Most camera manufacturers have resources for their users. Canon has the Digital Learning Center, Sony has their Backstage 101 Community, and Nikon has their Learning Center. All are focused on getting photographers up to speed and then helping them hone their craft. What better way to learn how to do something than to hear a professional talk about it?
What it Does
Recently Nikon has taken their content to a platform that’s a little more convenient, namely the iPhone and iPod Touch, with their Nikon Learn & Explore – photo tips, techniques and terms app. While this app doesn’t remotely control cameras or let you browse your photos in some special way (why would it?), it’s a goldmine of information.
The App is broken down into four sections, Images, Learn, Nikon World and Glossary. There’s also a Favorites area where you can bookmark things you want to go back to. Some of the content in the app is flagged as beginner, some as advanced, but most of it falls in the middle.
The Images section shows a scrolling list of 70+ images, shot by various photographers. Touching an image brings up the full sized photo along with an Info button which displays a caption and a View Article button which takes you to a detailed description of who took the image and how they took it. Some photos also have video segments shot with Nikon cameras associated with them.
The Learn section is broken down by category, 4 articles on Image Editing, 10 articles on Shooting Techniques and 11 articles on the Fundamentals of Photography. Some of these articles have videos associated with them, such as Mark Alberhasky talking about making good photographs.
Nikon World is a list of the same articles as the Images section links to, listed by date.
The Glossary has a list of several hundred photographic terms, some of which you’ll be familiar with some of which you may not. Each links to a one or two sentence explanation.
The Last Word
If you shoot photographs, even if you don’t use a Nikon camera, this is a valuable resource to have on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Anywhere you have wifi access (I haven’t tested it over 3G, though I assume everything but the videos would work) you can watch videos and read articles on photos that interest you. It’s like having a short photography course in your pocket.
Best of all? It’s free. So download it.