Lenswork - Ouch!

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Art Soft, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Art Soft

    Art Soft Member

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    The new newstand price for Lenswork will be $12.95 starting in Jan '08. Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuchhh!
    Will you still buy it, or will you finally break down and subscribe?
     
  2. Remi

    Remi Member

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    I stopped subscribing when they started featuring more digital stuff than silver.

    I find that there's usually one really good portfolio and a lot of stuff I don't like.
     
  3. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    Nope..I don't buy any mags anymore, unless it's realy, really special.
    US version B&W seems to recently have downgraded their paper and print quality too...I let that one expire..I was impressed with the latest FOCUS because of paper and print quality upgrade, though I still won't buy it, or any.
     
  4. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Sadly, I also stopped subscribing for the same reason.
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I quit buying it for the same reason.
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have found that the issues fluctuate in the amount of digital content. I enjoy the magazine, and it has the best printing of any B&W mag on the news stand. I should subscribe, but in the meantime I will keep buying it.

    Brooks has said repeatedly, and I'll just echo it- if you want to see more traditional work in Lenswork, submit it. He can't print what he doesn't have.
     
  7. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Good point; but personally I don't pay much attention to Lenswork anymore simply because the editorial team seems to have a very limited view of what constitutes interesting work.

    Of course, pretty much all magazines are like that (if you want style X read magazine A, etc), so that's why I'm sticking to Aperture, Prefix, and Blind Spot for stuff that I like.
     
  8. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I dunno. The first time I ever bought the mag it made a big point about how highly selective it is. Kind of made me figure that I'm lucky they even let the likes of me look at it.

    Coincidently, that issue was the first one that also featured digital pictures of "hot" and "classic" cars shot at some rich man's auto show at Pebble Beach.

    I sure as heck won't pay $13 bucks for a bunch of digital car pics and I'm not a pro shooter anyway - so I don't make either cut.

    Nope, not interested, no way.
     
  9. Terence

    Terence Member

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    While I have griped about the digi content before, I still find that every couple of issues they have a portfolio that I really like and that inspires me to go out and photograph again. Frankly, I've never found a magazine of any sort that I read cover to cover, much less every time.

    It's beautifully printed, and still has work that can inspire me. I may think a little harder about whether I really like a specific portfolio THAT much, but there have been several that I come back to time and again. So yeah, I probably will still pick it up from time to time.
     
  10. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I just saw Jim Galli's portraits in some magazine.

    But I saw 'em here first, then his website.
     
  11. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    So long as the quality is there I will probably still pick it up, along with Aperture and Blindspot.
     
  12. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I don't subscribe to it because of the digital images. I might be more receptive if they put the digital images in the back or a tear out bunch. I also think that they could put a 80/20 50/50 95/5 kind of indicator so I can tell how much content is real or digital.

    Really though, I just tossed out years and years of old popular and modern photograph magazines. Why keep the ones you don't want just to be collecting them?
     
  13. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I have to say that I am really impressed with Silvershotz magazine. They are almost exclusively analogue-only and have had several alt-process how-to series including one on carbon printing written by Sandy King. The printing seems to be of good quality. The only downside is that it is about $10 CDN for a fairly thin magazine, but the quality and content are good enough that I am usually willing to fork it out when I like the issue and am seriously thinking of subscribing.
     
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  15. PhotoHistorian

    PhotoHistorian Member

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    If you need an indicator so you know what is film and what is digital what does that tell you?
     
  16. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    Digital or no digital I will keep my subscription. I find Brooks' editorials stimulating (even when I don't agree with him), the interviews are usually interesting, and there's always at least one portfolio that speaks to me. It's beautifully printed and my shelf of back issues serves to remind me how diverse and uplifting photography can be if we only open our eyes to it.
     
  17. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    For me the process matters, that's why I have a darkroom, use film, chemicals, and photographic paper. When Ansel Adams said that someone could make an image from one of his negatives in the future in an entirely new way or process, that was fine with him, he wouldn't necessarily like it but that was their business.

    Images in printed materials can be from differing mediums but when I buy a "Photography" book or magazine it's because I am looking for work created in the old fashion wet darkroom manner. That's my preference.

    Curt
     
  18. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    The process matters to me too. That's why I also have a darkroom, use film, chemicals and photographic paper.

    But I also want to experience the richest range of inspiring visual art as possible - partly to keep my creativity fresh and partly purely for pleasure. That's why I look at (and enjoy looking at) paintings, drawings, sculpture, installations, books, and yes even photographs created and manipulated by electronic means. Of course I have little interest in crappy digital photos that look bad and say nothing, but I haven't seen many of those in LensWork...
     
  19. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I continue to buy Lenswork. I'm interested in all sorts of photography even if I choose all film for myself.

    It's a magazine that is committed to good image making. I don't like all the portfolios (who would?), and I found the inclusion of one of Brook Jensen's portfolios annoying, but it's worth getting through the stuff you don't like to find some gems that can inspire.

    Admittedly, at almost 13 bucks at the newsstand, it may be worth subscribing soon!
     
  20. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I gave up on Lenswork some time ago because of the high price and the digital emphasis. I don't even flip through it on the news stand anymore.
     
  21. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    I also started with Lenswork because of traditional photography and recently let my suscription expire because of the lack of traditional work. If digital is what he wants to publish, that's fine. I'll just look for something that else that I like.

    Jerry
     
  22. wfe

    wfe Member

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    I will continue to subscribe to Lenswork because I enjoy the writing and the photography. Rarely do I even look at how the images are created, if they speak to me I don't really care how they are made. I have found both the writings and photography to be inspirational in my my own work. I don't always agree with everything but that's ok.

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
  23. symmar_man

    symmar_man Member

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    I think that I will seriously consider dropping my subscription to Lens Work. Lately Bill Jay’s End Notes has been by far the highlight of the issue.

    I see this as a ploy to get the subscription numbers up. By increasing the news stand price, yet leaving the subscription price the same, he is driving people away from purchasing single copies. This marketing TRICK may work. May not?

    I propose that Mr. Jensen try applying his print pricing philosophy to his magazine. He seems to be of the opinion that selling his prints for dirt cheap makes them more attractive to more buyers. He says he would rather sell his prints for $20.00 which makes them more affordable for more people! Then why not apply this Wal-Mart mindset to his magazine? Why not $1.00 for the magazine? Make the subscription $5.00 and throw in his Extended CD?

    Mr. Jensen, I know you are reading this, why not put YOUR money where your mouth is. Just think of all the people that would buy your magazine for $1.00. You might double or even triple your readership. Just think of all of those happy readers. Just like your prints, think of all of the people that could, or would, spend a dollar! Why not apply your high volume, low margin approach to the magazine??? No guts, No glory!

    Just a little food for thought.

    B. Dalton
     
  24. lenswork

    lenswork Member

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    You make a good point -- in fact, my point. If I could sell it for $1, I would in a heartbeat. I can't because the cost of production and distribution prevents me from doing so and I don't want to go broke. But, let's extend the discussion just a bit for the education it might afford.

    Because the costs have escalated, we must raise our price. Just for the mental exercise, let's say we raised it to $50 per issue. What the hell, let's say $100 per issue. How long do you think it would be before some enterprising person would realize that there is too wide of a gap between the costs and the selling price and begin a competing magazine for less? What if they began publishing one for, say, $50. Enter a third individual who figures out that there is room for an even lower priced publication at, say, $15. What would happen to my publication at $100 or even the second publication at $50? This is precisely how the free market works. People produce products (in my case a magazine) and sell it for as much as they can, but the market imposes restraints on what they can charge via the built-in pressure of competition and market forces. Of course I'd sell LensWork for $100 per issue, but the market won't let me. Of course I'd sell LensWork for $1 per issue if I were independently wealthy and could afford to subsidize it -- which I can't, because I'm not. :sad: (In fact, this is essentially what other magazines do with all their advertising; the advertising revenue subsidizes your subscription because the amount you pay for the subscription doesn't cover the costs of production and distribution.) The balance between consumer demand and cost of production is what ultimately sets the price.

    What if the price is too high? Of course, try as a producer might, sometimes costs rise and there is not a thing anyone can do about it. So, they raise the price. What will the market reaction be? It's anyone's guess. If costs rise too much and the marketplace balks and folks stop buying, the message to the producer is clear. Production ceases and the product dies. Simply said, the product is not worth the price. Conversely, if costs are reduced and the seller doesn't reduce their price, an opening appears and a competitor can slip in and succeed. This is how the free market works and always has.

    Of critical importance here is that you -- the consumers -- determine whether or not the product is worth it based on the price you must pay. If it is, the product thrives. If it is not, the product does not. Simple as that. And how does the producer know what the consumer is thinking? That, too, is as simple as can be -- we watch and see if people buy. If they do not, we are being told by the marketplace that consumers are making judgments that the product is not worth the price.

    So, the question I've asked for years now is - - How is this any different for artwork than it is for everything else in the market place?

    I simply propose that if you find you are not selling your artwork as you'd like, it is the marketplace telling you something that may be useful for you to hear.

    Does this make sense?

    Brooks
     
  25. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I just browse it at B&N...EC
     
  26. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I check out the latest issue at the local book or photography retailer and if it's a keeper I buy it. I do this for most of my magazine reading because I find that many magazine repeat themselves(Outdoor Photographer) and it offers support to my neighborhood retailer and some magazines fades away if not seen in the general public.
    I understand Brooks point of view regarding the price increase. He's producing a quaility magazine but he can't always control the outside costs. I would suggest digital output but he's doing that and I personaly like having a "Real" book or magazine in hand verses a CD. I look at a computer monitor all day and I like to see a printed page instead on my off computer time.
    Is this a ploy to increase subscription for Lens Work? From what I've read on this thread, its backfiring on Brooks and I dought he would do such a silly manuver. I honestly think he is just trying to keep his magazine affordable but can't eat outside costs so he has to increase the price.
    Do as I do thumb through the next copy or future issues and if you like it buy it. Support your local retailer!
    That's my two cents.:smile: