Recommended reading

If you ever wake up feeling unsure what day it is, if a recommended reading post is at the top of my blog you’ll know it’s Saturday. Or Sunday, because I don’t post that day. But still, you’ve narrowed it down to two out of the seven.

Big Fun

Nikon F3, 50/2 AI Nikkor, Arista Premium 400, 2014

Ming Thien with a lovely essay about how, when we travel, to ignore the social-media pressure to share everything and just be present and build memories instead. Read Le flaneur

Most of us hate giving critical feedback so much we simply avoid doing it. Lara Hogan gives a simple method for giving feedback that will help you actually do it – and do it effectively. Read Feedback Equation

When was the last time you spat a watermelon seed? When was the last time you found a seedless watermelon to be astonishingly delicious? Olli Thompson thinks about abundant and flavorful Albanian watermelons, how their export struggled to find a market because of the seeds, and how it’s a shame that our convenience and comfort makes it hard for something truly good to find a place. Read On Watermelons

Camera reviews and experience reports:


Recommended reading

This week’s best blog posts (as judged by me):

You have only so much time in each day, and your phone and computer waste more of it than you probably realize. Michael Lopp, who writes under the pen name Rands, shares his ruthless and effective techniques for making his electronic gear suck down less of his time. Read Rands Information Practices

Madonna of the Trail

Kodak EasyShare Z730 Zoom, 2007

As the number of film photographers grows, counter-intuitively so does the backlash against Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). I’m part of that backlash: I’ve owned hundreds of cameras in my lifetime but am currently thinning my herd. So is James Tocchio, who shares his excellent lessons learned along the way of collecting cameras. Read Five Lessons I’ve Learned In Five Years Of Shooting A Different Camera Every Week

Seth Godin reminds us how much of our society has changed in 58 years (tl;dr: hugely), and to expect at least the same amount of change in the next 58. (Why 58? I don’t know!) Read 58 years ago

Is there a perfect camera? Nope, says Pekka: they all have quirks. We can just learn to live with some of them, and not with others. Read Camera quirks

David Heinemeier Hansson, writing for Signal v. Noise, on why open offices suck. Read The open-plan office is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea

Camera reviews and experience reports:



Recommended reading

Here it is, the post you’ve been waiting all week for: my weekly roundup of blog posts from around the Internet.

Rail trails are everywhere today. Susie Trexler visits the first one ever. It’s in Wisconsin. Read Railroad Reuse: The First Rails to Trails

Jet Tail

Yashica-D, Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros, 2013.

Heath McClure at Curbside Classic shares a hilarious paean to waxing your car. (I have not personally waxed a car in probably a decade.) Read QOTD: Do You Still Wax Your Car?

Ann Althouse goes on a rant about plastic straws. Not about the environmental impact, but about how banning straws hurts women. Okay, it might be a little tongue in cheek. Read What those stories about the environmental impact of straws aren’t telling you

The number of camera reviews and experience reports this week is insane! Seriously guys — tone it down out there!!


Recommended reading

On this last Saturday in June, enjoy the blog posts I liked most from around the Internet this week.

When you watch TV, the writers sometimes slip in inside jokes. TV writer Ken Levine tells some of the favorite ones he wrote in. Read Slipping inside jokes into shows

Potawatomi dancers

Canon PowerShot S80, 2010.

Philip Greenspun notes that the last time we had serious tariffs, it was a major contributing factor to the American Civil War. He wonders whether the current government bent toward tariffs will create similar discord within our nation. Read Tariffs will lead to political discord if not another Civil War?

I love it when an abandoned historic building is saved. So does Liz, who loves abandoned places in general. She photographed the inside of Michigan Central Station in Detroit, which Ford has purchased and will restore/repurpose it for office and residential use. Read Detroit: Michigan Central Station Open House

Dyslexia might exist on a spectrum (mild, moderate, severe), and mild dyslexia might not involve classic transposition of letters in words. That’s what I conclude after reading Penelope Trunk‘s post about it. Some clues of mild dyslexia (by this definition): learning to read on your own very early in life, reading a lot yet struggling with comprehension, preferring nonfiction, and writing a lot. (All true of me.) Read Do you read a lot? Then you might have dyslexia

Camera reviews and experience reports:

Blogosphere, Photography

Recommended reading

Bloggy goodness from the last week:

Mitch Zeissler came upon a rare desert tortoise while driving through Death Valley, and he shares a photo he made of it. Read Desert Tortoise Versus Car

Happy student

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80, Fujicolor 200, 2006.

We must do better than this, Heide says. I agree. Read Obligated to speak

Nick Gerlich says that our phones leave location breadcrumbs behind all the time and that this data can be sold to marketers to better target us. Well, that’s not news. That Gerlich says that this can be a good thing might well be. Read Me And My Shadow

Do you feel like you’re always hurrying? Seth Godin asks you to consider whether you need to be – and to learn to be able to turn this on and off at will. Read Are you in a hurry?

Eric Swanger on using a long photographic exposure to meditate on the surroundings, to truly take them in with all senses. Read No Hand Is Laid

Camera reviews and experience reports:


A blog update and a question for you


This blog’s author at his desk, replying to your comments. Damion Grey photo.

Today, a rare update on some things going on with this blog.

Changes to tags

I’ve reworked this blog’s tag scheme and I think you’ll find it to be useful. Tags are a way of categorizing posts, and they appear on every post. They’re under the title on the right, below the date and my name. This post has two tags: blogging and writing. Click either tag to see everything I’ve ever written about that topic. (The categories that appear above each post title work the same way.)

That has always existed. What used to also exist was a bunch of related tags I created to help searches find my posts. But I see no evidence after more than a decade of doing it that it worked in any significant way. So I’ve deleted all of those tags — about a thousand in all.

I am also adding tags for common topics and tags for cameras and films I use a lot. That way, when you’re on a post where I shot Kodak Tri-X film, clicking the Tri-X tag will show you everything else I’ve shared from that film. I’ll complete this in my idle time over the next several months. But one tag is fully in: the one for my delightful Pentax ME camera. Try it: click here to go to that tag.

I’m behind

I have just two posts in the queue right now. I normally have two or three weeks’ worth written and ready to go. I feel behind.

I just haven’t had as much time lately for the blog. And the considerable stress I’ve been under has left me with little to say. Fortunately, I know some techniques for priming the pump, if you will, when the well runs dry. I hope I can make enough time to use those techniques soon.

The question for you

Being behind makes me ask you something I’ve been wondering about: do I post too often? Do you find it too hard to keep up?

I’ve kept up this six-posts-a-week schedule since late 2014, and it correlates exactly with a giant jump in readership that has grown slowly but steadily since. That enabled me to make a little money off advertising, enough to pay for this site and for some of my film and processing costs. And I love the process of making the photographs and writing the words that I share here. All of this has been wonderful for me.

I’m thinking about the experience I have reading other blogs. When I’m very busy I skim and skip posts in my feed reader — especially from blogs that post frequently.

Yet I never skip or skim some blogs, even if I have to bookmark a post to read much later. One characteristic most of them share: they post only when they have something really good to say. Their posts feel like morsels to savor.

I want to publish a blog that you savor. I know that, given this blog’s eclectic nature, you don’t connect with every topic. But I try hard to make every post be interesting in some way so you don’t skim or skip them.

Please share your thoughts in the comments. No need to couch your thoughts; just tell me straight. I’ll weigh everything you say as I consider this blog’s ongoing posting schedule. I plan to find that right balance that keeps readership growing, fits the reduced time I can give to blogging right now, and consistently delivers photos and stories that you find to be interesting.