Well, once again I’m feeling a touch guilty about a rant posted here. This time it’s my broadside against Photographer’s i which is the culprit. Today I received a remarkably polite and graceful email from the unfortunate target of my ire, Adam Juniper explaining what has been going on on their side.
I understand, really, I do. It require a serious suspension of belief to think that such an ambitious undertaking as Photographer’s i could survive for long, especially with the punishing schedule they set for themselves. I know all too well about funding falling short of ambition and business plans which maybe with hindsight were not such a good idea. But the collapse was dramatic, and in my opinion it could have been handled far, far better.
In this day and age there is far more mileage to be made by being open and forthcoming about business problems than trying to plaster over the cracks. It seems abundantly clear to me, at least, that Issue 4 is principally a disaster recovery exercise. Let’s hope it is a stopgap which provides a path to a sustainable future. But if, for example, there were some clear statements on what is going on on the Photographer’s i website, and on their Facebook page, it would make the whole thing easier to accept. If, as Adam told me, it was always the intention for Michael Freeman to step away, then perhaps Freeman might have at least written a “hand over” editorial. The perception still remains a little different.
I couldn’t really decide what to do about my previous post. I guess I went in
a little a lot too heavy, especially with the “fraudulent” stuff, and the ad hominen attacks - although hopefully regular readers, if I have any, will realise that a lot of this stuff is down to my strange concept of humour. Eventually I decided not to rewrite history, but instead to add this half-baked semi-retraction to make me feel better, along with a few addenda.
The crux of the matter remains the conclusion to my initial review. Can I actually recommend Photographer’s i in its new incarnation ? Honestly, well, right now, I can’t. Leaving aside my disappointment, the fact is that personally I’m no longer interested in the vast majority of “how to” articles, even well-written ones, which these certainly are. Instinct has always prevailed over analysis for me, which contributed to my downfall as a scientist. But what may be boring to me might well be just what somebody else was looking for. So my recommendation - one way or the other - is totally subjective.
I’m interested in photography as an art form, in what drives photographers, what impels and compels them, and how they see the world. There’s a lot of that in the first three issues of Photographer’s i, but sadly it seems that few people are willing to pay even a tiny amount of money for this - while paying insane sums for this week’s new Canikon. For the sake of the people who’s livelihoods depend on it, I hope that the reincarnation of Photographer’s i can engage with more of this mainstream audience.