Monday, April 29, 2013

New iPad app brings Australia's photography magazine 'Capture' to the Apple Newsstand in a replica edition; contrast with other new photography tablet editions reveals shortcomings of publisher's approach

There has been a flood of new tablet editions of photography magazines released lately – whether print publishers are starting to feel some pressure to get their magazines into the Apple Newsstand is hard to say, but for readers who enjoy these magazines there are now lots to choose from.

Yaffa Publishing Group late last week released a new iPad edition for Capture, one of its two photography titles.

There are, of course, lots of ways a publisher can bring a photography title to the Newsstand: the most common way is in the form of a replica edition, a PDF driven exact copy of the print title; the publisher could convert their print magazine to a native tablet edition using a digital publishing platform, transforming the magazine into a completely native digital magazine, or a hybrid where the print ads are left for the most part untouched; or the publisher could build a digital-only magazine from scratch, such as Future's Photography Week, or Focus Publishing's new tablet magazine Exposures.
Capture, the app, is like its other magazine titles inside the Apple Newsstand in that it is a replica edition.

Bring your reading glasses
The problem for publishers of photography magazines is that the replica approach stands out even more than usual from the native approach. In print, the art director only has so many pages to work with so often chooses to present several images per page – it is the only way to give the reader a good idea of the photographer's work. But in a tablet edition the art director can take many different approaches including building in slideshows, or putting small photos on the page, but allowing each to link to a full screen version.

But some publishers are wedded to the replica form even when the approach makes no sense. Yaffa Publishing Group appears to be one of those media companies because their other photography magazine, Australian Photography + digital. At some point publishers will realize that producing a print magazine about something that is digital may not be very bright, but it's especially odd when we are talking about digital photography.

But readers will ultimately decide the approach they like best, so making a comparison of the approaches is wise. So, in case you missed the new digital magazine post on Exposures, here is the walk-through video for that tablet magazine: