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Photography Question 
Laura N
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/24/2005

Best Photography Magazine

I am planning on getting a subscription to a photography magazine, but I'm not sure which is the best. I could probally find one & order it, but I thought I'd check on here first to see if any of you have any favorites or recommendations!
Thanks ahead of time for any feedback! :)

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1/2/2006 11:03:58 AM

Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  I'm going to assume that you want one more for digital, because it says you use the Digital Rebel on your pics. One that I just subscribed to is Shutterbug. A year subscription to it is about 14USD. Another one is Photo Techniques. I really like this one, but it's more expensive(about 30USD for a year subscription).

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1/2/2006 1:12:05 PM


BetterPhoto Member
  Yes, Shutterbug and Photo Techniques are awesome. I also like Outdoor Photographer and View Camera and the UK magazine Photography Monthly. My magazines on my subscription list are Shutterbug, OP and VC.

Chris Walrath

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1/2/2006 4:05:05 PM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Laura -

I've subscribed, over the years, to eight "different" photo magazines. Generally, they haven't been so different; most have been commercial rags containing more and more advertising pages with each issue. I started with Modern Photography which "failed" and was absorbed into Popular Photography. I've been a Pop Photo subscriber for more than 35 years.

If you want to read product reviews, that seem to rehash manufacturer's literature, these will do. In my case, I loved it when PHOTOgraphic was the "new kid on the block," and Editor Robert Farber made certain there was lots of "how-to" copy. I subscribed to this magazine for almost its entire life span.

PHOTOgraphic is gone even after succumbing, in a survival attempt, to "digital-mania." Of course, its last Editor, Ron Leach, has denied that critique.

Pop Photo has never met the major advertiser's product it hasn't liked. Or, that's its rub.

Outdoor Photographer used to be great; it, too, now loves to review equipment rather than tell how to take better outdoor pictures. For me, George Lepp seems to write more about his Canon equipment than his image-making. Shutterbug - I subscribed for a year; now I'll be getting it to fulfill my outstanding PHOTOgraphic subscription. Again, very heavy into digital.

Amphoto - great photos and less advertising, but definitely not for the beginner.

And, then there's the myriad of magazines like Rangefinder, England's EOS, Black and White Photography, PC Photo, etc. The Yahoo search engine lists more than 75 [on today's page alone.]

There's one other problem I find with today's current magazine crop. I usually can read all the copy and many of the ads in something less than an hour and a half. That means there's not too much "meat."

But, you can be sure that once a year there will be the same articles on using a polarizing filter, the SLR round-up, the point and shoot round-up, the film round-up, the inkjet printer comparison, the "special advertising section" hiding under the Nikon School label.

Of course, rarely do the editors really "stand up to be counted" by stating emphatically which item they like best. [Did you note that, ehen Pop Phot announced its first Camera of the Year (in 2004 - the Nikon D70,) a later article in the issue on available digital SLRs stated the Canon 20D was the camera to beat!]

And, finally, we now are asked by Pop Photo to accept Debbie Grossman's approach to improving someone else's pictures using Photoshop!

Am I being cynical? Kerry, I know you'll write back to say "Yes."

Laura, buy books. Authors like Bryan Peterson, Kerry Drager, Jim Zuckerman, and Tony Sweet [all BP instructors] have turned out some really tremendous volumes - great ideas, magnificent pictures and, generally, full of "how-to" text. Then, there's John Hedgecoe, Freeman Paterson, Robert Farber, Leonard Lee Rue, Ansel Adams [the original threesome and those follow-up treatises following his precepts.] I could go on. I still read and re-read my three volumes by Andreas Feininger [one of the original Life Magazine giants.]

Nonetheless, I haven't cancelled my subscription to Pop Photo. Maybe I can make it 50 years as a subcriber!


P.S. - The magazines I criticized above are my recommendations in response to your original question.

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1/3/2006 1:27:14 PM

Laura N
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/24/2005
  Brendan, Christopher, and John:
Thanks so much for your sharing this; it is very helpful. I will look farther into the magazines you have recommended, and see which one interests/fits me the best, while keeping your comments in mind also. And I'll defintely look into the books you have mentioned John, sounds like a good idea.
Thankyou again!

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1/7/2006 6:34:34 AM

Buddy Purugganan   Please check ---there are AMAZING bargain subscription for PHOTOGRAPHY enthusiasts and professionals!

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1/7/2006 5:47:10 PM

Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Well said, John! You may sound cynical but somtimes there's a lot of truth in cynicism.

My favorite magazines are the British magazines. I like Digital Photo. It comes with a CD each issue and they explain how to do things in Photoshop step by step. My 2nd favorite British magazine is Digital Photography Made Easy. It too comes with a CD each month and I believe they have some tutorials on theirs as well. I did get a free copy of Buzz Simplifier included with one about a year and a half ago. I have no idea what these magazines would cost to subscribe to. I don't even know if you can get a subscription to them in the U.S. I just pick mine up at Barnes & Noble when I'm out. They cost in the neighborhood of $11.50 for Digital Photo. I find them vastly more substantive than the U.S. publications though.

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1/7/2006 6:32:10 PM

George Anderson   Well said, John. The U.S. publications are in general, awful. The same old how-to articles, now updated with a nauseating dose of Photoshop correction pieces. I guess the theory is, why study a great photographer's technique, when you can correct on a monitor?

Even when they lean on camera/equipment reviews, they fail, because the evaluations are so uncritical and superficial. Long gone are the days when Modern Photography actually tore down cameras to see how well they were built. The lens reviews have gotten away from objective measurements in favor of subjective ones, so that the lenses tested can't really 'fail'; you're hard pressed to tell the differences.

You'll see countless raves over the newest technology and camera, but few long-term evaluations. Some of the cameras they praise have turned out, within a matter of months, to be the most unreliable piles of junk ever made. Once I contacted one of the larger publications about their failure to test digital SLRs in real-life conditions to see if they'd malfunction in extreme weather - they actually got angry about it - there was 'no problem out there', so there was no need to test.

There's a huge need for more aggressive and independent photo-market journalism.

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1/9/2006 9:22:04 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Cynical? Yes. Correct? Yes. Sometimes the cynics are right.

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1/9/2006 10:02:30 AM

Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  For about $20-$30 per year you can subscribe to a great new South African mag, which I believe is up there with the rest! Check out the following - I'm not sure what the overseas subs are - but I'm sure you could contact them. I also occasionally pick up the American and UK and Oz mag's - but I don't subscribe - as some are full of waffle and ad's - and there might be only one article of interest. I subscribe to PIX and I must be honest, I get a huge amount of information (in mostly simple English!!) from the BP website!!

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1/9/2006 1:24:51 PM

Susan M. Hembree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2006
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  Laura--A little late in coming, but thought I would respond. I love the UK photography magazines. One in particular is called Digital Camera World. You can purchase it at either Borders or Barnes and Nobel. A little pricey, but they have step by step instructions on how to both photograph and do editing techniques in the various edit programs. There is always a disc with photos that they use in the magazine so that you can practice. I've learned alot from this magazine.

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7/18/2007 11:13:27 AM

Marianne Fortin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/23/2006
  I agree about the UK magazine "Digital Camera" (they have dropped the word "World" now).

I live in the US and subscribe to this magazine (cheaper that buying at newsstand!). It arrives every month in a strong opaque plastic envelope which is great because I worried about it getting damaged or stolen.

There is a wealth of information in the magazine and not as many ads as the US mags and you get an instructional CD covering the magazine topics each month.

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7/19/2007 7:54:07 AM

Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  Back in the Day of film I was an avid subscriber of Peterson Photographic. It was full of tutorials, both for taking photos and darkroom techniques. It has since went by the wayside and I think evolved into Shutterbug Magazine. Sometimes newer isn't better.....

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7/19/2007 10:27:03 AM

Joan Bellinger   Due to suggestions from this web, I now subscribe to PC Photo and Shutterbug.

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7/19/2007 2:53:39 PM

Kevin Ekstrom
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/20/2005
  American Photo has always been my magazine of choice.
I like the fact that they will post Nudes and truley still view it as art. I dont know of another photo magazine who aproaches glamour photography on this level.
The articles here are also great and I love the photographer of the year edition.

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8/1/2007 4:09:05 AM

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