I recently cancelled the subscription to my last photography publication. Once upon a time I subscribed to all the usual physical magazines – Pop Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Shutterbug, etc. That I happened to hang on to Lenswork has no significance other than I had not bothered to cancel it previously. Realistically I could never figure out how to cancel it, until one day I happened to be on Paypal and found that I could cancel my recurring payment through Paypal. It just so happened that it was the day before the day they were planning to send the renewal payment!
At one time I found the articles in all these various magazines to be informative and inspirational. For an aspiring photographic rookie who had never processed film in a darkroom, went to school to be a banker then spent 40 years behind a desk, these publications were a source of information that helped me build the inventory of vision and inspiration that I have today. The “old school” magazines (are they even in business?) slowly became a collection of advertising disguised as articles, with even more and more actual ads and very little inspirational content. Lenswork is a fine publication, and of course doesn’t have any advertising, but listening to Brooks’ ramblings and looking at endless sepia toned photographs just wasn’t doing it for me. It was past time to move on.
So where so we get inspiration these days? Once upon a time I was an avid listener to several excellent podcasts, where I learned about the history of photography, the creative side of photography and the craft and vision of photography. Sadly those podcasts have gone dormant or their owners have gone a different direction, and they have been replaced by endless camera reviews and videos about the latest software or newest Photoshop trick. And let’s not get started on all the non-photography shows with people shouting about all the things we should be scared of or peeved off about.
I’m sure there are still quality shows out there, but – ironically – I haven’t been motivated to look for them. I follow a lot of photographer’s blogs, and have a very closely curated list of photographers – and nearly only photographers – that I follow on Instagram. I’d much rather read a book than watch videos so I don’t spend a lot of time on YouTube, but I’d be interested in suggestions of quality sources of inspiration and motivation. I don’t even mind paying for content if it is worth it – this isn’t about the money although there is a limit to my generosity. I don’t really want to deal with another so-called social media platform, but I’m open to suggestion. Let me know in the comments if there are any recommendations.
We’re off on another adventure shortly and I may have a few postcards to toss out along the way, so stay tuned!