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Wednesday, 04 June 2014


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I enjoy reading Francis Hodgson

joakim eskildsen

Kirk Tuck.

Roger Cicala. His article on Nadar was a brilliant read.

Kirk Tuck perhaps?

I really enjoy Ibarionex Perello's Candid Frame podcast. He's erudite, insightful, and has an interesting background as an educator as well as professional.

He might make an interesting voice around here.

I'd like to see Andrew Molitor writing here regularly; I've really enjoyed what he's written on his blog (which he just shut down; I'm not absolutely clear if he really doesn't want to spend the time writing, or if he'd be happier writing for a bigger audience).


With all due modesty, I think I'm a swell writer, and I could bring a sophisticated semi-pro shooter - camera junkie viewpoint to TOP.

And I'd work for the byline.


Bill Pierce!

Is there anyone that writes from Magnum or other (PJ) photo agencies?

Anybody to write about portraits; compare/contrast studio, editorial, photojournalist, travel and/or street photography perspective?

A partial list: John Camp, Kenneth Tanaka, Ctein, Jim Hughes, Moose, Thom Hogan, David Dyer-Bennet, Carl Weese, Tina Manley, and Kirk Tuck. This is just off the top of my head, but they are commenters/writers/bloggers that I enjoy and seek out.

Rod Graham

I doubt he'd have time to do it, but maybe consider asking Thom Hogan? His technical and financial knowledge of the camera companies is second to few, and I always appreciate his insight. You and him are about the two photo writers I am always looking forward to read.

What about Oleg Novikov? It seems to me you have some common points of view.

Gregory Simpson from UltraSomething Photography. He's one of the absolute best photography writers on the net (and as importat - a fantastic photographer!).

Peter Marshall is an interesting photographer who works in London and writes about it at http://re-photo.co.uk and various other websites. Put him on your list...

Gordon Lewis. His site was the I visited next after this and I miss it. He may not feel he has much to add to photographic thinking, but I do.

At least someone from one or two generations younger than the editor. You are my age, Mike, and several regular contributors are a good bit older. I'd like to hear some younger voices.


Kirk Tuck
Ming Thein
Tillman Crane
Bruce Robbins
John Sexton
Tim Rudman

I'd like to nominate as featured writers:

Guy Tal

A D Coleman

A.D. Coleman. Really good on the "big issues" of photography.

I nominate me....lol

Roger Cicala from Lensrentals:


John Camp

Kirk Tuck, Gordon Lewis, Pete Myers, Carl Weese, George Barr, Jim Hughes, and Paul Butzi.

Nomination for contributing editor; please consider George Barr.

Gordon Lewis.

I learned of Gordon's work a number of years ago from TOP and was sorry to see him close up his blog back in December.

Maybe you can convince him that "contributing editor" is an easier gig than "blogger"!

A.D. Coleman. Maybe he's too busy with his own blog, though.

Ted Forbes from Youtube's "The Art of Photography."

I hope you'll ask Thom Hogan. And I hope he'll say yes.

Well, Kirk Tuck, of course. And for the filmic inclinations, this guy in Scotland: http://www.theonlinedarkroom.com/

Bill Pierce

Ken Jarecke.

The Strobist?

Whether he would be willing or able to participate or not, I don't know, but immediately the name G. Dan Mitchell pops up for me. He is to my mind one of, if not "the" most stable names I know of as a frequent contributor of answers to many questions in several forums. He has been influential for me in guiding my acquisition of equipment and his answers are always so level headed and wise. Just a thought.


Cheers, D.

Kenneth Tanaka comes to mind as someone who I enjoy reading, though I am sure he is already on your list.

Gordon Lewis. Although I realize that, for him, it had run its course, I miss the fine writing of his blog and would enjoy reading his reasonable and well written thoughts in this environment.

Bryan Formhals? I think he has interesting things to say about photography and may not be on many TOP visitors' radars.

Get Mike C. (Chisolm) of The Idiotic Hat to do something once in a while. He comments on TOP occasionally, and is frequently quite amusing. I'm sure he'd like to have something new to do with his upcoming retirement.

I dream of TOP becoming so successful you can start employing photo journalists.
All the best.

Blake Andrews

Mike, I'd like to see what Amin Sabet* could do given a free hand and a few paragraphs to fill.


Jim Hart

*(For those not mirrorless, Amin is the resident Cook and Bottle Washer at mu-43.com; I frequently stop in there to read and visit my money).

A museum curator of photography or a gallery owner writing about history, criticism, or current trends would be a fine addition, I think. I don' t know any names and have no idea whether such a person would be willing to contribute.

A.D. Coleman. Please!

I'd like to nominate Kevin Purcell of Seattle. You have featured his comments to many TOP posts over the years. Kevin is a great researcher who understands technology like no one else I know. He's good at explaining things and backs his work with accessible footnotes. I I think you have an article by him - or originated with him - about the latest Sony sensor.

Like Gordon Lewis, Andrew Molitor has stopped writing on his own blog, but perhaps he could be encouraged to write here. I miss both of them.

Aside from those previously mentioned, like Ken Tanaka, Kirk Tuck, and Thom Hogan, I'd like to see some of the Large Format Photography guys contribute.

Jim Galli: specialist in soft focus
Kirk Gittings: Commercial Architecture (formerly film, now digital) and Fine Art Landscape (film), retired moderator.
Ken Lee: specialist in practical advice, among other things.

Interviews with some others might be enlightening, such as Reinhold Schable, who makes LF meniscus lenses, and the group who are working on an automated, motorized, DSLR-based LF film scanner. (Rick Denney and Peter J. De Smidt, among many others.)

Also, John Sypal, who does Tokyo Camera Style, but also blogs his participation in contemporary Japanese photo culture. Very interesting stuff!

Yes. +1 for Blake Andrews!

In no particular order,

David Dyer-Bennet
Hugh Crawford
Kevin Purcell

In addition to current contributors listed on TOP's sidebar.

Listen, just whip Jim Hughes until he agrees to write more. He's the best. I've been a fan of his since I was in high school and I'm pushing 60.

Stan Banos.

Aside from being a gifted writer, he's a long-time street shooter with strong opinions around the relationship between society and photography. Controversial? Hell yeah. Interesting? Always.

Hey Mike,
All current writers are worthy of choice but JIM HUGHES is hard to go past providing he is available.
Love his columns, experiences, thoughts....always have.

People who already have their own high-profile platforms aren't, I suspect, the best candidates. They're busy, and already have an outlet for what they want to say. Which isn't to say I wouldn't want to see them here, but it seems like it'd be a hard sell (or they'd be expensive) in most cases. Also, there are already places I can go to read them, so the benefit of bringing them here is just convenience.

I'm flattered to turn up on one person's list! Looking at my own blog, you'll find that I'm not as organized or coherent when writing thousand-word (or longer) articles as I am when writing short comments.

... and for audio-video posts and the [?]-generation viewpoint:

Xander Johnston

A woman! What about Sally Mann or Claire Jaffa?

Carol McCusker is an excellent writer.

+1 Kevin Purcell

I don't know who will end up writing for TOP, but this thread already provided me with some pointers to interesting sites/blogs I was not aware of.

I don't have particular names to add to the list, but think it is a good idea to ask people with different backgrounds/viewpoints/ages.

+1 Andrew Mollitor.

Dear Mike,

A cursory reading of people's suggested columnists shows that they are pretty much all really good recommendations...except that it's still almost entirely the usual gang of older white males (OWMs).

Harking back to your efforts a few months back to bring in a more diverse readership, making that readership evident in the writing is of importance if you want the changes to stick. This is definitely a case where reaching for the lowest hanging fruit will get you the status quo, and you don't want that. It always takes extra energy to avoid defaulting to the status quo, which is why persists so well. Don't be discouraged by that, it's normal.

My broad meta-suggestion is to step away from the establishment of columnists, because that's overwhelmingly dominated by the OWM's. Look through your own commenters, and maybe the commenters on other sites. Find ones who are eloquent and break the dominant demographic. Ask them to write for you. I've seen more than one good candidate among your readership.

It may take a bit of persuasion; there are a lot of good writers out there who don't realize they are good enough to be columnists. You may have to do some grooming and development of talent. Which, shocker, is what a good editor does.

Fun as they are to read, what I don't think TOP needs is more OWM's. There are enough of us here.

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

What about Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz? I don't know if your time at Black and White magazine crossed theirs, but they've usually got something interesting to say.


PS: Oh yeah, and, while you're at it, look heavily outside the US/Canada/UK. At least, outside the US. A very substantial fraction of your readers live elsewhere, and they are major fans of the site. For example, 35% of the sales in recent print sales have been to people who live outside the United States. While TOP will always remain a US-based and -centric publication, because it really can't be anything else so long as you are editor, a more worldly perspective would be a great thing. Not just for the foreign readers. I'd expect that the US readers would love to get a broader view on what's going on in the world of photography, too.

This is not just of academic interest. The world camera market is increasingly becoming dominated by Asia. Many of the trends in camera design, and several of the notable and surprising successes in cameras of recent years, which were largely incomprehensible to us Americans, were because of these other world markets that we know very little about.

Geoff Dyer? Elizabeth Avedon? Sarah Greenough?

[Heh. And for my pick-up basketball team, Barack Obama? He likes basketball. And I hear Michael Jordan is free these days. [g] --Mike]

Not all white, American men, please.

Ming Thein
Frederick Van Johnson

(I'm embarrassed to have such a short list.)

Ming Thein, Phil Askey, David duChemin, Thomas Hawk, PINAC, Kirk Tuck of course, Robin Wong.

Gordon Lewis
Ken Tanaka

I agree with Ann above, please more than one woman.

Plus Bill Pierce.

And yourself, especially in your longer and more considered pieces.

May I suggest two names, none of them OWM

Nicolás Marino
Ibarionex Perello

Nicolás is an Argentinian photographer who has been cycling around the world for a year, and gathering some great photos and experiences along the way. He writes both in English and Spanish in his blog and Facebook page.

Ibarionex, you probably have heard of him, or even know him. I've listened to quite a few of his candid frame podcasts, and have always thought he makes interesting and thoughtful questions and reflections. You may also want to check out the list of photographers he's interviewed in the podcast, as I've often found some very articulate and interesting ones who are not that well known but seem to have things to say and their own voice.

Oh, and Mark Wallace. Comes across as a great guy and teacher in his Adorama tv videos, and has recently embarked on a round the world trip.

Very heartening to see readers suggest writers of different sex, age and ethnicity! Photography is, of course, about exploring our world...

John Sypal of Tokyo Camera Style would be great.

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