As it does once every two years, our editorial focus this issue returns to studio photography. As we researched stories focusing on individuals and the industry, it became clear that these photographers, regardless of their specialty, have one thing in common: They make photos rather than just take them.
The photographers we present in these pages are masters of premeditation with an obsession for detail. From concepts to completion, they use time-tested skills as a foundation for cutting-edge lighting, exposure and post-production techniques. Without exception, they inventively capture their clients' desires on film, and often deliver much, much more.
Our thanks to all the featured photographers (and their staffs) who cheerfully cooperated in presenting their work and thoughts—R. J. Muna, Mel Lindstrom and Pierre-Yves Goavec of San Francisco; Pete McArthur and Jay P. Morgan of Los Angeles; and Diane Padys and Jim Linna of Seattle. They are truly visionaries, with a mindful dedication and originality that emanate from the core of their being. You'll be intrigued by what drew them into the field and their attitudes about surviving in an extremely competitive and evolving market.
In a related story, Amy Andersen and Jonathan Ross share their experience of building a studio in Seattle, including the challenges they encountered along the way.
On the technological front, you'll be interested to learn about how specialized companies are positioning themselves on the Internet as portals for providing photographic products and services to you, the end user. In addition, our story on virtual reality product photography explores ways to expand your studio portfolio with 3-D representation of objects for posting on the web or other electronic applications.
For those interested in a unique photo opportunity, check out our Destinations story on Alaska's annual Iditarod sled dog race. We're publishing it a few months before the March 2001 competition so readers can prepare for the experience of a lifetime.
We wind down the year with a few production changes internally. Most notably, we have made the move to totally direct-to-plate digital printing for enhanced printing quality, and we're happy to welcome Barb Levy and Pete Colella to our production team for improved design and photo reproduction. Their expertise will be noticeable as you turn the pages.
Finally, I am delighted to report that we have been honored with another publishing excellence award (in addition to the Maggie Award we received earlier this year), an APEX grand award. Sixty-six grand award winners were named from more than 4,900 entries in this national competition, and we took the grand award in our category, which had 198 entries.
The award was for the overall publication, which was all the more satisfying. It is truly humbling and reaffirming to receive such recognition and only adds to the satisfaction of producing this magazine.
Your feedback about our efforts is always appreciated. And please mention PhotoMedia to our advertisers. Their support makes the depth of our industry coverage possible, and they want to know you're noticing.
Wishing you all very happy holidays ahead and a new year filled with creativity and vision.
Gary Halpern , Publisher