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New Editor B/W Photog Magazine
Old 05-09-2008   #1
Steve Litt
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New Editor B/W Photog Magazine

I see that David Corfield is leaving after a short time as Editor of Black and White Photography magazine.Elizabeth Roberts who was deputy Ed to Alisa Mcwhinnie
is taking over.Looking forward to the next issue.

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Old 05-09-2008   #2
eric rose
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Once Alisa Mcwhinnie left the magazine lost it's soul.
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Old 05-09-2008   #3
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Frances (Schultz) has just spoken to Liz at some length, and everything looks very encouraging. As many of you will know, Frances is a devotee of black and white, and her feeling is that Liz is very good news indeed: the magazine will certainly not lack soul.

Liz has lots of ideas: one of her main themes is going to be getting people to make actual prints, whether silver halide or digitally (note: she seems to have has no plans whatsoever to increase the digital content of the magazine), and whether as 'fine art' or as a record.

Inevitably, it will take her a while to put her own stamp on the magazine, and equally inevitably, there are 'legacy' articles and themes that are already commissioned and will be run. As a result, it won't make sense to judge the magazine immediately; give her a few issues before you decide whether she is at, above or below Ailsa's standard.

One thing I will add, though, is that Liz is an enthusiastic rangefinder user...

Cheers,

Roger
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Last edited by Roger Hicks : 05-10-2008 at 13:19. Reason: typo
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Old 05-09-2008   #4
Graham Line
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Corfield seemed a bit over his head. I wish Liz well.
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Old 05-09-2008   #5
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that was quick.
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Old 05-09-2008   #6
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I think this might be good news. Although I have still enjoyed recent issues there does seem to have been the start of a slow degeneration towards it becoming just like all the other phot mags. Long may it continue to be about photography and not equipment, etc.
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Old 05-09-2008   #7
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I was just about to cancel my subscription, since B&W Photography seems to have gone steadily downhill. Mike Johnston's columns are about the only reason I haven't done so already. Now I guess I'll stick around a while longer.
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Old 05-09-2008   #8
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I'd decided not to renew...will wait and see now.
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Old 05-09-2008   #9
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i like to buy mine at the local mag stand.
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Old 05-09-2008   #10
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I'll be interested to see how Elizabeth Roberts changes the magazine, I just hope she manages to restore some of the individuality that it's lost over the last several issues.
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Old 05-09-2008   #11
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Thank goodness. Some sense at last. All the very best to Liz.
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Old 05-09-2008   #12
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Quote:
that was quick.
My thought as well. However, my gut feeling is- Liz will be good for the magazine, in fact better than an 'outsider'. I wish her all the best.
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Old 05-09-2008   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric rose View Post
Once Alisa Mcwhinnie left the magazine lost it's soul.
I thought it was going down hill months before she left. It was getting too "cutesy" and starting to target amateurs too much with articles more and more pedantic and with less intellectual depth, IMO. Was starting to move too much towards a Pop Photo-like content....

Hopefully this will shake things up and it will somehow go back to the way it was a couple years ago.
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Old 05-10-2008   #14
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I bought B&W this month after several month's off and was pleasantly surprised that things seem to have improved some. I was not so impressed by the edition last year that Liz edited before David came on board but I nonetheless have high hopes for a return to previous form.

With the digital "issue" I think it is silly for the magazine to be analogue only - a black and white, analogue photography magazine is a niche too far! Many frequenters of this and other forums have increasingly opted for a hybrid workflow - myself included. I hope that this is recognised, without ignoring those who still choose to print with an enlarger - this I feel IS a dying art - and as such it is more important than ever to write about techniques so that those who chose to persue it in the future are able to find out about it.

Perhaps it is elitism that makes me hope that the magazine will concentrate less on beginners issues and "which camera do I need?" BUT such subject matter is so done to death in the mainstream photographic press that I feel their is a niche for a magazine aimed at a more advanced audience. In dumbing down subject material, the publisher will alienate long term subscribers who really don't need teaching the rule of 3rds for the millionth time.
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Old 05-10-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charly View Post
Perhaps it is elitism that makes me hope that the magazine will concentrate less on beginners issues and "which camera do I need?" BUT such subject matter is so done to death in the mainstream photographic press that I feel their is a niche for a magazine aimed at a more advanced audience. In dumbing down subject material, the publisher will alienate long term subscribers who really don't need teaching the rule of 3rds for the millionth time.
Dear Charly,

Yes, but the problem here is that overly specialized material frightens people off too. 'Printing witb iron-(3) salts' may be fascinating; but how big is the audience?

There has to be a balance between 'beginner' and 'arcane' -- and it's different for every single reader.

The perfect magazine has stuff that EVERYONE can do -- and will be tempted to try.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-10-2008   #16
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Are you talking about a magazine or a manual?
Eh?

For my money, the job of a magazine is inspiration.

Hey! I want to try that!

Yes, I can probably do it...
(They may be flattering themselves here)

People want to learn how to be better at that they already do, or to be inspired to do new things. Which bit do you disagree with? Obviously, no-one is going to want to try everything, but then, no magazine in perfect.

Cheers,

R.
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Last edited by Roger Hicks : 05-10-2008 at 13:48.
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Old 05-10-2008   #17
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The only mags I still sub to are BWP [everything has all been said already ] and AG, which I discovered last year and is a revelation.
Published quarterly, well written, beautifully printed and produced, no advertising, expensive but IMHO worth every penny/ cent/eurocent ...........................take a look at

http://www.picture-box.com/

Clive

Last edited by anglophone1 : 05-10-2008 at 13:52.
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Old 05-10-2008   #18
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I'm happy enough with a mix of conventional and digital and I too use a hybrid of the two. What concerns me is too many equipment reviews - there are so many magazines doing them and to go too far down that road will mean that the magazine loses any distinctiveness.

Equipment reviews should be reserved for when a manufacturer is delivering something genuinely new (i.e. not just a new model but a step forward in technology or approach) or different (e.g. if Fuji go ahead and bring out their new 'folder').

Let's have a magazine that is about photography and photographers and provides inspiration to struggling amateurs like me and keeps us trying for something better.

Posted this before I saw Roger's latest post - I agree entirely
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Old 05-10-2008   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anglophone1 View Post
The only mags I still sub to are BWP [everyhthing has all been said already ] and AG, which I discovered last year and is a revelation.
Published quarterly, well written, beautifully printed and produced, no advertising, expensive but IMHO worth every penny/ cent/eurocent...
Clive
Dear Clive,

Take a look too at Schwarzweiß and FOAM -- though I have to admit I've just let my subscription to the latter lapse: not close enough, often enough, to what I want to do.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 05-10-2008   #20
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Ah, then I think we agree. I wasn't trying to be a smartass or anything, I just despise those "DIY" magazines: "24 steps to printing at home", "10 places to go this summer", "Another bloody sunset in five easy steps". To me inspiration comes from the end result, not how some lens/film/developer worked for a single person.
No disagreement there. Well, very little, anyway. If some bugger is going to write them, I'd rather have the money...

I completely agree about the 'my way or the highway' attitude in some articles. I'm more inclined to say, "I use this because a, b, c, but you can pretty much use whatever you have except perhaps y and z".

EDIT: addendum. If someone looks at something I've written; says 'I could do better than that'; and then does better -- then I have succeeded. Too many photo press jourmalists are too concerned with showing that they are really good photographers -- when they aren't, but when they could give useful tips on how to approach something because they're a bit clearer on theory/background/grammar than some photographers who take better pictures.

Cheers,

Roger
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Last edited by Roger Hicks : 05-10-2008 at 14:01.
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Old 05-10-2008   #21
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Roger
Greetings from a fellow monocle wearer!
I looked at Schwarsweiss but meine Deutsch ist senr rostig, and had dismissed Foam as a little "too arty" for me but I'm going to take another look.
I found Lenswork a liitle "too serious" so I guess I'm just a picky old fart.................
Clive
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Old 05-10-2008   #22
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Roger
Greetings from a fellow monocle wearer!
I looked at Schwarsweiss but meine Deutsch ist senr rostig, and had dismissed Foam as a little "too arty" for me but I'm going to take another look.
I found Lenswork a liitle "too serious" so I guess I'm just a picky old fart.................
Clive
Dear Clive,

Ich auch.

Do you go to Arles? I subscribed to FOAM after seeing their stand there, but then decided it was patchy as well as arty.

As for Lenswork, you are no doubt familiar with Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word.

Cheers,

R. (with monocle -- there aren't many of us left)
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Last edited by Roger Hicks : 05-10-2008 at 14:07. Reason: bold italics
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Old 05-10-2008   #23
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Roger
Have been to Visa at Perpignan lasy two years, can't go this year, but have been thinking about Arles instead, its only 2 1/2 hour away so really should, unless I spend all summer in Ireland................
Clive
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Old 05-10-2008   #24
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Roger,

Any link to Schwarzweiß? I'd like to check it out. Thanks.

Vincent
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Old 05-10-2008   #25
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I'm slightly lost with all the german going on being the philastine I am! Have flicked through Ag and was most impressed but didn't have the ££ at the time. If I've some pennies next time I pass The Photographers' Gallery I'll pick it up. PhotoIcon impressed me when I found it once but I've not seen it since.

With regard to printing with Iron III I would certainly read the article, if only because process interests me, even if it is something I'll never do. I take your point about a balance between specialism and accessability though but I think that if there is room for one then their is room for another. B&W isn't especially about alt processes - but where they are relevent, they should be included. It will pique someone's interest - providing the inspitation necessary to justify publication. Providing the magazine follows esoteric print-processing one month with gaining photographic access to some really scary event that 99% of people would never consider due to the high risk of death the next month - ie - there is enough bredth of material to keep all readers reading - and it it written in a clear and accessable manner - everyone wins.

RE Top 10 ways not to nauseate your friends with your crappy holiday photos - yes and no. Dogmatic articles which oversimplify something are a really good way of making a readership feel patronised. An excellent example from said magazine was "A beginners guide to digital" which featured a photograph of a dull garage door. It was utter drivel and a waste of paper that spanned several issues. The great irony is, that with digital, their is, to my mind, a "best practice" workflow - which whilst marginally different to each according to their style - is nonetheless very important if one expects decent prints from digital files.. Michael Riechmann outlines it excellently on Luminous Landscape. I am sure that there is a similar "best practice" to developing film - and printing it with an enlarger. In fact Roger, if you could write "Waterbaths for consistant film processing on the cheap" or "Finding consistancy in your film processing whilst moving flat every 4 months" I'd be very grateful!
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