About BLUR

How often is BLUR magazine published?

BLUR magazine is published bi-monthly (6 issues per year), at the beginning of February, April, June, August, October and December. From August 2009 (#15) to December 2012 (#28) BLUR was published quarterly, while the first 14 issues under the brand name BULB were published on a monthly basis.

This historical difference in publishing rhythm follows the growth and transformation of our art project from a hobbyist endeavor by photography enthusiasts to a creative non-profit Photography Association it grew into today.

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Who is the publisher of BLUR magazine?

BLUR magazine is published by Photography Association Creatus, or Fotografska udruga Creatus (F.U.C.*) in Croatian, registered in Zagreb, Croatia as a nonprofit and nongovernmental civil organization. You can find out more by visiting our impressum or about pages.

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Are you hiring or accepting volunteers?

BLUR operates as a non-profit magazine with a modest income that covers our basic technical expenses, so we’re not hiring. The entire operation is run mainly by a small, dedicated team of volunteers. If you wish to join this team, check out our impressum or journal for details and/or news regarding vacant positions. If you feel you can offer something we don’t yet even know we need, feel free to drop us a note using our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Can a photographer recommend their own work for publication in BLUR?

Yes! All you need to do is visit our submission pages (for single photos, check out Gallery 36, otherwise go to our project submission page), select an appropriate category for your artwork, fill in all the required data and send us your work! Please bear in mind that we don’t usually return to authors with negative replies, due to the sheer amount of submissions we receive. If you don’t receive feedback within a week, that basically means our editorial staff is not interested in your submission. Alternatively, if you wish to be more specific or feel your art does not fit into any of the specified submission categories, send us all relevant information using our contact form. Don’t forget to mention a URL where we can see your work!

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Why did BULB change its name to BLUR?

BULB magazine changed its editorial structure and its team of contributors in 2009, and certain changes in the magazine’s organizational structure were introduced. As a sign of respect toward the old contributors, we decided to change the name to BLUR, but also keep all the old BULB issues available online as a permanent part of the BLUR heritage.

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What are the BLUR physical/printed editions about and how are they distributed?

BLUR publishes two yearly printed books that summarize all the best authors and photos published in BLUR throughout the year. They don’t include interviews and other textual content, but focus on pure photography. The purpose of a BLUR book is to create an inspirational, high-quality photo archive that can take a special place on your book shelf and become a more serious collectors’ edition than a magazine publication ever could. All printed editions are, of course, available digitally as well. The worldwide distribution methods of these physical copies are still being considered by the BLUR team, but will probably be available via print on-demand services such as Blurb.com or MagCloud.com. Please follow our journal for updates on when the printed editions will be available for purchase.

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What are BLUR special editions?

Any BLUR publication issued outside of the regular publishing rhythm is considered a special issue. Examples include the free BLUR GALLERY edition or the printed BLUR BOOK edition. Some special editions are digital, some are printed, some are free, some are commercial, depending on the theme, occasion and production costs.

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Does BLUR have a printed edition?

BLUR magazine is published primarily in PDF format and is distributed on the Internet. It can be read as a stand-alone PDF on any compatible device or through a dedicated iOS or Android application that is currently in development. BLUR is also planning on publishing special printed editions that will be available for order and printing on-demand using various online self-publishing services such as Blurb.com or MagCloud.com, but we’ll keep you updated on that one.

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Copyright and authorization

Does the author release his/her copyrights in any way by being published in BLUR?

BLUR is a magazine which respects the authors, their creativity and their copyright as important aspects in our promotion of photographic art. The author does not in any way release or give up their copyright by publication in BLUR magazine, neither will their photos be used for any other purpose except for publication in the magazine and the promotional materials related to the Blur magazine (YouTube clips, Facebook announcements, etc.). Any other possible use of the material is first discussed with the author, and is subject to the author’s prior written approval.

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Where and in what ways will my photography be used?

Other than being published in our PDF magazine, some photos might appear as BLUR promotional material on our Facebook page, in our promotional YouTube videos, in our online digital previews (ISSUU). Some photos may be re-used for special or print editions. All such use is directed solely to advertise BLUR magazine and reach wider audiences for your art. Additionally, your photo never appears without your artist information (except sometimes in the YouTube video due to production/editing reasons).

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Does BLUR profit from publishing artwork?

BLUR is a paid magazine, so in a sense it does generate revenue by publishing artwork. However, this revenue is used solely to cover production costs (hardware and services rendered). The selection and editing process for a magazine of this caliber is both a time and resource consuming endeavor. BLUR is published by a non-for-profit organization registered in Croatia (EU) and any outstanding profit generated by our association must, by law, be used to reinvest into the projects of Photography Association Creatus or to support similar projects in the photographic community. This basically means that any revenue we receive is distributed back to the photographic community in one way or another!

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Will I see how my artwork will be published before the magazine release date?

Yes. This helps us avoid any mistakes. Additionally, this ensures that each author is duly informed about how their artwork is used. Once an author gives us their final written approval, the authorized material will be committed into production and no further changes to the material will be possible unless it’s absolutely urgent or factually extremely relevant. On certain occasions minor changes might be done after your authorization by the editorial staff, but these are mostly due to technical reasons and will not diverge from your authorized copy in any significant way.

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Can I change any of my artwork or artist information after it has been published?

Unfortunately not, that would take too much time and effort. That’s why we authorize everything beforehand, so please make sure to double check everything!

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Editorial policy

What kind of photography do you avoid?

Art photography should in principle know no limits, and we tend to keep it that way. However, sensationalism, unsavory provocation on a national, religious, sexual or any other level of any group or individual, crude or graphic sexual content and any similar material will not be tolerated. BLUR is read in 200 countries worldwide and we take care not to publish anything that would be considered offending to the common sense standards of the international art community. Of course, this might seem subjective, but art always is.

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Do you publish nude photography?

Yes. Nude photography is an important part of our photographic culture for more than a century and is by extension welcome in BLUR magazine. Of course, there is a clear distinction between the artistic portrayal of the nude human body and graphical pornographic content, which is not tolerated. However, we do accept images that depict genitalia, as well as aesthetically thoughtful imagery of the sexual act, as long as it’s done in a tasteful and artistic manner. Our editorial staff reserves the right to interpret such imagery independently and will not enter into any discussions over its decisions not to publish a certain photo.

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Why do you request material well in advance for issues that will be published much later during the year?

There are many valid reasons for this. First and foremost, it helps us avoid production bottlenecks and assures we don’t miss production deadlines. BLUR is a volunteer project and we sometimes have difficulty organizing the entire staff at the same time. Keeping a healthy reserve of material on stock enables a worldwide team to organize their time more efficiently to get things done. Textual material needs to be proofread, graphically laid out and authorized by you – the photographer – before publication. All this requires time.

One other major reason for doing this is to ensure that BLUR remains colorful and unpredictable. We often mix up the content we receive from photographers in order to keep every issue interesting and fresh. We’re not overly worried about publishing photos chronologically and pay close attention not to degrade the overall quality of a future issue just because it’s summer, everyone is out partying and we receive fewer submissions. That’s why we sometimes keep really good stuff on ice for a future issue – simply thinking ahead.

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Where can I see the photos that I’ve just submitted?

Nowhere – yet. :) The photos you submit will not be published automatically. They will be subject to editorial review and published only if the BLUR editors decide the photos are in line with BLUR’s policy, quality requirements and any other editorial criteria, and this is not subject to discussion. Photos that are cleared by BLUR editors will be put up for public voting. Please see: http://www.blur-magazine.com/faq/category/gallery-36 for more related questions.

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Gallery 36 submission questions

Where can I see the photos that I’ve just submitted?

Nowhere – yet. :) The photos you submit will not be published automatically. They will be subject to editorial review and published only if the BLUR editors decide the photos are in line with BLUR’s policy, quality requirements and any other editorial criteria, and this is not subject to discussion. Photos that are cleared by BLUR editors will be put up for public voting. Please see: http://www.blur-magazine.com/faq/category/gallery-36 for more related questions.

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What is Gallery 36?

Previously Gallery 24, Gallery 36 was expanded from February 2013 to feature 36 uncategorized, unrelated photographs from different authors, selected by a) our editorial team and b) our readers on Facebook and our website in between two issues. It’s a place where creative authors can send their best and most inspiring photos they want to showcase – those with the biggest interest from our editors and the community combined will be featured. Bear in mind this is not where editorials/projects with dozens of thematically linked photos are published; Gallery 36 displays only a randomized selection made up of a single photo per author per issue.

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What kind of photography do you publish in Gallery 36?

To get a feeling what’s usually published in Gallery 36, download our free PDF special edition BLUR GALLERY 2012 that contains all photos published in the (then) Gallery 24 section of BLUR throughout 2012. You’ll immediately notice we tend not to publish average photography, but almost always highly thought out, original and high-quality work meant to inspire and amaze. We don’t care about the technical aspects of these images, nor is the photo required to discuss a certain theme. In this regard, Gallery 36 is completely random – the only decisive factor is the overall quality and originality of the resulting image.

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If my photo meets the Gallery 36 criteria, when can I expect it to be published?

Photos that were selected by our readers on Facebook and our website will be published in the first upcoming issue. However, there are always more photos suitable for publication than we’ve been able to enter into the current public voting round. The rest of the suitable photos will enter the public voting round for future issues, based on the decision of our photography editors. This makes Gallery 36 unpredictable and fun. We tend to spread out quality photographs over several issues rather than publish them in chronological order in which they were submitted.

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How does the Gallery 36 selection process work?

Submit up to two of your best photos through our submission form to enter our editorial review process that selects a total of 24 photos for publication in the upcoming issue of BLUR. These photos are selected by our editors and is completely internal and not subject to discussion.

If the magic number 24 is already full, do not despair – your photos will also enter a BLUR community voting round, where our readers will select an additional 12 photos that will complement our editorial selection and constitute the final 36 photos that will be showcased in the Gallery 36 section of the next issue of BLUR magazine. You’re free to advertise your photo to your friends and family via Facebook and other social networks, and they’re free to register on our website and vote for your photos to help you improve your chances. But please do this responsibly and in a way not to hijack the voting process at the expense of other great authors that also deserve a shot at publication.

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General submission questions

What are the technical conditions a photo must meet to be considered?

In order for a photo to be considered by the editors it must meet the following criteria:
1. The longer edge of the photo must be at least 1500px long (1500x1500px square, 800x1500px portrait or a 1500x500px panorama are all examples acceptable formats)
2. The photo must have at least 72 dpi of resolution
3. The file name of every photo must contain its name as well as the name of the author (e.g. john-doe_colours-of-the-autumn.jpg)
4. The photo must NOT be watermarked
5. The photo must NOT include a frame
6. The photo must be submitted as a .JPG file

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What happens if a photo doesn’t meet some of these criteria?

Due to heavy interest for publication in BLUR, our submission systems are automated. This means our server will automatically disqualify any photo that doesn’t meet these guidelines. If the photo is too small (longer edge smaller than 1500px), the editors will not even get to see your photo to override the automated system decisions, so please make sure you follow these guidelines correctly.

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Will you warn me if my photo doesn’t meet your requirements?

No. We’ve taken great care to inform all interested authors regarding all the specifics related to our submission process, through this FAQ, through the submission webpage and e-mail confirmation messages after submission. We do not send personalized replies to authors who failed to understand these instructions, as there are simply too many photos going through our servers every day and we need to rely on automation in order to be able to manage this workload and keep up with the high quality of the selection process that makes BLUR what it is and why you like it.

Some people do find this approach cold or rude, although we sincerely don’t mean it that way at all. Please understand we’re read in, and receive submissions from, over 200 countries worldwide. As a volunteer project, we’re unable (and, honestly, unwilling) to set up a communication center just to inform people about things that are already clearly explained on our website. Thanks for understanding! :)

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Will you notify me if my photo is not selected for publication?

No. BLUR magazine’s editorial team is not obliged to reply or justify its decision to publish or not publish any photo or project. We only notify authors that are selected for publication, and we send out any material to the photographer for written authorization before we publish an issue.

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How many photos can I submit to BLUR for consideration?

Our photo submissions forms are limited to two photos per author per issue. You can send in more photos by re-submitting the form, but they will probably be disregarded. If you send too many submissions in a short period of time, our server will automatically blacklist your IP address and disable your submissions for a month. So please don’t do that. :)

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How can I be sure you’ve received my submission?

The submission form will show you a summary of your submission if everything went according to plan. You’ll also receive an automated e-mail confirmation if our server has your files saved and categorized. Make sure you use your real e-mail address and that it’s typed in correctly in order to ensure you get your feedback.

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My photos were published in other magazines: why won’t you publish them?

We respect the decisions other magazines take when selecting photos for their publications, however we have our own editorial policy that might differ from the rest of the industry. BLUR magazine is dedicated to art photography. For that reason, even photos that are technically perfect do not necessarily fit into BLUR magazine’s identity. This does not automatically mean we deem your photography sub-par or bad. We might simply feel it’s out of place in BLUR at a given time.

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Why didn’t you publish my photo, and why didn’t you tell me that it won’t be published?

BLUR magazine’s editorial team is not obliged to reply or justify its decision to publish or not publish any photo or project. We only notify authors that are selected for publication, and we send out any material to the photographer for written authorization before we publish an issue. Please read this related FAQ question for more details.

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If you like my photo, when can I expect it to be published?

Due to translation, proofreading, and editing tasks, the editorial team tries to get as much of the material as possible well in advance. Therefore, there is no fixed time limit within which a certain photo will be published. For example, a particular photo might be a better thematic fit in a future issue. You’ll receive a notification in due time.

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I’ve been published in a previous issue, but I have sent you more photos which you have not published yet. Why?

BLUR magazine attempts to publish the work of as many photographers with quality work as possible. If a particular artist really stands out, we try to present them through an interview, project, or in some other way. In any case, we always try to keep a period of time between repeated appearances by the same photographers. Therefore, there is no need to send us new photos for each new issue.

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What if I wish to submit a project, but don’t have a website about it? Can I upload photos like for Gallery 36?

Project submissions usually involve authors that have published them on websites, and we don’t accept direct file uploads for projects due to server strain (lots of photos per project, with lots of projects submitted, requires infrastructure BLUR cannot yet afford; Gallery 36 submissions are the most we can handle at this point). If you don’t have a website describing your project, you can send us photos via Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, MediaFire, Wikisend, or any similar file sharing solution, by creating a download/share link and pasting it into the website URL field or the Description field of your project submission.

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Payment questions

If I’m published in BLUR, do I get a free copy?

Of course! All authors and contributors will receive a redeem code for our web shop. However, this is only true for digital issues. Due to high production costs and the print-on-demand nature of our upcoming printed publications, we can’t give printed copies away for free, as we simply don’t have any on stock. We would if we could!

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I’ve never heard of Gumroad before, is it safe?

We love Gumroad as much as we do PayPal because of their devotion to simplicity and design – something we, as art lovers, truly appreciate. They’re perfectly secure, with PCI Service Provider Level 1 certification. Their transactions are encrypted and by default they don’t store your payment data (you can give them that permission if you choose so, for easier frequent buying). Please visit www.gumroad.com for more information on this amazing payment service provider.

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Can I purchase BLUR if I don’t have a valid credit or debit card?

Unfortunately, no. You need either a supported credit card or a supported debit card to set up a PayPal account or use Gumroad. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but we simply cannot implement any other payment methods at this time.

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What payment methods do you support?

Currently we use two payment gateways, Gumroad and PayPal. Both also support payment using credit cards, in case you don’t have or want a PayPal account. Together, that includes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club cards.

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How much does BLUR magazine cost?

BLUR magazine is published by a non-profit organization and uses a pay what you want pricing system, with a symbolic $1 minimum price. We respect whatever value you attach to our work, so we leave the final amount up to you. All of the revenue is directed towards publishing BLUR, funding its activities and exhibitions, ensuring its quality and, hopefully, keeping it online for many years to come. And we thank you for that.

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Technical questions

I’ve changed my website url; can you make the correction in the old issue(s)?

The URL written under an author’s name can be changed on our website (please contact us!) but not in the PDF editions. Otherwise, such changes would ultimately require too much manpower and would result in an ever-growing archive, which we cannot support. Should a mistake be made in a web address in a current edition, the change/correction will be made as soon as possible.

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When you publish my photos in BLUR magazine, why do you need two photographs in print resolution (300 dpi) while all the others are needed in screen resolution (72 dpi)?

This is done for practical reasons in day to day production. BLUR magazine sometimes advertises in print magazines, and occasionally organizes exhibitions that are branded with BLUR visuals. Therefore, we ask each artist who has several photos published in our magazine to include two in print resolution so that we can respond to media requests and/or event organizers in a timely manner. Of course, all photographs used in this way are signed, and the photographer’s copyrights are completely protected. You can find more information about this on our project submission page.

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Why don’t you include technical information about photos and what gear was used to take the photos?

In these times of photographic hyper-production, BLUR magazine aims to slow the pace and encourage its readers to reflect more on the images and to experience photography more profoundly. This is why BLUR omits the technical specifics of photographs and focuses instead on creative, impactful photography and its creators.

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Issues 0-6 are available only in flash. Can you convert them to PDF?

Unfortunately, BLUR magazine’s editorial team currently has no time/staff capacity to convert the first 7 issues to PDF format, as they would basically have to be produced from scratch in an entirely different production environment. Therefore, until further notice, these issues will be available only in Flash.

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Why do I have to log into your website?

First and foremost, for security reasons. We need to protect our web shop, voting systems and other community features from misuse. But don’t worry – all data you send to our server is SSL encrypted and secure. By registering on our website, you’ll ensure simple navigation, seamless voting for Gallery 36 photos and an easier buying experience, and you’ll be able (but not required) to take part in any other community features we implement down the road.

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