I have to confess that I don’t read many photography magazines. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s simply that I don’t often have the mental bandwidth for them. Whether this is due to age (I’m not telling) or just information overload, I find that I have to be selective in what I pick up. Nevertheless when I heard about Craft & Vision’s new magazine, Photograph – A Digital Quarterly Magazine for Creative Photographers, I was eager to check it out because my experiences with Craft & Vision’s publications have been very positive.
The magazine is available for download as a PDF and costs $8 (or $6 an issue with a subscription). The current issue (#2) has 122 pages — and is completely ad-free!
Bottom line, the magazine was a pleasure to read. For me personally it has a wonderful balance — it nurtured and encouraged my (blocked) creative muse, gave me some new ideas to try, gave me a better appreciation and awareness for what makes a good photograph (in capture, post-processing and print), and delivered concrete technical skills as well. It is easily worth more than $8 to me, and more importantly, it was worth my time to read it.
As usual with Craft & Vision, the design is clean and elegant, which makes it distraction-free and enjoyable to go through. I read it on my iPad, but before writing this I did also view it fullscreen on my large monitor, and I’m glad I did — the visual impact is stunning.
There is an impressive range of quality content in the current issue:
- 3 portfolios with interviews of the photographers (Martin Bailey, Andy Biggs, Chris Orwig)
- two articles on capturing the moment and missing the shot by David DuChemin
- an article by J.P. Caponigro on using the frame to guide your viewer’s eye
- an article by Chris Orwig on fighting to find inspiration when it is absent (that I particularly enjoyed)
- how-to articles on long exposure photography (Younes Bounhar), shooting food (Kevin Clark), and exposure and metering modes (Nicole Young)
- working of a photograph in Lightroom by Piet Van Den Eynde
- a discussion of print resolution by Martin Bailey
- a review of the FujiFilm X-Pro 1 by Al Smith
- a short story on capturing the essence by Jay Goodrich
I expected to just skim the magazine to form an impression, but I found myself reading most of it, and I had real take-aways from just about every article, even articles related to photography that I don’t practice. For example, while I will probably never shoot sushi or any food in a studio, the article made me more aware of the effect of light of various types, the idea of the area of visual weight in photographs, and a better appreciation for what good food photography entails.
I hope that over time we see lots of variety in styles of photography. Aside from this, the only area that I would really like to see a change in is more contributions by female photographers (and I don’t mean this to be self-serving.) This issue had 11 contributors, and only one woman, and Issue 1 had 14 contributors and only one woman. None of the six portfolios presented so far have been by women. I am sure there are more men than women in the ranks of seasoned photographers, writers and educators, but there are plenty of talented women as well. I believe in Craft & Vision, and I am confident that if they hear from us that this is important, it will improve.
In the meantime, I look forward to reading issue 3 in a few months!