by Joseph T. Sinclair
Tablets and smart phones have always had pretty good high-resolution color for their screens. The latest development in screens, however, has brought a wide new crop of devices to the market with extraordinarily high resolution and dazzling color.
Indeed, high-resolution color print is normally said to be about 300 dots per inch (dpi). Today many of the popular smart phones have screens that exceed that resolution. In addition, many tablets also have screens that exceed that resolution (e.g., a Samsung 8” Tab Pro with about 330 ppi). The advent of electronic device screens that meet or exceed high-resolution color print is a revolution. It means there is even one less reason than before to print a book, particularly one that requires high-resolution color images.
Images in book apps, ebooks, and other electronic documents might be fine art, commercial art, commercial illustrations, animations, educational displays, and the like. Where these beautiful high-resolution color electronic displays really shine, however, is for photographs. They display stunning colorful and high-resolution photographs. In fact, because of the digital backlighting, the photographs are even more attractive than they are printed on high quality paper. Thus, the lack of high resolution and rich color in digital devices 15 years ago, has turned into a substantial advantage for electronic documents that use high-quality images.
When you combine the high quality publishing capability with the greatly reduced marginal cost of adding additional images, a real opportunity exists for redefining books that use such images. One of the most obvious factors is the capability to include many more images in a book at a greatly reduced costs cost compared to publishing such a book in print.
But digital technology does not end there. There is a capability of having an embedded slideshow in a page of a digital book. In addition, it is easy to have a series of images show a transition. For instance you might have a series of images of the sunrise on an Atlantic beach: the early morning light, the noonday glare, the afternoon light, and the warm glow of the evening sunset. In other words, the transformation of one photograph, one scene, from morning until night. The possibilities are endless in digital media and very limited in print.
This article would be the negligent if I didn’t go on to discuss video. It was not so long ago that computer CPUs could not handle the smooth flow of frames in a video presentation. That changed of course, but first for only regular video presentations. Today high-definition video presentations (HDTV) are the norm, and they flow smoothly on everyone’s laptop, tablet, or smartphone whether from an internal file or from streaming via the Internet. It is quite easy to embed video presentations that are high quality and attractive in an electronic document.
Not to dwell on the obvious, but it is worth mentioning that equipment and software have progressed to the point where illustrations of all kinds, photographs, and video are high-quality and dirt cheap in digital media. Indeed, even point-and-shoot cameras or smart phones shoot not only high-quality, high-resolution photographs but also high-quality, high-resolution video. And highly competent software to edit digital images and video for visual productions can be less than $100.
These developments will accelerate the death of the printed book. In fact, many magazines and even newspapers have gone to online publication and terminated their print publication. Can books be far behind? Indeed, books are not far behind but are leading the new age of digital publication. But this is still the beginning of a new age, and opportunities abound.
If the truth be known, Samsung’s (and others manufacturer’s) smart phones and tablets have resolution so high that photographs look better than the actual scene of which the photo was taken. And Apple’s resolution for its iPhones and iPads has almost as much resolution as Samsung. Thus, we have entered a strange new digital world more beautiful than reality. All this is to say that an amateur photographer with a good quality smart phone camera or point-and-shoot camera can shoot photographs that will be dazzling on smart phones and tablets. Even some laptops today have very high resolution screens.
New digital capabilities create new opportunities, and the advent of high-resolution digital images creates vast new opportunities for authors. Find a way to take advantage of this revolution.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How To books published by national publishers.
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©2015 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.