Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Like most keen photographers I have read more than a few photo mags, but over the years I have settled on 2-3 titles.

Professional Photographer

As its name suggests a magazine aimed at working pros. I like it because of the range of images and the fact that it avoids the extremes of gear-envy prominent in the more popular amateur titles. It tends to concentrate on interview/portfolios from working photographers and articles on the business of photography.

Of particular interest to this course was an article on the Dusseldorf School (Oct 2010 edition) which I referred to here but has yet to appear online.

Photo Pro Magazine

Aimed at a similar audience this is a slightly more ‘colourful’ title which has a lot more ‘how to’ type articles. Of particular interest during the period of this course was the Fine Art Special in June 2010 (David Chow’s flower photography stood out), and the portrait special in May 2010 – particularly the portfolio from Tony Molina. There are also a lot of lighting articles – sadly the kit is currently outside of my reach.

From time to time I buy other mags but I tend to find them rather repetitive - in fairness to them I’ve been reading them for 20 years. I have retained very little of this material but I do have an article on the language of colour from Outdoor Photography(July 2009).

British Journal of Photography

Clearly aimed at the fine art photography market, with production values to match. I have been reading the BJP since April 2010. Coming from the standard amateur mags to BJP is a bit of a shock – the pictorialism and obsession with technique is replaced by a concentration on ideas and concepts – and many of the photos seemed deliberately artless at first viewing.

The article in the July issue on Tillmans spurred this blog item. The ‘Dog’s Life’ item in the Nov 2010 was a delightful take on dog photography and by contrast the Taylor Wessing Prize item in the same issue provided some fascinating and challenging images as did the Prix Pictet item in the Jan 2011 issue.

The Brian Ulrich portfolio of empty malls – dark boxes – is the most recent item to strike a chord.

Just wish I’d discovered BJP years ago.

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