When is it going to be released?

The iPad app will be released later this year, hopefully around xmas after the beta-testing period. The hardware controller will be available in early 2023. Stay tuned for updates — all this might change. It's a very resource-constrained show I'm running here.

Who's behind this project anyways? What is MDK Graphics?

Basically it's just me, Michael Dominic K. with a little help of my friends. I designed/built the software & hardware after a long period of experimentation. I'm a graphics engineer by trade but I picked a lot of hardware making skills across the years as I worked on different embedded projects (starting with Nokia 770 if you remember that...).

Isn't making hardware hard?

It is. But I heard people who love software make their own hardware.

Is the hardware a mockup/3D render/future idea?

No, it's an actual working device with a factory-made circuit board. I spent a lot of time on mockups to get to this point and you can see some of the different things (actual mockups) I tried below.

Is the hardware controller required?

No, absolutely not. The hardware controller is an optional accessory. The app is meant to be fully functional "on the go" with a "bare" iPad when you're out & about. The controller makes for a lovely experience when you connect iPad to your gorgeous external screen at home/studio.

What about the iPad keyboard?

iPad keyboard & trackpad works great as well as. The keys are mapped in a similar fashion as the controller so you can seamlessly transition between different setups. It's a bit like Nintendo Switch which is a constant source of inspiration for me.

What's the price?

I don't know yet. The app will be available on the AppStore, but I'm not a fan of the subscription models for tools. Regarding the hardware, there will be probably a Kickstarter campaign where the controller will be available (initially) at a discounted price. Expect the price to be similar to a decent mechanical keyboard.

Only for black & white photography? Why?

BW photography is what I'm most interested in. It's the most pure form of photography and this is where I felt I could contribute most in terms of picture processing, tonal science & overall editing process. Monochrome pictures also extend naturally to analog dials.

That said, I did a lot of experimentation earlier with color photography in a similar setup, some videos are still on my twitter. I think I'll eventually come around to colors but more research is required.

Can I beta-test?

Sure, please subscribe to the newsletter (or reach out to me directly) to get notified when beta testing starts. This will happen soon.

Why did you do it?

Because it's fun... but also because I enjoy taking photos but not so much editing them on a computer. I'm a manual person and I enjoy having some nice manual/analog tools in my life next to my glowing screens.

I think many of the currently available iPad photo editing tools are clones of desktop-style, mouse & pointer applications not benefiting from the unique tablet features. I thought I could have something new to offer.

Does it do X

Maybe but it really just does the basics of traditional photography & light control.

This project is what I'd call “Auteur Software” — meaning, it's a very specific vision of a single person (me) on the subject of editing and enjoying photography. My hope is that some people — perhaps you — will find it suits their requirements & mental model too.

Making pictures & observing the world is a great lifetime hobby. There are many photography genres, many approaches to editing, many powerful tools that try to cover all the use cases. I'm interested only in some of them, hoping to make a better tool for street & reportage style picture capturing.