Negatory… Why Popular Photography the magazine is not for a Joe like me.

I’m not usually one for being negative. But a friend of mine tossed me one of his Popular Photography magazines and it reminded me of my deep seated dislike of it.

It all started innocently enough. I was a young lad filled with wonder and dreams. I would pick up Popular science as a tween and flip through it’s pages with delight. Over the years I started to notice something… Popular Science started to suck. The articles were about complete vaporware that never came to market and worse yet it seemed like everything was just a ploy to sell.


I found my way to better material (specifically Wired, Nat Geo, The Economist and Discover). But I noticed that Popular Science had a new sister, Popular Photography. With a budding interest in photography, I decided to give her a go.

Unfortunately, I found it worse than Popular Science. This was just a complete wash. The articles show you some technique… but you just can’t escape the feeling from this magazine… it wants to sell me stuff!

Let’s start with the product reviews. Ok they are obviously getting paid for those. There are a few different sections with “what’s hot” that showcase different products. Then read the interviews of photographers. What do they talk about? Their gear! What the CRAP!

There is so little in here devoted to what matters… (taking good photographs). And the thing that irks me the most is that there is oodles and oodles of technique to be discussed, lighting to be pondered, and colors to be dissected. There is so much out there in the world of technique that it’s ridiculous. But… what makes money is what keeps things afloat. And Popular Photography seems to do that.

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