Photography and the Law - Useful UK Article

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David Littlewood, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Tony Polson wrote:

    Your condescending attitude towards an
    When I used the Dorling Kindersley reference it wasn't so much in
    criticism of their own output - which I worked on for several years
    myself, and can vouch for the discipline involved - as the effect they
    had on the rest of the publishing industry. Maybe David Littlewood was
    simply following the thread and using this publisher as the archetype
    for many lesser publishers.

    The unstructured (pagewise) book in chapter form or the article which is
    written BEFORE the layout is designed have advantages. In the 1960s,
    writers like Geoffrey Crawley were never constrained to omit anecdotes
    or asides. A great deal of what I learned in photography came from the
    discursive nature of photo press writing at the time. It was like
    listening to a lecture where the speaker suddenly remembers something
    appropriate. That, combined with fewer constraints over style, made
    writers like Kevin MacDonnell, Vic Blackman, Ron Spillman, George Hughes
    (and many more) identifiable as personalities. They became friends to
    the reader, familiar voices.

    In the 1980s I was asked to edit some translated books by the Swiss
    writer Michael Gnade, and found them unacceptable to British readers for
    the extreme to which he took this. Half a chapter could be a description
    of how he met a certain old man, and half the technique for the
    resulting portrait. I found a few American writers similarly rambling.
    At the same time the German and Swiss publishers were creating even more
    precise technical primers without a hint of personality.

    We had, in Britain, a very fair compromise, but up the to mid-70s and
    Dorling Kindersley's first volumes it was often either very dull long
    texts or brilliantly simple little pocketbooks - the Arrow and Focal
    guides, hardly more than booklets.

    Something has been lost because of the success of Dorling Kindersley's
    approach, but a huge amount gained, because the London publishing
    packagers became the best in the world as a result. But we have not
    returned to the point where any OTHER type of book design is fashionable
    - we are still in that 1970s groove.

    My only argument with popular and standard pro photo magazines is that
    graphic design, and potted presentation, take precedence over decent
    large pictures. With each successive improvement in digital resolution,
    I've always tried to print tes shots which showed first a full page,
    then a spread, with maximum enlargement insets if that is not enough.
    When the Phase One P45 is available - or a reliable test image is
    supplied - I intend to print it A2 as a four-A4 foldout one side of an
    entire running sheet, to show what a 39 megapixel image looks like.

    I have no doubt at least one mag will print a full page shot of the
    camera back and a 2 x 3 inch repro of the image it produces :) - and
    that is actually part of the Dorling Kindersley legacy where very large
    clear (entirely copyright owned) studio shots are used and photo
    examples (more personal in choice, often subject to usage fees) kept
    subordinate. Again, I am not referring to DK themselves, but to the
    style they engendered and what has become of it.

    David Kilpatrick, Sep 2, 2005
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  2. David Littlewood

    Frank ess Guest

    ....did you leave out "...magazine buying..."?

    Depends on what is meant by "soon". I'm (undoubtedly, in Whozis'
    terms) old, but my family history and the implicit gene structure
    indicate I'll have another thirty productive years. Fortunately for
    the purveyors of cameras, lenses, accessories, computers, _etc_
    Frank ess, Sep 2, 2005
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  3. David Littlewood

    Confused Guest

    LOL... yeah, I left out several product categories, a smiley, a
    <sarcasm on> tag, a definitions of soon, a resume, and the
    demographics and age groups of folks who sign the checks for the real
    expensive gear.
    Heh...I don't plan on "soon" being a near term time frame either. :)

    Confused, Sep 2, 2005
  4. In general these kinds of magazines are little more than vehicles for
    advertising. That's why the subscription price is so low. As to the value of
    the magazine: That usually depends on the writers they have on their staff.
    Sometimes they have some decent articles, but much of the content is usually
    pretty bad. A lot of people (me, for example) buy them just to read the
    Adorama and B&H ads in the back.....
    William Graham, Sep 2, 2005
  5. David Littlewood

    Tony Polson Guest

    My point exactly.
    Tony Polson, Sep 2, 2005
  6. It was a perfectly accurate paraphrase of what you said. Perhaps you
    should read it again.
    If I misunderstood what you said, perhaps you need to make your meaning
    more clear. No doubt you will find that "arrogant", but I can't say that
    worries me.
    I'm sorry you should feel it necessary to spoil a potentially useful
    discussion on magazine publishing with a personal attack. Sorry, but not
    altogether surprised. No point in continuing, really.
    David Littlewood, Sep 2, 2005
  7. David Littlewood

    kashe Guest

    Ouch, that hurts. Now if they'd cut to the chase, the thread
    would end soon. :)
    kashe, Sep 2, 2005
  8. David Littlewood

    Nick Fotis Guest

    Agreed, that's the reason why I'm a subscriber to Outdoor Photography
    (before that, my favorite was Photo Technique, but nearly the same
    I was tempted to subscribe to Black&White Photography,but B&W isn't my
    cup of tea...

    Regards from Athens,
    Nick Fotis, Sep 3, 2005
  9. David Littlewood

    Tony Polson Guest

    David L was simply using this thread as an excuse for yet another bout
    of a special brand of intellectual snobbery. That's just his way.
    Victor Blackman was a family friend and he taught me a lot about
    photography in a very short time. Whether in person or in print, I
    hung on his every word, and I still have (somewhere!) a collection of
    press cuttings of his articles.

    I am a great admirer of Crawley, Blackman and Spillman and an avid
    reader of the first's excellent reviews in AP. Their style suits me
    very well indeed. However, I recognise that I am of that "certain
    generation" and we are a dying breed.
    Just as the Harry Potter books have encouraged vast numbers of
    children to read fiction, the Dorling Kindersley books have encouraged
    vast numbers of people of all ages to read non-fiction. We owe JK
    Rowling a debt of gratitude for encouraging children (and some adults)
    to put down their Playstation joysticks and pick up a work of fiction.
    I think we also owe Dorling Kindersley a debt of gratitude for making
    learning fun by making so much information so easily accessible.

    My own experience in delivering education and training taught me that
    making things easy to understand encourages people to learn. It is
    all too easy to turn people off with long sentences and seemingly
    endless paragraphs. They might be full of information but that is of
    no use if people lose interest.

    If people don't buy books, or don't read them, the quality of the
    content is quite irrelevant.
    ROTFL!!! I'm sure you will be proved right. Several titles spring to
    mind ... the utterly dreadful Pop Photo being at the top of the list.

    One of the books I would hold up as a good example of the readable
    style I support is "Creative 35mm Photography". My copy was published
    in 1983 by Amphoto. The author was ... David Kilpatrick.

    Any relation?

    Tony Polson, Sep 3, 2005
  10. David Littlewood

    Tony Polson Guest

    I'm sorry I had to stoop so low when replying to yours.

    You chose to post from the gutter. I merely replied.

    Tony Polson, Sep 3, 2005
  11. David Littlewood

    Tony Polson Guest

    Agree 100%.
    Tony Polson, Sep 3, 2005
  12. David Littlewood

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 13:05:24 -0700, Frank ess wrote:
    Life is too short to worry about when you are going to die. Enjoy whatever
    you have, if there is a lot of equipment left when you die then your heirs
    can enjoy after you have gone. I am already 10 years older than my father
    was when he died.
    Neil Ellwood, Sep 3, 2005
  13. David Littlewood

    Ron Hunter Guest

    To have fun? Do you need another reason?
    Ron Hunter, Sep 3, 2005
  14. David Littlewood

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I thought the idea was that he who dies with the most toys wins... Grin.
    Ron Hunter, Sep 3, 2005
  15. David Littlewood

    Deedee Tee Guest

    Or, you can ask yourself whether you would rather use the cameras and
    then leave them to your relatives, or leave them a lot of unused and
    devaluated money in a bank account. (What _they_ would prefer is
    another story, of course).
    Deedee Tee, Sep 3, 2005
  16. Tony Polson wrote:

    I wish! I was as much the author of that as John Hedgecoe was the author
    of his best-known book (maybe slightly more). John didn't write any of
    his book as far as I know, it was entirely produced by a team of
    freelances and staff editors, with JH calling in daily to oversee the
    content and provide the photographs.

    I haven't actually seen the Amphoto spin-off, which was probably
    generated by Eaglemoss or Marshall Cavendish, who paid to use the names
    of individual writers based on who was mainly responsible for the
    content. It's possible that it is nearly all mine but unlikely. We did
    so many of these (about one a month) that I can't remember doing it but
    probably reworked material for it (at that time, it was the colour
    separations which were valuable, and re-use of the physical film was the
    economic basis for these spin-offs).

    These were more magazine-style books, with chapters like articles, and
    not as heavily designed as some later products.

    David Kilpatrick, Sep 3, 2005
  17. David Littlewood

    Liz Guest

    In message <dfbrce$js$>
    That's really hysterical, considering the number of times I've loaned
    out or recommended that and other JH books with comments along the
    lines of "the photos are naff, but the text is good".

    (Probably, to be fair, the photos are 'of their time': when I say
    'naff' I'm referring the content, not to the compostion/technical


    Liz, Sep 3, 2005
  18. That's like finding out that your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant
    is actually a frozen meal that they buy en masse from some specialty house,
    and just thaw it out in the microwave before serving it to you........
    William Graham, Sep 3, 2005
  19. I posted what I intended to be a helpful pointer to an article which
    might be of interest to NG participants.

    You managed to turn it into a personal slanging match. This seems, I
    regret to see, to have become your most common mode of communication. I
    know you have had health problems over the years, and I hope they have
    not got worse and exacerbated your tetchiness; these groups would be
    duller places without you. I just wish you would not so often make
    things personally vituperative.

    I guess, on your assertions above, I will just have to leave those
    regular readers who may be familiar with our respective past posts and
    general attitudes to others, to form their own conclusions.

    More in sorrow than in anger.

    David Littlewood, Sep 4, 2005
  20. As a photographer (strictly amateur, although I did earn a bit at
    college photographing functions) of some 50 years standing, I felt last
    year that I hadn't read a photography book for yonks, and following a
    recent swap to digital (after several years of scanning negatives), felt
    the need to refresh.

    I bought "The new manual of photography", assuming that to be the book
    you cite, with a convenient book token.

    Although I learnt nothing new, I found it to be an excellent refresher,
    especially of techniques I don't use frequently, and have recommended it
    to several new photographers. If you had anything to do with it, then
    well done!


    [The reply-to address is valid for 30 days from this posting]
    Michael J Davis
    Some newsgroup contributors appear to have confused
    the meaning of "discussion" with "digression".
    Michael J Davis, Sep 4, 2005
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