question about Lenswork

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by rjas, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. rjas

    rjas Member

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    I've been subscribing to lenswork and have gotten 3 issues so far.

    I've noticed that there have been no 35mm film submissions. I'm not usually one to look at the technical part but its just something I notice when I read the little blurb before the portfolio. Is this just coincidence that in my 3 issues I've got theres been no one submitting 35mm, or is it that the 35mm work submitted is usually of much lower quality (artistic and technical quality)?
     
  2. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    well, Does D70, D200, and digital rebel considered 35mm? Lenswork has more and more digital portofolio than before. I don't think they have a bias on what format you are using.
     
  3. BWKate

    BWKate Member

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    I have seen 35mm work published in Lenswork before. If the piece is strong they will publish it. I am quite sure the quality of the work is what Brooks Jensen is looking for and he is not biased to any one format or digital over film. He has always stressed that he looks at the work and what it says and the technical considerations are not as important as how strong the work is.
     
  4. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Brooks is a member here, and posts from time to time. If he sees this thread, he will probably answer your question.
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    someone just recently listed various 35mm cameras as used in the production of the work presented.
     
  6. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    LensWork is not dedicated to any specific photographic process. If there is no 35 millimeter camera work depicted in the magazine either none has been submitted or the work submitted has not been as good as work submitted in other formats.
     
  7. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Camera quality, as such, isn't a factor in Lenswork. Issue 66 contains a series of images by Perry Dilbeck made with a Holga. Now that! is about as low as the bar goes regarding the machine taking the actual picture....and those images are excellent too, btw!
     
  8. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    Great magazine. I don't detect any bias for or against any format. Must be coincidence is my snap judgement! :wink:

    As an aside - they produce an excellent (free) podcast as well - the editor is very insightful, I find.
     
  9. lenswork

    lenswork Member

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    Thanks for posting the question -- and I'm happy to answer!

    Quite honestly, we don't have the foggiest idea what camera is being used when we select work for publication. In fact, we never read the bios or any technical data in our selection process. We (rather radically, I guess) look only at the photographs -- and only rarely, when it is an important component of understanding the images, will we look at the artist's statement. Normally we just use our best judgement based on the body of work as it stands on its own. After all, that's pretty much what most of you are going to do -- see the images as they stand on their own. I would be willing to bet that most of our readers either don't read the bio/statement in the magazine or, at best, read it after they've flipped through the image pages. (Am I right?) The images had better stand on their own or they probably don't have much of a chance to capture your interest and motivate you to spend more time with them or read the contextual information.

    So, the work that appears in LensWork is more than likely a mix of the tools that are being used out there -- every format under the sun, film, digital, lens-less (e.g. pinhole), and you-name-it. That's one of the fun things about being the editor -- seeing how creative people are using all the tools at their disposal to express themselves photographically.

    Now, having said that, I will admit that statistically there are probably a disproportionate number of large and medium format portfolios in LensWork than 35mm ones, that can't be denied. I suspect that people who tend to take interest in the art-side of photography are more likely to gravitate to the more "serious" equipment of large or medium format cameras. Besides, they tend to produce more "photographic-like" images -- sharper, smoother tones, etc. as well as require a greater skill to use. A person can make good music on a Casio electronic keyboard, too, but one who buys a Steinway is likely to be a more dedicated pianist. (Feel free to insert the "those who buy a violin, own a violin" story here if you know it.) Nonetheless, we see (and publish) all kinds of work from all kinds of equipment. Essentially, there is no "filter" that keeps work from a certain camera/format or other out of our publications -- other than we only publish color work in LensWork EXTENDED.

    Fundamentally, equipment sort of bores me -- on the creative level. (I love tinkering, shopping, fussing, and testing like a lot you do, I suspect, but just not when I'm trying to make photographs.) I read tech magazines, too, but we try to make the focus of LensWork the images, not the gear. As long as there is an audience for such an odd photography publication, we'll keep publishing. Thanks!
    Brooks Jensen
    Editor, LensWork Publishing
     
  10. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    Thats what I do. The photos are the first thing I look at. It's always a joy too. Then, I get to enjoy them all over again after I read about them. The last thing I look at is what equipment they've used.
     
  11. rjas

    rjas Member

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    thats great, thanks for the reply.

    I started to notice what equipment the photographers list as the current issue has a wonderful portfolio of portraits, and I was wondering what this fellow manages to travel the world with. I really enjoyed this issue.
     
  12. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    It could have been last year or so but there was an excellant portfolio on spanish bullfighting taken I believe in Spain with a Nikon F100. The work was outstanding. Seek and you shall find....
    Best, Peter
     
  13. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I think the style of Lenswork which is mostly immobile subjects is what attracts the MF and LF shooters. I only kept my subscription for a year as I found the images repetitive. But that's my own preferences and ofcourse most magazines have a particular style and that's very fine.
     
  14. BWKate

    BWKate Member

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    Ari,

    I've seen documentary style photographs, amazing portraits, and very interesting images in Lenswork. Yes, there are lots of still subject matter but that's not all they publish. The bull fighting images were a very long term project and I think they were 35mm film. There might have been another portfolio of bull fighting as well.

    One year isn't indicative of the range of work that I have seen published in Lenswork. I've been buying it off the news stand for the last 4-5 years and the range of work I've seen published has been varied and exceptional.
    I shoot 35mm and I wouldn't hesitate to submit work to them if I felt I had enough material in a particular project.

    If it was only one style and one kind of format I wouldn't buy it as consistently as I have.

    All the Best,
    BWKate
     
  15. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    I suggest you might want to emphasize this even further by not mentioning the gear at all, Brooks.

    I buy Lenswork based on the images and not the gear used to produce them. Personnaly, I strictly use film but I can appreaciate a "good eye" whether analog or digital and the bits about the hardware might be best suited for the countless gear-oriented publications and not the image-oriented ones such as yours.
     
  16. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    I'll second that emotion!!
    Best, Peter
     
  17. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    I second that mention too. I noticed that Aperture never mentions camera and film/digi information, and I don't feel like anything is lacking from it. With Lenswork, I'm always looking at the camera information and it more or less subconsciously lead me to think "if I buy the same gear as he does I will make great photos too". Not that I actually believe this, but there is always a nagging uncertainty in the beginner that the tools are not adequate. On the other hand, when I look at Aperture, I never have that anxiety. I look at the photos and think "this was made by a good artist and I want to think about what it says".

    Some pictures in Lenswork held my interest because of the way in which they were produced ("Oh, I didn't know you could do that with XYZ") but they weren't interesting enough otherwise. If you want your readers to appreciate the art first, then taking a certain distance from the tools could help. People can focus on the imagistic work rather than on the medium work.
     
  18. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

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    Very few photo magazines inspire me to go out and be a better photographer. Lenswork does that. It's focus is the image, and I look at those first, and later, the equipment used, just because I am interested.

    I dropped my Aperture subscription because for one, I got tired of seeing mediocre photography passed off as art. Second, I wasn't inspired by most of what was there in recent issues.
     
  19. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I hear you - I have very few magazine subscriptions, but Lenswork is one of them. I am enjoy both the articles and the photogrpahs, and I am often inspired by the work presented. I'm only occasionaly interested in the technical aspects of the photographs, but I don't mind them overly if they are included. On the other hand, I'm afraid that Aperture has been on the list of magazine to be browsed and purchased only they look worth the cover price for some while now, along with a number of other magazines unfortunately.

    - Randy
     
  20. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I dropped mine for the same reason. I checked the new edition at Borders the other day and saw no reason to regret my decision.
     
  21. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    I can't imagine reading Lenswork or Aperture or Paris Vogue and not being inspired. Lenwork was worth subscribing even without a student discount (and cheap as I am, that's saying something).