Year Six Begins

In January 2015 we started this photography blog. As year six begins we would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you!” to all of our readers. This is also an ideal time to provide some insights on where our photographic journey will be going.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge. Photographs have been added to serve as visual breaks.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-280

Creating and maintaining a photography blog can be an interesting ride. Unexpected twists and turns happen with some regularity. At times one is not sure if they are up or down. Or if a crash is just around the corner.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 201 mm, efov 543 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-250, captured at 15 frames per second

Over the years I have kept my focus on a few founding principles of this website. Our goal was to celebrate and share the joy of photography with our readers. To encourage them to pick up their cameras more often and experiment. And, to provide them with a safe and respectful environment.

Sharplin Falls Walk New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 26 mm, efov 70 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-800

By choosing not to be focused on camera gear reviews, and eschewing advertising, our path has definitely been on ‘the road less travelled’. Looking back we have no regrets about that decision.

“That Tree in Wanaka” New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5, 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 41 mm, efov 11 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-160

Experiencing this photography blog taking root where the majority of others avoid, has been its own reward. We started out with an initial following of about two dozen intrepid readers. Folks who followed us from our earlier postings at Photography Life.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-3200

As year six begins, we fondly look back on the past five years. Some articles were better received than others. We gained a lot more subscribers than we lost. And, many great relationships have been formed with readers.

As time marches on, change will only accelerate. Those of us who own and use dedicated cameras may end up holding ‘rusting relics’. That possibility matters not to me. I still love the feel of a camera in my hands. How it helps to change my perspective of the world around me. I see more and experience more through my cameras.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/16, 1/2, ISO-160

There’s an old saying that time speeds up as we age. I can attest to the truth in those words. Often I look in the mirror and wonder who that old guy looking back at me is. I don’t feel nearly as old as he looks! I am 100% certain of one, inalienable fact… today is the youngest that I will ever be.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 83mm, efov 224mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-1600, 21mm MOVO extension tube

It is critical for each of us to stay green and growing. The moment that stops… the process of decay and death begins.  So, we’re still focused on the future.

Glengarriff Blue Pool Walk Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 7 mm, efov 18.9 mm, f/8, 1/80, ISO-160

Our most immediate priority is to finish our Ireland travel photography eBook. It is creeping ever closer and we are hoping to make an announcement in the very near future.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 19 mm, efov 51.3 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-400

After that project is completed, we will need to critically assess whether we have enough material for an Italy travel photography eBook. It will likely take several weeks for us to make that determination.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/320, ISO-3200, subject distance 245 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

For the past few years we have been compiling material for an eBook on handheld macro photography. This project will definitely be moving forward in the future.

Olympus OMD-E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/50, ISO-1250, subject distance 610 mm, handheld focus stacking used, out-of-camera jpeg adjusted in post

There is something very special about macro photography as it allows us to see and experience our world in such an intimate way. To be able to create handheld macro images makes it even more exciting and rewarding for me. The addition of our Olympus OM-D E-M1X has expanded our handheld macro photography potential tremendously.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-4000, subject distance 3.4 metres

Another project that we have been actively developing is an eBook covering the fundamentals of handheld bird photography. We’ll be out in the field a lot in 2020 to augment our existing collection of bird images for this pending eBook. Our new Olympus gear will play a big role over the coming months as we continue to experiment with Pro Capture.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO-200, handheld focus stacking used, subject distance 275 mm, out-of-camera jpeg

Year six begins with field work continuing for a flower photography eBook project. This eBook is number five in the active project queue. We have formally scoped out content maps for three other eBooks, but it would be premature to discuss them at this point in time. A few other eBook concepts are bouncing around in my old brain but have not yet become clear enough to develop content maps for them.

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

We’ve not updated our YouTube channel in quite some time. Year six will likely see us return to this social media platform, albeit not in a traditional ‘make money from advertising clicks’ way.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, f/11, 1/250 ISO-200, subject distance 270 mm

Our objective for year six of our photography blog is to continue to experiment with our camera gear and share a wide range of photographs with our readers. If an article encourages even one reader to pick up their camera more often and reconnect with their love of photography… then it was a success.

Ring of Beara Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 50 mm, efov 135 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

As year six begins, please accept our sincere thanks for all of your support. And, your willingness to follow us on our photographic journey.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 7-14 mm f/2.8 @ 7 mm, efov 14 mm, f/4, 5 seconds handheld, ISO-200

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.

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.

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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!

8 thoughts on “Year Six Begins”

  1. I stumbled onto your blog two years ago and have learned from many of your posts. I especially appreciate how you optimize the results from small sensor cameras. Here’s hoping your audience continues to grow and learn.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I’m glad you stumbled onto the blog and have stayed with us! Thank you for your supportive comment. I look forward to more opportunities to interact in the coming years.


  2. Congratulations on 5 years of excellent work, and I eagerly look forward to your future musings. I agree with your view that photography enables one to observe more closely, and there have been times when I have been able to approach an almost meditative state with a camera in my hands. There have even been occasions where I “forgot” to snap the physical shutter but have retained an even clearer picture in my memory.

    In particular I am anticipating your views on macro–it has been a love of mine since I started serious photography. One of my early mentors had the view that any photo can be improved by “getting closer”, and macro potential has opened my eyes to many experiences that I would have otherwise simply overlooked.

    Again, congratulations, and I look forward to a bright and compelling future.

    1. Thanks for the comment Bill… much appreciated!

      I’ve always been intrigued with macro photography as well. It wasn’t until I got into my Nikon 1 kit that I began to seriously explore more ‘close up’ photography. Of course with Nikon 1 I couldn’t get 1:1 magnification with native lenses, but the kit was small and light enough to allow for handheld macro-type images.

      Using tripods and complex set-ups has never been of interest to me… I guess I’m short in the patience department! Adopting the Olympus M4/3 system, and specifically the OM-D E-M1X has allowed me to experiment a lot more with handheld macro photography options. Having regular macro capability with the M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 is a great starting point. Adding STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, Handheld Hi Res macro, and handheld in-camera focus stacking macro add so much additional capability and flexibility… so there’s lots to explore!


  3. Thanks much for your interesting and educational postings. They help many of us and encourage a further development of our photography skills and interest.

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