behind her self-portraiture as well as the role Flickr, her Facebook page, and her blog play in promoting her work. She also gives details on the workshops and other events she hosts.

Every week our producers scour the TWiP forums to find the best questions for us to answer on the show.

Before we begin, we wanted to follow-up on a question we had recently regarding photographing the Sun through your camera.  We got an email from a TWiP listener who is an optometrist and who also happens to have experience designing cameras.  He says looking at the Sun can cause cumulative damage and wants us to advise all listeners that you must always use proper protection like sunglasses (good ones, not cheap ones) when looking at the Sun.

Here are this week’s questions:
Question #1: Listener Finbar from England says they want to give street photography a go, but is unsure how to start. Their current plan is to pick a theme, say a market, and approach subjects with an introduction like “Hi, I’m taking photos of so-and-so project… do mind if i take your picture?” Any tips or advice for this kind of approach or do you know or any good street photography books? Robert loves to shoot strangers he meets when he travels and says how to approach this varies on a case-by-case basis but the most important thing is to overcome your fears and just start doing it. Of course, if you are going to sell the image, be sure to get a model release. Andy says whether your intent is personal or professional will drive your approach, but be sure to engage your subject, get close, and be as open and honest as you can. He also recommends the book: Bystander: a History of Street Photography.

Question #2: Listener BradLentz from Sydney, Australia says, “I have just recently heard about back button auto focus. What is the benefit? Is it primarily for sports shooting? If it is the best way to keep focus why don’t manufacturers make it standard?” Andy points out that older Leica cameras used to have one button that controlled both the shutter and the meter so when auto-focus came out, that functionality was added on top of that. Having a separate button to auto-focus makes it independent from other functionalities and is therefore standard fare for all fast-action photographers like sports and wildlife shooters. Andy teaches his workshop participants who have their cameras in AI SERVO or continuous focus (Canon and Nikon, respectively) that they can hit the rear auto focus button with their thumb to stop focusing, which essentially acts as a single shot focus. Every camera model is slightly different, so check out your manual for more information.

Question #3: Listener “wingphoto” asks: “I am looking to start photographing some more newborns in area hospitals. I am wondering if anyone has any advice on whom I should contact or how I should go about getting these parents to have their newborns photographed by me?” Robert suggests befriending the administrator in the maternity ward to see if you can hang your portrait work (with your name/branding obviously) on the walls of the hospital. Andy also recommends trying to get your work displayed in the offices of the obstetrician who will be delivering the baby and Robert says don’t forget pediatricians’ offices too.

Robert: Atlas 200 camera slider by Cinevate which adds a beautiful cinematic effect to the video you are shooting.  To see some of Robert’s work done with this slider, check out

Andy: Gaffer’s tape, something all photographers need in their bag.

Frederick: Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop, a book by Scott Kelby that teaches you many handy retouching tips.

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Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn
Show notes by Ernest Aguayo: or
Photo above by Håkan Dahlström
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Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

  • I am receiving my iPad 2 today, it’s on the FedEx truck as I type, but I am more getting it for a portfolio and releases (irelease app) over than using it for a edit device!

  • Self Promo Alert!

    Plumtree Portfolios is an iPad app I developed (iPhone and web too) just for wedding photographers, to get found by their clients and show off their portfolios.

    Membership is limited right now, and by invite only. If you’re a wedding shooter, you can request an invite at

  • I think that its possible that the EMT in the Facebook case broke privacy laws by posting the photos publicly. I agree that Facebook should not be held responsible unless there is more to the story which may be the case.

  • The statement above about the DSLR Remote iPad App that lets you “remotely fire your DSLR (connected via USB or wi-fi grip) from your iPad” may be a bit misleading. From the onOne website, it looks like the camera has to be tethered to a PC/Mac first and the iPad app communicates with a server on the computer.

    This post (and perhaps the podcast discussion) gives the impression that you can connect directly to the iPad, negating the need for a computer at your shoot location.

  • As a retired Firefighter?paramedic, I think I might have some insight on what the EMT was thinking when he shot the photos of the murder scene: blowback. We in public safety tire under the relentless censorship and coddling that the media perpetrate on a daly basis. When the news is sanitized so that a two year old doesn’t get upset, the impact and importance of the story are lost. He was likely trying to show the utter and harsh reality of the crime and trying to lay that image at the feet of those responsible for both the commission of it and the failure of the political system to stop it. Matthew Brady was accused of the same thing with his photos of civil war battles and the dead on the field. The horrors of war were made real. This could be something like that. I ad often thought of doing the same, especially when the story on the news had no relation to the actual event.

    Just my two cents.

  • Why not ask if there is a listen with a legal background and is a photographer who would be interested in being part of your legal/moral segment. Perhaps when you spin the question away from legal issues into moral ones, a photographer who has a background in ethics might be appropriate.

    I think this would make the discussion deeper, more cutting edge and constructive.

  • Fred, I think you missed the way I’d love to see the iPad integrate with photoshop (or more accurately in my dream, with Lightroom). I’d love to see the iPad be able to pull images, folders, or catalogs from your main PC or Mac to be edited in the iPad version of Lightroom, then synced back to the main computer when complete. I’d love to be able to select, keyword, and adjust / edit my images from my couch using a touch interface, then see the results sync back to my main system (perhaps for final tweak, perhaps for export, perhaps simply for storage). Lightroom + iPad = WINNING. In a big way.

  • personally, i don’t think Natalie would be where she is if she wasn’t attractive, which in part is just the nature of the type of photography she does. no one wants to see ethereal self portraits of a middle-aged fat guy. but luckily she is attractive, and it did allow her to break out and do other things. definitely a lot of parallels with Rebekka, but i’d rather take a workshop with Natalie for a few different reasons.

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