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Tuesday, 28 November 2023


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A few photo book recommendations might trigger my clicking finger on Amazon...;-)

Congratulations! To both of you. TOP for making this far and you for getting through it all. It’s been a pleasure to read for 18 years, and I suspect I’ve actually been reading it all those years. Now let me go see what I need from Amazon today.

I'm not sure I want footwear with any type of soul, rubber, tortured, or even trapped in purgatory!

I got you an early birthday present, as I used Amazon through your site just last night. Hope it helps a bit.

Congratulations Mike!
Your conversations, muses and especially your humanity are an inspiration. Thank you.
Keith Trumbo

Congratulations! TOP has been a nearly-daily visit for me for at least half its 18 years. Here's to 18 more.

In honor of TOP's birthday I bought ten rolls of Tri-X from B&H via your link.

Congratulations on TOP's anniversary. You continue to make TOP a spot on the world-wide web that so many of us look forward to visiting daily and also, at least for me, a sense of belonging to a group of interesting and enlightened humans. Thank you for your hard work, long hours, and sharing your thoughts and opinions.

Congratulations on being legal! My blog only started in 2007, and I'm only now about to crack 4000 posts. But then it was never full time, was never focused on one topic, and I never made any money at it. It was fun for me.

I discovered you in 2016 or so, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading. Thanks for doing it! And now, shopping. Or at least browsing, at this stage I've got all the gear I could possibly use, and have resisted the temptations of my buddies showing me all their new Canon mirrorless R-related gear.

Happy Birthday!

Mike why not make a gift guide? Books, accessories, gear? Nobody buys me photo presents so I’ll always forced to get some for myself ;)

What does the Oh Eye dee in the title refer to? I don't think I'm seeing things. Typo? Hidden meaning? Something mysterious? Enquiring minds need to know.

Hard to believe I've been reading you for 18+ years, from the Luminous Landscape days. TOP is much more my speed than L.L. was.

Congrats, Mike! I've started my day with coffee and TOP for at least 15 years.

Congrats. Now your blog can vote!

Also, your patreon link just shows up as a question mark on my compute like it's missing an image and more importantly, I don't see anywhere someone can just send you a few bucks. I'd been a supporter for years but would be happy to help keep TOP going beyond just fueling my consumerism through affiliate links. Can you put up a link to accept donations?

Been enjoying the blog for a very long time and have loved being a part of this community.

Speaking as a long-time reader, it's been an interesting wave you rode, and you did it well. I hope you can continue to ride the energy of writing about photography, now that photo gear has matured to the point of not needing endless reviews and endorsements. You do write about photography very well, you know. Happy holidays! Time for me to do a little shopping....

Congratulations, Mike; that's a huge achievement. I ran a blog for five and a half years before I ran out of steam, so I have a fair idea of what's involved. But I never got the volume of comments or readers TOP has attracted. Still pleased I did it, though!

My first comment was at the end of April 2009, but I'd been reading TOP for several months before I stopped lurking and made myself known. I would say I've been a regular for fifteen years now.

Hip, hip, hooray!

Here's to another eighteen years. ;-)

Congratulations TOP! I've known you since you were a baby and I can't believe you're a strapping teen already. It's a wonderful achievement, Mike, especially for a one-man band (plus occasional contributors).

Coincidentally, just a week or so ago, I made a bookmark out of one of your Amazon links hoping it would work the same as if I went through your site, and I've used it to order a number of things since. Little stuff, but I hope it helps. And I'll order a little something today, too, that I was about to order from another site, and I'll keep using the link in future. I'm not clear on whether it works with my Wishlist, though.


I have what I think is a good earning idea Mike.

Contact the makers of DxO Photolab - and - ON1 Raw.

Offer to host a 'discount code' for both of those products, for a referrers percentage.

Other places with nowhere near your profile or credentials have done similar things.

My own workflow is to import images into DxO Photolab for primary development and export them into ON1 Raw for tweaks and polishing. The process is fast, enjoyable, easily repeatable and satisfying.

I have a seriously critical photographic eye. The results from the steps outlined above, both on screen and printed are the best I've ever seen. And I've used all alternative software that exists.

I'm sorry to say that I forget TOP all the time when I go to Amazon. I just put a note on my computer. That should help but the "put it in the cart and check out on the same visit" is going to be tough.

I've supported your site through print sales and Amazon purchases.

It's harder now to support you through Amazon, as there is no prominent direct link on your page. You have to search for something that's been discussed (a book, or the slippers you describe in this post), then hit that link, and navigate away to the prosaic item I need at the time.

Also, there is no way to use Amazon's cellphone app and still support you. So when I'm driving in the car, and think to myself, man, I forgot to order the science-based cat food, let me do it on the app at the next red light before I forget again--well, the cats do need to be fed the dry stuff when I'm away for a day or two, and the order goes in.

Is there some way I'm missing to support you when I used Amazon's app?

If you like those slippers, you'll love these:


Also available in low-cut and for men or women.

Up here in Michigan they have a following.

Hi Mike, I’m in Australia and buy frequently through Amazon Australia. Are you affiliated? Been a reader and supporter of TOP for many years and would like to do a bit more in support. Thanks for your work.

Congratulations Mike and glad that TOP has been going for 18 years. It's a wonderful blog with various insightful topics, photography-related and off-topic. I hope it's around for many years to come!

Congratulations Mike! That’s really something.

BTW, you don’t look old enough to be so concerned about death. I’d say a later middle aged country gentleman. Here’s wishing at least eighteen more years of The Online Photographer.

Congratulations Mike!

Minor site note: the two image links under B&H at the top right are currently showing as broken for me.

I take it there's no way you can get Amazon UK affiliates anymore? I used your old UK link for years and years, probably long after it stopped working.


Well done! Eighteen years is a long time.

It took a lot of courage to share the reason why you moved to Finger Lakes. A good year is still a good year. Memories are what we live for and die with. We bring nothing else to the other side.

Er...you look rather serious in that selfie.

Dan K.

Congratulations Mike. Might I put in a plug for Patreon as another way to support the writing, views and comments on your site? I like to see my small monthly Patreon donation as a magazine subscription and at least while I can afford it, a good set and forget way to continue enjoying and supporting your work.

Any uk Amazon gift card link. Use quite a few in next month.

Wow, Happy Birthday. That's an impressive milestone for a blog.

I have been reading TOP for ages, I can't remember when I started but it was around the time you moved to TypePad. Always enjoyed it.

I can remember those events you write about and they seem so recent.

Hope you enjoy the day

Happy 18th.

I've been reading TOP for most of its' existence.

The birth of TOP was within a few days of me purchasing my first digital camera ( Canon 20D which is still in occasional use ).

All the best.


Congratulations on surviving in all respects.

You probably now have a different perspective on TOP than when you first started or from maybe 10 years ago. I wonder what are your aims/desires for the future (no need to share with us).

I remember another website with which the owner eased up and eventually sold. You might consider what can I do to make TOP saleable! You can always remain as a guest essayist!

Mostly purchases of websites etc are for the sole purpose of getting a big list of emails of people who are highly confirmed as being active in the sphere of interest that the website is involved in.

Whilst you have your own perspective there have been other posters whose essays have been just as interesting (please I mean that as no criticism of your own).

That old chestnut of HE who fails to plan plans to fail. (I am not saying you do not have plans).

Congratulations Mike! I think I discovered TOP around 2007 (when I was looking information to purchase a DSLR camera). Since then I have been reading you, be it photographic stuff or not, and I wish you continue writing at TOP many more years.

As others have said above, I would like to support you if I buy in Amazon, but I live in Spain: is there any way to link my purchases at Amazon.es to you?

Congratulations, Mike, for 18 years of TOP.

I've made many purchases from B&H Photo through your portal over the years and will continue doing so.

I think a large majority of your readers - at least - appreciate having a gentle reminder every so often, as you've done here.

What a generous and positive ride you've provided so far for you readers, Mike. I feel like I've been along for it from Day 1, ever since you wrote for Luminous Landscape.

Here's my own testimony to the strength of TOP. I burned out and crashed out of photography badly over a decade ago. I rarely visit photography sites now, with one exception. TOP.

I hope it gets another 18 years, at least.

Morning, Mike - is
still the Canadian link?

Happy Birthday TOP!

In commemoration I used your link to finally buy some of those high-speed SanDisk SD cards from B&H.

I too have followed you for years, in my case since your magazine years. I did try to buy those slippers when you last mentioned them, but being from Canada I ran into the same problems as from Australia. Nevertheless a very happy birthday!

A very happy birthday to TOP and congrats getting the blog to the age of majority, Mike.

I'm toying with the possibility of a 2024 OC/OL/OY project with my FM3a, Nikkor-O 35mm f2 and Tri-X, so I bought myself some rolls of that lovely stock just in case I have the resolve to do so. Maybe if this pans out, I'll celebrate 19 by doing the TOP Leica year like I've threatened to do ever since it was posted.

Hippo Birdie Two Ewe!,,

And i even remember the 37th frame😉

Congratulations Mike. I’m happy to continue Patreon whilst you’re happy to keep writing!
As I understand that you can only benefit from Amazon purchases in the USA, all the rest of your worldwide audience need to also support you through Patreon.

Congratulations Mike! I think I probably developed a very good habit for you years ago. I use the always-open-TOP tab whenever I want to get to Amazon or B&H. I don't believe I have ever navigated directly to either site so hopefully that is reflected in your monthly percentage! Thanks for my favorite web destination.

at the risk of being indelicate not legal drinking age.

i stopped drinking 3 years ago in january, what the brits call dry january. i did not think that i had a problem but wanted to prove i could stop. since then i have persevered. even through the recent passing of my much loved wife esta.

you have been an inspiration for me to continue the abstinence path. thank you for being open about your life in that regard.

sincerly brian

i tried to buy myself a pressie from b and h but fuji x100v's are like hens teeth right now. unobtainable!

Congratulations Mike. It's been a wonderful ride, and you've built a wonderful community and body of work.

I've been here since the Before Times -- I still have my copy of Lenses and the Light Tight Box. I'll be here until you hang the shutters and take down the sign. TOP remains the best place to land on the Internet for photography (and pool).

Congratulations Mike! I bought something… and the next camera I buy will be through your blog.

Congratulations on keeping this website going and producing/compiling creative content for 18 years. (I'm still looking forward to the posting of Baker's Dozen: House)

I have purchased a BLN-1 camera battery and some plastic razor blade scrapers. "This great little tool" is just that.


Until recently, I did not know of the existence of plastic razor blades. They're great for cleaning counters and cutting boards; removing decals and adhesive tape, etc. without marring the underlying surface.

These will be given out as gifts that were not asked for.

Congratulations on making it to voting age! I'm headed to Amazon right now.

And do tell us more about the souls of those slippers with "durable rubber souls." :-) (Curse all moronic spelling checkers.)

Congratulations Mike! For years, my day has started with a couple of minutes on your blog. I don’t exactly recall when I started reading your blog but I keep screenshots when you feature one of my comments (and I don’t even comment all that often), and the earliest is from 2013, so that must mean something. I hope you can continue this for years to come. All the best,-Gerard

Congrats for both of you! That means that I'm reading this blog for close to that as well. Still feels like yesterday.

I'm no fan of Amazon and B&H is not really an option for an European, so I just joined Patreon with a (unfortunately very) small contribution.

Congratulations on turning 18! Although, by blog standards, this definitely makes TOP a senior citizen. Considering I myself will be turning 71 in January, I don't mean that as an insult. Thanks for the reminder to use your links to keep the boat afloat a while longer. I'm happy to help when I can.

Happy birthday!

I’ve learned a lot from TOP over the years.

Thank you.

I’m confused. If we use a TOP Amazon link and buy other stuff, must we buy the item linked too for you to get credit, or can we use that as simply a gateway? If we must purchase the linked item, how about a permanent list somewhere of preexisting links and some new basics.

[No, as long as you start from my link, anything you choose and buy in that visit is credited to me. You don’t have to buy the thing I linked. However, you must both put the items in your cart and pay for them in that single visit or it doesn’t count. Even if you put them things in your shopping cart or Wishlist after linking from me, it won’t count if you go back and pay for them at a later time…even if you link from me then too. Is that clear? Buy anything, but put it in your cart and pay for it during the linked visit.

That’s how it was explained to me years ago, so I think that’s right. —Mike]

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