It’s very sad to see Popular Photography magazine ceases to exit after an 80 year run. Its sister magazine, American Photo, also falls victim to the digital age where printed medium gets harder and harder to survive due to reduced ad revenue. These two magazines, along with Modern photography, before it merged with Pop Photo, were my favourite magazines, besides Byte and Steve Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar Ink (now just called Circuit Cellar Magazine). I subscribed to Pop Photo for many years, and American Photo for a couple, and always enjoyed the magazines, especially Herbert Keppler’s insightful articles. I salivated over the cameras and lenses advertised in the magazine and would dream one day I would be able to afford one of these marvelous modern creations. Not long after Herbert Keppler’s death in 2008, like so many, I stopped the magazine subscription, as I lost interest in it. I would still buy a copy from newsstand once in a while, but that also stopped completely a while back.
I think the declining camera sales in recent years really puts a toll on so many printed photography magazines. Also, information such as new product announcements, reviews, tutorials, etc., are far more up to date, and easy to obtain online, which negates the need of most people who used to get this from a magazine. I am sure these two magazines will no be the last to fold either. Is this progress, digital information replacing physical media? I think it’s inevitable, but is not something I like to see. So many people, especially the younger generation have little or no interest in printed media. They seem quite content with getting all their information and reading material from the internet. It’s a shame, really. There is something special about reading from a book or magazine; a sense of timelessness, the joy of reading something not dictated by constant change of information, seemingly updated by the second. But, it’s a trend that we seem to be powerless to stop.