Bokeh: A Book About Cameras, PadGadget iPad Photography Series

If you’re new to cameras with features beyond your basic point and shoot, or if you’re looking to learn a bit more about cameras before you make a major purchase, Bokeh: A Book About Cameras is an excellent app that can help teach you how DSLR cameras work.

As you’ve seen in our Photography series so far, there are plenty of apps that let you manipulate photos in all kinds of ways. But you need to take photos before you can have photos to work with on your iPad, and there are several great apps available in the App Store that teach you how to use your camera and give tips on taking great shots. We’re going to highlight a few of the best ones here at PadGadget, beginning with Bokeh: A Book About Cameras.

This book contains four different interactive lessons on focus, depth of field, exposure, and zoom. What’s amazing about this book is that it actually simulates a real picture taking experience, allowing you to adjust a mock camera right on your iPad, while displaying the results. This app will teach you the main parts of a camera and how to use them, giving new camera users a good foundation on how a camera functions.

Each lesson comes with a text portion, an interactive diagram, and an interactive photo. For example, the lesson on focus has an interactive focus ring that you can actually adjust to see different parts of the image in focus. As you turn the focus ring on the iPad with a finger, you see what is happening both in the camera and in the photo as parts of the image shift in and out of focus depending on how you turn the ring. It works exactly like a real camera’s focus ring.

Similarly, the lesson on depth of field has an aperture adjustment ring that looks like the aperture adjustment on many DSLRs, and even I learned a thing or two from that lesson. The interactive diagrams available for each lesson are great teaching aids and will help new users learn more about the inner workings of a camera.

The interface of Bokeh: A Book About Cameras is simple and easy to use. There are only a few buttons: lesson, menu, and help. Lesson turns off the technical descriptions of each lesson so you can play with the interactive cameras features using the iPad’s full screen. The menu button brings up the list of lessons, and the help button shows you what you can interact with on the screen. To the left, an arrow will let you clear off the camera drawings, leaving only the controls.

These lessons are very helpful for learning how all of the different elements of a camera work together to create photographs. If you’re new to DSLRs, or if you just want a few extra tips, this app is worth downloading.

What I liked: This is an amazing tool for new photographers. The interactive lessons are informative and explain things in a way that’s easy to understand. Plus the interactive diagrams and photos make a world of difference when trying to learn about photography.

What I didn’t like: The app is very basic. I would like to see more lessons available, on subjects like composition, lighting, white balance, and more. There are a lot of topics that could be added to make this a much more in-depth app.

To buy or not to buy: If you’re a seasoned photographer, you may want to check out something less basic. However, if you’re new to DSLRs and just learning about camera functions, this app is a great investment at only $1.99.

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About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli