Some Places to Look for More Like These
Walk into any newsagent and you'll see quite an array of photography magazines. Quite whether the explosion in title numbers is down to the digital photography revolution is open to question but there's now so many that I stick a small number of them for my reading needs. Aside from any overlap in content, the cost of sampling all of them is prohibitive too and never more so than in the throes of a recession. You just wonder how they all attract readers but each to their own.
Not only do magazines teach technique or review the latest hardware but they often solicit contributions from readers too in an attempt to provide impetus for creativity. In addition, they also introduce us to talented practitioners of the art of photography too, either through technique articles, interviews or portfolios. In fact, they have brought to my notice many of the online galleries that I include in this part of the miscellany. With that in mind, I have collected a short list with commentary from my experience of reading some of them (a fuller list, and it is just that, can be found at ePHOTOzine).
Was this the first magazine that I picked up while mulling over the idea of buying my first SLR, a Canon EOS 300? Film use was in full swing back then but a look back through the issues reveals how things have changed for the weekly publication. It used to be regular acquisition but I only get it now when something of interest is featured inside. Equipment news became its staple for a while some technique material is included these days along with feature articles regarding photographic talent that threw a few entries on here. Then as now, many of its back pages are devoted to camera retailer advertising with the second hand dealers having the lion's share of the available and it's always good to see what they have too.
Magazines change over time and that comment applies especially to Photography Monthly. Until recently, I was a subscriber but it is difficult to see anything in it that hooks me these days. That was admittted in the editor's letter that came with the last issue as was the time and money pressures that many face. Unfortunately for them, the appeal did nothing to draw me back though.
The title was started by Dan Lezano (now at the helm of Digital SLR Photography) and focussed on beginners in its early issues before that became formulaic (a bad thing for magazines and the current incarnation is anything but that) and I stopped buying it when I moved beyond the beginner articles. What changed my mind was the bringing on board of Will Cheung (formerly at ePHOTOzine and now editing Advanced Photographer) from Practical Photography. Though that was to produce tension beyond Cheung and Lezano, there was step change in the quality of the content that returned me to the fold. That was enough to keep me with it for a while but no longer.
The decision of a former editor to go for covers without females on them all of the time gave rise to a trend for photography magazines to vary their covers after what had been a persistent formula. However, the magazine's content became more formulaic and less tempting after the departure of Will Cheung and I eventually stopped buying the thing altogether. That's not to say that covers don't attract my interest but these are testing times and there are loads of magazines out there so you have to draw a line somewhere and this is where I draw mine. That's not all because I cleared all of my old issues of the magazine to release some very useful space on my shelves, always a good thing.
This may come on late in the list but the quality of the photos published in this periodical every month keep me coming. It is another of the magazines to which I subscribe and with good reason. Seeing inspiring photos and learning where to see more of any featured photographers' work is only guaranteed to whet an appetite for landscape photography and, if that keeps getting me out and about, then it's no bad thing. If you only allowed me one photography magazine, this would be the one. As if to reinforce the impression that the print magazine is the main concern of the GMC, the website is only there to promote subscriptions.
While I must admit to only having played on the shores of the great sea of monochrome photography, I cannot deny having an interest. It's that which caused me to pick up a copy of this one, a companion to Outdoor Photography. The continued existence of such a title can only confirm the appeal of black and white photography continues in this largely digital age when conversion to monochrome from colour is option that wasn't available in former times.