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Tuesday, 28 November 2017


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I'm so glad you stuck with it. Here's to another 12 years.

If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

Congratulations on TOP’s twelfth anniversary, Mike. It’s certainly a notable accomplishment to keep anything going on the internet for anywhere near that time. But you’ve managed to build quite a devoted audience of thoughtful, experienced readers whose commentary you blend into your tasty stew of cameras, Mike, and “off-topic”. TOP has become your readers’ place as much as it is yours.

I raise my glass (er, my coffee cup) to you, my friend, in tribute and in hopes for twelve more!

Congratulations Mike!
May you have another twelve years,- or more!
Being self employed is not easy. I know it looks glamorous to others, but it's hard work.
My sister visited us from the UK a few weeks back, and I found much to my surprise, that she has a interest in photography! So I've been suggesting that she read your blog as a way to cultivate and better understand picture taking. I realy think she'll become a fan too. So hang in there, as of now, you make a lot of us very happy! Keep up the good work.

'tis a fact: sometimes the profession chooses you. I'm your age± and never meant to be an economics major, but newfangled computers were not allowing me to progress in engineering & econ professors were simply great teachers that energized me. No cake here but I can put a candle on my spare pumpkin pie to celebrate your inescapable profession!

Congratulations, Mike. Your blog is the hippest, coolest, and most sublime blog on this here internet. I am very grateful you have stuck it out for 12 years.

I didn't know that about Arthur Conan Doyle, but the same was true for Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame. He never thought much of his writing for television, he longed for fame on Broadway as playwright.

Congrats, again, for a remarkable milestone!

They said I was "overqualified," which, while true—I could have done that job working only on the weekends—was a bitter, bitter pill.

Which is about the stupidest response any prospective employer can make.

Back when I was hiring computer techies for the federal government, nothing pleased me more than when an “overqualified” applicant showed up looking for a job. Sure, I knew he or she might move on when a better opportunity turned up, but in the meantime I would have the services of someone who who would work efficiently and productively without needing constant hand-holding. Two of the most “overqualified” people I hired did stay for the long run: both, I think, because even though they could have made more money elsewhere, they enjoyed the independence and respect from both management and colleagues they got from working on our staff.

Happy Birthday, TOP! I have to say that it is the best example of what a dedicated, smart and witty writer can achieve on the internet.

What’s even more impressive is how you not only write just the "right" stuff, but also manage to cultivate such an excellent audience, featured comments and all. If only more internet outlets could achieve that! It definitely speaks for the vibe of the place (and could likely land you lucrative consulting gigs - just sayin'!).

TOP is the perfect blog - I recommend it to anybody asking me about blogs, and I really, really hope that it will be around for many, many more years.

Happy Birthday and congratulations, Mike!

Reading TOP is one of the everyday things I do every day.

TOP is at the "top"of my photography bookmarks for a reason.



How about a baker's dozen of past posts - your favorite from each year
and an overall favorite. That shouldn't be hard ;)


Happy Birthday TOP!! Thank you, Mike.

If Arthur Conan Doyle were alive today, would he want to be a blogger, like Mike Johnston?

Congratulations Mike !
I've been with you since 2007 (earliest comment I could find) so it is kind of an anniversary for me too ( 10 years let's say ).
And I plan to stay with you until the internet shuts down.
Always remember that there are many of us reading, thinking and enjoying your writing, although we seldom comment and give you the credit you are entitled too.
Hope that you will keep this institution running!
Best regards, Yoram

Congratulations Mike. I have been reading you since the beginning and it has proved to be entertaining and jolly worthwhile. May you long be able to continue!

Forgot to mention that TOP is at the top place of every one of my browsers favorites lists !
Cheers, Yoram


Congratulations, Mike! TOP is still my only daily photo read. I've learned a ton from you and your contributors, and I'm grateful for it. Many happy returns!



Well done, Mike.

I only discovered your blog about 6-8 months ago. I came for the photography information, but I've stayed for the wit and writing. Your posts have become among my favorite things on the internet.

-from someone who also started in '05 (also during unemployment)... CONGRATS!!!

Happy B Day TOP!

I'll expose some film frames in your honor today.. maybe even Tri-X ..

Four million words?? Hokey sheet!!

I’ve said it before, you have achieved a rare thing. How many live off a blog? How many of those do it with a serious blog like yours? Not many.

At my best I sold a couple of books a week for amazon. I was told by a friend that I was the first he had met who made *any* sales that way. And that is only a small fraction of what you sell of books and prints.

And that’s with a blog with actual content, not gossip about Kardashians.

Congrats amigo! I stumbled onto TOP because of a mild interest in photography. Now I follow you mostly just for the writing. Keep it up!

Happy Birthday T.O.P!

"I want to thank you for making this day necessary." – Yogi Berra (On Yogi Berra Appreciation Day, St. Louis, 1947)

Congrats Mike, I've been a faithful reader and supporter when I can, from the start, you are a treasure of the internet age, truly one of the best things to emerge from the world of blogging, you've set standards that none of your competitors come even close to.
I sincerely hope you continue for a long long time, as you give pleasure to your loyal readers among whom I'm lucky to find myself.

I’m drowing in coincidences these days, and you just added another by mentioning Sherlock Holmes. I had *just* started watching the excellent Brit series Sherlock.
And I even Fb’ed about the quality of the concept too, because it, and the original, are clearly excellent entertainment and even good writing, but I don’t think the deduction element holds up. I think Sherlock (thinking like he was real) is an intuitive genius, not a deductive one.

As a daily reader, occasional donor and rounded human, know this - you have at least one reader who never skims through your words. You write with grace. May success keep keeping you company and keep the wolf from your threshold.

Michael,Cogratulatios !
You've done a good thing, for you and for us.
I recommend that you take the whole staff out to dinner.

Congrats Mike. Love your writing. I refresh your page five to ten times daily. The wisdom you pass along here at TOP has had a huge influence on both my photography and my thinking in general. Thanks. In appreciation I bought myself a Panasonic gx85 through your Amazon link yesterday. Merry Christmas to both of us :D

Congratulations, Mike.

As far as I can see by doing a Google search, I've been coming here since about October 2009. Eight years, man and boy. No other blog has held my attention for anywhere near that long. I wonder what the next dozen years will bring.

Congratulations, Mike! I second Richard's praise.

Didn't William Faulkner say that he only turned to novel-writing after he failed as a short story writer, which he took up after he'd failed as a poet?

Congratulations! I intended to send some pics in for the Leica dozen but alas never got my poop together. That's what retirement does to you, you never have enough time to do what you figured you would have time to do once you retire.

One additional thing, every time someone says they are doing "Leica photography" it causes me to up chuck a little bit of bile. How pompous, as if "Leica photography" is somehow different or extra special compared to photography done with other rangefinders or cameras in general. I've used M3's, M4's and M5's. Plus various Leitz lenses. So I can speak to the notion that using a Leica while doing photography is not anything special nor different than using another brand. So there! Yes I am a grumpy old man. However if you have a Leica around you neck I will let you stand on my lawn :)

Congratulations Mike! Your on-line presence predates TOP by a good bit: the soon to be departed CompServ forums was where we got to commiserate with a genuine Photography Magazine Editor. How cool was that?

Congratulations Mike! That's a terrific achievement. I'm one of the millions who swore that we'd take up blogging and keep at it, yet gave up. It is so hard - I don't know how you do it.

Perhaps the solution to the absence of the book is to publish a "best of" set of blogs. You could publish books on topics (e.g. Mike on photographers, Mike on shooting techniques, Mike's Baker's Dozens). I think lots of us readers would buy your work in book format just so we can re-read your work away from the damned computer screen!

Happy Birthday TOP! I read a huge number of blogs since I'm often bed-bound - but TOP is always the one I look out for first.

Congratulations Mike. I remember reading your Sunday Morning Photographer on Luminous Landscape and I think it was from that site that this blog was announced. It's never left my favourites since! Can't believe that was 12 years ago and can't believe Michael Reichmann is no longer with us.

A. A. Milne is another example of writer’s regret, being a successful playwright before he wrote about his son Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear and was never able to escape the fame of those characters.

Congratulations, here's to the next 12.

Mike, Sterling Hayden turned down the role of Tarzan,
He didn’t consider it to be serious acting.
I think Stephen King is a great writer, although he may be
too raw for some. A good non typical King book is Hearts in Atlantis.
The Mr. Mercedes trilogy is very good. Pass on the TV adaptation.

Happy Belated Blog-Birthday ... Blogday?

Excellent news and Happy Birthday. Have been reading since the Photo Techniques and Sunday Morning Photographer days. Like the idea of the Bakers Dozen best posts.

You are great!
Great writer!

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