AP is the best
On 23 April, I was visiting my best friend of 30 years who was in hospital recovering from a stroke. With his good arm, he handed back to me the AP 21 April issue and said that out of the five different photography magazines I had given him the previous week, Amateur Photographer was the best; he read it from cover to cover. He and I are both retired professionals, and we used to work at our local evening newspaper.
AP is the only photography magazine I subscribe to. Every issue inspires and teaches me something new. I agree that photography is brilliant therapy for mental illness. I had my first breakdown in July 1977 and as a result I am often in deep lows. Luckily I am married to the most kind and patient wife, and for my creative needs I turn to photography. Just holding a camera in my hands and concentrating on trying to capture how I feel inside about the subject is fulfilling, be it a character at a public event, a landscape in the woods, the birds in my garden, or our beautiful nearly two-year- old granddaughter whom I can also record videos of with my camera.
For a number of years now, I have wanted a decent lens for photographing blossoms. I am a Nikon man, but after reading a Tamron lens brochure, I found myself drooling over the 90mm macro lens. So I went to our local independent photographic retailer to order the lens, but discovered a second-hand Nikkor 105mm VR Macro lens in excellent condition and cheaper than a new Tamron. I bought it, and the next week, AP’s macro special issue (24 March) came in the post. John Heywood
Many thanks, John. We are keen to run features with a bit more scope and ambition than purely technical content, so we’ll be doing more on issues like mental health. I was interested to see that Age UK (formerly Age Concern) has just released some findings showing how creative pursuits, such as photography, can be hugely beneficial to physical and mental well-being in later life. It sounds like you and your friends know this already – Nigel Atherton, editor
For John, a Nikkor 105mm macro lens was a lucky find