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Photography magazines can be great for learning new techniques and seeing different styles of photography. Some are tech related, others more art related. Whatever your preference is, you can be sure that there's a magazine out there for you. To give you a start, here's six of the most popular photography magazines.
Issues per year: 11
This magazine focuses primarily on landscape, travel, and nature photography. Each issue has a section about technique and a “Favorite Place” feature which tells about a specific photographic place in the U.S. In addition, there are reviews on the latest cameras and outdoor gear related to nature photography. Perhaps one of the best sections of this magazine is George Lepp's Q&A column where he answers very specific questions to which you may not be able to find answers to elsewhere. OP also has a very active online presence with contests and photo assignments which gives community members the chance to have their photos featured online or in the print magazine.
Issues per year: 12
Aptly named, Popular Photography is one of the most popular magazines for photography. It is labeled as a general purpose photo magazine with no specific focus on any one subject. However, it is most commonly read for its up-to-date reviews on cameras and lenses. Many of PP's pages are dedicated to detailed reviews of the latest products in digital photography which comment on both the good and bad qualities of a product and quantify their performance and value. There are also technique columns, but many find them to be fairly basic and repetitive. While this may be great for anyone looking to start learning photography, more experienced photographers may want to turn to other magazines for more advanced photographic knowledge.
Issues per year: 6
The format of American Photo differs greatly from its siblings and is a magazine that you will either love or couldn’t care less about. AP focuses heavily on creativity and the art side of photography rather than the tech side. AP is full of beautiful and unique photographs, and likes to focus on the people behind the camera. You'll find many profiles of amateur and professional photographers who are breaking the mold and trying new things. The reviews in AP are centered around photo exhibitions and books rather than gear. A great magazine for those looking to get away from the hum drum of MTF charts and megapixels.
Issues per year: 4
Aperture is the premier magazine for fine art photography. Many readers praise Aperture for its quality and variety of art photography. The magazine is printed on very high-quality paper too, making the images all that more impressive. The articles are based around art photography and photography in a larger social context. Recently, Aperture has announced a re-launch with a new view in recognition of the digital uprising. It is unsure yet how this will change the magazine.
Issues per year: 12
This is another magazine that focuses heavily on digital photography and the latest gear, but which differs from Popular Photography with its emphasis on more professional level photographers. That's not to say that beginners and amateurs can't learn anything from this magazine, but the techniques are often put on the more advanced end of the spectrum and gear reviews are more for high-end products. They also have a Q&A column that can be helpful, and unlike most other photo tech magazines, Shutterbug discusses new products in the film realm too. Some readers complain about the high number of ads in the magazine.
Issues per year: 3
Though there are only 3 issues distributed per year, there are generally more pages (and fewer ads) than your average magazine. The Fall/Winter combo magazine is particularly thicker. Most of this magazine is filled with photos, and the articles are often about the photographers and their experience in capturing a set of featured photos. There are some technical how-to articles, but none filled with diagrams or screenshots of photoshop. If you want to become a field contributor, you can pay for a level 3 subscription. Doing this gives you access to exclusive articles and areas on the website and the option of submitting photos and articles to the magazine for a chance at publication.
Image credit: vgstudio / 123RF Stock Photo
Written by Spencer Seastrom