10.14.2011

We'll be back on Monday. Stay tuned.

When, in a period of frustration, I quit blogging on October 3rd I had no idea that my decision would be met with 260 comments from disappointed readers and over 200 comments directly to my e-mail account asking me to please reconsider my decision.  I talked to my friends and business associates about it and got some really good feedback.  I've decided to resurrect the blog.  I'm making some changes.  If you want to comment you have to be a follower (or use Open ID).  That means you have to click the button on the side and be a public follower of the blog.  What does that get me?  It gets me your feedback and a contact so if I misconstrue your good-hearted jab for vicious character assassination we can work it out off line.  It's also makes it easier for me to block you if you decide to be a real dick.  All the anonymous people are resigned to a hellish existence of non-commentary.

If, for reason of your geography, you are constrained from joining you can send me a personal e-mail and, if I feel your comment has validity or humor I may, at my discretion, post it.  I'm taking most of the advertising totally off the site (I'm leaving links to my own books).  As soon as I can figure out the programming I'm going to add a donation button to the site.  You don't need to donate anything but if you are exuberantly wealthy and the value of the site is proportionate to your wealth I want to create a pathway for you to share your largess.  I reserve the right to put some links in the copy but you never have to buy anything to read my blog.

I change my mind a lot.  You are forewarned.  I may like Nikon next week and hate it the week before Christmas.  Ditto any other brand.  If you came here to kneel in worship with me to some brand of camera or light you have me confused with a church and need to re-read your Google Map.

But here's the bottom line.  If I don't hear from you I'm basically working in a vacuum and it's not very much fun to toss pebbles into a pond without seeing some ripples.  If you like something a little then check a box under the post.  Like it a lot?  Tell me why.  I actually wrote something that changed your life?  Wow.  I'm not sure I can handle that level of responsibility.

As before, I will write what I want and when I want.  One of the reasons I'm not eager to accept sponsorships is my feeling that they'll change, however subtly, my relationship with the site and I'm not into it.  I'm writing because I like to write.  I write about photography because I love photography and I think we have some standards and some points of view to uphold.  I also think the gear affects our vision and I like writing about the connection, the attraction and the frisson.

You are free to drop out at any time.

Finally, I've been hearing an interesting line from about 25% of the people I meet when I do public speeches or photo meetings or walks.  They keep telling me that I seem "joyful, funny and light-hearted" in person.....less so in my writing.  I'll work on being more serious in public...

Just kidding.  Please know that what I write is from my experiences.  It is always meant to be light-hearted and exuberant.  I'm not writing any of this for you.  I'm writing it for me.  And I have come to find out that is what most of you really value.

Thanks for reaching out and giving me a reason to write and share.  This time around could you drop me a line from time to time and tell me how I'm doing?

See you Monday October 17th, 2011.

84 comments:

MattB said...

Wonderful to hear you've decided to take up the reins again Kirk!

I'm one of the guilty parties, having followed your blog closely for a long time without having taken the time to give you feedback. So, many, many thanks for the wonderful writing so far, and keep on writing what you want to write!

Alex Solla said...

Glad to hear you've reconsidered. I have to say, reading your blog is why I bought your books. All of them, I might add. Changed my life? Yeah. And then some. That you are a fellow longtime swimmer just makes it that much more cool. Keep it up! Your persistence is almost like nourishment. Thanks!

Jin said...

WOOT WOOT.

Jeff Weeks said...

Welcome back, friend. Your unvarnished opinions and "temperament" are some of the best hints about you.

Just to stir the pot: I'd vote the Olympus EP3, 12mm, 42mm and zoom lenses to be the best all round set up available today (except for sports). Small, light, quick, good quality through ISO 800 and FUN to shoot. Nice brokeh with the 42mm f/1.8 Whole setup fits in a small Domke. Compared to my Domke F-2 with Nikon gear, it feels like I'm cheating. I've enjoyed photography more with this gear than I have with other gear in decades.

theotherme said...

Oh Happy Day!!!! Welcome back Kirk!

Jim said...

I thought maybe you'd reconsider. I'm glad you did. I'm follower #707. Isn't that an airplane? :-)

Nicolas said...

Hi Kirk, this is my first post ever: I just wanted to say that I'm very happy you're back! Thanks :)

Henrique Pereira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Bodine said...

Welcome back Kirk...I look forward to your posts resuming Monday. I knew Andy Rooney was right!

The Metzgers said...

I always seem to find some humor in your posts and haven't found you overly serious....maybe you're just that much more fun to meet in person.

Jeff Damron said...

Yay!

Mark W. said...

Kirk,

Your blog has led me to several resources that are helping me begin to understand "art" as opposed to "craft". I appreciate your photos, writing style, rants and reviews. Thanks for reconsidering!

Sincerely,
Mark

Gregg Mack said...

It's great to see you're back in the saddle again, Kirk!

macboy001 said...

Brilliant to see you're back, I'm a digital curmudgeon using an Olympus E-1 and mumbling how I took my best pictures with my Mamiya 6x9 press, and its never really improved since then. But I keep looking at auction sites and wondering if that Canon/Nikon might make me feel better..

Frank Grygier said...

Welcome back. I think Jeff stole my camera, bag and all. I am happy you decided continue adding to the spice of life.

Silvertooth said...

After a terrible week in the Texas public school system, this is wonderful news. Thanks for bringing the blog back!
Aubrey

bradhoc said...

Great to hear!

bRAD said...

Glad to hear that you're back. I think the best part is that you write for yourself and not us. That's the one things that's most appealing about it.

Glad I have something to look forward to on Monday at a boring day job!

Ian said...

Thanks for continuing to write your blog, with some re-invention.

Conveying a sense of personality (joyful, funny and light-hearted)is a big ask when writing, unless that is the purpose of the author.

Your writing is coversation about the things which interest you, rather than the carefully crafted words which ensure that every nuance of meaning is qualified so that it can't be misinterpreted. The balance is achieved over time.

What you write is one of the important influences which help me to understand how I see things as a photographer.

Anyone who earns their living as a photographer, then for enjoyment picks up a camera to walk around looking for new insights into familiar subjects and enjoying good coffee has to be on the right track.

cefa5a0a-f6d0-11e0-a09c-000bcdcb5194 said...

Excellent! Glad to have you back!

Todd Quinn said...

:)
What more do I need to say!?

Shineylewis said...

Hi Kirk,
I am a new follower of your blog. When I discovered it, (yesterday), I was sad to see that you were discontinuing it. But after reading the post as to why, I completely understood. It made perfect sense. I didn't blame you at all for calling it quits. Today, I am happy to see that you will be resurrecting it, but with some stipulations. I embrace the new 'rules'. I look forward to reading your words of wisdom. I have already learned so much from your books and appreciate your generosity in dispensing your knowledge.
Sincerest 'Thanks'...
Regina (aka Shineylewis)

Tom Devlin said...

Thanks Kirk. I appreciate what you do.

Dave Jenkins said...

So glad. You are by far the best photo read on the internet.

Dave Jenkins

Jeff said...

Another infrequent reader here Kirk . I particularly enjoy your reviews and your general outlook on life . I can only think of two other blogs which I have commented on over the years , yet I didn't appreciate them more than yours . I can only repeat what others have said , keep up the excellent work .

Bold Photography said...

My earlier post did not seem to 'post' ...

Welcome back to the world of blogging.

Perhaps adding in a for pay podcast every once in a while?

Len said...

Great news Kirk, can't wait to see where you go with this...

And to read future articles...

Mike Padua said...

Good stuff. I was begrudgingly accepting your decision that you quit...but I'm glad you're back!

Jeff E Jensen said...

Sweet! Christmas came early this year. Glad to have you back, Kirk.

Matthew said...

Roger that, Kirk. There's a lot of solid reasoning in how you're structuring things going forward, and I think it will be a winning formula. Way to go.

mrngeeann said...

Looking forward to future updates!

apwelker said...

What a great surprise! I've missed the blog.

John Taylor said...

Welcome back! I'm more happy now than after your goodbye post. Happy to take what you have to share on your terms wouldn't want it any other way.

Jan Jurewicz said...

Thanks for providing some good news! I love cameras but prefer to read about photogrpahy; the how is easy to get to grips with, but the why evades me.

Paul Glover said...

"I'm not writing any of this for you. I'm writing it for me."

I think that's a quite healthy philosophy to have.

"And I have come to find out that is what most of you really value."

Count me among that group and I'll do my best to comment a little more often. Assuming I have this newfangled OpenID thing working the way I expect it to!

Doug Truong said...

I'm glad that you decide to blog again. I really enjoy reading your blog. It must be your style, a good mix of gear, technique, and philosophy.

Marino Mannarini said...

wohaa!! glad to see yoi back in action! I agree with your new terms, I have been following you publicly for over a year now, so i guess I am onboard....yes?

Marino

cidereye said...

You had us all worried there Kirk for a while.

Ecstatic to see the best photo blog (for me anyway!) on the whole www back & running.

milton said...

Great!

Pm said...

Great news!

sey said...

As we say over here "Baruch Haba'a" = Bless the Arivee or simply Welcome Back!

Adriana Durian Photography said...

(Don't know if my first comment went through...so here's another)

Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled. Were so totally missed!!

You'd be the first ever blogger/writer/photographer that I'm more than willing to support via donations (especially with the 'no sponsorship' stance) ... I'll be looking for the box when it goes up....

Scott Hone said...

Hi Kirk,
I have been following your blog for quite some time. I think after a link from Strobist.com at some point.

I like your thoughts and ideas -- often at times seem eerily similar to my own.

I found it fun watching your son grow up too. (I am the proud Dad of a 2 1/2 year old.)

Also, I like your posts that include your archived images from the pre-digital era. In particular, the black and white images.

Anyhow, I could totally understand why it all came to the crunch. I thought your posts for the past few months had more justification for doing what you do. You seemed to have a slight angst in there... so when you wrote your post a few days ago, I wasn't surprised.

I wrote a long comment that got deleted. And then when I read what other people were commenting, I figured that there wasn't anything extra I could say. So I didn't.

Lastly, I was in Austin in 2009 performing at the University with Circus Oz. I had a blast! So all your Austin stories and walkabouts remind me of the great time I had.

I am glad you haven't gone away.

If/when I make it to Austin again, I will definitely be looking you up and inviting you for a cup of tea.

Love your work!
Scott
Melbourne, Australia

Simon Lupton said...

You might remember this comment from a couple of times before: "Ha! I knew you couldn't keep away!"

Seriously though, welcome back Kirk, your output and outlook on this great hobby/pastime/job/passion of ours has never been more appreciated.

seoras said...

jolly good !

OpenID no problem, least you aren't forcing us to join facebook.

g

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

Glad to have you back Kirk, and exactly for the reasons I had hoped for! Changed my life? Definitely, with photos like the second one in Steet shooting or with all in Saying hello.

As some said already, your blog is like another one of your books, it's only more dynamic, and that's great! Thanks for carrying on with it.

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

P.S.: Just ordered your fourth book, together with Michael's "Hard Ground". From your site, and amazon.com, which adds a little shipping fee to Europe, but which hopefully adds some additional pennies onto your account. If you could figure out how to provide links to that bookstore in the EU in the future, and still profit from those, that would be great!

cheers,
Wolfgang

Humble Land Gardener said...

Good news! Good news!!

Alan Palmer said...

Very pleased that you have reconsidered and I am looking forward to reading your future posts.
Welcome back.

DrMickey said...

Welcome back. Love your work and I am inspired at times by your words.

Clay said...

Kirk, glad you reconsidered.

Thanks for all your commentary. I enjoy your honest accounts of the ups and downs of being a professional photographer. The honesty seems refreshing after seeing yet another jumpy 'behind the scenes' video of a model shoot in a reclaimed crack factory with hoards of ritalin deprived ex-high-school-buddies-now-assistants jumping around, high-fiving and showing off their tats. Not to mention any names or anything.

Jeff Kott said...

I"m a lurker who reads your blog regularly, but rarely posts.

I just wanted to drop a note and let you know I'm really glad you resurrected your blog. I think you have an interesting and unique viewpoint. Thanks for your time and effort.

John Krumm said...

Sounds good. I kind of figured. : ) The Flickr photo sharing has been fun too, so I hope that stays.

Neil said...

Hooray! The voice of reason and insight is back...

Delighted you've reconsidered, at least until you change your mind again... ;-)

Even though you do it for you and not me, I thank you for providing interesting thoughts on a subject dear to my heart.

Neil

mshafik said...

I want to join all the welcomes, and I will do my best to give you feedback.

Neil said...

Kirk,

Your decision to re activate the blog comes as such welcome news. Your voice is so worthwhile and so distinctive that I felt genuinely bereft when you said it was all over. I hope this works for you.

Kind regards,

Neil

MattakaDeimos said...

Kirk it is wonderful to see that you've reconsidered leaving your blog to the interntet dust bunnies.

I read your blog every day and eagerly wait for new content. The piece you did on comparing swimming to photography touched something inside and I now make it a rule that I must photograph 'something' every single day. I'm not saying that whatever I do shoot is any good, but that isn't the point.
Thank you.
Matt Wagg

Stan Yoshinobu said...

Kirk - there's a thing called sabbatical. Just take a break or refocus (post only pics and no words, or try something else like have guest bloggers).

Welcome back!

Mr. Yuill said...

Good move to require comment posters to register. This should eliminate the nasty anonymous posts. I never bothered using a Google account name in the past because the blog I have has been rarely updated and is not photography related. But I have always used by real name.

Feedback from others is a useful thing. I hope that feedback and questions we post will be as useful and informative to you as your posts are to us.

Welcome back.

Mike said...

I knew you would be back. I enjoy your musings and had missed them.

-Mike

organicdev said...

Somehow I suspected that newest change of mind would happen ;-) Well I prefer it that way anyway. I do think though that only comments count as real feedback, not clicking "like" buttons or such.
(the commenter formerly known as "mbka" - but that's not my wordpress name!)

robin said...

Welcome back Kirk !!
Although you have announced that you stopped blogging, I still religiously come to your blog here almost every single day. I never commented or say anything because I know and have faith that through your passion and love for photography and people, you will somehow come back to us and continue blogging here.
So glad to have you back. Not having your frequent blog entry updates on my morning is like not having my newspaper with my coffee everyday !!

robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robin said...

A little to add on to the previous comment.
it is indeed rare to find photography-oriented blogs, especially yours with such huge audience base and having heavily gear related (we love them, don't worry Kirk) writings to NOT include any forms of advertising for others, apart for your own services and books. I applaud your move on this, it shows how your voice and opinion hold onto themselves and it how much you care about your own and only vision for your blog.
Not that any of us would question your sincerity or credibility, we loved your writings and appreciate your deep sharing business, personal and on photography (you are probably one of the best portraiture photographer out there of all time, ever).
Really glad to have you back again Kirk !!

Mel said...

Rock on dude.

John Driggers said...

Although we've never met, your writing was so personal and personable, I'd visit the blog daily and it was like meeting an interesting friend for coffee. I'd often say to my wife, "Hey, listen to what Kirk said today!"

When you decided not to blog, it was a little like a friend telling you they didn't like you anymore. Bummer.

It's good to have my friend back. I can't contribute much, but I'll be looking for that button!

Cheers from Australia

John Driggers

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

I'm with John (Driggers) here in that I said the exact thing to my wife so often: "Hey, look what Kirk got today!".

And I looked for your Flickr photosharing group that John (Krumm) mentioned, but there I only got a: "This group is not available to you." - too much adultery for us Europeans who have to be protected by those nice Flickr owners I guess? ;-) I can see the KirkTuck/photo content just fine, but...

Anyway, it's Sunday morning around here only, and I hardly can wait as you can see... and it's good to see that it's a very warm "Welcome back!" from most people here.

cheers,
Wolfgang

Winwalloe said...

I'm very glad about this decision.

Your announcement of closing the blog had prompted me to be one of the 450+ people telling you we'd miss you. I didn't mention that the announcement came right after my first time shooting in a studio (at a training session with only 3 students, fantastic location, great lighting equipment, a beautiful model, how could it start better, I don't know, I felt spoiled).
And the only place on the Internet that had provided me with some valuable read about studio shooting was YOUR blog.

Now that I'm logged in to comment your articles I can't wait to read more from you :)

שאול נשיץ said...

Us bloggers are hopeless. We always write for ourselves, however we enjoy it when someone else takes a minute to read our thoughts too. I'm delighted on your decision. This is one of the most enjoyable blogs I visit.

Cheers,
Shaul

R. R. Alexander said...

Kirk,

It is selfish, I know, but I'm glad you decided to return to posting. Though I didn't comment on the apparent demise of VSL, I wrote a post on my blog titled Minus One (http://rralexander.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/minus-one/).
Thanks for changing your mind...
- Ray Alexander

Reflexdoc said...

Thank you for sharing your philosophy on photography, business and life's priorities.

We appreciate your work, whether blogging or otherwise.

Larry Livingstone said...

Kirk,

I am one of the guilty, silent majority who read your blog. It's the only photography blog I read anymore and I realize that I read it not so much for the photography information but to read your thoughts. I guess you could write on just about anything and I would be just as interested to read the blog.

I am very glad that you reconsidered and will continue writing on a regular basis. I think that your enjoyment will increase now that you have made the realization the blog should be first and foremost for yourself. Your readers undoubtedly connect with Kirk the man more than Kirk the Olympus or Nikon user. It will be wonderful to know that we can expect regular posts instead of clicking your site and hoping for something new.

Thank you, for jumping back in with both feet. I hope the water will be better for you this time.

Clyde said...

Never had the slightest doubt you couldn't resist blogging. So I didn't bother replying to that post. Face it dude, you're an addict...in a good way. Welcome back!

mgblogger said...

Welcome back, Kirk. Yours is one of the few photography blogs I follow that I read consistently. Appreciate your insight and occasional contrariness.

Cheers--

Michael

Patrick Dodds said...

Glad to hear this Kirk - I was wondering how I was going to fill the hole you left with your announcement and nothing had yet suggested itself. Hope it goes well from here.

chrissinn said...

Great news! So glad you are back!

Mac Trotter said...

My heartfelt 'thank-you'. Your writing and insights will be continue to be a valued part of my photographic life.

Mac

George said...

look forward to more Kirk

Brent Schneeman said...

Good. Welcome back.

marcus said...

It takes me 10 minutes to two finger type a small comment, although it's not the physical act that slows me down but rather the searching for the correct words to express myself. So I always marvel at your writing abilities, your extensive explorations of a subject are always a good read. Glad you've re-considered.

gerry dolphin said...

good to see you back !

G said...

Yes!

No knee-jerks. Bold opinions. Individuality. Independence. Wit. Originality. Personality.

Thanks for reconsidering :-)

And I would really like to use the reactions checkboxes, but "funny", "interesting", or "cool" as the only choices...? Sounds like the response-palette of the emotionally deprived... :-D Can't we get more nuanced choices? Social media are really keen on dumbing us down on the emotional front it seems. Like facebook where the only possibility is "like" or "unlike". We can do better than that it would seem to me...

Richard said...

Just got back from a vacation to find this post sitting in my Google reader. It is great having you back.

Steve Miller said...

Hi Kirk,

I came across your blog about five weeks ago and found a welcome break from the usual photo sites/blogs. Of course a couple days later, you announced you were stopping the blog. Nice timing on my part.

I'm really psyched you've decided to pick up the pen again (no pun intended) and look forward to your images and thoughts.

Steve