The introduction to DPICT

In the last issue of Creative Camera to appear under that masthead, Issue 362, editor David Brittain gives an introduction to its replacement, DPICT, which appeared in April 2000.

Advances in digital printing technology were utilised to print customised copies with over 500 different covers for the first issue.


A few of the hundreds of different covers printed for the first issue of DPICT.

Happy new year! We are starting the new millennium with a blaze. In response to popular demand, we have turned the present edition of Creative Camera into a specially updated 49-page compilation of all our guides. On the following page we offer advice on how to use this unique resource.

The changes gather pace next issue when Creative Camera evolves into an exciting new title, DPICT. Regular readers can be assured that DPICT is being edited and designed by Creative Camera’s usual team, published by the same not-for-profit company, and is still being supported by the Arts Council of England. Despite additional pages, we are also holding the subscription prices at the current rate.

The impending launch marks the end of a year of healthy and sometimes vigorous debate, at Creative Camera, about the identity and future of the magazine. While we felt that the contents of recent issues of Creative Camera may have marginally shifted to reflect rapidly evolving trends in the cultural climate, and within publishing, they could and should shift more quickly and more radically. The best way to signal a new direction – from an ‘art photography magazine’ to a broader cultural magazine concerned with photography, as well as other lens-based practices – such as video and electronic imaging – was to rechristen. A new name was also thought to be the best way to broaden our appeal to include a potentially wider readership of people who are interested in reading about camera culture.

I want to offer a flavour of what you will read in late March when DPICT hits the shelves. DPICT will continue Creative Camera’s policy of giving critical attention and prominence to camera images, but will concentrate on their social uses. Stylistically, it will invoke the urban image environment with its synergy, floating messages, transient images and morphing technologies. We will be looking at developments in the media, the internet and the streets – as well as the gallery.

DPICT will not be interested in acting as a benchmark of ‘good’ art, but it will be very keen to showcase a range of innovative and ground-breaking work within a broad but focused cultural context.

The writing will be wide-ranging, witty and critical without being doctrinaire or inaccessible. We will not confuse fashionable irony for thoughtful analysis. Contributors will be chosen for their strong personal agendas (for example the next issue will contain a feature about ethics and technology by Simon Davies, director of the human rights organisation, Privacy International and novelist Michael Bracewell will describe how the popular imagination went Dome-shaped).

The 64-page DPICT will contain expanded news, review and preview sections, with better international coverage and more in-depth analysis of books. Present readers can continue to keep up to date about photog’raphy and media festivals, awards and appointments in an extended, lively listings section. We also aim to become more proactive as an organisation. For example, a percentage of the visual content of each issue of DPICT will be commissioned – made in collaboration with a range of interesting cultural producers and artists. In partnership with the Lux centre in Hoxton Square, London, we will be organising a series of talks about issues we raise. We are also commissioning young photographers to produce portraits and other visual material.

All in all then, we are offering a bigger and better package, for the same price, that will be better adapted to the twenty-first century. The aims and independent spirit of Creative Camera are embodied in this new title, as is much continuity. So I appeal to you to support it and please spread the word.

The first issue of DPICT focuses on issues raised by the advanced technologies of marketing and communications. It will be coming out earlier than usual, in late March, and will contain the long-awaited results of our millennial cover project! Thanks to all who contributed material – the response was overwhelming and the quality and inventiveness of work was better than we could have imagined.

Finally, a warm thanks to Ian Dickens of Olympus Cameras who has worked with us to realise this very special issue.

David Brittain