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  1. #21
    billschwab's Avatar
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    FWIW

    Quote Originally Posted by lenswork
    I wonder if this thread is about me or about "commerce"?
    I must confess I did not know this thread was about you as I don't get your emails. It did turn quickly to you, so I should have guessed you might have stirred some more controversy. Sure gets people to read, Doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by lenswork
    as to offering my own work via LensWork emails, I did and do -- but only to people who have signed up for our email notifications and have requested emails from us. We don't SPAM. Never have, never will.
    Any one of the several thousand folks subscribing to my newsletter knows I have no problem with self promotion or commerce. Where I would and do have a problem is if I subscribe to say, "Rolling Stone" and because of this having to receive solicitations for Jann Wenner's garage band CD's or have to be subjected to ads for my National Geographic Editor's home travel videos. This is not why I would subscribe.
    Quote Originally Posted by lenswork
    LensWork is my publicaiton ...
    You'll certainly get no argument from me on that one. At least if I subscribe to "Martha Stewart Living" I can be pretty sure I'll get solicitations for other MARTHA products without having to read the fine print or check the correct boxes. Same with Oprah's "O". Why not just cut to the chase, end the controversy and call your magazine "Brooks"? Better yet, start a separate publication with that name. That way those interested in the photography and fine printing can buy that one and the person interested in Brooks Jensen, his work and philosophy of the fine photography business can buy the other.

    Bill

  2. #22
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Well Bill, I for one enjoy seeing the wide spectrum of photographic styles represented in LensWork. This is important, because I have no access (that I can hold in my hands) to the work of photographers who take their work seriously, unless I want to drive 1000 miles to the nearest photography gallery. I also think it's important to be able to trust the reproductions being as close to the photographers originals that's possible in a magazine format.

    I don't find Brooks' selling of his own photographs heavy handed at all, and I'm sure the other photographers selling their work via LensWork don't have a problem with the no advertising/selling of prints to create revenue philosophy either.

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  3. #23
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I think it's okay, if it's done in moderation. I'm curious to know, if the editor of a photo magazine happens to be a photographer (and there's no reason the editor has to be a photographer), what kind of work he or she does, so if the magazine offers a portfolio or special edition print by the editor occasionally, or if a gallery owner wants to do a solo show of his own work every five years or so, I'm fine with that.

    If the magazine becomes a vehicle for the editor/publisher's self-promotion and it starts getting in the way of the content, well, then it starts to look unbecoming of the editor. Now I know that in some cases, magazine editors have been known to write under a pseudonym (or various pseudonyms) because the staff writers just aren't good enough, and they have a shortage of content, but I don't think that's an issue with LensWork.

    If people are complaining, Brooks, maybe that's just a sign that it's time to back off a bit. The coherent editorial vision in the selection of the portfolios and high quality of the reproductions makes Lenswork a classy publication. Too much "Brooks and Maureen," though, will turn it into a tacky publication.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #24
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenswork
    Now as to offering my own work via LensWork emails, I did and do -- but only to people who have signed up for our email notifications and have requested emails from us. We don't SPAM. Never have, never will. In our email signup, there are various areas of information you can choose to receive (or not receive) as you'd like. You may sign up to receive information about my personal prints. You may sign up to receive emails about items available in the LensWork store. Yesterday we sent an email to those two lists (only) about two new prints of mine. You would have only received these emails if you have signed up for them.
    Personally, I have no issue with how you use your mailing list - you have been very up front with it. My problem with LensWork is the digital content.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #25
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    I am the editor of a peer-reviewed technical journal.

    The Society that publishes the journal has strict rules requiring that the editor be unbiased and impartial. While there is no prohibition against the editor submitting work to the journal, there is an absolure requirement that the editor recuse himself from any editorial decisions regarding his own work.

    My personal view is that I must take things a step further and make sure that there is never even a question about my integrity. That means that I have imposed on myself the constraint that I will not submit work to the journal during my tenure as editor.

    Applying that principle to Ian's more generic question, I believe that it is unethical for an editor to use the publication's mailing list to sell his own work. I know Brooks Jensen sells his work through Lenswork, and Steve Anchell advertises in Focus - to me, that seriously compromises their integrity as an editors. And while I know this observation may irritate some folks, I have to point out that Steve Simmons does NOT sell his work through View Camera.

    There is actually a broader question - is it proper for the editor of a magazine to engage in any commercial promotions. My view on that is that promoting the magazine, growing its circulation, and agressiving shilling commercial ventures that are part of the magazine publication business do benefit the editor. But these things are part of his job, and the benefits are not limited only to the editor. So the key consideration is whether the commercial activities that editor is promoting benefit only the editor (in which case there are ethical issues) or whether they benefit the general ownership and staff of the publication (business is business).

  6. #26
    jovo's Avatar
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    Looking at the Dover Editions' publication of all 559 illustrations and plates from Steiglitz's "Camera Work" it's interesting to note that he not only included his own photographs therein, but also, of course, dictated the content. To that end he not only wrote editorially, but also chose the contributors and other writers that nourished either his own opinions or furthered the vitality of the debates that concerned and interested him (many of which are still being thrummed one hundred years hence.).

    I've often thought of Lenswork as a somewhat similar publication in that the editorial view is so singular and there is a parallel concern with extremely high quality reproduction (like no other current magazine I have ever seen!!). That Brooks advocates digital processes and publishes his own work from time to time is fine with me. (Although he promotes what he cares about, he does not damn the alternatives.) If it were okay for Steiglitz to do, then it's fine with me for Jensen to do as well. The precedent is long established!
    John Voss

    My Blog

  7. #27
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    Well Bill, I for one enjoy seeing the wide spectrum of photographic styles represented in LensWork. This is important, because I have no access (that I can hold in my hands) to the work of photographers who take their work seriously, unless I want to drive 1000 miles to the nearest photography gallery.
    I understand this Murray and that is a good thing. I appreciate that. However, fine photography is a big pond and there are plenty of other places to dip my toes. I for one cannot bring myself to read a publication that carries its publisher and editor on its sleeve. I realize I have a "delete key" and in this case I have chosen to use it. As I said in another post in another thread, I "prefer to spend my money on publications that don't hide their criticism of my business behind a banner that claims support."

    Bill

    PS> Jovo, With respect to comparing Camerawork to Lenswork, in my opinion it is a case of apples to oranges.

  8. #28

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    Its very simple really...

    Maureen and Brooks Jensen own the magazine.
    They can publish whatever they want - digital or analog - say whatever they want and sell prints etc. to market the magazine - and to pay for the outragious printing costs that a magazine such as this costs to run on a sheet fed press.

    Photographers have the optrion to buy or not to buy.

    Why even argue this point?

  9. #29
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by per volquartz
    Maureen and Brooks Jensen own the magazine.
    They can publish whatever they want - digital or analog - say whatever they want and sell prints etc. to market the magazine - and to pay for the outragious printing costs that a magazine such as this costs to run on a sheet fed press.

    Photographers have the optrion to buy or not to buy.

    Why even argue this point?
    Short & sweet & bang on!

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  10. #30
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billschwab
    I can't bring myself to read lenswork anymore, let alone buy it.

    Bill
    I find your position on Lens Work confusing and disappointing, especially since I like your work.

    So much of this thread has so little to do with photography and the community we all share. Live and let live.
    Don Bryant

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