I was listening to the latest "Film Photography Podcast" today and they made mention of the "Lenswork" magazine.
Considering this was the Film photography podcast, I would have thought that the magazine would have had a film slant, but from the looks of it on the website, the mag is yet another "digital is so great" reads.
Does anyone get this one? Is there any film content? Curious to know.
The amount of film content can be dubious at best. I have a subscription to Lenswork extended and get all of the interviews and 'darkroom' tours, of which a few are of real darkrooms. I do enjoy the magazine. And being 'digital-is-so-great' could not be further from the truth. They don't promote the medium used, just plain great photography, IMHO.
Last edited by Christopher Walrath; 07-20-2010 at 06:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I used to read Lenswork, and study the portfolios of the various photographers in each issue. But I am unable to look at work without first learning whether it is analog or digital, and I lose interest as soon as I find out I am looking at digital images. Over time it seemed like the number of digital portfolios began outnumbering the analog ones, and Lenswork became, for me, more of the digital noise out there, as did the old Black and White magazine of a few years ago.
Is one refuge from the digital storm too much to ask?
Yeah, I've subscribed and unsubscribed on and off for years. I definitely feel as if lenswork used to have more film work,
but that's probably due to market shift more than editorial choice. I agree with Chris that the focus is more on excellent fine art photography more than digi vs. film. If they were more dedicated to film I would be a more dedicated subscriber. In fact, my resubscriptions were almost always driven by a great film-based feature (e.g. A Jay Dusard spread a couple of years ago that I really enjoyed). And almost every time I give up on the magazine it's due to a complete lack of film examples or editorial salivation over digi-collage photos that, while I respect as art, repulse me. All in all, I don't currently subscribe, but I would say it's the only magazine in its vein that I consider subscribing to.
"There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri
It's probably the best true photography publication out there and is about photography and the creative process not about digital or analog. I find that it offers choices and options of which there are many for photographers today. If a photograph is strong and has merit it's strong regardless of how it was created. I believe that they evaluate the submissions without even knowing weather they are analog or digital.
Last edited by wfe; 07-20-2010 at 07:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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When I lived in Sweden I used to make sure I went to the public library to read the new edition. I really enjoyed it mostly because of the focus upon high quality portfolios (with only a few slips in decency - I remember a truly awful HDR portfolio) and the avoidance of equipment fetishism. In fact, perhaps Lenswork and Aperture are the only two mainstream publications which don't try to titillate their readers by gushing about some equipment.
Unfortunately, I'm now living in the UK, no library near here carries Lenswork and the cost of a 6-issue overseas sub is $80. Too rich for my blood.
I subscribed to Lenswork for several years because of the quality of its printing and its editorial content. I enjoyed seeing the portfolios, and especially enjoyed reading Bill Jay's end notes. I tried the "Extended" version for a year and discovered that I never looked at it. As much as Brooks Jensen crowed about it, I would much rather hold a well-printed paper magazine in my hand than look at a lot of pdf files and images on a computer screen. I let the Extended subscription lapse last year, and this year did not renew the print magazine. I still subscribe to Brooks's podcasts -there's one in my inbox now waiting to be played- but when he starts talking about his digital workflow, I lose interest and delete the email.
I still get B&W magazine, but was disappointed when they opened up to digital submissions as well.
When I look at the photography magazine rack at Borders, these two used to be the only magazines that covered analog photography at all. Now both have more digital content than analog.
All I can say is... thank goodness for APUG!
Interesting and timely question.
I thought I responded earlier this morning - but apparently I was hallucinating. My initial thought was that Lenswork focuses on the image and not on technique, but in recent years they have included more images produced by non-analog processes than film images.
Then, today the latest issue arrived. And in glancing through the issue, I noted that they didn't specifically note the process that the photographer used. There were one or two instances where the photographer mentioned his process during the course of an interview, but that was the photographer speaking and not a reflection of what the editor/publisher thought was important.
It's still one of my favorite magazines because it does concentrate on the image and not the technology of photography.
All of the above are quite true. Lenswork is now the only media where one will find any discussion of the merits of a photographs relative merits, saving here, of course, where it will most surely be found. Setting aside Lensworks move to the dig**al side, it is still the finest such magazine around and Brooks the best such philosopher to be found.
Morning Hoffy. I have subscribed to Lenswork for a few years now. It is more about images than gear, but a reasonable amount of film work turns up in it. The mag is very nicely produced too.