Photography studio, gallery and training complex

Silvershotz: The best photo mag?

I was wandering around Focus (the photography show at Birmingham NEC) a couple of years ago and in one of the smaller rows of stands, I found a nice man called Clive who was selling subscriptions to a magazine called Silvershotz. Clive, it turns out, is the editor.

From Waters Edge by Gina Socrates (Silvershotz Folios issue)

I thumbed through a few of the back issues he had lying around on the table, and was sufficiently impressed to not only sign up for a subscription, but also to fill my satchel with back issues.

Ever since, I have told my various classes about Silvershotz. For those of us brought up on Practical Photography and Amateur Photographer, Silvershotz is quite a departure.

Firstly, Silvershotz is a truly international publication, with work featured from photographers all over the world (in fact, there are frequently whole magazines dedicated to the work emanating from one country – Poland, for example).

Image by Louise Mann, from Silvershotz Folios edition

The second thing is the notable absence of advertising. Or at least, minimal amount of advertising – only 6 of the 100 or so pages are advertising. I’m guessing that even if they wanted more advertisers, the international distribution would rule out all but the bigger, multinational companies. In fact when I renewed my subscription I asked if someone could contact me about advertising for Fotofilia… I’m still waiting.

And then there’s the quality of the thing! This isn’t a magazine – it’s more of a periodical coffee table book. The pages are well printed (although I spoke to one featured photographer who said her work hadn’t been accurately reproduced) on sumptuously thick paper.

The only oddity about this mag is its rather bizarre editioning system. As I understand it (and I don’t – not really), subscriptions are “a Volume set of 6 editions. This ensures you don’t miss out on article series. It also makes Silvershotz volumes highly collectable… Subscriptions run from September 2010 to August 2011 so if you subscribe half way through you recieve Volume 7, Editions 1, 2 and 3 then the balance finishing in August 2011“. Clear? No, me neither.

What I CAN say is that I get a real buzz when an edition/volume/whatever lands on my mat. This is a publication I feel justified in giving bookshelf space because I get (almost) as much fun looking through old copies as through the new one. Each copy isn’t especially topical and so is pretty much timeless, with only a few trends appearing to drift in and out of favour.

Also, as the name suggests, there is an emphasis on silver-based traditional processes but by no means are digital practitioners excluded. There are also some great instructional article series which cover everything from digital manipulation to experimental or historical image-making processes.

I’ve just recieved the “Folios” issue which includes specially selected work submitted over the last 12 months (some of which has already been published but not much). There is some amazing work in there.

So far there hasn’t been a single copy which hasn’t inspired and astounded me. This is a world class magazine in my opinion. Anyone disagree? Or can you recommend anything better?

Check it out at http://www.silvershotz.com/index.php?act=home

The images I’ve included here are by Gina Socrates http://www.ginasocrates.com/

and Louise Mann http://www.louisemann.com/

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One response

  1. Jeff Boston

    Hi David,

    Congratulations on the new blog, something I will monitor regularly. Enjoyed the Phuong Pham exhibition at the studio and look forward to upcoming workshops, seminars and various other Club activities in the future.

    Jeff

    December 10, 2010 at 8:00 pm

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