Duet & Astropad for photographers

So I have recently picked up an iPad Pro 10.5”. Now this is an unusual move for me, as I am not overly keen on touch screens. However, I am finding it a useful creative tool. 

Let me start at the beginning: I was looking at the very cool Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 model. In a perfect world, I would have one of these whilst traveling, allowing me to edit using a stylus on my photos, as well as having access to creative drawing apps. However, this is the real world, and my MacBook Pro provides the power I need to get the job done, and has served me well up to this point.

Enter the iPad Pro. There are a couple of apps on the iPad Pro that allow it to be more than just an oversize mobile device. Yes, yes, it is more than a mobile, however it only runs on IOS. I am getting of course here... The apps that drew me to the iPad Pro 10.5 are Duet, AstroPad, and ProCreate. Procreate is more of a creative drawing tool, and may I will touch on that in another blog, but you can import photographs into it. 

Duet turns your iPad into a second screen for your MacBook/iMac, etc. It costs about 14.99 GBP, and is a really handy device to have. Having a second screen to look at is invaluable to me. I always have several applications up, including apps I want to interact with each other, without having to minimise and then maximise all the time. Does the iPad with duet replace a second monitor? No. However, it is a great substitute if you are travelling, and if you use the iPad Pro as a creative tool in tandem with your main mac/ computer. 

AstroPad is an app that allows you to use your iPad and Apple Pencil as an editing tool on full photoshop or lightroom when attached to your MacBook, macs, laptop, etc. Although rather invaluable compared to most apps, it is only an alternative to devices specifically dedicated for this task. However, AstroPad really is a fantastic tool for enthusiast and pro photographers. 

The only downside when using your iPad in the UK, is that you cannot at this point use the Spyder tool app for IOS. It is currently not available for UK App Store. Hopefully this will be changed in the future. So for now, please use your main mac/ computer device screen to judge colour and hue rendering (etc.), and use AstroPad to zoom in and edit blemishes and highlight areas you wish to edit. 

So are these tools worth it or can you live without them? Yes you can.
AstroPad: It is slower going using a mouse, and even more so using a track pad, however you can ultimately achieve the same results. AstroPad does allow you to get in and easily make the changes you wish to make.
Duet: Does not replace a real second monitor, but is a great substitute. A fantastic travel companion for anyone that wishes to have access to a second screen/ touch screen device.
Procreate: More for creative drawing, painting, and designing. However, this is one of my favourite apps of all time. Allows me to be creative, and I can import my photographs and draw/ trave over them. Handy to see leading lines and other similar elements come together. 

Anyone who has an iPad can use duet, however AstroPad works best with the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro. 

- Sly