‘Wild Eye Magazine’ Is the Spiritual Successor to ‘Outdoor Photographer’

Close-up of a leopard resting on a tree branch, staring intently ahead. The leopard's golden eyes and detailed spots are prominent. The background is blurred, focusing attention on the leopard. The "wild eye" logo is visible in the top-left corner.

When Outdoor Photographer shut down, it devastated landscape, nature, and wildlife photography enthusiasts. However, its spiritual successor, Wild Eye, has been unveiled and will publish its first issue in September.

The first “virtual” issue of Wild Eye will be entirely free for anyone who signs up on the magazine’s freshly-updated website, setting the stage for four print (and digital) issues in 2025. Unlike Outdoor Photographer, which was a monthly newsstand publication in its heyday, Wild Eye is targeting quarterly publication.

The reduced quantity comes with what the team hopes is an uptick in quality in terms of content and overall presentation. Unlike the typical magazine of years past, Wild Eye will be designed to be saved, displayed, and enjoyed more than once.

Cover of Wild Eye magazine featuring a black and white underwater photograph of a sperm whale, with text highlighting articles in the issue such as "Paul Nicklen on Photography as Conservation.
The first issue of Wild Eye will arrive in September as a digital issue, and it will be entirely free.

To that end, Wild Eye editor-in-chief Dan Havlik, who has been in the photography industry for many years and was the longtime editor-in-chief at Shutterbug before moving to Digital Photo Pro and then Outdoor Photographer, tells PetaPixel that each issue will be printed on higher-end paper stock, worthy of the beautiful nature images that Outdoor Photographer was known for.

It’s important to note that Wild Eye itself doesn’t reference its Outdoor Photographer roots, but they’re there. There are plenty of familiar faces on the Wild Eye team, including its publisher, Jason Bradley, design editor, Scott Brandsgaard, and sales manager, Bob Meth. There are also familiar names among its contributors, which include celebrated professional photographers Amy Gulick, Austin Mann, David Duchemin, and Melissa Groo.

A grid of black and white headshots featuring eight individuals with their names and titles. Top row (left to right): Amy Gulick, Austin Mann, Bob Meth, Dan Havlik. Bottom row (left to right): David DuChemin, Jason Bradley, Melissa Groo, Scott Bransgaard.
Wild Eye‘s team includes some familiar faces from the now-shuttered Outdoor Photographer magazine, which was published from 1985 until 2023.

As for the type of content Wild Eye readers can expect, there will be a combination of print, digital, and web-based content, including features from the world’s best photographers, showcases of beautiful photos that explain how they were created, explorations of the wild locations across the globe, field notes, gear reviews and roundups, and more.

The first issue will feature a story from conservation photographer Paul Nicklen, a guide to developing photographic style from Erin Babnik, and a spotlight on landscapes from Ted Orland.

Image showing a promotional banner for Wild Eye magazine. The left side features text promoting their focus on nature, wildlife, and underwater photography. The right side displays a scenic desert landscape with pink flowers in the foreground and sand dunes under a colorful sky.
A screenshot from the Wild Eye website.

Conservation is a big emphasis for Wild Eye, and Havlik says that he wants the magazine to emphasize the importance of conservation photography and help convey the more profound meaning and impact of nature and wildlife photography.

Havlik says that Wild Eye‘s three tenets are “education, inspiration, and information.” Further, the team aims to build upon a foundation of beautiful photographs. Ultimately, the images reign supreme and everything else is in their service.

While the magazine industry has faced many challenges, and Outdoor Photographer wasn’t immune to them, Havlik believes the market is trending toward high-quality, tactile experiences.

“I really feel like a younger generation is starting to get burned out on the digital image, digital text, and are coming back to a printed format because it’s becoming rare — it’s kind of a unique thing,” he says, adding that Wild Eye hopes to attract the same audience that enjoyed Outdoor Photographer, while expanding to a younger generation, who perhaps was never into print but is becoming interested in enjoying photography beyond the screen.

Cover of 'Wild Eye' magazine featuring an underwater photograph of a whale. Text includes details about the magazine's content such as photographer features, photo showcases, field notes, gear up suggestions, and amusing parting shots.
This screenshot from Wild Eye‘s website tells prospective readers what they can expect from the magazine.

That said, not only is Wild Eye releasing its first issue this September in digital format, but the print issues next year will also come with digital versions because that’s something that some people want, and it makes the magazine more accessible.

The Wild Eye team is still ironing out some of the broader details concerning the eventual price structure for subscribers. Still, Havlik says it will be competitively priced against other high-end photography publications.

People can sign up right now to get the first issue of Wild Eye emailed directly to their inbox as soon as it’s ready in September. All you need to do is enter your email address — no additional information is required.

Image credits: Wild Eye