New “Field Magazine” for New Mexico

I just ordered this thing and received it in less than one week. The doorbell rang and I looked through the glass to see yet another Blurbish box, the 157th time this has happened to be exact. I actually didn’t know what it was because I had only ordered the magazine a few days ago and didn’t think that could possibly be enough time. Apparently it is. BOOM, it’s here. I did one of these months ago, a small one, 20-pages, which I’ve been using in the field. This last trip, which was mostly wasted replacing the entire sewer line at my house, I used the magazine while working just outside of Santa Fe. The response to having the magazine was as good as you could get. In fact, it was what prompted me to do this version which is 80-pages and has more of the full story of why I’m out doing what I’m doing.

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Making a publication like this, and then showing it in the field, is evidence you are not messing around. In fact, after I showed the previous version, the person I showed it to referenced the magazine later the same day and then again a few days later. I think it also had a lot to do with this person saying “You guys are okay,” and “I think you have good intentions with what you are doing,” and in that neck of the woods trust is essential to do any kind of photographic business. As for making a tool like this I don’t over think the matter. I see a need and I just go. So far this methodology has worked out pretty darn well, both commercially and now entirely and joyfully on my own.
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As with many of the things I create these days, I didn’t have a lot of time to obsess about the meaning or particulars. Even with limited time the creation of this tool forced me to spend focused energy in regard to editing and sequencing. This is NEVER a bad thing even when after doing so you realize how LITTLE good work you actually have. Sob, sob. I think it has been four years and counting on this project, but a very, very light part-time at best. Doing this particular kind of work you realize the world isn’t a small place at all. You realize that even one state, in one country, on one continent would take a lifetime to really get to see and understand.
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Full admission here…looking at this magazine makes me FEEL really good. It FEELS great to find a bit of clarity in the photographic clutter of life. I carry this thing in my bag and hope I can show it to others. It makes me think about what I’m doing and how the people IN the photos would respond to this. How would they feel? What does it mean to be included? What will it mean to those who have yet to see it? Having this magazine also makes me feel like there are A LOT of photographers in the world who could do amazing things with this tool. The magazine represents a very special place in the heart of generations of photographers. We all know the current state of the editorial world, so when you think about doing a magazine on your own, and running work the way it was intended to be seen, you realize just how powerful a tool like this can be. If I was a better designer I would love to create a collaborative, quarterly publication showcasing good photography with enough real estate to allow the work to shine.

21 Responses to “New “Field Magazine” for New Mexico”

  1. Zeno Watson says:

    A very interesting medium Dan. I may explore this myself for my own projects… I am also interested if your magazines will be available/ for sale in the near future?

    Zeno

  2. Mei-Chun J says:

    Love it! Keep doing what you’re doing…your work is inspiring.

  3. I’d really like to give this a try, but it’s tied to an Adobe InDesign plugin. Any idea why that is, or whether there’s any plan to make “magazines” part of BookSmart? Very frustrating…

    Mike

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Mike,

      The magazine is a fairly specific tool that has traditionally been utilized by a specific crowd in the design and photography worlds, a crowd who uses InDesign as their primary tool. So, it was a good fit. As for the future, it will all depend on demand. Will keep you posted.

  4. Mike says:

    Dan: I’d buy this. To create a magazine with Blurb I need to purchase Adobe InDesign: fair enough, but I would rather Blurb offer the option.

    Mike.

  5. greg g says:

    So you don’t intend to sell anything from the New Mexico project. I have some idea why, but I’d still urge you to reconsider. Selfishly, it’s the one thing I’m most interested in and most want to see in print in some form and there have to be costs associated with the project that could be defrayed (I assume there’s a break even point on publication after which you could actually make a small profit) with things like this magazine, perhaps on a pre=publication subscription basis. It would let some of us who really fell in love with the idea of this project help support it, be, in a way, minor contributors. If it can help open doors, couldn’t it also help fund the walking through them?

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Greg,
      Even if I sold a few thousands copies it wouldn’t really cut into the amount I’ve already spent on the project. I won’t ever make money with the New Mexico project, nor do I have any interest in getting it published or shown or purchased in any way. I don’t work as a photographer any longer, so I have no real commercial interest in photography. Actually, more than anything else, it’s a total relief. Sounds weird but it’s true. I’m doing this project for a variety of reasons, all of which are very personal, more so than anything I’ve done before. At some point, many years from now, I’d like to see if I can get one of the New Mexico museums to take it in. If they chose to do something with the work then so be it, but before then I”m just going to try and concentrate on making the images. About all I can handle, but thanks for your support, interest and suggestions. I appreciate your honesty.

  6. Ron’s blood stains must be preserved, do take good care of that magazine and keep his DNA. We may need to clone him one day if the sheep ever manage a successful revenge.

    Great stuff.

  7. LionelB says:

    Looking for something else entirely a couple of days ago I happened upon a list of words with Arabic etymology. Latin I often get, also French but Arabic is a blank page. Lo and behold, ‘magazine’. Rather wonderfully, the original Arabic means ‘storehouse’. Instantly I could see why the French use ‘magasin’ for department store. But I like our adoption of it more. Magazine – a place full of different stuff.
    Touting my website to random contacts garners some respect but this ‘Carte de Visite’ idea is a great one. I must see my friend with the colour photocopier and the long stapler…

  8. Stephanie says:

    I love the idea of being able to show a project in the interim stages so people can see where you are heading. It would save a lot of explaining. Just wish I had In Design as it would be perfect for something I’m working on at the moment. Might have to investigate costs. Thanks for showing us what is possible.

    • Smogranch says:

      Stephanie,
      You can lease the programs now for like $20 per month, which I think is better than buying anyway. Since our plugin came out I’ve made about 14 books. 13 have been with InDesign, and I barely know how it works.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Thanks will definitely check the monthly option out – sounds good

  10. Aguirre says:

    Great stuff, Daniel; tremendous potential for entrepreneurial sojourners. I see this as a calling card to open doors when visiting new places/people. It gives weight and context that can cross language and cultural barriers.

  11. David Behar says:

    Dan,

    I like the fact that you put much emphasis on ‘editing’ and ‘sequencing’ of what ever it is that someone is trying to convey. Those are simple yet powerful components of good story telling.

    Enjoyed your live/canned rich media presentation.

    Anything else I can do for you, just holler.

    David Behar

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