iPad with albums

How do you display your photography on your iPad?

There are several ways you can put photo in your iPad. I’ll explain how I do it and mention other options.

You can load photos from your “Photostream” if you have other iPhones or iPads and you have the photos that you take using the camera and have a Apple service called iCloud. For me these aren’t my important photos and so I don’t use this as the main storage method of putting photos on my iPad / iPhone. You can have up to 1000 photos in your photo stream. I turned this off on my iPad and really reduced saved some valuable storage space.
Overview of my Workflow
Put my files into a folder (e.g. “iPAD photographs”) on my computer and  create folders inside of this folder as albums. “iPAD photographs/Nature”
I use Lightroom to output photos to those sub-folders using Export
Every time that I sync my iPad, the photos on my iPad get updated and are displayed in albums under the Photos app.
Getting Started 
  1. Create a folder on your computer. I created “iPAD photographs” folder under “Exported Photos” (where I export photos for my website, for printing, etc).
  2. Create some folder inside of “iPAD photographs” which will be the albums that I see in my Photos app on my iPad.
  3. Output some files to these “album” folders using export (see below).

Outputting and Sizing the files

The difficult part of this is deciding what images you want to show to others and organizing them into categories. This part I’ll leave for you to figure out.
Note when outputting photos for viewing on your iPad they should normally be sized appropriately. This usually means that you are setting a “dpi” or “ppi” which is how many pixels per inch or resolution the photo will have. You’re also looking at the maximum pixels per side of the photo. You want to get the best match for the iPad and save precious storage space on your tablet.
  • The iPad with a retina display: the maximum widths are  2048 x 1536 pixels and 264 pixels per inch (ppi or dpi).
  • The iPad mini 1024 x 768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • The iPad 2 has a 1024-by-768 pixels at 132 ppi.
Also if you often want to zoom in  (pinch and expand) images on your iPad you can increase the maximum size above what is shown let say twice the amount from 2048 x 1536 to 4096 x 3072 (for the iPad retina) but the file size will increase and use more space.
You should also set the JPEG quality – which is 80 for Lightroom (or  9 for Aperture). This is high quality but below the maximum. You can also use iPhoto or other programs to output files.
This is the Export dialogue for Lightroom with the app
 Lightroom Export dialogue box
For more information go to this webpage:
In whatever photo organizer, you need figuring out how you can export jpg format files in a group on your hard disk into a folder similar to my “iPAD photographs” folder. Use the figures above as a guideline for sizing the photos.
Using iTunes to Sync the Photos
Hook up the iPad to your computer and open iTunes. Go into the configuration options (If there is a wi-fi card in your computer then you should be able to sync via wi-fi).

In iTunes under devices you should see your iPad. Click on the iPad device and click on the Photos tab. Put a check mark (the blank box) in “Sync Photos from ….” and select “Choose Folder”
ipad config screen
You’ll get a Finder window. Go to the main folder that you want to store your photos in. In the example below I am selecting “iPAD photographs”

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 10.08.09 AM

Now sync your iPad. After the sync you should be able to view your files through the Photos app on your iPad.
Maintenance of Photos
To delete photos and albums, you must do it in the “iPad Photographs” folder on your computer. You can’t delete them directly on your iPad.
Anytime you add something to your master photo folder (e..g. iPad Photographs), you’ll need to sync your iPad. This can be pretty quick to do. If there is a wifi card in your computer then you should be able to sync via wi-fi.
From the Photos app on your iPad, you can create new albums using the photos that have been synced from iTunes. So if you want to create a subset of a synced folder, you can create a group of selected images.
There are other iPad apps that allow you to view photos such as iPhoto, There are number of portfolio apps too. I find the free Photo app sufficient for most of my needs.


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