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Interview

Justin Cormack 1:42pm, 28 July 2006
There is an interview with the man in the current Amateur Photographer magazine.
Mac... 12 years ago
He seems a bit grumpy.
Mister Phill 12 years ago
I purchased a subscription to Amateur Photographer when I 'got back into photography' a while back. I liked it for the portfolios and the odd interview with iconic photographers, and put up with it's fuddy duddy undertones that seems to cater for a conservative generation of enthusiasts. I cancelled my subscription however when they ran a virulently one sided hatchet job on the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize, a competition that celebrates a certain broad element of fringe style that might be described as Lomography grown up, and indeed the work of someone like Martin Parr wouldn't go amiss in its ranks. I was rankled by the fact that I was contributing towards the profits of a magazine applying appaling standards of journalism in a highly tabloid manner.

Then I saw the Parr interview on the front cover of AP on a newsstand and as the edition came in a plastic wrap I wasn't able to take a dip and settled for stumping up a little cash for an insight into Parr's work.

My arse.

The opening editorial by AP's cowardly editor rips the piss out of Parr for not knowing what model of camera he uses and the article itself by Bob Aylott (I believe the same guy whom wrote the broader AP article slating the SPPP) goes almost immediately into attack mode and shockingly displays strong signs of homophobia.

I'd be grumpy if dealing with an arse like Aylott sent along by a tabloid rag like AP ;~)
Tsingtao 12 years ago
It was Roger Hicks' pompous articles that made me stop reading AP. The whole mag is stuck in the past. They did a good article about pinhole cameras a coupla years back, though.
Mister Phill 12 years ago
I must admit I got a perverse utility from reading Hicks' column. It reminded me to spend more time listening to those around me and to avoid pontification like the plague ;~)
parrpolygon 12 years ago
I was really ticked by the huge chip this guy had on his shoulder.
I guess I should be grateful that people still get wound up by what I do.
Martin Parr
Justin Cormack 12 years ago
@Camster - you misread it - clearly Parr was taking the piss out of all the gear obsessed people by pretending he didnt know what camera he was using.
Mister Phill 12 years ago
Clearly he was taking the piss out of gear obsessives, as related in the article itself, but in ...The opening editorial ... AP's cowardly editor rips the piss out of Parr for not knowing what model of camera he uses

Thus I was citing the editor's quite possibly deliberate misreading of what Parr said.

/pedant mode ;~)
parrpolygon 12 years ago
Of course I know what equipment i use , but i could not remember the model of the Nikon. I could not tell you the actual model of the ring flash. It is in my eyes a Nikon ring flash.
There was a certain pleasure in realising that the act of not knowing the precise spec was very annoying to this guy.
Martin Parr
ps For more tech info go to FAQ on my site
martinparr.com
Eric Hands PRO 12 years ago
One thing I like about Flickr - technical details are purely voluntary, which allows the pictures to speak for themselves. Most of us are, at some time or another, influenced by the fact that Bailey promoted Olympus, that Cartier-Bresson uses Leica or that Martin Parr uses a ring flash. But more impressive to me is the knowledge that X used a 1950s Ikonta folding camera to produce a knockout image, or that Y lit their still life with a ring of bunsen burners. Yes, I've been through the 'trainspotter' phase myself. But it didn't make me a better photographer.
brash passenger [deleted] 12 years ago
I love how everyone is ignoring the fact that Martin is apparently contributing to this thread. If it's not him, then it's a really weak wind-up.

Back on topic...

I've never read any photography magazines, are there any worth buying?
Mister Phill 12 years ago
Now we have to doubly ignore the fact you didn't ignore what was being ignored ;~)

I purchase a range of mainstream photography magazines from time to time and am always left feeling hollow afterwards (in terms of photographic inspiration moreso than in terms of lifestyle crisis). National Geographic is always a better bet.
Eric Hands PRO 12 years ago
Spot on Camster - There are so many mags on the racks these days, swelled by the explosion of titles with 'Digital' tacked on. Print quality is good, photos published are the kind I would have drooled over 20 years ago. But most of them don't have the X-Factor for me these days. Same goes for Zoom. I see more exciting stuff in the Guardian. I buy Amateur Photographer every week, read it over breakfast and in the smallest room. British Journal of Photography occasionally comes up with some good stuff, often student work rather than established pros.
Dan Sumption 12 years ago
Yup, Guardian seems to be great for photography nowadays - the daily double-spread in the newspaper, plus there's almost always good stuff in the Weekend magazine. I occasionally buy magazines like European Photography and Photoworks when I'm in an art gallery, but most of the photo magazines you can pick up in newsagents seem like a waste of trees.
MOD
doctor.boogie 12 years ago
i've had the feeling for a while that alot of mags are stuck in the past. when i buy them its to look at the ads to find out the best price on gear....shame really... i see more pictures here that inspire than i do in these mags
brash passenger [deleted] 12 years ago
I've learned so much from flickr and other websites that it's never occurred to me to check out any printed publications. Seems that's an inadvertently wise choice.
Monkey Magic 12 years ago
even then the gear prices are out of date because of ebay! AP boring and a waste of time and they seem to have a chip on their shoulder about everything. they had a big chip about Martin making good money out of his photography (if he is, well done to him), a big chip about the Schweppes Portrait Prize last year. I always thought I just didn't like it because it has such a "male" slant on everything - I found it very unappealing as a female reader - but seeing these comments from blokes means maybe it's not just that.
Dan Sumption 12 years ago
Maybe Martin Parr fans are just more in touch with our inner female?

I have a chip on my shoulder about the Schweppes prize. They didn't shortlist me.

:)
Tsingtao 12 years ago
@doctor.boogie. I agree - 10 minutes browsing flickr will turn up more inspirational and original stuff than a years subscription to most photo magazines. I get the odd issue of Black And White Photography and Digital Camera Magazine. I gave up with Practical Photography ages ago because I was sick of looking at pictures of either old cars in Cuba or calm lakes in cumbria. I don't care about pictures being technically perfect, as long as they are strong images.
blue-eyed sleet [deleted] Posted 12 years ago. Edited by blue-eyed sleet (member) 12 years ago
Photo mags sucks ass big time!!! They are too bogged down with the technique of photography hence the photos all being bland and boring, you can have all the technique in the world! but without imagination your shots will still be shit.
mistagregory 12 years ago
How would we know if parrpolygon is the real Martin Parr? A few years ago I won a Tate Modern photo contest judged by Martin Parr and Chris Steele Perkins and Mr. Parr emailed me from his parrpolygon email account.

Parrpolygon, do you remember the image?
excellent houses [deleted] 12 years ago
If you hate photography mags that are full of technical twaddle, check out www.jpgmag.com , they have a group on flickr too.
parrpolygon Posted 12 years ago. Edited by parrpolygon (member) 12 years ago
It is difficult for me to prove that I am Martin Parr.
Sometimes I ask myself this question.
Do you want my Mother's maiden name, memmorable time or place (How about New Brighton)?
On the magazine front, why not read Source or Photoworks, rather than AP. If you are on this section of Flikr , I would say they will co-incide with your taste and aspirations.
MP
Mistagregory
i remember the competition, and that it was exhibited in the members room, sorry though I cannot recall the image. Anyway congrats on winning.
Navas PRO 12 years ago
Well, I believe you're Martin Parr, if that's worth anything. Your writing looks like you. I could ask a personal "prove that you can answer this correctly" question too because I have corresponded with you in recent months, but I won't.
Back on topic, I've recently read a few AP's thinking it might be of interest as I only started getting more properly into photography early this year. I've been neither very impressed by most of the photos (I've seen far more exciting work on Flickr) nor by most of the articles. The only good thing is that I get it on a Saturday morning and it makes me sit down for a few minutes.
Monkey Magic 12 years ago
Yes welcome Martin! Hope you like the tribute group - some of the photos are really excellent.
Drift Words 12 years ago
> I get it on a Saturday morning and it makes me sit down for a few

That seems to be the point of magazines these days. Same here with Runner's World, when it should be doing the opposite. Of course, for those few minutes, their advertisers have you bound and gagged.
Kate Kirkwood 11 years ago
Would Martin Parr misspell 'memorable'?
What Photos Look Like PRO 11 years ago
Personally, I think that a real Martin would not care about convincing anyone of his "real" identity. He understands that flickr identities are a sort of personal propoganda.
artareas 11 years ago
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