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Wednesday, 02 April 2014


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Rats! The one I like best is the rail station, and I can't buy that separately.

I've ordered the full package. I figure it's the least I can do for all the years pleasure that I've had from TOP.
Good luck with the sale!

Mike, I hope we keep Ctein busy for months. My 'everything' order is in.

Good luck.

Sure! Hold the kid up in a picture and tell us that the kid is going to get it if we don't buy a print . . . wait, hasn't that been done before?

[(g)The kid's fine. He's in college now.

I do recall an ad in "Listener" with a cat in a pot on the stove, and text to the effect that if people don't subscribe he'd have to eat the cat. (That magazine failed, though.)

I just have very few pictures of myself. I found one of me with a camera, but it was so small and blurry I just couldn't bring myself to use it. (The camera was a Leica R4). --Mike]

The Soo Line Station is by far my favorite but there is no way I can order the entire set of prints just to get that one. Once I get home, I will look again at the others ob a larger monitor and see which one I like second best. I guess there has to be a good bonus for those who order the whole set. Ah well such is life.

Having recently changed camera systems, my photo budget is very deep in the red. And given that my favorite photo is the bonus pic, making it even more unattainable, I will console myself by making a simple, premium-free donation to support a site where I've learned so much and been entertained beyond expectations.



How about some sort of bar graph to display how far we've reached with the orders. Might spur on some more orders?
I undertand that you don't want financials named but you could still make some meaningful descriptions such as Half Downpayment, Full Downpayment, Bonus Paintjob etc.
I also would have loved the railstation but could only afford the equally beautiful Wisconsin #7

Dear GKF,

Well, I would expect to get a proof print, too, as a courtesy, so I suppose that would make it three proof prints.

If you buy the Miata, you might be able to convince Mike to part with one of his two proof prints. You could ask… [Smile].


Dear Jim,

I wanted Mike to Photoshop huge puppy-dog eyes onto him and Zander. Did he listen? Nooooooooo

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

After all the discussion awhile ago about the dangers of taking photos on railway tracks, look what we get.

All the best on the sale Mike.


I am hit hard this year with taxes. So can't buy a print. Yes even $40 is tight. But I might be able to swing $5 or $10. Can you put up a donate button or e-mail me your pay pal contact so I can help you out.
David Bateman

The Soo station apparently is selling for $1439 and the customer will get six other great prints for free!

Completely rooting for your success Mike. Though the contribution is only a small one, I hope it helps get you into your new digs. And I am looking forward to receiving "Dave Fishing"!


I want that bonus print!!

Thank you for all the wonderful reads over the years and for deciding to make this a warm and cuddly place for the GIRLS!

Best wishes,

Do you have to pay separate shipping for each tier? For instance, if you order one print each from the first and middle tiers, will you pay $35 S/H, or do you pay only $25? (combined shipping)

Double rats! I'm with you Duncan. I love the Rail Station bonus picture, but it's not available separately.

I guess you always want what you cannot have. :-)

I'll shake Hands with you soon, Mike. Great photograph, my first TOP print buy, and I'm too glad to help you broaden and improve your website: I have learned much here, and not just on Photography. Thanks.

A limited edition? I'm disappointed. Quoting from my favorite photo blog discussing limited editions on April 2, 2013, "All this means to the photographer is that he or she is going to be prevented from profiting from his or her desirable photographs." Make a special edition to help fund the new world headquarters for T.O.P., but don't limit your upside.

Sounds reasonable, but actually, I couldn't do that. The reason is, it's important to do what you say you're going to do. If I say it's only available in this sale and only available to people who buy all the prints, then I can't really go skulking around giving them away under the table, can I?

You could always buy a full set of prints yourself and give them as a gift to whoever buys the car!

My first purchase in a TOP print sale! Hope you do well Mike!

Hi Mike,

the bonus print is lovely, congratulations!

But I just had this thought: Wow, a print of railroad tracks. Hey, those are dangerous! And where did I learn that? At TOP.

Sorry for being a pooper...

I've had so much pleasure from reading TOP over the years I knew I'd be buying at least one print... I had a really tough time choosing. If we weren't saving to move house ourselves (to accommodate our expanding family) I would've loved "Wisconsin #7" but after some agonizing I've put my order in for "Jake Fetching" which I think I'm going to really enjoy.

A great selection for the sale.

Dear Mike,

I really, really wanted to contribute to this fundraiser, since you and your site has provided me with so much photographic insight over the years. Unfortunately, however, I already have a large backlog of my own pictures that I need to frame and hang :-(

So I just hit the "Donate" button and spent my 39 USD there instead. Problem solved :-)

Keep up the good work !!


The first option in tier 1 reminded me that I always admired the photo on the cover of "Empirical Photographer". How about offering that as a bonus print? I found a lot of inspiration in that photo and that book.

Re the imaginary 'Edition of Zero'
In that case, you would have made the promise to 'no one'
The edition never happened.
And no one could have been harmed economically or otherwise.
Like an item for auction with special conditions that Doesn't sell.
You are fee to auction it again with different or no conditions.
While I am extremely happy that you will not have the 'Edition of Zero' Dilemma, from my point of view, it would not have been a problem at all.
Great good luck with the sale, my order is in, and I'm contemplating a second .

Dear Mike, CMIIW, in the old posts here in TOP i read, i sense that you don't like limiting prints of photograph, but now there is 'has never been printed before and will never be printed again at any size'. would you like to give me an explanation of something i might have missed before about it? thank you.

Splendid idea, hope it succeeds (if possible to such an extent that TOP can keep the Mazda...). Just ordered 'Jake Fetching' - I love the inclusion of the outboard engine, and the way engine/ball/dog and sunlight tell the story.
By the way, the TOP CEO mentions his fondness of bodies of water in his pictures. But apparently he has a weakness for backlit photos as well. Six out of seven are (counting 'Wisconsin #7 in). Nice.

I just found your donate button on the right side column. Funny I actually never look there.
I would suggest adding a link in line with the text of this post. Says if you prefer to just donate, then let it fly. Or add a new post to draw attention to it. I think you can get a lot more hits that ways.

Good luck and all the best.
David Bateman

Good luck with the print sale Mike, I hope it goes really well!
I also hope your next print sale will include the picture that is on the cover of your book!
Best, Nick

Hi Mike,
Lovely photos, and just trying to figure out how I can help out here(!)...but your selection made me wonder - do you personally favour your most recent work over older work? The photo of Zander obviously isn't new, but if I recall correctly the station, hands, Wisconsin and (I think) the lake panorama are all pretty recent photos. Is this fair, or is it an intentional selection based on feedback/demand or what you think readers will remember. I personally feel that I favour much more of my recent work than older work, though largely due to improving my skills and therefore my results.
Genuinely hoping it's a big hit, I'm glad I've a few days to decide how to help!

Like a few others, the picture I'd sooner have is the bonus one, well, that and ones that are way out of my price bracket. However, I will make a donation to the cause instead :) Good luck with the fund raising Mike!

I also just sent a modest donation. Here's the reason. I like all of the photos you're offering as prints. I just don't really know what I'd do with a print. What I'd really love to have is a book with those photos and 100 more like them. I get that good prints are much nicer to look at than reproductions in a book. But photos, in general, are best viewed in series or groups, IMO. So if I can see many photos at a gallery, that's great. But 1 or 2 or 3 in a home collection ? I can put the money to better use buying books of photos. And as for displaying photos, I know some will disagree with me here, but my house is my house, not a gallery, and my walls are part of that house, and I want them filled with *my* photos along with other decorative artwork that I want to see every day, either because it's interesting enough to look at every day, or because it's simply decorative. My collection of photo books is modest compared to many, but I have more photo books than I could ever have prints on display. I almost ordered one of the small prints, just to see another nice print with my own eyes and to see another example of Ctein's printing (I bought the bridge photo he printed to demonstrate the potential of modest gear), but ultimately just guessed at your profit margin on the print and sent that. Why am I telling you all this ? I'm not sure, other than to share a thought on why some people may not buy prints *AND* to hopefully inspire you to get back to your ideas about publishing books. Which, of course, would probably be easier if you had a bigger office ...

Good luck !

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