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Monday, 29 June 2015


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Good for you Mike. Hopefully this will also be a good thing for whatever health issues may be lingering. You sound "relieved".
Best Wishes

There's a nice line in the movie Bukaroo Banzai: "wherever you go
there you will be". You look the same here and that's a good
thing. Have fun and good luck.

Well good for you! Following your path is a good thing.

Great news Mike, good luck with the move.

Congratulations on your move! Despite your recently-purchased home in Wisconsin, I kind of expected this. Hell, I moved to the other side of Chicago just last year to be closer to my girlfriend, and she was only an hour drive away from my previous place.

Great news for us too, Mike! Your pictures from Keuka Lake were among the best we'd seen from you in a while. Inspiration was there, clearly! Good luck with the move...

As someone who grew up in the Finger Lakes and lived in Rochester my entire adult life, I think this is beyond cool. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Congratulations and best of luck! As a regular reader from New Jersey, I look forward to everything you hope to accomplish in the new location as it is more realistic for me to visit the Finger Lakes than Wisconsin.

Good for you, Mike.

Sounds great! Best of luck.

Congrats on your latest move. Actually, I don't think your long time readers - like me - will be in the least bit surprised! It was in the cards for some time.

Put me down for an Eastlake workshop (working in B&W?) as soon as possible!

Congratulations Mike! My mom grew up in Skaneateles, which might be the most beautiful town in America. I look forward to dropping in when you're established.

Good for you mate! I had a career change at 59 last year and working with a crew half my age and loving every minute of it. Fresh winds indeed.

Wonderful and exciting news. For several years I've appreciated the information, entertainment, and (most of all, as it's in such short supply in the on-line world) fine writing. Keep it rolling. Congratulations on the new adventure.

Imagine what a man might do, let loose among those sweeping vistas armed with a 14mm lens. If only there was such a man...
Congrats and much happiness to you, Mike.
We await the first (pictorial) installment of East Lake Wobegon days!

Great decision Mike. Life happens among people you care for, in the first place. I just hope that the climate there is no worse than in Wisconsin. Best of luck going forward.

Congrats on the new arrangement! I went to school in Ithaca and spent many months in Binghamton with my grandmother. The finger lakes and southern tier areas of New York State resonate with me in a way few places have. I desperately miss the area. Although as a Virginia boy I could never get through the grey winters without feeling down. Coming from Wisconsin I'm sure the winters will seem absolutely balmy lol. Good luck and I hope everything goes well for you.

You go Guy!!

Wait, I'mma let you finish, but first, you ought to know, I'm really happy for you! Yes! Go Mike! This is fantastic, and this sounds like a lovely place to live and a lovely life to lead!

Did I mention that I'm happy for you?

Okay, now I'll read the rest of your post :)

Wonderful news! :-) Good luck! I'm flying 500 km (300 miles) every time just to be with my favorite photographer and girlfriend, so this is a very good idea!

New photo opportunities, a gallery space, AND romance... Trifecta!! Congratulations, Mike and may the move go ultra smoothly.

Congratulations! A very exciting change in direction. In 2006 I moved from Toronto, Canada to San Jose, Costa Rica to be closer to my girlfriend (now my wife) for much the same reasons you are moving. There have been challenges, but I don't regret it at all. Best wishes on your next adventure!

Mike wrote, "The closings and the physical move take place later this month."

According to my calendar you've got a little over a day to wrap that up.

I was hoping that to stop in on my way to Oshkosh this summer and show you my old motorcycle or my new camera or (more likely) both.

Great! Another stop on the way... As an native Rochesterian, long a resident of the DC area, I look forward, on my meandering drives through the Finger Lakes region (the beloved home country), to eventually visiting your "print bins" and future gallery while heading back to Rochester for family visits. Cheers!

Go with what makes your heart go pitta-pat and Good On You and your fine lady. Look forward to seeing some of the MJ work.

Spent time in Northern New York, Finger Lakes, East Aurora (Roycrofters!), Rochester...all beautiful, you are lucky! I felt very simpatico with the place, and was seriously looking until my sister-in-law from upstate New Jersey let me know how depressed the area was (this was back in the 90's). Also lucky you're bringing your job...

(Does this mean I have to move? After all, I've lived in Chicago/Oak Park, Washington DC, and Wisconsin: were you following me around or was I following you?)

That's wonderful, Mike, and very exciting!

It augurs well that there's been none of the blogged angst that preceded your recent move. I'm confident that I speak for your many TOP friends (and I use that term intentionally) when I wish the very best to you and everyone associated with this relocation.

I, for one, am grinning from ear to ear just thinking about it.

Howdy neighbor, we'll make a redneck out of you yet

To whichever commenter it was who recently pleaded for a picture of S. The linked-to Keuka Lake post includes one. Fifth image down.

Granted, there aren't too many pixels devoted to "she who moved the Miketain," but it's a picture nonetheless. :-)

Congratulations with the new house!
But, in all the excitement, don’t forget about the firmware-update for your X-T1. Adds new & enhanced gizmotronics.

I just hope the floorboards and joists are up to the task of holding all your books.

Chomping or champing?

Funny, this. I have an oil painting of Keuka Lake hanging in my bedroom. You'll move into a very interesting region, geologically and culturally speaking: the Fingerlakes. You'll get four real seasons (not like Wisconsin only two: winter, and construction season), but make sure the grounds around and under your new domicile has good drainage, central NY has been hit by some really devastating storms in recent years. If you care to know, Eastlake actually denotes an architectural style, and there will be quite a few such house types in your area (downtown PennYan comes to mind). I don't know if your house looks anything like this, but here is an Eastlake example from Endicott, NY: http://hahn.zenfolio.com/upstate_buildings/h1430ef97#h1430ef97

A big move. Good luck, Mike.

All the best in your new adventure. Growing up, I spent every summer at our cottage across the lake from Keuka College. When not swimming, fishing, or skiing, we were hiking the gorges, stealing grapes from the vineyards, or goofing off in Penn Yan. The entire Finger Lakes region is beautiful. And the lake and boat culture is terrific. Cold and snowy as can be, but you're used to that. Enjoy your new life there. - John


Congratulations and good luck!

On a vaguely-related note, I'm also moving sooner than I ever expected. My wife and I bought a house in the Seattle area only a couple of years ago, but events with our work conspired to push us to take new jobs down near Santa Barbara. We had thought we'd be in this house for decades, but now I'm getting excited to move south. I'm hoping for better conditions at work, and hoping that I can get back to photographing more often. Aside from the sheer number of hours that my last job took, I think there's some aspect of my personality that didn't resonate with my surroundings; I'm hoping that moving will (eventually) return some productivity.

My parents live in Eastern New York in Dutchess County; perhaps sometime I'll make it out to visit an exhibition or class.

(That said, I'd love to visit an exhibition or class with Ctein near San Francisco!...)

Congratulations Mike!!! I've been wondering when you'd make this move... It sounds like it'll be positive in every way. Good luck and I hope to someday visit the East Lake Photographic Resource Center, or The Offline Photographer, or whatever you choose to call it :)

All sounding very positive—well done! And the best of luck with all the moving. When the reason for it is as good as this, it would be crazy not to.

I completely understand what many would call wanderlust. But, I have lived in your portion of Wisconsin and honestly think you have made a better choice location wise.
Best of luck!!!
My two pesos

Hope the move is smoother than Irish butter in a non stick pan!

Mike, For the benefit of us foreigners, could there be a regional map link to this hallowed turf?


Welcome to New Yawk!! :-) My wife and I moved here in '87. Love the state; hate the taxes and politics...

Cool!And good luck.After a year of travelling-and girlfriend-mentioning blogposts this was kind of predictable, or not?. Maybe you could introduce S. with a lovley b/w film portrait and get rid of that shortcut....

Brilliant! I wish you all the best.


You are moving to a beautiful part of the country! We used to live in northern NJ and took rides up there. I know you will love the location. Enjoy!
I expect to see some incredible photos of the area as time goes by.
And more good news: you already know all about long winters!


That's a long damn way to pull a U-haul behind a Miata.

Fantastic news! As a long time reader (I think it was when you were still writing a column for LuLa) I am so happy for you.

I eagerly look forward to more scenic photography and perhaps a print sale or three of your work of your new region. I foolishly passed up the last one and wish I had a copy of 'Hands'.

Indeed, life is grand.

Now we know why Mike's kitchen was so neat and tidy. ;)
Best of luck.

Best of luck with the pending move, Mike. Love is a powerful motivator. Those of us in the Midwest will miss your presence nearby, that made Wisconsin all that much nicer to visit. The TOP dinner was a fun event that , while not repeated, will certainly liive on as a fond memory. You're now giving me yet another reason the spend more time in Nee York.

Awesome. Rock 'n' roll!

The Finger Lakes are quite beautiful but winters can be pretty harsh so it's good that you know how to deal with snow and cold. You're not too far from Watkins Glen; good fun for a "motorhead". Best of luck.

Congratulations! Being a transplanted Rochesterian I've spent a great deal of time around Keuka Lake, and it's one of my favorite places on Earth. And it's better to be with the one you love- which is why I live by the Potomac now.

Why am I NOT surprised. Good luck with the move and further adventures, Congrats.

Congrats on the move. The wife of a good friend of mine inherited a house on that lake several years ago. It really is a beautiful region of NY. My wife and I spent several days there back when my friend and his wife were married.

Your wonderfully good news made my day, Mike. Good for you and S.

And that would have been enough, even had the change been not so good for TOPsters but of course it is good for us too.

As someone said to me just a week ago: sometimes life works the way it should.

Very best wishes for both of you.

Congrats and once done with the move, maybe you can include Photoville, NY in September into your plans :-) I'll be travelling (and showing my work) there from Estonia myself.

Karel - reader since around 2008.

Sounds exciting. Congrats and good luck with the move.

Keuka Lake can be one of the most enjoyable places to live you'll ever find.

Do explore the fine white wines which are the area's specialty. Konstantin Frank introduced new rootstocks and cultivation techniques to the hillsides surrounding the lake in the early 1950s. Within a few years, his Vinifera winery had succeeded in replicating the finest German wines -- a product very different from that of the established local wineries of the time.

Dr. Frank's vineyards and winery are still run by his descendants. The Riesling and other varietals can be a transcendent experience.

There are opportunities for interesting photography at the Curtiss aviation museum in Hammondsport. And if the idea of flying a glider whets your interest (these things can creep up on you), Harris Hill, its sailplane museum and soaring school are nearby.


Congratulations on your impending move and welcome to the "neighborhood." I am in Saratoga Springs, a couple hundred miles to your east.
Also, I am sure I am not the only intrepid reader of your blog who is not surprised by this turn of events.

Congratulations Mike. It's a beautiful area,the gallery is a great idea and you have other motivations.

I believe I took this less-than-spectacular shot from E. Lake Rd., maybe near your new house?


Happiness is seldom found, but for you it looks to on the way. What a great multipurpose solution.

I love Wisconsin, but the Finger Lakes are even lovelier. I look forward to seeing what transpires from this move for TOP! Best of luck!

The best of all moving reasons is moving to follow one's heart. So, let me issue a preemptive welcome to the northeast. Not a stone's throw from Vt, but not that far either. Best of luck with the move.

Mike best news ever, welcome to the Empire State.

Excellent news, congratulations - and anyway, your lake photos are much more interesting than your plane window photos! :-)

A change is as good as a holiday: though from here in the South-East corner of Oz, you'll only change bearing by a few degrees, & distance by a few percent. Hardly any change at all!

Anyway, I trust things go well in your new abode.

Another native of Rochester and the Finger Lakes chiming in, you're going to love it here! Congratulations-

Sounds like you like the new area a lot, and it sounds good that your friend approves your coming closer (I'm making some assumptions there, but I feel pretty safe in assuming she won't first learn you're moving there from checking TOP!).

I hope your first winter in your 1880 farmhouse goes well!

Not really surprised at this turn of events.You have found a female companion; something you probably have been missing since the birth of Alexander (who now has a life of his own). You as a single father did well; now it is time to look at your long term existence.

The internet is fairly widespread in
the United states althogh there are still areas where a connection is delivered by a pair of wires
and connection factors are very slow.
The internet is what brings us your blog; hence anywhere you are, there we are too.

As a Loooong time reader, in all your incarnations, I can honestly say the tone and expectation in your writing has never been more positive. I am genuinely happy for you.
You belong in a place that begs to be photographed.
You deserve to be there too - it will be your Happy Place.

I think you were born to have a gallery. Dream big (or at least moderately large) and move confidently in that direction.
God Bless, and God Speed

Oh, Mike -- I'm really happy for you! What a lot of great changes from just -- when, a couple years ago?

I think you'll love upstate NY, though I'm sure you've seen enough of it to be well award. Congratulations! Life is grand, indeed. I'm looking forward to seeing whatever you exhibit. Um, how far exactly is it from NYC?

That's funny, I'm moving to California next week driving a U-haul truck from New York.

Actually I spend half my time in New York and California but I'm moving my studio and printer to California.

I thought your super clean house looked suspiciously like real estate photography a while back. This sounds very cool. Love the idea of the gallery.

All of us are invited to the wedding. Right?

Sounds like a terrific place--I'm only a bit jealous!

Best of luck to you, Mike!

I am very happy for you Mike.
I am confident that you will find the strength as you have already found the courage to pull the move trough. To sacrifice the comfort of the status quo and even more, be ready to go trough the energy-robbing process of moving (something you must have fresh memories of) in order to be closer to your girlfriend sounds so right and so romantic to me that in gives me hope for the human condition per se. Love is the only answer. Go for it, enjoy your late ticket to happiness.

Mike, it sounds a really healthy move. Women are wonderful things! Hope it all goes well.

I remember how long you labored before your last move. I guess love triggers a much quicker decision making process ;-)

Congratulations on a new adventure! All the best.

Best of luck Mike. I hope to visit the new digs when you open for business.

With a little luck, some of your boxes are still unpacked. :)

Photographing landscapes and auto racing, Watkins Glen is just around the corner!

Went to college in Ithaca, beautiful area of the country.

When you get to NYC dinner is on me.

I am one of the crazy ones, I shoot weddings, let me know...

New TOP poll: Who should be the wedding photographer. My vote, Peter Turnley.

Have you looked into New York's Affiliate Nexus Tax and whether or not your Amazon links, etc... are still doable?

No more quick jaunts to Lambeau or Soldier Field. Enjoy the Buffalo Bills! Sometimes they even play here in Toronto. ;)

Congratulations on the move, and your deepening relationship with "S". Now I do have to crow a bit. I postulated in my comment on your kitchen pics that it looked like you were staging your house.

[Yes, I think you were the only one who guessed. --Mike]

Congratulations Mike!
Keuka Lake is just lovely. The biggest photographic challenge may be finding something beyond the obvious beauty.

My corner of the Western Finger Lakes is a bit more blue-collar, though Minor White managed to take a few decent photographs hereabouts.

Congrats! Love is the best reason to move.

Selfishly, I hope that this means an NYC metope or two can come together.

Buffalo Bills Country. Big Time!

I am an hour south of your new digs. On the Keuka lake front properties, the taxes are assessed by the lake front foot, almost regardless of the structure on the lot. The lake front lots are rarified air for this region. I do hope you have access, and the ability to walk. And, you are within roughly an hour of Rochester and the Eastman Museum, and some pretty good photogs to the north.

I remember someone telling me "two moves equals a fire". That seems like a gross exaggeration, as our only real move (20 years ago) resulted in virtually no damage. I wish you good luck with it all.

So making Eastlake a photographers destination would make the area even more compelling. I'm about 5 hours away and have been thinking about visiting Letchworth State Park. (We have vacationed in the nearby Adirondacks a few times recently, though).

Like a few others, I'm not too surprised at this turn of events :)

Oh for goodness sake Mike...stop doing things in stages and go and live with the girl!

Sounds like love. Good news. Will Butters and Lulu move too?

[One of the house showings returned the feedback, "Smells bad of dog." I asked my agent to inform the buyer that dogs don't usually convey in a home sale. [g] --Mike]

Congratulations on the move! Sounds like everything about it is for the best. And, selfishly, we might get more of your writing when you don't have to spend so many hours on airplanes.

Congratulations, Mike! Wishing you as smooth a move as is possible, and much joy and happiness in this new, next phase of your life.


As backward (https://juliareda.eu/2015/06/fop-under-threat/) Europeans we sort of know that New York is a state and a city.....but always forget how huge and rural upstate New York is. Looks like a place were others come to take spend their quality time. And thus naturally a great place to live. All the best!

Greets, Ed.

Dear Hugh,

Where in California? I'm in Daly City.

pax / Ctein

Good luck with the move, Mike.

The Finger Lakes region is wonderful, I can definitely attest, having lived there decades ago. Summer is the best time of year, and relatively mild compared to places a mere 100 miles to the South, though I don't know how it compares to WI.

The Finger Lakes region has been economically depressed for almost a century, even more so after the Erie Canal system lost its central importance after the Great Lakes were connected to the Atlantic directly through the St. Lawrence, but an influx of outsiders, both summer home owners and, especially, the large college community in Ithaca have brought a modicum of upper-middle class commerce-many nice restaurants dot the region.

And even if is not your style, being a mere five hour drive away from New York City, one of the great world metropolises is not a bad thing at all.

and, as soon as I can raise $30,000 or so (that might take a while, but I'll get there), plans are already drawn up for a separate gallery/museum building on the property that will be open to the public during the temperate months.

That seems like one of those projects with a pricetag where a decently advertized (on photography forums, and by TOP readers) Kickstarter campaign could be of great help.

Mike, sounds like a good move for you, good luck to you and your friend. Change is never easy, so I admire you for your courage to pack up and leave at your age. Look forward to some New York posts along with pictures.

I love the Finger Lakes region and who can't understand the power of love? This might be a surprise but it's not that complicated at all. Congratulations and good luck, Mike.

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