“On Landscape” – A New Photography Magazine
What the hell I’ve been doing for the last couple of months!!!
Well I can finally tell everyone what it is I’ve been doing for the last few months. In short, Joe Cornish and I have set up a company that is creating a Britain oriented, online landscape photography magazine. In long, it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for the last two years and have been actively researching for the last nine months. It started whilst I was out in the Hebrides with David Ward and we were talking about the direness of much of the photographic press and especially it’s landscape photography coverage. This, and multiple other conversations, convinced me that the photographic press can never have great landscape photography coverage. The reason for this is that they are beholden to their advertisers and this means that they have to create content that attracts users who are buying stuff. This stuff is either new photographers, photographers who are upgrading their equipment or photographers buying gadgets/tours/workshops etc. There is no incentive to cater for photographers who have ‘good enough’ equipment and who maybe have moved on to trying to work on their composition/art. In fact, they know that the majority of photographers only buy photography magazines for a couple of years and so there is no point continuing to create new content, so they just recycle the old content on a two year basis. Oh they might throw in the odd ‘interesting’ sideline (witness David Ward’s articles in Photographer Monthly). Amateur Photographer seems the only magazine that is willing to go out on a limb and throw some real curveballs (a recent treatise on Petzval lens construction for example).
Anyway – I rant. The answer was to plan something myself, something with that uses the advantages that the web has to offer (and that I have enough knowledge to make the most of). The following months saw me getting to know Joe Cornish through a couple of courses and finally being asked by him to develop a new website. The website has taken a while to sort out through no fault on either of our parts but whilst getting to know each other, the idea inevitably got talked about and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Joe saw the potential in the project too. So, we bashed heads and put together a plan where we could both contribute aspects that were of equal value and the company Landscape Media Ltd was registered and the ‘Great British Landscapes’ magazine was conceived. Unfortunately, I had a full time job and an employer that I had a lot of respect for and so the planning went on the back burner, tinkering with approaches and styles, etc.
In the end, I had to make a decision on whether the project was going to proceed and, after a supportive phone call with my wife, we decided to go ahead with things full time (well, almost full time – I’m working for my wife’s company for a couple of days a week and we’re incubating the project). This was three months ago and since then I’ve been clearing out some work (witness the Light and Land website going live for instance) and sorting out the business end of things and for the last two months it’s been full on researching and developing the project. Thing’s came together a couple of weeks ago where we were in a position to organise a launch date. The 18th of October will see free issue as a taster for everybody with content from a location guide of a popular Yorkshire gritstone outcrop through a technical offering on dealing with shooting into the sun and also a couple of screencasts from Joe Cornish with two never before seen pictures.
The website will be subscription based, or more properly, it will be a ‘freemium’ website. For those who haven’t come across this term, it’s seems fairly unique to the internet, it means that some of the content will be free and there will be a subscription fee for ‘premium’ content. The content that will be free won’t all be immediately free. Some of it will be but some other bits will be ‘delayed free’, in other words it will be free after a couple of months but subscribers will be able to see this content immediately. So subscribers will get ‘the full monty’ whereas others will get what will be a large range of well written content but maybe they’ll have a wait for a while for some of it.
So what ‘sort’ of content are we going to be producing? Well, obviously with a name like ‘Great British Landscapes’ it’s going to be British oriented. However, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be relevant for non-brits, a lot of the content will be nationality neutral. There will be an ‘issue’ every two weeks and each issue will include a location guide, an extended article on craft or art, a screencast or interview and a couple of reviews of books/websites or other photographic material. There will also be extracts and highlights from the web, hopefully such that you can pick up GBL and it will provide enough links to get the most out of the internet without taking you away from the real work (photography, if you hadn’t guessed).
Sooo – if you’re interested (I really hope you are) and might possibly be subscribing (I really hope you do!) then hop on over to Great British Landscapes and add your email to the box (and you might win a years subscription!). If you’re the sort of person who does that social media thang, you can also follow what’s happening by like’ing http://www.facebook.com/landscapegb or following @landscapegb (if you want to follow my personal tweets, try @timparkin).
Oh, and if you’re around Bradford on the 16th of October, Joe and I are giving the keynote speech for a photography conference at the National Media Museum and we’d love to have you (although you’ll have to pay and check there are tickets left of course – http://www.exposureleeds.org/photocamp).
Finally – what does this mean for this blog, well I’ll still be writing in it although it will probably become a ‘behind the scenes’ blog and I may be moving the whole website over to www.onlandscape.co.u (something like http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/timparkin). When I write stuff that might make sense to have a wider audience, it will be posted in On Landscape. We’re also including a few extra writers for regular features, including a special guest for the first issue.
We both really want this to reflect what the landscape photography community want and as such we’re really interested in your ideas as well so comment away…