For the moment I’m watching the iPad from afar. Already the owner of an iPhone and a laptop, the iPad is not jumping out at me as a necessity. You can’t tether to it when shooting without a laptop or a computer in the middle, so no benefit there. You can do what you can do on the iPhone, only larger, but also without the versatility of a laptop.
One area where it does show promise is as a portfolio but whether it can stand on its own or if it needs to act in concert with a printed portfolio is to be determined. The other area where it may have some effect is the magazine industry – potentially providing a new way for readers to view publications and a new way for publishers to present their content.
Some photographers and publishers are predicting a sea change, which when coupled with the video capabilities of new dslr’s or the Red camera, will drive motion to become the new still image. Witness the Alexx Henry videos such as this one for Viv magazine. When I watch it though – I just shake my head. Sure it can be done but how often and on whose budget? When I see the amount of work, the equipment used, and the size of the crews involved it’s hard to believe that this level of production is sustainable in any way.
Rob Haggart of aPhotoEditor.com has an insightful evaluation of the iPad and its implications for work, viewing photographs, and the magazine industry. Video samples of it in use as photographer’s portfolio and as a magazine e-reader are included.
May 4th, 2010 – Update:
In addition to running aPhotoEditor.com, Rob Haggart is also the force behind aPhotoFolio.com. My site runs off his service. Rob announced yesterday that aPhotoFolio.com is the first portfolio web design company to release custom iPad versions of their members’ sites.
As seen below in the comments, regardless of where you fall on the iPad and its usefulness, having a site which re-formats itself to take advantage of the iPad is a smart move.
My web site is, as always, jonroemer.com. To see how it re-formats itself for an iPad, view it on an iPad, or get a preview of the iPad version by going to ipad.jonroemer.com. This forces your web browser, on any computer, to launch the iPad version. It’s not as functional as it is on the iPad (you can’t swipe to move through the images or the thumbnails) but it gives a clear sense of layout and the automatic reformatting.