The British Journal of Photography, the world’s oldest photography magazine, has launched an iPad app, which takes full advantage of the tablet’s backlit display to show off reams of photographic images in a format that is equally (if not more) alluring as print.
The app was designed by an in-house design team at the BJP (lead by art director, Mick Moore) using the Mag+ platform. Its launch follows the magazine’s move last year from being a weekly title to a monthly, which has allowed it to devote more pages to showcasing imagery. This strategy continues on the app, which features a series of articles that are accompanied by lots of lovely photography. These include profiles on Anton Corbijn and Wim Wenders, a report on the role of photojournalism since 9/11, and a Q&A with South African photographer David Goldblatt.
The images all appear full screen on the iPad, which can be rotated to see them to best effect. Moore’s distinctive art direction for the mag has also been transferred effectively to the digital format.
The app also takes advantage of the ability to show film, a medium being explored by an increasing number of photographers, as BJP editor Simon Bainbridge points out. “What great timing, the tablet revolution,” he says, “because it coincides with another – the convergence of still and motion images, which gets special focus in our first issue. Traditionally, magazines about filmmaking have one obvious flaw – you can’t show moving images. Here, our only restriction is bandwidth.”
The app is fairly hefty to download, taking about 20 minutes or so. Once in, it opens with a moving image cover, and then a contents page, where you can click anywhere to go direct to a feature or article. You can also navigate pages by swiping the iPad, and there are directional arrows to help avoid confusion. If you do get lost, tapping the screen brings up a scroll bar at the bottom, which allows you to jump to other pages. In addition to the features content, there are reviews of the latest photographic gear.
The BJP app will be available quarterly, with the first issue free to download now via iTunes. For more info on it, visit bjpapp.com.
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