Great British Landscapes – A New Magazine Website from Joe Cornish

WebSite Review

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Joe Cornish, the renowned, and probably the most famous contemporary British Landscape Photographer has, in conjunction with fellow photographer Tim Parkin, launched a new magazine style website entitled Great British Landscapes (LandscapesGB). The site is the brainchild of Tim Parkin, and in their own words they describe the partnership as Tim being the driver and Joe as the Navigator. The site seems aimed at show casing contemporary ‘great’ British photographers, not only their work, but their methods. However the sites mission statement quotes:

“We hope in time that LandscapeGB will develop its own momentum, with contributions from anyone and everyone from the British landscape photography community who wishes to participate.”

MAGAZINE Content

The magazine also includes guides to locations, photography techniques, book reviews and processing techniques. Issue one contains an excellent guide to Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire, an article from Joe on “Shooting into the Sun”, and a run down on some of the winning photographs this year’s Landscape Photographer of the Year competition (LPOTY). It will also contain video content to download and the premier issue provides a screencast by Joe on his post processing of one of his older photographs that was recently rescanned on Tim Parkin’s drum scanner. This particular screen cast is over an hour long, and many readers will be no doubt surprised to find out just how far Joe has gone into the realms of digital processing within Photoshop.
On the About page the magazine lists the type of landscape photographers that they are going to look at. It’s no surprise classical photographers such as Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, David Muench and Edward Weston are listed but also contemporaries such as David Ward, Andrew Nadolski and Michael Kenna are also included. Local photographer (and rising star) Doug Chinnery is also listed.
Of particular note is the location guide with the one for Brimhan Rocks providing the precise locations for many of Joe’s classic shots, including his well know shot for the National Trust. This contains a precise location guide, details of where to park, how to get there, links to Google maps and panoramas and even some information on the geology. This is precisely the level of detail a photographer like myself likes to see and I’m sure this feature alone will prove to be very popular. We already have ‘JCB’ (Joe Cornish Boulder!) fully engraved into photography speak, so I can see bagging a JCL (Joe Cornish Location) becoming the next big thing from bagging a Scottish Munroe!
New issues of the magazine are to be released on a bi-monthly basis.

The Good and the Bad

The website is written in a blog style and very nicely presented and yes, like many blogs you can add comments and feedback. It is clearly still ‘work-in-progress’ but it’s good to see you can comment and add requests. The articles so far seem quite good and provide more depth and information than comparative magazine articles. The screencast of Joe is enlightening in seeing at ‘master at his work’, but at over an hour long, it is rather tedious to say the least. Joe will seem finicky beyond belief to most and only absolute Joe Cornish devotees and complete Photoshop anoraks would be able to watch this in it’s entirety in one session. It took me about 4 sittings to get through it all. As it’s Joe Cornish it will be watched; Joe’s pictures on a cover of a magazine increase circulation, and there are not many British photographers who can do that. However any similar video by A. N. Other on YouTube I feel would fade into obscurity. If this is to be part of a commercial venture I think the screencasts need to be much shorter, snappier and edited for content.
You’ll notice I stated ‘commercial venture’, yes I’m afraid the content is not free but can only be obtained on a subscription only basis. Currently you can acquire access to individual issues for £3 each or purchase a block subscription for 6 months or a year bringing the price down to £2.50 and £2.00 per issue respectively. The good news is that Issue one is free, all you have to do is register so you can test drive it yourself.

Summary and Comment

I can’t help but seem a little surprised that a photographer of Joe Cornish’s renown is entering into another commercial venture. I’ve already seen the proliferation of his elegant greeting cards and am left wondering whether he is exploiting his notoriety or this is a economic requirement. If Joe Cornish can’t make a dam good living out of selling his prints then I guess no landscape photographer within the UK can. If it’s the latter then it’s a real pity, since someone of Joe’s talent within the US would be up there with the millionaire photographers like Peter Lik.
The site content has the potential for it to be a real winner and we’ve longed for a UK site that can encompass British Photography in the same way the Luminous Landscape does for those elsewhere. If you compare Great British Landscapes (LandscapesGB) the the current, rather staid and repetitive UK photography magazine fodder, then it wins hands down. However it’s on the internet where most, if not all expect content to be free and it’s up against very stiff free completion. Will it succeed, well with name of Joe Cornish attached, I guess it probably will. I would like to see a downloadable PDF version included with the price however.
Will I subscribe? Well I’m not sure yet, but when I’m overseas it may just seem a too tempting a read. Go ahead and give Issue One it a try and see what you think.

3 comments


  • Karen

    Good article! This is the thing about the internet. Phrases are coined and so called “masters” increase their notoriety. 15 years ago, I’d never heard of Joe Cornish and 25 years ago, the “Joe Cornish Boulder” was something every decent landscape photographer practised as a matter of course. But, coin a phrase on a few internet forums and it sticks. I think a lot of the so called masters are overrated. Scour any old local newspaper fiches or old camera club archives for example and you’ll see the same quality images as Joe Cornish etc (and in many cases much better). Even now, look on photo sharing sites and there are photographers with talent much greater than the “masters”. The fact is that these photographers are no less capable or talented – it’s more likely that they didn’t seek the publicity all those years ago or have the resources to buy hideously expensive plate cameras, 60k phases ones or have 24 hours a day or get book deals done etc.

    June 13, 2013
  • I want to know the reasons why you labeled this specific post, “Great British Landscapes – A New Magazine Website from Joe
    Cornish | johnbirchphotography”. In any case I personally enjoyed
    the post!Thank you,Jerald

    February 15, 2013
    • That was the name of the website when it was first launched. It’s now been rebadged as OnLandscape and can be found at:

      http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/

      March 19, 2013

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