Photography portfolios: Website or Tablet only?

You go Tablet or Website?

It is quiet funny that I have to pose this question. Especially for photographers this question is an important one.

For one, due to the reason that everyone lately is getting or having a tablet, or to be more precise an iPad. And it seems this trend is not stopping but actually accelerating with the months.

There is a lot of chatter about this, the funny thing is that´s not only within the nerd communities, may it be the photography or the technology communities.
No, your grandma or parents are actually asking you about this new thing and if they should get one… This is very surprising.

For us, as photographers, it means that there are new things to take into account.
Finally we got used to shooting for the web and not anymore for print, unless you still work in the magazine business. But even there they´ll like that you have to shoot more and more for the web.

First the question is, what do you mean with shooting for the web?

Basically what I mean with this is that you have to take into considerations how people are viewing the photograph and where.
How are people viewing your photograph? That will be with a landscape view display. Everyone is currently having these lovely 19 to 21 inches or whatever screens, but 95% of them are “Wide-angle” or “Cinema HD ready” displays.

So what happens to your vertical photographs? You can´t show that much from the photograph because the screen is not optimal suited for this. Only horizontal does show you the biggest view and the most of the photograph.

See below for 2 examples of the different views, which is one better for you to view?

Ok, so you take mainly horizontal photographs at the moment? Great! That´s step one..
Now, the second one.. Why do you still take 16Mpx and 16MB photos and upload them? No one will ever wait for your photograph what is so large and big to load. I know, many have fast DSL connections, but the point is with fast connections: Patience of the viewers are going very fast through the drain.

So if you upload a picture, it won´t be that much bigger then a 5mpx photograph. Don’t´t get me wrong, a bigger and better camera still makes me very happy, only it´s really not anymore about the number of Mpx you got on your camera. It´s more and more about the photograph itself.

Now the tablet is here… and that changes the game again.

Why?? I just have adapted myself into taking the right pictures for the internet! Now everything is changing again??!! Yes, but this time it will be actually easier….

It doesn’t matter how you take a photograph, but it has to be beautiful on a tablet screen.
Is this easier you´re saying? Yes.. Because now you can actually take your shot vertical or horizontal, it doesn´t matter anymore. The user of the tablet will be more like to turn the tablet to have the best view of the photo.
Great!! So I can go back to the way I did it before?? Yes and no. First, the yes.. we keep positive 🙂
Yes, you can shoot again any orientation you want! No, the photograph has to fit perfectly the screen of the tablet. And here come the most difficult part. At the moment the iPad is the most used tablet by a far margin. This is easy so we can only make it for the iPad screen. This is a 4:3 resolution.. So that means that you have to cut or adapt or photographs.
But I heard there are different models off the tablets! Yes indeed, and that´s even worse.. They are all different resolutions and views.. It is just like the begin days of the internet all over again 😀

A very good example of a professional photographer who turned his website into a Tablet is Nick Nichols, have a look what he says about it and the discussion on PetaPixels

Ok, so what else is there different??

To optimize shots for the web and control the experience, you have to create your own webpage and keep up to date with all the different photo galleries etc.
To optimize photographs for the iPad, you have to create your own app.. And this is way more difficult then creating your own webpage. Even more because there are plenty of different styles and systems.. That means that you have to develop the same app one time, 2 times or even 3 times over again..

My advice is…

Look at your target audience and what is possible for you. Get your feet wet with first a page and look if you would like to make your own app. If you are not sure and want to reach the broadest audience, the best channel is still the web but in the future we are definitely heading towards a Hybrid model… The web and Apps for the tablet…

I hope to be able to write more about this subject, in the meantime, please let me know if you liked this post.
You can contact me via Twitter: Photoycafe and in the comments.