Year 6 Draws to a Close

As year 6 draws to a close for this photography website it creates thoughts of what we’ve been through the past twelve months. And,  what plans lay ahead for 2021. To say that 2020 was a challenge for all of us, is an understatement of epic proportions.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/50, ISO-2500, subject distance 505 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

Something that surprised the heck out of me when I was putting this year end piece together, was coming to the realization that this posting is the 229th article that I created in 2020. I had no idea until I did an article count. The number of photographs published here during 2020 would be in the thousands.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/250, ISO-6400, subject distance 300 mm, Handheld Hi Res Mode

I guess when travel is restricted and we’re staying home most of the time, things just sort of happen. More often than not I wouldn’t be actively thinking about writing an article when an idea would come out of left field and hit me.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + N.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.1 metres

So I’d go to my office, fire up my computer, and just let that spark of an idea take flight and wander off to wherever it wanted to go. Like most of you, I had many months where I was unable to get out with my camera as often as I would have liked. So, I ended up digging through my photography archives trying to find images. On the positive side, it helped me clean up at least a little bit of my 50 TB of hard drive space!

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

As could be expected, the business conditions we faced in 2020 were the worst we’ve had to deal with in the 20 years since I left corporate life. This dramatically affected the company’s financial performance. We don’t expect some aspects of our business, such as client video work, to even begin to come back until well into 2021. The ebb and flow of business is all just a part of life. Often driven by macro conditions and some factors beyond our direct control. The important thing is to keep moving forward as best we can.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 78 mm, efov 210.6 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-160

Finding new directions is what keeps each of us growing. We’re looking at some potential alternative revenue streams but haven’t made any firm decisions yet. So, there’s nothing we can definitively share with you at this point in time. You can rest assured that this photography blog will remain, and I’ll continue to create new content despite the conditions we may face next year.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 164 mm, efov 328 mm, f/13, 1/100, ISO-6400

Sometimes we need to just put our line in the water to see if an idea gets any bites. If it doesn’t… then its time to try something else. Perhaps different bait. Or a different pond. I’m sure most of us have  faced these types of situations in the past. And, will continue to face them in the years to come.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO-320, handheld focus stacking used, subject distance 580 mm, out-of-camera jpeg

One thing is certain. Those of us who are creative spirits will always find a way to let those creative energies take shape. The original commitment we made to our readers when we started this website remains. This photography blog will never carry advertising or paid commercial messages of any kind.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO-400

We will be publishing a new eBook early in 2021. It will feature a wide selection of photographs captured on the Emerald Isle during our 2019 photography tour. It is a project that got put on hold given the severe travel restrictions that were in place during 2020.

Deirbhile’s Twist, Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-160

My wife and I debated about when to publish this eBook. We ultimately decided that early in 2021 made the most sense. We anticipate international travel resuming to at least a moderate degree.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-200, subject distance 765 mm

We have a number of other eBooks that are in various stages of development. Given my inability to do sufficient field work in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, some of these projects will need to be pushed off into 2022 and perhaps beyond. At this point we are focused on producing at least one, and potentially two new eBooks in 2021. These will be in addition to our travel photography eBook on Ireland mentioned earlier.

Carmichael Point Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-160

Barring something catastrophic happening to me in 2021, we’ll reach a major milestone next year. It is something that was only a faint glimmer in my imagination back in January 2015 when we launched this website. Now, as we are on the cusp of entering 2021… it is inching ever closer. Don’t worry… all of you will be the first to know when we reach it! 🙂

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/15, ISO-400

We would like to thank each and every one of you for your support during 2020… and for the past 6 years. Without your words of encouragement, and your financial support through eBook purchases and donations, we would not be here with you today. We plan on following along our path with this website for many years to come. Hopefully you will continue to choose to join us on a regular basis as our creative journey unfolds in the months and years ahead.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/30, ISO-100

How you can help keep this site advertising free

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 through PayPal.


Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/11, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 3.1 metres

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Article is Copyright 2020 Thomas Stirr. Images are Copyright 2016-2020 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!

12 thoughts on “Year 6 Draws to a Close”

    1. Hi Oggie,

      Photography, like many other industries, is transforming. Makes one wonder where the future will lead us, and how many camera equipment manufacturers will survive as volumes keep dropping.

      All the best for 2021!


  1. To say it simply Mr. Stirr, you are an inspiration. Keep striving to learn about life. I for one appreciate you taking me along on the journey.
    Only the best wishes for you and your family.

  2. Dear Tom,

    Your 2020 articles have been most welcome diversions throughout the year. I have read every one, and look forward to continuing in 2021.

    Have a Great New (Thank Heavens!) Year!!

    Warm regards,


  3. Well… 2020….
    So may you and your family may have a great New Year (no harm in positive wishes right?)
    May your photograph continue inspiring others.
    All the best

  4. Hi Thomas,

    It is always a pleasure to receive an email with a link to your latest article so please keep going 🙂

    Wish you and your Family all the best in the new year!


  5. Hey Tom
    I hope you have a Happy New Year to start and end in 2021. This year has indeed been one of the “Times that try Men’s Souls”. I look for better next year.
    I have been following your posts for a little over a year and have learned a lot and even more, have enjoyed the content from a perspective of viewing great photos as well as from an excellence in photography perspective. I am glad that you plan to continue and I appreciate what you do for us in the photograph community, especially those of us who own the great Olympus equipment.

    1. Hi Joel,

      Thank you for your comment and support! I’m glad that the articles have been helpful and enjoyable for you.

      2021 will be what it will be. In the big scheme of things none of us can determine what events lay ahead. What we can do is choose how we respond to them.


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