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  1. #1
    arigram's Avatar
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    Magazine Reviews (long post)

    This is a mini-review of photographic magazines that I had the chance to read atleast a copy of. Being in Greece, most are hard to get, but I am always on the lookout for a good read. Even in these Internet days, paper is still wonderful to have around. After all, we are analog photographers, aren’t we?

    These are very subjective opinions of mine.
    I am doing this as to encourage others to join in with their own opinions and discoveries.

    English Language Magazines

    * Black & White Magazine (US)
    Photo portfolios for collectors
    Digital to Analog Ratio:
    Analog with Top Quality Hybrids sometimes.
    Color or Black & White:
    BW only.
    Print:
    Good quality printing. Heavy glossy paper.
    Photos:
    From Famous to New Photographers. Very good Selection and presentation.
    Fine Art photographs of good variety, from landscapes to experimental images.
    American photographers mostly.
    Text:
    Limited to event calendar and information, book review and one page photographer’s bio.
    Opinion:
    I was very excited when I first found it: a BW photo only well printed magazine! At first the print seemed top quality but I’ve seen better since. It is a very well put together magazine that is worth its high price.

    * Black & White Photography (UK)
    BW focused general content.

    Digital to Analog Ratio:
    Both.
    Color or Black & White:
    BW in color printing to show toning and coloring.
    Print:
    Good quality glossy paper.
    Photos:
    From old masters to readers’ shots. Unfortunately most tend to be kind of dull, especially on the technical sections.
    Text:
    Interviews, single photograph stories, some equipment reviews, technical workshops, darkroom printing, photoshop step by step and more.
    Opinion:
    Very good information throughout. Excellent and plentiful technical advice from basic to advanced subjects. Well written and designed. Good portfolios often.

    * Hasselblad Forum
    Hasselblad focused magazine

    Digital to Analog Ratio:
    Mostly analog but now that Hasselblad released digital backs…
    Color or Black & White:
    Both.
    Print:
    Smaller size excellent print on high quality paper.
    Photos:
    Great variety of portfolios from photographers with Hasselblad gear. Following a loose theme on every issue. High Quality photographs from fashion to landscape.
    6x6, 6x4.5 and XPan panoramas.
    Text:
    Interviews, photographer’s words, new Hasselblad equipment reviews, book reviews, “backstage” technical information about Hasselblad manufacture.

    Opinion:
    Even though this is Hasselblad’s “official propaganda instrument” it is of very high quality, well written, with excellent photos that should interest all photographers. It is also available in Swedish, German and Spanish.

    Quick Opinions
    (magazines that I have only one or two copies of and thus I cannot judge fairly)
    * Shots (US)
    BW photo portfolios on rough paper. Themed selection. Color originals printed as BW. Good publication for its rough printing with Fine Art philosophy. Almost no text.
    * Aperture (US)
    The influential magazine of the Fine Art photography in the US. Great variety of photos from the old classics to the post-modern bizarre. Interviews, stories and Art philosophy. High quality print in large heavy glossy paper. In color.
    * Photographer’s Forum (US)
    Mostly portfolios of well established photographers, with interviews and information on them. In color of heavy glossy paper but photo printing quality could have been better. Not bad but it feels a bit “light” on material.
    * Fine Art Photo (Germany)
    Portfolios of Fine Art Nude, Glamour and Still Life photography. Photos a bit too common. Film RF camera and LF lens reviews. Darkroom and Studio Technique. High quality printing and paper. Good stuff but only did two issues?
    * The Black & White Enthusiast (Australia)
    Varied portfolios from photojournalism to landscape. Darkroom techniques, including alternative and specialist techniques. High quality paper and good printing. A tiny bit thin but what can you do? In general a good read (and look).
    * Amateur Photographer, Practical Photography, Photography Monthly. All UK. General content magazines. Catering to gadget loving, Sunday photographer amateurs that judge the quality of a picture by its megapixel over-saturated colorful glory. Empty snapshots of boring sunsets, flowers and smiling kids. Latest digital gadget lusty reviews. Photoshop-only techniques. I got some BW specials of them. Wasted money.
    * Photolife (Canada)
    A large themed portfolio and smaller others. Some really nice photographs. Includes digital gadget reviews and one digital technical column. The photographs make it worth it but it loses because of the digital stuff. Regular thin glossy paper.
    * Classic Camera (Italy)
    Great publication for camera collectors. Old machines, special editions and auctions. Even for the non-collector, it features some beautiful machines. The Playboy of the camera lover. Well written, extensive analysis of the cameras, good photographs on a nice semi-heavy paper.
    * American Photo (US)
    Digital gadget reviews and portfolios. The photos are good though. From modern glamour and fashion shots to classic photojournalism. The copy I have also had book reviews. Not bad in general, worth it for the portfolios. On regular magazine glossy paper.
    * Lenswork
    The highest quality print ever. Better even than most books. It is published in a small format of very high quality paper. The photographs are of clear Fine Art persuasion and usually featured two or three portfolios and interviews with their creators. Well worth the high price.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  2. #2
    arigram's Avatar
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    French Language Magazines
    *Photo Response (France)
    General Content
    Digital to Analog Ratio:
    Both, mostly digital.
    Color or Black & White:
    In color with BW specials.
    Print:
    Very good print in non-glossy, a bit rough paper.
    Photos:
    Even the readers’ photos are of good quality. Good Fine Art photographs in the monthly contest and featured portfolios but very dull in the technical sections.
    Text:
    My French is not great, but it seems to be well written. The reviews are quite analytical and nicely designed. The technique features are mostly for beginners.
    Opinion:
    Seems to be the highest quality of general content magazine. The digital which dominates the magazine is not of use to me, but they do review film and film cameras now and then. I buy it mostly for the photographs which are usually very interesting and of good to high quality.

    * Photo (France)
    Glamour & Fashion mostly portfolios
    Digital to Analog Ratio:
    Depends on the photos.
    Color or Black & White:
    In color.
    Print:
    Very good print in magazine standard glossy paper.
    Photos:
    What the magazine is about. Mostly glamour, fashion and celebrities but will feature some other kind of photographs. In general of high quality.
    Text:
    Well written stories, interviews and info about the portfolios and their photographers.
    Opinion:
    Pretty girls in skimpy outfits. What more can you ask? Actually, I happen to get a three of more than excellent issues: one full of high quality amateur photographs, a really nice Helmut Newton special and the incredible, collectible huge HCB issue (which so unfortunately followed their recent deaths).

    Greek Language Magazines
    (Unless there are Greeks among you, this might not interest you much because of the language and the availability, but read on)

    * Photo-book (Greece)
    This is an excellent publication that all photographers would enjoy. It is a very high quality printed photo portfolio magazine, on heavy glossy paper bound like a book. It feels really more like a book than a magazine, especially since it is designed in small format, horizontal orientation. More than a hundred pages of portfolios of Greek photographers, from high quality Fine Art, to interesting photojournalism. They don’t seem to have a general philosophy so anyone can send photographs. That means that you will find from the dull “artistic” to the experimental. But that doesn’t lower the over quality which is very good. The text is little, accompanying the portfolios with artist’s words but also including a couple of poetic prose. If you happen to be in Greece, buy it!

    * Fotohoros (Greece)
    It is not published anymore. This is a special case of a magazine. It was created by the very influential and well known Greek photographer and teacher Platon Rivellis. It was just black and white and with a very clear view of photography as a high Fine Art. It featured one or two portfolios of old masters, but mostly photographs and interviews of new Greek photographers, usually students of Rivellis’ school. Considering the very high quality of the students, this was a very good thing. Usually of the “Leica” style. The text was quite focused to the philosophy of Art, including even quotes and writings of artists of other mediums, such as Giacometti, Picasso, Mozzart. No technique or equipment reviews, just photos and articles on philosophy and aesthetics. One issue even had a feature on drinks, cocktails and coffee and how to offer them correctly at a bar or café (the school has a coffee shop where photographers meet) for the connoisseur! Too bad the magazine ceased publication, but thankfully Rivellis is still extremely active. It was printed on large format, a tiny bit textured paper but of high quality printing.

    * Eidolo Fotografiko (Greece)
    Large format publication on good quality print and paper. Every issue is themed and unfortunately not all themes give interesting photographs. The articles depend on the theme. The digital issue will give info on the digital process, the alternative process issue on those matters, the night issue on low light photographing, etc. It is published irregularly. The text is not bad but is not great either. Tries to be artistic but doesn’t always succeed. Only reviews that are featured are books and equipment related to the issue. Haven’t missed an issue though. Mostly black and white but also includes color portfolios.

    * Fotografizontas (Greece)
    Photo-only magazine. Small format, rough paper, fair quality printing. Tries to appear artistic but photographs are mostly dull and lifeless. BW and color. Nice try but not with great success.

    * Fota (Greece)
    Another portfolio magazine. Every issue follows a theme. I only have one that features animals (pets and farm ones, not wild) and so it is not very interesting. There is one good BW portfolio though. The text reads like stories, or journals related to the photographs. The printing is good but I hated the design, felt too chaotic, too pseudo-artistic. Like I said I only got a copy so I can’t really say much.

    * Photo.net (Greece)
    I am not going to say much apart from it being a catalog of digital gadgets with a portfolio thrown in to justify being sold as a magazine. Wasted money. Only tried one copy. The portfolio can be good though if you are lucky.

    * Fotografos (Greece)
    Now this… it is Greece’s general content, best selling magazine. It is to be found either with a newspaper every month or sold on its own. Printed on light, fair quality paper. The newspaper version is on really cheap rough paper. Full color. Caters to digital gadget-maniacs and people who think that having a machine that takes photographs makes them photographers. This magazine made me understand that it is the publishing people who really make the quality. Very low quality. The Greek McDonalds of photographic magazines. The photos featured range from the extraordinary dull to the stomach-unsettling clichés. Thankfully sometimes they discover a good photographer or an old master and you might see something good. They claim to be balanced between digital and analog but they are full of digital gadget reviews (not just cameras) and they don’t miss the opportunity to insult analog photographers. They have a two page darkroom technique which is a joke. I only bought it because it was the only way to find out what is happening in Greece photographically. The exact opposite of Fotohoros, even though that Rivellis has a regular column (the only text worth reading) and compared to a general content magazine like Photo Response, a complete waste of paper. Even the first issues, long before digital, where bad.

    [end]

    So, what do you think? What is your opinion on the magazines above or another ones you have read?

    a.



 

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