Will iPad Format Dictate Editorial Photography?

I just watched a really interesting video about Bonnier and BERG’s Mag+ release of Popular Mechanics (see video below). I played with an iPad on the day it came out and loved it. Now that we are starting to see content it is really exciting to think about a resurgence of design making a comeback to editorial content as print magazines numbers continue to drop.

The really interesting thing that I took away from the video is the part that comes around the three minute mark where they talk about how Apple is very concerned that content be presented in the same way no matter what orientation the viewer holds the iPad (horizontal or vertical). The video shows how when you flip the iPad around, the top, bottom and sides are cropped depending on the orientation, forming a square “safe zone” for content in the middle which won’t change at all.

The larger for photography issue then, is that a photograph used to fill the space will need to take those crops into account when shooting for a project that will end up on the iPad. A portrait image will also need to work as a landscape image and vice versa.

Now. Given the relative resolution of our digital cameras and backs these days, it wouldn’t be a big deal to shoot wide and crop down as needed. However, I find this to be a terribly difficult way to work. I have to make a concerted effort to allow for cropping when I’m shooting editorial because my natural inclination is to simply compose the shot as I see it, not as I see it plus a few inches for bleeds.

I shoot exclusively 35mm at the moment and I’m really starting to get frustrated with the frame proportions. I’ve been wanting to break into medium format for a while, and I’m thinking that given the direction that editorial work is going, perhaps now is a good time to start expanding my repertoire.

Mag+ live with Popular Science+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

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