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Thursday, 28 July 2016


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Signed up with Patreon. I've never seen you act so quickly on the blog! It says I'm the first - never been first at anything before so I hope that's right! Yes, I got the thank you email.

In light of the "Big Words" post a couple of days ago, I got a chuckle out of your last sentence. "Anon" is the opposite of a big word, but is a rarely used one in today's world, and I would wager that the large majority of the reading public doesn't know what it means.

"Anon" is a lot more fun, though, and I would guess it's known by the majority of your reading public. :)

For folks that sign up to be a patron (which I encourage), but don't want to get more emails, be sure to adjust your Email Settings in Patreon:

Hello Mike,

Just wanted to comment generally about your blog and why I check in on it now and then to see what your thoughts are. I feel you are at your best in your interaction with your community of commenters, starting a discussion with an initial post on a timely photographic topic then following through by highlighting and adding more insights to those of certain very intelligent and well-informed contributions from others, many of whom are accomplished photographers. There is often the vibe of a very healthy and informative forum here, and you make it tick. Congratulations!

It was sad to see a rift develop between yourself and a long-time collaborator, Ctein. It didn't seem to make sense, though i admit I did not dig into the comments that were made about that after the fact so I might have missed a fuller explanation. But the position you took about acceptable Photoshopping practices in news-style straight photography as distinguished from illustration-style photo-art seems perfectly straightforward to me. I don't really see what there is to argue about.

You also post thoughts that can be, shall we say, just personal blogger comments. That is, they're your opinions, and that is fine, but they don't lead to a larger discussion that I care about and often they don't even involve photography. I tend to skim those. I know it is fun to hold forth, and of course that is one reason people bother to set up a blog, so I understand the impulse.

You also post your own photography from time to time and do a bit of a self-critique that shows your thinking processes as a practitioner. I enjoy that and believe it gives you street cred as it were and I hope that continues. It is also very interesting to me to hear your thoughts about the work of prominent photographers and what makes their photographs compelling.

One thing you might pick up on as a topic of discussion someday is how successful photographers, even superstars like Steve McCurry, actually function in their businesses. He seems to have had bad luck in choosing his staff, given the criminal prosecution of staff accused of (and were they convicted?) of selling his prize-winning art for illicit gain, in addition to the questionable use of Photoshop in his blog posts. He may also have been a poor manager, in some sense - but to what extent do we care about his management skills really? Isn't it his photography that we care about? And I'm curious whether the business structures he built for himself have helped him and are helping him do the photography he wanted, or did it all get away from him? I think there's a story there about the business side of successful photography, not just at the highest levels of celebrity but let's say, the middling ones too, that I'd like to know more about. I see your role here not just as editor or blogger-of-opinions but as a journalist, pure and simple, with a forum for telling us news about the world of photography.

From time to time you have commented that your role is markedly that of an editor, even more so than a writer or photographer, and I applaud that self-awareness. I think when you host wide-ranging and practice-based discussions of particular issues in photography, you and your blog are at their very best. This is true whether it is you yourself who brings some facts to the table or one of your distinguished photographic colleagues. I wish you continued success.

Hi Mike,
As mentioned an the Patreon site, a TOP coffee mug would indeed be a great idea! As reward or as direct merchandising item from your blog. Bet you could sell a few thousands at Christmas!

As Vnce wrote, anon is a strange and unusual word, at least for a non native. I would have understood it from the context though. But I knew it already from another context (the movie Shakespeare in Love). Anyway, I'd appreciate if you will keep trying (moderately) to enrich my vocabulary.

Hello Mike,

May I suggest to have a "sober" title, which would include the name of the blog at least?

"Mike is creating daily kibble for photo dawgs" isn't very clear to the fast looking eye.

And it think many people don't stay long at all on a webpage.

(of course, it's only my own opinion !)

Is it beneficial to you for your existing PayPal subscribers to switch? Does Patreon deduct less, for example?

I came here to ask the same question as Bahi: Which option, Paypal or Patreon, gives you more filthy lucre for the same donation of your readers?

[Hi Bernard (and Bahi), I will eventually be phasing out the PayPal, so I can keep the accounts straight for the Gub'mint. So it would be best to use Patreon. Thanks! --Mike]

I know several people getting some badly-needed money through Patreon. Hope it works for you!

I just switched from PayPal to Patreon. First I canceled Paypal - which collected my last contribution on July 5. After I sgined up with Patreon I recieved notice that my first payment to TOP will be August 1. Seamless and Painless. Carry on Michael !!

I hope all that can contribute to help maintain this uncommon piece of web real estate does so. My reading time would be less entertaining and less insightful without TOP.

"Patron of the Arts" shall be etched into my stone.

Thank you for setting up a Patreon account, Mike.

It allows me to give back to you finally. Not much and nowhere near what you deserve, but a contribution at least.

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