The iPad has the potential to save the magazine industry, may become an important marketing tool for photographers but is a complete waste of time (good for consumers, bad for work).

A lot of ink has been spilled over the anticipation, launch and criticism/joy over the iPad and now that the dust has settled I wanted to offer my own take on the device.

For Work

My first thought with the device out to the box was to use it as a way to get work done when not at my desk. I ran into two major problems with this. 1. It’s difficult to carry around because there’s no handle and it doesn’t fit in your grip so well. 2. It sucks to type on and if you spend all day typing emails like most people these days, you will add hours to your work day trying to type on this thing. So, basically it’s worthless for work. I can’t imagine a single photo editor using one and given the fact that most businesses are many years behind in even updating browsers it’s unlikely in a corporate setting it will be used for anything except testing.

Another big issue with using something like this for work is how bad the web surfing is. I don’t find it to be very quick online, the size of the screen compared to the real estate most sites are using causes lots of problems and lack of support for flash makes the online experience full of holes. Now, I really don’t want to debate the flash vs html in the comments here but I think there’s a lot of misinformation about the two. First of all flash is not going anywhere online. Here’s a couple articles that address this (Giz Explains: Why HTML5 Isn’t Going to Save the Internet, The Future of Web Content – HTML5, Flash & Mobile Apps) and most experts seem to agree (“I’m often asked “Will HTML5 replace Flash?” on the Web. The quick answer is no.” – TechCrunch story) that flash cannot be unseated as one of the standards widely adopted languages on the web.

One point that seems to get everyone fired up is html vs. flash in building websites. I have my own reasons for choosing flash, but I’ve seen horrible and awesome in both so there’s really no point in debating it. Each has its benefits. I will say that flash changed the website viewing experience for photo editors which up until Livebooks started building sites was excruciatingly horrible. I’m on record saying how much I loved flash sites as a photo editor way before I got into building websites. I’ve seen some excellent html sites but the ease at which you can build a site in html leads to many, many more diy’ers creating junk and leading to an overall feeling among photo editors that html sites were low class. One thing worth noting from all the hubbub about the two languages: “few people realize is that while H.264 appears to be an open and free standard, in actuality it is not. It is a standard provided by the MPEG-LA consortsia, and is governed by commercial and IP restrictions, which will in 2014 impose a royalty and license requirement on all users of the technology.” So, there’s more trouble brewing for video down the road.

For Looking At Pictures

The iPad is awesome for thumbing through images. The guardian eyewitness app, which showcases some of the best news photography is an excellent example of this. You scroll through a selection of images with the flip of a finger and can turn the captions on with a single tap. Horizontal images seem to look the best and holding it in the orientation feels natural to me and seems easier to do the swipes and taps.

Picture 1

The big question on everyone’s mind seems to be how can a device that shows off photography this well be used to land jobs. Since I don’t think you will find many PE’s and AB’s using one it’s more likely that a photographer will have one at a meeting or in their kit on set to show additional work. And, I think for showing off multimedia this will become the de facto portfolio as it seems nearly perfect for that. Some people have suggested shipping them around like portfolios and I’m not sure that’s such a great idea. You’ve got to worry about the battery if the thing is accidentally turned on, you’ve got to prepare for people who are technologically inept and I don’t think there’s a way to take over the device and not allow other uses besides looking at the portfolio. The other problem with an iPad as a portfolio is how hard it is for people to change their ways. Someone who is used to great success finding the perfect photographer for a project by calling in books is not going to trust a new method immediately. Also, you’ve got a pretty small screen compared to most books as Zack Seckler over on The FStop points out:

I got in touch with four art buyers at top ad agencies and they all seem to agree that print still offers a superior viewing experience. A glowing screen just doesn’t compare to big beautifully printed images on luxurious paper. If a client is looking through books, deciding to whom to grant a big budget project, a 9″ screen won’t hold up well against rich detailed prints nearly twice it’s size.

Check Zack showing off the image and video capabilities:


For The Magazine Industry

I’m pretty optimistic on the iPad as a savior of sorts for magazines and newspapers. First off, it really is a consumer device. Horrible for work, but awesome for watching videos, looking at images and reading text. It doesn’t hurt that surfing the web is not so great too. In fact a closed environment like this is perfect for publishers (a closed system also prevents content from getting ripped off). And, here’s the thing, this is what magazine people do best, package content. The challenge is whether they can create a workflow and design template that allows them to create stories that flow from print to all the different devices that will soon be available. Dell is building a 5 inch tablet (here), Google has one (here) and European publishers are backing a WePad of sorts (here).

I checked out several magazines on the device and my favorite by a long shot was Time. The Popular Science app has been receiving the most buzz because they set out to redefine how a magazine behaves on the pad and take advantage of the technology but I found myself gravitating towards a traditional magazine experience only enhanced. Time nailed the navigation, you swipe sideways to advance through the issue you swipe up to read more of a story, you rotate the device to activate some of the advertising. The photography looks stunning and the packaging of content is perfect for something like this. The other magazines I checked out on the iPad: Dwell, Outside and the Zinio Reader magazines were a disappointment and amounted to not much more than scanned pages. I’m guessing everyone is cautious to see if the device actually gains traction.

Here’s an overview of the Art Direction by Brad Colbow:

The linchpin to the whole deal for magazines is reach of the device. All of the magazines have been roundly criticized for their pricing which is something I’ve touched on before. It’s sort of like magazine companies saying you have to install a $500 newsstand in your house and then pay them $5 an issue to deliver magazines. It seems absurd to me, but I wonder if someone will break ranks and show how many eyeballs you can attract with pricing. The WePad is looking to bundle with content so you essentially pay for subscriptions to major publishers and the pad comes free. This is the business model that will surely get these things in the hands of lots of people. Of course this all relies on advertisers responding to the traditional method of display advertising which will never be back to the levels it once was. I do think there’s more of an opportunity for consumers to be exposed to advertising in this situation and certainly this kind of advertising has the opportunity to be more interactive and interesting.

The iPad is perfect for those 15 minute to 1 hour interactions you love magazines for. If magazine publishers can figure out an efficient workflow, attractive pricing and the devices can reach critical mass we will have a savior on our hands.

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  1. You need a proof-reader.

  2. One minor quibble. Flash is not a web standard because it is proprietary software. Standards exist for implementation by any vendor. Adobe Flash is popular to use, but it’s not available by Microsoft, Apple, or any other vendor. HTML is a standard. Flash is not.

    That said, I agree with you that it will continue to exist and be popular on web pages. There are far more clients that can view it, though it’s clearly better on Windows than the Mac.

    I think the rest of your review is pretty much on target. Apple is a consumer company. There may be business areas where this device works, but it’s intent is clearly as an outlet to consume media sold through the iTunes store.

  3. I agree – I always felt the iPad would be a third device not one that would replace anything, at least not yet. However, it fills a hole.

    Is there anyone out there who has shot tethered to the iPad? Photographically using it on set was my biggest hope for advancement.

    In presentations it could be cool but I agree that it’s not a drop of portfolio without alterations to be a instant on.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the revenue models shake out – God knows it’s needed.

    Thanks Rob.

  4. Speaking from a consumer perspective, and someone who is not a fan of the movement from paper to pixel media, I have to say that I like it. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good first phase. I think over time, a lot of issues will be improved.

  5. Photography needs to slow down a little to really be appreciated.
    If you will show your portfolio to someone with an iPad, he/she will not give the right value to the pictures.
    Don’t underestimate the psicologic effect of a printed paper.

    By that, i don’t mean to not publish images online (I am a big sharer) but when it comes to showing my portfolio in person, i’d really like to spend more than 3 minutes by swiping 40 images on a shiny glossy overpriced digital frame.

    just my 2 cents.

    • @Alessandro Casagli,

      Finally someone who is switched on. The ipad was garbage from the get go. Its useless as a tool for photographers right now. No way I would ever disrespect my images by presenting them in pixel format for serious evaluation/contemplation. YMMV.

      If I care about what someone thinks about my work I will stand physically in front of that person at a prearranged time anywhere in the world and show real images on a real output substrate.

      IMO the transactional velocity of modern society dictates that magazines must die. We want rich highly targeted individual stories, for a tiny micro payment ($0.10-$0.99) purchased direct from the producing source – generally in the form of a direct collaboration between artists.

      There is no room now for the $10 monthly full of junk we dont want to hear about and one or two good original articles. That was 1985.

      The problem right now is paypal sucks a%$e and rational consumers wont (and cant) charge a mere $0.20 to their credit card online.

      So I think magazines are nonsense in a modern context and the ipad as the mechanism to render magazines relevant again is nonsense. I will back my intellect against Steve Jobs any day of the week.

      The juxtaposition that matters most right now is the high transactional velocity/instantaneous demand on content against the lack of an appropriate medium of currency exchange in micro payments across global markets.

      The current iteration of the Ipad is a fair dinkum dog’s breakfast and IMO shouldn’t be touched with a ten foot pole by serious artists.

      I’m tired of hearing about it but its good to see some frank discussion on APE. Now I’m all fired up its time to go make some real art!

  6. It really is about the pricing.

    I’m willing to pay for content. I buy from iTunes and subscribe to Netflix.

    I also don’t mind advertiser supported content like Hulu or over the air TV.

    But I will not pay to see ads. Not in paper magazines, cable TV, or any digital source. If I’m giving my money, they don’t need money from advertisers.

    • @Josh Zytkiewicz,

      I find this a common thought by many. What I find curious is that people who feel this way have no issue with print magazines having ads. Magazines exists because of ad content to begin with.

      • @Christopher Lovengut, I do have an issue with print magazines having ads. If it has ads why do I have to pay for it? With paper magazines it could be justified that the small amount the consumer pays is for the paper and shipping, but with digital there is none of that.

        If a magazine, or any other media, wants to make money from advertising that’s great. There are 2 magazines that I read regularly that are ad supported, they’re delivered to me monthly and I don’t pay anything for them. But I’m not going to pay a company to deliver advertising to me.

        • @Josh Zytkiewicz,
          Well, if that’s an honest question, Chris Anderson answers it in his book Free (which you can download for free.) The magazines get a lot more money from advertisers if they can prove that people are in fact reading the magazine, and they do that by making people pay something for it, not a lot, but enough to prove they really want it. Advertisers value subscribers, and of course newsstand sales, a lot more than folks who got a free copy. So the $10 annual subscription doesn’t anywhere near cover the cost of producing the magazine, but it lets the ad-supported financing work.

        • @Josh Zytkiewicz, one last thing though – that’s in the print world. In the digital world, where copies cost less to produce, I imagine that pricing will change – and who knows, perhaps the volitional act of downloading will be enough to make advertisers happy.

        • @Josh Zytkiewicz, I am confused- aren’t a lot of you magazine (editorial) and advertising photographers and you say you don’t like ads??? Advertising pays more than just for the magazine to print itself, it can pay your salary!

          • @Suzanne and Amanda, I don’t have a problem with ads, I have a problem with what I see as double dipping. Publishers are getting paid from two different sources for the same content. Or to put it another way the consumer is paying publishers to look at their advertisers.

            @Michelle brings up a good point that advertisers prefer to market to people who have chosen to receive that content. I don’t feel that making me pay for that choice is the right thing to do.

  7. I really want to want an iPad but other then showing my work on the screen I just can’t see myself using one.

    To consume media I use
    – a home theater to watch movies on.
    – a laptop when I’m away from my desk
    – iPhone when I don’t want to use my desk or my laptop

    I think that once the killer app comes out I’ll want one as will most people. By that time there will be another iPad version, other tablets by other companies and most likely a lower cost.

    If Apple did not have the iPhone I’d get the iPad in a sec but the iPhone is just too good a device.

  8. I agree thats its going to be big with consumers and slow with working pros- but Im not sure editors are going to prefer print vs. electronic. I think what a lot of people dont realize is the future of publishing is about to get a major shake up. The future magazine is already here- its called a blog.

    I pretty much have given up with the magazines I use to read- American Photo, Outdoor photo, etc…and instead have traded them in for more timely blogs. If this is a trend- lets face it- flickr and websites will be the choice of images for editors and content creators. If and when magazines finally disappear – as an contend creator- you will be concerned on how an image looks on screen- not print- so why would you care about prints anymore?

  9. “Americans have been bought off and silenced by toys and gizmos” – George Carlin

    Content is king. The fact is, most magazines and newspapers suck. Putting them on a shiny $600 device isn’t going to change a thing. It’s just a new format for showcasing the same old crap.

    I mean, for $7 a month, the newspaper gets HAND DELIVERED to my freaking FRONT DOOR! How much more convenience do we need?

    • @Alex, right on.

  10. A couple thoughts:

    1. I agree with you about the size issue. An iPad won’t fit in your pocket and if you have to carry something around in a briefcase/shoulder bag, why not carry a full-featured laptop? There are two scenarios that keep running through my head — one very positive for the viability of the iPad, the other not so much.

    Scenario 1: School. When I think about all the crap I carried around in college (text books, work books, note books, etc.) for different subjects the notion that all that stuff could be condensed into one neat device it really drives home the sad realization that I actually went to college in the last century. God life would be easier if all you had to carry was an iPad. On the other hand, I think about all the times spent studying, or writing a paper, when I had five different source books open at the same time and I think it would be a royal pain to shuffle those around on a single iPad.

    Scenario 2: A trip to the beach. I remember when the most expensive things you took to the beach were a frisbee and a $12 transistor radio. Now you have an $800+ iPad (i.e., one with 3g and decent memory) and maybe a separate cell phone, and you’ve pushing $1k worth of assets on your beach blanket. How do you go in the water? What if your iPad goes in the water? What if you want to wander around ogling women? Go in the water to ogle women? Play volleyball with the women you’ve ogled? You get the point. If you leave your iPad unattended for several hours on the beach, it ain’t going to be there when you get back. On the other hand, if someone lifts your paper $5 magazine, oh well. There are a lot of instances where an iPad is going to be more of a burden than a benefit.

    2. Okay I won’t get into the future of flash. But a lot a lot of sites (particularly photography sites) use flash today. A device that doesn’t support flash is a problem if Web surfing is a main reason for buying it.

    3. I have to respectfully disagree on the book/portfolio issue. Sure people (especially editors) can be slow to embrace change, but the case for the iPad is compelling. We are a society of instant gratification. If I could call in someone’s book instantly (i.e. as an iPad app) and not have worry about packing it up and returning it, I think that is a winner. Okay a print copy MIGHT look better (I feel another film vs. digital debate brewing here). But an online portfolio that is instantly accessible, looks good, is up to date and contains still images and video? I’ll make a fearless prediction that the print book will be dead within 5 years.

    4. While iTunes works as well, or better, than any of the current online content purchasing vehicles, the exclusivity of it is a barrier to a magazine publishing renaissance. Most publishers are reluctant to bet their future survival (not to mention their souls) on iTunes. There are already a lot of complaints that the only one making money with iTunes is Apple. Here is an interesting read:

    • @Tom,

      One other thing, I think it’s obvious that Apple was being protectionist with the feature set on the iPad — they didn’t want to hurt the revenue stream from iPhones or its laptop computers.

      Protectionism isn’t a good look for tech vendors. Whenever you start thinking customers can only choose among your branded products, it leaves the door wide open for the competition to beat the snot out of you.

      We’ll see if future incarnations of the iPad become more robust and useful.

  11. “It seems absurd to me, but I wonder if someone will break ranks and show how many eyeballs you can attract with pricing. The WePad is looking to bundle with content so you essentially pay for subscriptions to major publishers and the pad comes free.”

    It really sounds like this is what needs to happen, and Apple may have missed the real opportunity on that front. Actually, the videogame industry is a good example here: generally, the console makers take a not insignificant loss on the console hardware itself, especially shortly after release (the Wii was an exception here). Because the systems are closed, exactly like the iPad, the console manufacturers charge the game developers a license fee and more than make up the loss.

    As I understand, the iPad is retailing at around 200% of the component price. Of course, there are other costs associated, but if the hardware itself is only 50% of the retail price, Apple could slash that by hundreds.

    Of course there are people working at Apple who know more about marketing than I do, so maybe they already considered that and were concerned about other factors. Maybe there’s some prestige pricing going on here.

  12. I’m happy to finally see a true review of this thing. Funny thing is that I’m in the CGI business, and follow the photography business very closely; for the CGI conglomerate, this thing didn’t even make a bleep on the radar, being that we’re used to dealing with high end tech on day to day basis, and need plenty of processing power to do what we do.
    On the photography side, there’s was such a hype and debate about it, but it seems like now people are realizing how useless, or more of a tech accessory this is.

  13. Rob,

    As an agent, I have already used the ipad as another TOOL, not a replacement. It’s the perfect excuse to show updated work to a client that already has seen the big beautiful books photographers have. Out of the office, at a lunch or drinks – outside the office. Not ready to replace the printed books completely, but it’s excellent for updating and showing the latest work to someone already familiar with your work.


    • @Tricia,
      Nice. I certainly think there’s a nice early adopter advantage because people want to check it out. Monte had that with his iPhone app.

    • @Tricia, I think this is 100% a great use for the machine.. how many times I shot something awesome last week and havent had the time to sit down and print it up before a meeting..

    • @Tricia, You are right on the mark.
      1. Fun tool that the demographic buyer is going to love.
      2. Make edits instantly without the costs of printing.
      3. Show additional work from a recent shoot.
      4. Still need a printed book to seal the deal in the client meeting- especially when client and AE are the older demographic and want to see things as they will appear in their medium- print not illuminated pixels.

      SO- from the research we have done- yes- buyers are excited about seeing iPad portfolios so it is a great way to introduce your work but the printed portfolio – if needed for the big jobs is still necessary to have in your back pocket!

  14. I used to use a tablet PC and in many ways it was brilliant. The downsite was, as you say, the lack of keyboard, which made text input too much hassle to be worth while most of the time. But this one had a miniature keyboard that plugged in via USB. It solved the problem, and I always had the choice of travelling light without keyboard (and relying on handwriting recognition where necessary, which on the whole wasn’t too bad), or packing the keyboard for convenience. When travelling, I could leave the keyboard in the hotel, and take the tablet with me during the day as it didn’t weigh much.

    One day, Apple will get there!

    • @Simon Crofts, FWIW, you can buy a keyboard for the iPad:
      I’m not saying I would, because my laptop is for working while traveling, and my iPad (arriving in 2 weeks) will be a reader/browser/road trip GPS device, but in case someone really wants one, they did think of it.

  15. As a photographer & illustrator, the ipad doesn’t solve any problems or make my job any easier. No thing really new in my opinion.

  16. I remember a lot of photographers saying they would never put a portfolio on the web too. It is just another tool for showing images that happens to display them beautifully!

  17. What I don’t get is all the talk about new technology. What exactly is new in iPad? Absence of keyboard doesn’t make it revolutionary device. If magazines haven’t put extensible media content online for all those millions of computers currently connected to Internet then how exactly this device with tiny screen and slow connection can change situation dramatically?

  18. One thing I don’t recall seeing yet is discussion of the high gloss screen. It is horrible because it reflects everything. It is really bad outside or even inside if you have lots of light.

    I love it for reading newspaper/magazine articles and photos. It really is much more like reading traditional magazines. I can not explain it specifically but it is a really nice experience.

    The battery lasts forever and it turns on instantly so it is more like paper in that way.

    As for the HTML/flash debate etc. I love flash. Instead of trying to make an IPad site that is Flash like I made a very simple html site. I use a script to detect the IPad and it sends them to a custom IPad site. I will see what kind of traffic the IPad site gets before I decide to spend more resources on the site.

    All that being said I think the IPad is going to create its own niche and market. I did not think it would before I owned one but I really do think it is different than a laptop or IPhone.

    I also agree with Rob that the best use I have found for it now is reading newspaper/magazines.

  19. the ipad is a large ipod touch.

  20. 1. Tired of hearing about it.
    2. Agree that it’s not a game changer (yet), for photographers, art buyers, art directors nor magazines and/or newspapers.
    3. Second and third generations of the thing may change things as well as competitors products
    4. It’s too heavy
    5. Hopefully it’s not another “Macbook Air” for Apple
    6. Photographers and the general public will come up with ways that it’s useful for them faster and more effectively than a team of engineers, product developers and marketing people will. Apple will then make changes based on what the consumer wants to do with it. As far as magazines go, it’s up to them to make it work. Same old same old on a different instrument means they die and it’s their fault. OR, it/they won’t.
    7. Time will tell

  21. […] Haggart of has an insightful evaluation of the iPad and its implications for work, viewing photographs, and the magazine industry. Video samples of it […]

  22. I am not anti apple or new media, however to me this is just another item produced by our friendly fruit producers to make money. yea it is nice to be able to change the orientation to view things in portrait or landscape.

    If apple really wants to produce a product work having then produce a tablet style notebook with a touch screen. they are doing it with just about everything else so why not, well okay so it will cost just as much as their currently pricey products now. so if they get a product around the price range of a 15″ dell then maybe the can steals some tech junkies.

    To read a magazine online with a notebook is just a programing issue, you use the notebook just like the ipad.

    As far as using it for showing work, I would rather use a print, Thats why I have an office filled with them. Albeit I don’t work in advertising, I want new client to see a premium sample of what they are paying me for. I think it is the same principal.

    I would rather have a printed product because I like to re-read articles, look for an ad I found interesting. I really don’t feel like cataloging an online sub that is stored on my network drives. Maybe I am not sure how this online mag stuff works until I start getting PDN again. Giving them another chance.

    For what it’s worth…

  23. I have an iPhone.
    I have a MacBook Pro.
    I have Kindle.
    the iPad just doesn’t have a place in my technological life.

    I just find it to be an oversized clumsy iPod Touch and an undersized crumby laptop. I don’t have a need for either of those things.


  24. I’m not saying it’s not without its problems… but anyone who thinks the iPad is just an oversized iPod Touch just isn’t getting it and I’m wondering if they’ve even used one or are just repeating what others have said. And I don’t mean use it for 5 minutes at the Apple store. I mean, USE it.

    I’ve only had one for two weeks and I wouldn’t want to go back to not having one (and that’s even with a LONG list of complaints I have about it).


    • @Jeff Singer

      Jeff I totally agree with you. At home it’s become my goto device for checking email and doing less intensive tasks like sketching out lighting diagrams and mockups. In the studio I have it laying around for clients to view some additional work and access the web. There’s been some very ingenious software already written for the device (Sketchbook Pro as an example) and I think there’s a lot of potential. For example, I’d like to see Apple extend Aperture to allow clients a way to view images without hovering over the the technician’s shoulder, with 17 days out I see lots of potential.

  25. i cant wait to see how my new aphotofolio site looks on the ipad.

  26. The iPad is most certainly designed to be in the hands of content consumers. It’s taking some time for people to get out of the tablet computer = work computer mentality. Checking your email, Twitter and other communication programs are nice perks. If you really wanted to do more typing intensive work I’d highly suggest getting a bluetooth keyboard to use with it. Once expectation aligns to the type of use its optimized for I think there will be less complaints about its limitations. In fact I’d argue the limitations are by design.

    As I noted in my blog post on why photographers should take note of the iPad interaction is its greatest strength. I certainly wouldn’t send out an iPad like a portfolio book, but I’d gladly use it to display my work to others and have them interact with it. It has the potential to open the door to a portfolio book interaction for those that don’t get your portfolio book.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how the iPad and its competitors drive new life into content consumption for magazines and other types of publications.

  27. On a sidenote, I would like to say that I believe that Apple got it all wrong. They should have launched the Ipad first, then a couple of years later came out and launched the Iphone. They could have said “hey look, we took the ipad, shrunk it down to pocket size, added a camera, and a phone” I think that would have been more impressive, this way, half the world has iphone already, and now this is just an oversize ipod touch, and I think that made it suffer some of its impressiveness. As slick of a device as it may be, my friends that have them I tease and tell them that I liken what they bought to those giant tv remotes or telephones with the giant numbers that elderly people always have so they can see what they are doing.

  28. Build it and they will come… I’m holding my breath. Is the IPad the right platform? We’ll see. We can bitch all we want, but damn, we’re lucky to be living in a time that is putting so many great possibilities at our feet.

  29. We need more consumer crap! More expendables. More convenience. More distractions. More toys & devices to consume more resources like coal to generate electricity and fill our biosphere with more mercury.

    There will always be technoid geeks that *need* every little new thang.
    Meanwhile, some of the best in the business are still creating impressive work with film.

    “All of the magazines have been roundly criticized for their pricing which is something I’ve touched on before. It’s sort of like magazine companies saying you have to install a $500 newsstand in your house and then pay them $5 an issue to deliver magazines. It seems absurd to me, but I wonder if someone will break ranks and show how many eyeballs you can attract with pricing. The WePad is looking to bundle with content so you essentially pay for subscriptions to major publishers and the pad comes free. This is the business model that will surely get these things in the hands of lots of people. Of course this all relies on advertisers responding to the traditional method of display advertising which will never be back to the levels it once was.”

    There are no free lunches.
    With adverts down, and media companies charging less for a ticket to ride, what will they be willing to spend on content?
    Low ticket /high volume? Could work. But media companies will need to have their feet in at least a few different formats/technologies. If this ads value (ROI) they may be willing to produce more (quality) content. Then again they may face more competition for eyeballs from social networks and niches.


    “Profit surged to $3.07 billion, nearly double the $1.62-billion total a year ago, on revenue of $13.5 billion, up 48%. Apple earned $3.33 per share — more than 35% higher than analysts had expected.”,0,1969415.story

  30. Personally, I’m definitely planning to use the iPad. What many of the comments I’ve read above and elsewhere on the web fail to take into consideration are the following:

    Trying to say that it won’t catch on or be popular makes littles sense when it’s already outsold the iPhone release by a staggering margin.

    Think about all the other aps for iPad that don’t even exist yet, but are sure to explode the way iPhone aps have. I love a little iPhone ap called “Easy Release” for capturing property and model releases. I can think of a half dozen other cool tools like this for a studio or location situation. Some of this stuff exists already for iPhone and will shine that much brighter on a bigger screen. Using it as a small portfolio while a novelty now, sells the device short of its potential. Not all business out there are a fortune 500 company, and we actually need things like this that can be deployed on a small scale but unlock powers normally reserved for accounting departments, shipping and receiving departments, and so on.

    A real tool for a photography business? You bet. The next best portfolio…. I’m not so sure. I love gadgets and am not afraid to leverage technology but I still appreciate well printed photographs. So I’m firmly in the paper portfolio camp, I guess.

    I am very much looking forward to seeing how magazines develop on the iPad. I want to believe that so many wonderful things could happen with all my heart, but my brain tells me the smart magazines will continue to make great work on the iPad and the dumb ones will continue to be worthless.

  31. The real advantage I see with the ipad , which was slightly touched on, is the multimedia aspect of the device. I think in no way will printed media die, but the ability to provide a mixed stills/motion service will be key going forward and I do believe the ipad is a wonderful way to showcase said skills/work.

    I also think it will not take the place of a printed portfolio, but rather as an amazing accompanying tool for creative sales/presentation to show the following:

    print/still/multimedia mix, even showing still images inside/with text

    showing stills and video together

    showing behind the scenes, directing experience etc etc

    the possibilities are really limitless, but I think it will take a while before it catches on .

    another cool article, thanks rob

  32. Here’s why I’m excited about the iPad – not for how we can use it in the studio, but because maybe, maybe, maybe, it will increase demand for great photos. All of this turns on whether consumers adapt it in large numbers and publishers and advertisers respond accordingly by creating content that looks good on it. And it doesn’t have to be the iPad – just any kind of tablet device designed for consuming media that makes images an important, integral, high-quality part of the experience. Something where images are part of the design. And where you can click on an image and make it fill the whole screen.

    Right now, the design of online magazines and newspapers largely sucks, and blogs are even uglier. When I think about what *could* be, I’m reminded of the jump from the original green screen monitors to what we have now. I think (ok, hope) the dawn of the tablet is the beginning of a new era of viewing content online, where imagery is going to matter. A big part of what destroyed the stock photography industry is that advertisers couldn’t see paying a lot of money for a photo that was going to show up in a tiny little box, at low-res, for a few days at most. The imagery just hasn’t mattered. But now, maybe it will. And that’s good for photographers.

    We should all be hoping fervently that the iPad and other tablets are embraced by consumers – that the market gets competitive, pricing comes down, and that these absolutely saturate the market.

    • @Michelle,

      “demand for great photos”?
      “The iPad is absolutely, no question about it, a consumer product”.

      No doubt stock photography helped dig the grave of commissioned work, and then stock dug its own grave. But it was primarily (over) supply and “good enough” – not the size of digital adverts.
      The world economy and shift to social media (free) is also a (periodic) influence. In general the consumer is not looking for new revelatory content (text or images), they are looking for content that reaffirms what they already know or believe.

      If advertisers don’t care about images they would not be used. The iPad will not change this. One current advert fashion online uses flash when combined with editorial content. Another uses streaming media (motion/video). Is one superior to the other? Which one costs less to produce?

      Buying an expensive Apple product may be a form of ‘in group’ social validation for many purchasers. The use of the product does not mean most consumers will pay premiums for the content. In fact many consumers already pay more for products by repeatedly buying the same failed (cheapo) product over and over again – instead of buying quality the first time at a higher initial purchase price. This is how many consumers behave today: short term/cheap purchase = longterm/higher expense.

      Design (all design) has been primarily dependent on grids. Look at the shape of your (man made) world: grids. The iPad is still a grid. Divergence from a grid to free form shapes does not fit well within a grid based world, and it is much more costly to design and build. We do see free form at times (furniture, architecture, product, and graphic design) but at a premium cost. In this grandfathered grid which we live function thrives, don’t expect a revolution overnight or even in the first half of the century.

      • @Bob, Either you think people care about great photography, or you don’t. I happen to believe that they do, and will respond to it and consume it if it is offered to them. I don’t think they care about it enough not to use the web as their primary means of media consumption, because that offers so many benefits, but I think if offered both, people will reach out for it. It’s hard to imagine working in a professional photography studio (I’m Greg’s studio manager, by the way) if you don’t believe that.

        • @Michelle,

          Nah, it’s not that black & white. People have varying responses to images. Even the same individual may change over time. If it was as you say we would see even less diversity today. There are many different levels of media consumption.

          I use the web today and don’t have an iPad (no current plans to buy one). I have my desktops and my laptop. I don’t need more stuff! I want a simpler, greener life, with less distractions.

  33. Disagree that the web browsing is ‘bad’, and actually am puzzled by the assertion. Maybe we browse the web in different ways, but so far I’m finding the browsing experience to be pretty great and a (maybe ‘the’) positive expression of the device’s core function.

    There’s some fiddling, some rotation from portrait to landscape, etc., but overall the ability to control what you’re seeing, to pinch into or out of your own customized viewport, is pretty amazing. I agree that the real estate most content-heavy high traffic sites are using is out of control, the density and cognitive load on most front pages is an order of magnitude or more too high.

    Pinch-to-zoom (and frame) allows you to block out the ‘noise’ of 50 headlines vying for your attention and just, at least momentarily, concentrate on what you’re actually trying to read (rather than scan).

    Speaking of scanning, in landscape mode this works pretty well, with maybe a touch of zoom to leave out the navigation or scroll up the ad and see the main content body of the page. Then a further pinch zoom gets you to the box, or block, of the grid that caught your eye.

    I’m actually struggling with articulating the experience in part because I’ve found it so intuitive since the first time I used it. For a lot of site-driven functionality out there (think Facebook) I don’t think an app is even necessary. I just looked at the GQ app and have to say I missed being able to zoom the text just so, frame the column or block of text I’m reading just how I want it and did not enjoy reading the fuzzy PDF-like type in landscape mode (which doesn’t do the screen its displayed on justice).

    Don’t get me wrong, as an overall expression of magazine-ness, particularly from an art direction point of view, I think the GQ app is fine, or great actually, but in styling everything so explicitly (again, esp. in landscape), you lose a little of the personal customization that makes the content you’re viewing on the iPad feel like yours. It’s the difference between being shown something and finding it yourself.

    In the iPad era, magazines will need to strike a balance between both as they cater to the evolving sophistication of the modern reader, who by now finds web browsing to be second-nature. Given a familiarity with multi-touch, from the iPhone and similar devices, I think they’ll find touch browsing (writ large on the iPad) to be second nature as well.

  34. I wonder now if this technology of viewing magazines and newspapers on tablets or some other screen resolution really becomes mainstream in the coming years what this is going to do to the pro-level cameras and what it means to be a “pro-photorapher” even more then the current debate? If you think about it, how many pixels do you need for even a screen that is 1080p (which the iPad isn’t even)? 4-8mp max (allowing some leeway to crop an image)? This is going to allow photo shoots for magazines to be taken on iPhones after the next generation (which I’m going to guess will shoot 720p video). This will put magazine editorials in the hands of anyone who can spec and pitch and might not have the pro-tools needed for actual print like it is currently. For example Cari Ann Wayman and all those other young hipster Flickr kids(literally most being 14-19 years old) who already influence catalogs like Urban Outfitters.

    • @Christopher Lovengut,

      Excellent point, Chris. In some media we are already there:

      Bunny was using her phone mainly to text friends until she saw a TV ad about a keitai novel website that allowed users to write novels on cellphones for free. Inspired by some of the novels she read, Bunny took a crack at one herself, simply following the word limit of 1,000 characters per page.

      “Wolf Boy” has grossed more than $611,000

      Add in some “good enough” factor…. :x

  35. I, too, am puzzled by the “poor as a Web browser” comments. I suspect this says more about both the sites you visit and your browsing habits than it does the iPad. To expect a portable device to be the same experience as your desktop 30″ monitor is the wrong approach. Moreover, too many photographers’ sites rely upon Flash. My personal experience with the iPad for browsing the Web is actually quite good, and it’s even better if you’re running from something like NetNewsWire being driven by RRS feeds.

    As for “replacing print portfolios,” no. People don’t seem to understand new paradigms when they first emerge. They always get into the “it replaces X” thought pattern, but historically, replacement is unusual. Supplement, augment, extend, and especially “entirely new market” are more like it. I don’t always carry my portfolio with me (actually, rarely do unless I’m meeting with someone specifically about it). But impromptu showings? The iPad is perfect, as I do carry it around most of the time. When was the last time you pulled out your print portfolio on an airplane because you discovered you were sitting next to the art director of XYZ?

    Your comments about Time are only partially on mark. Yes, the Time magazine implementation–done with Woodwing, by the way–is better than any of the other ones out there at the moment. But driving an iPhone/iPad/Android publication from “design” (inDesign) rather than a database is the wrong way to do it. Apply design to a database not database to a design. The magazine industry has been getting this wrong for quite some time, including many of their Web sites. Old habits are difficult to give up, I guess. If you want to see something that has the right underlying mechanics (but still needs design work) look at the NPR application.

    As for the costs (and especially your absurd $500 newsstand comment–does the newsstand on your street serve your email and show you movies, too?), we’re still very early in the game, and most of the major players all seem frightened about the consequences of print versus electronic pricing differentials (e.g. WSJ). This gets us back to the “replace” versus “new” arguments. Ask a radio station what happened when TV came out.

    Your comments seem to me much like the comments I’m hearing from others in the print industry. They don’t fully get it yet. Personally, I wish I was still running Backpacker, because the iPhone/iTouch/iPad have opened up a number of things that you can’t do in print, and should have opened up new revenue streams.

    • @Thom Hogan,
      Yeah the browser works in a pinch but many websites are now designed to be large and high bandwidth … a least the one’s I’m interested in visiting for entertainment and those perform poorly on the pad, not to mention the flash problem which is actually a huge issue.

      since you worked at a magazine you understand the cost of making a magazine is mostly printing and distribution. on an ipad those are both zero. why is that? because the ipad is like a printing press and mail truck rolled into one… and I paid for it, not the publisher. so, why are they still charging five bucks?

      I would really like to see cell phone pricing emerge on these devices. You sign up for 2 years at x amount per month and get so many publications each month anything over that comes at a different rate and the device (ipad, wepad, dell, hp) costs 99 bucks. It would be very simple for the magazine and newspaper publishers to get involved (besides the cost of the app but I believe redesigning the templates for the printed magazine so it can flow into different size screens will solve this) and they would get a percentage based on how many issues people download.

      I don’t understand the database design comment. Design is what makes a magazine.

      • @A Photo Editor,
        As I wrote, your comments about the browsing experience say more about where you browse. Be very careful about assigning your own personal habits to the popular at large. Indeed, one could argue that the cut-down browsing experience on mobile devices may lead people to browse different sites. The little data I’ve seen so far indicates that this may already be happening with some sites that don’t automatically recognize small screen devices and adapt.

        I said nothing about the charges for magazines on the iPad that would indicate that I’m in disagreement with you. There are things I’d pay more for on an iPad than on paper, things I’d pay less. Making a relatively exact duplicate of the printed version isn’t something I’d pay US$4.99 for. Indeed, I can get Time far cheaper on paper than electronically, which tells you something about how totally wrong-headed Time’s economic models are right now. Basically, the whole industry got lazy with the old model, and when they should have been changing it (about 10 years ago) they didn’t. I have no sympathy for the situation they now find themselves in.

        The smart organizations will not have any trouble coming up with new cost paradigms. Indeed, if you look at the companies that Apple and Google acquired recently (e.g. the iAd future), if you were a publisher at a magazine and thinking that you’ll just bring your traditional model over to electronic you’re going to be in for a very rude and dramatic shock. Suddenly small publishers like me may have as good a chance at grabbing ad revenue as the big boys, should they want to. Funny thing is, none of this should be a shock to anyone. What amuses me is that the video guys didn’t learn from the record guys, and now the magazine guys aren’t learning from either of them. Those big dollars from the old way are really hard to let go of. It’s the age old question: what business are you in?

        I find it highly ironic and amusing that you run a Web site that’s sitting on a database and you don’t understand my comment about databases versus design. But then again, you haven’t done much with the design, have you? ;~)

        In the electronic world, everything should be driven from a database. That’s how you optimize workflow. You can apply kind of design you want to that, should you care to. Indeed, you can put together DIFFERENT designs for different media being driven from the database (print, Web, iPad, whatever). If you do it the way Time Magazine and Woodwing would have you do it, you “create” your electronic look by using design tools first and foremost, like inDesign. But where the heck does all your copy, images, video, and graphics come from? Same old tired and old school workflow as before, which, since you worked for a magazine, you know is pretty low on the productivity front. Moreover, you’ve got a different designer using Dreamweaver for the Web site than the one using inDesign for the print. And both those processes are different, too.

        One of the last things I did at Backpacker was design and begin to deploy a completely database driven system that fed both print and Web, which they fairly quickly abandoned after I left because they liked the micro-managing human workflow version better, because it restored power to the many layers of crud at the top (ironically, they kept much of the Web part of the system, though to this day they’ve still not turned on all the bits and pieces that are in it and created the site they should have).

        • @Thom Hogan,

          Yes, exactly it’s not a complete browsing experience and so it fails. Fine if you love looking at text I’m sure.

          I do know all about databases and design but pushing data is not the issue here so your comment didn’t make sense to me. The design needs to be adaptable. The creative director I spoke with last week is not having a problem with the text and pictures, just moving between platforms. Woodwing is headed towards the right solution.

          I see you’ve solved all that on your website tho.

          • @A Photo Editor,
            Gee, do you think that the “not having a problem with the text and pictures, just moving between platforms” might be an indicator of something? Of course he’s not having a problem with the text and pictures, he’s working with a program that is old school and brute force. And because the pixel counts are different on every platform screen he’s dealing with, I’ll bet you he’s manually resizing images constantly. If the image lived in a database and the database had designer-specified methods of resizing, he wouldn’t be having that problem. Just as you wouldn’t have a problem changing fonts in this site if the text were living in a database and didn’t have a font hard-coded to it. Indeed, I suspect fonts are part of your creative director’s problem, too, as they vary in availability with platform.

            Woodwing is not really the solution. Basically your creative director is going to find that he has to design each issue for each platform instead of designing a template for platforms and then applying the same data (text, images) to it. Woodwing is the old-school approach, and it’s reasonably brute force. But it’s comfortable for most creative directors because it looks like what they’ve been using. Just as Lightroom is a different way of working with images than Photoshop, so would a true Publish Anywhere program look different than inDesign.

            Again, your Web browsing experience fails for you. You seem to be trying to assert that because it fails for you that it fails for everyone. It most certainly does not. And it doesn’t limit you to text-only sites. But again, given your current venture, you’re vested in Flash, and it’s very true that the iPad doesn’t support Flash. A “with it” publisher of Web sites and eMedia has to adopt to what’s there and what people are using, not try to force everyone to some other solution. I’ve tried several upcoming Win7 “tablets,” and quite frankly, they may be able to play the Flash on a site, but they have plenty of other problems holding them back, too. As a ePublisher, you have to try to find a solution that works for all the platforms or you find yourself with a subset of the market.

    • @Thom Hogan, Hmmm,
      never sat next to an art director on an airplane..and don’t wish to. I have an agent that gets 30% for siiting next to “art directors” on airplanes.Curious..what new revenue did your iphone open up for you? Mine keeps dropping calls, although my kids and i do enjoy the ifart app.

  36. a couple of thoughts for the use as a portfolio: Imagine handing over a fragile device like an iPad to a bike messengers. A print book can take a bump or 10, but just think how quick screens will start to show up scratched or cracked. This will inevitably lead to the comparisons of the glossy, scratched screen to acetate pages of print portfolios. But I really start giggling when I think of a relatively desirable art buyer or photo editor’s office with a stack of identical looking iPads in the corner. Sure there will be skins, cases and all the other accessories to customize and those will quickly become the new annoyances and debates that some will let distract them from the conversation of the photos within.

    I hope it is everything everyone wants it to be. I’m waiting for the 22″ x 14″ version so that my spreads won’t have to fit within a 9 to 10″ screen. Anyone know the release date on that one?

    • @Ryan Roberts, your notes are VERY important to consider and valuable!! It is something we have to thing about- personally we think the iPad should be for face to face and the printed one is delivered!!

  37. Personally we have decided to hang out in bars across from Apple head-quarters and wait for a proto type is left there and then we will make millions even if it was a publicity stunt!!

    iPad, ITouch, iPhones, Apple Air- we always wait for a few generations like others have mentioned above. Sometimes it is better to wait till the kinks are worked out and the price comes down!

    • @Suzanne and Amanda, Excellent business plan :)
      Pair that with a manufacturer in China and a good distribution channel, and you”ll have the next iCrap on the market before Apple!

    • @Suzanne and Amanda,

      I wouldn’t count on iPad prices coming down substantially. I don’t think the margins are as good as some other Apple products. But the prospect of updated, more useful, features is definitely a reason to wait.

      All-in-all the first generation iPad is a weak market offering. It has received a lot of buzz because it’s from Apple. And there is a loyal customer base that will ensure solid first year sales. But the product, in its current state, does not really set the standard for this genre of device. That suggests Apple will have to make some significant improvements, or competing products might wind up capturing more market enthusiasm.

      Unless you need an iPad for development reasons, or you just have to have the latest gadget, waiting is a good choice. This is a market segment that needs to evolve a bit. The benefits of this type of device have been well documented. But the right combination of features/functionality is still a moving target.

      Also, FWIW, the bar where this incident happened is in Redwood City (Apple headquarters is in Cupertino). It’s not far, but not across the street.

      • @Tom,

        To clarify, the “incident” I referred to was the lost iPhone prototype.

  38. I’ve been a Mac user since 1993 and this is the very first Apple product that I am really not interested in. (Well Apple TV and the Cube were up there in non-interest)

    I do expect it to change how content is managed and delivered. I think it would be great as a display when shooting tethered. Hand it off to an Art Director or the client and they can participate without hovering around the digital tech and his or her workstation.

    I am excited about the possibilities of content with more depth in the delivery.

  39. Creatives are in love with Apple. If this thing came from Dell would it be considered to be the savior of publishing, or an overpriced piece of crap?

  40. Nice point Andy, but if the convergence thing is valid, then the IPAD is the place to start. We’re all dreaming about the way we want consumers to view our content, but in the end the market will choose what satisfies them. Hummm… kind of like the way a magazine is judged, if it’s good they’ll read it.

    It’s just frustrating to stand on the sidelines waiting for that decision. What’s more frustrating is that the whole model can and most likely will change, judging by the way things have shaken out so far. Adapt, there’s no choice, but be prepared to change.

  41. Use as a portfolio?
    Why the fuck can’t we forget that and forget the traditional leather/scratchy ass acetate portfolio. Save a ton of dough (ink,paper,books,messenger fees) and stick with websites????????????????????????????????????”This is my website,these are my pictures,that is my agency,these are my clients……hire me or don’t, from goddamn website that you kooks said i needed 10 yrs back”.Load of horseshit as my grand pappy would say.Just another gadget to stick in your backpack with…drum role please…….Your laptop,cellphone,ipod,digi camera,mini hard drive,charging devices and whatever the hell else you want to throw in there..Run out and get one kiddies or you won’t be a “real” photographer….lame and sissyfied this biz has become! Consume,consume,consume………………….fattys!

    • @BOOBS, that’s what happens when middle aged men are allowed to write blogs they all want the same thing “muscle cars, cool gadgets and a toupe” to look young again :p.

  42. It’s always funny how new technology can illicit such a strong response from everyone. This reminds me of the early days of digital vs. Film. Perhaps we should have never advanced from albumen to wet plate, or wet plate to Speed Graflex. This is just another tool my fellow primates. The change in media continues like the tide. Ride the wave my friends. It’s going to be O.K.

    (written on my Ipad)

    • @Chris sheehan, The funnier thing is how none of this really has to do with PHOTOGRAPHY. (written on my desktop?)

      • @BOOBS,

        This has everything to do with photo-
        graphy my friend. Taking photos, creating
        imagery is only half of the endeavor.
        Sharing your vision is the other half.
        Don’t panic. Print, contrary to popular
        belief, isn’t going away anymore than
        radio went away after T.V. arrived. But
        this is the new media and you can’t put
        the genie back in the bottle.

        • @Chris Sheehan, Are you sure? while many people have bought it you don’t hear the noise and praise that generated the Iphone, I’m not that sure it will succeed as the Iphone did.

          • @Karl,

            It took almost two years and a 2nd generation for the iPhone even began to saturate the market and really it’s just finally getting to a point where it’s competitive. I’m not saying iPad is going to be as successful, I believe it’s too niche a device, but this was the same sort of talk when the iPhone came out. With the iPhone, most people acted like, “What’s the point for the cost? I already have an ipod and don’t need my phone for this.” Where the iPad is going to fail is there is not going to be a $99 version which brought the iPhone mainstream.

            • @ChristopherLovenguth,Chris back when the Iphone was launched it was a madness of people raving how awesome the phone was (and real people talking outside the net too), with the Ipad it seems the hype was until it was launched and some tech blogs are still talking about it but you don’t see the public madness the Iphone created at only weeks of its launch.

              In that we agree a no mass consumer price will not be good for them, much less when other tablets better speced appear (in the end Itunes will be there for those pads too)

  43. Don’t get bogged down with HOW clients will be viewing your work.

    WHAT they will be viewing is always more important .

    • @Andrew Pinkham, Indeed!

    • @Andrew Pinkham,

      People who have average work need to impress clients with large prints. On an iPad screen, average work will look, well, average. When that work is blown up to a large print, it always looks better.

  44. I think in some respects you are right..It’s the glass half empty or half full deal.
    I’m a bit jaded after 13 yrs of shooting for the top mags.(not bragging just saying)..this is just another expense and time consuming contraption to take the photographer away from actually shooting/creating. Another “tool” to keep greased,updated ,charged,and protected. Can’t wait to get my ipad back stained with coffee and donut fingerprints. Why not just have websites? Why not get called into a meeting..sit around the art buyers desk with the other “powers that be” and discuss/view the website? Why can’t that be done? Now 10 yrs down the line I still have enormous portfolio expense(money&time)and a website expense(money&time)and so i will add to that with the ipad?

    • @BOOBS,

      First, greasing your iPad would definitely void the warranty. Please don’t to that. On the bright side coffee stains and donut fingerprints should wipe off fairly easily with a damp cloth.

      You do realize the electronic book concept doesn’t mean you, or your agent, will put an iPad into a Fedex box and overnight it to the client. The idea is, via software (e.g. an app), an art buyer could download an electronic version of what currently is a physical book for evaluation. The art buyer could do the download in a matter of seconds and could either file it for future reference or delete it. The AB wouldn’t have to return it. And you wouldn’t have to go chasing ABs who threw your book on a pile and forgot about it. And neither you or the AB would have to pay Fedex $60+ for the overnite fees.

      There is a legitimate debate over whether an electronic “book” would present as well as images printed on good-quality stock. But there are significant counterbalancing advantages. You could update images in your book much more frequently and you could add video to the presentation. So the content could be fresher and more attractive. Think about it more as an infomercial than just a sample of your work.

      Like it or not marketing is always going to be part of your job. Keeping up with current technology is just part of being in business.

      • I have an issue when “current” technology when it brings nothing new or useful to the table I see nothing unique here.

        • @Andrew Pinkham,

          I have to disagree. That’s like saying you don’t have an email address because is no better than sending a letter. Email, text messaging, etc. is how people communicate today. If you can’t play you are at a significant disadvantage.

          To me it’s obvious the bound “book” concept is going to give way to the electronic book. Sooner or later when someone calls in your book, and you send them a pretty bound hardcopy volume it’s going to be seen as a negative. The art buyer may have loaded five other artists’ books onto his iPad (or similar device) and plans to review them on a flight to Australia. Sorry, but the AB isn’t going to schlep your book through four airports. So guess who’s work doesn’t get reviewed?

          • @Tom,

            The AB can already view work online. They’ve been doing it for awhile now :)

            You do realize some of the very best photographers still shoot film? Promotions just swung toward mailed pieces and away from email. How can that be in our current tech uber alles world?

            In this “sooner or later” world, the commoners may all use digi-books and the more elite may still use *real* books. Or the AB might source 12 images for a dollar from 16yos on flickr. If that art buyer is actually working on her flight to OZ she might choose a full service device for efficiency…. you know, like a laptop!

            • @Bob,

              >>The AB can already view work online. They’ve been doing it for awhile now :)

              Sure. And yet bound books are still called in and reviewed. A book is more of a targeted marketing vehicle. I’m just saying as electronic versions of “books” become more convenient, better produced and more current than hardcopy versions, it’s going to become an expected offering that a “professional” photographer should be able to produce.

              >>You do realize some of the very best photographers still shoot film? Promotions just swung toward mailed pieces and away from email. How can that be in our current tech uber alles world?

              Of course. But most either shoot a combination of film/digital or strictly digital. If you are high enough on the food chain you can make demands that other artists’ cannot. As far as promotions are concerned, there is always going to be a zig when the other guys zag mentality. I don’t think you can call that a rejection of technology.

              >>In this “sooner or later” world, the commoners may all use digi-books and the more elite may still use *real* books. Or the AB might source 12 images for a dollar from 16yos on flickr. If that art buyer is actually working on her flight to OZ she might choose a full service device for efficiency…. you know, like a laptop!

              I never said an iPad would be the exclusive vehicle to display an electronic book. I doubt that it will.

          • @Tom,

            I email web invites , text and send my thank you notes by mail. For my in person appointments, a printed folio.

            If an art buyer has an ipad and wants to look at my work, say the word & a pdf folio is on it’s way. An ipad could be great but but they still could view this on a laptop. The work is always the star.

  45. Rob,

    In terms of “getting work done” the pad really needs a external keyboard. If you need to do serious typing, a Bluetooth keyboard totally solves the problem.

  46. I can’t speak from experience of actually handling the Ipad, but it seems to me that right now this is merely a fun toy with the potential to develop into more. And I’m certain it will be more than a toy in the coming years.

    My initial thought as a photographer is to certainly do what you mentioned above, and use the Ipad as a supplement to my print portfolio. It’s a platform that I can easily begin to show my video and multimedia on. For me, this is where the real power in the Ipad exists.

  47. Most of the big photo buyers that I know have used electronic media to find new talent and then requested printed portfolios to seal the deal. The iPad won’t replace that printed portfolio right away, but as other have suggested, it will augment or supplement it.

    One aspect of the iPad as portfolio that I have not heard enough said about is the ability to pass it around. I think it could be the anchor point for the success of the device as portfolio. Think about it…we’re used to handing prints or a book to someone who then takes control of their own viewing experience. This rarely (if ever) happens on a computer screen. But the mere act of handing the iPad over has (in my personal experience) been transformative. I have done very well showing my work on the iPad and had several new jobs come in already as a result. I am convinced that the light in the eyes of the photo buyers who I showed my work to was directly related to the experience (the tactile experience) of holding the iPad and viewing the photos at their own pace. Zooming and pinching when THEY want to. Moving from picture to picture and back when THEY want to. It’s remarkable to watch. It reminds me of the first time I projected my slides using a Kodak Carousel Projector. (Dating myself here.)

    The screen looks great. The images look great. But it’s the difference between pointing to a Cinema Display and HANDING OFF your portfolio that I find notable and exciting.

    • @Scott Bourne, Weird most of the AB´s and big ad agencies I have been talking to don´t like the idea of babying an expensive gadget that has to be returned to the photographer… nor they like the idea of photographers giving it because it can easily misinterpreted as a bribe.

      Your point is kinda funny… you are relying in the “cool factor” (pinching and zooming)of the gadget rather than the strength of the portfolio being presented and serious people would be easily able to see past this.

      Thinking that gadgetery is a way to impress a client isn´t forward thinking.

      • @Karl, I’m sorry but I don’t think you understood what I said or you misrepresented it to gain debate points. I am not talking about sending the iPad anywhere and asking for it to be returned. I never said that. Read my comment again. And I am not relying on the cool factor. I am factoring in cool. There’s a difference there. I’m really comfortable with my ability to impress clients. Since there’s a link to my name it’s easy to see what I’ve sold and published. Since there isn’t a link to yours I have to assume you’re just an iPad hater posing here. Feel free to prove me wrong.

        • @Scott Bourne, As a matter of fact I do have an Ipad, it is cool as a toy, but nothing revolutionary like my Iphone 3gs. All my computers are apple, (icore 5 macbook pro, 2 imacs, Ipad, Iphone 3gs, ipod nano)and I have a small Atom netbook (Ubuntu netbook remix) but the ipad is more of a trinket toy to play than a serious tool, Assuming will only get you this far.

          Factoring cool is the same as relying on the cool factor rather than in the strength of your photos.
          I see in your blog that you are infatuated with technology… I’m a middle aged man myself however I don’t have the bug of “cool cars, cool computers, cool gadgets” that you and other middle aged men have, Good for you that you have been published, I work as an environmental portrait shooter in my area as well as a product shooter too I have been published quite a bit in my 20 years as a photographer ;).

          But well I see you are like many bloggers who put tons of weight on gear and little on what’s important in our trade, good for you however most of my clients don’t really care for trinkets like the Ipad (including ad agencies).

          :) I hope this gets you happy :)

          • @Karl, Ok Karl sorry but no time for anonymous trolls today. After this I’m out. But since you misrepresented what I said twice I can only assume that trolling is what you do best. There are 1300 posts at Photofocus and the majority have nothing to do with gear. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good argument? My guess is you have never sold a photo in your life but keep living the dream. I don’t have time to play today. I’m getting paid to do a shoot. Good luck.

            • @Scott Bourne, If having a difference with someone makes them a troll then the net may no be suited for you, what’s funny is that you go ballistic because someone disagrees with you… when logical arguments end insults fly? Good luck with your endeavors though, I don’t wish you anything bad at all.

              Me and my paid work (which you think it doesnt exist) are going to leave you alone <:)

  48. Shame on our industry! Each and every one of us in the photography business claim to be environmentalists. Yesterday was “Earth Day” and not a single comment was made regarding the impact the Ipad will have on the environment if embraced by those buyers wishing to view portfolios from downloaded apps.

    How much paper is used in every portfolio that goes out the door. I, for one, have twelve portfolios spread out between my reps and my studio. Like everyone else, we make specialized portfolios for any job that appears to have a budget. Not to mention the amount of time and expense it takes to make these books, we are terrible polluters. Just ask yourself how many sheets of paper did you print last year… many ink cartridges were used that never got recycled… much fuel was used to ship your book via FedEx to the client and back again.

    I find it shameful that art buyers are so anti-green. Why shouldn’t they demand their clients view portfolios on computers or now the Ipad. In a time when photographers are making less and less, isn’t this a way to help put a little money back into their pockets. The cost of building an app is nothing compared to roughly $10,000 that goes into my portfolio build out and shipping each year.

    I’ve heard the excuse that you can’t see the “real” quality of the image because it’s a jpeg. Does this mean we should no longer send portfolios with prints under the size of 16×20? How does the buyer know the retoucher didn’t save the photographers rear in every printed photo he or she looks at? The bottom line in our industry today is that there are many pitfalls an art buyer/art director can make when hiring a photographer. The fact that his or her portfolio is shown electronically shouldn’t be of major concern. I’d be much more concerned about how much retouching went into each image and whether the photographer can get a project produced properly and on time.

    Come on art buyers…..and photographers. Isn’t it time we take some responsibility for the “big” picture. Like thinking about the next generation!

    • @Steve,

      hate to say it, but electronic consumer devices – despite the changes that Apple etc have made recently – are not exactly green. Tech products are massively polluting and mining for many of the materials in them happens in places with very bad political situation (Congo, Liberia etc). Assessing environmental impact is incredibly difficult, so I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on the technology good, printed products bad bandwagon. For one thing, try printing on a rag based paper (no trees cut down) – you may well be already.
      The other thing is, I’m assuming like me, you are an advertising photographer (or at least shoot for commercial clients). We are all whores to some very suspect clients and encouraging consumerism isn’t very green now is it? If you really want to change things, I think there are far more creative things we can do that change from showing our work in a printed portfolio to an iPad/website. I’m not picking on you (I’m as bad as anyone else) , but it really does seem like the smallest thing we could possibly do…. Can’t we come up with more meaningful actions?

      • @Nick B, Yes, the high tech world is a pollution factory. But, all of our clients already have or will have computers regardless of whether we even exist. The same will go for the the Ipad or similar non-Apple devices in the future. The energy to transmit and download an app is no where equal to the CO2 impact the fuel used to drive the trucks and fly the planes FedEx or other commercial transporters will use to move a portfolio from city to city.
        Yes, we are whores to promote certain products and services, but this is an entirely different subject to address sometime in the future. It really does not relate to the environmental impact of sending printed portfolios vs. pixel transmission…… “Ipad/computer vs. printed books” Personally,in addition to being environmentally detrimental, I have felt shipping books is a huge waste of time and money for the photographer for many years now. Even having to pay only one way is ridiculous. It would be OK if agencies were calling in only three or four books, but most of them call in 25-50… a complete waste for everyone involved.
        I know I may stand alone in my hopes that someday we will no longer be madly printing specialized portfolios for future jobs into the early hours of the morning. That we will be simply uploading an app for their viewing, knowing we have saved time, money and have contributed to a greener industry.

    • @Steve,

      Thanks for your concern. However do you have a comparative analysis between digital media use and traditional media use (print)?

      A few things for consideration:

      – Most of the hardware companies (Apple included) use planned obsolescence in their productions. Apple will only allow so many system updates before one has to buy a new piece of hardware. Often the old hardware will not function well in the cyber world without recent updates. Both sides of this manufacturing system are environmentally costly (building, and retiring hardware). No to mention all the environmental costs of the marketing and fallout from the introduction of the new product. Camera obsolescence dwarfs those of computers.

      – The amount of information being shared, stored, transfered is staggering. The environmental costs included the infrastructure to maintain this system (again building, and retiring hardware), but also the electronic footprint to maintain the system. Here are the numbers for 2009:


      * 4 billion – Photos hosted by Flickr (October 2009).
      * 2.5 billion – Photos uploaded each month to Facebook.
      * 30 billion – At the current rate, the number of photos uploaded to Facebook per year.


      * 1 billion – The total number of videos YouTube serves in one day.
      * 12.2 billion – Videos viewed per month on YouTube in the US (November 2009).
      * 924 million – Videos viewed per month on Hulu in the US (November 2009).
      * 182 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).
      * 82% – Percentage of Internet users that view videos online (USA).
      * 39.4% – YouTube online video market share (USA).
      * 81.9% – Percentage of embedded videos on blogs that are YouTube videos.

      Internet users

      * 1.73 billion – Internet users worldwide (September 2009).
      * 18% – Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
      * 738,257,230 – Internet users in Asia.
      * 418,029,796 – Internet users in Europe.
      * 252,908,000 – Internet users in North America.
      * 179,031,479 – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean.
      * 67,371,700 – Internet users in Africa.
      * 57,425,046 – Internet users in the Middle East.
      * 20,970,490 – Internet users in Oceania / Australia.

      Social media

      * 126 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
      * 84% – Percent of social network sites with more women than men.
      * 27.3 million – Number of tweets on Twitter per day (November, 2009)
      * 57% – Percentage of Twitter’s user base located in the United States.
      * 4.25 million – People following @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher, Twitter’s most followed user).
      * 350 million – People on Facebook.
      * 50% – Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day.
      * 500,000 – The number of active Facebook applications.

      These numbers are still growing.
      Do you have any idea how much electricity this is costing?
      AFAIK, burning coal is the number one producer of electricity in the world. There are a number of environmental effects from the use of coal:

      If we lose the oceans we’ll probably lose the rest of the planet as well.

  49. As a folio viewer for extra, personal or new work, it’s really amazing. I want one.

  50. Well, it seems that the supposed lower costs of distribution are not being passed on to end users:

    My guess is that without solid ad effectiveness numbers, the rates for placing ads on download only magazines is not generating enough revenues. Of course, that might continue to remain the situation, because tablets will too easily have access to internet content.

  51. I had a portfolio review on Friday and used my own iPad app called Foliobook. I was a bit apprehensive about leaving my hand bound books printed on fine Innova rag paper, and bound in funky leatherette with embossing at home.

    The agent I showed the work to was as interested in the app as he was in my pictures, which was a bit distracting. Thats kind of because its all so new and he is himself using an iPad and searching for ways to use it.

    After that initial distraction, the whole thing worked well. At no point was I criticised for using an electronic publication.

    One of the good aspects was that I was working on the presentation up to a few minutes before the meeting. One of the bad aspects is that its easy to put too many pictures in a presentation. I had to work harder to edit it down. With a print portfolio you are committed, sometimes the day before you go out to show a book around.

    A handy aspect was that immediately after the presentation, I emailed the agent a couple of the images he liked directly from the app. This was in lieu of a business card. So the whole thing was electronic. I kind of think that my emails may survive longer in his intray than my card would have done on his desk. Because I could email directly from the app, I could easily remember which pictures to follow up with.

  52. […] them has much more dimension. Photo Editor has a more indepth review with a couple of cool videos here. The touch screen interaction takes the media to a completely different level. It bridges the gap […]

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