Magazine Reviews (Special Interest)

Special interest magazines target a niche audience devoted to some interest or genre of photography—usually subjects that are neglected or ignored by the general interest magazines.


Stereo World

magazine coverIf you have read much of this website, you've probably figured out that I like stereo photography—3D photography. This is the only magazine that I'm aware of that's devoted to the subject—at least that's currently in print (club newsletters don't count).

Stereo World is just that—a journal of all things stereoscopic, and they're very good about cutting a wide swath in each issue. I've got Volume 30, Number 2 (Summer of 2004) propped open here as I type this, and these are the feature articles: "Bring Stereo Exhibits to a theater near you" (about a travelling stereo photo exhibition and how you can do the same), "Bollywood 3D Film to Premier at NSA 2004" (about an Indian 3D movie), "Unseen Ellis Island" (a collection of stereo graphs of the famous US port of entry in its current state of decay), "New Views" (featurelets about new books, products and services), "NSA 2004 Portland" (about this year's annual convention), "In the Driver's Seat" (about the filming of an Imax movie called Nascar 3D), and "The Photographic Journey of John Cramb to Palestine in 1860" (views and comments about the photographer and his trip to the Holy Land). Plus the normal stuff you find in magazines, plus advertisements that you won't find anywhere else, because stereo photography is such a small niche market.

This is a full-sized magazine printed on slick paper, and is a mix of color and B&W. Most photos are presented as stereo pairs, and initial subscribers get a hand-held viewer with their first issue. This is a product of the National Stereoscopic Association, so you have to join to get the subscription—or you get a membership when you subscribe—depending on how you want to look at it. The magazine is bi-monthly, averages about 40 pages (which looks smaller here than it does when you get the magazine itself. Plus consider that the magazine is 75% meat and 25% ads, whereas a mass-market magazine like Popular Photography is the reverse). And because stereo photography is a tiny niche market, chances are you'll never see it at your library or newsstand—you have to subscribe or buy single issues through the NSA.

Personally—I think it's worth it. The articles are far better than what I'd expect. The magazine looks and reads better than most magazines with far higher circulations. If you are interested at all in stereo photography, this is a must-see magazine.

View Camera

magazine cover [Note: this is an old review. I'll be refreshing this soon.]

This one is hard to find. I lived in Sacramento where the publisher is located, so the local bookstores tended to carry it. View Camera is a lot like Photo Techniques except the niche is large format. Articles are about anything of interest within the niche—from portfolios of photographers who shoot in the format to product reviews to techniques of all kinds.

View Camera is one of those magazines that is expensive and slender, but the money is visible—it is printed in higher grade stock than mass market magazines so the images are far, far better. The writing, however, is uneven: shades of the early days of Darkroom Techniques.

I have not seen recent issues—they are too hard to find and, with money being tight, I can only maintain a certain number of magazine subscriptions—so I do not know whether new issues are covering digital (beyond reviews of digital backs).

Shelf 1: Fine Art

Shelf 2: General Interest

Shelf 3: Special Interest

Shelf 4: Photoshop

Shelf 5: No Longer Published

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