Warner Grandfield has strong views, and like the rest of us, had to attempt to make sense of the pandemic. One of the positive things that did emerge from the global illness was that a lot of people tried to make sense of things in one way or another. Some people sat around surfing the web, endlessly consuming less-than-accurate news while thinking this was actually doing something. Others went out and ACTUALLY did something. This second group is the group I prefer to focus on.
This is a basic magazine product, what I always refer to as the “sleeper” product of all time, especially for photographers. Why on Earth more photographers do not have their own series is beyond me, and I’ve given up caring or attempting to sway people. If someone can’t see the benefit by now, well, then it’s because they don’t want to see it. (none of my business really)
There are several things about this magazine I really love and a few I don’t. The things I don’t like can be remedied easily which is why I’m bringing them up, and they are also things I see routinely from other folks. (And I’ve done almost all of these things myself.) The first is camera resolution. There are images here that look perfect, beautiful in fact, while others look a bit pixelated for my taste. I don’t know how Warner made these images, so I can only guess here, but perhaps the lower resolution images were made with a mobile phone? I was watching someone else teach photography a few weeks ago and this person said “I don’t want to see anyone pinching their phone screen while using the photo app.” “No zooming.” Once you zoom those phones and try to print those zoomed images it often doesn’t work out well. But again, I’m just guessing there.
Another thing I would consider revising is the size of the copy and the typeface chosen. I like smaller font sizes paired with narrower copy blocks. I think the size of the italicized font at the bottom of the page is closer to the size I would use for the body copy. and I would narrow those text containers by about fifty percent. Or think about doing a two-column setup.
Now, for the good stuff. Love the color chapter breaks. These are such a nice change of pace, and they pair so well with monotone imagery. I am going to steal this technique. Love it. Also, look at these black and white images. Stellar. Really, I think these images are solid and can stand alone. As you will see, some of the strongest images are turned so that they must be viewed by turning the publication to spine-on-top. At first, this bothered me a bit. Now, I love it.(I’ve done entire publications like this.) This simple technique forces the viewer to stop, turn the publication and pay attention. There is ONE thing to view, that’s it. It also allows Warner to run the image full page, just what good photographs deserve; space. At the core of photo-publication are the images and these are worthy of our time.