Bird Art & Photography; the new quarterly subscription only magazine, from the publishers of Birdwatch, is about to dispatch the second issue to lucky subscribers. For those of you who don’t even know it exists let me extol its virtues as the natural successor to the late, and much missed, Birds Illustrated.
This magazine is for anyone who loves wild birds. It seeks to inspire readers with their beauty with stunning images, accompanied by stoking our fascination with wild birds through featured articles from some of your favourite bird writers and others that may be new to you. When you know that the Editor is David Cromack (latterly of Birds Illustrated & Birdwatching) you will expect the best. He was so enthusiastic about the project that he gave up retirement plans to pick up his blue pencil and green visor, roll up his sleeves and once again champion the bringing of brilliant bird images to the birding public.
The magazine focuses on the work of leading bird photographers and wildlife artists, complemented with articles of general interest to birdwatchers. Features include artist profiles, artist’s sketchbook, bird photography, classic birding books, Photography With Passion, gallery profiles, and much more. Also included are ‘how to…’ guides that give you all the information you need to know to start or continue your hobby for art and photography, plus bird news, reviews, and gallery guides.
The remit of the magazine is not to ape other publications or be all things to all people, but to bring you the best in bird images. In the words of David’s first editorial: “I’ll be going out of my way to source material you won’t find in any of the monthly bird Magazines, so don’t expect pages of latest bird sightings, optics reviews or identification articles. These can be found in or sister title ‘Birdwatch’. Our priority will be to provide talented and knowledgeable writers from Britain and overseas with the space to explore their chosen topic in depth and to illustrate their work with the best images we can find.””.
Does David succeed? You bet your best bird book he does. There are several elements redolent of ‘Birds Illustrated’ such as the review of classic bird books (new generations of birders need to be told about the wealth of existing literature) or the ‘Grumpy Old Birder’ column (probably the best columnist in the world, not that I’m biased), as well, of course, as fabulous imagery. Being a quarterly its also a magazine to savour. I’ve managed to eke out the contents over several weeks by dipping in to read the articles when I’m in need of a break from the computer and am taking my vitamin D dose via twenty minutes in the sunshine.
I like the quality of the magazine’s paper and printing too. Why should the best quality be used for solicitors’ letters and cereal packets, leaving inferior pulp products to bind into books and monthly mags? I admit to being a bibliophile for the form as well as content. I like the smell of books and like my reading habit to be rewarded with a quality medium as well as a message.
I have nothing negative to say, it’s a great magazine and it gets my vote. What I like most of all is that every feature, review or article is accompanied by a first class image. There are so many publications that follow the formula of an image to accompany text without a thought to the quality of that image. David’s passion is matched by his attention to detail and every one is a treat!
If I’ve convinced you of the merits of the magazine you can sign up for a subscription at: http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/store/category.asp?cat=80 or, if you missed the first issue and want to get a copy go to: http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/store/category.asp?cat=79