Friday, 18 October 2013

Mag Watch: National Geographic

“Photographers use their cameras as tools of exploration, passports to inner sanctums, instruments for change. Their images are proof that photography matters – now more than ever.”

Jason Wain Photography

National Geographic magazine needs no introduction. It is a world renowned magazine (why, I often wonder, is it not called International Geographic?), published in 36 languages and with an alleged global circulation of 8.3 million.

So why give it a mention here, if everyone already knows about it? Because this month marks the 125th anniversary since it was first published in October 1888. And to celebrate they have produced 'The Photography Issue' – a special edition on the 'power of photography'.

The issue has been divided into different aspects of what photography can do, with classic Nat Geo articles to illustrate the point. For example, the power of photography to 'prove' is supplemented by an article on melting glaciers. Photography's ability to 'reveal' is demonstrated through David Guttenfelder's poignant photographs inside North Korea.

There are other interesting articles such as one on the future of photography and the impact of mobile phone cameras and applications such as Instagram. Robert Draper's introductory piece is well worth a read for those unaware of what photography can do, and also offers a small insight into the lives of that limited number of people who can call themselves “National Geographic photographers”. 65-year-old Abelardo Morell's incredible photographs of America's national parks, taken with a makeshift camera obscura, are bound to inspire too.

There is little point in listing more; I would simply say that it is worth getting a copy whilst it's still in the high street.

Below is a selection of quotes from the issue:

“A great photograph has the power to explode the totality of our world, such as we never see it quite the same again.” - Robert Draper

Jason Wain Photography

“Photography [can be viewed as] a collaborative venture between two souls on either side of the lens.” - Robert Draper

“Photography is a weapon against what's wrong out there. It's bearing witness to the truth.” - Brent Stirton

“You want to reveal what life is like – to show things we may never fully understand” - Lynn Johnson

“Perhaps we are witnessing the development of a universal visual language, one that could change the way we relate to each other and the world. Of course, as with any language, there will be those who produce poetry and those who compile shopping lists.” - James Estrin

Jason Wain Photography

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