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Tips for iPad Photo Retouching

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The iPad is great for making color and tone adjustments to photos, as well as applying creative filters, but what if you need to do some real retouching? Photo expert Jeff Carlson, author of The iPad for Photographers: Master the Newest Tool in your Camera Bag, 2nd Edition, shows you how to remove blemishes, edit out unwanted objects, fix red-eyes, and composite images without turning to a desktop or laptop computer.
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The iPad has become an excellent photographer's companion (which is why I wrote my book The iPad for Photographers, now in its second edition), but just what is it capable of? Sure, you can import your photos, adjust exposure, and apply photo filters to change their appearance. Sometimes, though, you may find yourself wanting to do actual retouching to fix or enhance areas.

While the iPad can't yet entirely replace the reigning king of image manipulation, Adobe Photoshop, you'll be surprised to learn what it can do. Here are a host of edits and apps, starting with easy fixes and moving to more complicated ones, that you can perform on your iPad today. Note that I'm using a small selection of apps by way of example; other apps can do some of the same types of edits. Also, most of these apps also work on the iPhone and iPod touch, not just on the iPad.

Red-Eye Removal

Red-eye is that devil-in-the-headlights look that occurs when the camera sensor picks up light—usually from the camera's flash—bounced from the backs of someone's pupils. It's such a common occurrence that nearly all image-editing apps include a red-eye removal tool. Here's how to use the one in the iPad's built-in Photos app:

  1. Tap the image in the Photos app that you want to correct.
  2. Tap the Edit button.
  3. Tap the Red-Eye button.
  4. You probably want to zoom in on the area to fix, so pinch outward with two fingers to enlarge the image.
  5. Tap the red portion of the eye. The app determines the affected area and makes it black (Figure 1).

Figure 1 iPhoto determines the red-eye area when you tap on it.

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