Photographers of the Fediverse assemble!

Hello photographers of the Fediverse,

Let me float an idea.

I’ve been thinking for a good while about what I miss when I look at people’s posts. We all enjoy looking at photos people publish, and we can favourite and we can boost. But in these days of mass media consumption, what I’m missing is spending time on photos and understanding the ones that attract my eye.

I can put on them my interpretation or understanding. I can try to look at details, forms, shapes, colours, subject, and imagine what the photographer wanted to convey. But that doesn’t tell me what the photographer was thinking and why they decided it was a photo they wanted to show other people.

When I started photography ca 2002, I spent a lot of time on forums (fora?) such as Photocamel and, where a lot of very talented people hung out. Unlike modern social media, there was no like or reshare, and on most not even view counters. So if you wanted engagement and feel people had seen your images, you needed discussions. And that’s how we learned.

It’s obviously hard to do on microblogging, even on a blogging platform, because the format isn’t appropriate. And not every photo deserves an in-depth explanation: some are just throwaway shots (things I saw yesterday, holiday snaps in passing), some are just not quite as good as they could/should be, some are just designed to be free of explanation.

But some would deserve to be explained. What caught the eye of the photographer? Why is it pleasing to the eye? What was the context? What’s the story behind the scene? Why that angle instead of another? What’s the intent behind it? What message does it convey for the photographer?

I also miss the event aspect of a formal publication. I miss when you wait for the new issue and read it quickly the minute it arrives. I miss the package of goodness that arrives all at once instead of page by page as on a blog. I miss the fact that people spend time thinking about what they’re publishing instead of just drive by posting.

So, I’ve been thinking of creating a magazine to cover many things: portfolios, photo explanations, “photojournalism” (aka telling a story), interviews, how people approach their photography, how they found their style (and what their style means), even who they look up to. The purpose would be to spread the thinking around photography instead of just the images.

I’m thinking monochrome oriented, because it’s where my head is at the moment, and because monochrome photographers appear to me to be more dedicated to the craft (especially film ones). But I’m open to colour too (I used to do only colour).

I’m aware that magazines like that already exist in the world (e.g. Monovisions). I used to read them a long time ago. But this one would be ours. It would be the Fediverse’s. People appearing in it wouldn’t be some strange, pretentious photographer from New-York you’ll never talk to, it would be people you see posting every day, who would engage with you, who you would possibly even meet. It would be photography that is close to you and them.

The accent wouldn’t be on gear because we all know that gear doesn’t make you a good photographer. Some people like to use phones, others old cameras, others the latest mirrorless. Some like to use film, others digital. B&W or colour. Everything is acceptable and a personal choice and nothing relies on specific hardware. It would even be interesting to know why people choose what they use (e.g. cost, rapport to the medium, sentimental choice, aspect of the results, snobbism).

For cost considerations, it would obviously be digital only. I have the resources for hosting. All we would need is content and presentation.

What do you all think? It could be a stupid idea.