Thats it. I'm Done With Photo Techniques Magazine

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by JeffD, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. JeffD

    JeffD Member

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    Anyone else notice how the analog photo articles, which used to be excellent, have dwindled down to almost nothing in Photo Techniques magazine?

    Last issue I received, I think, had but one paltry analog related article about an "efficient darkroom", or something. I haven't read it yet. All the rest of the articles are mostly the same ol' Photoshop garbage that every other magazine has, or reviews of the latest digital blah blah blah.

    Anyone else notice this, and is about fed up? It used to be a great magazine- I learned a lot of cool analog techniques. Now, hardly anything. Sigh.

    I won't be re-subscribing. It is just not worth it unless you are digital.

    There, I feel better.
     
  2. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Felt the same way a few months ago. Did the same thing. It's a shame in light of the mind-numbing depth of analog knowledge that their contributing writers have. Barnbaum comes to mind instantly.
     
  3. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I subscribed for over 20 years, gave it up 1½ years ago after my last 3 year subscription ran out.

    I do miss it, but the changes they made and continued to make (it appears) were just not my thing.

    The worst thing is to realise the depth of knowledge that was once there, has seemingly just drifted away.

    However one must also realise that advertisers, who are really the lifeblood of the magazine, have changed dramatically as well. That is pretty much what the problem is, not too much anybody can do about that.

    Mick.
     
  4. pcooklin

    pcooklin Member

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    I've not seen a magazine yet Ive wanted to buy (Im in the UK) - they're all digital. There's a few online analogue mags, I'll dig them out and post.
     
  5. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I subscribed to it for a year or two, but at the price, thought it was awfully thin on good material. I let it die too.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I abandoned my subscription a while ago also, because it was not cheap and it stopped carrying good articles on analog processes.
     
  7. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    It isn't just that they went digital; even the digital articles are pretty lame (I do a lot of Photoshop work, so GOOD digital articles would be fine with me). I haven't bought PT in several years. I actually stopped buying before they really started moving to digital though, the film/darkroom articles were getting poor too by then. I remember the really great articles like the print washing articles and the bokeh articles. That was a LONG time ago. I remember buying the issue with the print wash article when I first met my son's mother, and he is 12 yrs old now!
     
  8. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Subscriber

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    My back issues of PT from 70's on are a great resource. Howard Bond is a friend of mine and is trying to keep analog interest alive undoubtedly.
    I still can't find enough in these recent issues to part with good money.
    As for subscriptions I have subscribed to two magazines in recent years which have gone belly up at my expense.
    Mark
     
  9. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Well, think about it the other way: now's the time to spend your hard-earned money on magazines that talk about art, not technique.

    Aperture, Lenswork, Prefix, Blind Spot, B&W, Daylight, and so on, here you come!

    Also, there's a point at which reading anything technical in a magazine becomes worthless. After reading a few books, trying out a couple of things, how badly do you need yet another article on split grade printing?

    And without being cynical, but analog photo isn't moving terribly fast these days that we need dozens of magazines to keep up with the latest progress. There's a huge backlog of books, magazines, etc that contain 99% of what you need to know about film.

    When I want to know what's happening in the world of Analog, I just log in to APUG :smile:

    Magazines repeat the same dregs over and over simply because the readership is made of beginners who need to be taken by the hand for a while, then either they move on to a new hobby, or else they know enough to cancel their subscription. This is true of the current digital world; that was true of the olden days of analog.

    Actually, if you pick any photo rag from any era (including the early dry plates era!) you'll find the same concerns over and over again.
     
  10. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I went to Barnes and Noble this afternoon and while there I stopped at the photography magazine rack. I did leaf through the latest edition of PT and saw little but digital. I looked at the cover of B&W Photography and saw nothing that interested me. I left the store with no photography magazines. I don't think I have purchased one in 2 or 3 months now. Maybe I should be grateful to the publishers for no longer tempting me to spend my money on their magazines.

    I do have to disagree with Michel, though. Even though I consider myself well versed in film exposure, development, and printing, I learn something every time I read a well written article by one of the analog masters.
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    There is no 'there' over there, so there was nothing to drift away. PT doesn't have a real staff, as near as I can tell in my dealings with the magazine. The contributors to the magazine are still around and haven't gone anywhere.

    PT isn't soliciting articles on traditional photographic techniques, hence the paucity of same.

    The magazine doesn't seem long for this earth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2009
  12. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I gave up on them a few years ago. I bought it almost entirely for Bruce Barnbaum and Howard Bond's articles. Without those, I found it pretty basic. I only subscribe to Lenswork now. The good news is that the on-line resources are pretty amazing now.
     
  13. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    MHV,

    Periodicals can serve the function of a platform for ideas, experiences, new technical information, and discovery, but modern "consumer" magazines don't seem to do this very well. However, Ron Mowrey pointed me towards a very helpful article on the characteristics of variable contrast papers by Dickerson and Zadwadski (March / April 2005), so good material is still out there.

    Tom.
     
  14. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    I've been scratching my head about PT lately, because it really seems like it's floundering. Can anyone figure out the demographic they're going after? I'll be very surprised if they make it through the next 12 months.
     
  15. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    So it proves, tangentially, that APUG is still the best source to find out about the good information, even when it's in magazines :wink:
     
  16. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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  17. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Dick Dickerson and Sylvia Zawadski, were the last reason I still found the magazine very interesting.

    Technical articles, were, as Nicholas Linden points out, all outsourced, I did understand that. However the likes of Bob Mitchell and Dr. Bertram Miller who both specialised in colour negative and processing of prints from them, were not replaced when they sort of retired and/or passed away. I know Bob Mitchell has passed away, I’m assuming Bertram Miller is possibly as well, he retired a very long time ago.

    There were some wonderful B&W reversal techniques from a fella with a Scandinavian name and/or background. His last article was printed posthumously, if I remember correctly.

    Until Dick Dickerson and Sylvia Zawadski came along, there were pretty much no new analogue contributing editors (as they called them) on the scene. I’m wondering if there is another Preston Petty coming along.

    The last Preston Petty, the third, was the last mention of a Petty, apart from either a distribution manager or something like that, either a daughter or wife of one of the many Preston Petty’s. For those who don’t know, Photo Techniques was published by Preston Publications, a family affair I presume.

    There were and are new technical things happening with film and paper techniques in the darkroom, not all of it is great and/or interesting, some is.

    David Vestal, whilst sometimes flowery, was generally good value, plus he is still a practising photographer (as I understand) with film, on a near daily basis. His books and writings over the decades are very good, one article I have of his, is a test of various papers, it was written around 50 years ago.

    Howard Bond and Bruce Barnbaum were also good value.

    I do miss those articles and such.

    Mick.
     
  18. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    And it's because of the demise of traditional photography articles in the magazines that I started Creative Image Maker - now I'm not suggesting that it's a panacea for all of you traditional photographers, but we are trying to cover the many and varied aspects of non-digital photography. And it's all done for free!

    Actually, I'd would be really interested to know what sort of articles you would be interested in seeing - PM me with your ideas as I don't want to completely hijack the thread!

    Cheers,
    David Vickers.