Guest Photographer: Sean McCormack (@lightroomblog)

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: November 8, 2010

Category: General

Thanks to Glyn for asking me to post a Guest Blog for him. In truth he asked me ages ago, and I’ve just been too busy or distracted to settle down to it until a couple of nights ago. While I’ve been following Glyn online for ages, and we’re both Adobe Community Professionals, I only met Glyn in person recently at Scott Kelby‘s recent London Seminar.

Anyway, Glyn is adamant about waiting for the new generation of the iPad. I felt the same way until I actually got my hands on one, prior to the Irish launch. After 10 minutes playing about with one, there was no hope of ever holding out that long. I got one in the first week of release.

First and foremost, the size is perfect for bringing about with you. The weight is comfortable enough for one hand use for short periods. More importantly is the screen is beautiful for photographs. I’m currently use a really cool app called Minimal Folio to show my work, from casual interactions, to more serious client meetings. Folks love the tactile response as the scroll down the photos, or scroll between different portfolio sets. It’s not like trying to aim pages so the window light does shine off the photo covers. As well as my photos, Minimal Folio can present PDF, useful for my magazine work, and Movies, for my timelapse and short films. Anything that can promote my work and bring in more is a boon in my opinion. I have an exhibition opening in December and showing the images on the iPad has been useful in securing some funding to help offset the costs. As a first exhibition, I’m not expecting to sell out, but I’ll be happy if I can recover costs.

Even though professionally produced portfolios are expensive, if I used the iPad for that only, it would be a waste for money. For it to be truly useful it has to allow me to travel without a laptop. Now I don’t mean teaching trips, where I have to be able to run PC/Mac compatible software, I mean general travel. This means being able to import and view photos, work on them for web purposes and do general net related stuff. Apple’s Camera Connection Kit allow me to import from camera via the USB connection, or via the Sandisk Image Mate card reader. There are others that work, but I rely on Sandisk over other cards and readers.


When I get the images in, I view through the inbuilt Photos app, but I use Filterstorm to edit images. Of course, it’s not the same as Lightroom or Photoshop, but I have done headshot sessions where the final output from the iPad was perfect for the client. The edit and conversion was done in Filterstorm, and even emailed from within the app. There will be Filterstorm Pro after iOS 4.2 is official that will make it into a more robust app for photos on the iPad.

Email, Facebook, Twitter and a host of social media related things are possible from the iPad. Of course there are other things it’s great for too. I find I’m reading physical books less and less, opting to use Goodreader with PDF copies instead. It’s great carry a whole library in the weight of 2 books! It also can get files from your Dropbox account, as well as download files from the net.

The iPad is still targeted as a consumption device. Video and audio are excellent, especially with the 10 battery life (and longer!). I’m using Atomic Web Browser for surfing the web, a great improvement on Safari. As a musician, I’m really liking the iPad as an impromptu practice pad. I own a Korg Toneworks unit for bass, rather pricey when I got it, that’s been dropped for the Amplitube iRig. There’s also a host of other instruments that work on the iPhone and iPad; this video from Atomic Tom shows some of the iPhone versions:

I don’t think it’s perfect. I do miss Flash on the device. I’d like if there was a camera in the device, even a basic one for Facetime and Skype. I still haven’t found a perfect time management app. I’d like dedicated USB, with the option of using higher powered devices, even at the expense of battery life.

In connectivity terms, I went with a 3G, for 2 reasons, one is for normal out and about use with no wi-fi, and the other is for travel, because wi-fi can be well overpriced in hotels and free hotspots are hard to find. Of course, in Mallorca recently it proved easier and cheaper to buy a router for my host’s internet than get a microsim! Next week will tell the tale as I tour the UK with Mark Cleghorn. A device like a MiFi might work out cheaper to buy with a 3G only iPad though (but you then have to bring 2 devices!).

So Glyn, keep holding on. Failing that I’ll have one for sale after the 2Gen version is announced!

Oh and one more thing if you’re about the UK this week, here’s the link to the tour I’m on with Mark Cleghorn and onOne Software: [Link]

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Sean McCormack on the web:

If you’re into ‘social media’ then be sure to connect with Sean using the links below:


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  1. neal

    Nice post Sean, it was nice to meet you at the Kelby day 🙂 I too am waiting for the 2nd generation, although I really want one NOW!

  2. Tim Skipper

    Have to admit, I’m with Glynn on this too. I have to wait to the 2nd generation. I know how mad I’d be if I bought one then saw the new stuff on the new ones.

    Oh and great work on the site.

  3. Rick Wenner

    I was on the same page as Glyn where I wanted to hold out on purchasing an iPad until the 2nd generation was available. I can only imagine what the next version will be like (larger screen/thin border, camera, and other options). But…here it comes…I went out and bought one anyway. Honestly, this thing is great and is an incredible way to present photos to clients. I decided to buy the iPad because of many upcoming meetings and it will basically pay for itself over time, rather than a printed portfolio which costs just as much, if not more than an iPad over time.

  4. A.J. Wood

    Good post Sean. I’m going to checkout all the apps mentioned in your post.

    Glyn will kick me, but I too have an iPad. In my defense, a client paid me with it so I didn’t recant my stance on waiting for the 2nd generation to purchase.

    However, what was intended as a “family” device has been in my greedy “mine-mine-mine” hands for about a week. You’re right it is a consumption device, but I’m slowly becoming a fan.

  5. Keith Hammond

    Thanks Sean good to see how others are doing things and what they use.
    I’m putting all the dollars into iMac set up very soon so no iPad for me but (sneaky) i got one for Mrs H’s birthday, i’m loving it, it’s so cool and i don’t use that word often being an old guy 🙂
    Iv’e got it hidden in the office and i’m setting it up with an ebook and music account for her, i just hope i get my hands on it now and again, trouble is her birthday’s not untill 27th so it’s going to be second hand by the time she gets it.


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