Monday, January 15, 2007


I'm not sure if it's just that my tastes have changed over the years or of it actually is the case that a number of good photography magazines have fallen by the wayside, but there are probably only two photo magazines that I really look forward to when they arrive on the news-stand shelves - Blindspot and Prefix Photo

I don't think I've ever got a copy of Blindspot that hasn't had at least one portfolio that has caused me to either think about something new, rethink something, or given me ideas for a new approach to photographing. I got a sense it lost it's way slightly after the founder and editor Kim Zorn Caputo died (far too young), but it seems to be finding it's direction again, and I hope it stays around in its current form.

With Blindspot I often find I'm hunting through old back issues trying to find a picture that has stuck in my mind. And in a nice example of serendipity, my five year old son was obsessed with fireflies this Fall - making ever more intricate drawings of them - when the current edition arrived. He was enthralled by Gregory Crewdson's Firefly photos.

Prefix Photo is along similar lines - more words (though plenty of photos) - almost as good as Blindspot, but it only seems to come out a couple of times a year. The essays are often quite interesting and sometimes head off at unexpected tangents.

One magazine I really miss is the old Doubletake - I enjoyed its eclectic mix of photos, prose and poetry.

As for the rest of the field, I like View Camera every now and then (in part because I use large format and the articles on old but still good lenses etc are invaluable). It can suffer from a few too many rocks/aspens/waterfall photos - but then it will surprise you with an article on Sally Mann or An-My Le's Small Wars or some such. There's also Aperture... I find I really only like about two out of every five issues of Aperture. Never enough to subscribe, but just enough to check out a new edition when it shows up. Sometimes it feels spot on but at other times it seems so wide of the mark you wonder what the heck they were thinking.

Other than that, I don't even look at American Photo or Outdoor Photographer or Photo Life or Photo Techniques or Black and White and such any more - it just seems to be the same old recycled stories and subjects.

Outside of photography magazines, I often find interesting photography and writing in publications like Dwell or Metropolis or Azure (I like buildings, architecture and urban stuff), or literary/art magazines like Brick or Border Crossings or Canadian Art and Art in America etc. At that point it's just a matter of grazing the shelves in a good magazine stand...


Ed said...

I think some of the most interesting photography publications are based in Europe:

(one of my favorites, consistently strong writing, reviews and new work you haven't seen before. based in Belfast.)

Next Level
(from the UK, beautiful printing, but kind of expensive)

(publication of the Foam Photography Museum in Amsterdam)

(also based in the UK)

(they used to be based in Amsterdam but I think now they're in NYC)

tim atherton said...

Thanks for those - a couple of them are ones that show up in the arts section on my newstand every now and then. A couple I hadn't seen before