I popped into this combo newspaper/magazine/cigar store tonight to peruse the shelves. I was going to get some dinner at a joint next door to it and, since I was dining by myself, I thought I'd pick up something to read.
As usual, I went to the photography section first. Once there, I thumbed through a half-dozen of the usual suspects. Is it me? Or do the editors of these rags all get together each month and decide whose turn it is to recycle yet another article about the same stuff I've read about a bunch of times before and in just about every one of the generic photo-zines on the shelf? How many times can they publish the same "Secrets of the Pros" before anyone admits the secrets aren't so secret anymore? Sure, every so often one of them prints an article a bit different. Perhaps something about the technical inner workings of sensors or other stuff that I wouldn't be much interested in even if I did have an engineering degree and understood what the heck they're talking about. I'm one of those tell me what it does and how to use it kind of guys. I don't really care how it works. I mostly care that it works.
I then wandered over to the section where a virtual plethora of pulp, detailing all things fashion and pop, is shelved. I thumbed through a bunch of magazines and, honestly, there were some really incredible images. Moreso in the less-well-known rags. But as I'm envying one image after another of one incredible model after another, I couldn't help but wonder how many of the images that really wowed me should I attribute to the photographer and how many should be attributed to whoever processed/retouched the images? It's getting to the point where I can't tell whether the images are exceptional because of the photography or because of the retouching and processing. Sure, it's probably a bit of both. But I'm beginning to lean towards the post-production as the overwhelming factor in deciding the wow-value of many images these days.
In the end, I whittled it down to two magazines: The Smithsonian and Archaeology. I went with Archaeology and had a nice dinner reading about a 19th Century archaeologist who spent a big chunk of his life trying to convince the rest of the world the wonders of ancient Egypt were the result of a long, long, long-ago visit to Egypt, via Atlantis, by a Mayan princess whose name was Moo.
The sultry, possibly-the-descendant-of-a-Mayan-princess, salsa model accompanying this ramble is Ice. I shot Ice last night at a friend's studio. MUA was Chloe.