View Camera Magazine suggestions?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by micah_marty|1, Mar 29, 2001.

  1. (I'm taking the liberty of starting a new thread in case folks don't
    see the thread that spawned this discussion.)

    <p>

    A ways down in the thread below on Michael Fatali, Steve Simmons,
    editor of View Camera magazine, generously offered the following:

    <p>

    "I am very open to hearing suggestions as to the types of articles
    people would like to see in View Camera. Just keep in mind the
    following:

    <p>

    --We can't do just b&w landscape photography

    <p>

    --There are just so many ways to do film graphs

    <p>

    --I would prefer not to repeat articles we have done in the past. We
    have many readers who have been subscribers from the beginning and I
    do not feel it is fair to them to give them the same article again.

    Now, what would yu like to see in future issues???"

    <p>

    On behalf of others in this forum, allow me to thank Mr. Simmons for
    keeping his cool after reading the thread on Mr. Fatali--and for
    gracefully giving us this opportunity.

    <p>

    Suggestions for View Camera?

    <p>

    <><><><><>>
     
  2. I haven't seen the current issue yet, but has VC done a feature on
    Andreas Gursky yet? I think he's doing some things that are
    intrinsically large format.

    <p>

    I think VC did a great thing by publishing Michael Smith's pieces on
    Azo. I am sure those articles have contributed substantially to
    keeping it around at least for the moment. They were free publicity
    for Kodak and informative for readers. Given the rate at which
    materials seem to be disappearing, maybe there ought to be a regular
    column that makes the case for why these films and papers should stick
    around, or perhaps why new materials ought to be made available in
    large format.
     
  3. There are two large format photographers of note who, I believe, have
    not been profiled in View Camera. One of them is the American-Israeli
    photographer, Neil Folberg, who has produced stunning books on the
    Sinai desert and synagogues of the world. Another is Edward Burtynsky,
    a Toronto photographer who is Canada's, and one of the world's,
    leading (colour) photographer of the industrial landscape. I would
    also be interested in an article that discusses the lighting
    techniques and choice of film and chemistry of Yousuf Karsh, who
    achieved such a distinctive look in his best known portrait
    photography of the 1940s through the 1970s.
     
  4. The recent issue devoted to architectural photography was great. Also
    liked the article on Richard Nickel in the current issue. I'd like to
    see more interior and exterior LF work in colour, if possible. How
    about Norman McGrath?
     
  5. I would love to see an issue on either Michael McKenna, or his up-and-
    coming assistant, Rolfe Horn.
     
  6. As far as a photographer profile, I would like to see one on Patricia
    Richardson, Plano, TX. She is an outstanding environmental
    portraitist with an impressive resume.<br><br>

    Technically speaking, I think continued concentration on alternative
    processing (not just Pt/Pd - thanks) will not only encourage
    newcomers to the disciplines but will serve to reaffirm that
    masochism is indeed alive and well amongst large format (as if that
    wasn't enough) enthusiasts.
     
  7. A few off-the-cuff remarks regarding VC magazine:
    (1) Unfortunately, it's the only LF camera periodical; without it we
    would be in the dark. (2) A picture is worth a thousand words and Mr.
    Simons might consider eliminating every thousand words and adding at
    least one photograph. They say that Playboy readers fall into two
    categories--those who read and those who look at the pictures! (3)
    Eliminate the "cult of personality" that afflicts typical mainstream
    media. I'm not particularly interested in famous photographers, their
    personsal biographies, or their philosophy regarding photography. If I
    want philosphy I'll read LensWork.

    <p>

    ......................
     
  8. I was a "charter" subscriber to View Camera, and have a complete set
    of the first 4 or 5 years of the magazine. At some point, I felt it
    was no longer addressing my interests. The number of technical
    articles fell off, to be replaced by more portfolios and interviews.

    <p>

    I have recently resubscribed, though I often find myself
    somewhat "let down" by an issue when I receive it. I feel the
    magazine somehow doesn't have enough substance--I always want more of
    the "good stuff". But by the same token, I am cognizant of the
    difficulty of putting out a world-class production six times per
    year. I have noticed from the earliest issues that the magazine is
    poorly proofed--there is some typo, misspelling, or incorrect usage
    in almost every issue. [March/April 2001, page 61: "Humidity still
    plays a roll..."]

    <p>

    I'd like to see some articles on large format pinhole photography and
    infrared photography, more excellent alternative process articles
    (like Sullivan on Ziatype Printing), and more technical articles.

    <p>

    On the whole, I think Steve Simmons is doing us all a great favor by
    publishing View Camera, and I don't think he's making any money on
    it, so it is really a labor of love.
     
  9. With the recent demise of more lf film, perhaps this publication
    could use it's clout to badger the film makers about what we lf film
    users can expect to lose and / or gain in the near future.
     
  10. First I would like to thank Mr. Simmons for a first rate resource. I
    was really upset with myself when I failed to send in my renewal
    (don't ask)and missed the last issue. Thankfully the new issue
    showed up yesterday.

    <p>

    I myself would love to see more articles on still life studio
    techniques, lighting, composition, and special effects, close-up and
    macro work, an article on old lenses and the results one can expect
    might be nice, and more hard core technical articles like the one
    last year spelling out how to mix and use T-Max developer. The T-Max
    article alone has saved me enough to cover my subscription this year!

    <p>

    Thanks again,
     
  11. I let my subscription lapse because, as novice I wasn't getting
    much out of the technical articles. If there were comprehensive
    technical articles that were written with my skill level in mind then
    I'd resubscribe. But I'm not going to order back issues for
    previous material when I'm not confident it will translate into
    better pictures for me. As of now I just scan the new issues on the
    magazine rack to see if they contain anything of interest.
    I hope this isn't taken for anything but solicited constructive
    criticism.
     
  12. Why is the quality of the reproductions so variable?

    <p>

    In this issue Messers Fatali & Schory's work looks really good but
    Mr.s Spence & Kirby come off pretty dark and mucky. Similarly in the
    SEP/OCT issue with the Mammoth Camera Workshop review and portfolios -
    Paula Chamlees work was done MUCH better justice than had been done
    when you ran an entire article on "High Plains Farm" in the MAR/APR
    (or was it May/June) issue. I've seen Kirbys work in Lenswork
    Quarterly and know it can look better than it did in this issue of VC.

    <p>

    Of late you have been including tech info in the photographers
    profiles - for which I am greatful! Keep it at the end though as an
    aside rather than dwelling on it UNLESS the article is specifically
    about technique. If the technique is something off the beaten path,
    some amplification would be appreciated.

    <p>

    My favorite issues were the MAR/APR 95 and JAN/FEB 98 - both CHOCK
    FULL of good material. I feel like there hasn't been an issue that
    useful in a while.

    <p>

    Gordon Hutchings' articles have been quite good and his writing style
    is much apprecaited.

    <p>

    How about an article, or series on "What's in my Camera Case" - i.e.
    a break down by photogs with a shot of their case -how they pack it
    and when/how they use it, how it applies to their approach, etc. The
    same thing could be done for darkrooms, etc.

    <p>

    For me the "How" of photography is important, but the "Why" moreso -
    I am VERY glad John Paul Caponigro cotributes his interviews! The
    darkroom and camera kit articles would hopefully illustrate how the
    two - the "how" and the "why" work together.

    <p>

    Little bummed at the re-tread of Ron Wisner's on-line Q&A column in
    this last issue. I guess that may be part of the reason for my
    fading enthusiasm - I'm on-line now and don't feel as isolated as I
    was when I first started subscribing. Used to be I couldn't wait the
    two months! I think maybe that's why a lot of us were surprised at
    the Fatali article - we had all known about the incident and
    discussed it pretty extensively back when it happened. I guess a lot
    of us assumed it was common knowledge.
     
  13. I'd like to see an article on Phil Harris from Portland, Oregon. His
    recent book "Fact Fiction Fabrication" is excellent. I especially like
    his constructed photos called "fictions" which seem to arouse
    emotional/psychological responses in me. He can be contacted at
    philboy@teleport.com

    <p>

    Scott
     
  14. Well, I'm not a "charter" subscriber, but I've been getting VC for a
    looong time. It's one magazine that I save every copy of, and find
    myself going back to old issues for reference from time to time. I
    think it's a well designed, and reproduced publication, but I have
    noticed the typos...I'm not really interested in landscape
    photography, so I didn't follow that other thread, but I thought I'd
    just add a voice of support for the magazine. The only other
    publication out there that's better (for me) is PDN. Photo Tech has
    pretty lousy reproductions, and aside from David Vestal, there's not
    much to it. The one publication I really miss is the old Camera &
    Darkroom magazine. I get "Camera Arts", but I don't find it to be as
    interesting as C&D was. Also, I believe VC had an issue with Norman
    McGrath a few years back. The only gripe I have with VC, is that every
    few years when I have to renew, they inevitably mess it up . For the
    past two times, I've had my subscription lapse, and have had to call
    back again, the first time more than once, to get it started back up.
    The first time (4 yrs+ ago) I was sorta annoyed with having to make a
    third call...and Steve Simmons actually picked up the phone that
    day....
     
  15. i would like to see a focus on the HABS/HAER photographers, jet lowe
    and jack bouchard. i would also like to see a series of intensive
    articles on significant historic photographers - edouard baldus, le
    gray, carleton watkins, sebah, bonfils, beato, macpherson, a j
    russell, etc. i really don t care about pop "fine art"
    photographers. i dont need to see any more "technical" articles for
    beginners.
     
  16. Yo,

    <p>

    I realize it's the only one we have... and Steve realizes that it can
    be better and that's great so I won't mince words or make mine
    "civil".

    <p>

    In no way would I want View Camera to concentrate on any one aspect of
    large format photography, especially landscapes. Lack of variety in
    VIEW CAM hasn't been a problem so far but cow-towing to workshops and
    "fine-art" photogs has.

    <p>

    The coverage of the above seems disproportionate to the numbers of
    photogs actually attending workshops and practicing the arts. Do I
    want our beloved View Cam to become a trade pub? Yes, if it means no
    more "fine art" then good, go do it. I do enjoy the landscape work
    chosen for the mag as well as the architectural and the tech stuff is
    great, perfect and exactly what I need but regrettably, I might enjoy
    one in ten of the "fine-art" features... it's the majority of the fine
    art and all the hot air that goes with those kinds of photography
    that's killing valuable column space.

    <p>

    Please edit subjectivity to nothing and let the photo do the
    communicating even if it means ball-gagging the "arteest" by merely
    quoting them once... especially if they're given to putting on heirs.
    Instead emphasize their materials and techniques rather than
    relegating the things we can know about a photo to the last couple of
    graphs.

    <p>

    The technical articles are fine and there's no point in jazzing up a
    chart or graph. View Camera customers are aesthetically conservative
    lot and "jazzing down" is what we want. It's the *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* that passes as
    fine art and the softheads who make it that I can't stand. It's a
    sucker's game and Steve and staff should show more restraint. If
    fine-art is to be reviewed then make sure it's stood those archetypal
    time-tests first.

    <p>

    Of the ones I can remember from past issues I felt were lousy... well,
    here tis' like it or not Kenna sucks, burn his camera...at least he's
    not wordy. Chamlee's photos were boring, not quiet and beautiful but
    rather without worth of any kind. Jan Oswald's photo-art isn't good
    enough to be toilet paper and her talking about it makes me want to
    kill. That thing on TILT studios was a waste and I won't waste more
    words describing it.

    <p>

    I've seen better photographic "art" put up for review on photonet's
    critique page. That's the blind-spot, if Steve seems to have one,
    fine art. So my suggestion in short is... fire JPC.

    <p>

    love and hand grenades,

    <p>

    tribby

    <p>


    p.s. Steve, I do want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for
    the first two years of View Camera and every mistake inside them.
    They were good, get the fire back, go rehire those people. I'd also
    like to thank you for "Using the View Camera". It's the only one of
    it's kind and in the future we'll credit you and it for helping to
    keep LF alive.
     
  17. J Norman, I'm with you on all that. My favorite issues have been the
    ones that dealt with the more historic photographers/processes. That
    may have to do more with my line of work (probably your case too). The
    HABS/HAER issue was a great one, along with the FSA article. There was
    another interview a while back with Eric Long, and the Smithsonian
    photographers that really hit home with me. The museum photographer
    (staffers) community is pretty small, so it's nice to see a focus on
    this stuff. Personally, I'd like to see some more technical articles
    dealing with conservation/preservation. Like I said, I'm not into
    landscape stuff, but I enjoyed the Chicago Albumen Works article, and
    things like that alot.
     
  18. The work of Andreas Weidner. It good to here photographers are going to be doing their own profiles rather then some third party.
     
  19. Technique, technique, technique.

    <p>

    I would love to see more ways to improve my exposures and processing.
    Both digital and traditional printing methods.
     
  20. I would like to see an article on the Packard Shutter--it's history,
    use, and especially modern applications.
     
  21. A swimsuit edition.
     
  22. More than specific photographers who have or have not been featured in
    View Camera (which is either water under the bridge or only 1-2
    issues’ worth of material) I’m interested in the "types" of article
    published.

    <p>

    Unlike a poster somewhere above (the Playboy guy) I’m not convinced
    that View Camera should offer more (or larger) photographs and fewer
    words; frankly, I’d kind of like to see more words. Pictures are
    available everywhere we look, and while numerous photos are obviously
    appropriate in a magazine about photography(!), the difference between
    a half-page photo and a full-page one is several paragraphs of
    enlightening text. I also find with photography magazines that are
    short on text that if I don’t like a set of photographs I get nothing
    out of that section. On the other hand, I may not be crazy about
    someone’s photographs but they may have a lot to say (Robert Adams
    leaps to mind; his book of essays "Beauty in Photography" is to me
    perhaps the single best photography book ever even though it has few
    photos overall and none of his own). Besides, many magazines will
    publish good LF photos, but only one magazine—View Camera—is likely to
    publish the story behind those photos.

    <p>

    First, what shouldn’t View Camera do? The magazine must acknowledge
    that the playing field has changed in the years since the magazine was
    founded. There’s no reason to cover material that’s easily accessible
    out there (or right here at this site) on the Internet or material
    that is well-covered in books (like Steve Simmons’ own!). Many
    technical pieces fall into this latter category—especially articles
    for beginners (which strike loyal—i.e., longtime—VC readers as a waste
    of space). Even pictures can be viewed at photographers’ websites in
    great detail and in greater quantity than the magazine is likely to
    offer.

    <p>

    So what SHOULD View Camera do? There’s still a lot that isn’t
    available on the web (or in books) and View Camera could use its
    gravitas to provide it. For me, the whole challenge of photography is
    "learning to see," and I’ve tried to think of what kinds of articles
    or feature series would be helpful toward that end. Five thoughts:

    <p>

    1. A feature called "People to watch," or "Emerging photographers" or
    "New eyes" – This would be a single excellent photo and paragraph from
    an undiscovered, often unpublished LF photographer (like many of us on
    this site), perhaps 2 or 4 persons per issue (one page each). It
    would be cheap for the magazine, be interesting for readers (who would
    benefit from seeing strong images they might otherwise not have seen),
    and would be a big boost to amateurs (in both senses of that word).
    It’s not an unrealistic expectation, as to be published one would need
    only have a single home run, not an entire winning career.

    <p>

    2. Icons of photography – Not people (who are well-covered in books)
    but images. I’m thinking View Camera would publish an image that is
    either well-known or strong enough that it should be well-known, along
    with a historical explanation of it… and then would have a variety of
    photographers and academics/critics/curators comment on the image,
    say, a paragraph each. (I see it as a "dead-photographer" feature
    because I think we could all learn more from studying the work of
    those who made our mistakes decades before we did). Again, the goal
    would be not only enlightening conversation and an exchange of
    perspectives but also "learning to see."

    <p>

    3. Multiple interpretations of the same subject by different
    photographers (yes, this could entail literally publishing a set of
    workshop pictures). Alternatively, an explanation of how one
    photographer solved the challenge of a single subject (snapshots from
    various angles, explaining the shortcomings of each, accompanied by a
    larger reproduction of the perspective the photographer ultimately
    judged the best—with an explanation why it works for him/her). Not a
    lot of space; perhaps a double-page spread every other issue or so.

    <p>

    4. More on books. Book reviews (both new and long out of print); book
    lists (personal favorites) by photographers, known and unknown (and by
    subject: landscape, architecture, etc.); articles on the book
    industry; interviews with authors, editors, publishers, and printers;
    excerpts from new books; stuff on collectible books (a huge sideline
    to photography collecting), etc.

    <p>

    5. An ongoing series of self-written (or ghostwritten, based on
    scratchings by the photographer) profiles of "working photographers,"
    no more than one per issue: "On location with Susan Jones" or "In the
    field with John Smith." Each installment would show a few examples of
    the featured photographer’s work—enough to establish a common language
    with the reader, anyway—but would primarily consist of text to help
    the reader understand how the photographer ticks. (I like JPCaponigro
    fine, but instead of interviews I think he should be used more for
    analysis—seemingly his main interest; he could oversee #2, above—and
    of course for digital subjects.) This kind of series would let View
    Camera revisit the excellent photographers it has featured before, but
    without covering the same ground.

    <p>

    In terms of understanding the "working photographer" series suggested
    in #5, maybe it would help to think about what the average View Camera
    reader would talk about with the profiled photographer if they were to
    spend a day together (perhaps driving around scouting and not even
    taking any pictures). For example, many successful photographers claim
    they’re just "naturals" or that they’re "self-taught," when in fact
    (except for those who through trial and error figure out how to use a
    camera that washed up on their desert island) we are all immeasurably
    influenced in the way we see by countless other photographers. When I
    see a photographer’s work, I want to know how s/he got there, what
    they’re trying to say, and where they’re going with it. But I don’t
    want gaseous philosophy or excessive artsy-fartsiness of the kind
    that’s in art students’ "artist’s statements" at a gallery; I’m
    talking nuts and bolts, what works and what doesn’t in real life, in
    trying to be creative and good and fresh every single day. Reality
    photography, if you will. Examples of the kinds of questions I wish
    these working photographers would address:

    <p>

    "How did you get into photography? How did you get into LF
    photography? Which photographers did/do you find inspiring? Even more
    importantly, what was it about these photographers and/or their work
    that you find inspiring? (EWeston’s compositional eye, for example, or
    Ansel’s subject matter, or Minor White’s "spirituality") What don’t
    you like about these mentors’ oeuvre? Which photographers (especially
    dead ones) do you think are underrated? Overrated? How did you develop
    your own eye? Do you have a lot of photography books? Collections,
    technique, themes/places, or monographs? What books do you prize most?
    What other forms of artistic expression are inspiring to you? (Cezanne
    landscapes? Bach fugues? Bob Marley CDs?) Do you get creative blocks,
    and if so how do you overcome them? Do you like the "post-production"
    (darkroom/computer) part of the image-making process or would you
    rather be in the field? Do you usually know you’ve got a strong
    picture as soon as you click the shutter or do you find you make new
    discoveries, including cropping, in the darkroom or on the light
    table? When in the darkroom or at the computer do you like to work
    alone for hours on end until a project is done, or do you revisit it
    frequently on different days to see it anew? At these times do you
    listen to music or work in silence? How do you balance family and
    personal life with your photography? If you’re married, how does your
    spouse affect your work? Do you take vacations or trips without
    photographing? Do you have other hobbies? Do you have other artistic
    outlets (e.g., piano, sculpture, woodworking)? Why do you use the
    specific photographic tools that you do (monorail vs. folding, metal
    vs. wood, etc.)? Do you have any little tips about technique,
    composition, focusing in low light, keeping dust out of your holders,
    etc. that are by now instinctive to you? How do you transport your
    stuff around, both between locations and on location? Does your
    photography depend more on walking to places or flying/driving there?
    How do you find subjects? How do you get gigs? Any horror stories
    about failed assignments, through your fault or others’? Are you a
    good bookkeeper and marketer, or do you rely on others for help in one
    or both of those areas? How do you approach a familiar subject? An
    unfamiliar subject? Do you think you work best in an unfamiliar
    environment (e.g., a place you’ve never visited before) or with a
    subject you know inside and out? In a new location, do you start
    shooting right away to get your first impressions down, or are you a
    slow starter, wanting to soak in the place for a few hours or days
    first? Do you use any tools to help you visualize a scene before
    setting up your tripod or before shooting (viewing filters, polaroids,
    digital p&s)? How do you organize files of your past work? How do you
    preserve spontaneity in your photography (or don’t you, valuing
    contemplation instead)? Who is your best critic? Whom do you "run your
    images by" for comment? Do you rely on your spouse/significant other
    more for positive support or for clear-headed critique? Do you
    socialize more with other photographers or with people outside the
    field? Do you do other kinds of photography or use other formats? How
    do you say something new about a familiar subject? Why do you use
    black-and-white? (Or why do you use color? Or when do you use which?)
    What would you say you bring to a project that other photographers
    don’t? What makes a photograph "yours"? Who is your audience? Do you
    see the consumers of your photographs as different from yourself? Why
    should others care about your work? Why should they visit your
    website? What are your goals? How is your eye or your work evolving?
    Was there a breakthrough time in your aesthetic development, a Eureka
    moment? Did you realize it at the time or only in retrospect? How do
    you feel about your early work? When you see your new work as a viewer
    (on exhibit or in a publication), do you notice the work’s
    shortcomings or its strengths? Do you teach? Why or why not? If you
    were teaching, how would you find a middle ground between "just do
    what I do" and "do your own thing"? What do you think
    intermediate-to-advanced students are looking for? What’s the best
    format for teaching? Have you participated in workshops where you were
    not the teacher? What advice would you give to beginning photographers
    about learning to see? What do you see as the future of LF
    photography? Of photography in general? Of the still image? What about
    the role of digital manipulation; does it appeal to you or not?"

    <p>

    You get the idea. I apologize for going on so long, but then that’s
    the beauty of free bandwidth (and the drawback of no co
     
  23. ...no copyeditor!).

    <p>

    Good luck.

    <p>

    <><><><><><>
     
  24. I know this might seem like a turn to popularism or might even
    seem lowbrow, but how a bout a critique of large format photos readers
    send in. A few of the Brit magazines have this feature and one in
    particular is very honest and sometimes cheeky - all for the beenfit
    of the photographer and the reader, of course.
     
  25. As I still consider myself a "learner" in the field of LF, I'd really
    like to see more "how to" articles, especially on
    printing/processing. I must admit to being a little disappointed with
    the contents of some issues but on the whole I am eternally grateful
    to Steve Simmons for the publication. MY BIGGEST GRIPE IS THE TIME
    IT TAKES TO REACH US HERE IN THE UK!!!! Regards Paul
     
  26. I like the idea of doing a swimsuit edition. I've heard that Playboy
    used an 8x10 view camera for their center-folds. How 'bout doing
    something on that.
     
  27. How about an extreme approach! Edit VC like an academic journal by
    publishing only work that contributes to the building of what might be
    described as a "theory of large format photography." First, eliminate
    all articles on equipment and technique unless they can be tied
    directly to new and innovate work. These articles would be similar to
    scholarly articles on methodology. Second, Exclude all work that is
    derrivitive, redundant, or simply replicates past work. This would
    have the effect of eliminating most nudes, pictures of the national
    parks, sea shells, etc. Third, begin to eliminate work that can be
    linked to either the pictorialist or modern (f64) schools. If work can
    be described as "post-modern" or a similar category it would be
    included. Again, anything that moves the discipline forward! Finally,
    develop a new way of publishing the "journal" which eliminates the
    overreliance on advertising and the potential subserviance to
    equipment manufacturers. Beyond that, develop of system of "blind"
    reviewers who decide what work is published.

    <p>

    ----------------------
     
  28. This is off-thread, and directed specifically to Micah about the post
    above: When I was studying singing at university, one of my greatest
    influences and guides was a book called "Great Singers on Great
    Singing" by bass Jerome Hines consisting of interviews with
    established and renowned artists about the "nuts and bolts" of their
    technique. It seems to ma a similar book about LF photography would
    be in great demand and fill a much-needed niche. Micah's post above
    could easily be adapted for serious interviews with notable LF
    photographers as a basis for such a work. All the right questions
    (and then some) are already there. How 'bout it Micah? Game for a
    literary project? I'm sure the potential interviewees would be
    willing. Just a thought. Regards, ;^D)
     
  29. I want to give a hand to Steve for publishing a great magazine. It is
    very hard to publish an all inclusive magazine which meets the varied
    interest of a varied readership. I think there are some real
    interesting and worthwhile suggestions in this thread. One of the
    suggestions that I feel fell flat was the suggestion that the magazine
    throw out all material already done and only include seminal work that
    is new and cutting edge. I find the monikers "new" and "cutting edge"
    in describing work as very boring. Remember that at one time Michael
    Fatali's work and Michael Kenna's work was cutting edge. I like to
    revisit established photographers to see what new work they are doing.
    And I love to see the work of new photographers. I also really like to
    see images. The philosophy behind work and vision is very interesting
    but a picture is worth a thousand words. A lot of the philosophical
    writing says the same thing over and over. I like the photographer to
    talk about what the idea is about and how it evolved. Technique is
    nice also. And as old hands at photography, large format in
    particular, we need to remember that the magazine is published for us
    as well as the new up and coming large format photographer. Quite a
    few of us looked upon VC as a bible of sorts when we first delved into
    the format. So I say to Steve, keep up the good work but take some of
    the suggestions offered here and make VC a better magazine. My one
    real complaint with the magazine is the deteriorating quality of the
    images as printed on paper. James
     
  30. I too think Simmons does an excellent job with View Camera. he
    has good writers who ask (usually) smart questions and who
    understand it isn't about gear but about vision.<P>An article I'd
    like to see is a follow up on the Fatali profile that covers at least
    the same length, the damage Michael Fatali did, both to the site
    and to the cause of photography in the National Parks, and
    perhaps damage caused by other over eager photographers
    who think common sense rules don't apply to them, that they are
    more special than the next person.
     
  31. I have long considered a subscription, but the price of international mail has prevented me so far. Would there
    be a way of making the magazine available in Europe at a better rate?
     
  32. Paul, I now get my copy from Robert White in the UK (who is the UK distributor) for GBP6.50 including postage. It probably wouldn't be much more to send it to Switzerland. In Japan, this magazine was available off the shelf from Tower Records in Shibuya!
    I'm looking forward to the upcoming issue given the previous discussions on this board (!), and it is disappointing that Tuan appears to have deleted that thread, although it did appear to be bordering on the litigious towards the end.
    Overall, View Camera oscillates between very high quality (e.g portfolios such as David Fokos), and fairly banal and badly written word-spinning, but it has an overall air of zealous honesty which I find endearing. The current approach and balance would be difficult to change, but Steve Simmons could do well to introduce some non-American photographers - there are many Japanese LF photographers who produce excellent work - if Steve were to contact the Tokyo Museum of photography at Ebisu, I am sure that they would be very helpful in arranging introductions, etc.
     
  33. Thanks David! I'll have a look at this offer.
     
  34. OK, I'll throw my 2 cents worth in...

    <p>

    I have to say, I really like the magazine's format. It's impossible
    to come up with a publication that covers everything, but I think
    Steve does a good job of touching on a lot of different things.

    <p>

    The portfolios and discussions with the photographers are interesting
    and pretty well done. I wouldn't change that much, except I'd really
    like to see a bit more discussion about how each photographer makes
    their images. As another poster said, a "day in the life" type of
    thing with a little more technical information about why a specific
    lens/film/process combination wwas chosen. It might also be nice to
    see a section later in the magazine with a couple of the images that
    didn't make the cut and a small description of why the photographer
    chose one version of an image over another. These images could
    obviously be smaller and of lower quality reproduction. The effect
    would be something similar to other magazines that have smaller
    thumbnails near the end of the publication with a description of how
    the image was made.

    <p>

    Also, I'd disagree with some here who said they'd like less reading
    material and more photos. I love examining the photos, but I always
    feel like I'm finished with the magazine much too soon for a
    publication that only comes out every other month. I'd like a little
    more substance to tide me over until my next ViewCamera "fix"!

    <p>

    (and like several others, Thank you Steve for putting out this fine
    magazine)
     
  35. The "swimsuit issue" idea may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I
    think it might be interesting to do a piece from the _VC_ perspective
    on Peter Gowland. Aside from his influence on commercial glamour and
    advertising photography in defining the _Playboy_ style of the 1970s,
    he wrote many popular books for amateur photographers that affected
    the way ordinary people looked at themselves through the camera, and
    he's designed some very interesting large format cameras (Gowlandflex
    TLR, the ultralight Pocket View, some arial cameras, and others).

    <p>

    I have an 8x10" Pocket View, and have ordered some parts from him, and
    he's a very accessible, generous guy who loves to talk about his
    cameras and to help people with them. He is always making
    improvements to them.
     
  36. Steve, my only input concerns an aspect you have virtually no control
    over. This thread (and the one that spawned it) have been around for
    how long now? My issue only arrived with yesterday's mail delivery!
    Since the USPS has caved in and made a deal with FedEx, maybe you
    could negotiate one with them too?
     
  37. Boy, what a thread. A fair number of reasonably good suggestions and
    several incredibly dorky ones that are almost embarrassing to read.

    <p>

    I'd like to see more articles about what LF photographers eat for
    breakfast. Edward Weston liked Rice Chex. I like Wheaties mixed with
    Rice Chex, especially after its sat for a while and gets a little
    soppy. I'm guessing Ansel didnt shy away from the bacon and eggs
     
  38. I'm sorry, that should have been wheat chex. tsk, tsk. So I'm also
    fond of hops.
     
  39. Just found this thread, but I thought I'd contribute a few thoughts of my own.
    For one thing, I can actually attribute some of my original interest in large format photography to a single issue of View Camera my father got for me while on a business trip about 2 1/2 years ago (during my sophmore year in high school). Since then, I have bought and devoured every issue and have gained much from the magazine. Yeah, some issues are better than others, but when you compare it to other, more mainstream photography magazines (Popular Photography and the like), it's pretty easy to tell that it really is on a much higher level overall. Steve Simmons has done a great job of creating a wonderful publication and has managed to keep it going strongly despite the relatively small number of photographers that it goes to.
    What kind of articles would I like to see? I think Micah pretty much addressed everything I would like to see, and quite well I might add. I understand the amount of effort and time required to create a magazine like View Camera, and that will limit what can be done with it, but I'm sure that there are plenty of people who would be happy to volunteer their time and effort if it meant making an already great publication even better. I really like the idea of a single photograph from and a paragraph about lesser known, not necessarily professional, but still talented LF shooters. Also, and it might seem sort of amateurish, but as Bill Lange pointed out above, a critique of a few photos from readers might be nice. Practical Photography, a British photography magazine, does this in every issue and it's actually pretty interesting to read.
    Finally, as far as photographers I'd like to see profiled, I think there's only one that I can think of that I'd really like to see something about- Clyde Butcher. If you're not familiar with him, he does pretty amazing stuff in the Florida Everglades with cameras up to 12x20, which is no simple task.
    That's about it from me.
     
  40. A swimsuit edition???!!!

    <p>

    How in the hell would I find a swimsuit to fit my Deardorff?
     
  41. This is a remark on Dave's comment. If you are going to volunteer
    your time and effort, do it to help this site, not View Camera.
    View Camera, like any magazine, has already advertising revenue
    and of course charges subcription fees, so if you do something for
    them, it wouldn't be fair for you not to be compensated. On the
    other hand, I maintain this site without any compensation (besides
    the amazon referal fees, which are pocket money), do not resort to
    commercialization (in particular banner adds), take care of this
    forum despite the abuse that I receive periodically, format
    contributions in HTML, write articles, all this just for the
    satisfaction of serving the Large Format community. I would certainly
    welcome any help.
    <p>
    The main difference that I see between View Camera and this site
    is that View Camera has an easier access to established photographers.
    They are happy to be featured in the magazine, which has a high
    standard of quality, but they would not be interested by being
    featured on this site for a variety of reasons.
    Besides that, I don't see why some
    of the excellent suggestions of Micah couldn't be used here as well.
     
  42. No no Dan! You're supposed to wear the swim suit. Not the 8x10. James
     
  43. My first suggestion is for someone at VC (and Michael Fatali) to learn
    how to spell ILFOCHROME! There are no "A"s in it, anywhere! Getting it
    right once and wrong 3 times in one article is pretty embarrassing to
    those of us who can both do it and spell it.

    <p>

    Other than that I'd like to see pictures-all kinds of pictures, good
    pictures, bad pictures, straight pictures and "other" (although
    digital gets old), alternate processes, articles (and PICTURES) on
    little-known, overlooked LF photographers, both present and past. As
    long as there are a variety of pictures, i dont care. I dont think
    every issue will please everyone, so variety is the key
     
  44. Thanks for your comments. I am printing them and will go over them
    carefully.

    <p>

    There is a followup to the Fatali article in the May/June issue

    <p>

    steve simmons
     

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