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Tuesday, 08 September 2020


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“It was more than [you] deserve?” On the contrary, not only do you deserve it, I think it’s the kind of thing we all deserve, and that we need a lot more of in these troubled times.

So, I’ll add my voice to the chorus: Thank you, Mike, and I’ll look forward to reading you for as long as you’re able to keep at it.

On another tangent. My wife finally convinced me to clean out my office last month. Piles of photo stuff everywhere. We came upon a trove of missing picture from your print sales. They had been “lost” in the mess of my hoarding. So, off to the framers I went and soon I had my Turnley proudly displayed on our staircase, the lovely aspen shot waiting for a gold place, and, right next to my bedside, your apple in grass shot that I kept mailing you updates on, as it got eaten. I love that picture and see it first every day. Thank you.



This entire experience for you makes me happy. I went to raise my Patreon commitment to find that the credit card I had signed up with had expired and I never received a notice! I'm now renewed at a 60% increase. My income has been decreased, hopefully temporarily, by something like 90%, but even at the increase, my contribution is a bargain. Yours is the only blog or site (other than instagram) of any kind that I truly visit daily. I've been enriched and inspired by your words and topics for years.

Gotta love Annie Lamott! I've recommended the "Help, Wow, Thanks" book a number of times over the years..


"It was more than I deserve"

I have to disagree (and I'm sure many others would say the same).

Having read Sunday's long piece, I expect that the matter is far from settled in your mind. However it pans out, I hope that you keep reading, thinking and writing in a way that you are happy with; scratching that 'itch' will undoubtedly be more rewarding for you and your readers than trying to produce content for a new audience.

I remember the Ilford chaps said at our factory tour back in 2006, they were determined to be "the last man standing in black & white"; that eventuality may not come to pass but even if your pond is tiny then being the biggest (or the only) fish in it is still significant. And while words and long form articles may not be the coolest thing today you know that fashions come and go but good, easily accessed content llike your reviews and opinions will add to the reader's knowledge whenever they are read and (I hope) be available to find or revisit easily for a long time to come.

One thought I had regarding the audience of TOP is that perhaps a modest social media presence may help.

As a film devotee (albeit one with very low throughput in recent years) I have stumbled on film photography sites such as 35mmc.com and emulsive.org and am somewhat heartened by the surge in interest in film-based photography. While note a regular visitor to either site, I will occasionally go to twitter to look out for content that might be worth looking at.

Others may recommend Facebook but I'm afraid that site leaves me cold. Facebook wants to keep you coming back to consume its own content and adverts* rather than send you elsewhere. And that's how I've always used twitter, as a jumping-off point to things potentialy worth investigating.

Anyway, that was just a thought. I wouldn't expect it to transform your readership but it may allow friends to share links to TOP more easily than at present.

* though the uBlock Origin plugin has fixed that for me :-)

TOP is a daily stop for me and has been for some time. I have tried YouTube photo videos and they just don't engage me the way the written word does.
I spent over forty years putting pictures to some really great writing and it has made me appreciate spare, graceful, insightful prose.
It's the kind of copy I encounter every day on TOP both above and below the comment line.
The photography landscape is in constant flux but as long as TOP and Ilford are still in the game I will be a happy camper.


Your praises are well deserved. I'm glad they have cheered you up.

All the best,

@Simon on Wednesday, MJ is on Twitter and I get an alert via IFTTT when he notifies a new post there though I don’t think he uses it much otherwise.


It’s pretty simple - you’re a good guy doing more than a good job. Thanks!

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