I just remembered I have a direct experience, since one of my photographs appeared on a cover of a photographic magazine. While processing the image, I was careful to retain "believability," i.e., avoid over-saturation. I was surprised to see it rather saturated on the cover. Not terribly, but still more than what I sent them.
And you know what? I like it that way. There, on the cover. It just works better there. It suits the cover's purpose, to attract otherwise fleeting attention of passersby. There, on the cover, it also competes with all the big, bold, screaming headlines, and thus benefits from the extra kick of saturation.
Would I print it that saturated as a wall decor or gallery display? Probably not. Because of a different context, different viewing environment, different viewer's expectation, different life span.
You know what Slobodan, you raise a significant point here and one I hadn't thought about.
Because I think what you are saying, is that ALL images in magazines are advertisements for the magazine in its attempt to snare potential buyers. And if so, then it is obvious that the magazine editor will want to knock the viewers eyes out with glossy colourful eye candy to make people want to buy the magazine, because that is what works for advertising.
It is a bit like the huge and tempting image of the burger you see over the counter in the burger bar, that looks nothing like the scrawny flaccid little lukewarm thing you actually end up with in the box. It is advertising pure and simple, they are selling you the dream, not the reality and for some reason people just donít see through it and keep on buying into the illusion.
It is also similar to how fashion models on billboards and magazines etc, who are 'shopped to look more perfect than mother nature could ever achieve, the busty six foot blonde with 4 foot long legs and perfect blemish free skin. But we all know there is a down side to 'shopping models and the effect it is having on teenage girls, who believe what they see and then starve themselves to death attempting to attain the unobtainable.
So I suppose it is inevitable that the photo mags have also had a downside effect on photography itself, because unlike those poor unfortunate young girls, photographers can
mimic what they are seeing in the mags and on billboards and create an idealised and oversaturated unreality if they want to, and obviously people want to, because that is what they are seeing in the mags, so they believe it is what they should be doing and the whole thing becomes a viscous circle