I sense that there are a few readers that have been with us throughout 2017, tasted our erudition, benefitted from our skills, learned from our experiences, tutted at our photographic expenditure and excess, yawned at our willingness to repeat ourselves, shaken their heads as we’ve tried, tested and fawned over, or abandoned all manner of technology, including camera phones, sighed at the many ongoing software evaluations and our inability to reach a final, definitive decision, tittered at our sad attempt(s) at humour and yes, occasionally, wondered whether there’s any sanity in play here at all.
To you we say a big thank you and an extremely Happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
For the more recent joiners, we salute you for your forbearance. I’d love to promise that 2018 will be different, but I think it unlikely. We like it like this and let’s be honest, there aren’t many sites that can fuse the legendary Otus with a Samsung cell phone so old it still employs charcoal as it’s power source.
Where else can you read entirely opposing views of the Red Dot, all on the same thread? How many other sites offer nine contributors to argue their viewpoints, broaden the content, ideas, suggestions, wisdom and experience on offer?
None. So, if it ain’t broke…
Once again, we say a big thank you.
We do seem to have vacuumed-up a number of new scriveners during the year, their ideas and opinions bringing surprising abilities. Not the least of which is determination – where else can you find someone determined (or fanbooi) enough to stretch his review of a pair of cameras to more than 100,000 words?
That’s a fifth of War and Peace fer crissake. Be impressed. We are.
Amongst these contributors are four Sony A7 pilots. They are due especial recognition for their forbearance in navigating their chosen camera’s menus. I caught sight of Bob’s right hand recently. From memory it looked like this:
Actually, the sketch came from here. Hope they don’t mind me using it, it’s a good read, stuff to warm a photographer’s heart.
In this last week of 2017, the roster at DearSusan – in no particular order of importance – now looks like this:
St Germain, France
Cape Town, South Africa
Newport, West Wales
Adrian (Art) Turner
Retrospectively, It’s been a good year for DearSusan; 139 posts, a Monday Post every single week – quite an achievement if you knew just how much scrabbling around behind the scenes preceded many of these posts – several interviews with leading names in photography world-wide and more planned for 2018.
Moving on, this wouldn’t be any kind of year-end round up if we didn’t have some kind of retrospective. I did ask the various Susans to send in a selfie so that you could see what we all look like in the flesh. I received a few, but in the main, that’s an exercise best forgotten.
Which leaves our Photograph of the Year. No guidelines here, just personal favourites. A potpourri.
Picking my own, I quickly realised just how hard it would be to keep to just one – a conclusion reached by most of us. There are lots, the individual photographers being credited in the captions.
Finally, two small requests from our side:
1) Your comments are welcome, encouraged and usually precisely on point. If you’re a regular reader, or just a occasional visitor, we’d still like to know what keeps you coming back.
2) Please remember that we have a Facebook page, where there is at least one photograph posted every day. Come pay us a visit.
Enough verbiage. Have an absolutely bloody fabulous Christmas, a blissful New Year, we’ll see you again in just a few days.
#880. Monday Post (22 Jul 2019) – The Sony Empire strikes back: A7R IV (and website news)
#860. Monday Post (20 May 2019) – A tale of two 100s – May challenge – Pixel madness
#851. Monday Post (29 April 2019) – Am I missing something?
#844. Monday Post (15 April 2019) – 100Mp mirrorless cameras, at long last …
#836. Monday Post (25 March 2019) – Love Vs. Hate, or Leica Vs. Zeiss, or Q2 Vs. ZX1
#830. Monday Post (11 March 2019) – Have you lost interest yet?
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Thanks, Folks !
Why I keep visiting DS ?
1) I enjoy the great articles (writing and photography – no particular order)
2) because this site is not on facebook – period.
MERRY CHRISTMAS !
Sigh – I shouldn’t have said to Sant that I was happy to talk to him, but I really didn’t think it was appropriate for me to sit on his knee – so I didn’t get the Sigma Quattro H that I’d been hoping for. Never mind, a friend gave me a canister full of biscuits that are to kill & die for, so I mustn’t complain.
Paul – I love the photos – and thanks to all of the team at DS for sharing them with us. But can I put up my hand for one thing? – the meta data? I do find it interesting to know what gear was used to take the photos – the ISO – in some cases (Bob Hamilton’s bird shots for example), the lens, focal length & shutter speed. It goes a bit further than that – sharing that kind of information is actually useful to someone thinking of trying their hand at similar shots.
Philippe – your shot of “winter in Paris” reminded me. I once spent Christmas and the New Year in Paris – maybe things have changed, but it was most assuredly an “un-destination” that year – unless I found a reflection of myself in a shop window, there wasn’t a tourist in sight anywhere. No queues at the Tour Eiffel or the Louvre – deserted sidewalks/footpaths/whatever/who cares anyway. And a remarkable un-noisiness to match its new status as an un-destination. Even the ducks found it disconcerting.
Steve – you have better eyesight than I have – I shall have to take your word for it, that the figure on the right is a girl. The photo is sensational, regardless of the sexual content.
Adam – I sense irony in the caption – underscored by the troubled looks on the youthful contingent, on the left, contrasting with the happiness of the people with an accumulation of experience and the wisdom that comes with age, on the right.
Bob – I am torn – on the one hand I recognise a truly great photo in your shot of the kingfisher – on the other, I have love puffins since I first saw a photo of one, over 65 years ago, and one carries those love affairs from youth right through to the other end of life.
Adrian – although someone else took the photo (I was merely the object of it), those shots have reminded me of one taken of me aged 40, in the veteran section of the Mr West Coast here in Oz, many long years ago. Only this afternoon, over Christmas drinks at my brother in law’s, I was reminded of how many of the “greats” in body building I was privileged to meet in those days, and what remarkably nice people they were.
Dallas – you surely get around – I’ll pass on the invitation, but Gritviyken, South Georgia? – how the hell did you manage to even get to such an outlandish place? I hope you have an abundant supply of thermal underwear!
And Paul – “Sort of selfie (unnumbered)” takes me back in time, too, to 1967 – half a century ago, when I first came to Western Australia on a brief two week holiday with an English friend who was a passionate steam train enthusiast. We went all over the place and one morning I found myself in a forest with a timber train dawdling past. I waited for the shot I wanted – the train winding through the trees, taken from the rear end (after the train had passed) with the steam engine in the distance, at the other end. Every railfan who’s ever seen it has thrown up their hands in horror, and told me that I took the shot from the wrong end of the train.
All the very best to all of you, for today, and for all the days and years to come. And to everyone else in the group – teachers with no students would be totally disfunctional – they’d probably just end up fighting among themselves. So the rest of you have at least as much importance.
Pete, you do have an eagle eye and are either a great historian or maybe Dr Google, you are 100% correct. What a great experience was had this year travelling and the photography was sublime, I have managed to get a few keepers out of the 32,000 odd shots taken. I have a few articles half written these will be finished ASAP and published. Dallas
Dunno if I am a good historian, Dallas – the last person to comment on that was my school history master, and he choked on my “Complete history of Australia, from the very beginning until minus 500 years ago”. He apparently expected me to write a history of sporadic landings by (mostly) English ships, the dumping of convicts here, and the subsequent spread of sheep farming and railway lines all over the place**. I didn’t think of that as “history”, so I completely ignored it and wrote about 150 pages on the topic of my choice, instead – which left him freaking out in front of the whole class, when we got our assignments back.
**Upon reflection, that’s just as well. If I HAD written about the period from 1788 onwards, what I might have said about “white settlement” might have fried his eyeballs!
But I went to a school which produced one of Australia’s first & greatest Antarctic explorers, so guys like Scott (and the incredible Captain Oates), Amundsen and Schackleton were bread-and-butter stuff for me. (With an acknowledgment to Google – I knew the island, but I couldn’t even remember the name of the place, let alone spell it!)
Thanks Pete. I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that it’s a pleasure.
The bird shots were lucky shots for a complete novice at this type of image and a complete testament to how totally spoiled we are by the equipment now available to us compared to that of the film days -despite our constant complaints over “lack of dynamic range”, “noise above ISO 3200” and “only 8 frames per second”…..!!!!
For example, the image of the diving Kingfisher would have been (virtually) impossible with film as it was taken at ISO 6400 in order to obtain the necessary shutter speed of 1/3000th of a second required to freeze the bird’s movement, at the aperture of f4.5 required to obtain a bit of depth of field. Taken on a Fuji X-T2, using its electronic shutter to give the 12 frames per second necessary to capture a bird no larger than a sparrow diving with the speed of lightning into water less than 10 feet distant from the camera, the image really would have been, if not impossible to capture on film, certainly of insufficient quality to be able to be printed to A2 size, as this image is. Noise is evident but it is not intrusive and is like very fine film grain. How lucky we are….!!!!
That response is making my head hurt, Bob. I cannot possibly reconcile “complete novice”, that explanation of how you got the shot, and the shot you got from doing it. The only thing I can think of is to try doing it myself, and right now I can’t afford a 300-600 zoom – the insurance on the house falls due next week.
Season greatings to all.
This is a refreshing site by the themes, the pics and the convictions of everyone. Keep it this way. Thanks to all.
Read you next year
Thanks for all you hard work and dedication to your site through the year.
Happy Holidays and a Happy coming New Year to All!
Why I come back?
The difference of views and of photographic mind of several contributors make this site alive, not to mention interesting articles and the lively and often humorous discussion climate.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Dear Susans for a most enjoyable year. As an ex writer I know all too well of the scrabbling around that goes on behind the scene to make deadline. Its nice to have some faces to go with the names and the selection of image is a guilty pleasure to spend time with.
Steve – The seascape with the girl is a sleeper. You have to stop and really look to see what’s going on and the more you look the bigger the story gets. No “visual pablum” here.
Adam – I’m a “streeter”, so “looking to the future” speaks to me. I really like the “contre temps” of the two/three groups joined by the band of sunlight. Lot’s and lot’s of visual metaphors here. And that black cat! That is one very SPOOKY cat. I WANT ONE!!! I know some alleys in downtown Vancouver that would go sooooo well with that cat.
Bob – Puffin shots always remind me of my one non-experience with puffins. I’d booked a trip from a workshop on Gran Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy (highest tides in the world) to the bird sanctuary on Machias Island – about 18 miles by boat. The morning came up hazey with no horizon, six foot rollers and a two hour ride in a lobster boat. Everything you’ve heard about seasickness is a lie. It is much worse. When we got to the island I stumbled up to the light keepers house who graciously let me die on his living room rug for a couple of hours. Got back on the boat and off home. Puffins??? There were Puffins??? Really??? I’m still waiting to see a Puffin in the flesh. Oh yes, and the lobster dinner back at the hotel was excellent.
Art – Panupong Prateep is a stunning image. Amazing lighting. He looks like a bronze statue.
Paul – My “drop-dead hang it on my wall” favourites are “Stockholm Morning” and “Make the Call”. Visually DELICIOUS images!!!
I keep coming back to Dear Susan because its very much like my “Photo Friday” print group. Collegial, open ended, unstructured and just slightly chaotic and off the wall. There’s no end of surprises and new discoveries. I’ll be back … again, and again.
To all of you Susans and my fellow readers A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. I look forward to seeing you in the comments.
There is indeed a certain “something” about our avian “clown”, the Puffin, which makes them so very appealing. So much so, that I’ve made arrangements to stay on the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth for 3 nights in July of next year to spend some time trying to capture the little blighters, along with the other usual suspects found in such places during the breeding season.
Can I ask you to post an article on your puffin excursion, Bob? I’ll never be able to do it myself, so I’m completely dependent on you for this one. 🙂
Thanks very much John, I’m proud that you like it!
A lot of street I see these days amounts to “people walking past things” Which I like to shoot as well 🙂 but equally when the scene presents itself I like to try a bit harder!
Luna (the cat) does actually have a passport, but she’s probably a bit lazy to travel 😀
Cheers and thanks again
your puffin story made of think of an episode in “The Long Ships” by Frans G Bengtsson (from Swedish “Röde orn”).
Vikings with a mixed crew are sailing towards Gotland on their way to Russia to collect an inheritance.:
“… many of the inland-dwellers were also beginning to hang over the ship’s side. One and another of them were soon heard to beg in unsteady voices that the ship might be turned back at once, before they all perished.
‘Look at Sone’s sons,’ said Toke. ‘… With this wind, though, they can vomit to windward without it blowing back into the face of the next man, and many quarrels between irritable persons will thereby be avoided. But I doubt whether they appreciate this. …’
‘…,’ said Orm, ‘… If the wind drops, they will have to take to the oars, and I fear those who are not used to rowing will find the sport somewhat strenuous in such a sea as this. Then they will look back regretfully on the time when they were free to vomit in peace and had no need to toil.’ ”
– – –
( The book is a classic and a good read.
I had, though, to wait for the library to again today.)
Kristian, I don’t think it will make the best seller list.
One of my ancestors arrived in this country on a ship that drifted too far south and was caught by the “roaring forties”. The ship shot across the Indian Ocean at what was then a record speed, clipping more than 2 months off the length of the voyage. While his dad (supposedly the ship’s doctor) wallowed downstairs in the tossing seas, with the captain, practically the entire crew and all but one of the passengers, he and the first mate had the upper deck to themselves. Day after day he climbed the mast to the crow’s nest, to enjoy the pitching and yawing, as the ship first went over on one side and then recovered to lean over on the other side. I’ve seen a letter he wrote home, describing the voyage – it seemed like a ride on the big dipper than went on for weeks on end. Sadly there was no reference to what became of the vomit from the other passengers – I can only leave that to your imagination.
( I guess he was lucky they managed to avoid the screaming fifties.)
Paul, what a post! It is to standard DS fare what a Christmas dinner is to a standard dinner. Wow, I need to lie down and have a rest…:-)