will e-Ink change photography?

The Parke Harrisons

When will e-Ink (wiki) begin to change the photo world? I wonder what this photo would look like on a Kindle. I assume it would look higher quality than photos usually look on a computer screen, but would it, could it look as good as a well-made print?

I remember discovering e-Ink back in 2006 and jumping 6 feet in the air. It seems like the sensible eventual replacement of LCDs. More energy efficient, no pixelation, no backlight required, light and portable – all the reasons books have not died. However, color e-Ink still seems a few years away from an affordable product incarnation.

Esquire made a misguided attempt to incorporate it into a print medium last September, but using it on a disposable item with no ability to recharge the battery turns the technology into a gimmick and, as Treehugger points out, only increases the amount of e- and paper waste we produce, which defeats the whole purpose of digital ink.

It is, however, a good example of what color e-Ink photos would look like. I found a few photos on Flickr from user Philip Torrone. Click on them to go to the Flickr page, where you can see a larger version:

Looks pretty good to me. I can’t wait til we can buy color e-Ink readers and displays of all sizes for around $200! It would mean a sort of second digital revolution for the photo industry, perhaps a happy middle between digital and analog?

Until then, I dream of gigantic e-Ink wall screens where I can display a rotating series of photos which I can store in a tiny device, of “prints” from respected art photographers which look great and become affordable due to internet distribution.


~ by Jin on January 9, 2009.

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