11.24.2015

Luminous-Landscape.com heads behind the paywall and I salute them. It's content that's (generally) worth paying for.



For those of you who are unfamiliar with Luminous-Landscape.com let me take a go at describing the website. Imagine an ardent photographer who also made some money in various other careers. Imagine he and a partner start a website in the early days of digital imaging and write a series of articles, over more than a decade, which intelligently trace the evolution of photography through this period. They offered us reviews of cameras that fascinated us and became parts of our own stories, as well as aspirational cameras we knew we personally would never buy but wanted to know all about (medium format digital). They also offered articles on technique and videos that helped us understand better, how to make the most of video features and "darkroom" techniques.

That all sounds good but add to that a real objectivity, decent writing and logical thinking and you come up with a compelling website for serious photographers.

I've read the primary content for years and I've also found the input on the forum, from a large number of very well informed pros, to be very valuable to me in my journey of video and digital photography. Since the inception of the site it has be available for free and was subsidized/monetized by advertising and affiliate links. The owners of the site have discovered what most bloggers and special interest websites have found in the past year or so: ad engagement, revenue, participation and every other measure having to do with making money online has gone into a controlled crash and burn trajectory. They have decided to try their luck in making the site on that requires a paid subscription from readers. They are charging a mere $12 A YEAR to make all the content (including videos that were usually sold as products on the site) available to subscribers.

Using the Kirk Tuck Latte Value measurement tool we can see that the price of a year's worth of knowledge and reading pleasure barely budges the needle, equalling three grande lattes from Starbucks. Not a high price to pay.

Their site goes to the paid model on November 30th and I plan to show my support by being a member from day one. If you want to support smart content on the web please think about supporting their site. I'm sure most of you read it already.

No big changes at VSL. We're just trying to stay relevant.

disclosure: I have no connection with Luminous Landscape and no person relationship with any of the writers or owners of the site. I wrote this blog (above) as a public service as I feel the site I am discussing has both contemporary and historic value.