Teething Troubles

The sharper-eyed among you will have noticed that a post here appeared and disappeared, and several have enquired why.

The story is simply this: I had written a little piece regretting the passing of the immensely distinguished UK photographic magazine Portfolio, whose current issue (Number 52) is to be its last. I was careful to hold my peace until the magazine arrived through the mail, when I saw that it contained printed (and therefore entirely public) announcements of its own demise. I was complimentary about the magazine and very complimentary about its editor. I was then surprised – more than surprised, to be honest; I was angry and offended – to receive a stroppy little e-mail from that same editor demanding that I withdraw the piece on the grounds that it was ‘ill-informed and ill-considered’. It was neither of those things, and nor, as the same e-mail alleged, did it contain any breach of trust. I might very well have left the piece here, to hold its perfectly legitimate ground. But I am new to this blogging game, and I don’t at all want these pages to become a forum for vituperation or calumny, so I took down the entry.

Perhaps I was wrong to take that Portfolio entry down; it certainly feels so now. But it is done. I count it a few blogger’s baby-teeth coming through.

I still very much do want informed debate to circulate, and to participate in it myself where I may, although this little episode knocked me a little. Photography in the UK is not in such great shape that we can easily afford to sit in silence while its institutions fail. No doubt I will receive plenty of stroppy e-mails in the future. From this range, so long as the ordinary human courtesies are observed, I will regard that as a price worth paying.

Meanwhile, what does everybody feel about Portfolio, the manner of its passing, and the chances of filling the gap it leaves in UK photographic publishing?