Deep Sleep Issue #5 – The Sea, Plus a Few Thoughts About Online Magazines


©Riannon Adam


©Greg Miller

The new issue of Deep Sleep Magazine – The Sea, was released today and includes 12 stories.

Perhaps man’s enduring fascination with the sea is a reflection of the simple fact that we are a land-based mammal occupying a planet that, as any schoolboy will tell you, is 70% water (the Pacific ocean alone covers half the globe). Or perhaps there remains, buried deep in our collective DNA, a vestigial yearning to return to the place from which all life emerged some 400 million years ago. Either way, the sea and man’s interaction with it is a never-ending source of photographic inspiration. And if photography is, in essence, a means of exploring the world and our role in it, then the sea is a good place to start.


©Vanessa Winship

I particularly enjoyed the series from Vanessa Winship, Greg Miller and the ‘Going Coastal’ group effort.  There’s also series many will probably recognize from Rafal Milich and Alexey Titarenko.

I haven’t been able to check out all the features, which brings up a question about online zines such as Deep Sleep, Ahorn, 1000 Words and others, and that’s, how many features do you include in an issue?  For me, I can handle about 5 in one sitting, but even then, I don’t always make it through them all.

I suppose the idea is for people to come back and view the work over time.  In addition, this format also creates a coherent type of archive which is lacking on most blogs and such.

I’d be curious to hear people’s feedback about their own viewing habits.  Is the ‘Issue’ format compatible with contemporary viewing habits online? And if so, what is the right amount of content to include?

The top tier online zines have a key distribution advantage in that the content tends to spread organically, in posts like this for example.  So over the course of a few weeks the content will spread so if you missed something earlier, you might get pointed to it on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

From a certain perspective, I really like the idea of forcing people to dig into the issues and pay closer attention.  But from knowing my own consumption habits and the general show me quick zeitgeist of the web, I’m curious whether or not the majority of people look at all the features or simply gravitate toward certain thumbnails and names.

Recently I’ve bee wondering what a hybrid of these online magazines and the standard daily blog might look like.  One concept that has always resonated with me is the Stock and Flow idea put forth by Snark Market back in January.

I’m in the process of developing the next version of LPV, so these sorts of questions have been on my mind recently.