August 24, 2011 / Reflections
Another Coup by Scott Kelby
When Nancy Masse of Kelby Media Group shot me an email to personally invite me to a press conference, she basically got me at “Hello Catherine.” Getting an invitation from Scott Kelby is akin to a musician getting an invitation from Mick Jagger – Scott is that cool.
The subject of the press conference? A new digital, iPad-only lighting magazine called Light It. I downloaded it last night, expecting to see a high-quality magazine full of star photogs’ contributions – and honestly, a slew of glorified digital PDFs (sorry, Scott!). But when I started playing with it, Light It literally blew my mind.
Flip, zoom, swipe, zoom, double tap, tap, hold – I couldn’t put it down. Holy sh*t, I thought, this thing is going to change the way photographers learn – and read.
Light It looks and feels like a print magazine – but with crisper and sharper photos. I’m totally geeking out right now; get this, you can double tap on individual photos to see them in full-screen mode and watch embedded videos within the article. It’s a treat for visual learners.
The Medium is the Message
Scott is one of the most inspiring and innovative educators in our industry and this venture proves that he is way ahead of the game – again. The magazine is revolutionary because the iPad’s mad graphics and interactive capabilities allow for learning via varied content that’s delivered in different ways. If the content were available via the web as a digital magazine on Zinio, it would be a glorified string of PDF pages restricting viewer engagement.
Why the iPad and not other devices, you say? Some have conjured up an Apple conspiracy to explain Scott’s choice of publishing on the iPad. As he mentioned in the press conference, it’s a purely business decision and any smart business person developing an app for a tablet would release it for the most popular platform. It is also not realistic to release an app on multiple platforms out of the gate – even if you are Scott Kelby. Anyone who has ever developed an app knows exactly what I am talking about.
Here’s Why I Love Light It:
1) Seamless navigation
Light It has an intuitive pagination screen that allows you to see all the pages of the magazine.
If you hate ploughing through piles of magazines and tearsheets, you will love the archive. Looking for that Joe McNally article in issue 12? Easy – just pull up this space and access all current and past issues.
I always fumble to get to an article from a magazine’s contents page (assuming I can find it). In this digital wonder of a magazine, tapping on a title on the Contents page takes you immediately to your desired read.
This might be silly, but you’ll find yourself besotted with this pagination scroll bar at the bottom of the screen. It allows you to navigate seamlessly between pages – and even shows a pop-up thumbnail image of each spread. How cool is that?
2) Enhanced Visual Learning Experience
Often wish you could enlarge an image in a magazine? Now, you can – just tap on the screen to zoom into the article or image.
Double tap on an image in the article to see it in full-screen mode. Since you can zoom and enlarge the image, it creates an enhanced learning experience. Here, for instance, you see the nuances of rim light in photographer Jason Groupp’s images. Nice work, Jason! ☺
Sharper and crisper graphics allow you to see more accurate comparisons of before and after images.
Embedded videos allow readers to engage with the photographer on a whole new level. You can now watch “articles” as photographers talk about their work – or even a live demonstration/video tutorial of technique.
Ever flag a link in a magazine – only to forget about it after? As a final touch to an already awesome interactive magazine, embedded hyperlinks take you directly to external webpages.
Without Risk, There is No Reward
Normally, when I get to the end of a magazine, I feel a sense of relief – with Light It, I found myself on the last page, scrolling through the pagination bar, wishing there were more articles to “experience.” What makes this magazine so revolutionary is that it is flawlessly designed for the iPad, allowing varied content to be presented in the best, most engaging way possible. To those of you naysayers, Scott Kelby could have released a magazine in print and digital versions and it would have been a mere success, not a revolution. It is far riskier for him to decide on a digital-only publication on just one platform. Having the foresight to capitalize on the expanded capabilities of the iPad technology shows that Scott is a passionate educator who pushes the confines of current mediums.
I’m super excited for the next issue, Scott. I’ve already played… I mean, read, this issue ad nauseum.
Read Ibarionex Perello’s review of Light It here. [Click on Photo Blog]