If I were to recommend a photography magazine, I have no doubt whatsoever, it will be Practical Photography magazine.
I have read numerous photography dedicated and related magazines over the years but none come close to Practical Photography. I admit that my perspective on this matter is subjective and not based on subscription figures and the likes.
Therefore, I will attempt to justify my decision and lay out the reasons I would recommend this magazine to any photographer despite their status. I think it has something for every level of photographer from the amateur to the pro.
Practical Photography is a magazine that comes crammed and bursting from cover to cover with features, beautiful pictures, inspiring ideas that make it a great read.
As it’s name suggests, it provides very practical tips, tricks and guidelines for photographers who want to up their photographic and editing skills and build up a sound knowledge of their technical and general knowledge about their craft, hobby, love or profession.
It is not only aimed at the pro DSLR user, but to users who may use basic camera phones, compact cameras, bridge, mirrorless or entry level cropped sensor cameras who want to grow in their area of expertise, speciality or diversify their genres, find new ideas, and techniques.
This is a magazine I have found extremely helpful in my journey from using compact cameras to bridge and DSLR cameras, plus from basic editing software like iPhoto to Pixlr, PortraitPro, GIMP, Photoscape, PhotoDirector, etc. up to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
This magazine has been an incredible resource of information that has helped me to improve my game and hone my craft. It has been instrumental in introducing me to sometimes free but powerful editing software like Photoscape, Gimp and even download free versions of PhotoDirector.
I think that it is fabulous that they not only point out programmes that people who can afford it can buy but they also point to free ones and some that you can download for free or free trial versions by following the links in their magazine as illustrated below.
Whatever information a photographer needs, Practical Photography always seems to have the answer. Their reviews on APPS, gear such as cameras, lenses and the likes are incredibly useful.
Not because you may want to buy them, but it is helpful to know what is out there and what kind of rating the magazine gave it. You never know, you may need some of that gear or the APPS at some point in your career. The pictures below provide an insight into some of their reviews.
An article covering several macro lenses that were reviewed and rated by Practical Photography. The ensuing pages had the individual reviews and ratings and basically covered the strengths and weakness of the lens and other aspects of these lenses such as their design, coatings, prices, etc.
I always look forward to grabbing a copy of Practical Photography every month. It always has some useful advice, features, feedback plus loads of ideas that one can try to push the limits of their technical skills and creativity.
No two copies of the magazine are ever the same. They are all unique. I do not subscribe to the magazine as I have access to copies through my local library. Because of that, I never get to receive the free CDs that accompany the magazine and these come with various Photoshop or Photoshop Elements actions that you can add to your programme if you want to use them.
There are also numerous features in these CDs that may be useful to other photographers. I think they really provide excellent value for money.
As I have just started using Photoshop and learning, I find the sections dedicated to mastering Adobe Photoshop very useful, well explained and beautifully illustrated. It is like having a tutor guiding you through what you need to do to master the different techniques.
Personally, I think this magazine is good for aspiring photographers and pros looking to break into different niche markets or genres from wedding photography, beauty, portraits, environmental portraits, wildlife, fashion, personal projects, macro, landscape, architecture, travel, etc.
On a monthly basis they tackle features which talk about all these different genres and provide useful pointers, advice, gear and the likes that photographers need to crack these different genres as illustrated in the pictures below aimed at wedding photographers.
Such information is valuable to provide insight to an aspiring photographer who wants to break into a genre because such information is not always readily available, and not a lot of photographers have the time nor the willingness to share industry secrets.
This is where Practical Photography excels. It provides insider information to people entering photography or to those on the periphery of the industry and want to take their craft or hobby to the next level.
This magazine has helped me grow as a photographer and has helped me improve my technical skills and general knowledge of all things photography related. It doesn’t end there. It is inspirational and provides a lot of ideas that I have tried and forced me to grow.
I would not hesitate to recommend Practical Photography to any photographer who wishes to expand his or her horizons or improve their insight of the industry, technical skills or general knowledge. That is why I am writing this blog to share my thoughts and I hope you find them useful.