This is one of the better photo magazines that I've read and would gladly recommend it to anyone. The only thing that keeps from a five star rating in my eyes is that some of the articles and reviews seem to be partial to the manufacturer.
You know, somehow I ended up with a free subscription to this magazine, and although I've been getting it for months it hasn't made much of an impression.
It's more balanced between gear and technique than say Popular Photography. However, I'm sitting here trying to conjure up an interesting article from memory, and I'm getting nothing.
Outdoor photography is difficult from an artistic standpoint, but from a technique standpoint there's just not all that much to know. Put your camera on a tripod when you can. Worry about Lens flare. Autofocus is good for rapidly moving animals. Wait for the light. Experiment with fill flash until you find a level that you like. Ho hum. You're not going to find any tips in this magazine on how to bring out the highlights of a B&W photo with farmer's reducer, or anything like that. It's all on the blur-the-waterfall-with-a-slow-shutterspeed kind of level.
Anyways, a beginner might like it for a year or two, so I've given it 3 stars.
OK for beginners
Outdoor Photographer is filled with nice photos of, well, the outdoors. I used to subscribe to it but no longer do because my skills with a camera no longer require entry-level advice.
This magazine is well-suited for beginners who want to develop their outdoor photography skills. Tips on all manner of topics are found in the magazine, although some are so basic that you would think the reader could figure them out without having to read them in a magazine. I have found that one of the best ways to improve your outdoor photography is to study successful outdoor photographers (Val Atkinson, Brian O'Keefe, etc.) and do what they do. That is one of the primary means I used to become good with a camera, and today I have published more than 3,000 photos in various books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, and on the Internet/WWW.
Bottom line: A good magazine for novices who one day see themselves getting photo credits hither and yon.
Well, I'm 5 issues into my subscription, and I have to say that, so far, I'm not very impressed. I really wanted to like this magazine, but I just don't. The photographs contained within its pages are wonderful, breathtaking even. But that's about it. There is usually one article that's semi-helpful, and the rest is just ads, or articles that read like ads, for the latest camera gear or processing software. The writers are more like cheerleaders for the newest gadgets that they feel you simply must buy. No critical reviews, no head-to-head comparisons...nothing. Even the tips and advice articles are just basic stuff that can easily be found on the internet. Needless to say, I won't be renewing my subscription.
Outdoor Photography, mostly ads with sprinkling of articles.
I am a retired professional photographer with a degree from Brooks Institute of Photography, issued 40 years ago at a time when Brooks was actually an accredited college. My impression of Outdoor Photography is that it is a publication consisting mostly of advertisements, with a few articles sparsely sprinkled in . Too many of the articles describe how to create fantasy images from mediocre origins in Photoshop or other post processing software . Some articles border on infomercials, again making this publication more of a catalogue with pretty pictures. To its credit, there are a very few articles devoted to improving technique, which are useless for me, as they are far too elementary.
Personally, I believe the combination of a periodical like a B&H Photo catalogue and a subscription to National geographic far exceed the content and value of Outdoor Photography. If you want to learn outdoor photography technique, purchase dedicated material on the subject like, "Moose Peterson's Guide to Wildlife Photography". You'll be much more informed.
I have subscribed to Outdoor Photographer on and off over the past 10 years. I preferred it in the past when the photos and technique descriptions were more focused on field technique and less on post photo processing. Many of the photos highlighted in recent years are heavily over-processed, often appearing unnatural, which is surprising for a magazine devoted to nature photography.
Trite and unimaginative
If I see another picture of a blurred waterfall or creek I am going to puke...I have not seen one truly imaginative, artistic image in this magazine. Everything is run of the mill, boring, standard outdoor photography. Lots of sunsets, flower fields. No different angles or perspectives, colors, nothing new. The articles are geared toward inexperienced photographers and really repetitive. I think I clipped one interesting article in a year worth of magazines...
Good magazine at a very good price but who is willing to wait over four months for the first issue? Not me, not again. They advertise the first issue should arrive in 6-10 weeks. It actually took 18 weeks.
Over Saturated City
I'm letting my subscription expire. If you like a magazine flooded with over-saturated, super-photoshopped images, and most importantly, images which don't look much like the original scene at all, then this is a magazine for you, but not me.
One truly great wretched photo magazine
I was a charter subscriber to this magazine when it started up publication. It was a breath of fresh air in a stagnant field of almost universally wretched photography magazines. Over the years things changed. Columnists died or moved on. Editorial directions were switched. Articles that once inspired now only offered consumerist bullfeathers. When digital photography became dominant in the marketplace, "Outdoor Photographer" was in the vanguard, pushing every gadget and Photoshop manipulation plug-in that popped up. The magazine became a wasteland of promises of better pictures if you just buy _____ (fill in the blank with whatever the current trend might be). What I thought was ironic at the time was that the best photographs they printed were being done by photographers using the least sophisticated equipment. Photographers using film (!?), a lot of large format guys, occasionally some black and white and stuff made with cameras just about any serious hobbist already owned. But these portfolios began to dwindle from occasional to rare to almost non-existent.
At some point, my interest in this garbage lapsed before my subscription. The magazine made a once monthly trip from the mailbox to the trashcan without even opening it until they finally stopped sending it.
"Outdoor Photographer" impresses people who measure quality photography by whether or not the equipment used in production cost the equivalent of the gross national product of small third world countries. It offers little in the way of nutrition to a hungry mind. It's empty calories, just making you want more and more while starving your potential. It truly is wretched.