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Tuesday, 18 May 2021


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I always feel a catch at the back of my mind when I come across MR’s name. Even after I became proficient at Lightroom, I bought all the follow up videos. Still have an archive of them somewhere.

Even if I never got to know him, his videos certainly made me feel I did.

I really used to enjoy his take on new digital cameras as they came out. I always felt that he was ahead of the curve on that. Interestingly, he went back to film just before his passing. Given the revival of film (at least for me) it would have been interesting to hear his thoughts had he lived. A definite loss to the community.

Hi Mike

Thank you for mentioning Michael.

I have a wonderful memory of visiting him at his gallery here in Toronto. I was with my then 7-year old daughter, who was an emerging visual artist (and now a working artist). She asked him about the perspective he chose for a particular photograph. He spent over 15 minutes discussing this with her, along with colour theory, breaking rules etc.

I value the way he bridged the transition from film to digital. He was practical. An engineer and artist. He spent time on what mattered to photographers. And it's fun to see his reviews of film cameras are still viewed regularly.

A generous person, with firm views, and a wonderful photographer.

I have learned so much following him on his website & with llvj both on photographical and a technical point of view. I am a nobody but LuLa family learned me so much. Thank you Michael, I wished I met you at Photokina at the time.

Indeed. Mr. Reichmann was certainly an energetic and prominent voice in the amateur photo world at a very critical moment in its history. I was certainly a regular reader of his essays and reviews, which were optimistic but frank and unvarnished. I do miss his voice and his self-propelled enthusiasm.

I still watch the old travel segments from the LL Video Journal from time to time. Still fun to see Michael Reichmann and Steve Kossack trekking the dunes and mountains. I miss the sense of wonder we all got from things like the Nikon D1 and Canon D30 — when 3 megapixels with blocked up shadows was rivaling 135-format slide film! One of my favorite MR interviews was the one he did with Jay Maisel.

My first forays in photography (digital or otherwise) were guided by an almost obsessive consumption of any and all content that I could scavenge from Luminous Landscape, circa 2004. It was a very exciting time fir me and I am glad that I could get so much free and quality information provided by MR. And I am sure I was far from the only one. Looking back, it was a very special combination of quality content, the right moment in the photography world with the transition to digital, and the right moment in the evolution of the Internet (pre-big social media, at the end of the blog and forums age). It will never be reproduced again. I'm fond of that time and I am glad I was able to experience it.

Michael was a digital photography pioneer and Lula was a must-read site.

Strangely, although, the site was about landscape photographer and MR was a fine landscape photographer with a great eye for the graphic, it was his occasional travel and documentary photography that struck the strongest chord for me. He had something special for capturing the decisive moment.

Through his writing and his videos, he became once of those strangers you almost felt you knew.

He's among an increasing list of digital pioneers and bloggers no longer with us. I guess none of us is getting any younger. Uli, Miles, Michael, Steve et al, if you're up there, good light to you all.

Several years ago, during my first time wandering around Toronto after my daughter moved there, I found myself under a sign that read "Luminous Landscape" and realized that must be MR's actual gallery. So I knocked on the door and he opened it and I introduced myself as basically a Lulu groupie. He was incredibly gracious and showed me around, and I was star-struck by the prints pinned up with magnetic steel balls and the huge printers and all the accoutrements of a working photographer. Turned out he had to deal with some water leakage problem that he had discovered because he'd been gone on a trip. It was just by chance that we were both there at the same time. I've always cherished that memory.

I miss a lot from Michael, and think of him every time I use my terrific Speed-Mat wall-mounted mat cutter, which he introduced to me (having learned of it himself from Bill Atkinson). His video journals, which preceded the official LuLa site, were a treasure of information for my transition from film to digital. Ironically, my annual subscription to LuLa expires today and, for the first time since Michael was around, I’ve decided not to renew or follow. Just not the same.

Really enjoyed his videos with Jeff Schewe and Kevin Raber.

I stumbled onto LL when I first got interested in serious photography. Though landscape wasn't my cup of tea, I was impressed by the quality of the photography and writing, the clarity of thought, and by the apparent editorial slant that art came first and gear could only be judged by how well it served the art. MR not only wrote well but had an eye for other good, like-minded writers, so I became a regular visitor, eventually discovering a wonderful column on the site called "Sunday Morning Photographer". (Whatever happened to that guy? ;) )

I never met or interacted with MR, but I'm grateful to him for that oasis on the web. It was aimed at serious working art photographers but was accessible, too, and for a photo noob it was like being invited to hang out with some friendly pros to listen and learn.

I had the good fortune to meet Michael when I attended an inkjet printing workshop at his Toronto studio/gallery around 2005. The other instructors were the wonderful Charles Cramer and the redoubtable Bill Atkinson, who wrote much of the software behind the Apple/Mac interface. At the time Bill was deeply into digital photography and inkjet printing after learning dye transfer printing from Charles and deciding there had to be a better way to get a good color print. Bill ended up writing and freely sharing excellent profiles for the Epson 7600, which changed it from an anvil to a good fine art printer.
Michael and Bill were both towering intellects with strong opinions confidently held. So when they gleefully argued, it was fun to watch.
It's difficult to exaggerate how influential Michael Reichmann was in the early days of the digital capture revolution. His knowledgeable opinions on image quality and user ergonomics carried great weight. His caustic but accurate assessment of Kodak's clumsy 14n digital SLR compared to the contemporary Eos-1Ds was a model of informed criticism.

Thanks for this remembrance, Mike. I never met Michael Reichmann, but I was a daily reader of Luminous Landscape since shortly after it started, and bought a few of his video tutorial courses with Jeff Schewe. LL is also where I first came across your writing, which is fitting because TOP long since became the same kind of daily habit for me that LL was until Michael's passing.

You and Michael shared several traits as writers and teachers. Your respective sites have always been intelligent, entertaining, educational, civil, and generous of spirit. Michael would be proud to see what you've accomplished.

Thanks again, and best wishes,

I was fortunate enough to attend a 2002 photo excursion with Michael, a guy named Thomas Knoll (always writing code on his Mac laptop), Bill Caulfield-Brown (chairman of The Nature Conservancy of Canada then ) a co-leader Steve Kossack (cannot find what became of him online) and some other wannabes. We gathered in Albuquerque and visited Bosque del Apache and White Sands, NM. I brought my new Canon D30 and 100-400 mm lens, shot birds and trees and yucca. I became a photographer that trip. The trip was delightful.

As I wrote in the comments here, upon his death:
"He and his workshop (Bosque Dec 2002) were responsible for my transition from occasional snapshot shooter to photographer.(My and The Canon D30 era) He introduced me to Michael Johnston and Thomas Knoll (a member of the Bosque trip). The first images I ever had on the web are on LL(albeit buried deep on his site) This includes an image in his long gone critique section that was not panned and I can't find now, taken with that ancient Canon D30, all 3 megapixels of it.

Thank you Michael,

My first encounter with the Luminous Landscape in mid 2005 was accidental.

I’d agreed to scan 1300 of my partner’s grandad’s family slides which he’d taken between the early 60’s & the mid 80’s ( on a consumer Minolta Dimage slide / neg scanner - never, never again ).

I was searching around for helpful scanning / processing techniques & ended up at Michael’s site. I got into reading the articles & reviews on Lula & realised that it was time for us to go digital. The article which swung it for me was Michael’s review of the Canon 20D & EFS 17-85 lens. We purchased this combo & believe it or not it’s still in our workshop doing odd bits of paying work.

As other posters have stated it was an exciting period in the history of digital photography & Michael was the perfect writer / reviewer to convey that excitement.

He was also had a very good eye - I preferred his street work to his landscape imagery. I have his Lenswork monograph ‘Mexico: The Light & the Warmth’ next to me as I type this.

The instuctional videos he did with Jeff Schewe were very entertaining & informative.

In retrospect he was so ahead of his time; no youtubers back then. And his videos were actually very informative. Besides i came to TOP through him!
He did even reply to emails from complete strangers like myself; how he did all he did is hard to imagine.
I'm grateful to this day for all his work and the influence is clearly there in the way i see photography.
Bless you MR

In the late 90's, he was in Singapore for a brief stopover. Through the Leica User Group (LUG), we already knew each other as LUG mutual contacts. I visited him at his hotel, drank some beer and made conversations about Leica. He was then slimmer than in the picture.

Michael and Luminous Landscape meant so much to me. I learned digital printing there. He always responded thoughtfully. He is irreplaceable. See you down the road, Michael. I know you are still following the beauty.

"I always felt that he was ahead of the curve on that."


"Interestingly, he went back to film just before his passing."

If I remember right, he soon hinted that it really wasn't worth the hassle after all.

Michael convinced me that there was a point to reading on-line material on digital cameras :-) I miss his perspective.

I had an experience similar to Stephen McCullough's in the comments above. I met Michael with my daughter at a time that he was having a print sale because he was closing his Toronto studio since he was moving out of town. I suspect that he may have known about his condition then. At that time my daughter had been a student at OCAD (Ontario's fine arts university). While there she had attended a special lecture given by Michael and couldn't believe her luck when Dad invited her to go see Michael's studio and meet him in person. Long story short, we ended up spending most of the afternoon with Michael who, when he saw how interested she was, shared an enormous amount of insights, tips, history and anecdotes. It was like having our own private tutorial and, at the end, bought some of his beautiful prints at a fraction of their usual price.

It was not my only encounter with Michael. He had previously agreed to meet with me a couple of other times (for no other reason than I was interested to meet him) one of which ended in a long delicious lunch in Toronto's Distillery District where we solved all the issues facing photography - a magical time.

My last memory of Michael was a virtual one but just as special. It was a wonderful memorial organized by Kevin Raber in New York during the PhotoPlus Exhibition 2016. Thank you Kevin, and...

Thank you Mike for allowing us to reminisce and share fond memories.

Mike, Thanks for this, MR deserves to be remembered for lots of things but what sticks with me most (as you mentioned) was his enthusiasm.
It was contagious, and I really miss his presence.

It is MR that introduced me to digital photography.
A long time ago, I attended a couple of workshops with him in Toronto. The first one was at the Brickworks, which amongst other things was known for it's shafts of light (ala Antelope Canyon) at certain times of the day. When they appeared that day, he ran all around that huge site yelling "the shafts, the shafts..." so that none of us would miss them! It was a sight and he was a delightful and generous man.

Mike, thanks for remembering MR. I got all of his videos with Jeff Schewe and was (am) a LuLa subscriber. I learned a lot with those, and it was tremendously fun to watch their humorous interaction. Throughout his videos and articles, MR easily came across as a warm-hearted person and I should say as well, a quintessential gentlemanly Canadian.

Reading the commments above I just now realized that yes, it was a special time. It didn't feel like it at the time, but the period of transition was full of energy and anticipation of things to come, and MR was at the heart of it. He saw it, lived it, fuelled it and inspired others to join the circus.

As I did, I worked with him on two articles about print profiling on the LuLa website titled 'Fancy Graphics Galore'. They're still there (https://luminous-landscape.com/fancy-graphics-galore/ and https://luminous-landscape.com/fancy-graphics-galore-part-ii/). It was a difficult process. It was quite a technical subject and involved input from other leaders in the field such as Norman Koren and the designers of the HP Designjet printers. The articles went through several versions which MR commented on, edited and questioned with energy, attention to detail and just a touch of organisational chaos. I remember I sent him version 3 of the first article and then he published version 2, which included comments that the powers that be at HP had asked me not to include in the final article, so it had to be taken down immediately, ideally before HP got wind of it. How I would have liked to be able to sit down with MR with a good glass right now and have a good laugh about the whole thing.

He had so much on his plate back then, running the website, the workshops, the video journal DVD's which I tore from the postman's hands in anticipation. Indeed, one of the highlights being an interview (mentioned in a comment above) with Jay Maisel, whom I got to meet 5 years later during a week-long workshop in Maine. Which wouldn't have happened if I hadn't seen that initial interview.

So we only touched each other's lives briefly, but his presence has had a real and positive influence on my life. Even if we didn't know each other personally, I miss him and I miss the sparkling energy of that era.

I pored over his writing. Learnt Lightroom from his videos. I still recommend them. He is definitely missed by me. Two writers influenced me the most, him and yourself. Thank you

MR and Lula have been with me for the last 20 years. I have learned a lot from his knowledge, and the way he shared it, forthright and gracious.

MR and Uwe Steinmeuller. These were my go-to guys in that first phase of the digital photography revolution.

Miss them both a lot.

Good memories indeed. Thanks, MR. And thanks for the reminder, MJ.

When I got back into photography in 2005 this site as well as LL were 2 key places for me to go. I was very sad to hear of his passing more so than I ever would have thought not knowing him personally. He was that influential.

I am still reading his articles and just yesterday has touched on his dvd post then, mark to see it again when time allowed. Basically the early years I just read his web sites and in fact via him found you. Only “into the night with d1x” is earlier.

Still miss him. Even though his “rich” style and level is well beyond most of us. Still just a good memory. And given the date now it is easy to remember each year from now on.

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