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Welcome to DearSusan.net, the collaborative website where travelers and photographers find location reviews, gear reviews, pro interviews, tutorials, industry news and inspiration for making their photography a more creative, satisfying and rewarding experience.
Our main goal is to nurture a community of like-minded, talented and generous photographers. You'll have noticed that many blogs are slowing down or stopping altogether and that the surviving few can sometimes feel like there's a content drought. It's very difficult to keep a small website running, particularly when you have a real job to pay for the bills. But a group can - and does - achieve far more. Put together, the team of contributors to this website has a deep knowledge, a vast experience and a breadth of vision that would have been impossible to achieve alone. And we're always on the lookout for new contributors willing to share their know-how and experience with others.
We also want to promote personal expression and creativity, two natural side-effects of any artistic hobby but often forgotten in ours, due to excessive focus on gear and likes. We try to turn the tide and help community members experience the greatest benefits from their practise.
GET TO KNOW US
Who are we ?
DearSusan is maintained by a group of passionate amateurs. We have no commercial goals. We rarely agree on everything. This sets the tone for the often tongue-in-cheek posts and rants. But we all share a love of fine images, each of us with specific styles, themes and genres.
Individually, our names don't matter much and aren't well known. But you'll find the collective expertise of the group very high quality, the level of photography in articles and in challenges often very compelling and the spirit of tongue-in-cheek camaraderie very real. Try it if you dare.
Why creative photography ?
The field of photography is dominated by two tidal waves: technology and social media. As exciting as these are, the concept of creativity often suffers at the hands of both. Creativity is one of the most essential conditions for well-being. Photography, as a hobby, can be fulfilling but also a source of tension, as illustrated by the clan wars on forums. We take a very different approach and create numerous opportunities (challenges, articles, discussions) to highlight the creative, and satisfying, side of the field.
Why travel photography ?
By 'travel', we essentially mean outside of the studio. Our contributors are mainly street photographers, landscape photographers, ornithologists, wildlife enthusiasts ... Our knowledge of studio techniques being very limited, we very rarely mention the subject, however interesting it may be.
It is during travels, be they in our own cities or in the most remote locations of the planet, that we encounter the greatest and most pleasing opportunities to understand and document the world according to our own points of view. Unlinke the "seen it, got the T-shirt" approach to photographic documentation of travels so criticised by Susan Sontag, we believe that travel photography can be a profoundly satisfying way of soaking up the ambiance and vibe or a location. Great travel photographs not only satisfy the ego and help you relive memories when you return home but reveal a lot about you and your individual perception of the area.
In this website, we try to slow down, to photograph less and better, to take many more memories back with us and develop our creativity as visiting artists.
How is DearSusan financed ?
There are no adverts, no subscriptions, no paywalls, no afiliate links on DearSusan. We pay for hosting, design, development, e-mailing services, postal fees and all other expenses ourselves. For those of you who want to help DS thrive, we have set up donation buttons throughout the website.
Do we ever meet in person ?
As often as we can. We've organised workshops, meet-ups, get togethers. We visit one another whenever possible and some of us have become close friends over the years. We hope to meet you soon :)
How often do we publish articles ?
Post frequency isn't set in stone. Sometimes, it's all systems go, sometimes we're all away, or working hard or writing articles rather than posts. But the usual week sees 3 posts published. When there is interesting news to comment, we do so in a Monday Post. The rest of the time, we post about reviews, trips, opinions, techniques, interviews and printing.
Is DearSusan safe ?
We do our best. We do not store any personal date other than a first name and email address for subscribers. Cookies are stored when the technical backbone of the website requires it, but all are anonymous and we make no use of them other than measure traffic. We moderate each and every comment. We build and maintain an extensive list of spam URLs which are automatically blocked from commenting. No place on the Internet is 100% safe, but we do the best we can to ensure our lack of political correctness is the greatest risk you face here 😉
C’est une très belle initiative les amis. Comment dois-je faire pour accéder au backoffice?
Allez dans la page d’accueil “HOME”, descendez sous le bandeau jusqu’à la fenêtre où vous lisez “Travel Photography” en blanc sur fond noir, sur la même ligne, un peu plus à droite, cliquer sur “View All”. Voilà…
Very interesting posts here. Have just gone up-stream NEX from the 5 to the 7. I use legacy lenses exclusively, mainly M fit, and put up withthe lens cast issue from wide VM’s. No such problem withthe ZM 50/1.5 which I love on the NEX-7 and am thinking of buying a ZM25/2.8. Your photos using this lens show no sign of lens cast – have you removed it with Cornerfix?
Hi Martin, the upside of the NEX 5’s lower resolution is that the larger pixels have less problems with lenses such as the biogon 25. In thourough testing against a white target, you will see a slight colour variation between f/2.8 and f/8. But in real life, I haven’t had a single picture showing a colour cast with that or with even wider lenses. I originally wanted to get the 7, but since I only use legacy lenses, I decided to go for the more tolerant 5. Still, with Cornerfix, you’ll be fine. Hope you enjoy every minute with your 7.
You’ll find my test of the Biogon here : http://dearsusans.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/70-the-sony-nex-5n-and-exotic-lenses-leica-m-leica-r-zeiss-zm-zeiss-cy-panasonic/
[…] ZM 18mm f/4.0 lens (here on eBay). Our reader Pascal tested the lens and posted his findings at DearSusans (Click here): “Contrary to my (FABULOUS) Zeiss ZM Biogon 25mm/2.8, this is not a symmetrical lens and […]
Hi, I loved your articles regarding the NEX 5/7, was curious if you have had a chance to sample with the NEX6 and if so what you’re overall thoughts are were
Good to see your Hans Strand interview. Best wishes for your site.
Very kind of you Jim ! Thanks and all the best to you as well. Pascal
The quality of the photos on your site is inspirational. Excellent work, guys. The same is true for the posts.
Thanks Jens, that’s most kind of you. We’re happy to count you one of our readers !
Could You tell us more who is titled Susan? 😉 I like very much Your site name..it sounds warmly and it makes a difference with other sites, which want to provide similar materials to Yours 😉
Thank you 🙂 “Susan”, is Susan Sontag. She wrote essays on photography that everyone should read at least once, for a different perspective. It was reading one of her books, that made me want to start this blog a few years ago. Too much stuff on the Internet is all about rules of thirds, and lab results for lenses. It pushes you into your mold rather than let you think on your own. I wanted to take the opposite direction. Hence the name. Cheers, Pascal
Also have an a7r. Like you: best images ever. But only with two lenses: Zeiss 55 1.8, and Tamron 28-75. And lots of throw aways because of focus issues. But when its good, its stunning.
So, what lenses do you use that you like best on the camera?
Hi Howard, that’s a tough question. Zeiss have recently sent me a lot of gear for review and the ZM 35/1.4 has to be my favourite lens ever at this date. A very close second would be the OTUS 85/1.4. But those are expensive lenses. At more affordable levels, I must say I the Leica-R lenses absolutely fantastic. They are sharp, very cheap in some cases, and have lovely colour and drawing, particularly those designed by Walter Mandler. Cheers.
The personal journey from Dad the documenter, to Photographer. is long and arduous involving learning the camera/photo techniques, post processing, maybe printing and learning about color, “seeing” the potential photograph, critical analysis and taking the shot with a camera of some sort. Part of that journey is learning to recognize the “photographer within” and letting your creative force loose, free of the worry of not doing it right. To me, that has been one of the most difficult in developing my “sight” of the potential shot. Your web site does a nice job of that process. Looking forward to Paris.
Thans David. Our thoughts exactly, and we plan to orient our work more and more in that direction! Also looking forward to meeting you in Paris.
“Dad the Documenter” to “Photographer”! Brilliant. I’ve been on the same route and in the process discovered the insatiable desire to create. After a lifetime of believing I wasn’t “creative”.