What's the deal with Outdoor Photographer magazine?

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by brian steinberger, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Sorry, I just need to vent a little bit. I just got the new OP today (Aug. 2007), and once again am disgusted by the complete lack of coverage for all outdoor photographers. Every article is digital this and digital that. I encourage everyone that gets the magazine to read the article on pg. 56 and post your thoughts. The article talks about how digital photography has supassed film (35mm anyway) mostly pertaining to publication. That may be true, but it's just the way the article is written, with things like "the media [film] is rapidly disappearing as a force in nature photography," and "there are a few diehards who love film who want to put down digital rather than simply accept their love for film." These lines are complete ignorance.

    So then I see an article on black and white, only to find that it only talks about converting to B&W from a digital file. I've been getting OP for about 10 years and used to really really love it! But in the past 2 years or so, the complete lack to even recognize that film exists and run some articles on it really gets to me. I used to love when they would showcase Monte Neglar or John Sexton. This may be the last year for me. I'll stick to View Camera and Photo Techniques. Those are some good photography magazines!
     
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  2. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    I read that article...it's really weird. If you read it again, note all the places where they talk about how the digital comparisons come pretty close to 35mm film, yet in every instance it sure sounded to me like film came out ahead. Then, and only then, in the last paragraph do they come to the conclusion that digital has surpassed film. If nothing else, it was a poorly written article.

    From the other side of things, magazines that have been around for a long time are probably liking that they have something new/different to write about to avoid becoming totally repetitive.
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I don't subscribe to it anymore for the same reasons. I also discontinued my subscription to view camera after they posted a comparison between a canon 10D digital camera and a hasselblad in the may/june 04 issue. I've got better things to spend money on.
     
  4. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I dropped my subscription because of the lack of coverage of film based photography. Photo Techniques is limping in that direction also.
     
  5. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    You want to know what's going on? It the same old, same old:

    "Follow the money."

    Who are the advertisers? :wink:
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't looked at it for a long time, but when I did, it was always curious that the featured portfolios were mostly film and the technical articles were mostly digital.
     
  7. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Exactly. OP does have excellent photography. The portfolio in the newest issue on pg. 43. is beautiful photography, and again, the largest photos in those pages are all with film.

    I can understand the need to keep advertisers happy, but it's a shame to see what used to be a great magazine go to waste. I hope Photo Techniques doesn't do the same. I've noticed more articles related to digital lately, but they always have great articles by Bruce Barnbaum, and others on tradition work, as well as little one page articles on darkroom techniques, which is very interesting to me.
     
  8. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Popular Photography is worse. What a load of drivel it's become. The only reason to read it is Herb Kepeler (sp?) who I enjoy, even though he's not exactly on top of everything anymore.
     
  9. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    I quit reading OP a long time ago because I got tired of their reviews on so many things non-photographic. They review clothes, binoculars, shoes, even vehicles (at one point), etc., not to mention computers and printers (as do so many other magazines regarding the latter two items). If I want a review on those non-photographic things, I'll buy fashion, car, and computer magazines!

    But the worst thing, as you point out, is their overboard pro-digital bias.
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I gave up on that rag years ago; after being a charter subscriber at one time. If you want a good nature photography magazine, that doesn't hate film like OP, get Outdoor Photography, published in the UK.
     
  11. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    I need to went too.
    Honestly i can't belive anyone on this forum would even consider reading that piece or C...
    I was given a subscription last year and had a chance to look at what i would consider one of the best magazines to deter anyone from thinking about photography.
    There is nothing in dept about anything in that magazine, it is about filling up as much space as possible (Apart from the advertizing) in as little time as possible. Paper would not make it to a public restroom, what is it that make serious photographers buy this magazine? Is it just old habbits?


    jan
     
  12. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    The real sadness, for me, comes when I open one of my file cabinets and re-read my saved copies of Camera and Darkroom. Those old issues are certainly not without their faults, but they continue to improve when compared with the abysmal quality of Photographic magazines of today in general. C&D, although dated (!) is/ was at least an order of magnitude ahead, then - and now, rapidly approaching the second.

    Oh, if only someone could resurrect that Magazine - Call it "Darkroom and Camera", or "Vintage Photography" or whatever the hell would fly - only with the same format, direction, contributors, philosophies ....

    Great suffering ZOT!! (with apologies to B.C. and Johnny Hart - where ever he may be ...) - I miss that magazine!
     
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  13. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Sadly, it used to be a great magazine. Years ago.
     
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  15. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    I read the article and it was a bad written article. The OP magazine is all about digital now. Even most of the "showcase" images are recorded on film like David mentioned. I guess they have to go with the "main stream" in order to survive.

    I don't like to read it, but do I have a choice? Emusion comes out 4 issue a year, lenswork is a more enjoyable mag then the other but it going down the way that I don't think I will like it anymore.

    Have you guys ever try to submit any articles to the OP magazine?

    Alex W.
     
  16. roteague

    roteague Member

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    That is why I read Outdoor Photography (UK). It isn't digital free, but there is none of the obvious animosity towards film that you see in Outdoor Photographer.
     
  17. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    When Camera and Darkroom was canceled they provided Outdoor Photog as a substitute. What a rip.
     
  18. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    It seems to me that APUG could fill some of the void. There is so much knowledge here and alot of people who are interested in helping others learn photography. Who needs OP?

    Awhile back, someone posted a video of himself using an iron to dry mount prints that I thought was really well done. Why not have all sorts of those video clips showing any number of things: split contrast printing, RH Designs timers, different paper developers such as Amidol, alternative processes, use of large format cameras, etc. Topics which generate the most questions on the forum. Seems to be a core group of people here ho could do such things well. I would be willing to pay for that as I assume many would.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They did the same thing when _Photovision_ went under. I said I wasn't interested and got a refund for the rest of my subscription.
     
  20. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    You have to realize that many of these magazines are in a death spiral. They long ago "sold their soul" by turning their editorial pages over to the advertising department in a desperate effort to stanch the subscription drain. The ad guys said "sell digital" and that's what they all do.

    I gave up on PopPhoto a while ago - and yet they kept sending me mags long after my subscription expired.

    Just let them die - they don't deserve any tears.
     
  21. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I'm not sure that is true. Realistically, we are more likely to die than they are. I hope there are enough film based, or "silver based" photographers left to sustain a market that can adapt to these market changes.
     
  22. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Actually, my point is simply that in a digital world - the old "loyalties" no longer apply.

    The "old school" mags are in a mad dash to survive against a plethora of "digital imaging" newbies. Do you think a 20-something with a 10mp pocket digi P&S who like "photography" and is looking for a "photo mag" knows enough to give a rat's butt about which of the many choices have been around for more that an issue or two?

    Go to the magazine rack at your nearest Borders or B&N. Try to find PopPhoto, for example. It will be there - but it will be just one of many digital imaging mags (BTW: when you go there - take a look at the PopPhoto cover and note the name change).

    If photo magazines lasted forever - we'd all still be getting "Life" or "Look" every week! :wink:
     
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  23. rusty71

    rusty71 Member

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    Honestly, even before digital most of those magazines turned to crap. Nothing but camera reviews and ads. As if that made one a better photographer!
    As noted, some of the UK magazines have a good mix of film and digital. The thing is, once you sell a newbie a digicam, he thinks he's a photographer for 6 months. Then a new video game system comes out and the camera goes in the sock drawer. These rags depend upon a constant influx of newbies every 6-12 months to survive. But they'll get their come uppence; just look at sales of digi point and shoots. If you recall, back in the 90's those same crummy magazines ran review after review of cheap 35mm point and shoots. Those all ended up in the sock drawer too.
     
  24. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    I got quite confused when I started reading this thread, until I realised it was referring to the USA Outdoor Photographer rather than the the UK Outdoor Photography. I can back up Mr Teague and recommend the UK OP ( I must declare my vested interest as they used one of my pictures for the "opening shot" this month :smile: )
    Magazines will always reflect the current fads and fashions, and some will be quick to jump on the bandwagon if there's profit to be made (I once saw a 'digital compatible lens cloth' but that's another story). OP (UK) and its sister mag B&W Photography seem to have their heads screwed on and have a sensible balance between film and d1g1t4l. I did a quick tally and of the 12 pictures in the "here comes summer" feature 11 were taken on film (mostly Velvia unsurprisingly). I think what really sets it apart from other (UK) magazines though are the travelogue/photojournalism type articles.
    As mentioned by Highpeak the articles are only as good as the contributors. Preaching to the converted in a niche corner of the internet may make us feel better, but contributing pro-film articles (or even just film photographs if, like me, you ain't much of a writer) might make a difference.

    Cheers,
    Crispin, in the UK.
     
  25. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Remember that there are two reasons to run a magazine. One is to talk about the subject, and the other is to sell advertising space. Quite a few magazines seem to forget the first.

    It's also surprising, but true, that many people really like to read camera tests, and that they can sell magazines. I'm not sure why, but I've seen enough evidence of it in enough magazines -- ones that Frances and I write for as well as others -- that I can't deny it.

    Not a lot makes you a better photographer, except taking pictures, but for many, magazines are a substitute for this (as APUG can be too). Yesterday I took quite a lot of pictures, using a Graflex 22 and an M8. Today: well, I've not been up long yet...
     
  26. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Even though Shutterbug isn't a magazine I ever spend much time with, when I have, I usually read the editor's column first. He has been generally fair and reasonable about film and digital....acknowledging the realities that exist, but not being dismissive about traditional materials. As Roger and Frances are contributors there writing about analog things, Shutterbug clearly maintains that commitment with column inches even though it's a magazine that seems highly advertisement driven. As a consequence, OP's hypocrisy (ignoring film while featuring images made with it) rankles more than a little bit.