iPad for Photographers

A few days ago I was meeting with a client in a coffee shop. When she walked in, I was sitting at a table with my iPad, answering emails. As it turned out she was an amateur photographer and we spent the first 15-20 minutes of our meeting talking about something that all photographers love – equipment. After the obligatory conversation about camera bodies and lenses, she asked me why I owned an iPad – in her opinion a tablet was barely more than a toy, completely useless in photographic workflow. I am a pretty recent iPad owner – I bought it only a few months ago as a present for my 35th birthday. I originally planned on using it to develop iOS apps – I bought a bunch of books, learned ObjectiveC and even wrote a few simple games for my daughter. However, as time went by, I began using it more and more for productivity and photography. My most used app is Evernote – that’s where I keep notes about my projects, client meetings, books I read, location scouting and pretty much everything else. Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) take care of all of my productivity needs. I travel a lot for both my job and my business and ever since I bought an iPad, I rarely bring a laptop on short trips. I recently bought a slim bluetooth keyboard which essentially turns my iPad into a small netbook and allows me to type emails, documents and even work with an occasional spreadsheet a lot faster than if I were using the built-in touch keyboard. Another app that I love is called AirDisplay. Basically this app allows me to extend my laptop’s screen to the iPad. I am used to working with dual display setups – both my office and my home computers are outfitted with 24-inch + 19-inch dual displays. It is especially useful when working in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Premier because I keep toolbars on the smaller screen giving the actual media (images or video) more real estate. When I go on trips that are longer than 2 days, I usually bring both my 15-inch MacBook Pro and my iPad. When the two are connected using AirDisplay, I can edit photos and videos on the go using the same configuration I always use. You can find a nice AirDisplay tutorial at http://www.howtogeek.com/?post_type=post&p=100886. App #3 on my most used list is SplashTop – it allows me to remotely control my computers from anywhere with internet connection. It’s really useful when I forget a file on my office desktop or when I need to run a Windows-only application remotely. Next on my list is iPhoto. Yes, I did say iPhoto. While I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on my laptop and desktops, I prefer iPhoto on my iPad. In conjunction with the camera connector kit iPhoto allows me to quickly preview photos from on-location photoshoots and to give quick demos of my work to potential clients. Finally, I use my iPad for remote shooting. I won’t go into too much detail on this subject – you can read about it in excruciating detail in this tutorial. If you have any other cool uses for your iPad, please let me know – I’d love to get more mileage out of my tablet.

Being sick, getting better, finding yourself

Last year did not begin well for me – on January 2nd I ended up in a hospital with a collapsed lung caused by misdiagnosed pneumonia. Over the course of last year I had pneumonia 5 times. The doctors had no clear idea as to what was causing persistent lung infections and after batteries of unpleasant and sometimes painful tests they would always prescribe antibiotics and steroids. Being sick sucks at the best of times, but when you have a small child at home, a full-time job, a business and graduate school… I don’t even have words to describe how much it stinks. In March of 2011 I had a pulmonary function test which showed that my lung capacity was down to 52% – I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without having to sit down and catch my breath. My wife Irina was absolutely amazing through the whole ordeal – she juggled the kids, cooking, cleaning and taking care of me. Sometime in the summer of 2011 I met an amazing Pittsburgh photographer John Craig. We met for coffee to talk about photography. Somewhere along the line John told me about his battle with illness, spending time with family, running marathons and just dealing with health issues on a level that never occurred to me before. My last bout of pneumonia happened in December of 2011. I hate coming up with New Year’s resolutions because more often than not I don’t follow through on them. However, I decided to make an exception for 2012 – inspired by John’s example I set a goal for myself to bike the Great Allegheny Passage. Biking Great Allegheny Passage | Dmitriy Babichenko Photography In January of 2012 I started training for the bike ride – I began riding to work (an 18-mile round-trip commute) first once a week, then twice, and eventually almost every day. I started biking to the grocery store and pretty much everywhere I needed to go (without my kids). It was difficult and painful at first, but eventually I could ride up the insanely steep and windy Commercial Street without throwing up my lungs. Last week I took a few days off of work, grabbed my bike and hopped a train from Pittsburgh to Connelsville. In two days I rode about 120 miles, including getting lost and riding in the wrong direction for 10 miles. I met a lot of wonderful people on the trail – a 75-year-old couple who ride from Pittsburgh to Washington every year, a guy from upstate New York to whom I gave a paperback copy of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and a lady from Toronto who gave me a bottle of Gatorade when I ran out of water between Frostburg and Cumberland. Biking Great Allegheny Passage | Dmitriy Babichenko Photography I guess what I’m trying to say is that when you are sick, you tend to concentrate on your disease and forget about the world around you. Getting out of that dark spot in your mind, meeting new people, setting a goal for yourself and actually following through will help you deal with almost anything life throws at you. And most importantly, spend as much time with your family as possible – I missed a lot of moments in my daughter’s life because of work, school, illness and to me that’s far worse than being sick. Biking Great Allegheny Passage | Dmitriy Babichenko Photography More photos from my trip on Flickr.