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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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 😉
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