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Using the iPad for onsite standards review

Most art shows don't compare the submitted jury images against what's in the booth when the artists are set up at the show. In the past, a few art shows did this by having a volunteer carry a book of 35mm slides to compare to what was in the artist's booth. I remember at one show, one volunteer pulled a red wagon filled with loose leaf binders of slides while the other volunteer checked the work in the booth against the slides. The iPad has replaced the red wagon and it's much easier now to do onsite standards comparisons of images submitted against the work in the booth, no matter how large the show.
Reason for purchasing an iPad
When I first considered purchasing the iPad2, I had to do some serious thinking of how I could get it to pay for itself. For me, it was about the images and how beautiful they looked on the iPad screen. Iím using it to show artists my portfolio of jury images when I attend or exhibit at art shows. The iPad has a screen resolution of 1024x768, which may be low by todayís standards, but has an advantage in viewing jury images. Uploading images in the 1920x1920 ZAPP format, which is approximately four times the screen resolution, makes it easy to enlarge the image to zoom in to see detail. In fact, I prepare my non ZAPP portfolio images at 2048x1536 horizontally, exactly four times the screen resolution. And I keep the iPad locked in a horizontal format, which displays horizontal images larger than a vertical format displays vertical images. It also prevents the images from rotating when the iPad is handed around.
Portfolio App
The image viewing program best suited for this task is an app called Portfolio, which costs $14.99 and is available in the iTunes store. This is the same app that commercial and wedding photographers use to show their portfolios to clients.

Iím going to suggest that the booth image is the only image needed for a standards comparison. If properly sized or a ZAPP image, the booth can easily be zoomed into to see individual artwork as shown in the screen captures below. The only preparation the images need is to have the file name start with the last name of the artist.

Portfolio allows the creation of as many individual galleries as needed. I suggest creating a gallery for each letter of the alphabet and load the booth pictures for each artist into the gallery of the first letter of their last name. That will allow quick access to the image of the artist whose booth you are standing in front of, especially since show layouts change at the last minute.

Sorting can also be done by creating a gallery for each medium which may make it faster to set the iPad up, but trying to find one out of fifty jewelers, painters or photographers may be more time consuming. Most art shows not using ZAPP or JAS are already asking for images (on CD) with the artist's last name at the beginning of the file name.

iPad screen capture
showing 1920x1920 pixel ZAPP format in Portfolio

iPad screen capture
showing 1920x1920 pixel ZAPP format in Portfolio
zoomed in to see detail
it's also possible to scroll around the image

In order to get the images uploaded to the iPad in the correct galleries, you will need to install a program called Dropbox on your computer. Dropbox is a free program (available from the iTunes store) that gives you space on a virtual server to upload your images from your computer. Then the Portfolio app lets you download the images from Dropbox into the respective galleries. It makes it easy to batch download the images instead of downloading them one at a time.
Setting up
First sort the images on your computer in the same series of folders that will match the galleries in Portfolio. Then copy the folders to Dropbox. Once the images are ingested into Dropbox (blue icons on the images turn green), they will be available to download to Portfolio on the iPad through the Manage Galleries>Select Gallery>Load From Dropbox. Click Select All>Load>Done when they finish downloading. That will take you to the main screen listing all the galleries youíve created. Do this download process for each Gallery.
Finding the image youíre looking for
Selecting any gallery allows you to see all the images full size starting with the first one. Tapping once on the first picture shows you a row of thumbnails across the bottom with the image file names (starting with the artist's last name) beneath each thumbnail. Tapping on the desired thumbnail brings it up full screen. Spreading the image apart with two fingers enlarges it if it was originally uploaded larger than the screen resolution. Once enlarged, it can be moved around. Double tapping returns it to screen resolution size and double tapping the upper left corner brings up a Done button that lets you return to the page listing the galleries. With a little practice, you can navigate the galleries and find any artistís image in seconds.
Viewing in sunlight
Because of the high gloss screen, itís very difficult to see the images in direct sunlight. I created a 10x16 sun shield, similar to a lens hood, by taping two 8x10 pieces of black mat board together to hold over the iPad in sunlight. It folds slightly smaller than the iPad itself so I can keep it with the iPad in its case all the time.

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