PHOTOGRAPH: A Quarterly Magazine For Creative Photographers Issue 2 Review

Photograph2-CoverThe launch of Issue one of PHOTOGRAPH was a bit of a departure from the “formula” that Craft & Vision has used to challenge photographers to focus on their craft, not just their gear. In a way it was a bit of a risk simply because it was their first try at delivering something new. If you have seen the first issue you would most likely agree that the have succeeded in their task. PHOTOGRAPH Issue 2 builds off the momentum of the first issue. I am still amazed at the quantity and quality of the content, especially since this publication is entirely ad-free. You don’t seem to realize just how much advertising we are subjected to in any given publication until it is removed from view. My viewpoint on traditional print publications has changed dramatically as a result; the lack of quality content, or as Zack Arias would call it, Signal, is minimal and is lost among the Noise.

PHOTOGRAPH, Quarterly Issue 2 “Review”

The formatting is consistent with the first issue. My guess is that we will continue to see changes as the publication evolves, but the overarching theme seems consistent. Having read this issue from cover to cover, metaphorically I guess since I am scrolling from page to page on the computer, a few common themes and key concepts stuck out to me.

Concept 1: The Pacing of Content is Quite Deliberate

Photograph2-Martin Bailey

Martin Bailey Portfolio Review

The Magazine progresses from the visual/motivational at the beginning, all the way to the cognitive at the end. Put even more simply it progresses from Art to Geek. My assumption is that the majority of photographers should receive information this way to feed the “Artist” first which will then give the “Geek” its marching orders. Three Photographer Portfolio reviews, plus corresponding Q&A sessions. Ease you into the magazine. After viewing all those images my mind quieted down and was ready to accept information through the subsequent option pieces and tutorials.

My takeaway is to use a similar technique to immerse myself in my subject/environment/light before shooting.

Concept 2: Portfolio Reviews

Two issues in now and I have really come to appreciate these large portfolio reviews. Viewing up to twenty images in a series does a better service to understanding and appreciating another Photographer’s vision. I feel very challenged by that knowing how hard it is to put together a portfolio series together that conveys your vision and sense of style. I also really appreciate the honesty and truthfulness in their answers in the Q&A section.

My takeaways are to a) develop ( & PUBLISH!!) a consistent/coherent image portfolio of new work, and b) write with more openness, from my static web pages to my blog posts.

Concept 3: Equipment Tension

Photograph2-Andy Biggs

Andy Biggs Portfolio Review

The subject of equipment usage came up several times, in many cases minimalism or reduction is discussed to make your choices more deliberate. The temptation to haul around more, “just in case”, can lead to missing the moment or some form of choice paralysis. It seems to boil down to knowing what you own (or WHY you need to add something new) and use what you own.  From my own experiences, reducing your equipment down to that which you use to consistently create your best images can actually be quite freeing.

My takeaway is to review my current quiver, to borrow a term from the surfing world, of equipment and distill down to that which I know how to use and use consistently.

Concept 4: Most Behind the Scenes/How-To Articles Leave Something to be Desired

Two issues in a row now, Kevin Clark has created some excellent BTS instructional content. In this magazine format, not dictated by ad restricted page layouts or word counts, he was able to show enough shots of both the changes to his setup AND the resulting change in the final images, along with his rationale. This results in acquiring enough knowledge to try/experiment with the technique and add it to your repertoire.

My takeaway is to make some time to try this lighting setup this month. There are enough subtle variations from some things that I normally do where it could be quite valuable.

Summary

I am on an information diet. There simply too much info being slung around to properly read and digest. I need to be selective in how I spend my reading (inspiration/technique) time. I have come to expect the value from content produced by Craft & Vision. They obviously “get it” and do a great job speaking to a lot of us. I understand that their style will not appeal to everyone, and that is okay. Here is my take:

  1. If you have read Issue one of PHOTOGRAPH and liked it, I think Issue 2 is even better. You may want to consider buying yourself the subscription and save a few buck.
  2. If you have read other eBooks at Craft & Vision and liked them, you might really dig the layout of PHOTOGRAPH since it combines elements from several of the eBooks, a more well rounded offering of visual and emotional motivation and technical advise.
  3. If you are brand new to all this, your first exposure to Craft & Vision, I believe that experience of PHOTOGRAPH is a complete summary of their mantra.
  4. If you have read Craft&Vision books in the past and they have not really appealed to you all that much, chances are neither will PHOTOGRAPH.

Purchase Details

You can purchase Issue Two of PHOTOGRAPH for USD $8 by clicking any image above, or by visiting Craft & Vision.

Just love Andy Biggs shot of Yvon Chouinard (rock climbing pioneer, founder of Patagonia)

Just love Andy Biggs shot of Yvon Chouinard (rock climbing pioneer, founder of Patagonia)

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