Sunday, December 30, 2007

JPG Magazine & Picture This

As much as I love Flickr (and believe me I do), there are times when the size of the community (25 million monthly visitors according to Compete) and the sheer volume of photographs being shared (2 billion and counting) feels a bit overwhelming. So, it was with some delight that I stumbled upon not one, but two, smaller (and more focused) online photography communities this week.

First was JPG Magazine which has been producing a bi-monthly print magazine since January 2005, initially via self-publishing site but more recently as a fully-fledged news-stand title (in the US at least) from 8020 Publishing. The emphasis is very much on quality rather than quantity with users encouraged to upload only their best, high-res shots (no more than 10 per day) and then assign them to themes, some of which are earmarked for forthcoming issues. The JPG community then votes on the submissions with the editors having the final say on what makes it into the mag. If you're lucky enough to get a photo printed you get $100 and one year's free subscription. Nice.

My second discovery (via Hilary) was Channel 4's new photography project Picture This. A joint-initiative with Flickr, the site has more of an educational bent with a focus on improving users' photography skills through mutual feedback. The other manifestation of Picture This is a television series which starts on 6th January at 7pm on Channel 4. Much like Photo Friday, users are invited to upload their best shot in response to the week's theme (week one is Self Portrait) with the added incentive that the judges will pick out some to feature on the show. The site is full of Web 2.0 goodness including commenting, tagging, rating and seamless integration with the Flickr API (it even pulls in the EXIF data).

I've just submitted one of my photos so why not head on over and proffer some (constructive) criticism? Alternatively you could visit my JPG profile page and check out some of my favourite snaps.

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