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Nature and travel photography



Outdoor Photographer

Popular Photography


National Geographic

Outdoor Photographer,   Sept. and Oct. 1998 issues.

The "pretty picture book" of nature photography magazines. Highlights of the September issue range from using computers to upgrade images to two new zoom lenses reviewed by well known nature photographer John Shaw. 

The digital articles include the editor's photographs punched up using Adobe Photo Deluxe 2.0.  Many of the examples were before and after shots with the color saturation turned up. Of course, if you stop using a low-saturated film such as Kodachrome 64 (the "before" examples) and use a higher saturated film, like Velvia, you won't have to resort to using digital tampering.

John Shaw's reviewed the two new Nikon Nikkor lenses: the Nikkor 28-200mm AF D f/3.5-5.6 and the Nikkor 70-300mm AF D f/4-5.6.  Nice to know about these new lenses, but like all reviews in this publication it read like a press release.  No negatives at all--not a single one!  Bright and cheery!  Are these new Nikon lenses this perfect?  Also, Shaw is on Nikon's payroll, so I would treat these reviews with a healthy dose of skepticism.  It's the equivalent of allowing the product tester to review the product--a clear conflict of interest.  There is nothing wrong with John Shaw making money--let's just disclose the biases up front, please.

I'll wait for the real lens evaluation in Popular Photography.

The October issue is their yearly "Fall Color" issue.  Very good this year.  In the past, they have padded the issue with all kinds of articles and left only  a few on fall shooting.  Which I never understood.  This one is loaded down with fall shooting ideas and ways to get the most out of the colorful season.

Galen (you either love him or can't stand him) Rowell, had an interesting column this issue on his trial in getting an article published.  A good introduction into the business magazine publishing for aspiring photo writers out there.  I mean, if an established photographer/writer such as Rowell can have such a hard time selling an article to a magazine, then what are the rest of us going to do?  (Hint: Go to the Web like I did!)

This column gave additional proof to my theory about editors. There are no bad ones, just good ones and stupid ones.  A good example was Rowell's treatment at Outside magazine.  He article, about an expedition to Greenland,  was turned down by the editor there because of "time pressures" in putting out a monthly magazine.  And Rowell is listed as a contributor on the masthead!  I certainly hope Galen didn't take this excuse seriously.

More familiar product announcements--can't really call them reviews--of new lenses--Tamron's 100-300mm zoom f/5.6-6 and Canon's 28-135 IS (Image stabilizer).  Again, no test data.  Just someone using it and announcing it as good! It was funny to read Graeme Fordyce (?) extolling the virtues of using such a slow lens.  He or she must have been straining to write something good about a lens that offers image quality that "drops off slightly" in the 300mm range.  If it's going to do that...then why buy it? 

But, Tamron is an advertiser!


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