JPG magazine. I used to get RSS feeds from it, but it fallen completely off my radar once it was reported to have met its demise. But to my surprise, it is not only back from the dead, but completely revived and healthy.
I came across JPG recently when I was following a link from a post about how some photographers are using Magcloud—a nifty print on demand magazine service—to market themselves. Once I looked at the link, I started browsing the 1,000+ titles in Magcloud's listings of photography magazines and there was Issue 24 of JPG. From there, I went to JPG's site and quickly came to the following conclusions:
1. It's more focused and more aesthetically pleasing (barring the necessary evil of ads that you get on the free account) than flickr
2. It has a friendly community of photographers
3. In some ways, it is what the "monthly special" would have liked to be
4. It could be a good venue for getting published
Obviously, in a free community of photographers, the quality of work varies. But because the free membership only allows 10 uploads a day, you find a more thoughtful selection of photos. This is not meant to be a flickr-style archive of every photo you have ever taken.
I have found some pretty amazing talent on JPG and I plan to start up interviews again with one of my favorites. It also turns out that two of the photographers I have already interviewed have accounts on JPG.
JPG has "themes" to which you can submit one photo. Members vote, editors decide, and that's how people end up in the quarterly issue. I have submitted to a few of the themes, so we'll see. They also have "stories" in different categories. One of my "contacts" (think "friends" on Facebook) is a trucker named "Slimeface" (reminds me of a trucker friend of mine who lives just one street over) who has had a story published. So that got me looking at the stories, and I discovered that 1. there are a lot fewer people taking the time to write stories and 2. (don't take this wrong but) not everyone has had a lot of experience writing.
Given that one of the three themes for the next issue is "frenzy," I decided to do a photo essay based on the crazy "10 seconds at the Paris techno parade" I posted about last year. I stayed up until 2 a.m. (typical, really) writing the essay to go with the photos, I titled it "10 seconds," and now, I am very happy to see that it is "story of the week." This doesn't mean it's accepted for publication, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I guess you can say that JPG put the final nail in the coffin of my "monthly special," and I'm more than happy to promote it as a place where you can do photo challenges. Check it out (feel free to vote for me if you sign up), and look back here for some upcoming interviews with exciting talent.