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AP tweaks

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by Nigel_Atherton, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I support this entirely, if the magazine needs open input, then debate will just stifle that, whoever it comes from.
  2. Nigel_Atherton

    Nigel_Atherton Group Editor

    Some great suggestions there. A couple of them are already in the planning, you'll be pleased to hear. Thanks.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Really? Surely it will actually generate more debate?
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Some things are hard to get to see demonstrated "in the flesh" these days because they are not high street stocked. Printers and monitors come to mind and calibration devices ( because you can't demo it without a hardware set-up) - all of which get questions in the forum. There are probably lots of other things - lighting set ups - tripod heads - tripods I don't know how you'd go about reporting "advice" outside of doing a conventional product review or advertorial but something that is more how to than specification oriented. for example, I must have read a thousand reviews but I am still no wiser as to which of the three main offerings for profiling a printer is better/worse/easier/harder to use/best suited to X/least appropriate to X/ etc. Maybe this fits into the "how photographers work" type of model as suggested above.

    I support the "tweak" approach - I don't think change for change's sake is productive.
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Tony,

    Debate will stifle open input? I must be misunderstanding you. Surely debate stimulates debate. I'd be delighted if someone took what Jeff saw as "put-downs" and said, "Yes, but..." or even "Not really. Have you considered....?"


  6. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I am impressed by the prompt reply, and that you have obviously read my comments carefully. Hopefully you will have time to consider all the comments you receive, but note that you have chosen not to respond to the social media concerns. The recent news stories about social media sites, and the way they store and use personal data, should be a concern to all of us.

    1) Would you agree that when AP started, photography was a rich amateur's hobby and today AP still supports this 'Victorian hangover'?

    3) Are they able to spend all their time working on editorial pages, or only part of it because of all AP's social media activities?

    6) Perhaps Ogden has a friend with a similar sense of humour who may be available.

    My wife sometimes asks me why there is an expensive camera on the cover, instead of a good picture, and we have a debate about 'camera porn' because the camera has become the object of lust and desire, rather than a tool that allows us to create images images. I compare it with her gardening magazines where a 'small garden' is usually ten times the size of hers and nobody ever has any problems financing it.
  7. RobertCoombes

    RobertCoombes Well-Known Member

    Many years ago I took some prints to Photo News Weekly. The then editor asked me to write some articles which became a monthly column. I had expected the sort of newspaper office one sees in films, but no; the editor and secretary. World publication with a staff of two. A reader who later became a friend when relocated to UK first read my stuff when based in China. Shook me a bit but not as much as when I first saw the first Photo News with my words and pictures on sale at Waterloo.
  8. Nigel_Atherton

    Nigel_Atherton Group Editor

    EightBitTony likes this.
  9. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Interesting in its own right but fairly irrelevant to the debate.

    I suspect that, when compared to the numbers of Canons. Nikons, Pentaxes, Panasonics, Fujis, etc. owned by AP readers, the total number of Leicas and Linhofs owned by the readership will be very small and, therefore, 50% of them is quantitatively, pretty insignificant.

    But, yes, an enthusiastic amateur with deep pockets is quite likely to buy kit that few professionals could justify in cost/benefit terms.
  10. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Do professional photographers who take photographs in their spare time which they *don't* make money with, still count as being amateurs when those photographs are concerned? Wedding photographers in particular seem like a group of photographers who are very much professional, but who might get out now and then and do some landscape or macro photography which they earn nothing from. They may even do a bit of street photography with their beloved Leica in between lugging their dual full frame DSLR's around during weddings.

    The same me be true for product photographers who spend their days in a studio with a 50MP full frame camera, but like to get away from it all at weekends and shoot landscapes on their medium format camera, and never have any intention of making money from them.

    I guess I'm saying, it's a very muddy line at best.
    RogerMac and Nigel_Atherton like this.
  11. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I am not sure I agree, there are many once expensive cameras to be had secondhand. I would rather buy a professional spec camera used than a consumer one new. Illogical to many I suspect but what I get is a solidly built camera without the unnecessary bells and whistles of scene modes, built in flash etc. Yes some of my cameras were still pretty expensive but the learning curve when moving from Nikon D2H to D2X to D3 was minimal. Which is irrelevant, or it would be if it wasn't for the fact that I was only able to decide on them after reading AP reviews, at a time when they were beyond my means.
    Nigel_Atherton likes this.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Point is that "Amateur" in the title has never meant someone who didn't get paid for photography, but someone who loved it . There have always been pro photographers who have read the mag for that very reason. I can only think of one pro I know who didn't start as an enthusiast, and she's terrible. ;) But really, there isn't this massive distinction between many pros and many amateurs, and further, a lot of amateurs have vastly more expensive gear than many pros. Pros buy what they need, amateurs buy what they want that they can afford.
  13. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Once a professional always a professional although I consider photography to be a trade rather than a profession. If a pro footballer plays in a charity match he is still a pro. If a lawyer accepts honorary position they are still considered a professional.

    Do amateur photographers who occasionally cover weddings for a fee or sell photos are they therefore professionals?

    Very muddy indeed and I doubt it matters.
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Irrelevant only if you insist in framing the debate in very narrow terms, If amateurs use Leicas and Linhofs (and they do), then numbers are not all that relevant. You might as well say, "Why don't we cover only camera phones, because they're much more common than Nikons".


  15. I think people have made some really good points and suggestions to improve the magazine. Here are a few of my suggestions.

    · There seems to be confusion about the definition of what is an amateur photographer. To me an amateur is somebody not taking the hobby too seriously and therefore not investing all their time and money on photography. To me they are more likely on a tight budget, limited time and wanting to learn more about photography. I get the impression some of these amateurs are more semi pros from the amount of time and money they spend on the hobby, but not necessary making a living from photography.

    · The “Get up & Go” feature is really good because you never get to hear “what’s on” around the country. I dare say there is a lot more going on than you publish but we don’t get to hear.

    · The “Technique” feature is quite good but can you include some actual camera settings to try.

    · Occasionally you do excellent features about famous historical photographs such as who took them, why they took them and the story behind the photograph. From album covers to portraits they are a really good read and I would welcome many more.

    · The “Technique” software masterclass is quite good but when you do features using Photoshop, can you do them so that it includes Photoshop Elements.

    · Why do you put “In next week’s issue” so near the front of the magazine? It’s like you got to the end of the magazine only three pages in and rest of the magazine is not worth reading.

    · Occasionally you do feature on old cameras from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s which are really good. Can you do the same for lenses so that we can hunt the out at bargain prices on auction sites and boot sales.

    · Lastly on my wish list. a project for the weekend. Something to try out, how to set it, what equipment to use and what camera settings to use. We all get stuck for ideas, so some inspiration and how to achieve what be really useful.

    I always look forward to receiving the magazine, but some weeks is just full of reviews of products I would never be able to afford and I just want to use my existing camera to the best of my ability.
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Basil,

    Well, I know a lot of amateurs who are pretty damn' serious. Why do you classify them as "semi pro"? I rather admire people who take things more seriously than I do. Well, some things, anyway. Photography, for example, but not football.

    What do you mean by "actual camera settings"? And (for the weekend) "what camera setting to use"? Genuinely puzzled. If you mean ISO/aperture/shutter speed, then they're 100% dependent on the subject, time of day, intended result, etc.: there are no "actual settings" that are good for all time.

    Completely agree about "Get up and Go" (which surely comes pretty close to "weekend project") and "in next week's magazine". Love the lens idea too, but can we wean people off autofocus?

    What camera do you have at the moment? I'm sure there are plenty on the forum (and in the magazine) who would love to help you get more out of it. How do you feel it is limiting you? Or, more realistically perhaps, given the way you phrased the question, how do you feel that you are limiting it?


  17. Hi Roger

    The amateur debate can run forever. I consider myself an amateur because I have an try level Nikon D3300, basic equipment, basic software and always looking to learn new techniques.

    What I mean by camera setting is unfortunately what you suggested, ISO/aperture/shutter speed settings. I know there 101 possibilities for every photograph, but even text books on photography give you a starting point on what setting to try.

    Never mind weaning people off autofocus........I wish I could wean myself off aperture setting and go for full manual settings :)

    I have the Nikon D3300 which produces some good pictures but other times its no better then my Canon point and shoot SX260 HSPowerShot. When you compare some of the photos in the magazine the D3300 is like a toy camera no matter what I try. My next stop will be joining the local camera club to see what tips and ideas I pick up from there.

  18. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It is common to confuse amateur with "beginner" - many amateurs are expert to the nth degree. It's a language thing. If
    I had a pound for every post here that starts "I'm just an amateur ... " I'd be well on the way to paying for a 100-400 L Ii.
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Bas,

    They really don't, you know. They may give exposure data for pictures they print, but even if they're not made up (as they often are) they're substantially useless. Your picture won't be the same subject under the same lighting. You need to decide what's important -- motion freezing or depth of field -- then trade off aperture and shutter speed. More tomorrow when I've had some sleep.


    Northern Laddy and Benchista like this.
  20. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I wish I could wean me off it. I have success with my Tamron AD2 lenses but trying to use AF lenses on manual focus is an uphill struggle.

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