Studio Dog instructed my family in "how to leave on a high note."
Boy, blogging sure has changed over the last eleven years. We used to talk as much about gear back then as we do now but it seemed more important at the beginning. People were still transitioning to digital from their filmic pasts. Gear was improving by leaps and bounds. Mirrorless cameras were in their infancy and it seemed that DSLRs would rule forever. LED lighting was on very few peoples' radars. Portable flashes were the hot photo topic - that, and full frame cameras.
Now writing a photography blog seems like a "boomer" activity only. My audience has steadily declined except for those days when I write something about micro four thirds cameras. Comments, which I always take as indicators of interest, have also declined. I liked sharing my knowledge about photography and how I practiced it but our way of life has evolved into something quite different and our need to know trivia and details about the craft have faded significantly as everyone's post production skills have improved.
I'm more interested now, commercially, in video and I fully understand that for many of you who visit here that video is way down on the list of your interests. I think the deepest plunges in readership come on the days when I write something about making movies or the foibles of recording audio. As I fall deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of video I see myself writing less and less about new photography gear and new picture making practices. And spending less and less time waxing nostalgic about how we "used to do it in the old days."
I have recently (finally) come to grips with the whole concept that, in what's left of the commercial imaging world, you can do quite well with a smart phone and a suite of programs to enhance your smartphone photos, with less hassle and less time spent than "doing them the right way."
When commercial photography was thriving the blog seemed like an important way to keep connected. When I had books to share it seemed like a good way to point toward the books' mini-sites on Amazon.com. But now I have nothing to sell, little to share that I haven't already shared, and little reason to continue on in the current milieu. A break is in order.
Belinda and I are looking forward, after the vaccine or some other future miracle, to doing a lot of traveling while my deepest interests lie in shooting photographs just for myself and also making little black and white movies with my ever-changing collection of cameras.
Most of the people that I know are now more comfortable sitting back and watching someone entertain and (mildly) educate them via "internet television" than they are sitting down with a cup of coffee and (God Forbid!) reading a longer form blog post.
Funny, I've shut down the blog before after particularly harsh and confrontational encounters with trolls on the web but this time there is no antipathy, no vendetta and no awkward push. Just a sad realization that we've run our course here (for now) and have both run out of topical things to talk about and also run out of opportunities, in the moment, to do the kind of work I love sharing. I think we've all had enough graffiti and isolated walks through a shopworn and empty Austin downtown landscape, and the photographic souvenirs from such walks.
I've met a couple of dozen of you over the last decade and enjoyed every encounter. Some of you have become good friends. Some of you were loyal and valuable commenters and, even cheerleaders.
I think I need a spell of rejuvenation and rediscovery. I'm not interested any longer in writing books. I'm not particularly interested in the nuanced mechanics of blog writing. Or inadvertently serving as a unwitting marketing resource for camera and photo product companies. I'm not anxious to watch my writing devolve into some personal pathos about lost life opportunities, bad decision making, therapy or diets. Or "how we did things in the golden age of photography."
Finding myself straying from the core mission of pursuing Visual Science is in itself disturbing. But I'm sure we'll all get over it and move on to enjoying other pursuits. If you need more information about swimming you'll find wonderful tutorials at: the YouTube channel: "Effortless Swimming."
Ming Thein wrote his farewell last week. I'm not so final. I'm just going to say: "See You Around."
I'll leave the comments open for a week or so in case anyone has questions or comments they'd like to share.
We'll also leave the 4,653 existing posts up in case any particular article resonated with you and you'd like to copy and paste it into your own archive. I'll be back when I'm smarter and more experienced. And hopefully more interesting.
I would say that Michael Johnston might see his readership bump up a bit but the truth is that most people here are already visiting theonlinephotographer as well so there's probably little outside our cozy Venn diagram of readers to harvest.
I am not retiring from my profession. I am not angry or aggrieved. I am not physically unwell. I am not mentally distressed. It's safe to say that I've just run out of anything interesting (to anyone but me) to write about for now. I'll be back when I've rediscovered my "north star."
Here are a few of my favorite images posted over the years. Take care of yourselves and enjoy photography however you choose to practice it. My website is: kirktuck.com
"Give him a week or two and we'll be right back in the mix..." -anonymous commenter.