The V&A's new show, Horst: Photographer of Style, looks back at sixty years of work by the master image-maker Horst P Horst, who made his name at French Vogue in the 1930s. But with no vintage prints of Horst's magazine work available, the museum had to enlist the help of a specialist printer and the Condé Nast archives to get back to the original Kodachrome transparencies...
In 1930 Horst (1906-99) came to Paris to work as an apprentice to Le Corbusier. After meeting George Hoyningen-Huene, one of the star photographers at French Vogue, Horst gained access to the artistic circles of the French capital – a year later, he joined French Vogue at the encouragement of Dr Mehemed Agha, art director of American Vogue.
This was at a time when publisher Condé Montrose Nast was investing in image reproduction facilities in response to the increasing demand for photography in fashion magazines – and in order to produce such highly detailed imagery, Nast insisted that his Vogue photographers work with large format cameras (which produced negatives at ten by eight inches).
Horst was able to experiment with colour while at Vogue (Surrealism also became an influence on his style) and in 1935 he photographed the Russian Princess Nadejda Sherbatow in a red velveteen jacket for the first of his many Vogue covers.
Yet Horst’s early colour work is rarely exhibited because so few vintage prints exist. As the V&A explain, "colour capture" took place on a transparency that was then reproduced on the magazine page without the need to create an actual print.
For the V&A exhibition, curator Susanna Brown decided that in order to show Horst's Vogue work properly a series of large prints would be produced specifically for the show, working directly from the original ten by eight Kodachromes held in the Condé Nast archives.
CN archive director, Shawn Waldron, described the process of recreating Horst's work in a blog post for the V&A.
"The vintage chromes contain an incredible amount of depth and detail," he writes. "High-resolution drum scans from Laumont, one of the leading photo labs in New York, allowed us to take full advantage of the chromes' dynamic range. The incredibly precise scans were painstakingly colour corrected by Condé Nast Archive's Imaging Lab."
"In many cases the original chromes were badly faded," Waldron continues, "so the Imaging team, lead by Lindsay Foster, tackled the delicate task of digitally painting lost colour back into the files. Colour references came from the original magazine spreads, captions, other photos from the period, and other research. In one extreme case, a makeup designer provided a tube of lipstick for matching purposes."
The team worked with New York-based printer, Ken Allen Studios, on the project.
"Some of the prints required more than ten rounds of proofing to get the colour, saturation, contrast, and overall aesthetic to what we felt was appropriate and respectful of the photographer and period," Waldron writes. "The photos were also not heavily retouched or cropped. Obvious flaws in the film, such as scratches or processing effects were corrected, but the models' skin was not smoothed or enhanced in the style of modern fashion photography."
"The film's slow speed was particularly challenging and required intense lighting systems and a wide aperture," Waldron explains. [Horst shot his early colour work at the Condé Nast Studio at 380 Lexington Avenue when colour film and photography was still a work in progress].
"Some of the photos may appear as technical misses to modern eyes, but Horst was simply doing the best he could with the limited flexibility of colour film. The exhibition prints aim to present Horst's early colour work through a modern printing technique while remaining true to the original."
"They're very, very high quality scans that have been produced on a drum scanner," says Brown in the film, "so every detail in the images is really dazzlingly clear, every eyelash, every pore, is visible and that's part of the beauty I think of these pictures and the opportunity to show them on such a large scale. The clarity of the photographs is really quite magical."
Once approved by the Condé Nast Archive, the 25 colour prints were mounted on aluminium before being framed at John Jones in London and installed at the V&A.
"I think that Horst himself wasn't a great follower of fashion," says Brown. "It's not really an exhibition about fashion, it's about style and elegance ... that's his lasting legacy and a sense of classicism comes through very strongly in his work and that doesn't change. In fact, if you look at a Horst picture from the 1930s and a picture from the 1980s, that classicism and inimitable style is still present."
Horst: Photographer of Style is at the V&A Museum until January 4 2015. More at vam.ac.uk
Remember the dreaded school portrait? In a new project, currently taking place in Sydney, The Glue Society's James Dive is asking strangers to come together and relive these formal portraits in the name of art...
Titled Us, Dive's project forms part of Sydney's annual festival 'Art and About', which runs until October 12. Dive will be photographing his subjects within a makeshift outdoor studio in Sydney's business district at various dates and times until October 5 (see artandabout.com.au for further info). Each image features 21 participants and all are given a signed and numbered copy of their photograph to take away. All the images Dive takes are also housed on a dedicated Tumblr site, here.
Dive's inspiration for the piece came from seeing the reaction of strangers when he was in a bike accident. "The idea began when I was knocked off my bike," he says. "A random group instantly formed to help and I still have no idea who any of them were to this day. I became enamoured with the thought of formally capturing spontaneous groups of strangers that come together for the briefest moment in time."
The project has been popular, with the strangers involved embracing the opportunity offered by Dive to be part of a 'moment'. "The work now has taken on a life of its own," he says. "In a good way. What is remarkable is how quickly a group becomes an actual group. And I suspect in this case it has a lot to do with the process of a formal group photo. For instance all participants are asked to sort themselves out from tallest to shortest. And that seems to be a remarkable way to get to know someone.
"The group is then arranged in a deliberately squashed formation on the benches. All standing must put their hands behind their backs, those seated must put fists on knees and feet together. Everyone must have straight backs and chins up. There is a lot of banter and jest as the group work together to get their photo to the required standard. And once the photo has been taken there is spontaneous applause, every single time."
The outdoor photo studio
The finished portraits on the Tumblr site also feature all the participants' names
Dive has created a number of artworks during his time with creative collective The Glue Society, all of which contain a combination of wit and poignancy. These have include God's Eye View, a series of biblical scenes reimagined in Google Street View, and I Wish You Hadn't Asked, created for the 2012 'Art and About' festival, which featured a suburban house that visitors could enter which was raining on the inside.
While his work may be quite disparate in style and format, Dive sees it as all being linked by the need to communicate an idea. "The execution of my work is quite varied but the underlying principal always remains the same," he says. "My primary focus is communication, how best to communicate a certain idea or notion. As a result, every artistic execution is what I deem to be the most successful way to present a certain idea or notion."
The October issue of CR is a fashion special with features on the future of the shop, fashion and film, the influence of Instagram, one of our readers' favourite labels, Folk, and how the humble carrier bag has become a collectors' item
We talk to Folk founder Cathal McAteer and to the brand's regular graphic design collaborators IYA Studio about the brand that has found a place in many a CR reader's wardrobe
Plus, we feature Tripl Stitched, a new British-made shirt brand that is collaborating with up and coming illustrators such as Jack Cunningham (whose work appears on our cover this month). And, CR subscribers can get 25% off Tripl Stitched shirts, go here for details of how to claim it
Now that we do so much browsing and buying online, what is the future for fashion retailers on the high street? Rachael Steven looks at how the likes of Dover Street Market, Prada and The Apartment by The Line in New York ("the place to discover and purchase some of our favorite things in the intimate context of a home") are providing shoppers with unique experiences
The shift from photography to film as the medium of choice for many fashion brands has been underway for some time: Eliza Williams looks at how the genre has matured and even started to learn to laugh at itself a little
Antonia Wilson charts the rise of the Instagram fashion bloggers and thier growing influence with the brands they feature
For fashion stores, the carrier bag is a valuable piece of advertising real estate and an important brand communications platform: for collectors, they are artefacts of cultural history. Antonia Wilson reports
And our regular columnist Daniel Benneworth-Gray muses on the many choices designers have to make while Michael Evamy explores the enduring appeal of using animals in logos
Plus, for subscribers, we have a special Monograph this month featuring our pick of the ilustrations we have commissioned for the magazine over the past five years. Every issue of CR features work commissioned from young and extablished illustrators, here our art director, Paul Pensom, chooses some of his favourites
If you are not yet a subscriber to CR in print, we have a special offer this month: a free Rotring 500 mechanical drafting pencil for every new subscriber. To subscribe, please go here
Photographer Nancy Honey has compiled portraits of 100 inspirational senior women for a new project which aims to challenge perceptions of age and celebrate lesser-known female role models.
100 Leading Ladies features images of women aged over 55 who have been influential in their field, from fashion to art, medicine, science and politics. As well as Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki, journalist Kirsty Wark and feminist writer Germaine Greer, subjects include Patricia Scotland, the first female attorney general for England and Wales, Daphne Selfe, Britain's oldest supermodel and Averil Mansfield, the UK’s first female professor of surgery.
Each subject was photographed in a place where they go to find inspiration and interviewed about their career by Times journalist Hattie Garlick. Photographs and interviews are compiled in a new book, published by Dewi Lewis, and will be on show at London's Somerset House from October 2-26. Here, Honey explains the idea behind the project and why she hopes it will inspire confidence among young women...
Professor Wendy Dagworthy, OBE, formerly the Royal College of Art's head of fashion
When did you come up with the idea for 100 Leading Ladies?
Towards the end of 2011, after the recession had really started to bite photographers and the revenue stream I’d been used to from commercial work wasn’t really coming in, I went back to my roots to make a personal project about womanhood, as I had made quite a few in the first 15 years of my career.
One of the last big projects I did on this was around 20 years ago, when I interviewed older women about the men in their lives and the values they held: older women and high-flying women had always fascinated me, but then I became so busy with commercial work, and I hadn’t worked out how to go about doing a project about them. As I got older, it all seemed to come together.
Feminist, author and journalist Germaine Greer
How did you decide who to feature?
I wanted to feature influential women who loved their work and have influenced all walks of British life. It started with diverse personal heroines – from Barbara Hulanicki, the founder of Biba, to Shirley Williams [the co-founder of the Social Democratic Party]. I’d been familiar with Barbara Hulanicki’s work since she was an illustrator, and when I heard Shirley Williams speak a few years ago, I couldn’t believe how vast her mind was and how articulate her speech was without any notes.
From there, it evolved organically. I thought these women would be very difficult to get to, as they’re all Google-able and are on lists of the most influential women in Britain, but after I’d photographed 12 or 14, I realised they were all keen to give me their personal contact and suggest further people to photograph. I started asking everyone who they would suggest and was able to find women I never would have heard of otherwise.
A good example of that was Averil Mansfield - if I hadn’t had her name from another doctor, I probably wouldn’t have come across it, yet she is so amazing and influential. It was an absolute delight speaking with her, as she was able to talk about women she had taught and inspired over the years.
Some categories were really difficult to access – such as athletics and show business – but I just kept trying and trying. With Barbara, I had almost given up hope until someone I met later told me they had a personal email address for her.
Professor Praveen Kumar, former president of the British Medical Association and Royal Society of Medicine
Why did you photograph subjects in a place where they go to find inspiration?
It’s always been important to me, in all of my photography, to have some sort of collaboration with my subjects. I was intrigued to see where they would choose, and thought it would say a lot more about their background than doing it in a studio. A lot of the women invited me into their homes – Helen Hamlyn for example, has a beautiful art deco home designed by Eric Mendelsohn and I felt very privileged to be able to see it.
And what were you hoping to convey in these portraits?
I wasn’t sure at the beginning, but as I came to editing and looking through them, I felt a sense of pride was very important. I didn’t want them to look like head and shoulders press pictures. When I told each subject it would take around an hour [to photograph them], they were quite surprised – I think most were used to people coming in and just taking a quick mugshot.
Carmen Callil, founder of Virago Press
You also said the project aims to reflect a period of social change...
Yes - in my life time, the changes that I’ve seen in terms of what girls expect is phenomenal. Girls have a total expectation of a career now. When I was growing up, although it was felt that education was valuable, most girls would have families and stay at home.
What do you hope people will take away from this project?
I originally designed it as a series of role models for younger women but I think it has evolved and become more diverse. It’s great to have the achievements of women outside traditional fields in the foreground.
The interviews are really important, too, because I feel the whole thing is really life affirming and optimistic. I hope it will inspire younger women, anyone with a negative view of feminism, or people wondering how they’ll balance family and work. One of the things that came through from the project is a lack of confidence that we seem to have as women, and each woman had adopted different methods of getting over that lack of confidence.
I also want it to show that getting older is good and that enjoying your job is about more than just work. It is so interconnected with your life and confidence and self esteem, and I think that’s an important message.
Caroline Michel, CEO of literary talent agency Peters Fraser & Dunlop and former MD of Harper Collins' Harper Press
Mary Contini, cookery writer and partner of famous Italian delicatessen and cookery school Valvona & Crolla
I think it has slowly been changing – we had the nude photography in the 1950s, the power dressed Joan Collins types in the 1980s and now, it’s multi-tasking women running out of the door. I think the many more diverse roles women play are beginning to be represented in popular culture – one of my favourite examples recently is Always’ Like a Girl campaign [below, shot by Lauren Greenfield].
One of my hobby horses, which I’ve been on for 20-something years, is why aren’t we photographing older women? Real women? But I think that is changing – projects such as Advanced Style [photographer Ari Seth Cohen’s series exploring the style of senior women in New York, which has been made into a book and documentary] make a gigantic difference, and we are beginning to have older women represented in advertising too, in a non-patronising way. When I started working on this project, I was amazed by how fascinating the women I photographed were and the great stories they had, and I hope this celebrates that.
Baroness Haleh Afshar, OBE, a Muslim feminist and life peer in the House of Lords
Caroline Neville, founder and chairwoman of Neville McCarthy Associates
100 Leading Ladies is published by Dewi Lewis Media on October 2 and costs £30. Portraits will be on show at Somerset House in London from October 2-26. For details, see or to view the full list of women featured and a selection of interviews, see 100leadingladies.com
London beekeepers Barnes & Webb launch their Save the Bees campaign this weekend, with an exhibition of unique bee-themed art created by well-known artists and illustrators.
Recent years have seen a dramatic fall in the Honey Bee population worldwide, in part due to pesticides and reduction in biodiversity. Honey Bees pollinate a vast amount of our food, therefore if the population continues to decline at such a rate, we could be faced with severe agricultural and environmental problems.
Barnes & Webb are developing a series of cultural and educational initiatives to raise awareness of these issues, and as part of the fundraising activity they will be establishing and maintaining bee hives in local communities, providing a free local food source whilst encouraging residents to take part (with the help of a team of retired beekeepers). They will also be campaigning nationally and internationally to change government policies on pesticides, and to encourage biodiversity through improved land management.
Artists involved in the launch exhibition include Jessica Albarn, Sanna Annukka, Luke Best, Jody Barton, Kyle Bean, Rose Blake, Tom Ashton-Booth, Anthony Burrill, Miles Donovan, Stanley Donwood, Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao, Stevie Gee, Robert F Hunter, Hvass & Hannibal, Adrian Johnson, Jean Jullien, Angie Lewin, Katharine McEwen, Chrissie MacDonald, Essy May, Clare Melinsky, Rop Van Mierlo, Edward Carvalho Monaghan, Al Murphy, Pâté, Jitesh Patel, Katie Scott, Matt Sewell, Amy Shelton, Charlie Whinney, Kristjana S Williams & Spencer Wilson.
Work was auctioned off last night to raise money for the campaign, and will be on show at Forge & Co Gallery in London until this Sunday 21st September.
From landscape shots across skies alight with swathes of brightly coloured gas and dust, to telescopic images of distant, deep space star clusters, this year's winners for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards present a spectacular selection of cosmic delights.
Now in its sixth year, the competition continues to showcase dazzling images from amateur and professional astrophotographers from around the world that reflect our enduring fascination with the night sky and outer space. The awards also play an important part in maintaining public interest around space exploration and scientific observation.
The winning image from the Earth and Space category, and overall winner (picked from the winners of each category), was Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon by James Woodend, taken in Iceland's Vatnajökull National Park. High energy electrons cause oxygen to emit green light and the arcs of the aurora are shaped by the shifting forces of the Earth's magnetic field. (pictured above)
The runner up in Earth and Space was Matt James' Wind Farm Star Trails, taken in Bungendore, Australia, with the rotation of the Earth turning stars into a streaks of light (pictured above). Moon Balloon by Patrick Cullis was among the highly commended entries for this category; an image of the Earth from 87,000 feet, with the moon in the background, taken with the aid of a high altitude balloon. (pictured below)
Bill Snyder's Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) won the Deep Space category, taken using a PlaneWave 17-inch telescope and a Apogee U16 camera, with a total exposure time through various filters of 13 hours. This cloud of dust and gas is often lost is complete darkness, but is one of the most photographs objects in the night sky. (pictured above)
The runner up in the Deep Space category was David Fitz-Henry's telescopic image The Helix Nebula (NGC7293). It shows a dying star at the centre of a nebula (a cloud of gas and dust in space), and is not too dissimilar to how are own sun will appear at the end of it's evolution. As described during the ceremony, "it is an image of our future". (pictured above)
Highly commended images in this category came from Marco Lorenzi with At the Feet of Orion (NGC 1999), Rogelio Bernal Andreo's California vs Pleiades and Veil Nebula Detail (IC 340) by J P Metsävainio. (All pictured above)
In the Our Solar System category, the winning image came from Alexandra Hart with Ripples in a Pond, taken using a TEC140 refractor telescope and a PGR Grasshopper 3 camera, depicting the Sun's boiling surface. (pictured above)
Runner up in this category was a telescopic photo of the Moon's surface called Best of the Craters by George Tarsoudis. To give a sense of scale, the large central crater has a diameter of 86km (pictured above). The highly commended entries including Tunç Tezel's Diamond and Rubies, depicting a total eclipse, with the Moon blocking the Sun's light, capturing an effect known as the ‘diamond ring'. (pictured below)
The Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year award went to 15 year old twins Shishir & Shashank Dholakia for their telescopic photo The Horsehead Nebula (IC434) (pictured above), with another one of their images being highly commended, depicting the The Heart Nebula (IC1805) which sits 7500 light years away from Earth. (pictured below)
Also among the highly commended images was Moon Behind the Trees by 12 year old Emily Jeremy (pictured above).
Special prizes included People and Space, won by Eugen Kamenew with Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2, taken at sunrise in northern Kenya (pictured above); with Julie Fletcher's Lost Souls as runner up, shot with a 20 second exposure at Lake Eyre in remote South Australia, showing the dust of our solar system lit up by the Sun. (pictured below)
Robotic Scope Image of the Year went to Mark Hanson with NGC 3718, a deep space image of a galaxy 52 million light years from Earth, taken using one of the increasing number of computer-controlled telescopes at prime observing sites around the world which can be accessed over the internet by members of the public. (pictured above)
The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer went to Chris Murphy with Coastal Stairways, taken in the Wairarapa district of New Zealand. (pictured above)
To see the full selection of winners, runners up and highly commended images visit www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatoryA free exhibition of the works will be on at the Royal Observatory Greenwich until 22 February 2015, (be sure to catch one of the spectacular shows in their Planetarium when you are there), and a book has also been produced with Collins including all shortlisted and winning works.
To celebrate of the 60th anniversary of M camera, Leica produced the limited edition Leica M Edition 60. The kit includes a Leica M-P digital camera and the Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens, both created by Audi Design.
This is more of a collectors item than anything, but it’s amazing to see the amount of detail that went into it, even down to the packaging and presentation.
Today is your final opportunity to enter the Creative Review Photography Annual 2014, with the chance to showcase your best photographic work from the last year and benefit from more exposure than ever before. Entries close at midnight!
The entry showcaseis now live! It's not too late to join them and present your work online, which will then be promoted to a vast creative community across www.creativereview.co.uk (of 200,000) and our social media channels (of over 1 million people).
A gallery showcase will also be taking place for the first time, from 12th-13th November, with a selection of work chosen to be displayed in front of over 4000 marketing and creative professionals at the Festival of Marketing 2014.
Plus, the beautiful CR Photography annual double issue will be out in December, in print and for iPad, showcasing your work in front of a core audience of creative studios and art directors.
Entry only costs £60 and will position you as a creative leader in your field so submit your best workfrom the past year before midnight tonight and ensure you are in the running to appear in the CR Photography Annual 2014.
Don't forget, this year we are introducing categories to celebrate not just the photographers themselves, but also the art directors and commissioners of photography, including ad agencies, magazines, publishers, stock libraries and fashion brands, with the winning work shown in context of their layouts, pages, covers, and so on.
We are also introducing a category to celebrate the best images commissioned by image libraries to help set standards in this important creative sector. Details of all the categories here.
We are also pleased to announced this year's judges who include: Jessica Crombie, head of visual creative at Save the Children; Sarah Douglas, creative director at Wallpaper*; Gemma Fletcher, senior art director at Getty Images; Sarah Thomson, head of art production at Fallon London; Daniel Moorey, head of print at Adam&EveDDB; and Alan Wilson Senior Art Director and AMV.BBDO
Email here for an specific queries regarding the Photography Annual 2014.
The public vote for this year's Hospital Club hClub100 awards is now open: vote for those who you think are among the most influential and innovative people working across Britain’s creative industries in the past 12 months
London private members' club The Hospital organises the hClub 100 each year in order to try to identify influential and innovative people working across categories including broadcast, fashion, music and advertising. CR editor Patrick Burgoyne was on the panel for the art and design category this year alongside Nancy Durrant, arts commissioning editor and an art critic at The Times and Victoria Siddall, director of Frieze Masters.
As with the other categories, the judges were tasked with selecting a shortlist from some 1000 nominations submitted by the public earlier this year. Each panel chose nine award winners. A 10th place in each category will be selected by a public vote which runs until September 24.
Port magazine has just launched its 15th issue, which features a striking series of portraits of composer Esa-Pekka Salonen shot by Pieter Hugo, and photo features on New York cricket, sea bass fishing and SCP owner Sheridan Coakley's Hampshire home. We spoke to creative director Kuchar Swara about the issue, and some of his favourite Port features to date...
Port was founded in 2011 by Swara, Dan Crowe and Matt Willey, who created the magazine's bespoke typeface. As Swara and Crowe explained to CR at the launch of issue one (interview here), the title was founded with the aim of providing a broader and more in-depth range of content than mainstream men's magazines. Each issue combines photographic essays, long-form articles and features spanning film, design, architecture, business, food and literature. Past cover stars include Ralph Lauren and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Here, Swara discusses the new issue, talks about some of his favourites to date and explains how the magazine has evolved since its launch.
Composer Esa-Pekka Salonen photographed by Pieter Hugo. Feature by Timothy Mangan. Styling by Patrik Milani
CR: The cover image and portraits of Esa-Pekka Salonen are really striking. Why did you commission Pieter for this feature? And what were you looking to convey in the images?
Kuchar Swara: The choice of Pieter Hugo was initially pitched by our new photographic director, Rebecca McClelland, who knows Pieter well.
Like so many others, I've been a big fan of Pieter's work for a long time so we were delighted when he agreed to shoot for us. I wanted the cover to be his artwork: Pieter Hugo the artist shooting Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Pieter's series of portraits, There's a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends, is a brilliant personal project both technically and artistically [Hugo's photographic process is explained here] and it felt like a great fit with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the revolutionary sound he has brought to music. It was the meeting of two brilliant artists from different fields.
CR: And what else can readers expect in issue 15?
KS: For me, it's the team and our contributors really showing their stuff – the latest issue might be our best so far, I look forward to hearing what the readers think.
The New York Cricket story is the work of Alex Vadukul and Benjamin Norman turning NYC upside down, revealing a side to the city that not many people really know about. Also in the issue is the house [a 1970s building in Hampshire] of SCP owner and champion of British design Sheridan Coakley, shot by Robin Broadbent.
Photography by Benjamin Norman. Feature by Alex Vadukul
Photography by Tobias Harvey. Feature by Ali Morris
CR: You've featured some fantastic imagery in past issues of Port – how would you describe your approach to photography, and the kind of work you like to feature?
KS: I don't think we champion just one style of imagery – I would say it's more our subject matter and approach; for example, our still life images feature typically one object; our interiors images are usually shot on 5 x 4 using only natural light. We use no colour in our typography – which allows anything with colour, i.e illustration or photography, to have presence on page.
We tend to use words like 'iconic' and 'bold' a lot in our briefs. I guess that might have something to do with it. We are very fortunate to be working with a mixture of photographers from different generations who all posses a similar outlook on what it means to produce a quality image.
Shadow Play shoot by Robin Broadbent. Styling by Alyn Griffiths
The Man of the Crowd shoot by Kate Jackling. Styling by Alex Petsetkis. Set design by Gemma Tickle
CR: How would you say the magazine has evolved since the first issue, both stylistically and in terms of content?
KS: I think initially when we started Port we had an idea of what we wanted. Issue on issue, I feel we are getting closer to achieving those goals we set for ourselves.
Whilst I'm proud of what we achieved in the early years, I feel we have all matured and learnt a great deal from experiments and ideas that worked and those that didn't and naturally this has informed where we are today.
I would say the magazine is now more Port than it's ever been; from the investigative articles and long-form journalism, to the photographic quality and printing.
CR: One of the most notable changes throughout issues has been the section openers. Why have you continued to develop them?
KS: I am quite interested in this area of graphic design, it's one of the fundamental editorial/typographic gestures that gives a magazines its identity.
We first experimented with single page openers, which I enjoyed playing with. It's not something I was used to seeing – usually, it's a [double page spread] opener.
We then decided to play with something more expressive in the double page spread format; type only, blown up to the biggest size possible with forced returns, and in the latest issue the introduction of images and grid lines borrowing from newspaper language.
CR: When we interviewed you back in 2011, you said independent print mags are in a really strong position. Do you still think this is the case, and were you anticipating the success Port has had?
KS: The number of independent magazines is growing, be it to support other business interests, cultural expression, for pleasure (or pain however you decide to look at it). They are still in a strong position to challenge the status quo, whichever sector that happens to be in.
I don't think any of us expected Port to reach issue 15. I was nervous when we bought barcodes for eight issues when we were working on our first issue. I calculated how old I would be, and how much work that meant; I think we went for a beer to calm us down.
CR: And, finally, what have been some of your favourite issues or features?
1. The retail special [from issue 12, spreads shown below] was an investigation into the state of retail and how it works and how it's changing; from the quarry that supplies the marble to the boutiques, to the shop floor that sells goods, to the business brains that run them.
Investigations like this, and our Architecture and Design Survey in issue 13, are great ways for independent magazines to prove that it's not just about nice images and lush pages, but also a return to good honest journalism. Informing as well as entertaining.
I am particularly fond of this feature as I think you'd be hard pushed to find a more expansive investigation into how retail works, from Tuscan quarries to shop floors in Tokyo, to design studios in London developing the next generation of retail displays – we really went for it.
2. The chateaux of Toulouse Lautrec shot by the brilliant Tobias Harvey and written by Huw Griffith (issue 13, below). I think our interior's editors Tobias and Huw worked for a year and a half on securing the shoot and for me it's a brilliant example of medium format photography. I tried to leave no white space, using every image that Tobias shot.
3. Afghanistan (issue 12) remains one of the most incredible photo essays I've seen, shot by Frédéric Lagrange (below). I am originally Kurdish-Iranian and before I came to London I grew up in the mountains. Frederic's images really took me back to that time, and I wanted to give it a real sense of location and context.
It was quite a coup for us to get that feature, as I know other big magazines were in contention also.
Issue 15 of Port is on sale now and priced at £6. To order a copy, visit port-magazine.com.