Richard Misrach is a photographer I've been aware of literally since art school. He's been working for many years and has created an extensive body of work, mainly of western (U.S.) landscapes. His first-ever commercially licensed photo, "Pyramid Lake (at Night)," from 2004, above, used to be his own personal screensaver—and now it's the official background photo for the iPad. It was taken by the light of the moon on an Indian reservation in Nevada.
Misrach had been in negotiations with Apple, but the rollout came as a surprise. "'I was in bed watching Inglorious Bastards [sic] when I got a call from Jeffrey Fraenkel, my dealer in San Francisco, and he said, "Do you know what's going on live here?"' Misrach told ARTINFO. 'I was totally shocked. Naturally my other galleries started calling and my family was all atwitter....'"
Nice work if you can get it! ARTINFO has the happy story.
And speaking of the iPad, I wonder if the device might become the default portfolio presentation device for photographers. Seems well suited. I've read all sort of accounts of inventive portfolio implementations over the years—including one photographer who used a service that made placemats! As in, for the dining room table. After discovering that conventional laminations scuffed and aged too easily under rough handling by clients, he found that the "placemats" wore like iron and were impervious to scratches and hazing, so a box of his photos so treated became his working portfolio. Another photographer had all his work reproduced as 8x10 transparencies which he mounted with black mat board surrounds. He would visit Art Directors and other potential clients with a portable light box in a briefcase. Showing his work wouldn't have been a casual experience, but must have made a memorable effect. This was innovative when I heard about it in the '80s, but I think it became a common enough method of presentation in subsequent years—the photographer I remember had custom-made his own lightbox-briefcase, but I vaguely remember a commercial version for sale at one point.
The iPad seems tailor-made for portfolio presentations to potential clients. Not sure it would work as a drop-off, though.
(Thanks to many tipsters)
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured (partial) Comment by Eric: "Short answer for me is yes. Photos are just beautiful on this thing (my company is developing software for them so we have a few around here). They really pop. I'll still make prints, but just due to the sheer ease of portfolio maintenance the iPad is the way to go. The black Apple iPad case just seals the deal for me. Once you put the iPad in that it's as nice as a portfolio as I've ever used."
Featured Comment by JackM: "I have used a laptop for a portfolio presentation and hated the keyboard. The iPad is superior. Apple is already talking about a smaller iPad; I already want one bigger. But that is in part because I like placemat-sized portfolios. As much as I like the iPad for stills, it is even better for video. Prints in a portfolio have always been possible, but video in a portfolio required a screen. Now we have one. By the way, your blog looks much better on the iPad than on the iPhone."
Featured Comment by Marc Rochkind: "When I first started up my iPad, I thought those star trails were scratches. A few others have commented on this as well. Regarding the iPad for showing photos: It's easy to move photos from, say, Lightroom to the iPad, in case anyone is wondering. No need to go through iPhoto or anything like that. (You sync with iTunes, but you don't load the photos into iTunes. Once you set up the drop folder, the rest is automated.) There's no information I know of about color management on the iPad. I assume sRGB is what you use for a profile. Someone asked here yesterday, I think, about calibration. No way to do that at this point, and probably will not be a way unless 1) Apple has supplied suitable application-program interfaces (APIs) and 2) special hardware is made that interfaces to the iPad's connector. I think both are unlikely."
Featured Comment by Ailsa: "Interesting that Misrach thinks the decision to use his image may have been made at the last moment. The same thing happened to Ian Cameron, a photographer I know who's based in the north of Scotland. A few years ago he was up working very late one night, when his phone rang. It turned out to be someone from Apple HQ, asking for permission to use one of his images as wallpaper for the iPhone—which was being launched the next day. I get the impression Ian was pretty much able to name his price. He never told me how much he was paid for it, but I believe it was a pretty tidy sum. Here's Ian's website."