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Thread: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

  1. #1

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    Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    Before anyone reads this, I am in no way affiliated with Emulsion Magazine. I do not control anything that happens with Emulsion, nor do I have any influence whatsoever over Aggie or anyone else on the staff of Emulsion. The purpose of this thread is to create a discussion about the current status of Emulsion magazine and to discuss its potential future. I am only someone Aggie has chosen to E-Mail about this. I have no knowledge if the information I've received is public knowledge or I am the only one to know. I can't even have the honor of saying that I am a friend of Aggie. All I did was e-mail her a few months ago and asked if there was any way, using the resources I have, I could be of any help to her. I recently received an E-Mail from her again discussing the things her son mentioned to me. To date, I have received one e-mail from her son and one from her. I have no knowledge that upon her recovering to full health whether or not she intends to continue running Emulsion and whether or not it will continue publication without her. It may or may not -- I have no knowledge of that whatsoever.

    For those who do not know, Aggie has been extremely ill for a while now. I don't know for how long, but the illness is definitely a serious one. I cannot disclose what it is -- but if any of you had it, you would be down for the count for quite a while. There were two points in a recent E-Mail I received from a recent e-mail from Aggie. Number one: She is very sick. Number two: There has not been an overwhelming amount of support from the photography community. She does not feel that the level of support she received before she landed in the hospital warrants a feeling that no one really cared about Emulsion. I don't have specifics as to who is "no one", however; it can be assumed that a large majority of people who are in this community have not felt that Emulsion does not offer the content it wants.

    Since I do not have the ability, nor desire to visit APUG, which I believe consists of over 10,000 photographers who sit and talk analog photography all day, it would be great if someone could post these questions over there:

    First if you are a subscriber to Emulsion, what made you subscriber in the first place? Upon receiving your first three issues what did you like, what did you not like? What would you improve and how? What would you take away and why?

    If you are not a subscriber to Emulsion, why are you not a subscriber? What have you heard about Emulsion that you made you not subscribe or have you never even heard of Emulsion whatsoever?

    The purpose of this thread and other threads on other forums is to take a sample of the people who visit this and other forums and test the level of support. If there is an overwhelming amount of support, when Aggie is physically able to run the magazine again, I'm sure she will use this as motivation to run it. However, if there isn't enough support, maybe Emulsion just isn't a good idea and needs to be re-tooled.

    What I can say for certainty is that when the owner of a small business is very ill, the business grinds to a halt. I do not, for one second, believe that the support or lack thereof is any reason why Emulsion has been suspended.

    I'll start. I am not a subscriber. I chose not to subscribe to Emulsion because I felt the magazine was too niche. Then again, until very recently, I wasn't a subscriber to ANY photography publication as the magazines always arrived horribly damaged at my doorstep due to my horrible postman. This has recently changed. I do think that the world is overly digital and that in order to properly understand photography, one must understand the roots of photography, where it came from and how it came to be today. I know that there are a good 10,000 - 20,000 people in the world who continue to print traditional fine art photography... whether or not they do it well is another story. I think those numbers are enough to support editorial based on traditional photography -- but not just techniques. Editorial based upon the market for traditional photography along with a few galleries of photographers who print traditional photography... the newsstand is a hot place right now for fine art photography magazines. Publications such as LensWork, B&W, CamerArts, ViewCamera, Blindspot, Aperture and Focus are kicking ass and taking names on newsstands right now... even when the average American consumer has less money to spend due to higher fuel prices and interest rates on mortgages. I think Aggie has the right idea and with a little tweak here and there, Emulsion could re-launch into a very successful super-niche publication.

    Whatever the results are of this and other threads on other forums, I do wish Aggie luck in a speedy recovery and I hope responses from this thread generate enough positive response for Aggie to continue Emulsion. I think there is an opportunity with David Vickers trying to start a new magazine for photographers and Emulsion's hiatus. I think the two of them should start a conversation... who knows what could result from that.

  2. #2

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    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    I posted this at APUG

  3. #3

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    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    Thanks for passing this along David. I'm not aware of Aggie's condition, other than what you have written here. I have met her in the past; we once went to see the last Star Wars movie together. Good lady.

    I was promised a subscription for doing some work for the magazine, when it first started, but that never materialized, so I have not received any of the issues produced to date (although I have seen someone else's copy of the first issue). However, I did finally subscribe on my own last March. If the magazine gets going again, I will help Aggie and the magazine any way I possibly can.

  4. #4

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    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    I subscribe. Just as I subscribe to View Camera and LensWork. This seemed like an endeavor that someone like myself, who truly enjoys everything that traditional photography has to offer, should support. I've enjoyed the first 3 issues and hope to read many, many more.

  5. #5

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    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    So tell us what's your REAL motivation behind asking these questions?
    *************************
    Eric Rose
    www.ericrose.com


    I don't play the piano, I don't have a beard and I listen to AC/DC in the darkroom. I have no hope as a photographer.

  6. #6

    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    I wish I knew about Emulsion Magazine. I would have been interested in it if I knew it existed. I am always interested in photo publications. I think the more photo publications in the world the better. Photography magazines and public interest help keep our hobbies/professions/photo supplies strong and healthy. I wish her the best.

  7. #7

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    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rose View Post
    So tell us what's your REAL motivation behind asking these questions?
    To try to do the same thing I do every night Eric Rose: To try to take over the world!

    As I mentioned to another photographer privately, it is my sincere hope that there is a lot of positive feedback about people wanting to support Emulsion in the future. Good news can do nothing but help Aggie feel better and get better. I have absolutely zero way of benefitting from Emulsion's success. I do not own or advertise in Emulsion, nor do you see a link under my post with anything to do with me or any of the companies I deal with. A lot of people, including myself would like to see Emulsion succeed.

  8. #8
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    I purchased a two year subscription to support the magazine, and so far, I've gotten three issues. If it succeeds, that's great, but if it fails, I won't feel too put out, since I knew going in that it was their first effort and this wasn't a group of people with a long track record in publishing.

    I felt more put out by _Photovision_, since they had been in print for a few years when I bought a two-year subscription and had a very experienced editorial staff, and when they closed three or four issues into my subscription, the publisher tried to complete the subscription by substituting _Outdoor Photographer_, which was just offensive. I did get a refund check for the remainder of my subscription from that one.

  9. #9

    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rose View Post
    So tell us what's your REAL motivation behind asking these questions?
    Eric,

    Let me start with a few disclaimers - just so my motivation and agenda are clear (hopefully):

    1) I don't know David. Never met him.
    2) I don't know Aggie. Never met her.
    3) I don't work for Focus Magazine
    4) I don't work for Emulsion
    5) I do write for another magazine (View Camera) that some may consider a competitor to Emulsion and Focus (I don't - see below)
    6) I speak for no one but myself

    Now that that's out of the way (phew), here's my take on this issue - in general, not specific to Emulsion. For as long as I've been involved (pushing 20 years now), large format photography has always been a "niche" market. Lately, any type of traditional film-based photography could also be considered a "niche" market. It has always been my philosophy that to be successful in such small, niche markets the best strategy is not to try to pry additional market share from your competitors. The total market is so small to begin with, it makes little sense to me to try to grab a slightly bigger piece of such a small pie. I think a far better strategy is to try to grow the market - to make the pie bigger. I think that benefits everyone. It's the old strength in numbers cliche. It may be a cliche, but in our little world of ever vanishing products, I think it's the best course for survival.

    I believe this applies to all involved in serving our little niche market - that includes camera makers, film makers, magazine publishers, etc. While they may be competitors within their specific sub-niches, ultimately they really depend on each other to keep the market for their products and services alive and well. It's really a snowball affect. If one competitor goes out of business or discontinues products, people begin to lose faith in the market and the market shrinks further. On the other hand, if new products and manufacturers are entering the market it gives the impression that the market is healthy and growing. Customer confidence increases, they buy more products, enjoy using them, tell their friends, etc. So, rather than a shrinking market, you have a potentially growing market and everyone benefits (customers, manufacturers, etc.). As they say, a rising tide floats all boats.

    I've also always believed the best way to grow our markets is to educate potential members about the benefits of large format film photography. I believe magazines play a vital role in this education process, as do forums like this one and APUG. By helping beginners get over the initial learning curve, and teaching experienced users about new techniques or products it helps attract new members to our little community and keeps existing members involved and active. In the end, the result is (hopefully) more people buying equipment, more people shooting more film and more people reading magazines and participating in forums like this one. This encourages manufacturers to keep making their current products and maybe even introduce some new ones. It also encourages new businesses to target new products and services at our market. Again, strength in numbers. The more of us there are in the game, the longer we'll all get to keep playing.

    That was rather long and full of cliches. I have no idea if it has anything to do with David's motivation. I hope it does, but again - see no. 6 above. It also may help explain that while I write for another magazine that some may consider a competitor, I honestly and sincerely wish Aggie the best and hope Emulsion can be a success. If we all work together to grow the market there will be more than enough room for more than one magazine to succeed. And, in the end we'll all be better off.

    Kerry

  10. #10

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    Re: Emulsion Magazine Status Update

    I received issues 2 and 3 of my subscription and enjoyed them very much. I felt there was a wide range of subjects covered, introducing me to work, thoughts and techniques that expanded my horizons. In the show business tradition of always leave them wanting more, I wish each issue had contained more of the same variety. I hoped this would come with growth in the subscription base. I enjoyed Aggie and her feistiness both here and on APUG. I hope she and the magazine can recover successfully and go forward. If my next two issues arrive and continue to grow in quality, I will happily renew my subscription. If not, then I will remember the magazine as an enjoyable experience. More important to me than the magazine is the wish, Good health to you Aggie!

    John

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