50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic ($4.99) is a collection of amazing images from around the globe. Handpicked by the editor in chief, Chris Johns, each photo has an incredible story behind it. You not only get the photos, but also the story, video and other interesting features.
Whether you're into photography or not, this collection of 50 photos is truly amazing. At first glance, some images are more powerful than others. However, each one has a unique and interesting story behind it. After viewing the image full-screen, you can swipe downward to read about the photographer, and how he or she captured the image. The descriptions are more than just a mundane description of technical specifications such as lighting and lens selections. The photographer talks about the circumstances surrounding the moment the image was captured.
Many of the photos also contain a short video clip that offers even more insight into how the photo came to be. These videos are informative and well-narrated.
The app is extremely intuitive, and offers multiple navigation methods. The most obvious is to simply swipe from side to side, advancing from one photo to the next. However, you can also pull up a side bar that allows you to quickly navigate to a specific photo. Another view lays out each page, revealing the photo and summary, and again allows for quick navigation to a specific photo. However, in the latter view, much more information is available to make a better choice about which photo to navigate to. Lastly, there is a quick scroll bar at the bottom of the screen, offering an even faster way of thumbing through the images.
There are additional features, such as sharing via Facebook and email. You can also purchase prints of each photo. However, I discovered a bug where the "buy a print" option isn't always visible. You can tap on the area where it should be, and it will work. You just can't see the button.
This is absolutely one of the most interesting apps I've downloaded for the iPad. The photos are gorgeous, and the stories behind them are captivating. My only problem is that it's much more of a coffee table app than one that will be used daily. Once you've been through all 50 photos, there isn't much more to come back to. There is one section of the app that's user-generated, and updated daily, but that's it. I hope National Geographic keeps adding great photos, so people have a reason to keep opening the app.