Skill Gathering with, "Master Your DSLR Camera."

by Carlo Carino in ,

Level up your skills with a truly educational iPad app. "Master Your DSLR Camera," from Open Air Publishing Inc.

Save a place for this on your home screen.

I like to be in on every stage of a project when I can. One of the early steps in most design jobs is original photography. I've got a few friends who are professional freelance photographers. I've also worked with some truly great ones who produce outstanding work. If you're lucky enough to find one that will let you direct a photo session — stick with them.

But as a designer, the there are many situations where you'd do well to become a halfway decent photographer yourself. Some examples:

  • Location scouting
  • Conceptual planning
  • Limited time and/or budget
  • You don't have time to do a lot of post-processing on bad photos

I took photography courses in high school and college. One of these classes was even taught a real-life Pulitzer Prize winner. But those lessons never seemed to stick. I've wanted to be a better photographer ever since.

The real leap forward in my development came when I got "Master your DSLR Camera" from the iTunes App Store earlier this year. After several months using the app, I can truly say I've made a lot of progress. Now I'm almost where I want to be.

Click to enlarge. The outside of DFS Tumon Bay Galleria. Shot just after sunset. I never could have taken this a year ago.

It's promoted like an interactive book, but I think it's best to treat it like your own tag-along photography expert.

It is all of the following and more:

  • Comprehensive
  • Professional looking
  • Authoritative
  • Interactive
  • Ambitious 

But best of all, it's made for exploration.

Ideal ideas and instructions for most any situation.

It's the kind of app/book you use when you have your camera in hand and ideas in your head. When you know the look you want to achieve, it's ready to show you how. All while increasing your understanding of your camera and it's myriad settings in the process. I can't overstate how well this works as a learning tool.

On the down-side, navigation through the app takes some getting used to. There many times where I tapped in the wrong place, bringing up windows or switching screens to unintented places. But once you get past the hurdles, real magic awaits.

It's got well organized lessons, HD video tutorials, and interactive camera-setting simulations.

The app lets you drag the slider across to simulate the effect of various shutter speeds.

Let me say that once more — interactive camera-setting simulations. Just mind blowing.

It's available on the App store for $9.99. I don't know how valuable it might be to true photography professionals. However, if you're a designer who wants to become more versatile by improving your photo skills, it'll be more than worth the price.