It’s so nice to look at print publications, I suppose its all part of the process to most analogue shooters. But for some of us who’ve just come across from digital, it’s a big thing to see that shiny gloss on a large piece of paper.
Magazines and books are great for the soul, especially on those Sunday mornings when you can’t be bothered to go shoot. Everybody has this feeling at some point, so put your feet up, get a warm drink and enjoy.
PhotoKlassik International is a quarterly magazine dedicated to the analogue world of photography. Their magazine covers photographers and stories from around the globe through their international writing staff.
Although the German magazine PhotoKlassik had been around for seven years, one of the writers, Marwan El Mozayen, was convinced that the English-speaking world needed a magazine for film photography, too. He put together an entirely new team with a different concept that would fit a worldwide market, and in August 2018 they launched on Kickstarter, calling it PhotoKlassik International.
The rest is history, as they say. The Kickstarter reached almost 300% of its goal and the First Special Edition launched in October 2018.
When you first look at the magazine it’s apparent they love to show an image and the cover embraces this thought pattern. It has simple clean lines, yet has the right amount of text providing you with what you can look forward to. It has a modern font that is clear to read and they’ve used the smallest amount of colour to not distract you from the imagery. The style of page layout is tailored to the individual artist, so some pages have small images in a square format where others have a full page. This really helps the artist look different from all the others, as not everyone shoots in the same format.
As far as the format is concerned, it’s your standard magazine size of 8.5 by 11 inches but feels very solid compared to some. You will be pleased to know issue 2 came in at 100 pages including the back page. The weight is nearly 500grams too, so it shouldn’t fall apart easily! The team have ensured there is a suitable margin around the text and images and page edges, which gives it this nice border. This also helps you focus on the page better, just like a large border around prints in a gallery.
Well after reading 2 issues I can honestly say I’m a massive fan, because of the diversity. As a blogger and podcaster myself, I believe one of the best skills is diversity itself. Keep bringing different subject matter, different artists, different styles, different formats all help us keep fresh. Reading and seeing work by such a variety of people can help your own work, as it may induce some random spark of genius!
Photoklassik has broken the magazine into 3 areas for each magazine, so you can go straight to artists and their work. You could instead check out interesting articles or read up on techniques and gear used. The magazine has also dedicated 2 pages to highlight all the artists involved in the magazine, which keeps all the articles free from clutter.
In the 2 issues I have read, they managed to cover the motion picture industry and its fight to keep film, talk about colour printing in the darkroom. I must not forget articles about cameras used on James Bond and the moon landings. These 2 articles were extra special to myself after recently interviewing one of the teams who worked on the Hasselblad Appollo cameras and a film photographer who worked on the James Bond set too!
After careful thought it’s quite easy to formulate a few conclusive points about the magazine:
- Value for money
- No ads
- It’s analogue
- Everyday artists
- Plenty of articles
Yes, its 14 GBP or 15 euros which is a little more than similar magazines like British Journal of Photography (BJP) at 10 GBP. However, you have to remember this started as a Kickstarter, so it’s new and more of a niche market place and therefore only 10,000 issues made.
They have also managed to do this with so few ads, I mean 1 on the back cover and a couple in the back page is standard practice. The greatest effect of no advertising is your viewing pleasure is maximised. No silly irrelevant adverts detracting you, this is a magazine about art and people, not institutions, so we have to pay a little more. On the theme of advertising, you should note issue 3 has the first Kodak advert in a long time!
Having a dedicated analogue outlet is so rewarding and it’s been some time since this genre has had its own magazine. As a man who’s read magazines since he teenage years through football, golf, computers, mountain biking and now photography, I’ve seen thousands of issues. One of the key factors I’ve learned is that there is a massive difference between artistic style magazines like this and BJP, compared to consumer magazines like Practical Photography and Photoplus etc. So as long as you love art or reading about analogue projects this is definitely the magazine for you.
After looking through the issues, you can clearly see it’s about you and me, the general public. It’s not about interviewing the most famous or influential photographers in the world, it’s about every day people. I think the analogue world is very different from our forefathers, where professionals had to use film. From my experiences of a couple of years, I’ve only seen this analogue world as a community and amateur driven movement with a few professionals. So it’s lovely to hear about like-minded individuals with skill, care and craft in the analogue community showing their passion. It’s also nice there are seasoned people who can write tried and trusted ways to achieve results, like colour darkroom printing.
I think you are just treated to a bit of everything and it is so nice to hear that there are so many large format shooters too. The level of the work and articles is top rate, they are clear, interesting and worth a read.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed what’s been released so far and cannot wait to see more. I’m in contact with the magazine at the time of writing, so you never know the Phlogger may make an appearance one day. I can honestly say they are fantastic communicators too, we’ve been in communication recently and its an honour to work with them. Trust me, this is not normal in the world of media, a response to an email is normally the holy grail.
Until next time, enjoy your reading and “be true”.
Where to buy
If you are in the UK you might be better using our friends:
Or for subscriptions and buying within the EU try their own website: