Going the Extra Mile

johnriley1uk

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Going the Extra Mile

3 Jul 2020 12:35AM   Views : 345 Unique : 247

Yesterday I mentioned Photo Technique as one of my favourite magazines. Why is quite simple, they were young, brash, energetic and covered things the way I felt they should be done, in detail and with that extra bit of effort. There are clear examples of this, for example they did massive supplements on camera makes such as Rollei, sponsored no doubt but written by the staff and doubling the size of an issue. Then there were the special issues, covering "Battle of the Formats" and, of particular interest to me, lenses.

May 1977 saw the Special Issue - Everything you need to now about using wide-angles. This article ran to 23 pages and included lists of just about every wide angle lens known to man. Techniques, advice, sample images, and putting many others to shame who were writing in a much more trivial way.
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Having recovered frrom the strain, August 1977 brought us a Special Issue - everything you need to know about using long lenses. This amazing piece of work ran to 24 pages and listed hundreds of long lenses as well as everything else that could be thrown into it.
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November 1977 was perhaps one of the boldest things I have ever seen a monthly magazine do. An entire magazine was devoted to showing pictures by Magnum photographers - a feast of classic reportage/documentary/street photography. I can't imagine Another Publication doing this and I have often wondered whether financially that particular issue was a disaster. I'm not sure that magazines that concentrate on images survive that long.
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Eventually editor Jack Schofield moved on and Photo Technique continued, larger and brighter but perhaps never quite the same for me. Later still it was absorbed into Photography magazine and I can still remember the amusement I felt with the inaugural editorial which explained how the new magazine would be better and take the best of PT and Photography. It explained that PT suffered from having no regular structure, wheras Photography had lots of regulars, its only weakness if indeed it had any weakness. It also explained that whilst the best of both magazines would result in a better publication, that existing readers shouldn't worry because it would be exactly the same.....Grin

I'm sure everyone has their own favourites, but I would be delighted if somebody started to punblish articles with the splendid depth of those 1970s Photo Techniques.

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