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Recommended reading

Happy New Year!

💻 New Year’s resolutions are silly, says Daniel Miessler. Spend time optimizing your life instead. He shares how he does that. Read What to Do Instead of New Year’s Resolutions

On Illinois Street
Pentax K1000, 55mm f/1.8 SMC Pentax, Kodak Gold 400, 2017

📷 When you shoot vintage cameras, you often need an external light meter (unless you are the master of Sunny 16). Vince Curletta looks at a classic light meter you can still buy new today: the Sekonic L-398A. This is the one I keep thinking I ought to buy. Read Vintage Light Meter: Sekonic L-398A

📷 I didn’t know that Fujifilm’s Instax cameras and films have been around for more than 20 years until Peggy reviewed the 1999 Fujifilm Instax 100 camera. Read Fujifilm Instax 100

My photo essay book, Vinyl Village, is available!
Click here to learn more and get a copy!

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2021’s greatest hits

Every year at this time I look back at the year’s most popular posts and review my stats. I started doing this because I figured, who’s reading my blog on New Year’s Eve anyway? Then it turned out to be a nice way to reconnect you with my favorite posts from the year.

But first, let’s look at this blog’s 2021 stats. The number of pageviews I get is a great vanity metric. I like it a lot that I got slightly more pageviews this year than last year. I wasn’t trending to that at the end of November, so I juiced my stats by sharing on a Facebook group about my hometown, some long ago posts I wrote about my hometown. That brought a couple thousand extra views and pushed the total over the top, at just over a quarter million.

I’m bummed out that comments were slightly down this year. But I’m only a little bummed because my blog still gets more comments than any other photo blogs that I know of. I do this to be in community with people like you, and your comments here are my rich reward for doing all of this writing and making all of these photographs. (That, and when you buy my books!)

Here are the five posts I liked best this year. They’re all personal essays and stories. Normally, I deeply love one or two of the essays I write each year. That’s not the case this year; I feel like my writing has been so-so in 2021. I have been in a creative slump most of the year, driven by the burnout I’ve experienced because of my incredibly demanding job. I managed these five posts that are pretty good.

My most viewed posts from 2021 rose to the top thanks to search and heavy sharing on Facebook. Here are the top five:

Pageviews are nice, but I write this blog to engage with you. That happens when you leave a comment! Here are 2021’s five most commented posts:

Thanks for reading Down the Road in 2021!

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Recommended reading

💻 The so-called metaverse is already here, says Ben Thompson, and we’re all living in it. We’re all also living in the real world, too. What’s valuable to notice is that for most of us, the two worlds don’t overlap. Read The Great Bifurcation

Chicago River
Nikon Df, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor, 2021.

💻 Peter Barton tells the true, sad story of his neighbor Joan’s funeral. Read God’s waiting room

💻 Close your eyes and try to visualize an apple. If you can’t, you might have aphantasia. Steve Blank does, and he describes how it both limits him and benefits him. Read I Can’t See You but I’m Not Blind

📷 AlanD takes a look at the Pentax MZ-60 and its frustrating limitations on which SMC Pentax lenses it’s compatible with. Read 10 Years Too Late – Pentax MZ-60 (ZX-60) Review

My photo essay book, Vinyl Village, is available!
Click here to learn more and get a copy!

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Recommended reading

💻 Maria Popova reminds us of Carl Jung’s excellent advice on how to conduct our lives: keep doing the next right thing. Read Carl Jung on How to Live

Monon Fitness Center
Yashica-D, Kodak E100G, 2014.

💻 In the 1920s, the KKK nearly bought a university in Indiana with the intention of operating it. Stephen Taylor tells the story on the Indiana History Blog. Read Ku Klux U: How the Klan Almost Bought a University

💻 George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life made his own bed through being unwilling to assert himself. So say Brett and Kate McKay in a well-written essay. Read George Bailey’s Life of Quiet, Seething, Unnecessary Desperation

📷 Did you know that Kodak Ektachrome E100 will last 80 years in your refrigerator? Dmitri offers up this and a bunch of other useful information in his comprehensive review of this film. Read Kodak Ektachrome E100 Slide Film Review

📷 I like little rangefinder cameras from the 1960s. arh found one with a built-in meter, the Voigtländer Vito CS. Now I want to try one! Despite its wonky rewind method, that is. Read Voigtländer Vito CS

My photo essay book, Vinyl Village, is available!
Click here to learn more and get a copy!

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Blogosphere

Recommended reading

💻 So much advice given is general, almost platitudinous. It’s when advice is oddly specific, David Cain says, that it can be truly valuable. Read Advice Gets Good When It Gets Specific

Inside the Central House
Nikon EM, 50mm f/1.8 Nikon Series E, Agfa Vista 200, 2019

💻 Ashley Pomeroy bought a Brompton folding bicycle just before the pandemic hit, and gives an interesting experience report with the bicycle against a COVID backdrop. Read Brompton B75: Eighteen Months On

📷 The Nikon EM gets bashed pretty regularly by film-camera reviewers (including me). Paul Lovell is not among the bashers. Read Nikon EM

📷 Josh Solomon has very nice things to say about the 75-150mm Nikon Series E lens. Read The Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5 — The People’s Telephoto Lens

My photo essay book, Vinyl Village, is available!
Click here to learn more and get a copy!

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Blogosphere

Recommended reading

💻 Doug from Gribblenation visits the end of the National Road in Vandalia, Illinois. Read The National Road – Illinois – Vandalia

Lincoln before the Vandalia Statehouse
Nikon F2AS, 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Zoom Nikkor, Fujicolor 200, 2014.

💻 We all know Subaru today for its all-wheel-drive cars like the Outback wagon. But the first Subarus were tiny, strange-looking little cars. Tatra87 tells the story and shares photos of a 1968 Subaru 360 he found parked. Read Curbside Classic: 1968 Subaru 360 — The Legend of the Ladybird

📷 You know I love reviews of offbeat cameras. Mark Faulkner looks at the Agat 18K, a stylish Soviet half-frame camera. Read MMZ (Belomo) Agat 18K

📷 I’m on a perpetual quest for the perfect 35mm point-and-shoot camera. Jerome has found his: the Minolta Freedom Zoom 160. Read VMLP 17: Minolta Freedom Zoom 160—A Tiny, Capable P&S

My photo essay book, Vinyl Village, is available!
Click here to learn more and get a copy!

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