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Sunday, 05 September 2021


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We are all getting older and that is the Master Plan that Nature has programmed for us. Not to worry just do your best. For example, I have an 40 year Leica 35mm lens but despite its age it keeps turning
out great images despite its age. Bill

As a reader since day 1, I plan to stick around. I have to. We've been off topic so often lately that I need to stick around to find out what topic we are off of.


It's been a rough summer/year/goin' on two years for many of us, so I think we can all cut you and all of ourselves a lot of slack. For me, the important thing is that you have kept the blog going. It's such an important part of my routine that I do miss it when you're not here.

"To every thing there is a season..." and we will weather them together. I'll still be here, ready to read the latest dispatch from TOP HQ. Patreon has made it easier to support you where I can, too.

Let me put it back to you. Thank you for sticking by us, your readers, through your Summer of lows. You are always a good read. Even when the topic is not photography or something that interests me, you daily provide us a good read. Thank you.

We appreciate the blog and your efforts, even your occasional weird meanderings.

No "no stick-to-it-iveness"? If your father is still alive, your readers would point him to your 16 years of sticking to it and he might have to retract his words. If I may put it jokingly, "Mike, your superglue is getting better with age."

We, your readers, can tell when it's forced. And we can tell when you're in flow. So we already knew.

That's the deal. And we happily accept the terms.

Mike, these past twelve months have been the worst year-long stretch of months in my adult life (not even counting effects of the pandemic). I have been so down I haven't even kept up with TOP. But I am going to change that going forward. As someone who has followed your from your Luminous Landscape and 37th Frame days, thank you for all you do. I am sorry you have had a rough several months. I truly hope things improve for you. My monthly Patreon contribution lapsed when I got a new debit card - I will now update the payment information. Enjoy the holiday, and take care of you.

I've been reading TOP for years. During the last few months you've produced some great writing, particularly about the losses of your brother & Lulu. Am having some family loss issues of my own at the moment & have found your writing helpful.

Work ethic / hard work are over rated & youth is there to be misspent.

Chill out.

Take Butters for a walk.

Best wishes.

I've been a daily reader for most of those 16 years, Mike, and I appreciate your efforts. I wouldn't miss it.

I used to say 'stick-at-it-iveness' when I was younger, referring to my difficulty staying the course in my studies. Then I realised there's a perfectly good word: persistence. It's much easier to say.

My sympathy in your travails, especially in losing Lulu. You said it so prosaically, as if it didn't hurt. But as a dog person, I knew it did.

Finally, I could probably afford the GFX50SII now, but can I justify it? Not really, not any more. It would sit on the shelf. Sigh.

Mike, I‘ve read your posts everyday, more or less, since the days of the Sunday Morning Photographer and I’m honoured to be able to support you with a Patreon subscription. I know that you have had a really tough summer (tougher than just the “usual pandemic”). Thanks for writing about it. When you write with such honesty and clarity about these things, it does help the rest of us deal with our own personal tribulations. And even though they are “off topic”, I believe being able to read about, and think about, just one man’s response to life’s challenges helps us centre our art and craft within life itself.

On the contrary, this summer's content included some of the best articles that I've seen on a photography blog. The articles on family, relationships, and loss go to the heart of why photography is important to me, even if the writing didn't always address photography directly.

Thank you for the update. Like all of us, you are a person, not a machine. There's been distractions enough without adding personal tragedies to the mix. Glad to hear that you're hanging in.

Thanks for all the work you put into TOP. Your blog is the only non-news website I visit regularly.

I came here for photography, but stayed for your writing, your warm and positive attitude, and the commenter community. It's a unique spot on the web and hope to be here for the 20th (30th? 40th?) anniversaries.


it has been tough for most of us this year. After Ming called it quits, TOP is the only photography site I read and enjoy regularly. An oasis of calm in a desert of annoying 10 minute youtube videos.

Be well!

Thanks from another reader from the LuLa days. You have been an inspiration.

I've been visiting here since the ealy days of TOP too and hope to keep doing so for some time to come. You have pointed me in the direction of many great photographers and often down off-topic side-streets that are often enjoyable.
I've got some great images on my walls from print offers and more photobooks than I care to admit.
Thank you!

Mike, we all have highs and lows. But your talent for writing smart, insightful comments (on photography and also on other topics) remains unchanged, and I for one plan to keep on coming here for as many years as you want to keep on publishing stuff at The Online Photographer. In recent months I have discussed content posted here with my wife and friends, and taking into account they are not interested in photography, I take it as proof of the value of your writing.

As my mother-in-law uses to say, "Many times!".

I see 3 mentions of Patreon above so I’ll add another. You’ve stopped putting a reminder about Patreon at the foot of each post which I think is the best way for you to get support. Many people will not see the larger link at the right because whether it shows or not depends on how the readers browser is set up.

You are still putting B&H or Amazon links after the post so why no love for Patreon?

BTW Patreon has become cheaper for me since the U.K. ‘brexited’ as we are no longer charged VAT ;-).

In addition to seconding (I suppose the contemporary term would be "+1") everything in the comments above, I laud you for serving as paterfamilias to the worthy community of T.O.P. readers and commenters, whose contributions so often match your level of intelligence, integrity, and good will. Thanks Mike; thanks all.

Being human is full of distractions, disappointments and adjustments; at least from my humble little place it has been. I have not always understood you Mike, but I have always had a great deal of respect for you, especially as a father and as a writer.

I too work as a creative and have had to produce almost on a daily basis for most of my adult life. Sometimes we ride the wave and sometimes the wave rides us, but we are living through the creative process and this comes with the territory. I do not want to live any other way and I am guessing you would not be happy either. Imagining the alternative always keeps me grateful and ready to roll my sleeves up when I have to.

Take breaks with no apologies necessary, at least from me. Just let us know you're still around because you would be missed more than I think you know. And thank you for all you give.

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