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Thursday, 21 December 2017


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Not to worry! There's not one of us out here in reader/commentor land.who doesn't have our own set of idiosyncrasies!

I'm somewhat surprised you didn't get enough from the under 29, after all- hipsters thrive on the '70s. As for the B&W- completely, totally, 100% predictable.

Any writer would have blamed the tooth for any writing issue the week before and week after.

You start a conversation
You can't even finish it
You're talking a lot
But you're not saying anything ...

I did think at the time I submitted my B+W shot that you would have that problem. I still submitted the shot though.

Perhaps you should copy SONY, NIKON, OLYMPUS and FUJI on this recent post of yours. There might be a slim chance they would put 2 & 2 together and figure out there is indeed a need for a digital B&W sensor camera, based on your number of submissions for the bakers dozen black and white. We can only hope someone out there is listening, please camera manufacturers give us what we need, we promise we will buy them.

It's no surprise that you're having a tough time with your "Baker's Dozen" feature. It's not about writing. You've essentially set yourself up to run frequent photography contests with absolutely no compensation for the effort!

If you're going to run contests I suggest getting help and running them in a more conventional, structured manner. And charge entry fees! Even small $10/3 images fees will add up...at nearly 100% gross profit. (Why do you think there are suddenly so many photo contests?!) It would also potentially be an enjoyable way for readers to support TOP beyond pure charity.


You could add extra Black and White photos for each "missing" photo from the young peoples' submissions. Or add "Baker's Dozen - Black and White - Part Two.", or something similar.

I don't think too many would be upset at looking at more photos than were originally planned. After all, you're doing the difficult work of choosing among the photos. I don't have a good eye for what makes an interesting photo, even after years of reading about and looking at photos.

Post as many black and white "Baker's Dozen" as you'd like, as far as I'm concerned.


I'm about to start work on my Baker's Dozen B&W submissions, having been tied up until now on a theater project - a very successful dance show.

One possible solution would be to have the Executive Editor tell the Poor Guy who Has to Sort a Thousand Submissions to come up with some broad categories - i.e. Landscapes, People, etc. and do more than one posting over several weeks. I'll watch and wait patiently.


"I'm actually not very confident of my abilities as a writer; it's a longtime, persistent character defect of mine."

That's not a character defect, it's the defining characteristic of writers!

Wouldn’t be too hard on yourself re Baker’s Doz. You’ve undershot by a slight margin, and then overshot by a slightly larger margin :) The pendulum may swing a little more each way before you find a comfortable rhythm.
As a suggestion, have you worked out how big a pool of images you need from which to draw the doz., and can comfortably work with? You may also have to set a few limits on entries so you can cope - one or two images per person, one email per person, cut-off at the first X number of emails that fills your image pool.
It’s a work in progress, so don’t expect to nail it perfectly every time. Just so long as you don’t find a replacement for 9-ball to while away the hours :)

No forgiveness necessary. Keep up the good work. And may your holidays be happy!

This post comes as something of a relief to me. I had been dithering about my black-and-white photos, suddenly dissatisfied with all of them, and now I can put them aside and await a future theme.

Well I for one read this blog not just for its content but for the wonderful writing.

Start flossing, today.

"I know what I want to say about it, but I mistrust my ability to say it." We know there are writers you trust for your blog. Are there any readers you trust to view your output and feed back honestly to you?
Perhaps try one of your pieces, ask for feedback, then review their comments and see if you agree. That way you can grow your confidence in your friendly reviewer and hence confidence in your ability to say what you want?

I come to T.O.P. for the writing as much as the content. Where else am I going to find great writing about coffee roasters, sportsters, and amazing photographers like Judy Dater.

Your recent missteps are probably due to holiday mayhem mixed with short term memory loss. :-) I know that's been my problem lately. "Your sin is left behind you, in the days long past". Yeah, I know, I'm a smart ass.

I wouldn't sweat the B&W thing. We're a pretty understanding bunch. Maybe you should just start over with a new subject line, a more specific subject matter or time frame, and a limit of 1 submission per reader. Whatever it takes to reduce your administrative overhead.

Dave I. "Post as many black and white "Baker's Dozen" as you'd like, as far as I'm concerned."

+1. I can handle that with ease :-)

Qu’est-ce que c’est ?

I'm not surprised you got far too many b+w photos. Perhaps you should just pick out a selection of portraits, abstracts, landscapes etc, from time to time, and present them as though that had been your intention all along. We won't let on. You could even invite yet more submissions in each new sub-category.

With the Winter Solstice duly celebrated I'm about to settle down to peaceful non-Christmas. I hope your festivities prove as enjoyable. :)

Funny thing about people under 29. A friend was a location manager in retail and recently expressed tremendous frustration in dealing with his younger employees for various reasons. One of them was their lack of use of "traditional" digital media, i.e., e-mail. He told me that one guy would only text him or use twitter to announce that he'd be late, never occurred to him to email directly. Or telephone, you know, like, by voice.

We have this thing that is essentially free (almost) called the interweb, that includes neat things like email and web sites, both of which are more or less trivially easy to access, but more and more people are mediating their digital access through private corporations like Twitter and Facebook. I find this to be such odd behaviour. But I'm closing in on 65, so there you go.

Mike, I'm in tune with John Camp and Ken Tanaka on this one: you'll be throwing darts, which is an inherently unsatisfactory exercise and, therefore, stressful for someone as thoughtful of others as you. And taking on that stress for no compensation.

I urge you to abandon - yes, abandon - this call entirely. Send out a new call for B&W Intimate Landscapes, or B&W Grand Landscapes, or B&W Intimate Portraits, or B&W Environmental Portraits, or B&W Modern Architecture, or B&W Ancient Architecture, or B&W Shop Interiors, or B&W Kids At Play, or B&W Kids at Rest, and over time work through whatever listing you choose.

That way you will feel MUCH less stressed, because you'll be doing a good and fair thing.

Make this good idea last. Don't blow the B&W in just one hit!

And, as Ken said, ask us for a $10 fee for a submission of three.

After all, it's good exposure. Ha!

Best wishes, Rod.

Sadly, I left out the 'm' in 'com' when deciphering Mike's codified email address for the baker's dozen submissions. Only this morning I got an earnest email note from Mr Apple assuring me that he is still trying to send my images.

And now I see this note from you, Mike. Well I am nowhere near to being under 29, and you are swamped by submissions. So, maybe it is best if I don't re-send them after all... ...

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