Musings on Photography


Posted in Uncategorized by Paul Butzi on February 21, 2008

From Blurberatiblog,

Do you read American PHOTO or its blog? You should. It’s loaded with contests, how-to articles, camera reviews, juicy podcasts, and stunning photography.

I have to admit that this exhortation doesn’t make me feel like I’m much of a photographer. I’m uninterested in contests, find most how-to articles to be missing the point (“How to make your model’s eyes 15% bigger in Photoshop with Just Three Clicks!”), find podcasts to be a tiresome way to get information (I can read much faster than most people speak), and while I’m interested in photography, I seem to be less and less interested in the ‘Stunning’ sort and more and more interested in the quiet, quotidian sort.

So it would seem that perhaps American Photo magazine and the blog are not for me. I had a subscription to American Photo, once, long ago. Issues started appearing, unbidden, and no amount of marking the issues ‘return to sender’ or calling them on the phone to cancel this mysterious ‘subscription’ seemed to stem the unending flow. To put it bluntly, American Photo was the platonic ideal of the sort of photo magazine I don’t much like. I’m probably weird that way.

There have been photo magazines that I did like. I liked the old Camera and Darkroom, and I liked the old Darkroom and Creative Camera Techniques (now Photo Techniques).

My favorite, though, was the old Lenswork, back when it was published in the 8.5×11 format and didn’t have any photos in it. Imagine that – a magazine about photography that had no photographs in it! It was just articles (or maybe essays) about photography as art. I loved it. I still have those early issues somewhere. I should dig them out and give them another read.

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Gordon McGregor said, on February 21, 2008 at 11:39 am

    I quite enjoy podcasts about photographers. Not about photography as such, but interviews with photographers, if they talk about their interests, experience or process.

    Podcasts about photography sounds like singing about architecture or whatever that fish and bicycle analogy is. Talking about photography without photos. Imagine that!

    Mind you, I am stuck in a car for 2 hours a day, so listening is preferable to reading about it.

  2. Dave Kosiur said, on February 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I too like podcasts about photography and photographers. I download them to my iPod and listen to them while exercising or driving. Brooks Jenkins’ Lenswork podcasts have been particularly enjoyable and informative, but he — unfortunately — has been busy with other projects and hasn’t issued many podcasts lately. (Sniff)

  3. stpiduko said, on February 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    well said and I subscribe to your point of view

    I want to see the fantastic in nothing

    and find “most” podcasts as interesting as the credits of a porn movie

  4. Erik DeBill said, on February 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Like Gordon I’ve got a lot of driving (funny, both of us being in Austin and all). I really like the Lenswork podcast and spent a few months working through the back catalog.

    I’m currently working through Jeff Curto’s Camera Position podcast. It isn’t as good as the Lenswork podcast, but it can be a source of photography things to think about during the drive.

  5. Ed Richards said, on February 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Great fog photos!

  6. Gordon McGregor said, on February 21, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I actually got a lot from Jeff Curtos photo history lecture podcasts too.

    Another good one was the Candid Frame which hasnt had any new episodes for a while.

  7. j. white said, on February 24, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Funny to come across this thread just now – I found a stash of Photo Metro magazines today spanning the mid to late nineties. What a great magazine! No how-to articles, no gear reviews, no industry press releases being touted as “news” – just portfolios and insightful criticism. It is a sad comment on our culture that such an endeavor was not sustainable.

  8. Paula said, on February 25, 2008 at 2:41 am

    “Do you read American PHOTO or its blog? ”

    Would you kindly give me the url of that blog?
    Thanks so much,

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: