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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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What do you want in a magazine?
Old 02-16-2010   #1
Roger Hicks
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What do you want in a magazine?

There's an existing thread on mediocrity - so what do you want instead?

It strikes me that writing about equipment is easiest of all. After that, what is there? Aesthetics (very hard to write about, though I made an attempt in 'Body of Work' recently in Shutterbug); ideas for different approaches (cf my recent 'vintage look' and soft focus articles in Shutterbug); inspiration to go out and take pictures, or to make you think about what you shoot and why (which is what I try to do in AP); and finally photographs, which are as hit-or-miss in appeal as articles: if I never see another macro insect shot again it will be soon enough for me, but some people love 'em. Excessive specialization will always frighten off a good percentage of your readers.

What do YOU want to see? And what do you think people could write about, but don't?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 02-16-2010   #2
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Quote:
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Aesthetics (very hard to write about, ...)
Hegel had a good go at it.
I'm sure lots of that could be expanded and brought up to date.
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Old 02-16-2010   #3
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Zoom, is the only one I bother reading but I’m sure it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste

PS reading’s probably the wrong word, more looking at the pictures there a lot of pretentious twaddle in the text
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Old 02-16-2010   #4
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Hegel had a good go at it.
I'm sure lots of that could be expanded and brought up to date.
I didn't say impossible: just hard. It can also be hard to read. Never mind frightening off the readers: frightening off editors is a risk. But I'll give it a try. (Writing about aesthetics, that is; I'm already pretty good at frightening off editors). Thanks.

Cheers,

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Old 02-16-2010   #5
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What do I want in a magazine? Good writing on interesting topics by someone who is more intelligent and insightful than I am, but doesn't talk down to me. And some interesting pictures. I generally like colour reportage or environmental portraiture, but I try to keep an open mind.

Maybe that's not a very helpful response.
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Old 02-16-2010   #6
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I'd love to see a regular column on classic and antique cameras... yeah, like whathizname did for so many years.

Wouldn't matter if it duplicated the original series if it were done from a new perspective.

Just figure out a way to do it so you don't use up all the "good ones" in the first year...

and use lots of photos of the equipment for us junkies.
(As apposed to photos they took.)
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Old 02-16-2010   #7
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When I got started back in Photography back in 1974, I read every magazine and book I could get my hands on. Just devoured them all. After a few years, I tired a little about all the new cameras. I had settled on my Fujica ST 901 kit, and a Contax 139Q for a single lens. It was interesting to read about new cameras with new features as I was often asked about what gear to buy. It was also interesting to read about new lenses for the same reason.

I wasn't so interested in newbie articles, because I wasn't, but there continued to be some articles on things I didn't know about, or much about. That was still fun.

I noticed as time went by, there seemed to be fewer articles on pictures and how they were taken. Then even fewer photos seemed to show up and get commented on. For me, that was what I missed most. I stilll enjoy seeing photos and hearing how they were obtained. After all, it is photography.

But then I am not a good person to ask any more. I don't take as many photos as I used to. I have finally gotten a grip on my GAS also. Digital has kind of passed me by. I still enjoy stimulating articles, no matter the subject. FWIW Mr. Hicks, I enjoy your articles in Shutterbug. Even you gear articles make good reading for me at least, but less so (I don't own Leica gear so if its a review of a Leica camera or lens, I lose interest easily).

I don't guess that really helps, but photos, and how they are made, such as attention to light, including time of day, type of film (yeah digital passed me by), how it was developed if different than normal, an unusual piece of not to expensive gear to get the photo, or better yet, how to do it anyway. Challenges I guess.
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Old 02-16-2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newspaperguy View Post
I'd love to see a regular column on classic and antique cameras... yeah, like whathizname did for so many years.

Wouldn't matter if it duplicated the original series if it were done from a new perspective.

Just figure out a way to do it so you don't use up all the "good ones" in the first year...

and use lots of photos of the equipment for us junkies.
(As apposed to photos they took.)
That is still often done in Shutterbug. What intrigues me is seeing what to me were new cameras now showing up as classics.
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Old 02-16-2010   #9
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I would love a magazine that focused on several long interviews with photographers--say, three different kinds of photography per issue, you know, a street photographer, a digital abstract person, a journalist, etc.--that include discussions of the technology they use and how they use it. I'd also love columns about specific cameras, old and new, and other imaging technology--their history, specs, design flaws, and so on.

Basically, I would like a magazine that addressed photography as a creative endeavor tied up with the use of tools. A nerdy mag, for people who love cameras, and love using them even more.
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Old 02-16-2010   #10
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Gear reviews and Photoshop "tips" are done to death, and only feed one small part of the brain anyway.

The history of the subject is of great interest, I think, hooked on either a theme or a photog. People like Weegee or HCB are almost inexhaustible, and remember there's one born every minute (photographer, that is) and it's not that easy for youngsters to access info on the past of the subject these days. Plus there's probably always someone "new" to be uncovered - Margaret Watkins would be a fairly recent example.

And don't be put off by remarks about "pretentious twaddle" - there's always an interest in the aesthetics (the analysis of what makes a photo grab the eye/ mind) - and it's an opportunity to show of some nice sets of pics!
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Old 02-16-2010   #11
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The only 'photography' articles I find remotely interesting these days are those showcasing and discussing - in depth - the work of individual photographers. News and product reviews are available in a much more timely fashion from the internet, used gear from Ebay etc etc.

Photography magazines have their place, but I suspect nowadays it is mostly as a way for beginners to get their heads round basic equipment, techniques and ideas in their own time before plunging into the big, bad world of the 'net.
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Old 02-16-2010   #12
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I assume your talking about a printed magazine. For me the best photographic magazines are about photographs; nowadays you can get all the technical information you need from the internet (this forum being a prime example).

Like others, I went through a phase when I devoured every photographic magazine I could find, from Amateur Photographer to Aperture; this was during the heyday of photo magazine publishing in the early 70s so there were plenty out there. I saved many of them for decades and then a couple of years ago I had a clear-out and disposed of Popular Photography, Modern Photography, Camera Techniques and the like (I did keep a couple for nostalgia). The magazines I hung onto were Camera (Swiss), Creative Camera and Aperture. The reason is that these magazines provide something that the internet cannot -- the beauty of a well-reproduced photograph on the printed page. This was particularly the case with Camera (Swiss), which had the most wonderful gravure reproductions until the mid-70s.

Today I subscribe to just one photographic magazine called 'Inscape' which is produced in a bedroom in Crouch End. It's not expensive and it deals with photography in a way that I like by showcasing the work of keen amateurs. Sadly it's only A5 and not very well printed.

Having said all this, I think the real problem is that today most people are very happy to look at work on their 24" flat screen monitors, which is logical since most work has been produced digitally. However, I guess there could be a space for a magazine that deals with film based content only, both on a technical and visual level. A few days ago I heard an interview with Don McCullin who said that he still does his own developing and printing; it's great that there are still professionals out there who do this and certainly there are many on this forum who do too.
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Old 02-16-2010   #13
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The same thing I want in pictures. Something that will surprise me with its originality and intelligence. In other words, I don't know.

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Old 02-16-2010   #14
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Let me try to list what I've found most inspiring and interesting in some of the past issues of various magazines I've followed:

1) Portfolios. Good ones please. Lenswork is excellent for that. You can't please everybody; so a variety of genres, styles, techniques is called for. And the reproduction must be top notch.

2) Intelligent essays and notes. Good examples are/were the late Bill Jay, Mike Johnston and...guess who?...Roger Hicks.

3) Black and White magazine in the UK had a few pages they called "The Printer's Art". I always read that with great interest. For me, this should be around the wet darkroom. I have no interest in the digital workflow. After all, it is the wet darkroom where the alchemy, the mystery lies; hence I find the writing around it much more interesting.

4) Again, the same magazine had a section called "Master Printers", with some insightful interviews with printers. With all that decline in commercial wet printing I don't know how feasible this would be.

5) Interviews with photographers. Possibly together with a portfolio.
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Old 02-16-2010   #15
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Dear Roger,
As the instigator of the 'magazine mediocrity' thread ( which - surprisingly is still attracting replies ) perhaps I should state my personal likes and dislikes in photographic light - reading. Amateur Photographer is the mag. that I associate you with mostly, and the one that I have received regularly, since the halcyon days of Victor Blackman, Ron Spillman etc. - so my remarks are centered around it, although I think it must be a lot more difficult to maintain interest in a weekly publication than a monthly.
Firstly the 'likes', although not always agreeing, I've enjoyed your page from day one and was quite miffed when dubious alternatives from Mr.Fuchs and Ogden Chestnutt (is he a 'real' person?) started to appear, so more power to your elbow!...creep..creep. Ivor Matanle's exellent articles are always eagerly awaited, but seem to be a little smaller of late. The wonderful Geoffrey Crawley never fails to amaze - with his knowledge and informative articles, to me - a legend!. Now a few dislikes, I have a great admiration for the Joe Cornish's and Charlie Waite's of this world - I have several books, but that style, now continued regularly by the previous year's 'photog. of the year' winner getting in on the act, is all too prevalent and landscapes like 'the old man of Storr', 'Etive Mor' (might have wrong spelling here) 'Roseberry Topping' etc. appear in all the UK mags with monotony, and like yourself - the macro flower and bug shots hold no interest for me.
So what would I like to see?, well - more articles about, and pictures by the news and documentary doyens of the past - Bert Hardy, Dennis Thorpe etc etc and also the leading lights of today - in these fields, although I appreciate it can be difficult, more travel and geographic articles. Finally as someone that does not bother with RAW images ( a well exposed JPEG is usually fine for me) and loath to spend hours on manipulation, the mass of photoshop and PC type stuff is quickly passed over, although I do appreciate that this is a big part of the hobby for many, these days.
Obviously my views and wishes, as someone well into retirement years, will differ from those of a youngster just starting out in this great pastime!
Cheers, Dave.
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Old 02-16-2010   #16
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The magazine that currently best works for me is Lenswork. Here's what I like about it:
1. No advertisements
2. No gear reviews
3. Real portfolios of real photographers
4. Great interviews

How it could be made better:
1. Make it a monthly publication
2. Include an article each month on famous photographers, i.e. Bresson, Cappa, Weston, Lange, etc. - Many younger photographer only familiar with the names but are not familiar with the people and their actual work.
3. I'd like to see an article a month of a film topic, i.e. developing, printing, techniques, chemicals, film types, etc.

Too much to ask? Probably. Not enough people seem interested in the history and process anymore.
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Old 02-16-2010   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooze View Post
Let me try to list what I've found most inspiring and interesting in some of the past issues of various magazines I've followed:

1) Portfolios. Good ones please. Lenswork is excellent for that. You can't please everybody; so a variety of genres, styles, techniques is called for. And the reproduction must be top notch.
Lenswork is currently the only photography magazine I like. Superb print reproduction, interviews with photographers, usually interesting editorial essays. Long may it live.

Quote:
2) Intelligent essays and notes. Good examples are/were the late Bill Jay, Mike Johnston and...guess who?...Roger Hicks.

3) Black and White magazine in the UK had a few pages they called "The Printer's Art". I always read that with great interest. For me, this should be around the wet darkroom. I have no interest in the digital workflow. After all, it is the wet darkroom where the alchemy, the mystery lies; hence I find the writing around it much more interesting.

4) Again, the same magazine had a section called "Master Printers", with some insightful interviews with printers. With all that decline in commercial wet printing I don't know how feasible this would be.

5) Interviews with photographers. Possibly together with a portfolio.
I used to love B&W Photography (UK). But ever since a series of editorial shake ups began a couple of years ago, they've been on a long slide of monotonocally declining interest. Quality of writing is down (Mike Johnston hasn't appeared in a long time); more space is given over to gear reviews (not even rigorous ones!) and advertorials than to photographers' work; quality of reproduction has suffered; and Photoshop technique is steadily displacing all other technique. My subscription renewal notice arrived with this month's issue, and with sadness I'm planning to ignore it.

So, what do I want? Lenswork, the B&W Photography of 5 years ago, and something exciting and unpretentious about the current world of photography in general (not Pop Photo, American Photo, Shutterbug, etc.).

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Old 02-16-2010   #18
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The same thing I want in pictures. Something that will surprise me with its originality and intelligence. In other words, I don't know.

Gary
Absolutely, I started buying Zoom back in the early 70s, so far back in fact they were able to carry that Fuji-Girl add that members of a certain age will be fondly familiar with. Off the shelves of W H Smiths 6 issues a year, big, shiny and beautifully printed full of interesting stuff from Autochromes to challenging contemporary.

The problem was the £2.00 an issue it cost, a not inconsiderable sum in those days. I still get it most years and it’s still big, shiny and beautifully printed, probably technically better than ever, but at published by subscription only at just €7.00 now the content must be suffering to keep the unit cost down.
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Old 02-16-2010   #19
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Old 02-16-2010   #20
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a centerfold....
Yes - it would probably appeal to a lot of the mag. buyers....and a lot of the contributers here!
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Old 02-16-2010   #21
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I was thinking the other day I'd like to see a magazine like LOOK. Mostly pictures without much more than captions. One thing I think most magazines miss today are good editors.
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Old 02-16-2010   #22
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A debate on digital v film photography and whether Kodak and Leica have a future.
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Old 02-16-2010   #23
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Yes - it would probably appeal to a lot of the mag. buyers....and a lot of the contributers here!
the rest of the nudes were art … and the crossword was excellent
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Old 02-16-2010   #24
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Most of the mentioned magazines aren't for sale in my vicinity. Do you write German, Roger? There's a brilliant German magazine called Photographie that could do with good articles, although it never is without any.

I would also like to see a series of interviews with photographers of long standing, addressing subjects like how being a photographer has changed the way they look at the world, how their trade has changed, be it journalism, exhibitions, fashion photography, documentary, whatever. What would the vehicle of their creativity be if it weren't photography? How has their choice of materials affected their work: film, gear, digital, print?

Depth interviews on either of these subjects: one, maybe two of them in a single interview. Not just touching them, but exploring them!

I'd like to see a Sebastiao Salgado interview on his process of obtaining wet prints of digital files, for instance.
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Old 02-16-2010   #25
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Quote:
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There's an existing thread on mediocrity - so what do you want instead?
Roger, I find articles, especially reviews, much more informative and useful if I come to them knowing the writers' tastes and proclivities, even if they are the opposite of mine. That can only happen, of course, if I actually read a sufficient number of articles by a writer. But, the writers also need to expose those personal tastes in their articles. If I know how someone uses a camera, what they expect from a camera, then a personal account of time spent using a new camera is much more informative than a page full of numbers and charts.

Head-to-head comparisons of hardware are typically useless unless the reader has already narrowed a purchasing choice down to those two items.

I'd prefer more technique pieces, fewer pages devoted to nice pix. I like nice pix, but I don't need to buy a magazine for that. Authoritative and trustworthy how-to pieces are in short supply.

That leads to a broader point: I'd like a magazine to act as a filter and an editor of all the noise that's elsewhere in the media and the internet. Have a point of view, but don't hide it. Worry more about being fair and accurate and considerably less about the pseudo-objectivity that's rampant these days.

Bottom line: Have a personalty and a voice. If I like that voice and that personality, they could run recipes and I'd still read them.

Aesthetically, I like magazines with a sense of design. Good layout taxes the brain, not the pocketbook.
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Old 02-16-2010   #26
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I would like to see either: true committment to a specialized photographic topic (e.g. large format, traditional darkroom), or a well-balanced treatment of the breadth of photography. One of the most annoying trends I'm observing is that some magazine articles are not much more than recitations of internet forum chatter.
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Old 02-16-2010   #27
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Something I've always been interested in is how good photographers work. What do they do all day? How do they approach their subjects, etc? For example, I've always wondered how Steve McCurry does what he does. He's talked about his methods a bit in interviews and and his blog, but a more in depth article by a journalist would be interesting.
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Old 02-16-2010   #28
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Something I've always been interested in is how good photographers work. What do they do all day? How do they approach their subjects, etc? For example, I've always wondered how Steve McCurry does what he does. He's talked about his methods a bit in interviews and and his blog, but a more in depth article by a journalist would be interesting.
Dear Steve,

I suspect that the problem here is that most photographers don't have a routine, or a single specific way of approaching anyone or anything. And, of course, the majority of professional photography isn't about photography, so while this might interest you (or indeed me) I'm not sure about its broader appeal.

Also, of course, you have to persuade the photographer to 'waste' an hour or two talking to the journalist.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea. I'm just saying that this is probably why it's not done more.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 02-16-2010   #29
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I think all I like in a magazine is two things:

1. Lots of retrospectives and essays from different topic matter, from war zones to people doing abstracts from urban architecture say, colour and black and white, be that current or past luminaries.

2. A decent dedicated space to up and coming peeps, as well as amateurs engaged in interesting work. I don't just mean 2-3 pages, I mean a decent part of the magazine.

I'm not interested in technique, film or digital but an even split of both would be good, say 4 pages digital technique, 4 pages darkroom technique. Then a letters page with tech questions and general comment.

And some columns.

I'm not bothered about equipment reviews at all, leave that to all the other magazines. And that includes reviews of film/darkroom stuff too, not just digital stuff.

Pictures and end results is all I am bothered about.

Basically I have summed up a magazine that would

a.) Be really expensive
b.) Die a very quick and sudden death from commercial uncompetitiveness

Vicky
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Old 02-16-2010   #30
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I rarely read/view magazines now. For me, the world-wide web has largely replaced them.

I really like the format of Lenswork and used to be a subscriber. After a few years, I eventually found the content a bit repetative as Lenswork was largely a one-person show. It also didn't cover colour photography. I don't shoot a lot of colour myself but I really like seeing good work in colour. I once saw a portfolio in that magazine and visited the artist's website. On his website, the photographs were all in colour and looked much better than the b&w versions in Lenswork. I didn't really like that the artist had to convert his photos to black and white for the magazine.

I would very much like a magazine in the same vein as Lenswork but with colour work featured along with B&W photos, and with interviews conducted and articles authored by a variety of people.
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Old 02-16-2010   #31
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Something I've always been interested in is how good photographers work. What do they do all day? How do they approach their subjects, etc? For example, I've always wondered how Steve McCurry does what he does. He's talked about his methods a bit in interviews and and his blog, but a more in depth article by a journalist would be interesting.
You should check out "On Being a Photographer" by David Hurn and Bill Jay
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Old 02-16-2010   #32
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Originally Posted by Nando View Post
I rarely read/view magazines now. For me, the world-wide web has largely replaced them.

I really like the format of Lenswork and used to be a subscriber. After a few years, I eventually found the content a bit repetative as Lenswork was largely a one-person show. It also didn't cover colour photography. I don't shoot a lot of colour myself but I really like seeing good work in colour. I once saw a portfolio in that magazine and visited the artist's website. On his website, the photographs were all in colour and looked much better than the b&w versions in Lenswork. I didn't really like that the artist had to convert his photos to black and white for the magazine.

I would very much like a magazine in the same vein as Lenswork but with colour work featured along with B&W photos, and with interviews conducted and articles authored by a variety of people.
Yes! That would be good, and I agree with you about the sub-optimal constraint Lenswork has in reproducing color work in black and white.

::Ari
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Old 02-16-2010   #33
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There's an existing thread on mediocrity - so what do you want instead?

inspiration to go out and take pictures, or to make you think about what you shoot and why; and finally photographs

Cheers,

R.
Yes, Roger. I'd like a bit of inspiration , a bit of information and a bit of illustration.

It would need to be well written - I'm thinking the editorial panel should be Mike Johnston and Roger Hicks.
It would be bi-monthly - too hard to fill a monthly mag without dredging.
It would include a page covering new cameras/equipment, but for information with links, not as full reviews, and one page reviewing vintage stuff.
An article on or interview with a significant photographer (new or old) together with some examples of their work.
And a section on processing of some kind (and I don't necessarily mean Photoshop although many of us use a hybrid system so I wouldn't exclude it).

Now B&W (UK) used to do this pretty well. I've subscribed for some years but I have to agree with others that from my point of view it's declined since Ailsa McWhinnie vacated the Editor's chair. It could probably be rescued but I suspect the magazine's owners are chasing a different demographic and more revenue these days and are happy with what they're putting out.

Whether the model I've described is viable or not I don't know. There are a couple of magazines here in Australia (which are just full of digital and Photoshop everything) but nevertheless seem to survive very well with high quality printing and a quarterly schedule. Maybe that's part of the answer - less is more. And we also have an equivalent to AP that comes out monthly. I get those occasionally just to find out what's going on and where stuff can be found but the content (for a non-digital reader) is of limited interest.

But I do go to TOP every morning before I do anything else!
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Old 02-16-2010   #34
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I say you should take to depth-interviewing those photographers Roger, I bet Fred and you can agree on how to proceed on that
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Old 02-16-2010   #35
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I really miss Bill Jay's writing. To borrow from an interview he did with Brooks Jensen: after a meeting with David Hurn, who gave a dismissive review of Jay's portfolio, Hurn told Jay that there needs to be more writing about photography, and it's what started Jay on his path.

There are zillions of pictures out there, I can find thousands to look at and enjoy daily if I wish but very few people talking about what, why, or how they did it other than the usual 1/125, f/16 @ ISO 100 with a Canikon DXX and Wide-to-heavy expensive lens.

That said, It can include gear also but I think it needs to go past the typical reviews.

If you've ever heard the LensWork Extended interviews, that's the type of content I would like to read. I enjoy your AP writings, and I enjoy the few printed interviews in LW. What may be 'pretentious twaddle' to some may be insightful to someone else.
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Old 02-16-2010   #36
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Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
I would love a magazine that focused on several long interviews with photographers--say, three different kinds of photography per issue, you know, a street photographer, a digital abstract person, a journalist, etc.--that include discussions of the technology they use and how they use it. I'd also love columns about specific cameras, old and new, and other imaging technology--their history, specs, design flaws, and so on.

Basically, I would like a magazine that addressed photography as a creative endeavor tied up with the use of tools. A nerdy mag, for people who love cameras, and love using them even more.
THIS.

inspiring interviews and stories from and about inspiring photographers showcasing some of their inspiring photographs. i pick up magazines to be INSPIRED. that inspiration then pushes me to push myself and take photographs and try new things... i do not buy or read photo magazines (aside from flip through briefly on the odd occassion at the newstand). i generally buy specialist magazines most often solely for their photographs (and a lot of the time they are different language publications that i cannot read). a lot of magazines i buy for the photographs first, articles second.
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Old 02-16-2010   #37
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When I buy a magazine it is because there is something new. I am tired of the same articles recycled for years in all the "major" publications. Inspiring articles are rare but OK go for it.
I don't like too many gear reviews but maybe why a pro (pj or artist) uses the specific equipment they use. Review of "older" gear sounds worse than reviews of P&S's all year long.
In a thread here on RFF there was mention of editing. Maybe a good series of what good editing is and how to actually do it.
Or maybe a good series on composition. I see many pictures that I feel have poor composition (I am not a pro or have a degree).
How to build a 'portfolio'... would encompass both editing and composition and add how to give your work direction or flow.
Developing a personal style would be a good idea but hard to guide people towards their goal.
If i find an article that interests me I buy the magazine but do not find a magazine worth subscribing to.

Steve
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Old 02-16-2010   #38
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when you've got all this on the internet, you don't need a magazine:

the online photographer
5b4
magnum blog
luminous landscape
apug
large format photography forum
photo.net
thom hogan
roger and frances
dante stella
sean reid
erwin puts

the only thing i'd add to this list is an english translation of asahi and nippon camera.

but that doesn't really answer the question. i will subscribe to a photo magazine in a heartbeat if it does the following:

- reviews photography exhibits, monographs (new and old)....
- commissions essays about photography history, genres, photographers, photographing and the photographer's life in general (like on TOP, ben lifson's 'making pictures' articles that used to be on rawworkflow, and Robert Adams's little books)....
- interviews photographers without art speak.
- prints portfolios from great photographers (dead and alive), rising stars, and talented amateurs. even better if it's a thin book on its own, with nice paper and printing at whatever size is most suitable.
- has a great op-ed column.
- teaches me advanced printing techniques in b&w and color (contrast masking!).
- revives the lost art of mixing your own developing chemicals, and how to adjust store bought developers to suit your needs.
- guides you through DIY projects, such as how to make an 8x10 field camera, fix up an old speed graphic or other inexpensive large format camera, convert a 4x5 beseler or omega to 8x10, or make cabin projectors for larger formats (6x7+). in other words, how to make certain things that are not very accessible.
- teaches you common camera repairs (clean lenses with haze and fungus, re-lubricate rough or dry focusing helicals, fix russian 6x6 slrs with film transport problems, unjam slrs, how to realign rangefinders). you could get rick oleson to write it.
- step by step camera restorations by mike elek.
- features film cameras in the $500-1500 range, as well as classic cameras (especially how to distinguish the variations), and obscure cheap thrills (can include cheap, old lenses, too. must show photos in this case!). follow the japanese magazine model for this section.
- pay house calls to well known people and businesses in the online community, e.g. mike johnston, jeff ladd, tom abrahamsson, stephen gandy, dante stella, don goldberg, shintaro yaginuma, harry fleenor, ken hough, crr luton, s.k. grimes, john van stelton @ focal point, keith canham, dick phillips, ebony camera, arca swiss, gandolfi, alpa, razzledog, ctein, sean reid, erwin puts, roger hicks, ken hansen, KEH, dirk rösler @ japan exposures, photobackpacker, jörg m. colberg, ilford, efke, nazraeli press....
- misc. arcana, like retouching large format negs, developing by inspection, etc.

that's about it.
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Old 02-17-2010   #39
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Aizan,
While some of your suggestions are very good others are so narrow that they will never be seen. Printing techniques, chemicals, your DIY projects, camera repair, camera restorations and film & classic cameras are so narrow that I don't think any magazine will "bother" with them. They are aimed at a very small minority of camera users.
Even reviewing art exhibits would be of a narrow interest in the real world - but I like the idea.
Most, if not all, magazines are geared to more digital and a wide audience. They have to have very 'vanilla' articles to get the readership. I wonder if magazines are really for beginners and not someone who has been shooting for years.

Roger, who do you think most / all magazines real audience is these days?

Steve
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Old 02-17-2010   #40
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Aizan,
While some of your suggestions are very good others are so narrow that they will never be seen. Printing techniques, chemicals, your DIY projects, camera repair, camera restorations and film & classic cameras are so narrow that I don't think any magazine will "bother" with them. They are aimed at a very small minority of camera users.
Even reviewing art exhibits would be of a narrow interest in the real world - but I like the idea.
Most, if not all, magazines are geared to more digital and a wide audience. They have to have very 'vanilla' articles to get the readership. I wonder if magazines are really for beginners and not someone who has been shooting for years.

Roger, who do you think most / all magazines real audience is these days?

Steve
Dear Steve,

Bloody good question! If I knew I'd start a new magazine aimed at them! Though I suspect Damien at Amateur Photographer has a better idea than most.

I just got last week's AP, and they're coming very close to what a lot of people here are asking for, e.g. a couple of really good photographer interviews (2 pp of Steve Bloom photographing macaws, plus Benjamin Rusnack on photographing for Food for the Poor, 5pp including a stunning opening double-page spread), the background to the famous James Dean photo in the rain in Times Square by Dennis Stock, 3pp with the contact sheet on a full page, reader galleries, advice on how to improve pics readers have sent in, a good article on exposure in snow by Lee Frost (even though he repeats the common error that an 'average' scene reflects 18% instead of 12-14%), a review of an A3 printer and (can't win 'em all) 5 pages on Photoshop Elements 8. Plus letters, Q&A, news, book and other reviews, and guess who on the back page (it's Chesnutt next week, but I'm back the week after).

And that's just one week!

Not all weeks are that good, but most are pretty damn' good. I'm going to point Damien (the editor) at this thread so he can see what people want.

Cheers,

R.
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