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Creative Monochrome / Best of Friends

SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
24 May 2012 3:14PM
Since it's as hot as sin today I've been keeping cool by looking through some of my old photography books. What an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

Years ago I subscribed to a magazine called Creative Monochrome and have five of their year books starting with the 1996 edition (Vol 3). The books were called Best of Friends (Vols 1-12) and I remembered a fair few images. They took me right back to my darkroom days when I was totally obsessed by anything to do with photography, especially film dev and printing. Every year I'd buy the yearbook and we were invited to vote for ten images, the winners got a prize and an honorary mention and print in the next edition. I think I submitted a few prints but never made it into the book unfortunately, but a lady from my current photo club did get a couple in and I'd actually voted for one of hers. I didn't know her then so I'll take the book along to our next meeting and swap memories.

The earlier volumes were made up entirely of darkroom prints but you can see that the later editions had quite a different look with the onset of digital. Sadly the magazine(s) (there was also a magazine for Colour and a newer one for Digital) bit the dust which was very sad. Lack of money as usual, and a general falling off of interest. I used to have piles of the mags but they've long since been disposed of.

I was thinking that websites such as EPZ now fill the gap those magazines used to occupy, bringing people together, a bit of banter, a few competitions and awards, but obviously we can now reach a much wider audience in an instant. There's still something special about those "old days" though, when you had to wait for everything.

The editor of CM was Roger Maile. Does anyone else have any of these Best of Friends books or was a subscriber to the magazines? If so, I wonder what you thought of the quality of the images presented. I think they're pretty brilliant and it's made me think once again of concentrating a bit more on mono. And I might even try to find the rest of the yearbooks that I'm missing.


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24 May 2012 4:38PM
I had a load of those book and magazines, too. And I had pictures in three of the yearbooks.

It was a real thrill to get them in there!
SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
24 May 2012 4:46PM
Ah yes. Book 10. Great images. Smile I've only got books 3, 6, 10, 11 and 12, but have since ordered two more from Amazon.

Now you've sent me back even further. I had a knee length denim coat many many years ago and I lovingly embroidered the Suzuki emblem on the back. Barry was my hero. Happy days. Smile
Snapper Plus
13 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
24 May 2012 9:04PM
I've pretty much got a full set of them, plus a number of individual portfolio books that they were so good at publishing. I almost said successful rather than good, but I guess that Roger had constant battles trying to keep the prices reasonable and the quality up. He also had issues with some material suppliers to get good prices, but that was a constant feature of the CM newsletter and I've probably got a few of them kicking around as well! Wink
SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
24 May 2012 10:05PM
Yes, I liked the individual books too. I really liked the inclusive feel of the publication.
danbrann Plus
13 637 17
24 May 2012 11:33PM
I remember them well. Don't know what happened to my copies but I know I used to submit to them but shouldn't think I ever had any published although I know some of my friends did.

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