Friday, June 13, 2008

Is it just me?


Once a week or more, I can be seen in Barnes & Nobles, looking at what's new on the shelves in the photography section and the magazines section. I usually find all of the new photography magazines on the rack and bring them with me in the coffee section. I sit at a table, order myself a Starbuck coffee, and I scan through all the magazines.

The first thing I do is look if there are any reviews of any of the Pentax equipment. I then put those magazines aside. Here in California, or at least where I live, you can get all of the American published magazines, one from Canada and most of the magazines published in the United Kingdom. The American magazines are priced from about $5.00 to $8.00. The Canadian Magazine "Photo Life" is priced at $5.95 and the United Kingdom magazines are very expensive at $10.00 to $12.00 and more. (It's understandable because of the shipping costs, I guess).

The magazines from the U.K. usually have a lot more detailed "How to" sections about photography in general. The advertisements are not very useful to me as equipment prices are generally higher than here in the United States. So, most of the times, I read the U.K. magazines at the book store and put them back on the shelves except when they have very informative Pentax material. They simply cost too much for what you get out of them. If they were priced about the same as the U.S. magazines, I probably would buy them all.

Next, I go through all the U.S. magazines that have no special review or article about Pentax. I'm looking for articles that can help me be a better photographer. I have been reading or buying photography magazines since I was about fifteen years old. It is amazing to see the same subjects coming back over and over again through the years. They are brought back by new authors, with a few twists for the Digital SLR cameras, but Aperture, Shutter Speeds, Rule-of-Third, Depth of Field, etc, are still meaning the same as before. It is useful for folks that are just getting into photography and want to learn as much as they can. Frankly, Photography Books are a better resource for entry-level photographers. They have a lot more to offer in terms of learning the trade. They are a little more costly than magazines, but you usually get all what you need in one book, instead of many magazines. That said, magazines do sell a lot, otherwise there wouldn't be so many on the stands every Month. I buy at least $50.00 of magazines myself every Month and occasionally, I buy a new book. I tend to buy books about the computer side of photography, such as Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.

Books for the Pentax DSLRs are rare and I believe that here in the USA, the Magic Lantern publishing company and I are the only two resources for Pentax DSLRs cameras. Although I write books for the Pentax cameras, I have purchased the Magic Lantern K10D and K20D books. If there were more Pentax books, I would buy them all.

I always purchase the Canadian magazine "Photo Life". I like their approach to photography and it always remind me of where I'm from, being a Canadian expatriated to California.

When I visit my family in Montreal, which is not very often, I always purchase every magazine available in French. I do like "Chasseur D'images" which is published in France but available in Canada. I tried to subscribe to it but it seems that they do not ship their magazine to the United States. Oh well...

Now, back to the magazines with Pentax reviews that I have set aside, I'm usually done with my coffee by then, and I just proceed to the check out and purchase them all. I put myself to sleep every night reading my magazines. It sometimes takes me a week to read a magazine because I fall asleep in the middle of an article and try to get back to it the next night, or the night after that, all depending on how tired I am. I read every article, every ad of all the magazines I purchase. I clip everything Pentax so that I can refer to them when I write a new book about Pentax DSLRs or just for reference.

I would say that I might be a little obsessed with my Pentax equipment, but isn't it what all Pentaxians do?

Thank you for reading, and I hope you didn't fall asleep at the keyboard. That's best done with magazines. Let me know what your approach to magazines is.

Yvon Bourque
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