eXtensions - Sunday 19 August 2018
FilmPhoto: Useful iOS app with Clear Explanations of Cameras and Camera Technology
By Graham K. Rogers
With Photography there are also fixed relationships, mainly concerned with light (aperture, ISO, time). Each one of these is broken down, along with lenses and cameras. I try to keep it as practical as possible with demonstrations. For example, with lens types I use Tethering software and an overhead projector so students can see immediately how each lens changes what the camera records. This includes the use of extension tubes for macro photography, which I can also demonstrate on the iPhone with a lens attachment.
I contrast this approach with that of older members of my family (and others) whose explanations of camera functions were patronising and over the head of the target audience: me. Fortunately, I have met a number of people over the years with far more expertise, who explained things far more clearly. One of the best books I ever bought on Photography was Michael Langford's 35mm Handbook (1993 edition). Even though I have been using digital cameras for years, the basics here are invaluable, as is the way the concepts and ideas are explained clearly with images, illustrations, charts and text.
FilmPhotography App on the iPad
As each subject is selected, there is a delay while content is downloaded. I tried this in Airplane Mode on the iPad and a "loading content" panel appeared but nothing happened. It might be useful if there is a time-out or a warning appears to tell the user that the device needs to be online. I did not see this need for a connection when I initialized the app, but in any case a second user would perhaps be unaware.
I first used the app on the iPhone X and downloading the data had only a short delay. The crystal clear images and videos, some of which had diagrams superimposed, make it really easy to grasp the idea already explained in text form. I was also impressed with the quality of sound (for example, when winding on film) that added to the experience. There are separate sections for different types of cameras (including 110, Lomo and SLR), with Medium Format split into two: single lens reflex (e.g. Hasselblad) and twin lens reflex (Rollei).
The clarity of explanation using text and illustration that is displayed in every section, makes the information in the app easy to absorb. Particularly useful in the Theory section was an outline of Light Meters. I am a bit lazy here and use an iOS app, which gets me close, but I learned something by going through this section. Previous explanations by experts had not done the task.
The display on the iPhone is in portrait mode, while the app is shown in landscape mode on the iPad. Neither can be changed (as far as I can see), but these both seem quite natural for the different ways these devices are used.
FilmPhotography App on the iPad
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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