Editorial Other

JPG magazine shutting shop

issue19-300.jpgIf you’re a member of the JPG Magazine website you’ll have got an email today announcing that they’re closing their doors, sadly. The same email is posted on their blog.

Today is a particularly sad day for all of us at JPG and 8020 Media. We’ve spent the last few months trying to make the business behind JPG sustain itself, and we’ve reached the end of the line. We all deeply believe in everything JPG represents, but we just weren’t able to raise the money needed to keep JPG alive in these extraordinary economic times. We sought out buyers, spoke with numerous potential investors, and pitched several last-ditch creative efforts, all without success. As a result, will shut down on Monday, January 5, 2009.

I only really started paying attention to JPG properly in the last few months and uploaded a handful of images to various themes. My profile, underused as it was, is here, but I don’t know how much longer it’ll be online! So I wasn’t that active but it seemed like a great place for photographers to share their work and read about other photographers. It had the added benefit of avoiding ranking mechanisms, meaning everyone had a chance to be seen. They published an actual physical magazine as well as the digital version.

There’s a Flickr group but personally I’ll just miss flicking through the digital issues of the mags and being amazed by some inspirational photographs. Download the archives while you still can!

iOS & Mac reviews

fun with Poladroid

OWN_2258-pola.jpgGrass & Water beads-pola.jpg

Yesterday I mentioned an iPhone app called Camerabag that applies filters to iPhone photos. Today I happened across a free app for Macs and PCs called Poladroid.

You drag an image from your computer onto the application (which is represented by a lovely icon of a Polaroid camera) and it makes that whizz and whirr sound and produces a Polaroid-styled JPG which actually has to develop. Once finished it saves in a location of your choice (which you can set up in Preferences). There’s even a setting for randomly grittying up the image, which sometimes results in a lovely smudgy thumbprint somewhere (see the photo of the grass). As with many photography apps these days, there’s a Flickr group of users as well.

The effect and the realistic texture of the frame is better than the effect used in Camerabag, but as it’s a desktop app you can use it on pictures from your ‘better’ cameras which makes up for the lack of spontaneity an iPhone app engenders. However, the makers of Poladroid have announced they’re working on an iPhone version too, which could be a lot of fun. 🙂


i like my iPhone camera

I’ve been playing around a lot with the iPhone camera since I got my 3G iPhone a few months ago. I got Camerabag (£1.79 at time of writing) pretty early on, as it processes images from your Photo Library or can even capture directly from the camera itself. The selection of filters it can then apply range from imitation plastic lens types (Helga and Lolo) to a couple of mono filters and various retro effects. There’s a fisheye but it’s not really worth using. You can have the app crop and border your conversions, or either, or neither.

The filters can take a decent iPhone photo and give it a really appealing tone, and predictably I’m a big fan of the Helga look – heavy vignette, contrasty colours, slightly desaturated.

I also use Pano quite a lot, a panorama app. Does a really impressive job of stitching up to 6 images together, either panoramic or portrait orientation. It’s £1.79 as well. You can even create a panorama and then run it through Camerabag, but you do lose most of the resolution when you do that as Camerabag has an upper limit of 1200 pixels on the longest side. A 6-frame panorama straight out of Pano is a lot bigger!

So it’s not like having my D200 in my pocket, of course, but it does mean I can keep an eye out for new photo opportunities even when I don’t have my big toys with me, and that makes life more interesting. 🙂

Oh, and Happy New Year!