Seems like a day for birthdays. I'm happy to report that I'll be writing a monthly column on Photo.net, starting today. A lot of you probably remember my old "Sunday Morning Photographer" column at The Luminous Landscape. My friend Michael Reichmann, the larger-than-life Internet legend who was generous in giving me my space there to begin with, was also generous in letting me share the content with other sites. Eventually, "SMP" was appearing on Steve's Digicams, Photo.net, and—translated into Polish by my friend Lukasz Kacperczyk—on Fotopolis.pl, the largest photo website in the Polish language (I still write monthly for Fotopolis, always expertly translated by Luka, who recently became a new dad). Although it was written intermittently and had no consistent focus, "SMP" was surprisingly popular. We believe that at its peak, it was probably seen by something like 80,000 people a week, give or take thirty thousand or so (a big swing, but it's very difficult to estimate such things accurately in cyberspace). I gave it up in 2005 to start a print newsletter, which quickly went under but then morphed into the free website you're reading now. (Call it the Blind Squirrel theory of endeavor.)
The new Photo.net column is called "Johnston on Photography." The first number, called "Maturity in the World of Digital Photography," is up now. As before, the columns will all be listed on an Intro Page, most recent first. I intend it to be a home for longer articles that don't quite suit the gestalt here at T.O.P., and I'm hoping to give it a definite slant: assuming I can get the cameramakers and lensmakers to help out with equipment loans, I hope to write often there about optics and fine lenses. Although these won't be "lens tests" per se, I'm hoping I'll be able to find things to say about top-tier lenses that people will find interesting and useful. (Or at least entertaining). That will begin with a bang next month; the next two columns will talk about the SMC-Pentax 35mm ƒ/2.8 DA Macro Limited and the Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm ƒ/2 ZF/K lens.