© 2010 Kang Haugesund RVPIII-1

Trumpets, thoughts, iPad and photography.

I have been caught up with so many things happening in my life right now, mostly to do with work, but also partly because I have… an IPAD! You know all the Apple drivel about how it is a magical device? Yeah it’s all true. Believe the fucking hype, because Steve Jobs has brought the future into the palm of your hands. I actually queued up for this on May 28th, started around 5.30AM and got the Pad three hours later. I became the 104th person (not counting those at the other Apple stores around the UK) to grab an iPad from the Regent Street store.

Obviously with the brilliant display, I was immediately curious about what it could do with photographs, but more excitingly what it could do to photography books in general. I haven’t come across an art photography book as yet, but flipping through graphic-heavy magazines currently available such as TIME and WIRED has convinced me that the iPad is the ideal vehicle for the digital distribution of art photography and it represents opens up avenues for the future of photo journalism. Photographs, seriously, they look stunning on the Pad. They really do.

Speaking of art photography, Magnum have released a rather interesting iPhone App which concatenates several portfolios of Magnum photographers and sells them through the application. Some classic work, some new work, and updates to the library are frequent. They need to bring out an iPad app though, the iPhone one is low res afterall.

The only other photography app which is related to Journalism is Guardian’s Eyewitness, a kind of daily photoblog drawn from Guardian’s archives. The photographs seem to echo the life and times we live in, mostly they seem to reflect the current ebbs and flows of our world, as well as demonstrating a measure of the human condition.

The inspiration for art photography books on the iPad need not look further than the many dedicated Comic-book applications already on the Pad which basically turn news stand graphic novels into digital equivalents. Marvel’s iPad app is a stunner. I can only imagine one that is equivalent for art photography. Imagine a ‘virtual’ bookstore of the Photographer’s Gallery, and being able to buy then store your art photography books in a virtual library a la iBooks or even Kindle. As a consumer, the permutations are limitless, mind-numbing and exciting.

Naturally, I love both Apps to bits, and therein lies the power of the iPad. By virtue of its inherent design, we now have a platform which mimics the visceral feel of paper, but whose design allows more options to represent material and work. It is not only going to save print media, I believe it is a device which can supplement print media, partly it is because Apple has invented a platform which allows us to pay for content properly, and with it being such a slick experience, content is worth every penny.

Of course this is just the beginning. The iPad imitators will follow shortly and that can only be a good thing. Someday, everybody will have a digital reader in hand, and it will restore the balance of paid for, edited content once again. Something which was eroded by the freedom of the internet.

Long live the Editorial.

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  1. Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:11 pm | #

    Great point. The iPad would make an absolutely great platform for good photography books. A magnum collection… Histories… New stuff… HCB… Robert Frank… Eggleston… Martin Parr… I can see it now…

  2. Posted June 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm | #

    I only tweeted yesterday that the iPad is crying out for some photo books – am very surprised there hasn’t been any dedicated photo books available for it yet. As you said, photos look absolutely stunning on it!

  3. Posted July 12, 2010 at 11:27 am | #

    Just a small update to this – I went ahead and created an iPad photo book, with the help of 28 fantastic Flickr photrographers. Its available to download totally free at http://www.learningthelight.com/2010/07/12/download-free-ipad-photo-book-mirror-mirror/

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