My name is Olaf and I am editor-in-chief of the Medium Format Magazine and the PDF Exclusives series. I created this community and the Magazine with photographers like you and me in mind. Like you, I care deeply about the craft of photography. I value great imagery and exclusive, substance-rich and thought-provoking writing. So I contacted the best medium format photographers and writers in the world, teamed up with a professional English editor and the best layout designers. I did it all because I wanted to make sure you open each issue with anticipation and excitement and close with renewed zest for crafting great imagery. I would be delighted if you joined us today and became what we call ourselves – Medium Formatters!

As I was working with my team on the current issue, we knew we wanted to approach it as if it were our first. I am honoured and privileged to work with an amazing group of people who, despite all the cross-currents associated with a new publication, pour so much passion and dedication into forming this magazine.

No wonder the December issue is so rich in great content and stunning imagery! Patrick La Roque goes deep into the process of image creation pondering the role of individual experience. In his unique and poignant piece, he challenges us to go deeper into our own existence to uncover new layers of seeing. Fascinating read, indeed!

Ming Thein takes us on a journey involving aerial photography, sharing his experiences and expertise while shooting from above. As usual, he presents a plethora of fascinating, unknown facts and technical know-how accompanied by jaw-dropping imagery. His technical writing is enriched by stories from his personal assignments. Put your seatbelts on – this is going to be adventurous reading!

© Ming Thein

Our guest this month, Denis Hocking, writes a thought-provoking article about becoming friends with your camera. He navigates us through his thinking process when choosing and bonding with his new medium format system – what he calls “familiar friend, expensive paintbrush.” There is no question that this friendship is going well – the proof is in the stunning imagery. 

In the last two issues, Take Kayo brought us truly fascinating interviews. This time is no different. Take interviews a legend of skateboarding photography – Grant Brittain. Take writes, “Grant was in the right place at the right time as the skateboarding culture was taking root in southern California in the late 1970s. Household names like Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero and Christian Hosoi were just preteens at the time, and Grant was like a big brother to them.” That should be enough to hook you on this fascinating piece and imagery shot with medium format.

Lloyd Chambers continues his in-depth discussion about technical aspects of shooting medium format. This month, Lloyd focuses on depth of field, diffraction and focus stacking. Step by step he presents his findings, giving examples and illustrations based on years of independent and scrupulous work. Each of his pieces is a wealth of technical know-how.

If you enjoyed the first part of Benjamin Everett’s “Pictures of the West” you will absolutely love the second part in which Benjamin shares his account of “Driving North.” Benjamin once again takes us along on his photographic journey through the most stunning landscapes North America offers. His reportage-style writing and storytelling will keep you on the edge of your seat so make sure you don’t spill your morning coffee. Even if you do, this may well be worth it.

This month, Ibarionex Perello writes a highly absorbing piece about his approach to testing new cameras. He writes, “Even before these devices arrive at my doorstep, I am attempting to be thoughtful about how I intend to use them once they arrive.” A truly honest and eye-opening look at evaluating new gear in terms of your personal goals and aspirations. Beware! You may never approach a new camera the same way after reading this piece.

Finally, yours truly is sharing his own account of his surprising and revealing journey to medium format photography. If you’d told me a few years ago that I would write such an article, I would not have believed it. As one of the biggest proponents of “the camera doesn’t matter” philosophy, I question the core of my belief based on my experience. It is told as it happened. We often stick to certain convictions and shape our reality with them. For me, it was time to break this house of glass.

That’s not all. This month we have a small surprise for you with special pages of a holiday wish extravaganza. I am sure you will enjoy the thoughtful, insightful and, on occasion, humorous wishes.

My team, the contributors and I hope you will enjoy this issue.