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Gear & Apps

There’s an App for That: Learn Photography and Lighting Basics from Your iPhone

By Hanssie on March 1st 2014


Last year, a group of developers teamed up with a professional photographer to make an app “for photography aficionados of different skills and levels.” The Great Photo App was the outcome of this collaboration and is available for your iPhone.

The team answered a few questions about the app and gave us a brief demo about this cool product.

Why did you decide to make an app instead of a more traditional photography education product?

There are already many great photography books, videos and tutorials so we decided to make something where people could go step by step through bits of theory and immediately try it for themselves in a game-like environment to really grasp the concepts.

1Tell me a bit about creating the app.

The Great Photo App encapsulated almost a year of work by a professional photographer, a designer and a programmer and, of course, our wonderful models, who endured stoically through some very long photo sets. One for the “Location light” lasted for 12 hours and Aya had to pose for all that time almost without breaks!

2We carried around various lights and took pictures – over 1000 poses overall with different combinations of a reflector, a softbox and a beauty dish.

[REWIND: Nifty iPhone Tripod by Pocket Tripod]

What are some of the features of the Great Photo App?

Here are shots from another set for the “Light basics” tool. This tool is intended to help novices get familiar with different aspects of lighting by giving them an interactive setup where they can switch different types of lights on and off and see what light sources are used for and how they affect the final picture:

3What were some of the challenges in making a product like this?

In parallel with the “regular” shoot, we were taking pictures from a camera up by the ceiling so that the user could have a look at the setup from above. We used an improvised crane to lift the Canon 6D up…4…and the EOS Remote app to take the pictures:

5We had many shoots to illustrate various aspects of photography in different locations besides the studio:

6What else should we know about the app?

There are lessons on lenses, interrelation between shutter speed, exposure and ISO, depth of focus and more. As the app stands now, it has an interactive tutorial for people learning photography and a location light reference for more advanced photographers.

We think that the “right” users will get a lot of value from the app and will be  able to considerably improve their skill; we also constantly work on adding new tools and lessons to make the app even more valuable as a learning aide and a reference.


Cheers, The Great Photo App team

How can we get a version of The Great Photo App?

You can download it in the App Store.

Also, please send your questions, comments and suggestions to us at:

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Fred

    I’ve found Fotoji ( ) to be a useful app to learn photography and take better photos. I now understand how to use my DSLR camera and what all the different settings mean.

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  2. Rashid

    Nice app, but they definitely need to add more content. Arabic localization will be appreciated as well!:)

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  3. John

    It is one of the the best educational apps I saw. Brilliant.

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  4. Rick

    Fun little app! Kudos to the authors in creating an interactive tutorial. It will really appeal towards beginners. But still a good resource all around.

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  5. Jeff

    Uh…iphone only?? Really? Pffftt. Step it up a knotch SLR Lounge and promote/publish items that do not isolate a select few. Or, change your name to Apple Lounge…….. There are wayyyy more happy and loyal Android users in the world : ) Try communicating items that include both Apple and Android to live up to your name that conveys a community of SLR users in general. Or, at least make this a common theme rather than a rare one amongst your communications.

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  6. nikki Greaves

    Is this app only available for iphones? What about the android market?

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