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There are many photography magazines to be found on the newsagent's shelves, many are quite specialised or aimed at a particular market and it can be difficult to choose one that's right for you. Photography Monthly is a glossy 148-page magazine covering a broad spectrum of topics and aimed at a wide market from amateur to experienced, offering expert advice, tips and tutorials to help readers improve their photography techniques. It is published on the second Thursday of every month, widely available from good newsagents and has a cover price of £3.95 but if you subscribe you can make great savings. For example you can currently get 12 issues for £32 (just £2.67 per issue). Unlike some magazines it doesn't hike up the price to include 'free' gadgets or cover discs but relies instead on great content. Content Every issue has features giving expert advice on various techniques, these are often contributed by readers with a specialist interest or by professional photographers and of course the magazine's own team of writers. As an example, the current issue at the time of writing has features on shooting extreme sports, capturing sunsets, a guide to wedding photography, macro insects, getting exposure spot on, shooting your local area and using a 50mm lens. These features are always interesting, clear and easy to understand and very well illustrated with some quite stunning images. There's a regular section called 'Digital Workshop' where each month tutorials are given to help with post-production in your computer. They don't assume everybody who enjoys taking photos is a computer expert, so the skill level required varies, with topics such as removing dust and dirt from images, cloning, and blurring backgrounds. A recent addition in this section is the option of following the tutorials using the actual photos they use by downloading them from the magazine's web site. In each issue various bits of kit are put to the test by the magazine's team. Often it's a new camera which is given a full work out and then extensively reviewed, but they also test new models against older ones, compare different makes within a price range, or choose specific items just as flashguns, bags, printers or particular lenses within a focal range. Invaluable advice if you're looking to buy something new. Alongside all this are regular sections such as reader's letters (a prize for the best one), news from the industry, competitions and as in all photo magazines, an extensive section of advertising. Opinion I've been subscribing to Photography Monthly almost since it began about eight years ago and in that time I've seen it change and develop just as photography itself has changed and become so much more accessible with the advent of cheap digital cameras and mobile phone technology. The magazine today features very little to do with film photography (much to the dismay of a minority of readers) but has embraced all that digital has to offer. That's not to say that the old ways have been forgotten, the advice and practical tips given throughout are generally in the ways of improving your photography through traditional in-camera methods rather than mass digital post-production manipulation. The magazine feels like a quality publication printed on good quality paper and the standard of the print, especially seen in some of the stunning images they feature, is very, very good. The magazine is professionally laid out, clear and user friendly to read. It's packed full of information and articles as described above, and within each of these are usually little boxes with extra tips and hints. I find the writing team comes across as friendly and knowledgeable, almost like a family, and they encourage reader contributions whether it be a letter, article or examples of your portfolio to showcase in the magazine. I don't think that Photography Monthly is aimed at the professional photographer out there, although I dare say that many pro's do enjoy it and still find something of interest, it's aimed more at the amateur and enthusiasts market. I find one of the best things about reading the magazine is that it fires me up and gives me inspiration to pick up my camera and go out and take photos, and for me that alone is worth the cover price. Whether you're a hobbyist with a compact or an experienced semi-pro there'll be something in this magazine to help you improve your photos. It's a cracking good read! More info can be seen at www.photographymonthly.com
I have just got interested in photography again and as any man would, I went out and bought a slew of magazines to read. Well, I exaggerate there, I bought four. Two were pretty dire and I read and threw them away in a day. The other two, Digital Photo and Photography Monthly were keepers. The initial reason I felt that Photography Monthly deserved a review here, was that of price. Many magazines now, bundle disks, freebies, but then bump the price up, sometimes as high as £5.99. Well PM sells for £3.95 and the April issue that I bought had 148 pages packed full of useful information. The Techniques section is really valuable. There is the normal look at a photographer and how they got into the game (for inspiration) and yet more inspiring galleries. The guide to seeking out photo opportunities in your own town was very interesting and their 'Big Guide to Portraits' very very useful and something that I will come back and read again. There are also 'Digital Workshops' that take you through manipulating your photos on a computer. Again, this is very helpful and done in a step-by-step manner. They have some great reviews too, with a mega test of wide angle lenses in this particular issue. Everything is topped off with readers letters, new gear and some competitions. This is a very good value magazine, which I highly recommend.
Being a chap who likes to dabble in the world of photography I find this magazine very interesting and it is also a fair bit less expensive than many similar mag`s out there. I have been reading this magazine on a regular basis for just over eight months now and it has something in every issue to interest me. The magazine helps you to get the best from your photography no matter what level you operate at, from my have not got much of a clue level to the much more advanced. I recently bought myself a D-SLR camera to replace my old compact digital and I can assure you that without what I have picked up from this magazine I would have very little idea what I was doing with it. As well as all the info it offers to photographers there is also a gallery section to allow you to see what others are photographing thus giving you good insight into what makes a good photo. The photos also have the details of the camera that was used to take the image and which settings were used, again helping you to know how to capture each type of image best. It has a section called tested and rated which is very useful if you are in the market for a new camera, lens or other photography equipment. It seems to give a good and unbiased opinion into what you should buy for certain purposes and what is value for money and what is not. The magazine also has a monthly competition in which readers are asked to send in their own images that they have captured to be judged. It is a sure fire way of knowing if your photography is any good or not. I have a few images I am fairly proud of but have never been brave enough to put them under inspection, maybe one day! All in all this is a terrific magazine if you are into photography and it is written in a clear and concise manor with not too much jargon so that every level of photographer should be able to understand each and every segment of the publication. A five star photography magazine for only £3.60! Thanks for reading!
I have been buying this magazine for around 18 months along with Digital Photo, and I think this is an all round great magazine. It's only £3.60, so compared with Digital Photo it's £1.39 cheaper, but still has great articles and features. The editor Will Cheung gets really involved in the whole magazine,and it has a really friendly feel about it. There is a feature where you get to rate one of Will's photos and the best comment wins a prize, and it doesn't have to be complimentary! The gallery is a great place where readers send their photos and explain a bit about why they took them and how they took them. The monthly challenge gives readers a chance to take up a photography challenge and see how they get on with their different images under scrunity. The tested and rated section is great as it always has great reviews on cameras,lenses, software, accessories and a buyers guide, with a silver and gold award given to the best with a full review so you can make your own mind up on what to buy. Although it dosen't say so on the cover, it does tend towards digital rather than film, although there are some articles that do touch on film cameras. It suits digital users more though. This magazine is great for beginners and also the more experienced photographer. I like it so much that I will soon be taking out a subscription.