A New Site

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With Conscientious approaching the 12th year of its existence, for various reasons the time was ripe for a change. Here it is, with its own dedicated URL: cphmag.com (Conscientious Photography Magazine).

For a start, regular visitors will notice the site looks differently now. The new design uses larger images and a different, much improved layout. The internet is a visual medium more than anything else. As a consequence, from now on photographs will be treated very prominently here.

If you re-size your browser, the page will adapt. If you look at the site on your smartphone it will look just like on the browser on your tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Massive thanks are due to Tim Gasperak for providing his expertise, input and time in making this new site happen.

I don’t want to bore you with technical details, but the underlying machinery is also new. After 11 years and almost 6,000 posts, the old machinery was ready to retire. As you might have noticed over the past few weeks, the old site suffered from a number of increasingly crippling technical problems.

Lest you worry, the old site (accessible under the old URL) will remain what it is — an archive of 11 years of work. The links will remain unchanged, and all of the articles will remain accessible as they are. If you want to access the old site, there is a link at the bottom (“Conscientious Archives 2002-2012”).

If you want to get an idea what this new site is going to be like, you might enjoy seeing examples of older articles reformatted: Riverfront by Curran Hatleberg, A Conversation with CPC 2012 Winner Hye-Ryoung Min, and A Conversation with Christian Patterson.

The most important change to Conscientious is conceptual. In a day and age where there is a flood of one-image posts on Tumblr and of links on Twitter, having any of that here doesn’t make sense any longer. If you are interested in links without any comments, follow my Twitter feed (@jmcolberg). Those active on Tumblr might enjoy following my Tumblr. As for single-image posts here… I think their usefulness has expired.

The flood of images and PR on the internet requires a new approach.

From now on, Conscientious will exclusively focus on long-form content. You might have noticed this transformation already — I started to change my approach to the site months ago. At the end of the week, there will be in-depth photobook reviews. There will be longer articles (such as “Meditations on Photographs”). And the short photographer profiles will be replaced by less frequent longer ones, showcasing someone’s work — critically — in more detail.

Photography is more popular than ever, and I believe it deserves to be treated with respect. I’m sick and tired of seeing photography reduced to the usual “scandals” or “outrages”: OMG, did you hear that photographer manipulated a photograph? Does Instagram destroy photography? Etc.

My attempts to do better might not always be as successful as I’d like it to be (please email to send in feedback), but I’ll try my best. The idea is not to necessarily have the answers; instead it’s about trying to ask the right questions, in as honest a way as possible.

I’m also working on a subscription service; once ready I will announce it here.

So welcome to a new incarnation of this site: Conscientious Photography Magazine.