I read in the news today that a good magazine, Popular Photography, is shutting down operations. The print magazine is going away, as is the website. Sister publication American Photo, once a printed magazine but a web only entity for some time now, is also getting the axe. It's the way things are these days. Printed periodicals are a tough business to stay alive in. Subscription rates are way down and the advertising dollars just aren't there any more.
It isn't surprising. While I did subscribe to Popular Photography for years, it has been a long while since I maintained a subscription. I listen to a number of photography podcasts and chose to switch money that normally would spend on the magazine to supporting those resources that I get more value from these days. It was just a couple of months ago that I became a subscriber again with a complementary subscription I got for purchasing an online photography class. While I do love reading and viewing printed pictures, I was a little disappointed in the poor quality of paper that the magazine had been forced to use in efforts to keep costs down. The vibrant glossy pages had been replaced by something extremely thin and the images now look lifeless and faded.
The way we consume media is ever changing and nothing can stop that. I myself, a curmudgeon bordering on luddite at times, can appreciate the virtues of e-books and the modern technologies that make photography more accessible than ever before. Still, there is nothing quite the same as flipping pages in a well printed publication. It can be argued that all that information is out there on the web, freely available in most cases. Why pay for a subscription for a printed periodical? Something to consider is that as much as the resources on the Internet offer, the time it takes in return should be a factor that we consider. I do appreciate that when I read Popular Photography in printed form that I don't have to be distracted by flashy ads, popups, idiotic click-bait links, or video clips that I'm forced to endure in order to access an article.
The banner photo on this post is one I took back in 2009 with my first "real" digital camera, a Canon 30D. I was learning macro photography with a flash at the time. Popular Photography was a valued resource back then. I still have favorite articles that I scanned to keep because they were so helpful. All good things...