Photography Magazines… Separating the BS from the Baloney
And they say the internet is bad. Supposedly when you read something in print on paper it’s going to be more accurate than what you read on the internet. After all, everyone can have a voice on the net. Look at me. LOL
I just read the latest copy of my favourite outdoor photographer magazine. I won’t name it but you can probably guess which one it is. It doesn’t matter because I see the same thing repeated over and over in various publications.
Magazines might seem like they are there for your education or entertainment and to a point they are but they exist primarily to drive revenue. That means attracting advertisers. By comparison to most magazines, how many advertisements do you see in Consumer Reports? Yeah. That many.
Many articles in photography magazines exist to attract advertisers. Seldom do you see a critical word put to ink. By comparison, bloggers who tend not to be mainstream media types usually but not always have nothing to lose by being honest and by that I mean being critical of a product. Print is losing ground to electronic media. I find more interesting and insightful information on the net than I do in the magazine store.
Want an example of an advertorial or editorial that is meant to sell product and that is to my way of thinking a complete waste of money? In the magazine I mention above is a spread on how to protect your camera from the snow? Huh? There is a picture accompanying the article of some sort of apparatus with a glove like back for you to stick your hand in. The premise of the protective cover is this, fine snow is like sand that can get into your camera or lens and ruin it? Absolute BS. I spend half of my life lying in snow drifts waist deep and have never had any kind of problem with the dreaded SNOW DAMAGE. Maybe my snow is different than what they have in California where this magazine was published? If so, I take back what I said. Another thing? The size of hole in the back of the cover for your hand looks only big enough for a bare hand. Right. -20 Celsius and you have a bare hand to operate your camera? No way. I call BS on that.
Same magazine, front cover. Snow it seems is a palette for the photographer. Snow reflects the color of what is above it. That is one hundred percent true. Snow can be all sorts of shades of blue or orange or pink. I have no problem with that.
What I do have a problem with is that they say the purple of the snow is a result of the early morning purple sky above it. Again BS! How do I know that? A year ago I was browsing a fellows blog. In it he had a photo that was taken only seconds and a meter away from when and where this magazine cover photo was taken. The blogger even mentions being with the owner of the cover pic. You know what his morning photo looks like. Blue skies. White snow with a slight blue cast to it.
The cover photo was heavily and I mean heavily Photoshopped. It has no physical resemblance to what color the sky was at the time. I have nothing against Photoshopping to get the look you want but someone, probably the caption writer used a little imagination when writing the description.
Here’s my problem with that. Many novice photographers will think themselves failures because they can’t get the same look to their photo. They’re being led to believe by the magazine that this is how it looked when photographed. Again, I call BS.
The old saying caveat emptor applies more today than ever when it comes to anything printed on paper. Magazines and newspapers are desperate to keep advertisers. Sometimes it appears at the cost of their readers. Don’t always believe what you read if whoever is writing has something to sell to you.
ps. The photo above demonstrates the premise that snow DOES reflect the color above it. Everything was bathed in a bright green from the aurora on this particular night.