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Nov 6, 2008

Amsterdam’s photography museum FOAM publishes a photography magazine, which I don’t think is very widely known, even though it clearly deserves to be. Published four times a year, FOAM (the magazine) is theme based and presents portfolios of photographers who fit into that theme, with each portfolio printed on different paper (!) to maximize the impact of the work and accompanied by an essay about the photographer. Apart from the very high quality of the image reproductions the nice thing about FOAM is that not only are you not inundated with glossy ads for camera equipment, the writing is also excellent (which, unfortunately, cannot be said for many other magazines [which shall remain unnamed here] whose articles read like contributions to obscure sociological seminars - to invert the old joke about Playboy Magazine, those you can really only buy for the pictures).
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Mar 6, 2008

I used to have a subscription of New Yorker magazine, and part of the thrill was to see the photography, in particular what Richard Avedon had come up with each week (that way, I did learn that even someone like Avedon could also produce extremely mediocre photographs - something, I think, Alec Soth pointed out later on his blog [using the John Kerry portrait as an example]). But I think there was more than just Avedon’s work. Or maybe memory doesn’t serve me right. In any case, after some sort of subscription hiatus I’m now back (hear that, Alec?), since someone gave me a gift subscription. And each week, I’m now dreading to see the new edition because the photography has just become so… well, how can I say this in a nice way? It’s just so forgettable and safe (with the exception of a couple of photographs in the March 10 issue that is). Often, the only interesting photographs are to be found in the Listings pages (after the “Goings on about town” page), when they show an example of work to be seen in Chelsea. Maybe I have to go back and look at older issues now to see whether they still appear to be more interesting. But to see a magazine that, if I remember this correctly, was the first to hire a fine-art photographer as a staff photographer going down such a predictable and outright boring route is a bit sad.
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Jul 8, 2005

“MakingRoom is a magazine about the process, intention and results of image-making.” Check it out - you might even remember some of this edition’s features from this weblog.
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Jun 6, 2004

I had seen Lenswork magazine at the book store before but because of its relatively high price - one magazine costs $10 - I had so far refrained from buying it. The latest edition - no. 53 - caught my eye the other day so I decided to splurge and buy it. It’s a very mixed bag. While the photography (portfolios by Andrew Beckham, Aaron Huey, and Neil Folberg) is quite stunning I am not at all impressed by the editorial contents. So be warned - especially if your interest in photography stretches beyond standard fine-art b/w photography.
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Apr 11, 2004

The blog to go to to read good reviews of excellent art and/or photography magazines is the invaluable coincidences. However, I felt I needed to point out the new edition of slightly mis-named Modern Painters magazine. MP usually features an excellent mix of architecture, paintings, photography, and whatever else there is that can be called modern art. The current edition (Spring 2004) is almost entirely devoted to photography and, I think, anybody interested in contemporary photography might want to check it out. It easily beats all “real” photography magazines - where else can you find a photo magazine that’s not a glorified catalogue for photo gizmos that nobody needs (yet another slightly modified digital camera with some more useless features) but, instead, focusses on actual photography done by cutting-edge photographers? Update (12 April): coincidences discusses Modern Painters in detail.
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Jun 12, 2003

You gotta be a bit skeptical when a corporation tries to give itself an edge by dealing with social issues. Benetton has probably pushed the limits quite a bit with its advertizing campaigns. Regardless of what you think of Benetton you should check out Colors - their online magazine. The current edition (56) is about violence. Excellent photojournalism, very well done.
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