Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Photo Technique Magazine - Gone!  (Read 11012 times)
BradSmith
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 264


« on: November 15, 2013, 05:38:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Another victim of the move from the era of traditional film and wet darkroom to the digital era has fallen.  The Nov/December issue of Photo Technique magazine will be its last.  I've been a subscriber since it was first published in late 1989 as Darkroom Techniques.  The other major cause of their demise is the point they make in their goodbye statement.   Namely, that photographers today have many more ways to get information quickly. 

This is one more way that the internet and sites such as Luminous Landscape have made massive changes in the world of photography.

While I didn't find much useful info in the magazine since the film/darkroom era ended, I was still sad to see it go.  Their total printing of the last issue was a little over 13,000 copies. 

Brad
Logged
WalterEG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1157


« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 06:04:20 PM »
ReplyReply

Brad,

Here in Oz I have not been able to get a copy for a few years but it, back in the film era, it was the pinnacle of excellence in spirit and information beyond compare.

Please tell me, did David Vestal's column continue to the end?  What a money-spinner for the publishers it would be if they did a book of his columns!!

We are enduring an era marred by the globalisation of superficiality.  With a magazine such as Photo Technique there was a ready made data source, constantly accessible on the book shelf.  (I used to actually tag articles of special interest.)  With the internet the gems of info are hidden by the plethora of verbal detritus and are only fleetingly at hand.

Vale Photo Technique,

Walter
Logged
michael
Administrator
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4896



« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 06:54:37 PM »
ReplyReply

For many years now Photo Techniques Magazine has been a survivor simply because its publisher, Tinsley Preston, kept it alive as a labour of love.

I was a Contributing Editor for a number of years, around the same time as Ctein, and when the Editor was Mike Johnston, now publisher of The Online Photographer.

For several years now it has been a product "out of time", and I don't mean by that that it was ending. Rather, it was from another era.

Like most print-only media it was side-swiped by the Internet, and didn't have a clue how to survive in the new milieu. 13,000 circulation?! LuLa has more readers in 6 hours than PT did in two months.

I'm sad to see it go. I had a comp subscription for the past few years, and always enjoyed sitting down for a while and reading the articles, many of which were better than most of what's available online.

Requiescat in pace
Logged
Telecaster
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 866



« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 08:20:50 PM »
ReplyReply

David Vestal's regular column ceased at least three years ago, if I remember right, though he did have a few pieces in the mag after that. I loved Photo Techniques during the film era and even well after. Have to say, though, that recent issues haven't had much meat in them. (This has been true of many other photo-related mags too.) So I can't say I'm surprised by its demise. Still a shame...

-Dave-
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 04:42:18 AM »
ReplyReply


“ “We are enduring an era marred by the globalisation of superficiality. With a magazine such as Photo Technique there was a ready made data source, constantly accessible on the book shelf. (I used to actually tag articles of special interest.) With the internet the gems of info are hidden by the plethora of verbal detritus and are only fleetingly at hand”. WalterEG”


I think it’s worse than that; I think many of the ‘experts’ are expert only within the confines of their own imagination.

Cooter mentioned somewhere on LuLa that there’s been a cut of around 80% or so of advertising manager numbers. To me, that tells a tale more wide than simply a reflection of the opportunities being lost to advertising photographers: it tells me that the world just doesn’t care, doesn’t give a stuff about seeing attractive advertisements, commercials or anything else: all it wants is anonymous, on-line cheap, cheaper and cheaper yet. So it gets what it deserves: a pile of crap that gets sent back time after time until something actually works and does close to what it promised on the monitor. Lenses, anyone? And the underlying horror? That people accept it as normal.

My website’s based on Weebly, and for long enough all worked well. Then, I found great difficulty getting into the system in order to edit my site. I eventually discovered that the PS-dedicated computer, running XP, usually not Internet-connected, still got me in, in a roundabout way, and I carried on editing through it, instead of the other, permanently Internet-connected one. Now, neither computer lets me get into my website via Weebly in order to edit. Weebly has tried to help, but so far, zilch. Yesterday I downloaded Explorer 9 to replace my 8, because at one stage the Weebly site rewarded my efforts by telling me that my browser was too old to be recognized… And Explore 9 is meant to be an improvement? Really? So far, it is brash in the extreme and as opaque as the waters of the Clyde at Clyde Street, Glasgow.

The funny thing is, my troubles began when Weebly allowed Facebook to enter the game. Each time I try to get into Weebly to edit, I am presented with what looks like a Facebook promotion, asking me to register, and get into my site via Facebook! Fuck Facebook, I want no part of them or twitter or tweet or any of these goddamn stupid teenage-or-younger things that hold zero interest for me nor relevance to my life! So yes, everything is being brought down to an ever-lower common denominator. Just as with magazine covers, where once ruled elegant, simple and clean design, but now we have the literary equivalents of the facades of second-hand toothpick shops, the entire Contents page in your face in one fell swoop! One used to buy a magazine because one was interested in it and its style/contents per se; now, the hook is in a single bit of hoped-for gratification that you might imagine from a single line on a random cover.

I hate what’s being done to elegance, usefulness and good design. And to my nervous state; that scares me rather than angers.

Rob C
Logged

Christoph C. Feldhaim
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2509


There is no rule! No - wait ...


« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 04:54:27 AM »
ReplyReply

For Rob Wink
Logged

Rocco Penny
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 483



« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 06:37:39 AM »
ReplyReply

Some do care Rob,
willing to pay whatever it costs to get what they deem superior.
Figuring out what's really superior has me scratching my head.
For instance,
Ray Smith.  http://www.raysmithstudio.com/studio/
I have a friend that collects Ray Smith paintings. They are altogether an expensive proposition.  lookit that while listening to this and hit the exacta of morning coolness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOOTCqwaI1c
I look and look, I see Smith has aptitude, he has technique.
I still wonder that those painted hunks of plywood are worth so much.
But they are.  Antd there are people out there with the same crazy sense of satisfaction that can only be sated by an expert, self proclaimed or recommended, to provide the stuff that dreams are made of.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOHXrD9JQDc
Those dreams are my stock and trade.
my product speaks for itself.
No magazine is going to help an expert to do anything.
A valuable working knowledge can only be gained one way as far as I can tell.
That won't ever change.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 07:19:39 AM by Rocco Penny » Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2013, 08:59:04 AM »
ReplyReply

Rocco,

Yes, some still do care.

http://youtu.be/0QrGuwn4ImM

Rob C
Logged

Chris Calohan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2048


Editing Allowed


« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2013, 08:16:46 AM »
ReplyReply

For a number of years, David sent out single photos printed on vellum with a short remark to some state of being or knowing. I still have a half dozen or so of these treasures. I haven't seen Dave since a workshop in Montana in 2009 with Al Weber. He is a singular individual and a master of the Leica both in film and digital. Sorry to see this magazine go. I fear it won't be long before Lenswork also cannot make it work.
Logged

What! Me Worry?

Life is about a little kid driving a Mini...
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2013, 10:32:19 AM »
ReplyReply

For a number of years, David sent out single photos printed on vellum with a short remark to some state of being or knowing. I still have a half dozen or so of these treasures. I haven't seen Dave since a workshop in Montana in 2009 with Al Weber. He is a singular individual and a master of the Leica both in film and digital. Sorry to see this magazine go. I fear it won't be long before Lenswork also cannot make it work.



I didn't buy either magazine, but I do recognize a long-time trend. In the 50s, in the UK, there was a magazine called Photography, edited by Norman Hall. It gave me the pleasure of my very first publication  - a girl, of course - and I was delighted to share the little group of snaps selected for the feature with Peter Sellers. It was a regular on my short list of purchases at the time, and through it I discovered most of the stars of European photojournalism; I'm sure it introduced me to HC-B and Doisneau, Horvat and most of the others. Sadly, after Hall's tenure, it went south, and whether it survived for long I don't know - I gave up on it.

Interestingly, magazines can still be around but become invisible if you lose interest in them. So much really does depend upon the personality of the editor, the power structure. I feel the same applies to the web, and it is easy for a site to lose its relevance to different people - its regulars, in particular - if the changes become too pronounced.

In fact, I'd go further, and say that the advantages that the web brings us, insofar as we can find a zillion pix at any time, is counterbalanced by the loss of depth in which we receive the information. I think editors in print were also more careful with the truth.

Apart from that, there is something wonderful about picking up the latest edition of your favourite magazine, either from the carpet beneath your letterbox or from the kiosk. The web never, ever, brings that joy. As for the tactile pleasure... what's to compare?

Rob C
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 10:34:58 AM by Rob C » Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 6423



WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 10:51:05 AM »
ReplyReply

Like many of you, I've loved Photo Technique for a long time, but I loved it a lot less when David Vestal disappeared from its pages. I even submitted a couple articles. They resulted in some interesting email exchanges, but never got published. I'm really sorry to see the mag go down the drain, but I'm afraid it's not unexpected. Nor am I surprised to know that Brooks Jensen is in trouble with LensWork. The problem there isn't so much that the web provides alternatives. I think Brooks had been falling farther and farther behind the times. I think of the issue -- I think it was last year -- when he published somebody who was supposed to be a good street photographer. Of about twenty pictures, all but one or two should have ended up in the round file. But what killed the whole thing was that he also published a bunch of stuff from Vivian Maier in the same issue, which made the other guy look ridiculous. Brooks simply doesn't understand street photography or any photography not involving rocks and stones and trees. There's still some good stuff in LensWork, but a lot of what's there became clichéd back in Edward Weston and Ansel Adams days.
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 03:24:20 PM »
ReplyReply

Like many of you, I've loved Photo Technique for a long time, but I loved it a lot less when David Vestal disappeared from its pages. I even submitted a couple articles. They resulted in some interesting email exchanges, but never got published. I'm really sorry to see the mag go down the drain, but I'm afraid it's not unexpected. Nor am I surprised to know that Brooks Jensen is in trouble with LensWork. The problem there isn't so much that the web provides alternatives. I think Brooks had been falling farther and farther behind the times. I think of the issue -- I think it was last year -- when he published somebody who was supposed to be a good street photographer. Of about twenty pictures, all but one or two should have ended up in the round file. But what killed the whole thing was that he also published a bunch of stuff from Vivian Maier in the same issue, which made the other guy look ridiculous. Brooks simply doesn't understand street photography or any photography not involving rocks and stones and trees. There's still some good stuff in LensWork, but a lot of what's there became clichéd back in Edward Weston and Ansel Adams days.


Hence, the dreaded ARAT syndrome that seems to pass for imagination in many quarters.

Rob C
Logged

lenswork
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 02:59:48 PM »
ReplyReply

News to me that we are "in trouble." Subscriptions are strong; the Road Show has been a gas and a lot of fun; LensWork Online continues to break records for new subscribers; and the Monographs are a giant success. I can only hope for lots more "trouble!" I am sorry to hear about Photo Techniques. These are tough times for traditional magazines — which is another reason LensWork breaks with tradition.

As to "street photography," you are absolutely correct. It's not my cup of tea and I wish it was. In fact, the point of that entire issue (LensWork #97, Nov-Dec 2011) was to try to provide an introduction to the genre. Not just to the readers, but to me, too! I stated so in the introduction to the interview. We'd received a submission from Stan Raucher (whose street photography we had rejected) and he called to ask why we had rejected it. I confessed that I consider myself unqualified to judge it because I don't really understand it. I've never done it, so how can I select the best to publish? I asked Stan to try to guide me through an introduction via an extended interview and video, which he did pretty well, I thought. I'm still not sure I have a good grasp of this type of photography. Nonetheless, I did learn a lot and have developed an appreciation for it as a result of the experience. In other words, LensWork served its purpose of trying to expand a creative gap — even it that gap exists in the editor!

Next, I'm always amused by how we are perceived by folks. One of my favorite quotes is by G.K. Chesterton who said, "It's amazing how many things there are that aren't so." We've been "accused" of being too heavily weighted to landscape photography in the past, and every time I look back I find it's unfounded. So, just to set the record straight, here is a rundown of the last two years of LensWork content by portfolio type: Of the 65 portfolios to appear in the magazine in the last 12 issues, 7 of them were Landscapes (11%). There were also 13 portfolios of Portraits [and no one ever accuses us to publishing too many portraits], followed by Urban (10), Architectural (eight), Abstract (7), Travel (6), Animals (5), Industrial (4), Studio (2), Street Photography (2), and Underwater (1). Including one more issue (#97) would bring Street Photography up to 4. I'm surprised more photographers at the "Luminous Landscape" aren't calling for more landscapes. If anything, we publish too many abstracts, but that's because I have a soft spot for them. :-)

Which brings me to the point of my response here. There is nothing I like better than to bring good photography to our readers. To all of you here in the Luminous-Landscape forum, have you sent in your work as a submission for us to review? If you'd like to see something better in our pages and you have something better, please consider submitting it us for review! We can't publish what we don't know about and have never seen! Participate! We love giving an audience to good work, so consider yourselves prodded.

Brooks Jensen
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 12:29:55 PM by lenswork » Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2013, 04:50:33 PM »
ReplyReply


Which brings me to the point of my response here. There is nothing I like better than to bring good photography to our readers. To all of you here in the Luminous-Landscape forum, have you sent in your work as a submission for us to review? If you'd like to see something better in our pages and you have something better, please consider submitting it us for review! We can't publish what we don't know about and have never seen! Participate! We love giving an audience to good work, so consider yourselves prodded.

Brooks Jensen



I understand your position, but do pblishers also understand the position of possible contributors?

To most of us, getting a submission accepted anywhere, for anything, unless one happens already to be part of the particular circuit, is very unlikely. So, the attraction to try do so is perhaps limited to those very new to seeing their material being used somewhere. They are willing to go to the trouble where the rest of us who have, or have had a career in photography, don't find it such a big deal. Especially if there isn't any real financial reward coming along.

Anyway, in today's world of Internet communication, perhaps the shoe should be on the other foot: if an editor likes a website, why does he not ask the photographer if he might be interested in being featured? The idea of editor as 'god' isn't that valid for many of us, print being as it is...

Yes, seasoned pro or rank amateur, seeing your work used well, legitimately, is nice, but the world doesn't always depend on it.

Rob C
Logged

lenswork
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2013, 05:27:10 PM »
ReplyReply

I agree. In fact, we do regularly search out websites and solicit photographers. We just sent off LensWork #110 to the printer today and in it three of the portfolios are ones we proactively solicited.

Let me illustrate with an example one of the reasons why I so strongly advocate magazine publication as one of the best ways to get ones work out into the world. And, by the way, not because I'm a magazine publisher. Perhaps you know the work of Mitch Dobrowner? Mitch was an "over the transom" submission to LensWork, that is to say, unsolicited. We liked his work and published him. Not long after that, he was invited to exhibit work in China because they had seen his work in LensWork. He went to China and received an invitation to have his work published in China Photo — circulation about 3 million. They did a great feature on him and he's become quite the distributed artist with lots of work being sold here and abroad. He deserves his success because his work is good and he is proactive about getting it before lots of audiences. He was also Sony photographer of the year. His success is clearly not because of LensWork, but it was (by his admission) the starting point. One never knows what doors might open because of ones work being seen and published. We regularly hear from our alumni about exhibition opportunities, book publications, workshop and speaking invitations, etc. that they receive after having their work published in LensWork. We're glad to help.

I go so far as to teach in my workshops that if you are not actively soliciting magazine publication (and not just photography magazines), you are not really serious about getting your work in front of an audience. Galleries are great, but time and geographically limited. Websites are great, but images are small and attention spans short. Books are great, but unit sales are paltry compared to magazines. Every medium has its strengths and weaknesses. Most magazines, unfortunately, are printed poorly and have a short shelf life. That does not mean, however, that they should be dismissed. They are just another component in a well-rounded campaign to get our work out into the world.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2013, 03:47:55 AM »
ReplyReply

I agree. In fact, we do regularly search out websites and solicit photographers. We just sent off LensWork #110 to the printer today and in it three of the portfolios are ones we proactively solicited.

Let me illustrate with an example one of the reasons why I so strongly advocate magazine publication as one of the best ways to get ones work out into the world. And, by the way, not because I'm a magazine publisher. Perhaps you know the work of Mitch Dobrowner? Mitch was an "over the transom" submission to LensWork, that is to say, unsolicited. We liked his work and published him. Not long after that, he was invited to exhibit work in China because they had seen his work in LensWork. He went to China and received an invitation to have his work published in China Photo — circulation about 3 million. They did a great feature on him and he's become quite the distributed artist with lots of work being sold here and abroad. He deserves his success because his work is good and he is proactive about getting it before lots of audiences. He was also Sony photographer of the year. His success is clearly not because of LensWork, but it was (by his admission) the starting point. One never knows what doors might open because of ones work being seen and published. We regularly hear from our alumni about exhibition opportunities, book publications, workshop and speaking invitations, etc. that they receive after having their work published in LensWork. We're glad to help.

I go so far as to teach in my workshops that if you are not actively soliciting magazine publication (and not just photography magazines), you are not really serious about getting your work in front of an audience. Galleries are great, but time and geographically limited. Websites are great, but images are small and attention spans short. Books are great, but unit sales are paltry compared to magazines. Every medium has its strengths and weaknesses. Most magazines, unfortunately, are printed poorly and have a short shelf life. That does not mean, however, that they should be dismissed. They are just another component in a well-rounded campaign to get our work out into the world.


Yes of course, exposure is good if it's well done, I agree with that totally, and even accept that there's value to any exposure at some stages in life. And above all, if the medium in which it happens carries prestige: hence the running battles to make Vogue, for example.

Regarding 'short life', I had to smile: until I cleaned out some cupboards due to creaking foundations, you could have mistaken my place for an old curiosity shop! I kept piles of French PHOTO as well as Black & White; old Vogues and Harper's Bazaars, maps from places I'd shot commissions, research stuff on those places (I think I still have bumf from Old Tucson though in the end, the client didn't buy into the idea), and so it went: my life littered with piles of papers. There came a point when my wife refused to vacuum or run a duster over any of it. Don't blame her - had she meddled with it by making improvements, my filing sytem would have turned to chaos, with our lives to follow.

Actually, it's not from disrespect that I don't mention your publication here in the short list: the problem is that I have never come across it despite knowing about it for quite some time. But then, I don't live in a metropolis anymore, and the kiosks carry stuff designed to make the tourist think he's still in his home town after all. Just like most of the eateries have managed to do.

Rob C

Logged

Rocco Penny
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 483



« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2013, 06:10:57 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm going to go buy a magazine today.
My understanding is there are less hazardous compounds being used in the paper and ink.
Rob,
I have to tell you, the fireplace at my house has become a source of great satisfaction for me.
To light it one must use paper at the base, and once one becomes used to having less, the ability to stay up with critical mass isn't so difficult.
This is of course assuming split wood, and abundant kindling.
As both exist in proliferation here on the homeplace, i only wind up with carton.
Not too bad, and really fun to use paid bills and decades old contracts as fuel.
Somebody's gonna throw out those carefully collected volumes.
 
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2013, 04:27:55 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm going to go buy a magazine today.
My understanding is there are less hazardous compounds being used in the paper and ink.
Rob,
I have to tell you, the fireplace at my house has become a source of great satisfaction for me.
To light it one must use paper at the base, and once one becomes used to having less, the ability to stay up with critical mass isn't so difficult.
This is of course assuming split wood, and abundant kindling.
As both exist in proliferation here on the homeplace, i only wind up with carton.
Not too bad, and really fun to use paid bills and decades old contracts as fuel.
Somebody's gonna throw out those carefully collected volumes.


I donated my Black & Whites to a young Spanish professional here; by the look on his face when I left around two feet of magazine on his floor, I think he thought I was a really strange old fuddy duddy...

The French PHOTOs ended up in the recycle bin, much as you suggest; I did see an ad on the Internet by a woman selling old magazines, but the logistics are just impossible. Many things are possible if you live in a capital city and can borrow a small van.

Rob C
Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 6423



WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2013, 08:32:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi Brooks,

Considering your straightforward response, I had to return to my post and go back over what I said. I stand by it, but I think it might have been a bit more nuanced. I have no intention of canceling my LensWork subscription. It's one of the unfortunately few photography magazines left that actually deals with photographs rather than with equipment and post-processing. I've been around long enough to remember the late1950s issue of Popular Photography that raked Robert Frank over the coals for what the author took to be ingratitude toward his adopted country. Can you imagine Pop Photo or Shutterbug doing a critique like that one nowadays?

Unfortunately, I can't imagine LensWork doing it either, but for different reasons. LensWork, along with B&W and the other few surviving actual photography magazines takes itself far too seriously. The work that gets published must be Art. Mere art isn't taken seriously. And the artists take themselves very seriously. Your discussions with them read like the artist's statements I see on museum walls, bursting with self-importance by people intent on making an indelible mark on civilization.

I think that attitude goes along with an inability to understand street photography. There are exceptions, but people who photograph what Wordsworth called rocks and stones and trees seem to take themselves very seriously, while street photographers often have a built-in sense of humor. It's not a stand-up-comic sense of humor: "I'm up here to make jokes, and I'm gonna be funny," but the subdued humor of some of Cartier-Bresson's shots, and the less subdued but still less than blatant humor of Elliott Erwitt's snaps. And, of course, "snap" is a word serious photography mags wouldn't think of using to describe a photograph.

In order to survive, the serious photography magazines are going to have to lighten up. The best things I see in LensWork are pictures of people and their artifacts, and my books on the history of photography make it very clear that people and their artifacts always have been the area where photography succeeds. People buy pictures of rocks and stones and trees because they want to decorate their living rooms, but deep down they really couldn't care less about what's in those pictures.

By the way, with respect to "sending in work" for publication: I wrote poetry for many years and often saw it published in the fifties and sixties in "little" magazines, but one day I read something a guy said about having poetry accepted for publication: "It's like dropping a feather into a well and listening for the splash." That's exactly how it felt, so I stopped dropping feathers into the well and listening for the splash. I suspect a lot of good amateur photographers feel the same way. It's a different feeling when you make a sale out of a gallery.
 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 11:07:28 AM by RSL » Logged

lenswork
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2013, 12:28:31 PM »
ReplyReply

You know, I think I agree with your sentiments about photographers often taking themselves too seriously. This is precisely why I've encouraged humor and fun in so many of the articles I've written in LensWork. It's often said that comedians have the most difficult job of all actors. It's tough to pull off, especially with consistency. Erwitt does it. Ted Orland can do it. We published a pretty funny portfolio by Richard Newman back in LensWork #33 — a long, long time ago. A few others come to mind, but not many. Too bad.

Having said that however, I'm not sure I see "street photography" as a strong representative of humor. Wit, perhaps. Irony, certainly. Fun, yes. Funny? I don't recall laughing outloud at a "street photograph," but then maybe I've just missed it along the way.

I might also introduce the idea that there is a difference between taking oneself seriously and taking oneself sincerely. One would require a particularly large ego to be a photographer and think that our photographs are serious — in the earth-shaking, opinion-forming, mind-altering sense. It happens, but mostly by forces outside of photographic circles. Migrant Mother is an example. Smith's Mimamata is another — both of which are documentary rather than art photography. I've always had the underlying idea that photography is something I do sincerely — with all my heart — but fundamentally not seriously — that is, implying an important consequence. It's more like a good meal than a diagnosis; more like a well-enjoyed movie than a religious text; more like a novel I'm sad to see end than the reading of a will that marks the end.

Did you read my comments about how Mitch Dobrowner found a large audience by dropping his exceedingly wonderful feather into a small well? As painful as it can be for us photographers to hear, it is always possible that our appearance in a magazine leads to nothing because of the work, not because of the medium. At a young age, Charles Dickens wrote his Sketches by Boz for a small weekly newspaper, but it let to Pickwick which led to world fame. In fact, can you think of a single instance where a famous and successful artist started their career at the top? Doesn't everyone start (in the words of Aldous Huxley), "Naked and afraid, in a world I never made"?

As to the poet you quote, I'm not sure I can be as pessimistic he seems. Don't forget that if your photographs appear, say, in LensWork, even if that doesn't rocket you to the top of photographic stardom, it does get your work seen by thousands and thousands of people who would not see it if you left it in the closet.

And finally, yes dropping a feather may not make a splash. But dropping several boxes of feathers does. Isn't it unrealistic to think that getting published once, in some random magazine, would lead to fame and fortune? But a career of working hard, working with consistency, keeping your work out in the world, being visible in as many venues as you can — doesn't that seem more realistic as a means of developing an audience who appreciates your work? This is precisely why I've said that any photographer who is not pursuing magazine publication is not serious about finding an audience for their work. I hate to conclude by quoting a bumper sticker, but it's true: The harder I work, the luckier I get.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad