Friday, January 2, 2009

Goodbye JPG

I received an e-mail yesterday informing me that JPG magazine is ceasing publication and shutting down it’s website effective 1/5/09. They cite the current economic mess as their reason.

What I admired about JPG is also what drove me nuts about it: As a site dedicated to creative photography where anyone could join and post their photos, it leveled the playing field by avoiding distinctions between professionals and amateurs, commercial and fine art photographers, etc. Unfortunately, that philosophy resulted in an incredible number of trite, unoriginal photos being submitted.

I had some disagreements with JPG’s curatorial choices. While they claimed to be looking for unique and creative work, much of what was chosen for publication seemed pretty tame and expected to me. Also, they were capricious at best with how they enforced their policy banning digital manipulation. That said, I saw a great deal of really good work by unknown photographers on that site, and it will be missed.

Luckily, online photo sites appear to be on the increase. I’ve found several over the past few months that I like. None of these sites allow unmoderated uploading of images, and so are not as egalitarian as JPG, although several are dedicated to showing emerging artists. Having a more active curatorial role seems to largely eliminate the trite, uninteresting work that made up so much of what was found on JPG.

Fraction is a bi-monthly online photo magazine that shows work from established and emerging artists side by side. They also publish a blog.

F-Stop is also an online bi-monthly photography magazine featuring contemporary photography from established and emerging photographers from around the world.

Shots Magazine is an independent, reader-supported, quarterly journal of fine art photography, which presents work by a variety of photographers from around the world. Published online as well as in paper form.

Lenscratch is an interesting blog showcasing contemporary photography and photographers.

Notpaper is a blog about collage. Lots of interesting collage work, both digital and traditional, is featured.

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