There’s no shortage of magazines dedicated to photography in all its many forms. Some are good, some are terrible, and every once in a while, one comes along that is exceptional. Such is the case with the new digital only magazine from Craft & Vision. Simply titled “PHOTOGRAPH“, the new magazine is touted as a “digital quarterly magazine for creative photographers”. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of issue one. It downloaded quickly to my iPad and opened without issue in Good Reader, which is the app I prefer to use to view most e-publications.
Impressively, PHOTOGRAPH is 100% ad-free. Pick up any other photography magazine and from the very first page flip you’re assaulted with advertisements. I don’t necessarily have anything against advertisements in magazines though I can’t help but think that some of the larger corporations, whose ads may encompass two or more pages, hold some sway with the magazine publishing company. How do you avoid the issue of advertising dollars creating a bias? Simple – you don’t sell ads. Bravo to Craft & Vision for stepping out of the mainstream to produce a magazine whose sole intention is provide photographers with informative articles written by some of the most passionate and talented photographic artists working today!
What’s on the Outside
I’m a bit of a design geek. Okay, I’m really just a geek but that’s beside the point. At any rate, PHOTOGRAPH is beautifully designed with a layout that never gets in the way of the experience of enjoying the magazine. It’s simple, elegant and nicely supports the content.
What’s on the Inside
Content. Oh boy, is there ever content. PHOTOGRAPH contains portfolio sections filled with outstanding imagery from several photographers. In issue one you’ll be inspired by portfolios from three uber-talented photographers: Bruce Percy, Nate Parker and Art Wolfe. Bruce Percy’s beautiful collection of ethereal photographs from Iceland were especially impressive. I’ve long wanted to visit and photograph Iceland and this assemblage of images only deepened that desire. At the end of each portfolio is a Q&A with the photographer. While I always enjoy viewing gorgeous photography, I’m also interested in and find great value in learning about the motivation, techniques and backgrounds of the photographers whose work I find so inspiring.
If the portfolios are an appetizer, the articles are haute cuisine. I’m not talking about sensationalistic pieces with titles like “Shoot Like Ansel Adams!!!!” or “The Best Cameras of the Week for Photographers Named Bob!!!!”. The articles in issue one of PHOTOGRAPH dive deep to cover useful and informative topics with titles like “Creative Composition”, “Backlight” The Art of Silhouettes”, “Dark & Moody, Black & White – Conversions Using Lightroom” and “The Colour Management Myth”. My favorite article, “The Missing Spark” by Chris Orwig, is an honest look at how we, as creative professionals, will most likely burn out at some point in our career and what we can do to recognize and reverse it. It isn’t often that you find an author willing to delve into the darker side of creating art as doing so involves a level of intimacy we may not always want to share with the world. Bravo to Chris for being brave enough to share his experience so that others may learn from it.
Flip to the last few pages of PHOTOGRAPH and you’ll find the “Gear is Good” section. These are equipment reviews, but because PHOTOGRAPH doesn’t accept advertising, I can’t help but think they’re less biased than the reviews in other magazines. Some of the reviews take a look at gear that isn’t sexy, but is important – stuff like “L” brackets and AA batteries. You may not lie in bed at night dreaming about rechargeable batteries but you sure as hell want ones that are powerful and reliable.
What I Don’t Like
Honestly, I found nothing in issue one that didn’t impress me. If I have to pick a nit, it’s that PHOTOGRAPH is a generalist’s magazine. I’m an adventure and nature photographer. I don’t have much need or interest (at this time) in learning how to build a homemade fluorescent lighting setup, but I know there are photographers who do. You’ll find a little bit of everything in these virtual pages and some of it won’t appeal to you – but most of it will regardless of what genre of photography you enjoy.
There is no fluff. There is no hype. There’s just good, solid content. PHOTOGRAPH, issue one, is 132 pages of it. Craft & Vision already has my 24 bucks. If you’re looking for a fresh, inspiring and informative photography magazine you won’t regret subscribing to PHOTOGRAPH.
Click here to subscribe to PHOTOGRAPH for one year.
Click here to purchase PHOTOGRAPH – Issue One.