Physically, I love it. The square back, beautiful matte paper stock and crisp finish are perfect and compliment the contents wonderfully. The cover is very simple - I love the font used especially. The cover image sparks intrigue and makes you eager to start reading. If you flip the book over, you'll find a lovely simple image that gels with the cover in a really pleasant way. Great job on the cover!
Inside, you'll find an introduction to the photographers that make up AllFormat. There's a really lovely image separating the intro from the zine's images. I must admit, it's got to be one of my favourites in the zine.
There's plenty of stunning images to choose from, but I'll narrow it down to a few. I really love how each spread consists of a single image, or a biptych of two images that compliment each other really, really well. You can really tell there's been a lot of effort put in on deciding what order the images go in. There's so much diversity in this zine, that's something I was particularly pleased with. There's something for everyone. A few spreads I wasn't fond of, but that's okay! That's what makes art wonderful - everyone's opinion is different. I'll share with you a few of my favourites:
My favourite spread in the whole book is this one by Giulia Agostini and Kit Young. The first image has a really lovely depth to it, it took me a good few minutes to figure out exactly how the image was shot. The second has this sensation of altitude to it - it's like looking out of an aircraft window. The squares and lines that make up the door draw you further into the image until you peer outside onto what looks like a roof, with a single figure standing, waiting. Brilliant shots!
This next one by Cameron Hoerth has a very human feeling to it. It feels very candid; it's messy but everything is there for a reason, everything adds to the story. I don't think this would have worked on anything other than film. Maybe colour would have worked for this shot, but the black-and-white has this truthful, honest feeling to it. The flare through the window and the lighting is really well captured, it seems to veil the figure on the left. Beautiful!
This last spread by Tatsuya Totsuka has soul. These couple of images have a melancholy and spirit to them that's really difficult to pull off well - it reminds me of works by photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Laura Makabresku. The soft lighting is beautiful and it really adds a dreamy, surreal feel to these images.
The interview with Bryan Schutmaat was very insightful. I think potentially the questions could have been more specific or interesting, but the interview is fantastic. It really feels like I stepped inside the mind of a genius photographer, and it's always refreshing to hear another photographer's point of view - especially one of Schutmaat’s calibre.
One thing I didn't particularly like about the zine's layout was the use of initials by the images instead of full names. I found myself asking "This shot is great! Who took this?" and having to flick all the way back through to the contents page or index at the back of the zine and find where I was afterwards. Maybe full names would've worked better.
One thing I would have liked as well is to maybe have a bit of context with some of the images. I love hearing the stories behind the images - how the photographer wound up there, what they were thinking as they took the image, I know a good photograph should let the viewer figure out the image's meaning for themselves using clues in the composition, but I personally really love reading little tidbits of info about images occasionally. I think maybe having more than 1 image per page for some of the spreads would also have made the image a bit more diverse - but I see the zine was clearly going for a nice tidy aesthetic, and it's pulled it off well!
Overall, I think it's a really well put-together zine. It's a very tidy, informative showcase of all the wonderful work the members of AllFormat have been producing. Thanks again to Michael for lending me his copy!
Hope you all have a wonderful day,