"Camera" was a photography review that began its life in
Lucerne, Switzerland, later distributed in many countries and languages. The magazine grew to its greatest international influence towards in latter half of its life of sixty years; on the leading edge of almost every important period in photography, "Camera" was often among the first publications to show the first works of now well-known photographers such as Edward Steichen, Robert Frankand Jeanloup Sieff.
The early years
The first issue of "Camera" was published by the engineer Adolf Herz and book-publisher C. J. Bucher in June 1922. Making clear its aim to aid the development of the still-fledgling art of photography, this issue began with the following statement of intent:
With this issue we introduce ourselves to the public for the first time. We would like to say a few words about our aims. Our magazine will support artistic photography. We thought it expedient to show our readers an artist's work through ample selections of good-quality reproductions. Artists from all countries will be sharing their pictures. Hereon in every issue we will present eight pages of good reproductions. Participating artists will present their art styles in original essays. Articles on technical photographic subjects, written by authors the best in this field, will appear in the technical section. In brief reports we will comment on all new developments so that our readers can obtain an up-to-date view of photography. We invite all photographers and researchers of all countries who would like to bring technical information to our readers, to submit their articles. We will periodically conduct contests to encourage developing artists, and the best entries will receive a monetary award.We hope our efforts will be conducive to the high aims of artistic photography and that our readers will support us.
Adolph Herz first made the magazine's 'high-quality prints' with a dull-finish semi-matte paper that gave a result only mimicking the still-new sheet-fed
gravuresystem, but eventually moved to the latter technique when the Bücher publishing company adopted the technology from 1925.
Herz's period as editor of "Camera," ending in 1947, was marked for its focus on
Pictorialism. Contributing photographers from this period and style were Heinrich Kühn, Leonard Missone, Hoffmeister, Craig Annan, Eduard Steichen, Kieghleyand Demachy.
The post war-period
Walther Laübli became
chief editor, or ' art director' as the position was called then, from January 1948. The publishing half of the partnership had changed as well: after C. J. Bucher's stroke in 1941, his wife, Alice, had taken over the running of the publishing company; she would become the official director upon her husband's death in 1950.
To better expand the "Camera" readership, Laübli introduced articles translated into English and French from their native German. The post-war period was an important one for "Camera," with the publication of the earliest works of photographers
Jacob Tuggener, Gothard Shuh, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa(and Magnum), Bill Brandtand Robert Frank. The special issue in 1949 featuring Robert Frank's first published photography was "Camera"'s first important mark on international photo-journalism.
Hans Neuberg succeeded Walther Laübi for a two-year editorship from December 1954. His successor, Imre Reiner, although not officially the magazine editor, redesigned the magazine during his stay and transformed the "Camera" logo into a form that would remain practically unchanged until the magazine's 1981 demise.
Romeo Martinez appeared as the next editor in chief from July 1956. From March 1957 he launched "Camera"'s next stage by making it available in separate English, French and German editions (from its former unique trilingual version). As Martinez was not a photographer but a journalist with an acute knowledge of art and the history of photography, the magazine under his direction was able to reach an unforeseen larger readership.
"Camera" from 1960 entered an association with
Europhot, an organisation of European Professional Photographers, from when four issues a year, labelled "Camera EUROPHOT", under the direction of a special Europhot panel, would treat subjects of concern to the professional photographers of their usual audience.
Romeo Martinez left the magazine without a replacing editor after the May 1964 edition, but the magazine continued under Mrs. Bucher and the remaining "Camera" staff.
The Porter years
Allan Porter appeared only as guest editor from December 1965, but became the editor in chief from January the following year. Mrs. Bucher's choice of Mr. Porter, an American citizen with few connections to Europe, was a hard sell, but it was thought that his talent for design and 'foreign touch' could be a great aid to a magazine then in difficulty.
1965circulation was at 9,300 copies, all languages combined. Porter had promised a 8% circulation increase over a period of nine months, but through an active effort to increase subscriptions (namely through long-term contracts with libraries and other institutions), an increased American circulation through an agreement with New York city-based Acmepublications, and a new approach to the magazine's advertising department and ad sales, circulation had risen by 20% by the end of the year.
C. J. Bucher AG was taken over by the Ringier printing company in 1973.en icon cite web| url=http://www.ringier.ch/index.cfm?id=506&searchwords=history&fromsearch=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eringier%2Ech%2Findex%2Ecfm%3Frow%3D1%26search%3Dhistory%26search%5Fmandators%3Dfw40%5Fmandator%5F0138%26%26RUB%3D208&attributes=| author=www.ringier.ch|title=Milestones of Ringier AG, 1833-2005| accessdate=2006-08-13| format=HTML] The new owners saw no interest in "Camera," yet instead of ending the publication altogether, Ringier thought that by withdrawing all but a minimum promotional support, readership interest would dwindle and the magazine would find a natural end on its own. One of the first limitations Ringier would impose was a switch to the faster and cheaper
lithographic offsetprinting system rather than the slower and more expensive sheet-fed gravuretechnology used until then. Porter, having reservations about how "Camera"'s readership would react to the drop in printing quality, with the help of technicians from the still-functioning gravure department, managed to develop a two-colour duplex offset system that would at the same time cut costs and maintain quality.
Under the direction of Allan Porter, "Camera" was marked not only by its search for talent in the leading frontiers of modern
photography, but for its examination, from a modern viewpoint, of the works of past masters.
After eight more years of production Ringier decided that "Camera" was not in the company interests, and marked December 1981, a date a few months short of the magazine's 60th anniversary, as the month of its final issue.
Camera as a reference
"Camera" was a longtime reference for all things photographic, and was among the first to publish many works from today's great masters; editionsDubious|date=March 2008 still existing today are prized possessions. Some of the world's biggest libraries, such as the BPI at the
Pompidou Centrein Paris, France, carry hard-bound editions of "Camera" as reference works.fr icon cite web| url=http://ssbib.ck.bpi.fr:80/cgi-bin/bestn?id=&act=15&rec=1&auto=0&nov=1&t0=Camera&i0=0&s0=5&scc=1&v1=0&v2=0&v3=0&sc=200&sy=0&ey=0&scr=1&line=0| author=www.bpi.fr|title=BPI catalog entry| accessdate=2008-07-30| format=HTML]
* cite book | author=Porter, Allan | title=Camera, Die 50er Jahre| publisher=C.J. Bucher| year=1982 | id=ISBN 3-7658-0399-5
* " [http://mypage.bluewin.ch/allan.porter/ Designonsense] " - Allan Porter, [http://mypage.bluewin.ch/allan.porter/PHOTOGRAPHY/CAMERA_HIST/camera_history.html "Camera, the History"] . Retrieved
August 13, 2006.
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