Quick Q&A From Our Launch of “Light It Magazine” for the iPad

First a big thanks to everybody who downloaded our new magazine, “Light it” yesterday. Launching a magazine in this day and age is tricky business, but the initial response was even better than we had hoped, and we’re very grateful to our readers, writers, and the industry for their support and enthusiasm for this launch. It was really an exciting day for us.

Of course, with something new like this it has generated a lot of emotion (ahem) and questions surrounding the launch, so I thought I’d addresses a few of them here today in a quick Q&A. Here goes:

Q. I know the premiere issue is free, but how much are subsequent issues?
A. They’re just $2.99 per issue. Cheap.

Q. How can you sell it so cheap?
A. We followed the model of more established magazines in that we clearly have no business plan, or a dream of ever making a profit. However, if at any time we suddenly feel like it somehow could become profitable, don’t worry—we’ll raise the price.

Q. Why is everybody so mad that you released this new magazine?
A. Everybody’s not mad. Just the folks who don’t have iPads.

Q. Are you planning to release an Android version?
A. For now, we’re just releasing this iPad version.

Q. You are totally being an elitist by just addressing people who can afford an iPad, aren’t you?
A. A Nikon SB-900 flash runs around $497.50 at B&H Photo. You can buy an iPad for $2.50 more. I guess anyone who has two dollars and 50 cents more than what a SB-900 costs is now part of a privileged, elitist group. Where does that put people who own an Nikon or Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 at around $2,200? Clearly, they should be in jail.

Q. How much do you actually get each year for hawking Apple’s products?
A. In the interest of full disclosure, we are paid approximately $631,000 annually from our product promotions deal with Apple, including what we do in print, in our Podcasts, and at live events.

Q. Are you kidding me?!
A. Of course I’m kidding you. We don’t get a dime from Apple. Never, ever have. We couldn’t get Apple to send us as much as a free pencil if we tried (though I did get a free Apple t-shirt about 7 years ago from a guy who worked at an Apple store, which was pretty cool).

Q. So you mean, you chose to release for the iPad because that’s what the vast majority of people are using?
A. This is going to be shocking, but….yes. It was a business decision. A simple one at that.

Q. But what about all the Android tablets and all other tablets?
A. Read this article from CNN.com two days ago, and that should make it obvious.

Q. I understand the desire to to just release on the iPad, but you are seriously limiting your market.
A. I really appreciate the business advice, and even more so, you being so concerned about us limiting our profits.

Q. So will there ever be a version for Android?
A. Aquafadas (The French company that we worked with to create the iPad mag App) doesn’t currently have a solution for Android, but they’re hoping to have one in place by November of this year. If we feel the magazine is a big enough success to expand its distribution to Android (which I hope it is), it ‘ll take us a couple of months to test the new software, get the kinks out and so on, so the first possible launch of an Android edition would be after the first of the year.

Q. How about a version for the Mac App store, so I can watch it on my MacBook Pro
A. When we came up with the idea for this magazine, we didn’t say  “We want to create a digital magazine.” We wanted to create a magazine for the iPad. It is precisely what inspired us. This was never intended to be a Web-based magazine, or one that could be read on a computer, or a PDF—we wanted to create something around the iPad. If there wasn’t an iPad, we never would have wanted to create the magazine in the first place.

Q. But aren’t we entitled to have this App on the operating system we chose?
A. The creation of the App was not funded by your tax dollars, so therefore….no.

Q. But…but....
A. No buts. This isn’t the only resource in the world for lighting techniques. Try this (link)

Q. Why are there two downloads for just one App?
A. The first one is basically the magazine rack—-where future will be available, and that’s the smaller download. The big download (the second one) is actually the magazine itself. The good news is; you only have to download the magazine rack once, so in the future it’ll just be issues that download.

Q. Why is the download so large?
A. Most magazines we’ve seen on the App Store run around the 250-300MB or larger range. Embedding HD video like we did does affects the file size, but at the same time thanks to that you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to watch the video. That being said; never fear—-we’re definitely working on ways to keep the file size smaller and more manageable.

Q. Are you planning on adding any new features? (bookmarking, highlighting, downloading in background, and so on?
A. You betcha. We are the first U.S. customer for the French developer of the mag App and they’re very responsive and forward thinking, so we’re going to be adding lots of great things going forward, but we’re being careful to keep it simple and intuitive and not making it gimmicky or complex.

Q. When is the 2nd issue coming out?
A. The 2nd issue is already complete, and we’re going to release it a little sooner than the normal 8-issues per year because we just can’t wait (so look for it in September, or very early Oct). The 2nd issue is that much better, that much slicker, with more pages, and just some flat-out amazing tutorials, tips and lighting techniques.

Q. What about a version for iPhones or Android phones?
A. I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one.

Q. Why not?
A. Because eventually you’ll pass out.

Q. Well, can I still carry on and whine about the whole Android thing like I never read any of this?
A. Absolutely. Could I stop you anyway?

Well, that’s it for my Q&A today. Of course, we have a more detailed FAQ on the Light It landing page, so I hope you’ll check that out, too.

Thanks again to every one who helped make this launch such a success, and in particular I want to thank our in-house Creative Director and all around wonder-guy, Felix Nelson, who led this product from an idea to a full-blown magazine in just a few short months and did a brilliant job from initial layout to launch. He and his team did a remarkable job (a special shout-out and major gratitude to our own Dave Korman who was instrumental in making this all happen, and who helped in the development and testing of the process).

Thanks everybody for making it a very exciting time to be a magazine publisher again! :)

  1. Scott, one great question on yesterday’s comments is about the file size and if we will have to delete each download then if we want to go back to an issue. I’m thinking when ios5 comes out there may be a way to use cloud. It is an awesome mag, BTW!


  2. I’m really enjoying this first edition. As a magazine platform, the iPad is great. My iPad is the first edition delivered on release date. Used you can get them on ebay for $275 – maybe not the 64Gb 3G version, but one that will display the app very nicely. And yes, I do have a Canon 70-200 f2.8 in my camera bag.

  3. If I ever have the NEED for an iPad I may subscribe to your Light It Magazine. I presently use the MacPro 17 laptop and see no present need for the iPad. I do wish you the very best in your elitist magazine.

    1. Bill, I use a 15″ Dell Inspiron, but just go ahead and brag about your elitist, show-off 17″ MacPro. (well, with what I saved only buying a $499 laptop, I’ll be able to by an iPad and a decade of “Light It”) HeHe


  4. If i sent you 3.99 per issue would you send me an iPad to read it on? For 4.99 will you come to my house and read it to me? For 5.99 will you do the a fore mentioned and autograph each copy? Sorry couldn’t resist, people where making outrageous demands, so I thought I would see what I could get, besides a fantastic magazine for only 2.99. You can’t buy a coloring book for 2.99 anymore. Great job with the mag . Keep up the good work.

  5. Great first edition Scott! It’s def one of the few great resources next to The Strobist website. I’m looking forward to the upcoming issues! I’m glad you addressed this issue with Android users, now I can just direct them to this post when they whine to me about it only being on the iPad.

  6. Another home run in my book, Scott! A very CAKB magazine, a great price, and it’s all on a great platform! (Sorry Touch pad users! LOL!)

    PS: I love how you can tap a picture to make it bigger, makes understanding the tutorials that much easier!

  7. I’m sorry – this post took far too long to read… I had to clean up my screen after spraying tea all over it because of the “Elitist” SB-900 owners club Answer. :)

    Excellent magazine, especially for a first issue. It’s everything I’ve been hoping a magazine could be on a tablet, where most out thee are just glorified PDF’s of an existing print issue.

    I look forward to watching this project grow and develop over time, but so far for issue one? Home run baby. Home bloody run.

    Cheers – Kris

  8. Hats off to you for coming up with such a great product and ON the right product too (had to get that in).

    Also, I’m with Dave C though for what it’s worth but just wanted to ask if you’re thinking of releasing a 3D version too? ;)

    Great set of Q&A’s; some of the replies cracked up…

    Q. But aren’t we entitled to have this App on the operating system we chose?
    A. The creation of the App was not funded by your tax dollars, so therefore….no.

    Love it! Great job Scott!

  9. I was able to check out the magazine on a friend’s iPad, and it was a good read. I’m glad you guys are making this and I’m glad you have a vision for it. I think it would read the same on a computer, but that’s my opinion it’s not my magazine. You guys are on to something, either way.

    Just, please don’t equate the iPad to a flashgun. It’s insulting to those of us saving every penny for a photographic tool and not spending our money on an entertainment device. I understand the point you were trying to make, but the comment came off as dismissive towards people in tough financial situations.

    I wish you all the best in the endeavor. Maybe I’ll be able to borrow the iPad again when the next issue comes out.

    1. Tim, I understand what you are saying, but expenses for photographers come in many forms. One forms gear, another form is training. If you pay to go for a workshop you could easily spend more then the cost of an iPad. The iPad is a great medium for training. To me, the iPad is more essential to my photography then getting another speedlight.

      1. Oh, I definitely agree. Investing in training is important. But, to a lot of those photographers trying to learn lighting (a lot of the ones who can’t buy the $4,000 flash unit or the $2,200 lens) they are still trying to recoup the expense from their smaller purchase. There’s no money left to invest in a tablet. A flash is essential to doing flash photography. An iPad is not.

        But to reiterate, I’m glad they’re doing the magazine. Scott and the bunch are welcome to put it any format they choose. I just didn’t agree with the following commentary towards those who actually wanted to read what they wrote.

  10. [quote]
    Q. You are totally being an elitist by just addressing people who can afford an iPad, aren’t you?
    A. A Nikon SB-900 flash runs around $497.50 at B&H Photo. You can buy an iPad for $2.50 more. I guess anyone who has two dollars and 50 cents more than what a SB-900 costs is now part of a privileged, elitist group. Where does that put people who own an Nikon or Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 at around $2,200? Clearly, they should be in jail.

    I think that is a very naive statement.

    1: I had some money when I brought my SB900, I dont now.

    2: I only have an SB600 and a $50 flash from ebay.

    3: I only have one SB900, there’s no way I could afford another.

    4: I am still paying for my SB900, 1 year left on the payments.

    5: Your saying I should buy an ipad just so that I can see your magazine? I’d rather subscribe to Kelby training, Thank you.

    It’s your prerogative what you do with your mag, but to think anyone can afford to just go buy things is a very silly statement.

    I’m sure the mag looks great on the iPad though.


  11. This is almost as controversial as flash not being on the iPad. I think everyone’s settled down about that. Alas, the same will happen here.

  12. Do I agree with limiting your new publication to an iPad only format? Nope.
    Am I hateful? Nope, already too much hate in the world.
    Mad? Nope…disappointed? Yes; no whining…that’s for losers.
    Will I buy an iPad? Considered it but at this point in time…no.

    Oh well…so much for business decisions.

  13. Great magazine Scott.

    I have some questions about the purchasing process.

    Will we have to purchase every month thru the app or thru iTunes?

    Is it going to be possible to do an annual subscription so that when the new magazine is available it shows in the app and you only need to click to download?

    That would be similar to the process for the Photoshop User magazine on Zinio app on the iPad.


  14. If people (the complainers) would have shut their pie-holes for minute, they would have found out that an Android version is being considered (worked on)…. The Google link was a nice touch!

  15. Thanks for seriously addressing the Android question with the answer relating to the company you all are working with. That probably adresses the concerns of 90% of those that wondered about an Android version. People who use Android usually understand that an iPad/ipod version of content usually comes out first so were used to that. Besides this is one of the few instances where consumers have such direct access to content/product creators and instead of asking thse questions to one another, they all were asked directly to the head dude, the big cheese, (fill in any other catch phrases).

    It makes it even more obvious that you all were really talking to the trolls in the other answers and in the posts from the other day.

    Keep up the good work.

      1. I get your humor, and often appreciate it. But when you can’t take criticism or the reaction of those who are disappointed with your business decision, I don’t think poking them with a stick of snarkiness is the best response. But then that’s just me.

  16. Scott, you elitest! I don’t own an iPad…whine, whine….ROFL I really just posted to say that I love your sense of humor. I had an iPad on my wish list but now I have another piece of ammunition why I *need* it. It’s a business expense, right??

    Thanks so much! I truly believe this is going to change the way magazines are done in the future which benefits everyone. Your team is da bomb.

  17. Congrats to everyone behind the scenes! It really has a great feel to it, and the first issue is packed with excellent content. I’d be happy to let any of my non-iPad owning friends read over my shoulder.

  18. That’s a funny Q&A there…. I liked the link for lighting knowledge, reminding people there is this thing called google where you can find vast pages with the knowledge they seek. Cheeky and fun. I got an e-mail suggesting the free edition….now I gotta get off my butt and get an Ipad…..regardless if you eventually make a version for Android or not.

  19. Scott, can we get an audio version on 8 track so I can listen in my car?

    Seriously, I was on the fence on getting the iPad 2 waiting for the iPad 3. I pulled the trigger last night and got the iPad 2. As my daughter said, I can give it to her when I upgrade. The magazine looks great. Good luck with it.

    Brian K.

  20. ahhh, that was a great way to start my morning, you put a smile on my face Scott!! I believe that was just the right amount of snark!! :-)
    Once again, congrats on the magazine and all the great content that you and your organizations produce.. keep up the excellent work…

    1. I thought it was funny as hell! Don’t have an iPad, but having lots of fun! Gary, real arrogance is littered throughout the mean spirited posts by those who demand a product tailored for them.

  21. “Q. What about a version for iPhones or Android phones?
    A. I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one.

    Q. Why not?
    A. Because eventually you’ll pass out.”

    This made me giggle.
    Tee-Hee. <—(like that)

  22. I’m a little surprised by the people commenting on purchasing an iPad vs camera equipment. If you’re running a photography business you’d just expense the iPad as a business expense (assuming you’re using it for all the great photography/business related things you can do with it). Photography is a capital-intensive pursuit. Besides, the magazine is a discretionary purchase in any case. Not like a business license or anything…

    Otherwise you’re like me and a hobbyist. If you’re a hobbyist then you have to prioritize what’s important to you to spend money on and, in reality, camera equipment an iPad and this magazine are all discretionary purchases.

    So I conclude by saying no one should get their knickers in a twist about this.

    1. An iPad, while an interesting way of displaying images, isn’t going to be used to create a photograph in the direct way a flash can (they didn’t include Flash, remember? ;) ). The same could be applied to telling a chef an iPad is equal to a new stove. They are two very different “tools,” where one has a sincere influence on making the food and the other can show recipes. Making fun of the chef who worked hard to buy that stove is belittling.

  23. When one of your inspirations and heroes whaps you on the nose with a rolled up copy of Photoshop User it… It stings. I’ll cry myself to sleep tonight cradling my SB900, and dream of iPads and 70-200’s! ;)

    Good luck with the “iMag” endeavor! I’m looking forward to reading it (even if not right away).

  24. Great Q&A this morning, made me laugh!

    Will there be an annual subscription for the mag? I know it is very cheap but I’m afraid that my brain or my calendars won’t be enough to remind me of buying it every time it comes out!

  25. This was so funny and Dave C just as witty as ever:)!
    I was wondering though if we could have a page in cursive for the old bufties ;)!

    Can’t wait for the next issue. Nice job guys!

  26. Scott, you leave me with a tough decision. I can’t afford an I-Pad. I blew all of my money buying admission and plane tickets and nights at the Mandalay for my daughter and I ( and my wife who wanted to tag along) to next month’s Photoshop World!
    Is there a chance I might WIN an I-Pad at Photoshop World?
    Or, are you going to tell me I need to work some more overtime? And yes, I do have an 70 – 200 2.8 and an old SB800. And my daughter ran off with the D90 and 2 SB 600 leaving me with the D300 and D100.

  27. Scott

    Great job on your first issue of Light It. What I really enjoyed was the fact you had videos within this issue (with Joe McNally). Is this a featue you will have in upcoming issues?

  28. Yeah finally i’m in an elite class of somthing :-).
    Downloaded the magazine and i noticed that when zooming to read the small print it needed time to focus, is this a feature of the magazine or just that my iPad isn’t an iPad2?

  29. Great first issue guys well done. Only slight challenge is your choice of font size for the articles. Yes I know I can zoom in and out, but it really is a little small for comfortable reading. I can see other comments on this as well, so I know it’s not my eyesight!

      1. Humm, kinda glib answer there Scott. This is the only iPad mag that I need to zoom in to read, seems a bit of a basic design issue really. Just because we can zoom, does not mean we should have to!

  30. I always get a kick out of your Q&A’s, and this one had me howling…

    Q. But aren’t we entitled to have this App on the operating system we chose?
    A. The creation of the App was not funded by your tax dollars, so therefore….no.

    …along with the clever Google link. The sense of entitlement out there always blows my mind. Looking forward to issue No. 2.

  31. … and if you only have $399 (so only enough for an SB-700), then you can still get the iPad (1st gen) 16GB with 3G! Straight from Apple.

  32. Great job with the mag its a great read!
    Dont worrie about the people with out an ipad just tell them to keep drinkin that Haterade!!!
    kelbytraining rocks on the ipad!

  33. Tried looking at the mag yesterday but had trouble with my wi-fi connection. Back online this morning and downloading as I write. Glad to know I’ll be able to read it during the hurricane we are expecting tomorrow, even if there’s no power or wi-fi!

  34. SCOTT,
    “I LOVE IT” Forget what people say about it. Its great and and it did inspired me more. “ALLOT”
    People get a iPad and you will see what we all talking about. INK is almost gone. Keep up the awesome work as always!

  35. Sorry, I can’t make your tour when it comes to L.A. I have to save up for a SB-900 (well, maybe a SB-700) then an iPad first on my meager retirement money since I renewed my NAPP and Kelby Training subscription. Please tell Larry that I’m waiting for an article on an iPad emulator for PC, Android, Kindle, iTunes, or Adobe Reader. Oh, yeah, I’m getting a Compositing book spiral bound today.

  36. Scott,
    I have enjoyed the new magazine as well as the lighting tutorials at Kelby Training. All these are good in terms of approaching real world lighting with one exception. Virtually all the models are good looking young people. Not to be disparaging, the majority of the world is not populated by supermodels. Many of us out in real world land would find it useful to have some serious instruction about how to light the wrinkled, chubby, long-faced, large-nosed or slightly more than mature people that we have to photograph and still make them look good.


  37. Bravo! Great rebuttal! The whining had me stunned that so many could be so negative and clueless!?…and with friends like those….as the saying goes…

    And thanks for the heads up on Frank Doorhof’s upcoming Boston gig. Looking forward to that

  38. Hey, Bobby Flay, what do you mean you opened your restaurant in New York? What about my town? I want one too!

    Hey TV Show Producer! What do you mean you put your show on HBO! Why should I have to pay for HBO!?! I don’t have HBO! HBO sucks!


    1. You just made my “Quote of the day!” What a great analogy. :-)

      You’re a Showtime subscriber, so you can see a lot of great TV shows, but here’s this one new TV show on HBO you can’t watch because you’re not an HBO subscriber. So, you send angry letters to the producer for choosing HBO over Showtime, because HBO has a larger audience (it was a simple business decision for the producer).

      I love it. Perfect! My hats off to you for coming up with an analogy I wish I had days ago. :)

  39. Scott:

    Ken Toney told me a long time ago that the first rule of your blog was “No whining”. So I won’t get all wound up that I don’t have an iPad right now, and I can’t access any of the magazine content. What I have seen looks amazing and bodes well for the future development of interactive magazine content on the iPad and any other tablet system.

    I subscribe to Kelby Training and I’m sure that a lot (if not all) of the magazine’s info can be found on the KT site. Plus, I’m continually amazed how much FREE tutorials and information is given to us by Kelby Media! The lack of Droid support at this time is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, in my opinion.

    As to your comments being considered “snarky” or “elitist”, it’s obvious to me that these people have not had the pleasure to meet you in person. They would quickly realize that those adjectives in no way describe anything you say or do. I found you a true gentleman, albeit with a quirky, but great, sense of humor! :)

    Good luck with the magazine, and I’ll keep saving for an iPad! 8)


  40. I like the mag, but it looks too much like a print version saved out as a PDF—you can do so much better. It’s not a print mag, it’s delivered on a different platform, it should be designed accordingly. Font’s are too small, no interactivity, no 360º product shots ect. It needs to be designed keeping the tablet model in mind, you wouldn’t design a website and then export it out in the same format for print. I do like your mag, I just hope it takes on more of a digital publishing feel in future issues (Wired mag or Popular Photography for example).

      1. Look, don’t get me wrong, love the work all of you guys do, I’ve been a NAPP member for 10+ years, I will buy the next issue of LightIt. I just think it could be formatted a bit better. Personally, I like the drill down article format that Wired has started. I think a digital magazine should be designed differently than a print version and use the tools at your disposal, I’m not saying to 360º spin around something just because you can, there’s just so much great stuff you’re able to do in digital publishing that’s just not possible in print, just my opinion. Not here to bash, just excited to see the mag evolve over time. :)

    1. Not being pedantic here.. but im looking at a copy of Wired right now on my iPad. Did you know it doesnt allow you to pinch to zoom?

      Double tapping the text doesnt make it larger either. And if you scroll too past left of right, you cant get to the pages. Again, i’m not trying to be argumentative here.. I just dont think that you’re making an accurate analysis of how “Interactive” your digital magazines actually are.

      I LOVE Wired. But I love it enough to overlook some of these things.. I much rather the Light it Experience. But then.. I work here. I’d be happy to upload a video to share if you’d like. im just curious about the interactions.

      1. Personally I like the format of Wired better, they do a great job, as do you and all your colleagues, seriously. I just prefer that format better. If the text is set correctly I don’t think you should need to zoom-in on copy in these digital mags either, so it doesn’t bother me. To me, if a digital mag doesn’t use a Wired sort of format (now granted, they’ve been dialing that in for close to 3 years now), it just looks like a PDF version of print mag in the Zinio store. Again, it’s just my opinion and I will most definitely be getting the next issue of Light It, very excited to see how it will change over time.

    2. Y’know, I’m not an Apple person. At all. In fact, most people that know me know that I’m pretty much the world’s largest Microsoft proponent. ;) However, I have to disagree as well. Let’s take what we have provided to us right now by many other publishers, compare it to the platform in Light It side-by-side, and see who comes out on top.

      And not to stir the pot even further, but… could you do better? I’m not asking just to be snarky (although sure, that’s a small part of it ;)), but if you can build a better digital magazine platform, I’d honestly love to see it, and see publishers use it.

      1. Could I do better……that not really the point. Scott / NAPP do fantastic work, I’m just an end-user / customer with an opinion. This is the world of design, people will always have an opinion, you can choose to listen—or not. I’ve used the digital publishing tools in InDesign and I just think they could be utilized more on this mag, that’s basically it. These are exciting times in the digital world, the digital publishing is very new and it will be interesting to see where it goes over time. The cool thing is that nobody is really an expert about this yet, just like the mobile space, so it’s interesting to hear what people have to say, including yourself :)

  41. It’s a great creation. I love it. Read the whole thing yesterday. And to the whiners, as you mentioned Nikon SB-900 flash runs around $497.50 at B&H Photo and can buy an iPad for $2.50 more. The Light It Magazine issues each run $2.99 but your giving the first issue away for free. So an iPad with the app and first issue have a value of less then a Nikon SB-900! What a steal!!!

  42. Scott,
    I am just starting my photographic journey. I subscribe to kelby training, and I downloaded the magazine last night. LOVE IT! Your Q & A is hysterical! Thank you for making learning about photography so much fun! What I am wondering is magazine storage. Anyway to at least store the issues you have read off the ipad for future referance? That would be a pretty sweet feature.
    Thank you again, Matt

  43. I love my Android tablet (which meets my needs far better than the iPads I’ve toyed with) and would never buy an iPad just for a few niche apps, just as an iPad user would not likely buy an Android tablet for the handful of things that it does better than the iPad. I’m not a hater and I’m happy to use whatever hardware/software meets my needs.

    That said, the CNN article that Scott linked to might as well have been commissioned by Apple. It was full of speculation and misinformation. I mean, seriously, the Android tablet market started in earnest with the release of the Xoom, which was what, late Q1? What happened with the TouchPad has everything to do with HP and NOTHING to do with the Android tablet market. Good grief, we’re only 5-6 months into some earnest competition and some figures show Android tablets with as much as 30% of the market share. That’s hardly deserving of a death knell. It took the Android phone market about a year to get up to speed and now the Samsung Galaxy SII is outselling the iPhone in Europe.

    There’s two sides to this story and, as in most cases, those who take the extreme line look like idiots. Apple fanbois carving headstones for the Android tablet and Android tablet users laboring under the delusion that there’s tons of money to be made selling us apps–both groups of people come off as extremely ignorant.

    As much as I’d love to use this product, Scott made a solid decision to develop this product on a platform that’s got 60-90% of the market (depending on where you get your data…), and it sounds like he’s non-committal on Android, which is exactly where you need to be on a product that’s neither proven to be a cash cow or a flop.

    If Android users really want to see this (and other) apps, then give Scott a real reason to develop for Android: increase the Android market share by converting users!

    1. So at my job, i pass by the cases with Ipads, Xooms, Iconias, etc… We get in the ipad, and its sold out before 3 hours comes. The other tablets, since introduced, have just sat and gained dust. My store has lowered the prices, and still no one comes to buy. Maybe 2 in the past 3 months.

      I work for walmart. When i step into other stores, they are still stocked fully.

      As a photographer, what can you do on the android that you cannot on the Ipad?

      And keep this level and not on a “fanboy” rant.

      1. Please don’t take offense, but if you’re implying that Android tablets are dead, the sales record of tech products at one Wal-Mart is anecdotal evidence at best.

        If my only interest was photography, I might have an iPad. I’m not an Android fanboi by any means–Apple makes some great products and I own some, though they tend to be more like appliances in that they’re locked down and specialized, whereas PC and Android products tend to be more scalable (and, subsequently, sometimes less stable, but it’s a tradeoff). The Android market also has much lower barriers to entry. More crap, sure, but far less politics.

        For me, the biggest thing was expandable memory and standardized interfaces. Not being able to use an SD card and having to use proprietary connectors is a deal-breaker for me on the iPad. The fixed storage on the iPhones and iPads just aren’t flexible enough for me, and cloud computing isn’t really ready for prime time, especially if I’m prodded to use the cloud service that my hardware provider is selling. I need convenient portable media storage, and I need my computing devices to interface with it.

    2. Apple is great at marketing and a cornerstone of their marketing strategy is convincing large numbers of people of the “inevitability” of the need to own one or all of their products. They are remarkably successful at promotion and developing a fan base that is emotionally invested, a lot like team loyalty in sports fans. Actually Scott is tapping into that same type of marketing as the passion in these responses shows.

      Different computers/tablets/phones/cameras offer different advantages for different needs. I happen to like my Droid phone & tablet. My son is thinking of ditching his iPhone 4 and getting an Android or maybe just a plain cell phone (if there are any still available when his contract runs out). I like my Canon cameras but I don’t hate Nikon. It’s just gear. It works for you or doesn’t. I have only so much money and in the end it’s the results that matter, not what you did it with. As Scott observes the same information is out there. You might have to look for it instead of having it fed to you but…

      1. Very well said.

        The sports analogy is a good one. For some reason, the “us & them” mentality seems to have permeated Western culture to an alarming degree, and you see it everywhere from technology devotion to political affiliation. Scary, actually, as it neuters the ability to reason and think outside the box when your initial reaction is “They can’t have any valuable insight–they’re the OTHER guys!!!”

        I think another reason that Android users get so defensive has to do with the fact that Apple is so successful with their marketing and brand loyalty, and Android users tend to value choice and options. I think a lot of us are paranoid that the more the Android platform isn’t taken seriously by developers, the greater the risk of losing the choice and having to accept what Apple tells you that you should want from a tablet. I think that’s why a lot of us come out of the woodwork when something like this happens–not because we’re dying to have this app, necessarily, but because we take it as a sign that the Android community is not being taken seriously. It’s more of a big picture thing.

        BTW, Scott, if you ever read this, the HBO analogy above is a terrible one. =cP There’s very little barrier to entry for Showtime viewers who want to purchase HBO as well. I know TONS of people who have both HBO and Showtime–I know very few people who buy computing devices on two separate platforms, just like I know very few people who shoot both Canon and Nikon. Because of the cost, people tend to go with one platform and invest in that platform, much like they do with a camera. The extra $8-10/month to buy HBO in addition to Showtime is disposable income for a lot of people. The extra $500+ to buy an iPad in addition to an Android tablet is not. The HBO analogy grossly trivializes the plight of an Android user.

      1. Some of us, students etc, cannot afford a SB-900 and learn on much cheaper flashes. Not everyone can buy top of the line equipment right away to learn on. Sure we WANT SB-900s but have to be realistic.

      2. I’ve got flashes that cost me in the neighborhood of $50. I still need to light my shots even if I can’t afford the newest technical marvels. Light is light and I’d like to be able to see different techniques of using it to light my shots. That’s why I’d like to check out a magazine on lighting.

      3. If you have a $50 flash, you’ll hate the magazine, because then all I’d hear from you is your complaints that all the tutorials are done on Nikon SB-900s and Canon 580exIIs.

  44. To those disappointed that this mag is iPad only. Why not ask the 10,000 or so other developers on Apple’s App store why they don’t produce their apps for other platforms? When Scott says it’s a “business decision,” what’s unclear about that? I’d like one of those nice after market Corvette exhaust systems for my Camry. What’s that, you say, they made a business decision to only market to Corvette owners? How despicable!

  45. Scott,
    I would like to apologize for my tweet on Wednesday. Please pass this on to your staff and all who worked so hard on your new magazine. Some how, some way I will find a way to read this as this is the exact information I need in photography today. Thank you for all the education I have received here on your blog and through NAPP and Kelby Training.

    I am not one to comment or hide behind the anonymous that can be found on the internet. If one wants to see my tweet and, “provide me feedback” I am fully prepared to hear what you have to say. @lyonsphotos

    My online presence and the photographer I am becoming is a large result of what Scott Kelby and his staff does. I am sorry for the tweet and have learned here (again) the reasoning and methodology that goes on behind the scenes.
    Thank You,

  46. As always, thanks for the Q&As…
    especially this one…a total hoot!
    Isn’t it fun to mess with the attitudes coming from socialists!?

    And thanks for the magazine…as with all things from NAPP & Kelby Training; it’s great!!!

    Take care Guys,

  47. I do have the SB-900, and the 70-200mm f/2.8, and the SB-800, and a few items more. But I can use all of them in lots of features, I purchased nothing just for shots of Saint Patrick’s Parade.

    Good luck with your magazine, what about writing books for bald photographers only?

    1. Scott, I completely agree here with Bill. I appreciate your response to the question at hand and will wait, and if it doesn’t come, not that big a deal.

  48. First of all, from the screen shots this looks impressive and kudos to you and the entire Kelby group. If the problem is you cannot monetize this as easily in the Android market just say so. The Apple store is much nicer and seems to be better suited for this.

    Just to be a jerk (I am one of the few million Android users so I guess it goes with the territory) – from the Aquafadas website

    AVE AppFactory lets you generate apps for the iPad™, iPhone™, and Android™-based devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab® and Motorola’s Xoom, without writing a single line of code. If you already have your own apps we help you integrate them with AVE AppFactory, and you simply continue using them.

    1. On that exact same website, it says this:

      “As a first step, the AVE AppFactory will enable the creation of applications designed to run on iPad, iPhone, and iPod. In the near future, it will also offer the possibility to develop applications for Android™, Windows® Phone 7, RIM® (Blackberry®).”

      link: http://www.aquafadas.com/en/publishing/aveappfactory/

      Does that show that the issue is not about monetizing but actually because the company doesn’t support Android yet? :P

  49. First of all, thanks Scott for a great magazine! I had a hard time last night putting it down. My biggest frustration, as you have mentioned in this post is the download size. May I recommend that you make embedded content downloadable on demand? If initially I download the layout of the magazine, then when I click on a video it can either stream it or download and cache it. This would serve a couple purposes: 1- it allows me to start reading the magazine faster, 2 – doesn’t consume as much memory on my iPad. It could be an option under ‘Settings’. A user could choose to download the entire magazine (for offline viewing) or stream the magazine as content is needed.

  50. App is unusable – I can’t download first issue. Dow pad gets stuck at 1% and then app crashes at which point it needs to start download again. While I was looking forward to it the quality of application seems to be pretty bad.

  51. Hey, quick suggestion. I’d like to see higher resolution images when you double tap to enlarge an image. I see a little pixelation going on. Larger downloads don’t scare me, bring it on! Oh, and I just gotta say from some of the comments you’d think Scott’s new app has the monopoly on lighting information. People, there are other places to learn this lighting info. Just because you don’t have an iPad doesn’t mean you are missing out on the meaning of life… (it’s 42 btw) chillax.

  52. I want to come and work for a company like yours. Cannot wait to grow up and get my certification in all things Kelby Training and ancillary products. I got my IPad already so I guess I am off to the right start. Great commentary and feedback and I have to say I really, really loved your passion during the webcast about the new magazine. Go Kelby Group!! Let me know when you think of listing your company on the stock exchange, I want a piece!!

  53. This isn’t a complaint about launching exclusively on an overpriced toy, but more a point that you haven’t launched a magazine, you’ve created an app.

    The difference is that one is one is almost universally accessible, while the other is just another gadget for people to distract themselves with. In this day and age it is so simple to release a product across multiple platforms that it’s just lazy to only make something available for one. These are the sort of business practices that kill early stage entrepreneurs and it’s sad to see someone of this calibre adopt the “because we can” business model.

    Again, I’m not upset about the magazine itself, but I am disappointed in the lack of respect for the reader base that allowed you to reach a point where you could release a product in so narrow-minded a fashion.

    Also, comparing an iPad to an SB-900 is ridiculous. One is a useful tool, the other is a toy. A photographer who has all their lighting gear and can afford to throw away cash on an iPad doesn’t (shouldn’t) need a lighting app.

    1. “This isn’t a complaint about launching exclusively on an overpriced toy…” Yes it is. Just be honest and say it up front.

      Other than that, you sound like a really fun guy. ;-)

      1. Being honest, I think for most of us it has nothing to do with Apple or the iPAD and everything to do with access. We Android users bitch because we have a tablet that we can’t use to view, the tablet-based content. The reality is is if I didn’t have a tablet, I’d be complaining that I can’t see it on my computer, the almost ubiquitous, far superior, viewing platform where the one requirement would be to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

      2. And you sound pretty cocky and disparaging, don´t you? You convinced me: I will never buy the weekend toy, nor an issue of the magazine. Having Joe MacNally´s Blog, what else?

    2. Have you read the whole blog post, buddy ?

      Name it app or magazine, Light it is on iPad only. It’s a fact and Scott explained why up there. The app developper they work with isn’t geared yet to provide any other solution (Android or else). And saying an iPad is a toy is ridiculous. If Light it was available on dead trees, that would be a useful magazine, but now that’s only on iPad, that’s a useless toy ? What’s wrong with you, man ?

    3. I agree totally with Werner, and to be honest I could care less about an android app, I hate reading on those tiny little screens. I would love to read it on my PC! and judging by the hundreds of “Whiners” (as you so politely call us) leaving negative comments, I’m not alone. What made you and your products so great was your ability to make information and knowledge accessible to the masses for a reasonable price, that is obviously changing, those willing will adapt, the rest will just have to find another source

    4. Actually….The iPad can be an extremely useful tool. I wouldn’t mind having myself. Instead I have a rooted Nook Color which basically makes it a cheap android tablet. I find that it is a very useful tool that I can use to showcase my work to potential customers and actually gain their business.

      It also goes leaps and bounds when I’m on location with a couple or doing portraits, I can show several images to the model as a point of reference so they can understand the type of shot that is being used.

      I think I would consider them both useful tools, depending on what you use them for they could also both just be toys. You can help revenue with each or just squander their technical abilities, it just depends on the user.

  54. Scott,

    As The Onion reported, Tim Cook is “Thinking Printers”… Will we be able to print your New Light It! Magazine on these new and innovative Apple Printers when they become available?? And what about the Commodore 64. Now that it’s back, will your French Foreign Legion turn it’s attention seaward? Can we get a quote Scott? What about Atari, Scott. Do you hate Atari??

  55. Great Q & A, Scott.

    Though I am shocked (SHOCKED!) that you, as a private company who funded the launch of Light It without asking anyone else for funds, won’t listen to those Android fanboys who feel that you should add even more investment dollars than you feel you need to at this point. :-)

    I’m also quite p.o’d at Canon for not making their old manual focus lenses that I bought 20+ years ago compatible with my Nikon DSLR that I now own. The nerve!

  56. Bummer! I can’t afford fancy flash or an iPad. But my 9 year old daughter bought one so maybe she will let me borrow it when she takes a break from Photobooth. :)

  57. The real reason this is iPad only is because Scott is a huge Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan. Since the Bucs bought iPads for all the players, Scott knew it had to be iPad, iPad, iPad.

  58. I feel like, with the evidence out there on the popularity & success of the iPad, buying any other tablet is like being back in the day and choosing to get a “Turbo Grafx 16” over a Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo! (I know what that feels like…)

  59. My dear Scott, Hi

    I am going to buy an iPad just for Light it Magazine, Because I Strongly believe it Promote my Knowledge. Everything in this World has a VALUE. So to achieve a GOAL you NEED to PAY ….. Mentally, Physically, Financially.

    Best Wishes

  60. Scott. You need to calm down. You can not be surpised that people are upset that the magazine is for only the iPad. What did you expect? Produce a magazine for landscape photography and I might buy an iPad. Current publication does not fit my type of photography.

    By the way, not sure how to communicate to RC that my web site is based entirely on his book. His book on getting photos on the web is the best book I have ever purchsed.

  61. I don’t own an iPad, but my girlfriend does, so she is now a proud “subscriber” to LightIt! I have been enjoying this first issue since the launch and I love the look and feel of it. The content is superb as with most things Kelby. The only thing I’m not too crazy about is the cook book format (step 1, step2, etc…) but it’s really a small detail within the whole context.

    On a side note, I have to agree with a previous comment that you are probably getting all this flack because you called it a magazine. I think “magazine” has this universal access connotation attached to it. If you had called it an iPad app you probably wouldn’t have gotten as much whining.

    Either way, “A rose by any other word would smell as sweet” . It’s a great product. Thanks for putting it together.

  62. It’s a great inaugural issue. And looking forward to making good on the promise of this first issue. Haven’t gone through all the posts hear, but I really wish people would accept it for what it is, and stop trying to make your work fit their personal world view.

    That said, Scott, would you please stop with the passive-agressive platform war snark. It was boring at best during the MAC DESIGN days. Tedious with the Canon vs. Nikon debates. And is now a total eye-rolling, heavy sigh inducing waste of reader’s time with Tablets. C’mon Scott, you are better then that, please stop with the grade-school level BS.

    Rob D.
    (a long-time subscriber)

  63. Scott –

    That Q&A had me really laughing. The CNN link, perfect. The Google link was funny AND useful! Heck, I found so much stuff on lighting – I could never even try it all. In fact, found so much, I don’t even need your magazine! Huh? Wait, You tricked me into not buying your magazine! You, you… pro bono elitist! Make me want it, Make me have to have it… So I can feel left out and complain.

    And a Google link? I prefer Yahoo! How dare you make me search on Google (which happens to own Android, very funny Mr. Kelby!). I want you to provide me with an equivalent search result on Yahoo!


    Scott, I hope you have a good weekend!!!


      1. I’ve swiped my friend’s iPad just to read this…

        Great stuff. A bright future for publishing in the electronic age, shining your way (with optional diffusion & softboxes)

  64. Seriously, I would have thought that a Kelby magazine would be on multiple formats to reach the maximum audience for any predetermined price. Even a pdf format can be purchased on Amazon’s Kindle where the search on “kelby” shows over 400 hits. Just a thought from a MBA retiree suffering from Kelby overload already (no time for your Facebook, Twitter, nor Google+ words of wisdom). And yes, we attended the McNally/Hobby lighting tour so there is an interest. And yes, I miss the words of Dave Cross outside of Florida. From sunny California…..

  65. Oh man this was the funniest post ever. I don’t have an Ipad and the decision is totally understandable. Plus it helps minimize your production costs, thus enabling those who actually own the pad to download it at a lower rate.

    Kudos on the Q&A it was hilarious, I’m sorry you’ve gotten so much heat on the android issue as it is unwarranted. If you don’t have something nice to say then just don’t say it (unless it is some wanted critiquing of photos).

    Cheers to the Pro-Bono Elitists, long live the Elite!

  66. I’m sorry, double-posting. It’s rude. But this could also be compared to video game consoles, early adopters of the Wii have been burned pretty bad with a severe lack of quality content…whereas those that purchased one of the larger two have been blessed with loads of ‘AAA’ games.

    I think it goes without saying but you can’t have the best of both worlds (Android and iPad) when you only own one system. If you want the best of both worlds then just buy both…this is why I own a Wii and a 360, they each have their own unique content, I don’t get enraged that Epic Games decided to make Gears of War for the 360 and not the Wii, that’s just silly. If you want it that badly just go and buy an Xbox…

  67. Scott,

    You were cool enough to break the numbers down on the SB-900 vs the Ipad, and that’s great. But I’m a Canon guy. What are we looking at with the 580EX II vs the IPad? Now you’ve totally alienated us Canon guys without IPads……

    Sorry, I have to joke. Been following this since your first announcement. Congrats on the new publication, and I think it’s a great platform. I still don’t have an IPad, but I won’t cry about it here. My choice in my business budget. But I would like to know a few things…..

    Breakdown on IPad vs. Alien Bees, Rangers, Radio Poppers, Pocket Wizards, and finally…..what are we looking at on cost comparisons between the IPad and let’s say Wendy’s hamburgers?

    Don’t let haters get you down. Every day I sing the praises of Kelby Media to my clients, and every day they think I must be paid by you or something.

    By the way, why aren’t you paying me?


  68. Scott, when it comes to creativity and innovation, there are two kinds of people: A) those who do it, and B) those who sit back and take cheap shots at those who do it. You show remarkable patience; most folks in Group A just ignore those in Group B.

  69. Scott and Team, – Just downloaded the new magazine to my IPAD and I really love it. Great content. Sharp layout and I absolutely loved the video inserts. First issue and I have already picked up at least 10 ah-ha moments. Thanks. I will be subscribing.

      1. Why is it so cheap AND so good? Did the fine print include a clause whereby Kelby Media can take my first born on demand?

  70. Scott,

    This was even funnier than the Aaron Rodgers post when he broke your monopod! (Remember my jersey in Chicago? ;)) The http://www.lmgtfy.com was hilarious; never saw that, but I will be using it on my facebook friends who INSIST on asking what something is, despite their obvious proximity to http://www.google.com.

    Thanks for making my night better with your humor. This is why you are my favorite. :)

    – Kev

  71. Great Magazine I love reading it on my IPad.
    By the way what is Android???? Is it another PC thing??For all you Apple Detractors out there we wish to remind you PC means Piece of Crap!!!! Congratulations Thank You

  72. Eh hmmmmm….. I found it in my studio’s budget to get an IPad. Guess what I’m downloading tomorrow? Hmmm?

    I’m still waiting on your financial breakdowns of other strobes, new cars, Alien Bees, and dinner at Pasquales (a wonderful restaurant here in Prescott) vs the IPad. :)

  73. “Q. What about a version for iPhones or Android phones?
    A. I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one.
    Q. Why not?
    A. Because eventually you’ll pass out.”

    Funniest part of a very amusing Q+A.

    Though one thing that struck me whenever I read market percentages of certain products/software etc is the bizarre biases. Take a non-Apple product that has only say 20% of the market, and it’s seen to be failing miserably despite the fact that Apple has a much smaller percentage market share of the computer market. Apple have only just cracked the 10% mark in the US and worldwide it’s an even lower figure – yet Apple isn’t deemed to be a failure in that area.
    Also the impact of the iPad is very overstated in one sense – without question it has been a huge success, yet net-books are now talked about in many places as being complete failures despite net-books selling in similar quantities to iPads. The other thing is that iPads are premium products, just like Apple computers they are for rich people and are most certainly elitist items. And before anyone accuses me of sour grapes, being an Android fanboi or similar, I’m writing this on a 17″ MacBook Pro and have a high end MacPro desktop upstairs, but I do realise I’m extremely fortunate in being able to afford such expensive items and am very aware most people cannot afford such luxuries even in a relatively rich country such as the UK where I live.
    BTW the cheapest iPad in the UK costs £120 [$170] more than the Nikon SB-900 flash and no-one in their right mind ever buys the cheapest Apple item as it’s usually too weedy or missing essential items to bother with so it’s more like £200 [$320] more, not quite a mere $2.50 more. A Galaxy Tab [Android] is basically the same price as an iPad, so I wouldn’t describe it as cheap either, but you can pick up other Android tablets for a mere £150 [$235], just as you can buy flashguns that are much cheaper than a Nikon SB-900 and to put things into perspective, for only £20 more than this premium flash you can buy a Nikon D3000 with the 18-55mm VR Lens Kit. So I would argue targeting iPad only is definitely elitist. Which is fine there’s nothing wrong with that, I will only do weddings if paid an premium price, but I certainly wouldn’t try and claim I wasn’t being elitist.

  74. Dear Scott,

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful content that is produced by you and your team. I absolutely loved the magazine and will be purchasing every subsequent issue. I get really irritated when I read the comments area of your blog. You work so hard and seem like such a nice genuine guy, I really hope that you don’t let the negative people get to you. I’ve been meaning to comment for some time, but I just wanted to say thank you. You have been a wealth of knowledge, and I couldn’t have learned Photoshop without you, well you and Deke McClelland.


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