A Short Review
by James “MacJim” Ormiston
Over the years, I’ve bought many different photography magazines, and many have either withered and died or became very different from what they were when I first read them. It’s truly amazing what a new editor can do for the future of a magazine as he or she stamp their mark on the product. Some were very successful, for a time, bringing in more and more new readers to the fold but in making those changes chased away many of the older stalwarts that help keep the magazine afloat.
I myself have seen this happen many times where a new editor has made the changes that finished me with that magazine, or due to some daft ideas that the publisher has had, such as turn the magazine into a bi-monthly one, was a sure sign that all was not well: one such magazine was Professional Photography magazine where the publisher did exactly that. Then it began to miss the publication dates, sometimes by almost a month, or could only be found through an online seller, I knew this was a signal that that magazine was soon to die: which it did finishing with a strange compendium of old stories. Other magazines became what I’d call coffee table magazines where they were visually impressive, but were filled with tutorials, and very light on product reviews and interviews with professional photographers. Nowadays I read three photography magazines; one a dead tree issue, Cameracraft magazine (out four times a year), and two PDF-only magazines; Fuji X-Series and FujiLove both of which are monthly issues.
I can’t remember how I came across this magazine, Auslöser (German for trigger), it may have been through an email from someone but I thought I’d check it out. A search online found the site for the magazine, I clicked the link and discovered it’s been out for almost a year and was now at issue two… No, you haven’t misread, issue two as it is a biannual magazine. Having no idea what to expect from this magazine; was it interesting to me? Would it fulfil my needs in photography? Could it replace Professional Photography magazine as my go-to read? and is it worth the cost as its not an inexpensive purchase?
At €20 plus €6 postage is was a bit of a lunge into the deep especially if it turned out to be not what I’d hoped for. I decided to take the plunge and buy issue one; issue two could be bought as a discounted two-issue option, but I wanted to see if l had made the right choice first… better out of pocket for a single issue and not two.
What was I expecting to arrive? Having not seen any reviews, I was anticipating an A4 magazine full of interesting stories about photographers and their work. A week passed and I began to think I’d made a horrible mistake in ordering, would it turn out to be a German-language only magazine (I speak no other languages other than English – some would say not even that!), why hadn’t it arrived yet? It turns out that it takes around a fortnight to arrive after ordering, and that was the case… I came home on Friday to find a card from the postman saying I needed to collect as the package was too big to put through my letterbox… I collected it the following day.
It was obvious that the postman had tried to ’post it’ through my door, as there were signs of the cardboard envelope having been slightly bent in the attempt. Inside, I found a small magazine (wrapped in black tissue paper, a nice touch), not the A4 size I had expected but of a size which could be easily pocketed making it very easy to take with you to read in a cafe, it that is your wish. The magazine cover was plain and simple. The back cover has the magazine attached to it, while the front cover folds away from the binding. At first, I thought this a little odd but it works well, allowing the booklet to open fully. That helps with viewing any double-page spread photographs… I like the idea.
My fears of this magazine being a German-language only one was put to rest as it is in fact, a bilingual magazine where the stories are told in German and English, side by side. Content-wise, although there are no product reviews I found it interesting enough, as it concentrates more on the photographers and their work, I’ll wait until I’ve fully read this issue before I decide on whether to buy issue two.
Now, if your interested has been piqued and you have a taste for something different from the run of the mill photography magazines you see on the shelves, this might just be what you have been waiting for. The only real downside is the with the price, when postage is taken into count, so you may like to buy the two issues to get the discount… Only you can answer that!