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iPad Gift for Photographers

As we enter the first full-blown holiday season since the iPad’s release, there are a good many people out there who are either getting one as a gift or toting one along to Grandma’s to wow the family and, quite possibly, use it as a laptop replacement. If it’s the latter, you’re more than likely going to need to use the iPad as a means of clearing the card on your digital camera at some point. Here are a few things that will make the process easier.

Get the Camera Connection Kit: Unlike earlier this summer, there are plenty of Camera Connection Kits in stock now. You get a dongle for SD cards and one that will connect a USB cable. If you’re considering buying an iPad accessory for someone this year, make sure this is on your list. It’s worth the US$30. But if you can’t get a hold of it, Photo Transfer App ($2.99) will allow you to transfer photos from someone else’s computer to your iPad — and vice versa — as long as you’re both on the same WiFi network. I took this app for a test drive this summer when my husband and I were attending a conference for his Ph.D., and it was simple to use. I downloaded the photos onto his netbook and used Photo Transfer App to get them onto the iPad.

Get a Dropbox account: A lot of people will have one already, but it is a godsend, especially if you have one of the smaller-capacity iPads. Download the free Dropbox app, sign up for an account (if you don’t already have one) and upload the photos to Dropbox. If you’ve never done this, go into Dropbox and create a new folder. Then, click on the camera icon at the bottom and click on the option you have there. You’ll get a menu allowing you to select photos to upload. Once the photos are in Dropbox, delete them out of the Photo app to free up room.

Download a basic photo editor: Yes, you will need one. Thankfully, there’s a plethora to choose from. If you want free and very basic, Adobe Photoshop Express will allow you to do some simple modifications. However, I’d skip right over that and go for Photogene for iPad ($3.99). It comes with a robust set of tools that most photo editors are familiar with, and it allows you to do everything from red-eye correction to adjusting curves and levels.

Play with the slideshow feature: This is also free and comes built-in to your iPad. If you shoot a bunch of photos of the newest member of the family, quickly upload them and turn that “last import” album into a slideshow. It’s a great way to add a last-minute decoration to your celebration. Just make sure no one walks off with your iPad! They can get their own.

Get the appropriate blogging app for uploading your photos: Even though there isn’t a native iPad interface, the free Facebook app is not a bad way to get photos onto the service. You won’t be able to attach photos by navigating to Facebook via Mobile Safari. The same thing is true of other services you use — WordPress, LiveJournal, Tumblr, and photo-sharing sites like Flickr. While you can navigate to these sites in Mobile Safari, you’ll need their dedicated apps to upload photos to them. Most of these should be free, but not all of them have iPad-specific interfaces. If you want something that’s iPad-specific, BlogPress ($2.99) supports most mainstream blogging sites and has a robust feature set.