Diederik has just launched the first ever portfolio based photography magazine for the iPad. We asked him to tell us a bit more about his reasons for doing so:

Q. How and when did you come up with the idea for the 50pm iPad app?

A. That’s a funny story, I tried to get into Latitude Magazine, contacted them, got an enthusiastic first response, then….nothing 🙁

A couple of weeks later it dawned on me: if they can do it, so can I, and now I have created my own…

Q. Why this idea? What is your mastermindplan here?

A. I hope to be able in helping to change the playing field for a lot of people and help myself at the same time. I believe photographers should really try to build and engage their own audiences through storytelling. Social media provide options to connect to networks of creative people and kick out a commodity product like we are doing now. A couple of things are important here. First: context, a wider audience can only be engaged if we bring them stuff they can relate to; second: accessibility of the work: same; third: motivation, again think about what people who are not part of the creative communities want to see and how they want to see it. We have decided to reserve an initial amount of download fees for past, present and future development expenses and split excess fees – if we get them – 50/50 between the publishers and the contributing artists. I have been paying for all expenses out of my own pocket, which means our budget is limited, which means an “arts collective” approach makes sense for me. There is one exception: I have been paying for the two written essays upfront, because these were produced especially for the magazine.

I believe that this vision can contribute to the photography community as much as to the general public and we hope to help in building a new playing ground on which great photography can be supported directly by a great audience that gets informed and inspired by that photography. 50pm is a new and exciting medium, that aims at connecting documentary photography to larger audiences.

By the way, I am open to new ventures that can help me earn back my time and money investments. Anybody out there gazing at the app thinking “geez, I want to create something like that too,” please do drop me a line. It’ll be a great help, trust me!

Q. Please give us a few lines on why 50pm is a MUST HAVE, so people will run out, get an iPad and download it now at only 1,99 dollars a piece?

A. Our first issue – Family Matters – has been released in app stores worldwide on December 7. It comprises beautiful portfolios by Chris Verene, Hee Jin Kang, Mami Kiyoshi and Elizabeth Clark Libert, four artists who share inside views of their own families. It covers American family life of various social classes and a Japanese family set against a recreation of paradise. Each of these artists has connected with their family to create a beautiful, strong and often touching photo story.

50PM is the first ever portfolio based photography magazine for the iPad, it comprises photo stories of the highest standard. And with the holiday season coming up, family is the group of people we’ll be spending more time with.

Q. What’s up with the theme Family Matters?

A. Family is important to us all. Our family moves us, entertains, upsets, angers and inspires us. Therefore the theme family was assigned to the project from the start, as I felt, we all share commitment, one way or another, to this compelling theme. We’ve asked Bite! visitors to comment on Family. All their quotes, often moving, some heartbreaking, are in the iPad app. As an inspirational magazine, 50PM: Issue 1: Family Matters is an absolute must have for non-photographers and photography enthusiasts alike.

Q. Do you feel the apps to be an advanced (if you will), new media shape/form/outlet. In other words: are apps our future?

A. Absolutely, the iPad experience is more interactive than print (duh) and more intimate than the web. If you can swipe, clicking is boring. It takes time, effort and nerves to create a magazine app, get the technical structure right and safely sail past the app store review team. I think that pays off in terms of content quality and increased credibility.

I also like the technical possibilities a lot. We are still adding features to 50pm, like grid navigation (swipe horizontally between pages and vertically between portfolios), a news ladder function, text fields with flipping animation and getting the thing fired up for multimedia content – photofilms I hear somebody say? Yessir!

Apart from all that, it is my belief that photographers should keep their rich content away from the web until they have published it for money. Once you post your images at full size online, it will be very hard to get somebody to pay for them. ePublishing can be very interesting in this respect. Post your thumbnails online, create your own collective network and jointly publish your work as a magazine. Mind you there is more to making a magazine than making photographs…

Q. What is your next venture?

A. Right now I’m focusing on the second issue of 50pm. The theme for this second issue is sports. The app will have portfolios of excellent sports photography, with work by a couple of World Press Photo winners included. A Spanish version is now waiting for Apple’s review and we are working on publishing a Chinese version. On top of that, I’d like to be able to enable 50pm users to order a limited selection of photographs as a poster at some point.

Here is a link to the Apple iTunes page

The app is priced at $1.99

*Get a freebie of 50pm for iPhone:

Bite!magazine and Daylight have created a separate Lite version, which holds a preview of the full magazine, is iPhone compatible and for free app, here’s the iTunes page for that one.

duckrabbit wish Diederik and all contributors the very best of luck.

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