Looking Forward Towards 2019

I’d like to thank each and every one of our readers for taking the time to visit our photography blog during the past 12 months. We certainly had a busy year together! Looking forward towards 2019 there are a number of projects in the hopper that we hope will be of interest to you.

To serve as visual breaks, we have featured a selection of 20 photographs from our most recent trip to New Zealand. None of these images has previously appeared on this website.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Blue Spring, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 13 mm, efov 35 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-400

Before we get into our future plans, let’s take a quick look at what happened with us in 2018. During the calendar year, 128 new postings covering a range of topics, were added to this photography blog.  This website now features 569 articles and many thousands of original photographs.

Makorori Headland area, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-400

To augment the two eBooks we published in late 2017 (Nova Scotia Photography Tour and The Little Camera That Could) we published four additional eBooks in 2018. These included Images of Greece, Desert & Mountain Memories, Balancing Eggs and New Zealand Tip-to-Tip. We are thrilled that readers in over 30 countries around the world have purchased our eBooks thus far!

Mohaka Township Road, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 42 mm, efov 113.4 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-800

While not all of our plans for 2019 have been finalized, there are some initiatives we can share with you.

Wild chick near Haruru Falls, New Zealand, Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-100

We have two eBooks currently under active development. The first one is an eBook on hand-held bird photography. This should be launched early in the new year. In the back half of the year we should have another eBook completed. This one will  be on flower and garden photography.

Winter Gardens Whanganui, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-800, extension tube used

A few other potential eBooks are also under consideration for 2019. The exact timing has not been determined quite yet as we need to assess reader interest and our work load schedule.

Winter Gardens Whanganui, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 40.6 mm, efov 109.6 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-800, extension tube used

Some of the proposed eBooks include a travel photography eBook on Ireland, an eBook on landscape photography, as well as an eBook that deals with photographic composition.

Road to Cape Palliser, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 13 mm, efov 35 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

As we move forward in 2019 some changes with the video portion of our work will be implemented. Our industrial client video service will certainly be continuing, along with our emphasis on producing safety related videos for our clients.

Herbertville, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 30 mm, efov 81 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

Our main consumer video platform has been YouTube. Many of our videos were monetized with advertising. This monetization began quite a few years ago when we first set up our YouTube channel. At the time this was a very common practice.

Maraetotara Road, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 46 mm, efov 124.2 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-800

I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with the notion of being paid for clicks by advertisers whether that happened on my photography blog or on my YouTube channel. Compensation of this sort creates the potential temptation for a blogger to produce ‘click bait’ material for the sole purpose of maximizing advertising click revenues. Being involved with ‘click bait’ content is of absolutely no interest to me.

Kayakers at Tutea Falls, New Zealand, Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm, efov 189 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-2000

We had a good, hard look at YouTube and our presence on that platform. After evaluating various factors, we decided to dramatically change our approach with our video work that is targeted at the consumer market. In a nutshell we will be moving all future consumer-oriented video productions to a different platform, and away from YouTube.

Tairua, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 26 mm, efov 70.2 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-160

The vast majority of videos that we had on YouTube are in the process of being deleted, and any links embedded in articles are being removed. We do plan on putting a limited number of new videos on YouTube. None of those future YouTube videos will be monetized with advertising, and none of those videos will have links from this website in articles. Some readers may have already noticed that the YouTube tab in our navigation bar has been removed from this website.

Amodeo Bay, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-160

I’m sure most bloggers think we’re crazy for not running advertising on our photography website, and for purposely walking away from YouTube advertising click revenue in the future. For the vast majority of websites, focusing on per click advertising revenues is a cornerstone of their business model. In my mind the underlying motivation of that approach is to chase after readers on an indiscriminate basis, simply to build website traffic volume and make money from advertising clicks.

Hiking to Putangirua Pinnacles, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-800

There are two issues that are far more important to us than advertising click revenue. The first is to develop and maintain positive relationships with our individual readers, regardless of the ultimate size of our audience. The second is being able to completely control the companies and organizations with which we are associated. Carrying outside advertising on YouTube makes this impossible. As the old saying goes, “You are defined by the actions you take and the company you keep.”

Kawakawa Bay, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 11 mm, efov 29.7 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-160

To me this means responding to as many reader comments and personal emails as possible. It means creating and maintaining a respectful environment for our readers, free of aggressive and attacking behaviours that are, sadly, far too common on the internet. It means being totally independent so I can write articles as my spirit moves me without feeling obligated to cover new product introductions. It has also meant turning away offers from companies that wanted to ‘pay for content’ on my website. To us, building and maintaining trust with a supportive audience is critical.

Enroute to Ocean Beach, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 20 mm, efov 54 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-800

As mentioned earlier, all of our new video work for consumer viewing will be moving to a completely different platform, and away from YouTube. Our future presence on YouTube will be focused on promoting this photography blog, our eBooks, our business posters, and the videos that we plan to have on a platform outside of YouTube. As you can imagine, these changes to the video portion of our work are quite massive and likely will not be fully completed until late 2019.

Tolaga Bay Wharf, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-160

Our 2019 plan will also include more time being allocated for presentations to camera clubs, garden clubs and community groups. Our presentations will cover photography and travel related topics. Geographically this part of our plan will be focused on the Southern Ontario region. We will be adding a ‘Presentations’ tab to the navigation bar on this website in the future.

Oyster catcher in flight, Tairua New Zealand, Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 220 mm, efov 594 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-500

Recently we re-examined our existing marketing associations. This past week we decided to end our longstanding Affiliate relationship with B&H. The company has been a very good marketing partner over the years, and I will certainly continue to be a customer of B&H on a personal basis.

Burnside Presbyterian Church, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-220

From day one, the intent of this website has been to encourage readers to get the most out of the camera gear that they already own. We have never encouraged readers to slavishly buy the ‘latest and greatest’ camera equipment. Nor have we made it a practice to do reviews on camera gear that we did not own and use, or at the very least, have an interest in.

Rangipo Desert Road, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 37 mm, efov 100 mm, f/8, 1/2000, ISO-400

Our blog has never been focused on promoting and writing about camera gear. Getting a small commission when readers bought new camera equipment through our Affiliate link at B&H was really never a very good fit for us philosophically. So, we are moving forward into 2019 without it. We are currently removing our B&H Affiliate link from past articles, and have already removed the ‘Deals’ tab from the navigation bar of this website. A decision on our association with Amplis Canada will be made in the coming weeks.

Mud explosion at Mud Pools, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 52 mm, efov 140.4 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/640, ISO-160

This time of year is one that all of us use to evaluate the past and look forward to the future. We are very much looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with each of you in the years to come. We’d love to hear from you with your comments and suggestions!

If you enjoyed the images in this article and are interested in viewing more New Zealand information and photographs, you may enjoy our eBook, New Zealand Tip-to-Tip. It is available for purchase and download at a cost of $12.99 Canadian.


Technical Note:
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles or any of the images contained in them on another website is a Copyright infringement.

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal, both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Article and all images are Copyright 2018 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

20 thoughts on “Looking Forward Towards 2019”

  1. Happy New Year, Thomas!

    I myself plan to stay abroad in 2019 more than I ever done, as I’ve just retired. And so has my dear wife,

    We, the wife and I, like many other Nikon 1 lovers, have been looking for an alternative, now when Nikon has abandoned the line.

    My wife returned to her m43 gear, which now is far better than anyone would have guessed would ever be possible five years ago. She will still use her J5 with her 70-300 CX, as long as it will still be working, I’m sure.

    I myself began my change from just using my CX cameras with a D600, as a perfect complement, but when I got myself a Sigma 150-600 S it proved not that brilliant with my D600 (lots of vignetting). So what to do?!

    Nor did it work with my new gem, a J5, so eventually I conceded failure, ang got myself an updated D3300, almost for free, directly from Nikon (leftovers from the Christmas sale the year before).

    Pretty nice but as basic as you can get, so eventually I got myself a D7500, with just as fast AF as any Nikon 1 camera, but capable of so much more, not least being a master of BIF (just as its half-brother, the D500).

    So I use a mix of cameras nowadays, from CX to FX, each optimized for what it is good at: The D600 for landscape and portraits (rarely used over ISO 800); the D7500 for BIF (birds in flight), and low light; the D3300 for just about anything but less than brilliant in low light); the three CX cameras mainly for macro and long range (if there is enough light, that is). And street photography, of course.

    1. Happy new year to you and your wife Tord!

      Thanks for adding to the discussion by sharing your experiences! It certainly looks like you and your wife have assembled an interesting selection of camera gear to suite your photographic interests! Now that you’re both retired, your camera gear will be getting a good workout!


  2. Hi, Thomas. I’ve followed your writing and photography
    on a regular basis over the years. I just ordered your Nova Scotia photographic and editorial book and I’m looking forward to receiving it.

    One thing I’ve wanted to ask you. I’ve used the J5 with multiple lenses for some time. However, I’ve used larger Nikon cameras for weddings and editorial work over the years — for example, most recently, the Nikon 610. What are your views regarding upgrading to the Z6?

    1. Hello David,

      Thank you very much for recently purchasing a copy of Nova Scotia Photography Tour – we appreciate your support!

      Buying new camera gear is a very personal decision. I wrote an article about how to create a camera buying matrix, to help readers determine the best camera equipment for their needs. https://smallsensorphotography.com/creating-camera-buying-decision-matrix . You may find this approach helpful in your decision making process.

      I attended a Nikon Canada press event held for the launch of the new mirrorless cameras. From the information provided, I definitely got the impression that Nikon will be moving towards this technology quite strongly in the years to come. If you decide to upgrade your gear to the Z6 I think it would be important to also do some research on the new mirroless lenses that Nikon will be bringing out. The information provided by Nikon Canada indicated that some potentially important enhancements are coming with those mirrorless lenses in terms of image sharpness, especially when shot wide open. I believe there are about 90 current Nikkor F-mount lenses that will be compatible with the new mirrorless cameras when the adapter is used. It would be prudent to double check your current F-mount glass to determine how many of your lenses will be compatible with the new Nikon full frame mirrorless bodies.

      If you own F-mount Nikkor prime lenses that are not equipped with vibration reduction, you may also want to consider the in-body image stabilization provided by Nikon’s new mirrorless full frame camera bodies.

      I do recall that some of the pro shooters at the Nikon Canada event, especially wedding photographers, did not like the fact that the new Nikon mirrorless cameras only have one card slot. They seemed to be quite hesitant to use a camera that did not provide an second card slot for image back-up purposes.

      From a business perspective and on a personal basis, full frame cameras are of no interest to me. I have used full frame Nikon gear in the past and using the Nikon 1 system with its 1″ CX sensors allows me to be far more time efficient when doing client video projects. So, I have no intention to move to Nikon’s new mirrorless full frame cameras.


  3. Thanks once again for your inspiring work with the Nikon 1 system Tom. I’m rationalising my kit and selling a couple of bodies and lenses with a view to buying some others ;-).

    My CX 70-300 is having trouble focusing on anything more than around 40 yards away now. Is that an easy fix for a Nikon techie, or will it cost me more than half the price of a new lens?

    Is there another option? Is a Sigma 100-400 and an FT1 going to be any use, or is AF too slow?

    Thanks for any advice, and have a great 2019!

    1. Hi Roger,

      I’ve had my CX 70-300 zoom repaired a few times under warranty for the same issue. My lens kept developing a shudder at around 240-260 mm and would not focus. It was OK at other focal lengths. The lens unit was replaced a few times. Since these were all warranty repairs I don’t know the cost. In terms of your lens, my guess would be to get an estimate on a repair, then decide whether to proceed or not. I’m not sure how difficult it is to find a CX 70-300 zoom in your area. They are extremely rare here. Given the potential shortage of repair parts in the future I would be inclined to have the lens fixed… and perhaps be on scan to pick up a second copy if possible… assuming of course that you really like that particular lens and see it as an integral part of your Nikon 1 system.

      I’ve never used a Sigma 100-400 with an FT-! adapter so unfortunately I can’t comment on that combination. Once I started investing in more native 1 Nikkor lenses I sold my FT-1 adapter. I never had much luck using off brand lenses with an FT-1 adapter… but other folks may have had a different experience.

      Sorry that I could not be more helpful.


      1. FWIW: I am under the impression that if you are using the FT-1, you are limited to using just the center point for focus.

      2. Tom, that’s actually a very helpful reply, and has helped me decide what to do. I’m going to increase my chances of keeping my New Year Resolution to stop smoking by offering myself a hefty bribe. A lightly used replacement CX 70-300 will get me out and about improving my fitness, and cost a lot less than a year’s supply of tobacco, given the UK tax regime!

  4. Hi Tom,

    I admire your stance regarding partnerships vis-a-vis keeping relevant content. Personally, I’ve been blogging/keeping my own site since 2004 but after some years of accommodating content that favors sponsors/companies/products, decided to just let go and do it for my own pleasures. I mean, how many listicles and new! buy me! products write-ups can you really stomach? Not unless yours is an out- and out-commercial site with no conscience or scruples about cooking up hype just so people would salivate about the latest gear without adding to their craft, it doesn’t really make sense to add to the junk and trash out there in the internet, pointing to links that hype and consumerize.

    Onwards to 2019!

    1. Thanks for adding your perspectives to the discussion Oggie – always appreciated! I imagine that you enjoyed doing your own site a lot more after you “decided to just let go and do it for my own pleasures”. With over 7 billion people on this planet there is plenty of audience for everyone to share! Hopefully people who share my philosophy, values and approach to photography will find this site and enjoy it.

    1. Hi Joni,

      The Blue Spring has incredible naturally pure water which gives it that bright blue colour. It is so pure that there is nothing in it to reflect the red light spectrum (I think I have that correct). I did use a polarizing filter on that particular image.


  5. I no longer post guest posts on my horse blog as just too many of the people trying to get me to post their articles were not writing the best articles as they mainly were looking for fast back-links. I also don’t post ads on my websites except for a few products or services I use and like.

    I have very limited Internet and it is getting harder and harder not to go over my limit each month because nearly every website now has multiple video ads that atomically play with page load. I am glad you have decided not to go that route.

    1. Hi Joni,

      I can certainly understand the decisions that you’ve made with your horse blog. I also get quite a few people every month wanting to post their articles on my blog… and I turn them all down.

      My wife has been complaining lately when she has been researching recipes on the internet and the websites are just jammed full of links and ad pop-ups. As a result she often just closes the site and moves on to another one.


  6. Thank you for this statement. Were I to run a YouTube channel, I would use yours as a model, for the reasons you outline.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the supportive comment – much appreciated!

      We still feel that YouTube has a role in our business model, but as a promotional tool for our photography blog and posters, not as a direct source of revenue from advertising. We deeply appreciate the financial support we have been getting from our readers through their eBook purchases and donations.


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