On a recent trip to the bookstore I was looking through the photography magazines as usual and saw one that was interesting. Ever since I bought the iPad I have been subscribing to magazines on it instead of the paper versions with a couple of exceptions. But of course all magazines aren't yet available on the iPad and I like to browse. This one magazine called "Advanced Photographer" sounded interesting. It was targeted at serious and advanced photographers but not necessarily working photographers. I find a lot of the more popular and general photography magazines like Popular Photography don't hold my attention. I used to subscribe to that particular one but found I just flipped through it rarely stopping to read. Because of the broad appeal the magazine has it often focused on very basic photography talk. Then there are the 'pro' magazines like Digital Photo Pro magazine. I like them but in general they are focused on business discussions. I find them useful but wouldn't mind more in they way of advanced photography discussion.
So now this magazine "Advanced Photographer" comes out and seems to thread the needle between the two rather nicely. It is doesn't shy away from technical discussions that would lose a general audience, but doesn't focus on how to make money from wall portraits either. Kind of refreshing. They had some really nice articles in their first ever issue (you might still find one on news stands, though I think the second edition is about to come out) about panoramas, lighting and shooting wide open. Were they more advanced than you'd find in other magazines? Maybe. But they were definitely well written and enjoyable. I read most of the articles, skipping very few.
They have some gear reviews, and in fact debuted with two that I was interested in, the Olympus E5 and Pentax 645D medium format camera. I was a little disappointed with the gear reviews. It seemed like there wasn't much content talking about the cameras in use even though they profess to have a hands-on approach and to using kit they review in the real world. They have lots of nice photos of the gear and photos taken with the gear as well as some technical information and tests. What I was hoping for was more of a running commentary on using the gear in the field as the ISO charts etc can be found online easily enough.
The magazine was printed on nice paper, reads well and sparked my interest enough to grab the next one when it comes out. Not sure if I'll subscribe yet but for a magazine that claims to target itself at photographers that "have attained a respectable level of expertise" I believe it is on the right track.
Other magazines I buy, subscribe to or used to buy include:
- Popular Photography: I gave up my subscription a year or two ago. Nice magazine, good for reading in an airport, but in general I found it repetitive and lacking content for advanced photographers. Great for new ones though.
- Digital Photo Pro: I gave up my paper subscription to this last summer. I liked it but found it expensive. If it comes out with an iPad version I'll probably buy it. I liked the articles in it, especially the ones featuring photographers and their work.
- Shutterbug: I have an iPad subscription to this one. I never really bought it in paper version because I find it really full of advertising and not all the articles really catch my interest. They do have some good stuff though and if you can look past that it reads more like a B&H Photo catalogue than a magazine it is well worth a digital subscription.
- Silvershotz: I subscribe to the paper version of this magazine because it is simply a beautiful fine art book. I love getting it and going through each edition looking for inspiration and just enjoying some great work. Not a magazine you read and recycle, one you save and look back on and one best read printed on paper, not digitally.
- B&W Magazine: Another fine art magazine focusing on black and white images. I don't subscribe but I often buy it in print at stores. Same comments as above on Silvershotz. Just an excellent magazine.
- American Photo: I have an iPad subscription to this one. I like it, but I don't love it. It is very inconsistent in that some issues are really interesting and some not so much. I'm not sure who they target with it.
- Photo Life: This is a Canadian photo magazine. I subscribe to the paper edition and I do enjoy it, though it does suffer from some of the pitfalls of Popular Photo. I enjoy the book reviews, they do nice gear reviews, and they also feature some nice photographers, particularly their up and comers. The also list Canadian workshops and gallery showings which is nice for me.
- Professional Photographer: This one comes as a paper subscription with my PPA membership. I like it so far. Good business articles in it and it is printed on nice paper with inspiring images. A lot of advertisements, but given that their target is working pro's it makes sense that services for working photographers would line up to advertise in it.
I'm still tinkering with the new blog layout. Forgive it as it changes. I'm not loving it yet.