Magazine comparisons

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by CamArtsMag, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. CamArtsMag

    CamArtsMag Guest

    I am interested in hearing people's comments about American Photo, Petersen's,
    Shutterbug and CameraArts. What are the good and bad points of each and how
    could they be better.

    steve simmons
    CamArtsMag, Dec 2, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. CamArtsMag

    chmc Guest

    The main point of shutterbug is to look at all the ads for used equipment.
    Peterson's is aimed at rookie gearheads. American Photo seems to
    concentrate on advertising photography, but I haven't read it much. I
    haven't seen CameraArts much.
    chmc, Dec 3, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. CamArtsMag

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    The first two could improve a lot by going out of business. Shutterbug is
    okay but they went to standard magazine size and simply shrunk the type to
    fit it - Consequently I can't read it without a magnifier. It isn't good
    enough to merit that, and they still print it on crap paper so the pictures
    still look like they were taken through a lens with gelatin smeared on it.
    No comment on Camera Arts. I don't find it to be very interesting at all
    but I'm sure others do. They simply aren't my thing.
    In general the best magazine for seeing what's new is Pop since ou can
    usually subscribe for next to nothing. Just don't believe their
    recommendations without checking.
    Tony Spadaro, Dec 3, 2003
  4. CamArtsMag

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Sometimes nice imagery, though a bit too much of celebrity photography. Some
    issues look like a copy of People magazine. Printing quality has been good,
    though the paper quality has rarely been good, with the exception of special
    "Collectors" editions . . . sometimes.
    This was good until B&H started sending me catalogues the last couple years.
    However, I do wish they would do an article on how to put the batteries into a
    digital tripod. Lately this looks too much like a bad computer magazine, and has
    lots of disinformation and bad advice for those new to PhotoShop.
    Another one that has great catalogue potential. I like that lots of Adorama items
    are listed. The printing quality and paper suck, though they are slightly better
    than in the past. Either the printer or the designer like extra Magenta, or one
    (or both) of them are colour blind. Rarely good articles from Roger Hicks.
    Great paper and printing quality. Slightly thin on pages and images sometimes.
    Wish it came out more often. Sometimes overly technical oriented, though very
    comparable in style to PhotoLife, a Canadian photography magazine.
    I have given up on American Photo, since they look to have abandoned the past.
    The others are beyond hope, though Shutterbug seems to have the advertising
    resources to improve their printing quality. With CameraArts, if there was more
    advertising, then it could be monthly.
    One idea, though I am not sure if your budget could handle it, would be to have a
    photo annual. Something similar to what Aperture puts out; perhaps Big, or
    Blindspot could provide some inspiration or ideas.

    I like CameraArts enough to keep the issues. With the others you mentioned, I
    only have some old issues of American Photographer, since the rest have long
    since hit the recycle bin.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 3, 2003
  5. CamArtsMag

    CamArtsMag Guest

    Subject: Magazine comparisons
    From: (CamArtsMag)
    Date: 12/2/2003 4:27 PM Mountain Standard Time
    Message-id: <>

    I am interested in hearing people's comments about American Photo, Petersen's,
    Shutterbug and CameraArts. What are the good and bad points of each and how
    could they be better.

    steve simmons
    I am interested in knowing what people would like to see in a photo magazine.
    What kinds of images, what kinds of tech stuff, etc.

    steve simmons
    CamArtsMag, Dec 3, 2003
  6. American Photo; Very good, if you're interested in lots of partly nekkid
    women (my wife hates it :) and glamor. Occasionally it seems they get off
    that, and they do a good job there as well. Their 9/11 photographers piece
    was terrific, for instance.

    Shutterbug; makes a great catalog. Some photography and how tos, not many.
    Seems like the same issues come out every year.

    Camera Arts; More technical, and not particularly slanted toward 35mm, if
    that's what you're looking for. Great for more exotic technique at times.

    AP and Camera Arts are the two to look for if you want to learn. There are
    other good ones; Photo Vision is good stuff for instance. Also have a look
    at Aperture. Aperture is at our Barnes and Noble, Photo Vision seems to be
    harder to find.

    Amateur Photographer is also reasonably good for a weekly, Practical
    Photography is also OK. Both British publications, also available at Barnes
    and Noble.

    Mike "Still looking for the perfect magazine"
    Mike Lipphardt, Dec 3, 2003
  7. CamArtsMag

    CamArtsMag Guest

    Mike "Still looking for the perfect

    what would you like to see in a photo magazine?

    steve simmons
    CamArtsMag, Dec 3, 2003
  8. I think American Photo is a closet business magazine in lad magazine's
    clothing. Lot's of people complain about the naked women, but I'm sure it
    makes the magazine leap off the store shelves. I subscribe and read it for
    the articles on photographers and stock agencies; it's not quite as
    business-oriented as PDN, but it's still got good articles on the business
    end of the business.

    I'm a business lawyer, so my perspective is very skewed from what may be an
    average reader. Seeing American Photo as a business magazine, I don't have
    suggestions as to how to improve it. The grip and grin shots are part of
    the marketing; keep important people's pictures in the magazine, and it
    becomes an important magazine to have around. I don't see American Photo as
    a magazine aimed at the classic 50s and 60s kind of amateur photographer. I
    think it's aimed at pros in the business.
    Aimed a people who either don't have a camera and want one or who just
    bought one and want to learn how to take pro-level photos for about 15
    minutes before they move on to the next big thing.

    Petersen's and Pop Photo are the classic 50s and 60s amateur photographer
    magazine, with the ads in the back not only for gear but for make money now
    with your camera come-ons, and ads for dandruff remover, nose-hair trimmers
    and such for people who wanted self-improvement products to move up the
    social scale. Those days are gone, and I don't think Petersen's has yet
    found the replacement demographic for long-time subscribers. I glance
    through Petersen's and Pop Photo (wasn't there a Modern Photography
    magazine, too, back in the day?) on the rack, but I haven't bought one in I
    don't know how many years. I'd rather buy British magazines with lots of
    energy, tons of short how-to articles, and lots of amateur's sending in
    their images for critiques.
    The quality is very sad. If you are interested in used equipment, this is
    an excellent resource for shows, dealers, and such.
    Way over my head. I look at an issue every few months, and I have no idea
    why I'd ever buy an issue. I have no clue who it's aimed at.

    My estimation of the readership of is that
    _generally_ they are male, middle age, and very knowledgable about
    photography. I'd bet that all here have more than one camera, and that most
    have more than one format. A magazine that would appeal to this readership
    would have very limited popular appeal. It could be a very lucrative niche,
    though, if you could figure out how to address these guys. I know from my
    experience that there are many excellent amateur photographers who do
    professional quailty work, and they'll never be heard of, never make sales,
    never get their _excellent_ work shown.

    My suggestion would be a magazine that addressed both sides of the equation
    -- provide helpful, professional level advice on specific photographic and
    business issues, and provide a forum to show off the work of some really
    great photographers who have no idea how to market themselves. I would also
    suggest not having a dichotomy between film and digital and making the
    magazine one or the other -- just cover technical issues and photographers,
    and let the imagery speak for itself.
    Phil Stripling, Dec 3, 2003
  9. CamArtsMag

    CamArtsMag Guest

    and CameraArts.

    Way over my head. I look at an issue every few months, and I have no idea
    why I'd ever buy an issue. I have no clue who it's aimed at.
    Our readership is advnaced amateurs and professionals. We don't seem to appeal
    to the beginners who want more equipment oriented material. We do have readers
    who prefer the editorial content focus on the process of making photographs,
    the thoughts of the photographers making them, and who like to see a variety of
    imagery from established and unknown photographers.

    steve simmons
    CamArtsMag, Dec 3, 2003
  10. CamArtsMag

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Specifically, more photos. I think too many of the stated "photography" magazines
    are too gear oriented, especially the ones you mentioned as comparisons. Some
    examples of this: I buy PDN because of industry related coverage, relevant
    because I am a working photographer; Leica Fotographie International sometimes
    for the great images and printing quality; Picture for great images, interviews
    with professionals, and emerging talent; PhotoLife (when I can find it) for great
    imagery, some technology overview, and emerging talent imagery; and Réponses
    Photo (French) mostly for equipment reviews, and some great imagery.

    Outside of photography specific magazines, I tend to look at and buy more photo
    heavy magazines. The images are more the appeal, than any possible mention of
    camera equipment. In fact, often the gear is unknown, or not mentioned.
    Publications that fall into that realm include Surface (especially the Avant
    Guardians recent issue), Wallpaper*, BlackBook, Black+White (Australian), V,
    City, Zinc, and a few others on occasion like The Face, or Dazed & Confused. The
    draw of these is the photography, and even the quality of most of the advertising
    photography is really good. Rarely are there any photography specific gear type
    advertisements in these.

    Types of images I enjoy match mostly those of the non-photography choices I buy.
    The imagery in those goes from lifestyle to architecture, though usually they
    read as a series of images, like a storyboard. In fact, I tend to like the
    storytelling aspect, even in more imaginary guises.

    As for tech stuff, when I pick up a copy of Réponses Photo, I often look at the
    scanning reports, or reviews of some medium format gear. Since medium format
    reviews are rare, and somewhat of a niche market, it could be something for your
    magazine to investigate.

    I think the quality of the advertising also affects the perceived quality of the
    magazine. Perhaps getting some non-photography industry advertisers could change
    the look of the magazine a bit, or even landing some of the larger printing
    concerns, like Duggal, et al. Best of luck.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 3, 2003
  11. CamArtsMag

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Just an extra note to my other post. I really do enjoy reading the thoughts of the
    photographers behind the images. This is a draw for me to CameraArts, and somewhat
    to Picture, and few other publications do this well. A question and answer type of
    format would also work well in this aspect.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 3, 2003
  12. (CamArtsMag) wrote in
    Innovative, creative techniques, especially ones that can be done
    without a lot of specialized equipment. Revisiting some of the older
    techniques (such as pre-exposure), and making sure that explanations of how
    anything works is included - there's a tremendous amount of misinformation
    out there.

    Equipment reviews that aren't afraid of pissing off the manufacturers
    - if there's a fault, your articles should be able to say this, very
    clearly and directly. If you have a readership that trusts you, it expands,
    and so does the ad revenue.

    Highlight a distinctive photographer, old or new, per issue. Feature
    their approaches, style, thoughts, whatever. Get some interest going with
    the people that haven't received the influence of Adams or Cartier-Bresson
    or Doubilet from their schooling, and showcase someone that hasn't been
    seen enough to get the same recognition.

    Remember that you're on the readers' side, not anyone else's. This
    means no undue influence from advertisers, stock houses, or your editors
    and art directors. I consider National Geographic a premier photography
    magazine, even though they feature nothing about the trade. Why? Because
    they have good images, informative articles, and no partisanship or
    agendas. One of the few magazines, anywhere, of any kind, that accomplishes
    this anymore. And why I buy very few magazines.

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Dec 3, 2003
  13. CamArtsMag

    CamArtsMag Guest

    Equipment reviews that aren't afraid of pissing off the manufacturers
    - if there's a fault, your articles should be able to say this, very
    clearly and directly. If you have a readership that trusts you, it expands,
    and so does the ad revenue.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    View Camera may have been the only magazine to point out the flaw in the Cooke
    Soft Focus lens last year - it was only soft focus down to about f8.5 and then
    became sharp. We stated that at these wide apertures it was difficult to tell
    the differnece between soft focus and simply out of the dof area. Other
    magazines simply wrote glowing reviews and never mentioned this characteristic.

    CameraArts does cover equipment but is not equipment intensive. Our focus is
    The Art and craft of Photography.

    Try us.

    steve simmons
    CamArtsMag, Dec 3, 2003
  14. CamArtsMag

    Bob Monaghan Guest

    magazines tend to disappoint me due to the lack of depth and quality; I
    have bought over 1,000 photo and art books in the last few years precisely
    because the image quality is very high, while books are long enough that
    you can get an indepth discussion of the topics. When I find photographers
    I like, I can pick up their books locally (we have the world's largest
    used bookstore chain near campus).

    magazines also don't compete well against websites dedicated to specific
    topics, esp. technical ones. The mfgers web sites now tend to have more
    indepth info on products than magazines or reviews. Online user reviews
    can be more useful in highlighting problems than magazine reviews, no
    doubt because many magazines don't want to alienate advertisers or
    suppliers of test lenses and so on.

    magazines are also formulaic, and tied to a limited group of authors. So
    the november issue may always be on lenses, march may be studio lighting
    and so on. The same authors often specialize and rework their old
    articles. Some of the magazines I get for a particular author's articles.
    But when you factor how few pages of "meat" there are in many magazines,
    you quickly realize that you are much better off buying books by those
    favored authors than magazines where little of the general content is of
    interest. By contrast, with millions of pages on photography on the web,
    there is a wealth of info that often exceeds the pages available to any
    author or topic in a magazine.

    my $.02 ;-) bobm
    Bob Monaghan, Dec 5, 2003
  15. CamArtsMag

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Check out Tank, i-D, *Surface, Black Book, V, and Wallpaper*. While these are
    not photography magazines, the photography in them, the thickness of each
    issue, and the high quality paper, often make these as good as some art
    books, and much less expensive. Another one to find, though difficult, is a
    magazine called CLEAR. That uses screenless printing technology on Yupo
    paper, and is the highest quality printing I have ever seen in any
    publication. It is worth finding a copy just to see the printing quality.
    Agreed on that. Many web sites get to press sooner than publications, so
    newer product information is easier to find. However, for careful shoppers,
    waiting for the more in depth reviews can be more revealing.
    Mostly true. There are some exceptions, though they are often at a level that
    it is not worth buying every issue. If you speak a language other than
    English, there are even more choices. Also, I would not imagine that web
    authors are any more objective than magazine writers.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 6, 2003
  16. CamArtsMag

    T P Guest

    That merely reflects the market, which is very long on
    photographic gearheads but very short on photographers.
    T P, Dec 9, 2003
  17. CamArtsMag

    T P Guest

    You conveniently forgot to mention the most major criticism of
    magazines; that they pander to their advertisers to the extent that
    the veracity of their editorial content can be severely compromised.
    T P, Dec 9, 2003
  18. CamArtsMag

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Judging by the news-stand at the local Border's Books, I think about half of the
    "photography" magazines would be better off placed into the computer magazine racks.
    Definitely too many technology junkies and geeks around the latest gear. Actually,
    considering the dominance of electronic everything, and lack of mechanical cameras,
    can we really call them "gear heads" anymore?


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 9, 2003
  19. CamArtsMag

    Railfan Guest

    I note "Popular Photography" now calls itself "Popular Photography and
    Imaging" (or something like that, I don't have a copy with me).

    BB in Canada
    Railfan, Dec 9, 2003
  20. CamArtsMag

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: Magazine comparisons

    Lewis Lang, Dec 9, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.