I’ve had an iPad for some time now, and it has proven to be a great tool for showing my work, whether to potential customers at art shows, corporate presentations, or just sharing images with family and friends. The combination of the size, portability, and amazingly beautiful display seem to have been made for photographers and other visual artists.
After some experimentation, I think I’ve found the settings that give me the best results when exporting images from Adobe Lightroom 3 to the iPad. Because the iPad’s display is 1024 pixels on the longest side, I export all images at this dimension so that it fills the screen at the longest edge either horizontally or vertically. I’m not concerned about the short edge since I don’t want my images cropped in any way. I’ve also found that the “high” setting for output sharpening works best to keep images crisp at that size. Below is a screen shot of the export window from Lightroom.
UPDATE: If you’d like the ability to zoom in on your images without losing any quality (or use the Ken Burns effect in a slideshow) then you should export at 2048 pixels on the long edge. In addition, this would also be a good setting for displaying your images on a 1080P TV. Also, please keep in mind that the resolution setting in Lightroom has no relevance since the iPad is pixel based and we are only interested in the actual size of the screen – in pixels. (Thanks to RB_Seattle for the tip!)
As far as getting the images into the iPad, I use either iPhoto or DropBox. If I want to have the images saved locally on the iPad itself, then I’ll import the images into iPhoto, organize them, then sync the iPad to my Mac. This works well for my permanent portfolio where I don’t have to worry about not having a wifi connection to access images in my Dropbox (which is online or in the “cloud”).
The excellent DropBox app allows me to export images directly from Lightroom to my DropBox on my desktop Mac, then view them from my iPad once I have synced online. You’ll need to have Dropbox installed both on your computer and the iPad. This works really great and is much faster than the iPhoto route, but again requires a wifi connection for the iPad to sync. Once you sync however, you can then transfer images from Dropbox into your Photos on the iPad, eliminating the need for a wifi connection.
Any questions or other suggestions, just let me know. Look for a future post on other apps I use on the iPad for photography and business!