→ November 2006 Contents → Welcome
Every so often Dirck Halstead allows me to take over the magazine and run it for a month or two. He mostly leaves me alone, in the same way a parent leaves a child alone when it's riding a bike without training wheels for the first time. There is usually a good reason for letting me take on the mantle of Editor and Publisher, and this time it's because Dirck is on tour promoting his recently released book Moments in Time, which we will excerpt in the December issue.
The lead features in November both come from the developing world. The first is some remarkable work by Steve Simon on the AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the result of a four-year project by the photographer that covers several different countries. Although he powerfully shows us the devastation that the disease has wreaked in this part of the world, he also brings us a message of hope and courage when he portrays the resilience of those living with HIV, the orphans of parents who have succumbed to AIDS, and the workers who treat the victims and educate those who may yet become them. In a sobering caption he tells us that one of Africa's growth industries is the funeral service business.
It is clear from the piece he has written to accompany his photographs that Spanish-born photographer Miki Alcalde is enchanted with India. In both his writing and photography he looks into and beyond the country of booming development and persistent poverty, in a search for the soul of a complex society as it changes to face the 21st century.
Where else can the intrepid reader find columns with enticing titles like "Fun with PVC Piping" by regular contributor James Colburn, or "Compression Session" from our newest columnist, PF Bentley? Even Dirck has found time in between signing books and eating canapés to provide us with two pieces, one entitled "After the Platypus: the Deluge" which sounds cataclysmic, but in fact deals with the ways in which video is making its mark in, among other things, daily newspapers. He also reviews the Canon XH G1 and the XH A1 in Camera Corner. Senior Editor Marianne Fulton has been busy this issue as well. Not only did she write the introduction to our lead feature, but she also reviews the new book Picture This!, which tells the story of UPI Newspictures along with some of its classic photographs. Bill Pierce in his Nuts and Bolts column introduces us to the joys of the histogram.
These are just a few of the many goodies that await you. I will not list them all because that will deny you the joy of discovery, but let me assure you that if you've read this far into the Publisher's Letter you're already most of the way through the least interesting part of our November presentation. I will point out one notable contribution, a letter in the Ethics column from Josh Wolf, who, as I write this, is in a Federal prison for refusing to reveal his sources. In the same way that we always describe people as having "massive heart attacks," we also talk about others "languishing in jail." The dictionary definition of languish is: to lose or lack vitality; grow weak or feeble. Read the letter, and you will realize that this is the least appropriate description of the author.
I hope that you enjoy what you find here, because if you don't, we're both in real trouble. I'm editing December as well!
With my best wishes,