FROM THE MAGAZINE SHELF is an occasional feature of the FOUNTAINDALE LIBRARY REFERENCE BLOG. Postings will highlight titles that you might find of interest, but haven’t picked up to read and explore. In addition to the titles that are in the Magazines Area on the 2nd Floor of our library, postings will also include titles from RBdigital Magazines, formerly Zinio, the library’s digital magazine collection.

For photographers, three days during this month of June have been noteworthy. Number one is June 21, the June solstice, the unofficial beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and the day with the longest amount of daylight for picture taking. Number two is June15, which is designated as “National Nature Photography Day,” a day set aside to promote conservation and to celebrate the enjoyment of nature photography. Number three is recognized as “National Camera Day.” It is always celebrated on June 29. Although the origin of this national day is not known, the day “commemorates photographs, the camera, and their invention.”

Our library has several photography magazines that cover a wide range of readers’ interests and skill levels. Hopefully, this post will encourage you to have a look at them.

Popular Photography is the oldest of the four photography publications in this post. It  first appeared in May of 1937. Unfortunately, like many excellent magazines, this leading magazine in the photography industry became a victim of declining advertising revenues, and this magazine ceased publishing last year. The March / April 2017 issue, shown here, was the final one. Issues of Popular Photography are available both in our library’s Magazines and Newspapers Area on the 2nd Floor, as well as digitally, through our RBdigital Magazines resource. The digital back issues are available through March 2013.

RBdigital Magazines’ described Popular Photography as a magazine that “brings you step-by-step secrets of the pros for taking their most amazing shots. You’ll discover the best equipment at the best prices, get comprehensive comparative reports on cameras, lenses, film, digital equipment, printers, scanners, software, accessories and so much more.”

Popular Photography was a mainstay for photographers during the years I was growing up. My father-in-law, one of my photography mentors, always had issues of the magazine at his home and I poured over them whenever I visited. In addition to the excellent technical articles on topics such as composition, lighting, and exposure, the issues also had authoritative reviews of cameras and accessories.

For generations of photographers, Popular Photography had been an essential resource in helping them build skills needed to develop their craft. Have a look at some of the available issues for ways to help you improve your picture taking.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

The summer months ahead will be an ideal time to get out and about. Long amounts of daylight can extend your outdoor picture taking opportunities. Another of our library’s magazines that you may want to consult is Outdoor Photographer. This publication comes out eleven times a year and is available both in our library’s Magazines and Newspapers Area on the 2nd Floor, as well as digitally, through our RBdigital Magazines resource. The digital back issues go back through March 2013.

RBdigital had this to say about the magazine: “Outdoor Photographer’s blend of big, beautiful portfolios, in-depth how-to features, buyer’s guides and product reviews combine to make it the premier magazine about nature photography…Whatever your interest, Outdoor Photographer will inspire and inform you.”

The July 2018 issue, shown here, focuses on our National Parks, or as the documentary film maker Ken Burns referred to them, “America’s Best Ideas.” The cover photo by Jimmy Chinn, taken in California’s Yosemite National Park, gives readers a preview of the scope of what is covered in the magazine. Featured articles include photographs of Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest, Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota), Maine’s Acadia National Park, and Big Sur, along the California coastline along Highway 1. Other locations, included for shorter articles, are Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming), White Sands National Monument (New Mexico), and Merced National Wildlife Refuge (California).

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an issue of Outdoor Photographer is the equivalent of several printed volumes.

Among the photography magazines in this post, Digital Photo is the sole publication that is available only digitally through our RBdigital Magazines resource. Our digital magazine collection has the following to say about the magazine: “Digital Photo explores the exciting world of digital photography and technology. Every issue features the latest news, step-by-step instructions, evaluations of the latest equipment, photography tips from the pros and more.”

The Summer 2018 issue of this quarterly publication is shown here. Feature articles center around discussions of various kinds of lenses that would be useful when taking pictures at this time of year: portrait, sports, travel, landscape / nature, and special effects types, such as macro, those with moveable planes, and soft focus.

There is also information on other gear that photographers would be likely to use when traveling during the summer months. The emphasis is on how to take the needed gear with you and still travel light. The items included in the article focus on tripods, camera backpacks, small studio lights, clothing, and trekking poles. These gear reviews help the photo enthusiast find the right piece of equipment for the task at hand.

Each issue also has a “How-To” section. The two articles in this area, in the Summer issue, are titled “Follow The Action”  and “Lighting Demystified.” The former is a tutorial on creating an image sequence. The latter explains the finer points of photographic lighting and how to use lighting like a professional.

The photographs used throughout each issue by both professional photographers and readers act as both an inspiration and motivation to try new techniques and equipment to help you become a better photographer.                                                                                                                                                 

Aperture magazine, in appearance, is more like a softcover art book than what we would think of as a traditional magazine. The quarterly publication is available only in our library’s Magazines and Newspapers Area on the 2nd Floor. Founded in 1952, Aperture magazine is the main publication of the Aperture Foundation and is described by the foundation as ‘The award-winning magazine of Photography and Ideas.”

The magazine focuses on photography as an art form and “features photographs by established and emerging photographers, as well as artists experimenting with photo-related media. Each issue is usually themed and includes writings by critics, scholars, photography practitioners, and others in the field of photography,” according to an extensive article that appeared in Wikipedia.

The Summer 2018 issue, shown here, looks at “the influence of photography on leading filmmakers, and the role of cinema in the work of artists and photographers.” Among the articles is “Sofia Coppola on Pictures / A Conversation with Philip Gefter.” The article discusses “How photographs influence the acclaimed director’s films.”

The overall experience of reading / viewing an issue of Aperture, to me, has more of an academic feel to it than any of the other three publications.

If photography is your passion you owe it to yourself to have a look at some issues of Aperture.

Summer has truly arrived, so take advantage of these few months and add your photographic voice to the season, by having a look at these helpful resources and photographing what you see and experience.

– Tom D.

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