When is an iPad not an iPad?

sj.jpgOk, per­haps it is actu­ally “magic­al and revolu­tion­ary”. Or per­haps we’re just mov­ing toward the day that yes, there really is an app for that.

Smart phones and tab­let com­puters are set to explode this year, but what will really move the hard­ware is innov­at­ive soft­ware cre­ated by developers who can see bey­ond the tra­di­tion­al fare that is cur­rently avail­able on the soft­ware menu.

The oth­er day I was leaf­ing through iPad pho­to­graphy sec­tion of the iTunes store and I saw the Photo Soft Box app. A Soft Box is, accord­ing to Wiki­pe­dia:sb.jpg

A Soft box is a type of pho­to­graph­ic light­ing device, one of a num­ber of pho­to­graph­ic soft light devices. All the vari­ous soft light types cre­ate soft dif­fused light by dir­ect­ing light through some dif­fus­ing mater­i­al, or by “boun­cing” light off a second sur­face to dif­fuse the light. The best known form of boun­cing source is the umbrella light where the light from the bulb is bounced off the inside of a metal­ized umbrella to cre­ate a soft indir­ect light.

So. This is an app that takes your iPad (or iPhone / iPod Touch) and turns it into a low powered spe­cial­ized pho­to­graphy light.  Which is a trick that can be done with any flatscreen com­puter mon­it­or and a little bit of Pho­toshop skills, but the beauty of the app on the port­able device is that it’s much more mobile.

For example, here’s a shot I took using two Soft­box lights, one a hand­held iPod Touch, the oth­er an iPad to provide the pat­terned back­ground.
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And here’s the setup shot.

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Pretty simple, and please par­don the messy desk :smileyhappy:

The Photo Soft Box Pro-HD does a lot more, than pat­terns, which you can check out in the video below.

But what I find fas­cin­at­ing is that someone thought that this port­able device would be a good light­source for light-weight pho­to­graphy! In the video you’ll see some cool shots taken with the iPhone and an iPad provid­ing the light or back­ground.

Revolu­tion­ary? Per­haps. This one app is an example of how these devices are bring­ing pre­vi­ously expens­ive pho­to­graphy tech­niques to any­one. People are find­ing new ways to use these mobile com­put­ing devices.

And it’s not restric­ted to Apple’s iOS products either. WebOS, Android, Black­berry and Win­dows 7 all have devel­op­ment plat­forms for their data­phone and tab­let devices. I can’t wait to see what’s com­ing down the pipe this year — it’s going to be inter­est­ing!

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