Varied Surroundings

There is more to being human than travelling around the world sampling its many delights, and recent reading has taken me deeper into subjects like philosophy. Though I am a scientist by training, the humanities continue to appeal to me, and various life events have led me to explore them more than otherwise might have been the case. That is now the main thrust of what you find here, along with other things that have a use in navigating life’s journey.

Selected Photography Magazines

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 to a few 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 an 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 allowed me to find online galleries belonging to other photographers.

There are pure digital titles too in the form of f11 Photography Magazine and Landscape Photography Magazine. Even so, this short collection is limited to print magazines, and I have included short commentaries drawn from my experience of reading some of them. If you are so interested, a fuller list can be found at ePHOTOzine.

Amateur Photographer

Was this the first magazine that I picked up while mulling over the idea of buying my first SLR, a Canon EOS 300? Film usage 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 a regular acquisition, yet I only get it now when something of interest is featured inside. Equipment news became its staple for a while, some articles on technique are included these days, along with feature articles regarding photographic talent that threw a few entries on here. Then, as of 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.

Practical Photography

The decision of a former editor to go for covers without females on them all 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.

Outdoor Photography

This may appear late in the list, but the quality of the photos published in this periodical every month keeps me subscribing. Seeing inspiring photos and learning where to see more of any featured photographers' work is only guaranteed to whet your 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. For a long time, any impression that the print magazine was the main concern of the GMC could have been supported by a website only being there to promote subscriptions. That has changed with a new website that itself contains a range of content, and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

Black & White Photography

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 an option that wasn't available in former times.