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Sunday, 23 March 2014


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Good Mike, you finally got there.
An obvious question would be: why not moving to a place with a decent climate?
Make sure to include some nice B&W film shot for sale.

You've found my weakness... printed panoramas! Might even ask for "naming rights" to the printer table. (Unless it's 64 megapixels of Lambeau field! But don't we know that'd sell like hotcakes...)

I'm in. Looking forward to seeing the details.

Good luck with the fundraiser!


I will do my best to help fund your move and hope it is a success.

So when do we get to see the pictures? "Real soon" like in The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonsai across the 8th dimension?

Great idea Mike. Regretfully as I'm not in work at the minute I can only run to a $39 contribution...that is if you can mail, (I'll pay) to England...?

Dear Mike,

I hope this won't sound too bad or paternalistic. But as a really messy guy myself, my first reaction was "I'm not sure I want to support this enlargement of chaos estate" as I noticed my tendency to use any space available as "storage". You see where I'm going : Will that extra space be put to the actual advertized use? But that's me and probably not you. Thought I'd share that.

Also, you may be a bit shy or uncomfortable about saying how much you actually need for that house but I think backers are usually positively motivated by a $$ goal.

Wish you success and after I see the thumbs, might as well support you. It seems to me you deserve it after so many years of continued unmatched quality content.


This $ounds good. I'll be waiting to $ee which prints are being offered for $ale.

Mike, I'll be contributing at the highest level I can when the time comes. How long will this "kickstarter" run?

One of the things that helps your memory as you get older and helps keep alzheimer's at bay is reading a lot every day. Not reading for entertainment but reading to learn and to make you think. TOP is one of the handful of web sites I read that accomplishes that goal. If getting more office space for TOP increase's the content/contributors etc. I'm pleased to help.

I agree with the post above that says you should state your monetary goal. With something like this you'll get more participation if everything is out in public.

I don't have too much money to throw at this, but I'd be willing to buy a smaller print or two to help the cause. Love TOP.

The big question is after this succeeds, are you going to need some readers with weak minds and strong backs to help with the move? ;)

As a compulsive space organizer and avid snooker player, I can't help but wonder where the pool table will go in this new arrangement. But I'm sure you've thought of that, and I wish you great success in this new endeavour. You've certainly earned it and I thank you for being such a clear influence on my photographic outlook and practice. I can't wait for this rare glimpse of your work, and look forward to actually owning one of these jewels.

As a loyal reader I would like to help with this move. As possibly one of the few with a B&W darkroom, I hope your darkroom makes the move with you. I'm not too worried about films availability because people scan that. Printing paper requires a whole 'nuther level of commitment for space.

This sounds excellent. If you haven't already, you and Ctein should listen to Glenn Fleishman's The New Disruptors podcast that is often about Kickstarter-related projects. Glenn interviews people who use new ways of launching products and services and Kickstarter is often a big part; the lessons those people have learned can be quite useful.

A good place to start might be episode 58, in which the tables are turned and Glenn is interviewed (by the excellent Jason Snell) about his own successful Kickstarter project—there are some good lessons to be learned there, I think.

One thing I've been meaning to write to you about, ever since hearing episode 54: do consider T-shirts. They have made a very considerable amount of money for many sites like this, whose fans are passionate and dedicated and, if they're anything like me, not entirely ungeeky. Would suggest following the model that you've used for previous print sales: you design and offer T-shirts with a deadline and only then get them made and shipped.

Very happy that Ctein is still so involved in things, too. I'm looking forward to chipping in and wish you great success.

So where's the pool table going to go? All the best for your fundraiser.

Very excited for you Mike. I love TOP so much that I'd gladly make a donation without receiving anything in return. Hanging some of your work on my wall will be a nice bonus.

I am also interested to see Ctein's printmaking skills combined with a different photographer's vision. (Not that I dislike Ctein's - I have one of his dye transfers in my office.)

Dear Andrew,

Well, inkjet and dye transfer printing are such different media that I'm not sure you'll seen much commonality that way. But if you have any of my digital prints (even the $19.95 print) you won't see much difference in my printing sensibilities when I'm printing Mike's work. Partly it's because Mike and I are simply simpatico most of the time on what makes a good looking print. Our disagreements are usually minor.

Partly it's because one of the things that allows me to be successful as a custom printer is that if I simply make a print that looks good to me, it usually looks good to the person I'm printing for. That makes life easy. Of course, their preferences take precedence, but more often than not, when I'm printing for someone else I'm really printing to make me happy.

And now that that subject is been raised, it would be interesting to know if that's a common experience among other high-end custom printers (I know we have a few in the readership). Are you printing more for you or are you more chameleonlike?

I have no idea what is the norm in this business, if there even is one. For all I know, every bespoke printer's personal experience may be different and unique.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Re Ctein's comment near the end of his post, "Even buying a single $39 print matters. Heck, if every one of TOP's readers did that (there is no possibility of that) Mike would be able to buy the house ..."

No possibility? Nothing like issuing a challenge. Come on, everybody! Make Ctein WRONG about something!

If you've never bought a print, or never even clicked through on the B&H box to buy something, this is your chance. One measly print, just one, is all it would take. Heck, I'm going to break my New Year's resolution (no TOP prints this year, no wall space, gotta save money, no TOP prints this year, no ...).

I certainly plan on making a purchase, and maybe a few more if I win the office NCAA basketball pool (Go Louisville Cardinals!)

I will attempt to find a way to contribute to the new TOP World Domination Headquarters!

Would this be the "house down the street" that you mused about almost a year ago? Something about the layout looking like a car dealership in miniature, which makes for awful living quarters but could work for a home-based business. But it was priced too high. Here's hoping it's now in line with realty realities (sorry, couldn't resist).

[That's the one! It was out of the question back then, but the price has come down, down down since then, and is almost into the reasonable range. And it's been on the market so long that they might accept an offer I would consider to be in line with market value. It's still a bit of a long shot that everything would work out, but it's no longer out of the question. --Mike]

I've gotten much insight out of the site for years, I'd be happy to contribute, with or without a print.

I'll be sure and get something at some level. We are right in the middle of getting ready to move sort of down your way (Duluth) from Juneau, AK. I'm sure any prints will make it to us eventually.

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