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Friday, 24 January 2014


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Mike, hoping for a speedy recovery for you. Since having a hernia operation last month, I can relate to your situation. Take the time that you need; we'll still be here. I'm certainly enjoying the "reruns," so please keep them coming to the extent you're able.

Take care,

Dear Mike,
I hope you feel better soon. You need not wory about the enterprise. I as well as great majority of your reader will be with you no matter howl long you are out.
Warmest regards
Shahram Hedvat

I'm enjoying the reruns, though I'd trade them all and much more for some assurance that you'll be OK.

[A bit early to tell, but I'm doing all the right things. --Mike]

I like reading them. I missed most of the early ones and I'm sure there are others like me.

Take your time to do whatever it takes to un-fuzzify.


As far as this devoted reader, and sometimes commenter, of TOP, I wish you a speedy and complete recovery to good health.

I am enjoying the "oldies bu goodies", a couple of which had escaped my notice. (Or maybe I had managed to forget them!) It's a bit like Ctein's links to earlier columns: in the light of further information, the earlier content can often impart knowledge that wasn't there before. Fascinating.


Rest up and feel better, Mike, we'll still be here when you return.

And yep, definitely enjoying the re-runs - I'm planning to dig into the archives to see what else I've missed.

Keep posting the reruns! As long as you're up to it. Can't expect all of us to read everything all the time, can you?

wishes for a speedy recovery!!!!!

Just a suggestion that you should include the old comments with the reposts while still closing for new comments. I realise the comments are usually available in the archives though most of your reposts are not showing up in the archives.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Take care Mike. My thoughts are with you and I'm happy to hear that you're feeling a tad better. Keep on keeping on!

Take your time. Do what you like. Feel better. (It can be harder than it sounds!)

I have really enjoyed your "reposts" over the last days - except for the one with the picture by that Vermeer guy. Just look at the shadow noise !! And almost infinite DOF !! Did he use an iPhone or what ?? Sheesh :-)


Do what you need to, I think your following is pretty loyal. The re-runs can be fun and you have a pretty extensive 'back catalogue' to choose from. In the longer term perhaps you should consider what Thom Hogan does - i.e. taking a few weeks off once a year. Everyone needs a break and a chance to recharge, no matter how much they love what they do.

Good news.
Please "focus" on your recover, do a macro work on that.
We all will be patient to wait for your return.

Old TOP can wait a few more time.

Send my thanks to your son and friends to help you recover.

All the best,

I'm enjoying them. Keep 'em coming.

I like the reruns. So, please keep them coming, even after you are back in full health.

Take care and spend the time necessary to get well.

Mike, your reruns are very interesting indeed. It's good to have news of how you are going, and I'm glad you are recovering. Even if you didn't do the reruns I don't think you would lose your audience, but this way we have something rewarding each time we check back with you. best regards, Susan.

Get well Mike. We will be here waiting for you...

Oh, definitely liking, thank you. At our age any article more than a month old is fuzzy at best so year old articles are practically news once more!
Do get better; despite the Atlantic one feels the proximity of a friend in need ...

Always better to recover well rather than fast, take your time, we'll still be here.

and the re-runs have been good :)

Mike, to continue the bicycle analogy a bit further, you have been going for over eight years now and you've built up a lot of momentum. I think that you can freewheel for a while without the TOP velocipede becoming unstable.

I'm happy to read the rerun posts; I have scores of old magazines dating back to the 1970s that I read again from time to time. Sometimes I get more from an article, having changed and become more knowledgeable over the years.

I'm enjoying the re-posts. Take the time to recover, Mike.

Mike look after yourself. I am really enjoying rereading the old posts.

Nice to know you are recovering. I like your rerun post, it's always interesting to read and reconsider. If you need time to full recover please take your time.

take it easy and get well.
we will wait for you.

Still here, Mike. Take care of yourself first and foremost. Regarding content: If you need to keep the pedals moving I bet you know quite a few people who would like to guest post. Maybe have them produce some content of their choice?

All the best!

I seriously doubt your loyal readers are going anywhere. And the dilettantes tide and ebb regardless :)

Hope you feel better soon.

The reruns are fine -- only the best, curated by the boss.

Get well.

The days of super frequent posts to stay relevant are over I think. Quality of content trumps frequency. That said I enjoy running across old stuff esp since I haven't been here from the beginning.

Enjoying the reruns. Hope you feel better soon.


Your health is paramount, so continue to do what is necessary. I, for one, am enjoying most of the 'reprints' since I'm not a long-time reader (just the past 5 years or so).

Here's to your recovery!


Just know there are multitudes out here who care very much that TOP exists and we will abide as long as it takes for you to be up to speed again. Best wishes for a complete recovery.


You've been peddling for years, so although I think Ken is right I think it would take 2 or 3 months for the bike to fall over. I have kept blogs I enjoy a lot less than TOP on my dashboard for 6 months or so when they've stopped being active.

The re-runs are great, well worth reading again. And I'll be checking in daily, or umpty times daily, until the cows come home. (I don't have any cows, and live in the middle of a city.) So please pamper yourself and relax, while I exercise Amazon Prime for you, me, and Jeff Bezos.

I like the old posts. Keep 'em coming.


Do what you have to do to get well again. The bicycle will wait for you.

The re-runs are all new ones for me since I only started following you a few years ago. I am sure that I am not the only relative newbie in the group.

Get well soon, and keep the rerun's coming.

Just take your time & get better, Mike, we'll wait patiently. And if any of us should stray to another blog in the meantime, it'll only reinforce how great this one is.

Hi Mike,

I have really enjoyed your blog over the years - and got, what I consider, really good advice and insight. So I will wait for your return. Take the time needed to recover and don't worry so much about the blog. Number one - get healthy (soon). We are pulling for you.


Prompt rétablissement cher Monsieur. We shall be there.

Take all the time you need. Our short term pain (missing you) will be your long term gain. I'm enjoying the reruns.

I am enjoying the reruns, Mike. Take care of yourself and don't worry. The internet is full of forums, but there is only one Mike and Lulu.

Reruns have all been fun. Keep them up until you feel better. I think your "bicycle" has a pretty extensive set of training wheels, your readers. We'll be here when you are.

Rest up.
We'll still be here.

Glad you are improving, take your time. I enjoy the older posts. If your interested wouldn't mind some of your older stereo posts.


Mike, sorry to hear of your illness, and I hope you get well soon!

In answer to the question you posed, I am enjoying the rerun posts. Some are new to me, dating from before I became a regular reader of TOP, and some I vaguely remember, but are worth reading again. (BTW, ever thought of publishing a printed hardcopy book, Best of ToP? Or is it just me that's old fashioned enough to prefer reading from paper rather than a screen?)

Anyway, my heartfelt wishes for your speedy recovery, and I'm glad you have supportive friends and family around.

I'm enjoying the old posts Mike. Most of these were before I started being a regular reader. I think. I am lucky to have a memory which allows me to enjoy reading stuff without reminding me I have already done it. Movies too. But not photographs.

Do what you gotta do and don't worry.

Yes, I am enjoying the old posts. Some of these I saw and some are new to me, but I like them all.

Get well soon! (But take it easy until you do.)

I'm very much enjoying the reruns. I certainly haven't per used all that TOP has offered over the years, and getting a Best of TOP has been great reading.

Keep getting better!
I'm a relatively new reader and enjoy the old posts.

Take your time Mike. And keep taking good care of yourself. It's been fun reading some of the old posts. (Now if only I had read 'Letter to George' when I started photographing...)

I'm enjoying the reruns, for sure, but I'd rather you rest and get well than expend energy posting more reruns.

I wouldn't worry too much about wrecking the enterprise. At other blogs this might be a concern, but I daresay your core audience won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Get well soon!

TOP is (and for the foreseeable future will remain) the first stop of my electronic morning `commute'.

Take care of yourself!

I for one am thoroughly enjoying the rerun posts. If anything, more would be better, but I don't want to push things too much. :)

mike, glad to hear you're ok. thank you for providing great content through the years. i've never commented on here before, but just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you and to wish you a speedy and thorough recovery.

Perhaps I missed something, but what illness has befallen you? You have talked around it without being explicit. During the past years (?), your voice has been a part of the daily texture of my life and I miss you.

Get better Mike, for your sake if not for ours. And yes the old posts are still good reading.

I miss your daily insights, but am more than willing to wait for your return at full health. Take care of yourself and let healing happen as it will.

You now have the misfortune of success - you are responsible for something much larger than yourself. The obvious answer is more guest writers. Just remember your focus - aesthetics over hardware reviews.

Your obvious skill is in curating/editing/teaching and we could still see your hand in the articles even if you don't pound out the words. This blog is a center of (photo) art appreciation and guidance - in this vast wasteland...

I just want my free entertainment, buddy - don't mess it up!

Hey Mike,

I'm not sure if you will read this, but since you asked, don't you worry about stopping pedaling. The most important thing is that you get well.

I for one am enjoying the "vintage" posts very much. Some of them, I had missed when they were first published, like the one about the Falling soldier, and it was great to discover the article on the PBS website.

So, get all the rest you need until you get well, and don't worry about a thing. I'm sure most of your readers appreciate TOP far too much to let you down precisely when you're having health issues and need our support.

Take care!!!

I'm not really reading the rerun posts, but take your time and look after yourself. I'll still be here when you're better and back to posting.

Rerun posts just fine. Get well soon. -KB

Keep up the reruns, I'm still coming to the site everyday to see what's there so they are keeping your page views up. Thanks and get better!

Get well soon!

I've been enjoying the reruns, especially "Letter to George", "Northlight Portraits", and "Access".

Glad to read you are recovering Mike. Take good care of yourself first; the blog will follow.

Get well Mike. The break will not cause me to stop coming back. I kinda like the reruns... one advantage of getting old and not being able to remember, so the reruns are fresh to me.

Mike, first, please get well soon, for your sake, for the sake of your family and friends. You can of course get better for those of us who are your loyal readers, but we're last on the list.

Second, it's no help to you, I know, but I sympathize. I think you and I are about the same age. I'm coming out of a three-year period of serious illness, couple surgeries, lots of time in the hospital, etc. Being sick stinks.

Finally, I'm LOVING the re-runs. When you have this much good stuff in the can, you OUGHT to pull it out now and then and remind us of it, even when you're feeling well.

Get well,


Every classic you're rerun here is well worth reading again, so keep up the greatest hits feed, please. I really enjoy your writing style and your perspective, your humor and your wisdom. You've made this one of the friendliest, most informative sites for photography on the Net -- thanks!

Without knowing (or asking) the specifics of your illness, I'll just say that my wife recently decided to let go of her her three-year-old blog because it was killing her. Too much sitting, too much physical inactivity ... I think you get the picture. I'll continue coming here even if there's just a new article every two days, or every three. The content-hungry beast must be fed, but don't feed it your own flesh and blood... too much.

A few years ago, I was sick for two weeks with no updates for the paid members. And from several thousand paid members, I only got a single complaint, and I didn't notice any downturn in business.
And I would guess that your readers are more loyal even than mine since my site although unique, was basically just cheesecake.
Oh, I accidentally used the past tense, even though the site is still going strong. That's because I have sold the sites and I won't be running them from some point in the very near future.
The reason being health issues, and a desire to go back to doing more of my art, photography and writing.

Since I am new to TOP, I have enjoyed the replays very much. Even if I had read the originals, re-reading the classics is always enjoyable. Take care of yourself.

Old is good. Keep 'em coming. And get better fast, or in good time, whichever you prefer. We'll be here.

I'm fine with more re-runs, Mike. They're good stuff.

Please take as much time as you need to get back in shape. I'm counting on you for many more years of good stuff, so think long-term while you recover.

Glad to hear you are on the mend.

Keep 'em coming. Get well soon. Enjoying the stuff about process.

Mike, your writing and blog is by far the best of the photography sites. You could take six months off an we'd all be back. Get better and don't worry about business.

Dear Mike,

Hope you feel better soon.
As for focus, don't set it on auto just yet...
Your many fans will wait.

All the best,
Ned W

Good to hear you are doing better. Take your time. I will stick around until you come back. Reruns are great. Ever thought about a book?

"...feeling "fuzzy" mentally and finding it difficult to focus. I'm told that's normal."

Are we talking normal for after your illness, or normal for Mike? :)

I'm enjoying the reruns. Get well soon!


Your health comes first. While I enjoy the "vintage" posts, I can wait until you have a full recovery. Please don't over exert yourself to put something up. I offer this advice as one who has had to recover from several lengthy illnesses and injuries.

I'm in this for the long run, so if we all have to wait awhile more, it's worth it to have you around for the long term. TOP is a daily read for me.


Mike -

I'm enjoying the old columns... hopeyou are quickly better!

All my very best wishes to you from a longtime TOP reader here in the UK. I'm currently enjoying Empire of the Summer Moon on your recommendation, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Looking forward to your return, though please take as much time as you need.


Get Better! The oldies are goodies and I'm enjoying them.


The rerun posts are great! You might even want to think about occasionally doing them when things return to normal. Like a good book, your writing is always worth revisiting from time to time, and re-posts save us the trouble of searching through your archives.

I am reminded by these of listening to older "Car Talk" rebroadcasts on satellite radio. Good writing and good humor never disappoint.

Get well soon.

All the best with recovery. That comes first, even if we do like the odd reminder from years gone by as well.

Focus on your health & recovery.
We will still be here !!
Get well soon.

Here's to getting better soon, but don't rush back before you're ready either. Fret not, we'll all still be here when you do return!

Take care of yourself, Mike. We'll enjoy the reruns until you're back in the saddle.

Mike, as Goldilocks would agree, your blog is "just right" in so many ways. No lover of fine writing, photographer or not, could abandon it for long. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery.

old hits are fine. Get well, we'll wait for you!!
best wishes from Spain


Feel better !

I guess I'm in the minority, and you need to do whatever you need to do to avoid losing readership. Personally, I haven't read the reruns - I have a vague recollection after the first couple sentences and then no interest in rereading them, so if it were up to me, I'd just say to stay away from the computer, rest up, and we'll be here when you're all better.

- Dennis

Heh. Can't recall TOP readers agreeing on much of anything unanimously before. . . That's got to count for something. I have to say, without the community that YOU created here Mike, we'd all be poorer.

I am surprised! I guess the pittance I sent a few weeks ago was enough to finance one of the vacations you talked about! I think you should just come clean though instead of carrying on this charade!:D
I'm sure everyone of your readers cares more about your health than reading a new blog entry. I know I do. You should first take the time you need to recover fully, then think about posting new work. Besides my memory is so poor that if you hadn't told me they were re-posts I wouldn't have known! Take care of yourself!

Love the old posts, it is too easy for interesting stuff to ge tlost in the melee of the internet

Health comes first (I work in the NHS in the UK) so like everyone else I hope that you're making a good recovery. The vintage posts are great, and perhaps worth considering as a regular feature in future. And I suspect that people reading TOP are a loyal lot who will wait however long it takes for you to be well enough to get back on to the (bicycle) saddle again.

Best wishes.

Well, I follow via RSS, so if you take a break, I'll be notified as soon as you get back with it. I'm enjoying the blast from the past, so thats fine with me. Most important thing is a full recovery. Take care!

Best wished for a speedy an full recovery. Yes please try to keep posting the old items.

If you do requests, how about the one with "typical forum" types who critique famous photos as though they'd been posted on the web. Great comedy writing. I'm a fairly new follower (about 1 yr) but ran across a link to it in another site a few of months ago

You don't need to pedal as long as you're going downhill. Oh, that wasn't very apt ;-)

But I'm one of those Luminous Oldtimers - now, between those columns, that was waiting, nothing like those kids today with new posts every other day...

I wish you a good recovery!

PS: Watch something funny.

Hi Mike,
Hope you get well soon.
Re-runs are fine, which is why I always keep my old books. There is currently a series on BBC "Stories from the Dark Earth", which is a revisit of a 12 year old archaeology series, and gives current updates with modern DNA, new knowledge etc, and is a refreshing change to the "new today, forgotten tomorrow" philosophy.

very best wishes phil

We will still be there !!

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