Wired Rocks, and Dan is The Man

Shootin' the Orioles vs. Royals baseball game tonight, except that I probably won't be. It is supposed to rain cats and dogs starting at about 6:00pm.

On days like this, you show up at Camden Yards and wait it out. But in the end, your shift is very likely to be an evening off with free hot dogs. I'll take it without a smidgen of guilt, as it partially offsets some other days where the workload is all but impossible to accomplish.

UDATE #1: I was right. It rained the whole time. But they played anyway. It rained nearly the entire game. Cold rain. Wet rain. Football is cool to shoot in the rain. Baseball is not.

So I am sitting here going through Wired Magazine, my favorite monthly dose of visual stimulation. I never fail to read it cover-to-cover. And usually the day it arrives.

Wired is a photographer's playground. They tackle hard-to-illustrate, conceptual topics better than any mag I have ever seen. They take chances. They are not afraid to risk failure in the pursuit of something great. I love that.

It is also the go-to place for interesting tech news and trends. And when I say tech, I do not just mean interesting gadgets. They look at technology in a holistic way that comprises all of the ways in which it affects us.

The scope of this magazine never fails to amaze me. In that sense, I consider it my very favorite biz mag, too.

Better yet, they are only $10 for a whole year if you live in the USA. That's two cups of Starbucks. Makes no sense to me, but I'll take it.

This month has a photo illustration (left) by Dan Winters for a story on how science is hacking, improving and altering our senses. Not an easy thing to illustrate.

But Winters' approach shows why he is one of my very favorite photographers, both in his lighting and his conceptual execution. Take a look at Winters' website to see what I am talking about. His photos are at once sparse and sophisticated. He brings a fresh eye, a playful mind and a craftsman's touch to just about everything he does.

If someone put a gun to my head and said, "Dan Winters, or Greg Heisler?" I do not know who I would choose.

This is a thinking photographer's photographer.

UPDATE #2: I just spent the hour from 1:00am to 2:00am studying every single photo on Dan Winters' site. Two things: (a) Dan is a genius. (b) The wee hours of the morning is a fantastic time of day (well, night) to look at that kind of stuff.

Wherever you are headed in your photographic path, you should be getting regular stimulation from inspirational sources like Dan Winters and Wired Magazine.

What about you guys? Are there any magazines that you find especially good inspiration for your photography? Lemme know about them in the comments. I am always on the lookout.


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Anonymous Chet Piotrowski Jr. said...

I know this sounds cliched or really stupid, depending on how you take it, but I love to read Martha Stewart's Weddings. Being a wedding and portrait photographer with my background in pj, I just can't seem to put a finger on why that magazine's photos capture my attention.

April 14, 2007 5:39 PM  
Blogger Bakhtiyar said...

I really like F1 magazine. I think they have some of the best sports photography around. Especially for a sport that I think tends to result in alot of repetitive images (ie pan shots). These guys find new and innovative ways to look at the same old things, race after race.

April 14, 2007 6:56 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I like the look of ESPN The Magazine for the photography and design.

How about a Strobist hot dog contest?

April 14, 2007 7:11 PM  
Blogger But I'm a Bear! said...

finally something I can comment on!

I look way up to Esquire Magazine. I shoot people - women, specifically. Esquire feature photogs that don't always use studio equipment, or journalistic techniques or even the fanciest of gear to get their amazing images on film (YES, almost all of them still use film. Large format even!!) They have annual photo issues that offer so many different perspectives on what a photo issue should be. i mean, they dressed up Gisele Bundchen in a dress made out of Polaroid film!!!

every issue, for me, has been a huge inspiration in my photography. It keeps me thinking about locations, environments, lighting, situations, etc. Even the writers are *bleep*ing good and really help me understand the inspiration behind the theme of a certain spreads' photographs.

April 14, 2007 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love old reliable, National Geographic. For being a magazine with a history of landscape shooting, there are quite a few strobists. A few recent examples are the articles on hummingbirds and shoes that made good use of flash. You'd also be surprised at the flash work in their "outdoorsy" stuff.

April 14, 2007 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Colbyjoe said...

Rangefinder is the bomb!


Check out this months cover!

April 14, 2007 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B&W-american version.fine art black and white stuff.
Online there's this really neat blog called..strobist?

April 14, 2007 8:39 PM  
Blogger AE said...

He is a strobist! Minimal is good. In his portrait of Virginia Madden you can see what looks to be a rug perhaps that he has dyed for the background. Perhaps I am wrong, but its simplicity. Makes a very nice portrait.

April 14, 2007 8:49 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I think this is worth checking out. It's also not really related. http://boutwellstudio.com/blog/?p=241

April 14, 2007 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey fellow anon, National Geographic looks like c**p these days, it's awful. I don't know what's going on there but it never ceases to disappoint me. Poorly exposed images, grainy flat almost monotone shots. Sorry, it's the last place I'll look for inspiration.

April 14, 2007 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree.

Wired is Excellent.

Another favorite is The New Yorker for wonderful timeless articles on just about everything.

Some edgy photos in Rolling Stone.

April 14, 2007 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's odd but I dig Dwell just for it's design inspiration...

April 14, 2007 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PhotoLife magazine. Published from Canada. A mag that doesn't just tell you what camera to buy when you already have one. Provocative stories and great photos. All it needs is a Strobist.

April 15, 2007 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

I subscribe to American Photo. Lately, I've been checking out Digital Photo Pro. They both do a nice job of including some hardware but mostly being about shooting and emotion. I once read American Cinematographer relgiously - talk about 180-degrees from Strobist methodology - for years, but finally I couldn't keep up. I like W because its oversized format makes image so amazing. Virginia Living magazine for the same reason, but also because they must be shooting on medium format and it really shows.

April 15, 2007 1:34 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

B+W is the best art photography mag going. I also love PVW (performance VW). I shoot a lot of cars and these guys put out a high quality mag every month with some great uses of strobe remotes in the vehicle photography field. keeps me inspired.

April 15, 2007 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a photographer I too like Wired. It gives me a glimpse of what is just over the horizon.

But as a photographer who is also a sailor, I love "Sailing." It is a BIG rag with loads of well done double trucks. I read it cover to cover and doak in all the great photos...

April 15, 2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger Mark Scheuern said...

I shoot a lot of cars and motorsports, too, so I'll second the vote for F1 Racing magazine. Some excellent portraiture there as well as car shots. The British automotive magazines Evo and Car are also favorites of mine. Lots of inspirational stuff.

I like Digital Photo Pro, too, and LensWork.

April 15, 2007 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wired is a really good one, their photography is fresh. I really like Dwell, their design is really nice and I like the way they do their pictures, laid back, their interior shots don't look like some rich stuffy house, they look like they've been lived in. Also, I'm surprised no one's mentioned Communication Arts, their annuals are great and their articles are very inspiring and positive.

April 15, 2007 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude. I've seen alot of your stuff that looks just as good. In fact, I've seen ALOT of your stuff that is just as good if not better. AND considering you have a newsdesk whining for images to be in on their desks.

April 15, 2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger gregr said...

I shoot mostly fashion and some other "people" stuff...I find most of my inspiration from fashion magazines. Especially the non-US ones - French Vogue is definitely one of my favorites.

April 15, 2007 1:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan R. Dlugosz said...

I started getting LensWork recently and must say that I've been impressed so far. A little expensive, but a quality product that can be kept in your library. Its essentially a B&W portfolio-showcase magazine.

April 15, 2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger graham said...

I like JPG Magazine. There aren't a whole lot of articles in it, but )pretty much) every article and photo is submitted by a member of the web site. It's a bi-monthly periodical, and in my opinion, it's fantastic.

~$24 USD for a years subscription, if my memory serves me well.

April 15, 2007 2:54 PM  
Blogger darrell & rhonda said...

I like Lenswork.

April 15, 2007 5:19 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Photo (France). American Photo is the sister magazine of this publication, but doesn't even compare to it. Hell I don't even know French and I still get it to look through and get some ideas.

April 16, 2007 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like RangeFinder mag. They always have some great images, plus they are giving away free subscriptions.


April 17, 2007 9:32 PM  
Blogger emeeul said...

Business- Fast Company, Wired
Outdoors- Outside
Fashion- all of the Vogues, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ
Auto- Intersection, EVO, CAR, F1, Octane
Home- Dwell, Metropolitan Home, Cottage Living

You can find inspiration in probably every category of the magazine section.

April 19, 2007 9:56 AM  

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