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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