Musings on Photography


Posted in book design, digital printing, equipment, PDF by Paul Butzi on February 1, 2010


A long time ago, a lot of photographers had slide viewers – little devices that either illuminated 35mm slides so you could view them through a large magnifier, or which projected the slides on a small screen for viewing.

Amidst all the furor about whether the iPad is genius or stupidity, I can’t help looking at the specs and photos of it and thinking that in many ways it’s clearly a step forward as a destination for photo books. Looking at one of my portfolio PDFs on it would be nearly ideal; you could hold it in your lap, the screen is surely quite good and about the right size for viewing while sitting in a comfy chair, etc.

Sort of a post-Kindle device.

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  1. Alex Brikoff said, on February 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    And it seems to be even more portable than a laptop or even a netbook.

  2. Paul said, on February 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I was about to buy a Kindle mainly because of the global 3g coverage as I live in Spain and it´s a bit of a pain ordering books all the time, I get a bit impatient waiting 2 weeks on average for my books. However just in case I´m going to wait and see how the iPad reviews when it finally comes out.

  3. Peter Mellis said, on February 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Some future version of this product, more tailored/priced for the task, may be the answer to the electronic usage of college level texts. Text book publishers are under a great deal of pressure to drop the prices on their books. Development, manufacturing and distribution costs for these books are very high and the publisher’s profit margin is a lot less than people assume. so nothing is going to change until the books are sold in an electronic version. This looks like something that could be used as the platform, but it would have to be cheaper and it’s dependability would have to be proven by being around for a while. That said, nothing will happen in this area until the publishers figure out how to protect their content from being ripped off.

  4. Dennis Allshouse said, on February 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Paul, I agree that iPad looks like a good platform for photo presentation. Of course it’s not exactly clear how a PDF would get processed on the pad: pad version of Akrobat?

    As far as textbooks go, I saw a simulation of this application somewhere, but I can’t remember where. NY Times article maybe (with an embedded video)?

  5. Chris Klug said, on February 3, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I teach at Carnegie Mellon University, and in our center we’re working on ideas for development with the iPad in exactly those two areas (viewer of multimedia/fine art material) and as textbook delivery mechanisms. It’s sad how many people were distracted by what it WASN’T instead of what it COULD BE. And, honestly, Paul, I showed a colleague your PDF work as an example of material that had no real home, currently.

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