My app of the week – if I have such a thing-, is Grid Lens . I love the quirky design and what it does which is both simple and brilliant. On my walls I have lots of composite photo frames of my children in different poses. This app essentially creates these for you.
You can either do this manually frame by frame or set the camera to burst shoot the images with a short pause in-between. You can see some of my results (right and below) using an Ipod Touch, but of course this would work equally well ,and indeed be easier to manipulate on Ipad.
This app shakes up what is becoming to be a bit of a clichéd use of the IPad or IPod in schools. Due to their mobility and resemblance to phones, these devices can often become just about photography. Busyness is also a factor and a lack of exposure to any other apps can mean taking pictures becomes the sum of Ipad use in class, nestling comfortably with internet research. This app breaks one of these conventions by offering another way of snapping and presenting images, or at least it remixes the old favourite a bit.
How would I use this with my class? My first thoughts would be to record an event or school visit as the app would allow me to capture and showcase more than a standard view. It struck me when I used it last night at Greenwich, how much of a challenge it would be to photograph something like the revived Cutty Sark. But using Grid lens my class could snap a series of close-ups.
Why not get the children to complete a treasure hunt of images to collect. This would be a great way of ensuring everyone visited all the locations you wanted them to see on a visit. This could also be done back at school, where you could set the challenge of looking for a series of shapes, textures, emotions, materials or other objects and compile them in a grid. You could begin this activity by working with the children to design the grid layout before setting them off in groups to seek out the images.
Another route might be to look at self-image and challenge children to present a different side of themselves in each frame. There is also a link here to comics and perhaps a freeze frame could be captured in each of the frames as a way into using something like Comic life.
Compilations of juxtaposed images can also be just works or creative art within themselves. The trick is deciding what to piece together in order to form a series of complimentary images. Take a look at the film Symmetry, to see how this can be done, though I would add this is not a film I would use in class!
School use of it aside, this app makes a change from the glut of filter/ instagram type images we all see so much of online.
You can gain inspiration by viewing examples of Grid Lens images over on their Flickr group here