Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Is Amateur Photographer in a very dull patch

Is it me, or is Amateur Photographer in a very dull patch? As an on-and-off reader since the mid-1950s, I have noticed that AP has gone into periods of decline many times in the past. It feels to me that we are seeing such a period now, with endless 'reviews' of unimportant cameras sporting minor 'improvements', Lightroom/Photoshop tips, well-known biographies of photographers and numpties writing letters about the nature of photography. With no historical camera articles now appearing, only the Roger Hicks column is worth reading. Properly explained technical articles are also few and far between.

Producing a weekly magazine must be a nightmare and with circulation still falling, maintaining the sort of editorial set up that a magazine such as this needs must be very difficult. On this note, I see that the total (print and digital) sales of AP averaged 16,878 during 2013. Print sales averaged 15,505 and digital sales only 1373 (just 426 in UK). As far as I can see that's a decrease of around 2% compared with the previous year. To put these figures into perspective, AP had sales of over 100,000 copies in the 1980s.

The removal of the last editor by a redundancy procedure, as is the story in websites, must be a manifestation of the decline in circulation. But is AP now in the vicious spiral of lower circulation →  less resources  → lower quality → lower circulation, and where will it all end? Is the venerable photographic magazine now a vulnerable photographic magazine?