Kit Focus: iPads on Set

As far as my ten year old is concerned the only use for an iPad is Clash of Clans, FIFA 15, True Skate and Fruit Ninja but I’ve been finding a lot more use for the iPad than gaming or idle surfing on the sofa.

Capture Pilot from Phase One has been no secret for the last five years and Hasselblad’s Phocus mobile wasn’t far behind. Since then I’ve been using both Apps mainly for client playback. As the Apps have become more stable and I gained confidence in the Retina iPad with the release of the fourth generation at the end of 2012 I’ve found over the last 18 months I’m rarely without an iPad close to hand while I’m lighting.

It’s often impractical to walk back and forth from the set to the laptop or monitor when you’re adjusting lighting ‘hands on’. Capture Pilot on the iPad is an invaluable tool that speeds up the lighting process massively. With the added benefit of remote camera control it means you can even carry on working alone when everyone else has disappeared to stand around and drink yet more coffee!

As digital continues to increase the pace of most shoots, it is essential that I can review the images coming in and make immediate adjustments to the lighting without diving in to the mosh pit around the monitor to elbow it out with the Client and Account Handler so I can catch a glimpse of what’s going on.

I like to run two or more iPads on a shoot as you can offer creatives and clients the option to rate images as they are shot on one, whilst using the other for checking lighting, styling and hair/make up. It’s also a great way to show your talent how things are looking without having them step off the set.

I’ve missed the 10x8 Polaroid so much these last few years and though the iPad can't compete with those beautiful colours, in some ways it can be just as useful.

It’s surprising how quickly an iPad can chew through its battery and how long they take to recharge so I recommend always having a charger on set and plugging in whenever possible. 

Download Color Cards from Les Herstik or Focus Chart from distant blue and your iPad just gets more and more useful. Not to mention Helios, Sun Seeker and the host of other apps out there, waiting to make our lives easier.

Right now though, I'm getting back to beating my daughter's Fruit Ninja score!