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Nature and travel photography



Outdoor Photographer

Popular Photography


National Geographic

Popular Photography, Sept. and Oct. 1998 issues.

Although Popular Photography is a photography magazine covering all accepts of photography for amateurs and professionals, some of the best outdoor photography tips can be found here.  The articles feature things you can really learn from, unlike Outdoor Photography where the tips seemed more designed for beginners.  Each issue of loaded with reviews of everything related to photography.  I like the way they do detailed tests of many items, unlike other magazines where the quality of a roll of film or the sharpness of a lens is just an opinion of how someone "feels" about it.

The September 1998 issue featured their annual SLR comparison chart.  This used to come with pictures and mini-reviews of the camera's themselves.  I wish they still would, but it would make for a much thicker magazine.  The picture/mini-reviews will appear later in the December issue.

The feature article was  on National Geographic magazine photographer James L. Stanfield.  The pictures were from his book on his assignments for the magazine.  All pictures were shot on Kodachrome as is the style of that publication, using Nikon and Leica cameras.  Few tips--though many  excellent pictures.

Another article of note was a comparisons review of 9 film scanners by Nikon, Minolta, Kodak, and other major producers.  The best price/performance ratio goes to the Minolta DimageScan Dual.  Fine resolution, compatibility with either Mac or PC and a street price of under $500.

The October 1998 issue is their annual Best of How To photography tips.  The trouble with an issue like this is, if you have last year's "How To," you just about have this year's Best of How To issue!  Many of the tips are repeats of last year with a few exceptions.  One tip they have left out since 1996 is how to use your own camera to shoot passport photos. I wish they would include it again.   My girlfriend used this tip to shoot a passport photo of a niece that wouldn't set still for a photographer, and I used this to great effect for my passport photographs I shot of myself last year for a cruise. All you need is a 35mm SLR, a 50mm lens, a roll of ISO 400 print film, a tripod, a blank wall, and a flash.  Real easy!  And you save some cash too.

Overall, not a bad magazine.  Although sometimes the responses to reader's comments are a bit snooty.  Still, the articles are well done and very informative.  The information they present is timely and on the cutting edge of the latest in photography related issues.  And Herbert Kepplers monthly column is not be missed.  Half of the magazine is taken up by ads from photography mail-order companies, most located in New York, and many with questionable repretations.  I don't feel they bow as low to the advertisers as Outdoor Photography  does or several other magazines I could mention.  But, that thick advertising section lowers the price down greatly for a one year subscription which is under $12. 

Not bad for what you get.


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