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Advanced Photographer

There’s a new kid in town

in Book Reviews , Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The new UK magazine, Advanced Photographer, has reached Issue 3. There has definitely been a gap in the English-language market for such a magazine - filling a niche which is filled in various ways in the French & German markets, for example - and it was going to be interesting to see if they could pull it off.

Advanced photographer

The UK mainstream photographic magazine market has been full of bland, formulaic, repetitive dross for ages, with hordes of identikit publications endlessly recycling the same shallow, bland and mind numbingly predictable stuff, half-disguised advertising, pointless “reviews”, and with weak attempts at comedy apparently more valued than worthwhile content. And it isn’t helped by padding out with inane trash from the usual rent-an-experts like Andy Rouse.  For example. The only exception (which does actually feature said prat) is Amateur Photographer, which is pretty much unique as a weekly, and does still maintain high standards.

So there were reasons to be skeptical. However, since Will Cheung is the editor, and during his time as editor of Practical Photographer it was actually worth reading, there were also reasons to be hopeful.

Having subscribed “blind”, I’m happy to say that it was worth it. After three issues, which I haven’t even had time to finish yet, I’d say Will Cheung is doing a great job. A good sign is that I even read, and enjoy, articles on topics I have zero actually interest in - studio lighting for example.  Everything is well written, with genuine depth, and a sense of pushing some boundaries. I’d say there is little, or no, fluff or filling, and the equipment reviews are comparable in quality and worth to the best of the continental magazines.

In general I’d rate Advanced Photographer at the same level as the “expert-level” content of Reponses Photo, which puts it at a very high standard.  It will be interesting to see if they can keep it up, but so far the signs are good.

If you’re a voracious reader like me, or if you’re looking for something beyond the patronising, advertiser-friendly stuff you find in most magazines, give Advanced Photographer a try.