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Have Fun with the Photo Booth App on Your iPad

With the Photo Booth app, Apple has cooked up a modern alternative to a real photo booth. The app is a close cousin to a similar application on the Mac. Remember the old-fashioned photo booths at the local 5 and Dime? Remember the 5 and Dime? Okay, if you don’t remember such variety stores, your parents probably do, and if they don’t, their parents no doubt do.

The point is that photo booths (which do still exist) are fun places to ham it up solo or with a friend as the machine captures and spits out wallet-size pictures.

Here’s how Photo Booth works:

1

Tap the Photo Booth icon.

You get the tic-tac-toe-style grid.

2

Point the front-facing camera at your face.

You see your mug through a prism of eight rather wacky special effects: Thermal Camera, Mirror, X-Ray, Kaleidoscope, Light Tunnel, Squeeze, Twirl, and Stretch. The center square (what is this, Hollywood Squares?) is the only one in which you come off looking normal — or like you’re supposed to look. Some of the effects make you look scary; some, merely goofy.

You can also use the rear camera in Photo Booth to subject your friends to this form of, um, visual abuse.

3

Choose one of the special effects (or stick with Normal) by tapping one of the thumbnails.

If you’re not satisfied with the effect you’ve chosen, tap the icon at the lower-left corner of the app to return to the Photo Booth grid and select another.

4

When you have your bizarre look just right, tap the shutter release on the screen to snap the picture.

Your pic lands (as do other pictures taken with the iPad cameras) in the Camera Roll album.

5

(Optional) After choosing an effect and taking a picture, doctor things up even further by pinching or unpinching with your fingers.

From the Camera Roll album or from right here in the Photo Booth, pictures can be shared in all the usual places or — you might want to seriously consider this, given the distortions you’ve just applied to your face — deleted.

Nah, only kidding. Keep the image and take a lot more. Photo Booth may be a blast from the past, but maybe it’s just a blast.

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