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Magazine Quality Control, PLEASE!

Magazine Quality Control, PLEASE!

To the average viewer of urban magazines, maybe, Blurry skin, Blotchy skin tones, Errors with Photoshop’s Liquefy tool (this is the tool used to reshape out of shape bodies.), over exposed images, misuse of the high pass filter, etc, are not a huge issue, but, as a photographer, I am ,obviously, not the average viewer.

Many magazine editors just don’t seem to care what is delivered to their magazines as long as they get a model with a phat ass. Her skin, due to a bad Photoshop job, could look like a bad oil painting that was splashed with water and then dried, and some of these guys would still let it grace their pages. I, personally, just don’t understand it.

But, this is just one of my many issues with today’s urban magazine publishers.

When it comes to Image selection I have to wonder what the hell some of these publishers are thinking. I mean it’s okay to say “no” to these beautiful women people! Or “no” to the photographers shooting this shyt. Transferring an already blurry image to print will only get you and even blurrier image than you started out with. It’s not worth it. And if the photographer himself blurred out a models skin, she  will start looking as fake as a flea market Louis Vuitton bag when the magazine hits the racks.

I am aware that it is part of the business to sell a fantasy. But I like my fantasy women to at least look human. If I wanted a comic book image of a woman I’d hit Marvel comics up for my fantasy women.

And what’s wrong with bringing a bit of class to our magazines as well. Urban magazines are on the bottom of the totem pole in terms of respect. How is it that a nude playboy model can grace the pages of that magazine and then go on to be called a respectable professional, but a model in urban, which us actually dressed in lingerie or a swimsuit  is looked at as a “video ho”?  Who came up with that terminology? Us “Urban” men, right?

Much of this lack of respect is due to how we talk about and label our women in the urban industry. Moreover, If we look at a fully nude magazine like Playboy, which is said to have great articles and writers, we find that they tend to maintain some level of respect. So much so that many people have stated that they purchase the magazine simply for the articles themselves. Now I know that many urban mags do not have articles, but the ones that do are often difficult to read (grammatical errors and poor writing) which only brings its detractors to look further down at the women who grace their pages. Marketing to men in prison also aids to bringing the publics opinion down.

This is a side note but worth mentioning. Much of the text & typography could use the help of a better graphic designer. Of course this is only my opinion but if a magazine uses poor fonts and design it can come off as looking a bit “low grade” in my humble opinion.

With magazines going straight to the web these days with sites like magcloud &, I have no doubt that there will be an influx of horribly shot images. Digital cameras are easily accessible and dudes who didn’t have enough game to get the bad chics before, now have a new way to get in their good graces with photography. This is yet another industry that is suffering from the accessibility of technology to regular people.

Lets demand that these magazine owners ask more from their models and photographers. That they don’t allow horribly processed images enter their pages. Lets ask that there be some standards and some morals in this game…. I’m just saying…….

Chi “Cyclopedia” Brown

  • Beatmixer16

    Word! I’ve been feeling the same way for awhile now — especially on the writing and respect tips. I appreciate your insights.

  • kirk

    I am a graphic designer and I have been noticing the poor touch-ups, especially with the plastic skin and poor use of the liquify tool. I think they are just lazy. The magazine publishers don’t need to ask anything of the models and photographers, people submit tons of stuff to Playboy, but they only accept the best.