3.20.2018

I've run out of things to say. Taking a break.


March 20, 2018.

I've jabbered on here with over 3580 posts about photography and video in the last nine years. Shared well over 10,000 images. But when I sat down and tried to think of something about photography that I have not yet shared I came up blank today. I never wanted to be a gear review blog and I never like to repeat myself. I've stopped putting up links to products, except fleetingly, so I've driven the income from the blog to zero. With nothing to say and nothing to gain it seemed like a good time to take a break. Maybe I just need to recover in a different way from the past few months of stress, strain, loss and grief. Maybe I really have used up all the knowledge I had about photography in the previous posts and need to recharge a bit. 

I'm not shutting down the VSL blog or taking my ball and going home. I'll keep everything up and readable. I'm keeping the comments open and I'll moderate them as we go. Feel free to use the comment section of this post to message me or anyone else whose been a regular commenter on the blog and who may drop by the comments. If you need to reach me just head to the website: www.kirktuck.com for contact info. 

I'll check back in soon when I actually have something to say that's different from what you can already get in a thousand places on the web. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.  


71 comments:

Joe Kashi said...

Oh, No! Seriously, this is one of the most interesting photography-related sites on the web and I sincerely hope to see it back in daily action, and soon. Your selfless work and common sense insights are greatly appreciated. That said, everyone needs a break now and then to stay fresh.

Good luck and hope to see the new VLS back up and running soon, even if the daily output is a measured and doled out a bit at a time, day by day.

Best regards

Joe Kashi

John Keegan said...

This is by far one of the most unique photographic websites on the net. We love that one minute you are writing about paying for college, the next buying an old D700, then taking a nice morning swim.

I think your readers at this point think of you as a writer, Kirk. One of the topics happens to be photography and that's probably how most of us found our way here. But I'd bet most of us wouldn't even notice if you stopped writing about photography, at least temporarily.

So when you say "I sat down and tried to think of something about photography" I didn't actually realize you still thought that's what we were expecting here. At least I am not. ;)

Enjoy your break, you deserve it. We'll all be here when you decide you want to come back and start writing again.

George McKay said...

Best wishes, Kirk, on a well-deserved respite from sharing such a treasure trove of insight and information over the years. Your postings have provided us with a sane, reasonable, intelligent voice amidst the acrimonious cacophony drowning public discourse these days. Your missives will be missed.

Anders C. Madsen said...

Kirk, I think it is safe to say that losing one parent and having to essentially be a parent to the other is a daunting and emotionally stressful situation (been there), regardless of how old or how well established you are in your own life, and once you run out of personal resources, something have to give.

Take your time, get your bearings and have a solid breather - we will be waiting quietly here for when and if the knowledge, sharp wit and priceless sarcasm starts flowing again. :)

/Anders

Noons said...

Will miss the great stream of shared knowledge.
I come here not to read 'news', far from that!
What is great here is your sharing of your life and professional knowledge, very rare indeed in this day and age of 'micro contrasts'...
Take a well deserved break, it's been a very demanding time for you and family.
And hope to read again soon about all the great stuff you are doing.

Anonymous said...

We all need a break some times. Enjoy.

Henk

Roger Jones said...

I understand

Best Wishes

Roger

Ananda Sim said...

Take a break, smell the roses, listen to someone interesting, go for a holiday. Then come back and be your usual entertaining self.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kirk,
it's only Mike Johnston and you. Really, you're the only two special voices speaking about photography that I know. Everything else is a lot of blablabla and (hidden) advertising. I didn't comment in the past, but I have to say this.
I'm pretty sure you have a lot more to say, and I'd like to read it. But I also understand that you need a break. It's a good thing to take good care of yourself. I hope you'll feel better soon.
Btw. I guess you know Mike is also having a bad time these days. So there's a break in my two most favorite blogs... but I don't want to be selfish, I hope you'll be fine, that's really important.
All the best
Mark
P.S.: Please excuse any strange words or sentences, I'm not a native speaker, I come over here from Europe. Oh, did I mention that I bought some of your books to support your work here ;-)

Mark A. said...

Hi Kirk,
it's only Mike Johnston and you. Really, you're the only two special voices speaking about photography that I know. Everything else is a lot of blablabla and (hidden) advertising. I didn't comment in the past, but I have to say this.
I'm pretty sure you have a lot more to say, and I'd like to read it. But I also understand that you need a break. It's a good thing to take good care of yourself. I hope you'll feel better soon.
Btw. I guess you know Mike is also having a bad time these days. So there's a break in my two most favorite blogs... but I don't want to be selfish, I hope you'll be fine, that's really important.
All the best
Mark
P.S.: Please excuse any strange words or sentences, I'm not a native speaker, I come over here from Europe. Oh, did I mention that I bought some of your books to support your work ;-)

Anonymous said...

So long and thanks for all the fish :-)
Only just found your site, courtesy of Mike Johnson (& only found his several months ago courtesy of Thom Hogan). Will try trawling the backlog of articles to see what catches my eye.
Cheers
Not THAT Ross Cameron

Anonymous said...

Tell us about your new sunglasses. I can hardly imagine a photographer with polaroids...

Scott Kirkpatrick said...

You may have dealt with this in a column that I missed, but I'd like to hear something about the storage requirements of shooting, editing, presenting, and archiving the sort of video that you have been doing over the past couple of years. There is a thread on the Leica User Forum on this which covers the range from amateur exploration (me) to "creative consultant" (Irakly Shanidze) to "price is no object, and our store can help you put it together" (David Farkas).

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/282648-question-about-long-video-sequences/?p=3484353

Each of the three of us has an idea of what we are trying to accomplish, and are doing it, so it's by no means an idle discussion. One point of severe difference is shooting in the camera vs external recording. A second is the amount of storage required for editing and archiving, whether onto SD cards, SSD drives or full blown RAID arrays and the cloud. Where do you fall on the spectrum, and what tricks have you come up with?

seany said...

Thanks for all the well written and informative blogs Kirk, this site has been a pleasure to visit, thank you also for sharing with your readers some of your family life, hope you get back once you've had a break and recharged the batteries, if not enjoy whatever comes your way.
Michael.

Julian Behrisch Elce said...

Many thanks for all the great writing so far!

Fred said...

It has been a tough few months for you. And you have income taxes to do for two. Swim, get ready for graduation, do your personal and professional work.
Like all the people who told Mike Johnston that his readers would be there when his health was better, your readers will be here when you are ready to post again.

MO said...

have a nice break.

Looking forward to hearing what you spent ur break doing an pondering about. I need to find another read to fit my morning coffee now.

Cheers mads

dasar photography said...

I will miss your posts.
Have a nice break

David said...

Take a break! Relax, go swim, take a nap, maybe do something new. When you come back, we’ll still be here.

I do want to thank you for turning me on to using zebras for setting exposure. I use them all the time, now.

Bill Danby said...

Look after yourself. And, thanks for the advice, information and, mostly, for the perspective.

David Fann said...

Yep, take a break; you have earned it. With your new spare time, (1) be good to yourself, and (2) get crankin' on a new Henry White—assuming that's fun, not another chore.

Gato said...

You deserve a break. I'll miss the blog, but I understand your feeling.

Take as long as you need, but hope you're back before too long.

Alex said...

Dear Kirk,
Nothing you have posted in the past can be gound in thousand ohter places, it is unique. Take a time-out and please come back, for I already miss you jabbering.

Michael Matthews said...

Sure, take a break...but do come back.

As another comment above pointed out, there are really only two photo interest blogs worth reading — yours and Mike Johnston’s. In your case the range of content from daily work to swimming to college expenses makes this unique. It’s basically a ritual of touching base almost daily with a friend we’ve never met. Sounds a bit cloying...or possibly pathetic...but a fact, nonetheless.

Thanks for keeping the earlier posts available. There’s still information in them of value. Some day I’ll find the post that summarizes everything I need to know about making the Olympus EM5.2 produce video in the style and quality seen in The Cantine.

G Gudmundsson said...

Thank you for your efforts during the past years!!! Much appreciated, by hundreds and thousands of people! -

I totally understand your need to step back. It is both necessary and wise ... thanks again ...

you are a worthy man, honest and fair-minded, great writer, with a good sense of humor,

so, it's always a pleasure to log onto your blog ....

anyway, have a great 'battery and brain' re-charging break ...

... Cheers! or Skál, like we say in Iceland.

Anonymous said...

Have a great break! You've earned it.
Mark

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog. Learned quite a bit, too. Thanks and best wishes.

Dave Jenkins said...

You are a compulsive writer, Kirk. I can't imagine that you'll stay away long. :-)

Why don't you pick up another Mamiya 6 and a few bricks of Tri-X and treat yourself to a week or two in Italy?

Alan Fairley said...

Like Anonymous said above, it’s you and Mike Johnson I read. I’m not addicted, so however you choose to blog is fine with me. If you are going to pick and choose what to write about, I vote for your pieces about the jobs you do, fascinating reading for me. And thanks for all your past post and the ones to come, whatever their number.

James Hildreth said...

Great, first Mike Johnston is on a break and now you. What am I going to read?

David said...

Thank you Kirk,
It has been a true pleasure reading your blog over the last 10 years. Very informative, interesting and thought provoking. I hope you choose to continue even if it just turns off topic. But its your thoughts, ideas and content, and what you choose to do I respect.
Now you can finish your second book in the lesbin series. I still have to finish getting through the first one.
Thank you,
David

Lenya Ryzhik said...

Kirk, as you temporarily disappear for a well-deserved break, can you keep posting some portraits from time to time, reminding us how incredible they are?

James Moule said...

Your ability to pass on so much worthwhile information while holding down your job and taking care of your family has been amazing. Take a well deserved break. Don't come back until you have something that is just pressing you to relate.

Dogster said...

Gosh, I am gonna have to figure how to change my daily routine. Both you and TOP are offline now. I read you every day, and enjoy it immensely. I am so impressed with your abilities and stick to it ness.
For my own selfish reasons, I hope your stay away break is not too long.

Eric Rose said...

Many others have said what I wanted to say but with better prose. Take care of yourself, sit in the sun and have a coffee on your favourite patio, cuddle with Belinda and Studio Dog and tell your dad from me that he brought up one hell of a man.

The snow is finally receding up here in Calgary, and as I've mentioned before we have a spare room anytime you want to come up and chill out in the mountains.

Eric

Raymond Charette said...

Mr Kirk, I hope to have the pleasure of reading more of your knowledge and humour sometime soon.

Kirk Tuck said...

Count on it. This audience is too good to give up.

James Bullock said...

Thanks for all the great info over the years Kirk and best wishes on dealing with your family. I have learned a lot from your insightful posts but what I really want to know is what brand of coffee you drink ( the keurig pods I use aren't getting the job done). I am 50 with a two year old son, trying to run my own photo and video business and need all the energy I can get!

Diogenes Baena said...

Your older posts have a timeless quality to them:your lighting is is more technique than equipment-dependent, your philosophical meanderings and life observations dont have a statute of limitations, your real-world technical expeetise is priceless, and your use of the English language is a joy to read.
I do think that if you were still actively using Sony, you'd have a lot more to say.
And one more thing: your active lifestyle is an inspiration!

Phil Stiles said...

There's a lot more than photography to your blog. In fact, in recent years I've been reading for the non-photography, or at least your day to day life, as opposed to the latest whiz bang gadget or lens. You should never run out of ideas. Just tell us what you did yesterday!

Enjoy your hiatus. Interesting how many mention TOP and your blog as daily favorites. I'm a member of that chorus. Many thanks for all you've done already!
Phil

Stephen Emmons said...

This is the best photography oriented blog out there. I look forward to more when you're ready to write again.

Marvin van drunen said...

VSL and TOP and sometime Luminous Landscape (but I really miss Michael).

Mike Rosiak said...

Kirk, with all that has happened recently, and the new responsibilities you have had to take on, I can well understand your feeling pretty frazzled by now. And, frazzled ain't conducive to playing to the audience. Please, take a break, avoid burn-out, swim every day, and take care of yourself.

I've followed your blog (and Mike Johnston's) for the past six years, to the degree that I feel I know both of you. Your articles about photography brought me here, but it's not what keeps me here. I like what you write, how you write, how you think and express what you think, and the range of subjects you write about. I think perhaps you bring your portraiture outlook to the written word.

It's not about the camera!

Daniel Walker said...

I agree with all the above post. I think why so many people follow your site is the honesty. That is so needed in today political and social environment. I would like to hope you will be back soon. We all need you. It might not seem like a big deal but you have touched so many people. I like to think everybody has a purpose in life, yours might be this blog.

Daniel Walker said...

Kirk
I write a monthly magazine article of about 500 words. I know what it takes out of me monthly to do this, It is even more taxing if there are other things going on in my life that drain my energy. You on the other hand produce more than 500 words on a daily bases. I honestly don’t see how you do that day in and day out. I would like to suggest that rather than back away completely you still write often but limit your content to fewer words. I for one will still look forward to your blog. Hang in there, there is more important work to be done.
Dan

Rufus said...

Say less. Show us pictures instead. Let your images do the talking.

BPete said...

Fair winds Kirk... Will be scanning the horizon for your return.

amolitor said...

Enjoy your break, and like all the rest, I too hope that after a suitable interval you find more things to say!

Jack said...

Take it easy to the extent you can. Come back whenever you want.

I think it is obvious that we ain't going anywhere. Or if we do, we'll still log on to read old(er) posts--every one a gem for some individuals/group or other.

Just like the "Dude," you will abide.

Cheers

Unknown said...

Any morning I’m not on the road, I start the day with my email, the NY Times and your column. We’re both working stiffs, albeit your work is a little more complicated. I was a news photographer, much of the time out of the country. Now, as an elderly photographer, I’m supposed to spend more at home, but, fortunately, share your interest in theatre photography. You will certainly be missed. And it will be wonderful when you have the time to reappear. It’s nice to read someone who knows what he is talking about. Until then, thank you for all the mornings you’ve made a little bit more interesting and best wishes with all those other tasks outside of writing.

Bill Pierce

jiannazzone said...

Take care if yourself. We will all be here when you get better. In the meantime, talk to Michael Johnston and either come back together or work out an alternate posting schedule to keep us (me) happy.

Paul Perton said...

Hi Kirk. I and several other photographers write for dearsusan.net. I've been reading VSL for several years and know you're taking a break, but I'd like to explore some kind of interview, to blend your outlook on work, gear, blogging and (what the hell) life in general.

Perhaps, you'd pop me off a mail to paul@paulperton.com and we can explore the idea? That said, there's no rush.

Best,

Paul H. said...

Enjoy the well deserved break.

Anonymous said...

Take your well deserved break. Use the time not spent here on you. Or you and your wife. Or son. Or studio dog. You get the idea. We all need a break or a time to focus on the really important stuff of family. If you come back we'll be here. If you don’t we'll be for you. All the best!

Rob Katz said...

kirk-

thank you for the years of insight, effort and sharing.

i very much appreciate what you have offered those who read vsl.

a lot has gone on in austin this past week.

a lot has gone on in your life these past few months.

a lot has gone on in our country for the past year.

spring is the time for renewal.

you are wise to pull up and walk for a moment.

if you ever find yourself in nyc, even if for only enroute to ben and his school, drop me a line and i'll buy dinner!

this well earned respite is yours for the taking.

be well.

rob/smalltalk productions/nyc



Adrian Van L said...

Important Questions for you hopefully answered in a future article:
In the process of updating my equipment and I wanted a fresh perspective on what types of equipment you normally used the most the video and photo. I know you have used nearly all major brands in the past 10 years: Sony A77, Nikon D750, D810, Panasonic GH5, Olympus etc. Are you still primarily using the Nikons for photo and why (compared to going Canon for example). Are you primarily using the GH5 for video projects now and 4K, instead of video with Nikons in Full HD. Are you using any Sony mirrorless.
What exactly is in your primary kit for photo and video. Please let us know. As you are getting a lot of comments today from regular readers, I hope you find mine. Always a pleasure to read your posts and the process by which you do your work? Thanks for the education on how to do things!

Peter B said...

I'll miss you.

omphoto said...

Thanks for everything you do for us Kirk, your readers understand your commitment but many don't really know what it takes and how you have managed so faithfully to do it for many years. So hats off to you for helping us feel like we're part of a community of creative, working image makers. A couple of years ago I stopped being a photo instructor because I got tired of hearing myself repeat the same ideas over and over. It was refreshing to let it go and start new projects that regenerated my old self.

Anonymous said...

Kt,
Recharge, refresh, re-calibrate.
Do what needs to be done.
Your readers will still be here waiting for you.
Jb

fixedshadow said...

You'll be back... Looking forward to it. Seriously, where I live (Chicago) this time of the year is a cold, windy, creative wasteland, but I imagine Austin is warmer and prettier, so get out and have some fun without feeling the need to document it. Share whatever thoughts you might want to share. You have the brain of a photographer so pretty much anything you write about will have a connection. Cheers!

Kodachromeguy said...

Hello Kirk, I have learned a lot from your blog and from "The Online Photographer." Take a break, relax, do something else for awhile. I have a suggestion: how about a series on film photography? So many recent photographers do not have any experience with chemical-based imaging and have a lot of misconceptions from film-haters on the standard popular sites. They could learn from your experience. Cheers!!

Kirk Tuck said...

Hope everyone is channeling some good vibes over to Michael Johnson. I think he's been through a bit lately. He deserves a dose of positive energy. If you also read his blog I'd bet a supportive comment about now would resonate nicely....

Del Bomberger said...

Wow, you, Mike Johnston, and now Lloyd Chambers out with a bike concussion. This could be "the end of the world as we know it". Good vibes to all concerned. Seem to have some time on my hands though.

Mosswings said...

The wonderful thing about your blog, Kirk, is that it's really about life. Sure, there are cameras and lights and models and the gizmo of the month laced throughout, but that's because you make your living with those things. If I were to use a modern buzzword, I'd describe it as very meta; about photography the life, not cameras the tools so much. Someone to read when I need a healthy helping of perspective and reality - which is often these days.

I guess that another thing I'd say is that it's the finiteness of a thing that gives it its ultimate value to us - if that thing were forever, we'd ignore it - take it for granted. The arc begins and ends. This one end, the more precious for doing so. I look forward to your next arc.

It has been a great nearly 10 years of nearly daily musings on life - through a lens many times but always through your own eyes.

Thanks.

Jim Hughes said...

I believe that what life throws at us sometimes takes our words away from us. Where they used to just flow to the page, suddenly there’s nothing. And we need to take some time to deal with life — to grieve, to process, to heal, before the words come back. No one teaches us how to do this. It’s just hard work. Selfishly, I hope you’re back soon. But even more, I hope you do what’s best for you right now. (Yes, I’m speaking from experience.)

Walter Moore said...

Hi Kirk, have enjoyed your blog for many years and appreciate its time to step back and take on some pressing responsibilities.
We will wait very patiently and send our best wishes to you and your family
You have been and continue to bean inspiration
Cheers

George Janik said...

Kirk, I was looking at the news and saw they imploded/demolished a 1970's building in Austin. Did you get a chance to photograph or video the building coming down?

Kirk Tuck said...

Sadly, George, I was out of town. I think it would have been a lot of fun. I knew the building well and even once did a video project on the top floor in the Regent's boardroom. Ah well.

Don Karner said...

To say I like your blog would be an understatement of vast proportion. I know it is mostly about various photographic aspects, but one of the best things I read recently was how you make a cup of coffee with the Illy coffee and pour over technique. So simple and yet satisfying. Looking forward to your revitalized self and all the little life musings. Very best wishes.

Eric Rose said...

I'm having a serious case of VSL withdrawal ;)

Hardison said...

Love the blog. Post whenever you want. We will check back from time to time to read old posts and look to see if there are new thoughts you want to share.