2.15.2019

We're closing in on our 4,000th blog post. Is there anything you'd be interested in hearing about here that we haven't already covered?



I've been writing this blog and populating it with photographs since 2009. We've covered so many topic and in so many ways. At this point we're also coming up on 25,000,000 page views directly on the site and over 80,000,000 indirect page views (according to Goggle). I'm not nearly finished with this whole photography thing (love taking photos for work and pleasure) but I thought I'd take a breath and ask for some feedback from consistent readers.

Are blogs totally obsolete?

Are videos the new blogs?

Are we still supposed to dislike HDR?

Do you want to hear about what I'm shooting with (gear) or should I bone up on my Roland Barthes and Claude Levi-Strauss and just write about the philosophy of image making in a post intelligent society?

Are we happy with the general guidelines of not talking about politics or should I spend more time pissing about half of you off?

Do you hate downtown Austin now or are you willing to see more photographs of the nihilistic hipster environment?

"Hold that thought."

Who are your current favorite photo bloggers (besides me, of course)?

Who are your current favorite photo Video-loggers? Don't say "Jared Polin" Please. Don't.

Are we soooo over 4K video yet? How about raw video formats? And those pesky codecs?

One thing I'm pretty certain about but feel compelled to ask; you DO want to read more about swimming, right?

Will small sensor camera systems die off? If we look to archeology I'd bet we'll kill off the dinosaur cameras first....

Will Nikon survive? How about Olympus? Will Sony snuff out all competitors and then exit the market to concentrate on VR? Where will we get new cameras to argue about?

Will Fuji ever get around to putting image stabilization in any of their APS-C cameras other than the XH1? Will Canon transition to 21st century sensors? Will Olympus ever hire someone rational and sane to write their camera menus? Is Pentax still in business?

Why the f-word to people walk around and shoot with their lens hoods mounted on backwards? WHY?

Should I consider the recent demise of comments to indicate a waning of interest which might suggest I turn my attention to something else other than writing about photography? Hang gliding? DIY surgery? A career in fast food? Actuarial Science?
Macramé? Scrapbooking? Politics?

Are you getting bored with black and white portraits of people?

Can we narrow down who invented the combo words, "Dealer Killer" then hunt them down and verbally repudiate them?

"Need the info...." (from Dr. Evil. Austin Powers #1).


88 comments:

Unknown said...

Kirk, I can never get enough of your portraits. Whether it's about how you prepare for a session, how you shoot them, etc., there are few if any out there I would rather read on this matter.

Unknown said...

Hi Kirk - First time commenting here.
Your blog is not obsolete and is still relevant. I've only recently found your blog. I check in several times a week and catch up.
I've always liked HDR. Yes tell about what you are shooting and with what equipment. Stay away from politics - we can find our group thinks in many other places. Other favorite bloggers: Michael Johnston and Lens Rentals (Roger primarily). Video blogger: Thomas Heaton.
No comments on projecting the future of gear.

MarkL said...

Well I've tried to comment before and it's never worked....
I am over reading about you changing camera systems every five minutes and suddenly the new system is the mutts nuts....even if that gets the most views.
I could never see too many of your square mono film portraits...
At 59 I only read written blogs, never look at video blogs, god no.
I've been reading you since your Leica M6 review back in the day so please keep going.
All the best, Mark

"Tuna" Man said...

I have you in my bookmarks for a reason. I read your column daily. Continue valiantly. It's not just "what" you write. It's the fact that you share your life. Thanks.

Doug said...

Kirk: Love your blog. Your approach is refreshing and enjoyable. I learn a lot. I reflect on what you write. Please don't politicize your blog. It would be a shame. I can find that elsewhere. Thanks!

ag said...

Kirk,

Never bored with your portraits, I am instead inspired. Politics can be had almost anywhere, unfortunately. Written blogs will never be obsolete among those who enjoy reading. Video blogs can be inspiring too (see Sean Tucker for one). The mix of topics here is thoughtful and have a color of life that others lack. Comments might be low because some of us are frozen over our keyboards in the icier regions that you reach. Ice still exists in places.
This blog is an oasis. Swimming, dad, studio dog, your portraits, your humanness, gear talk that is unlike so many others; these are why I come back again and again.

Eric Rose said...

No to politics! I suppose people who are into the Fuji system have loved your last months of Fuji love. If your comments are falling off maybe it's because of the aforementioned Fuji obsession ;) and those that are into Fuji have learned all they need to know and the rest of us, well we don't care. Mind you if you were going on about Panasonic I would be all ears so I'm biased. I still love your "battle" stories. I really enjoy your portraits! B&W is my favourite but your colour work is outstanding so I like that too.

Chris and Jordan are my favourite video reviewers. I don't bother with anyone else. I do however enjoy tutorials on FCPX. More video centric blogs would be nice. At least one new photo of Studio Dog per week would be nice :) Formal portrait of course.

That's about it, I love your writing and your blog. And of course Studio Dog.

Eric

Doug said...

Kirk: You know who's a great (?) video blogger? The Hybrid Shooter. No nonsense. Straight talker. Helpful insights. Strangely satisfying voice. I kinda dig Mark Smith, too, but then I'm a nature photographer who grew up in Florida.

Anonymous said...

Above all, keep the sarcasm, love it! But not too often; you know "too much of a good thing..."
I enjoy nearly all of your topics. Politics? Don't go there. Inuendos are fine, but anything deeper or sustained will dredge up unpleasantness as you well know.

Yours is one of the best out there. Thanks.
Paul

Dave Jenkins said...

Sounds to me like you just need a hug, Kirk. However. . .

"Are blogs totally obsolete?"

Yours, at least, is not.

"Are videos the new blogs?"

Not for me. I refuse to watch videos.

"Are we still supposed to dislike HDR?"

Don't know, don't care. Never use it.

"Do you want to hear about what I'm shooting with (gear) or should I bone up on my Roland Barthes and Claude Levi-Strauss and just write about the philosophy of image making in a post intelligent society?"

Just keep on doing what you've been doing.

"Are we happy with the general guidelines of not talking about politics or should I spend more time pissing about half of you off?"

I won't get into public arguments with you on your own blog, but I won't hang around if you get political (left or right).

"Do you hate downtown Austin now or are you willing to see more photographs of the nihilistic hipster environment?"

Don't care about Austin -- never been there. But rather than the nihilistic scene, I would really like to see more of your life-affirming work, such as you did in Italy.

"Who are your current favorite photo bloggers (besides me, of course)?"

Mike Johnston, Bruce Robbins (theonlinedarkroom.com), blog.jumgrey.net, Adam Bonn, Dear Susan, Sans Mirror, Wandering Lensman, Bill Fortney.

"Who are your current favorite photo Video-loggers? Don't say "Jared Polin" Please. Don't."

None. Do not and will not watch videos. See above.

"Are we soooo over 4K video yet? How about raw video formats? And those pesky codecs?"

No interest in video, either producing or watching.

"One thing I'm pretty certain about but feel compelled to ask; you DO want to read more about swimming, right?"

Reading about your swimming is like reading about pool on Mike J's blog. It's your blog. Write what you want. If I'm not interested I'll come back later.

"Will small sensor camera systems die off? If we look to archeology I'd bet we'll kill off the dinosaur cameras first...."

Who knows? I have my Fujis. I'm set.

"Will Nikon survive? How about Olympus? Will Sony snuff out all competitors and then exit the market to concentrate on VR? Where will we get new cameras to argue about?"

I refuse to get excited about any of this.

"Will Fuji ever get around to putting image stabilization in any of their APS-C cameras other than the XH1?"

Probably.

"Will Canon transition to 21st century sensors? Will Olympus ever hire someone rational and sane to write their camera menus? Is Pentax still in business?"

I like Canon's sensors. They do a good job in everyday professional photography. I actually find the Oly menus easier to use than Fuji's. No idea about Pentax.

"Why the f-word to people walk around and shoot with their lens hoods mounted on backwards? WHY?"

Beats me.

"Should I consider the recent demise of comments to indicate a waning of interest which might suggest I turn my attention to something else other than writing about photography? Hang gliding? DIY surgery? A career in fast food? Actuarial Science? Macramé? Scrapbooking? Politics?"

No.

"Are you getting bored with black and white portraits of people?"

No. They are always enjoyable.

"Can we narrow down who invented the combo words, "Dealer Killer" then hunt them down and verbally repudiate them?"

Naah, let them alone. They will eventually go on to some other buzz words that will be just as obnoxious and eventually no one will listen to them.

Anonymous said...

You can write anything. I will be back at the same bat channel at the same bat time.
David

Peter B said...

Please, please continue your blog. No, video blogs are not a replacement for text/photo blogs. I love almost all your portraits, b&w or color. Partly because in my long photographic career I've never managed to shoot a decent portrait. Thanks for your blog.

rdrowe said...

Kirk, I just enjoy what you post - and how you place the practice of photography within the totality of your life experience. Its a rare gift you have. Many thanks. R

Anonymous said...

Kirk,
I would like to know how you shoot your portraits -- the details. I promise not to move to Austin to compete. But your photos have a particular look that I really like, sort of over in the direction of Karsh, but not Karsh. Is it technique, or is it pushing people into a particular kind of pose, or what? As for you other questions, I generally dislike video blogs, because they're linear. With written blogs, you can skip the BS. You can't with video. If you want information on a video, you gotta sit there while the blogger bloviates. I read The Online Photographer and VSL daily, and sometimes the Luminous Landscape.

John Camp

Steve S said...

I came to your blog a year or so ago, via The Online Photographer, and have enjoyed your writing ever since. I plan to buy a new camera this year and have been leaning toward Fuji, so your Fuji shopping spree has been serendipitous reading for me. I'm an amateur photographer, but your real world, pro experience translates well for me.

This is my first comment and you should take my lack of comments as a sign of your high quality of writing. (Full disclosure: I am not related to Kirk and I do not owe him money.)

I only READ photography blogs. Most people use video because they can't write, but don't realize that not being able to write well reflects on the quality of their video. I know there are exceptions, but too few. I think people are doing video not because it's the right medium, but because they are trying to monetize it.

Here's to the next 4,000, Kirk. I'll comment again when you reach 8,000.

Simon said...

Kirk, I enjoy your blog and thoughts on both equipment and on your day to day activities immensely. Keep it coming as it is. And yes that includes your swim sessions and follow up coffee sessions. I don't see much else online about real working photographers and that makes your blog real and fun.

Travis said...

DIY surgery sounds like an interesting topic. :)

And I will never, ever get tired of B&W portraits.

pixtorial said...

Kirk, while I'm remiss on commenting with the normal frequency, rest assured I read all of your posts. Whether it is swimming (lifestyle), the business of photography (economy), the actual making of photographs (art), or discussions around why cameras work they way they do (science, or black magic, your choice), I find value in all of your musings and shared experiences. That you have chosen to give all of this away makes it more than a rarity, it makes you a damn near a philanthropist (and not the billionaire type who lords it over us). If anything, the dearth of comments might be that many of us don't possess the ability to keep up with you! Which only means I need to be swimming, biking, walking or doing something more than I am. You're just enough years ahead of me to drive me to adopt your healthy outlook on lifestyle. As for shots of downtown Austin, the modern hipster paradise that it is, I enjoy it only if to see how it continues to evolve since we departed in 2015.

W. Michael Taylor said...

Kirk,

VSL is one of the very best of photo blogs because you always base your reviews on real world use and you are an excellent teacher. I am a long time reader (8 years!). Please keep on doing what you are doing.

Unknown said...

Are videos the new blogs? Personally, I rather read than look at vblogs. Most of the vblogs I looked at seem to be more about the vblogger than the subject they are vblogging about. I'm perfectly happy reading your often wry prose ... the wryer the better.

Are we still supposed to dislike HDR? What's HDR???🙃 Really?? Who cares!!!

Do you want to hear about what I'm shooting with (gear) or should I bone up on my Roland Barthes and Claude Levi-Strauss and just write about the philosophy of image making in a post intelligent society? Stick with the gear ... Barthes is a crashing bore who never learned how to write French let alone English. Same goes for Sontag ... except she's unilingually boring.

Are we happy with the general guidelines of not talking about politics or should I spend more time pissing about half of you off? Depends on which half I'm in. But I don't live in the US sooooo ... your call.

Do you hate downtown Austin now or are you willing to see more photographs of the nihilistic hipster environment? Never been to Austin so it's all new to me. But the "nihilistic hipster environment" appeals to my deviant side.

Who are your current favorite photo bloggers (besides me, of course)? Luminous Landscape, TOP.

Who are your current favorite photo Video-loggers? Don't say "Jared Polin" Please. Don't. Ted Forbes. Can't stand Polin.

One thing I'm pretty certain about but feel compelled to ask; you DO want to read more about swimming, right? Neutral, as long as I don't drown in it😆 - this is Mr.T's playground you know. HEY!!! How about getting together with Mr.J over at TOP and designing a pool with a floating pool table ... Hmmmm ... we could call it Water Pool. Next stop ... the Olympics. 😁😄

Will small sensor camera systems die off? I thought they already had!? If we look to archeology I'd bet we'll kill off the dinosaur cameras first .... The meteor has already struck and the death is unfolding in slow motion.

Will Nikon survive? Most likely. They are too iconic a company for the Japanese govt. to let them die. They may eventually be swallowed by another company but the marque will still have cachet for a long time to come.
How about Olympus? I think the jury's out in Oly. Would be sad to see them go.
Will Sony snuff out all competitors and then exit the market to concentrate on VR? NO. Both Canon and Fuji are large conglomerates like Sony with deep pockets and solid products. Canon still has 50%+ of the camera market. Sony will be a long time knocking them off.

Will Fuji ever get around to putting image stabilization in any of their APS-C cameras other than the XH1? YES. The XH-1 was their first run at the problem. Now they just have to shrink the size of the module to get it inside the XT body.
Will Canon transition to 21st century sensors? YES. Sometime in the fifth quarter of the 23rd century.👿
Will Olympus ever hire someone rational and sane to write their camera menus? NO. Get used to it. Trust me; I used to be a Technical Writer. No sane rational person would want the job.
Is Pentax still in business? Are they???🙄

Why the f-word to people walk around and shoot with their lens hoods mounted on backwards? WHY? Subject for a long term photopsych double blind survey????🤔

Dano said...

I agree.i know you have done it before, but I would like for you to update the techniques you use to optimize small sensors like 4/3..

Anonymous said...

Hi Kirk,

Please just keep doing what you do. I really don't like watching video blogs, so please don't go there. Personally I very rarely shoot any video so 4K capabilities of cameras aren't a selling point for me. When I do, and when I watch, clean 1080 footage looks just fine. Nikon will survive but completion in the camera market is relentless, and whether or not that is how it should be, I think the Canon juggernaut will easily kick Sony's and everyone else's butt in terms of market share in mirrorless. I just hope enough camera makers remain viable businesses to give photographers a choice and provide some competition to Canon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with others via your blog. Jeff Smith

Michael Ferron said...

I would much rather read say a camera review than watch it on YouTube. Unfortunately there are not enough good photography blogs like your and a few others I read. I would like to hear more on the subject of "are big cameras dead?" After watching the last Super bowl what did I see at the end of the game on field? Like A hundred "big" cameras, mostly Nikon from my viewpoint with an amazing absence of Sony, the M/43 folks and Fuji.

Anonymous said...

I read the site simply because you're a working professional. Whatever the field, that means praxis matters,pays the bills, builds/maintains relationships.It's a rare perspective. You're civil and smart. No BS evaluations of equipment are much appreciated, too. What you do is overly-generous. Don't spoil us.

Ray said...

You've made me curious and I'm going to check out Jared Polin.

TOP, Andrew Molitor at Photo's And Stuff, & Thom Hogan.

Like a lot of others, I'm not into videos but I enjoy Ted Forbes at The Art Of Photography

Michael Matthews said...

Wow, that is some list. I'll resist the temptation to set up a split screen and respond point-for-point. Don't have the stamina.

This blog is not obsolete. It's readers feel a connection, enjoy reading it, and thank you for it.

Videos are not the new blogs, although I'd always like to see more from you in video form.

Philosophy of art and photography wear thin, fast. How-to...even if indirect, in the form of "how I did this"...is much more interesting.

Favorite other bloggers: TOP, Thom Hogan, Scott Kelby (despite the ever-present, vested commercial interest). That's about it for regular reading. Oh, also an occasional Ming Thein / Robin Wong.

Favorite vloggers? Difficult to answer. Most of the few I watch regularly are not photo oriented.

The obvious problem with vlogging is the need to feed the beast on a regular schedule to maintain ranking in Youtube's algorithm. Even those who are good at it are forced to fob off more and more filler rather than real content to sustain a continuing presence -- Peter McKinnon, one example. Great creativity and production skills plus a huge presence as a performer, yet he's stretched like a rubber band at the breaking point to keep up the pace. It takes a helluva lot more effort to find subjects, define one's take, physically locate the needed material and shoot it, then edit it than it does to write a blog. And because they're dependent upon growth in subscriptions to maintain revenue from advertising and affiliate links they can't stop. It's an ever accelerating treadmill to Hell.

All that aside, I follow a few and always rejoice at something new from James Popsys.

Skipping down to the cited demise of comments -- does said demise parallel a decline in readership? Unlikely, but only you and Google Analytics would know. Personally, I have to refrain from commenting too often. My contributions, using the term loosely, seldom have the weight of a feather and I hate to be a crashing bore almost as much as I dislike nominating myself for sycophant of the month.

You write, I read. Keep it up.

Wally said...

Best Ice Creme in Austin?

Kenneth Voigt said...

You are a good writer, like that Johnston guy. I wouldn't mind more off-topic stuff.

MikeR said...

OMG! Don't stop writing. That's what I'm here for. I may not comment all of the time. Sometimes I'm busy, sometimes I think what I have to say is too inane to post, and sometimes I just have nothing.
Answers to your questions, in order:
=NO!
=NO! I like to read. And, Videos trap me into their own pace.
=I jumped into both HDR and CHDK in 2011, when I owned a couple Canon P&S cameras. CHDK permitted bracketed exposures. When I jumped into M4/3 in 2012, I loved that the used Lumix GF1 I bought had an external dial to select bracketed exposure. I’m afraid I went apesh!t with HDR for a while, really overcooking the images. I finally got tired of the “look,” except when done subtly Hate? No, not if done well.
=Gear. Lighting. Processes. Videography. Business. Shows. Events. Adventures. Life. Leave the philosophical ramblings to others; there’s enough “mental masturbation” around.
=Although I’d probably agree with your positions, there’s already too much political gab around. (See “mental masturbation,” above)
=I like the shots of people, events, and the graffiti wall.
=”Hold that thought?” Huh?
=Mike Johnston. Carl Weese. Thom Hogan. Roger Cicala. Bruce Robbins.
=See item 2, above.
=No experience, no opinion.
=Well, it’s interesting enough. I envy your stick-to-it-ness.
=Like the ones in smart phones?
=Nikon probably is the most vulnerable. Olympus has a whole medical imaging business. Sony will never die, just steamroll over everybody else.
=Maybe. No idea. I hope so. What’s a Pentax? (Oh, yeah, that’s the name on one of those old 50mm film lenses I mysteriously own.)
=It’s a convenient place to keep it, so it won’t get lost, I suppose.
=NO! See my opening statement.
=Never.
=Let them have their fun. Those in the know will just ignore them.

EdPledger said...

Regarding the ice cream. Yes, more foodie hints for Austin, and San Antonio. BBQ, Burgers, Mex, whatever. Reports on jaunts with fanciful combos of bodies and lenses, like xe3 wi 35 f1.4, or 40mm f1.4 PenFT? And I agree with the comments about Subie mpgs, better do several checks with mileage and gallons to fill....with my Prius the speedo and odometer are off just a tad, so the on-board mpg and calculated mpg are both off a little, inflating mpg about 2-3 mpg. And our Subie has never gotten the 32 the window sticker suggested....maybe 29 on a long downhill with wind at our back.

Karl said...

Go to video blogging and lose me as a follower. Life is too short to watch videos. Text can be skimmed and savored at your own pace, not so much with videos. Videos are best at demonstrating how to do something, not for the expression of ideas and opinions as the bulk of your posts contain. Call me old school but I haven't the patience to wait for a video to get to the meat of the matter.

Anonymous said...

I have no interest in video blogs or news or anything else, read only a few blogs regularly - yours, Thom Hogan & TOP are the only ones I look at regularly. Other than that, what Dave Jenkins said, basically.
Ken

Victor Bloomfield said...

I like pretty much everything you write. VSL and TOP are the first blogs I read each and every day. I especially appreciate your describing the many aspects of work as a professional photographer, and how it connects with the rest of life.

Kristian Wannebo said...

Kirk,
The only way, I think, to write well is to write about what interests you!
Of course, if you have too many interests ... asking around might help(?)

So:
No, videos aren't the new blogs - well, they seem to be...
Information is so much more easily gathered from text!
( Although it probably takes more work to write a good text than to hold an improvised talk to a camera.)

Although I doubt very much that we live in a "post intelligent" society (I mean, was society *ever* intelligent?), thoughts (philosophy?) about image making are also interesting.

".. politics .."?
I'd like to see an image of Pr. Trump playing with one yo-yo in each hand, one a small earth globe with the slit along the equator and one traditional having a US map on each side - but I don't know if he is really doing that or just pretending...
[ >> Please feel free to delete this part!]

( Jared Polin (whoops), who is he - what's he done?
Sorry, :-) )

"small sensor camera systems"?
No idea, but small sensor fixed zoom lens cameras need rethinking. The one inch sensor seems to large to allow for (really) good zoom optics in a pocketable format.

IBIS, who'll be the first to add in-camera sensor tilt?

"black and white portraits", ...are often more interesting than in colour!
- - -

Hope you'll have a good time continuing your blogging with interesting good texts and photographs!

Rusty said...

Kirk you blog about business issues that could apply to most fields; you write well about many topics, I like that. If you want to throw in a video of a downtown walkabout, or swim meet - knock yourself out. Keep on track with what you do so well, stay away from politics, your country will eventually come to its senses,with or without you ranting on that topic. I for one are most grateful for your writing/blogging; which it appears to be mostly a fine donation to the knowledge base, a rare lack of blatant monetization here - thank-you very much for that

Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog. I have one question, though, have you ever regretted trading a camera or lens?

David Mantripp said...

Wouldn’t say no to a sequel to the Lisbon Portfolio. Or two. Or three :-)

Anonymous said...

Blogs like yours are fine, I hate video blogs, you are a nice man, no politics, I don't like technic related video talk, just still photography, black and white photos look so much better on paper and not so much on screens. I like gear talk, lens and camera and sensor related.
Peace, Frank.

MO said...

hi Kirk

If You find a topic interesting, no matter the topic. I enjoy your writing, especially the posts You start to rant a bit. those posts seam to hit a nerve.

Cheers Mads

Don McConnell said...

This is exactly my take on your blog as well. Thanks Kirk.

Anonymous said...

Writing beats video since written information can be ingested so much faster.

But video has it's place in particular circumstances. I would love to see a video of you during a corporate photo session, photographing about 20 employees. How do you manage to get a diverse bunch of people relaxed when facing the camera? This could be much better illustrated in a video than described with words.

Ideally with a split screen, subjects on one side, you on the other.

MO said...

As for your other questions or som of them:

apart from your blog i only read review related sites like opticallimits and lenstip. I find Youtuber called Christoffer Frost usefull to.

Never used HDR

mostly shoot AVCHD - 1920 x 1080 p - 24 fps - 24Mbps. Sometimes i shoot 4k in AVCHD to and downsampels after edit. But You will find me shooting in the old H.264 to. i like Panasonics cineV profile the most, for fast but good grading.

But maby its due to my segment. i dont find 4k and heavier codedexes worth it yet.

I shoot canon both crop and fullframe and Panasonic MFT. and i dont thing MFT is about to die off. Not at all


over and out

Keep up the good spirit

Henk said...

I am an amateur mostly landscape photographer, I like reading about your job, family (my MIL has Alzheimer too, as had my FIL). I like your view and posts on photographic equipment and take your posts on swimming for granted ;-). Read your "the Lisbon Portfolio" which I liked and waiting for your next book. Other bloggers / vloggers: Amolitor,Adam Gibbs (2018 winner International Landscape Photographer of the year) and Simon Baxter. Please post more B/W portraits, it is where you excel. More environmental portraits in B/W would be welcome too. And at least 6000 more blog posts :-)
Have a nice weekend.
Henk

Michael G said...

Kirk,
Please keep doing exactly what you are doing! I love the topics that you cover, and definitely prefer reading to watching videos :)

Brat Pix said...

I do not care too much for your comments about cameras and lens. I have little interest for your pictures of downtown Austin. But when you write about your job, your life and your passion for photography you are simply one of the best. Hope you will continue for many years.

Jack said...

No videos (from former word herder). I retain much more from written text than I do from videos. The latter has too many distractions, I guess.
Also, I see no needed blog changes. It ain't broke...

Cheers

Unknown said...

Keep doing what you do. If you're enthusiastic enough to write about something, I'll read it :-D

dwross said...

In agreement with "Tuna" and Don. I have very few blogs bookmarked. Yours is among them. Very much look forward to new entries.

Mike Shwarts said...

I don't mind the occasional video if it presents some aspect better than words and photos, but I prefer your kind of blog. Video blogs often mean sitting through something commonly found in cow pastures, by wet behind the ears newbies. Often you find that you already know about the subject in the hopped up, vague headline to the video. An occasional video if done in your style of presentation might be nice, but generally stick to text and photos.

No politics, but politicians and others who shape the word are fair game if you stick to the photographic and human experience. For instance your post on working with President George H. W. Bush is a fine example.

Who are your current favorite photo bloggers (besides me, of course)?
Mike Johnson and Ming Thein.

...DO want to read more about swimming, right? I swim about as well as rock, but you bring the human experience to these posts, so keep posting about swimming.

Will small sensor camera systems die off?
If that means Micro 4/3, I hope not. Sometimes you want a small system rather than lugging around larger bodies and lenses.

Speaking of small. Can compact cameras hang on and if you think so, how? Sometimes you want something in your pocket just in case and opportunity arises and phone won't cut it. Should one of the big companies put out a compact camera with a small smart phone built into it? Include all the A.I. in phones. Camera first, connectivity second. Might need a loose pants pocket or jacket pocket, but better than carrying a phone and compact camera if you aren't out with the aim to make photos with your larger gear.

How about Olympus? See above.

Often don't comment if somebody beat me to the comment and did a better job of it than I.

Are you getting bored with black and white portraits of people?
No. I may buy some B&W film for my only medium format camera.

Maybe a post on misinformation that younger bloggers/vloggers are spreading and what is correct. An example is many blogs and forums talk about editorial photography and editorial style and it seems they really mean fashion photography. Editorial photography supports the written word. Fashion can fall under it, but so can landscapes, other portraits, that photo of an octopus in National Geographic if it supports the written story.

Rufus said...

Kirk

Your blog is important to me. Visiting it is a part of my day, like my mid morning coffee and the twice-daily dog walk. When work gets in the way and that routine is interrupted, I get grouchy. So please dont stop.

So what do I like? What am I bored with, what would I like to see?

I am bored with images of live theatre.

I am bored with seeing the graffiti wall. And the Austin cityscapes are getting samey...

I'd like to see more natural light work. I'd like to see you get down and dirty in places where you can't control the light source - go visit some live music hipster Austin bars and take some grainy B&W, use that Acros mode in your Fujis.

And given that you are have confessed to it not being your natural preference - landscapes. But give them an edge - maybe throw some people in them and call them environmental portraits.

No harm in getting to the end of your creative rope, in that place which does not feel comfortable. I'd like to see that - some of your work in Europe has that quality, so maybe seek inspiration from that time in your life.

:)

Anonymous said...

I read the following daily: Mike Johnston (photography as an art form). You (how to use a camera). Lloyd Chambers (nitty gritty equipment details). Nobody else comes close. Keep it up.

Jim Moule - a beginning photographer since 1947.

Anonymous said...

Not to make another millennial-bashing comment, I'm rather trying to decry the dumbing down of our society. Let me put it briefly, most videos, especially camera review ones are total crap. Not every person is skilled at ad-lib self expression. I've tried to watch a few, and I have seen some that have introductions composed of random video, miserable computer generated music at ear splitting volume, lasting over two minutes. Hey, mister I like to look at myself, I've got a life to lead too. GEt to the point. And imagine for a minute how many people would have watched Walter Cronkeidt or Tom Brokaw if every third word was uh or ummm of ah? Write a damn script and read it.

And why have these videos become common? for one thing the average high school graduate is totally unable to form a good English prose sentence. And second, sitting down and organizing one's thoughts and committing them to paper, and letting it rest for a day or two and coming back and reviewing and revising it are too much for our average citizen to get done between instagram and twitter posts.

And don't get me started on unboxing videos. how could anything be more pointless?

What I want is written material. Generally, I first scan it to see if it is something of interest to me. Then if it is, I read in detail. As a part of that process, I may jump back and forth between paragraphs to fully absorb what is written. It;s hard to do that with video.

I am an avid follower of you, Mike Johnson, and Roger Cicala. All three of you write well, communicate what you wish with brevity and wit, and are informative. Do videos? I'm gone.

Yoram Nevo said...

Hi kirk. I like your blog very much. Keep on writing on whatever and in what style you find to fit your thoughts. I specially like when you show us that a "pro" photographer can use gear that is declared as inferior by all the reviews sites. Best regards and keep in mind that people seldom comment when they enjoy what they read.
Your regular, Yoram

Steve Renwick said...

>>Are you getting bored with black and white portraits of people?<<

NO. It was said to a fictional Kirk, "Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny." Portraiture is yours.

Zave Shapiro said...

Generally, no to video. Words are compact, re-readable, interruptible, can be skimmed or examined closely. Vlogs waste my time. Snooker yes, swimming not so much. So - TOP and Cicala. What I enjoy is that photography is both art and craft, and the tools are interesting. You're a working photographer and your perspective on equipment is the most interesting to me; does this tool help me do my job? And, just as working musicians understand the art and craft of others, I appreciate your views on other photographers and on fields other than the areas you usually practise in. Austin yes, graffiti no. I was a commercial driver for over 25 years. Power steering, power brakes, automatic transmissions - if you have to. Traction control, ABS, lane detection are like fancy metering and autofocus - right 97% of the time and that's a big problem.

I'll wrap with a quote from Photo.net of years ago "there is no bad light, only misunderstood light". I just like it.

Robert Roaldi said...

Might be fun if you wrote a piece on why it's better to stick with one system rather than trying them all. :)

TMJ said...

The reason your blog is so readable is that you talk about your passions, not ours, though they oft overlap.

Do carry on!

Russ Goddard said...

For the record . . . I comment only occasionally, but I come here EVERY day!

Wess Gray said...

Kirk, After a 40 year absence, I got in a swimming pool last December, twice a week since. Thank you!

crsantin said...

There is an old coaching adage that says...if you start listening to the fans, you'll soon be sitting among them.

DAVID_M said...

Kirk, Your's is the only photo blog I follow and I read whatever has been missed every couple of weeks. I think I have read all of your entries. I too am a swimmer, about 18,000 feet per week which is just the right amount for my needs. I started with a Cannon FTB back in 1968, a gift from my older brother stationed in Vietnam. I finally made the switch to Olympus OMD when it first came out with the 17, 25 and 45 primes. It has worked well. My preference for making photos has been usurped now for a preference for plien air painting.
Please keep up the good work. I too enjoy your BNW portraiture, your commentaries on gear, your professional experiences and the stuff of your life and family. Present whatever moves you and give landscape a try.

Dodge Baena said...

Ditto. If they came up with a photoblog Hall of Fame, 1 awardee /year, youd be the inaugural awardee, setting quite a high bar.

Dodge Baena said...

I read and I have opinions (and some questions) on almost all your postings but I find the highly intelligent content quality to be (personally) intimidating. Please keep up the blogging. You may write on paint drying on a wall and I believe it'll be a joy to read about.

Honeybadger said...

I'm curious if you use Dragon Naturally Speaking to help compose your prodigious number of blog posts.

Kirk Tuck said...

Honeybadger, I've never used a speech to text program. Each letter is lovingly typed with my own finger tips. I'd love to say that I write outlines on parchment, revise endlessly and then commit each blog to a finished form but usually I just sit down, type what's on my mind, read it once for typos and push "publish." There is a danger in rushing through things but, I think, a greater danger in overthinking.

Kirk Tuck said...

Thank you. I consider that very kind.

Kirk Tuck said...

Mark. It worked!!! Welcome to the land of comments. Thanks. KT

Kirk Tuck said...

Dodge. I don't know if that's true but it sure sounds great to me. We'll do an afterparty after the awards ceremony; the first round is on me.

Kirk Tuck said...

No politics here and none planned. That's a whole different space.

Kirk Tuck said...

Thanks ag. It hit 90 here yesterday and quick as that it's back down in the 40's. I think Texas weather is schizophrenic.

Kirk Tuck said...

I'll stop with all the fuji. I've already bought everything in their catalog.... (just, almost, kidding). Studio Dog is a good editor. She'll keep the politics at bay.

Kirk Tuck said...

I like the hybrid shooter as well. And for gear? Martin Heilbron.

Kirk Tuck said...

Much appreciated. I'm very much enjoying this big, group hug.

Kirk Tuck said...

Keep keeping me on track Dave. I love hearing from you. KT

Kirk Tuck said...

I think being a photographer means being totally immersed in one's human life. The sharing is the fun part.

Kirk Tuck said...

John, I'm on a portrait binge right now and I'll talk about the nuts and bolts (and the emotion) of it shortly. Thanks for the kind feedback.

Kirk Tuck said...

Travis, working on a minor lobotomy right about now. If I can just clean the glue off my Exacto knife. Oh, what the hell. Glerp.

Kirk Tuck said...

Wise words. I'll watch my ass.

Joe said...

No, no, definitely not a lack of interest. I check this site virtually every day. I just don't feel the need to jump incessantly.

Murray Davidson said...

Kirk - just keep going, maybe with the odd (non-swimming) off topic post to further leaven the mix. I enjoy your writing.
On the topic of YouTube VLOGs, I like watching Andy Mumford. Kevin Mullins' channel is worth watching because he (like you) shares his approach and thinking, although I'm not always completely sold on his style of photography.
But for real entertainment, two of my favourite channels are Project Binky - trust me, if you like humour, engineering and a daft project, just try it! - which has great production, and Maximus Ironthumper, an off-grid blacksmith who makes charming content.
Go on, give them a whirl...
Cheers,
Murray

Anonymous said...

More portraits on the blog. More experimenting with your portrait style (if you feel so inclined) .

You regularly post wonderful portraits you made over your career. Are you still finding interesting people and interesting faces and taking their pictures in the same way as you do your photography walks? That's what I'd love to see more of.

Mark

Richard said...

Hi Kirk, Only read you, TOP and Molitor with any regularity. Your writing and unique perspective are the reasons I come back. You know of what you speak and you put it well. You've found your unique voice and I enjoy it a lot.

I'm a Brit so US politics are impenetrable to me. We have enough problems with our own politicians at the moment.

The gear roundabout is interesting especially as it's kit you use to do your job, so you're able to offer much more insight into handling, performance and set up. Much more useful than a random journo using some free kit on a 3 day freebie junket and then writing a half baked assessment.

Vlogs - never heard of the guy you mentioned but the only one I watch is Sean Tucker. He's a pro photographer in the UK. Not a review vlog - it's much more interesting and philosophical than that and very well put together. No backwards baseball cap, "hey whassup" or weird hand signs.

I like your views of Austin, it's just so different from dark, chilly UK. You're blessed with good light. If I ever get there I know exactly where to go. I'll admit that theatre photography isn't my scene but always enjoy your posts and I love your portraits, especially the black and white ones. Sorry, not even remotely interested in video.

Thanks again for a great blog.




Rodolfo Canet said...

Are blogs totally obsolete? No

Are videos the new blogs? NOOOO

Are we still supposed to dislike HDR? I do!!!

Do you want to hear about what I'm shooting with (gear) or should I bone up on my Roland Barthes and Claude Levi-Strauss and just write about the philosophy of image making in a post intelligent society? Gear and everything, please

Are we happy with the general guidelines of not talking about politics or should I spend more time pissing about half of you off? Absolutely YES

Do you hate downtown Austin now or are you willing to see more photographs of the nihilistic hipster environment? I don't

"Hold that thought."

Who are your current favorite photo bloggers (besides me, of course)? Mike Johnston, Thom Hogan

Who are your current favorite photo Video-loggers? Don't say "Jared Polin" Please. Don't. Don't watch v-logs

Are we soooo over 4K video yet? How about raw video formats? And those pesky codecs? Couldn't care less about video

One thing I'm pretty certain about but feel compelled to ask; you DO want to read more about swimming, right? I care for reading whatever you write about. If I wouldn't line human touch I'd go dpreview

Will small sensor camera systems die off? If we look to archeology I'd bet we'll kill off the dinosaur cameras first.... Mobiles are small sensor camera systems, how could they die?

Will Nikon survive? How about Olympus? Will Sony snuff out all competitors and then exit the market to concentrate on VR? Where will we get new cameras to argue about? I hope so: I got a Z7 and a PEN-F!

Will Fuji ever get around to putting image stabilization in any of their APS-C cameras other than the XH1? Will Canon transition to 21st century sensors? Will Olympus ever hire someone rational and sane to write their camera menus? Is Pentax still in business? Who knows?

Why the f-word to people walk around and shoot with their lens hoods mounted on backwards? WHY? Too many things to do, too few neurons

Should I consider the recent demise of comments to indicate a waning of interest which might suggest I turn my attention to something else other than writing about photography? Hang gliding? DIY surgery? A career in fast food? Actuarial Science?
Macramé? Scrapbooking? Politics? No

Are you getting bored with black and white portraits of people? Absolutely not, specially because some of your models have a special kind of beauty I cannot find anywhere

Can we narrow down who invented the combo words, "Dealer Killer" then hunt them down and verbally repudiate them? If you can, please reserve the first blow to me

Anonymous said...

I came here to add to the comments -- only to realize that your readers and their comments already eloquently discussed any points I might want to make.

Favorite photo blogs: VSL, TOP, byThom, and Roger Cicala.

DavidB

Richard said...

Hi, I think it would be interesting to explore the psychological aspects of photography. For example how do you work with your subjects' attitudes towards being photographed?

Anonymous said...

I hadn't realized our affair was going on for such a long time already. Congratulations and thank you, Kirk.
It's been a joy, even though I don't care about swimming or downtown Austin, and woun't follow you into an expensive Fuji adventure.

*Are blogs totally obsolete?*
Why, no, not at all. I follow you, Mike J., Ming, David Thorpe and Jason Lanier, plus two German guys you wouldn't understand.

*Are videos the new blogs?*
Mostly not, most video blogs are too much about showmanship - small wonder, if you're the main and only character.

*Gear or philosophy*
I'm interested in both, but mm... to each his own. I think Mike is stronger on philosophy (sorry), you on gear and the process of shooting, running that business.

"Hold that thought."
Personally, I could do w/o the slice-of-life bits, the diary aspect. I read it for the photography, not your everyday hassle or what your lunch was. (TOP is much worse in this regard.) Could well be a European/US divide at work here.

*Are we soooo over 4K video yet? How about raw video formats? And those pesky codecs?*
I don't do or care about video, any k you like.

*Should I consider the recent demise of comments ..*
.. a problem with the process? Maybe. I tried it once, after your policy became more lenient, but it never surfaced. You should add more options to log-in other than Gugl. Anonymous is so .. err ... anonymous. I'm on Disqus e.g.

*Are you getting bored with black and white portraits of people?*
Not at all.

Best, Hendrik

Kirk Decker said...

So, yeah, I like the blog, and I don’t think blogs are obsolete. I follow a number of them, and it’s always a bit depressing when there are no new posts from anyone.
Blogs I follow: Austin Kleon, Chuck Wendig, XKCD, The Oatmeal, Michael Johnston, A Photo Editor, Unphotographable, Joe McNally, Lens Rentals, Atlas Obscura, Nautilus, etc. etc. I do not follow any video blogs. I find the lack of editing and general blather tedious. I love Instagram. I follow a number of photographers there, and I get a lot of inspiration from it.
Your latest portrait posts are great, a little technique and a little philosophy work well for me. Photos of downtown Austin are fine, photos of hippie chicks who are nihilist about clothing are always appreciated. Posts of swimming give us readers a deeper appreciation of you as a person. I did some video in the 80’s. Enough video to realize that it is a completely different aesthetic than photography and that I never enjoyed doing it.
F-ing Lens Hoods - I don’t know why I feel so strongly about it, but it really pisses me off to see them on backwards - maybe I see it as a manifestation of ignorance/arrogance. I ALWAYS use a lens hood. I rarely drop a camera, but the times that I did, they hit the ground hard, and the lens hood took the hit. Saved me a ton of money and I was able to keep shooting.
I love the black and white portraits, and as a personal observation, the ones on film seem to be some of your favorites as well. I’ve been kinda waiting for you to, one day, dig out the blad and the 180mm and shoot some film, just for fun… I totally see it in your future… I also think it takes a lot of dedication and skill to crank out a blog day after day. It’s much appreciated. Thank you.

Unknown said...

I was a frequent viewer of your blog. Many months ago you ventured into politics and something you wrote made me angry. I don't even remember what it was but my reaction was pretty decisive. I don't have to agree with people to be friends with them. I honestly don't remember what it was but I just quit. My advice is to either stay away from politics on this blog or go whole hog so you are only talking to those who will tolerate it. I did not actually come here on purpose. I opened a browser that I had stopped using that had this blog as it's home page. I was surprised to see this post on the blog. I would not have commented otherwise. What I did comment was intended as constructive criticism. Good light and Good Luck!