I can hardly believe that it was over a year ago when Nasim contacted me out of the blue and asked me if I could write a review of the Nikon 1 V2 for Photography Life. I was both stunned and honored by his request. I had been a loyal reader of this site for a number of years since its “Mansurovs” days and I never dreamed that I would ever pen an article here.
There was only one decision I could make and that was to jump at the opportunity. I’m an old, grizzled guy and I needed to get my porous brain engaged. I thought about getting the spare car battery out of the shed, attaching a set of jumper cables to it and clamping the other ends to my ears. After I pondered the outcome for a few minutes it became obvious that it wouldn’t work. I would need a lot more current than one battery could produce to get this old brain going. So, I did the next best thing and that was to go out and shoot like crazy with my Nikon 1 V2. That first article appeared on Photography Life on November 18, 2013 and so much has happened since.
The idea for second article hit me, this one about my favourite places to photograph in New Zealand. I contacted Nasim and he agreed with the topic and I got to work again. That article was published at the end of January 2014.
Then, in early February one evening Nasim called me at my home office. We chatted for a couple of hours after which I went downstairs into the kitchen and told my wife what had just transpired. She was as shocked as I was – Nasim had asked me to join the team here at Photography Life and I had accepted.
Well, 33 additional articles and 11 gear reviews later I’m still here. It seems like it has been a lot longer than just one year, and I mean that in a good way! Back in the late 1990’s I did my MBA online through Athabasca University. I worked very intensely with a bunch of great people and developed some incredible relationships that I still have to this day. And, in many cases I’ve never met many of those folks face-to-face. I feel the same way about so many of you. The readers here at Photography Life are just incredible. This truly is the best photography site anywhere on the internet. The content and level of reader discourse is outstanding.
So what will the next year bring? I can tell you that Nasim has many exciting plans for the future. Photography Life and the team here will only get stronger. And, there are all kinds of ideas about how things here will grow in many very exciting ways. But, I’ll let him tell you more about all of the good things coming in due course. Suffice to say that many heads on the team here are spinning just thinking about the opportunities, including mine!
Things are changing for me as well. Much to the delight of my wife my goatee is gone and I’m in the process of re-cultivating my handlebar moustache. Happy wife – happy life. Two of our three children are getting married in 2015, maybe all three. Yikes!
On the business side of things a lot is going on and many changes are underway. Being a member of the team here at Photography Life is one thing that isn’t going to change, although I will find it difficult to be as prolific in the coming year for a number of reasons.
As many of you know videography/photography is only one part of our rather eclectic business. We have an executive/leadership coaching and HR consulting practice. Our own line-up of safety, wellness, inspirational and respectful workplace posters that we produce in-house from cradle to grave. As well as authoring books and creating various custom training programs for clients.
Our YouTube channel has continued to grow and it desperately needs more of my attention. Back in late August 2014 I thanked the many Photography Life readers for dropping in and checking out some of our videos and helping us reach our first 100,000 views. It took 31 months from the launch of our YouTube channel to reach that 100,000 view milestone. Now it looks like by the end of the year we’ll hit 150,000 views. We’re finishing plans to create a permanent video studio set-up here at the office and we’re finalizing an aggressive plan for new YouTube content for 2015.
To further enhance our video capability I’ve been wrestling with shifting away from my D800 and FX gear, selling it all, and making the Panasonic GH4 with some accompanying lenses my main client platform. If anyone is interested in my D800 (low shot count) and FX gear you can call me at the office, or tap me an email. I’m located in the Toronto Canada area.
For a number of months I’ve been working on my own, ‘non-competing’ photography blog (www.tomstirrphotography.com). It is still under construction and we plan to launch before year end. Our mission is “Celebrating the Joy of Creating Images” with a focus on showcasing images of different subjects and from various locations, with some emphasis on Canada.
What we won’t be doing is covering the in-depth technical side of photography with camera and lens reviews or announcing new gear. That is best left to talented people like Nasim and other members of the Photography Life team. I’m just not that technically oriented, or interested if the truth be known. I’m much more experimental and experiential when it comes to photography, focusing on the end results that can be achieved rather than on the gear used. If I do any gear reviews they will be limited to gear that I personally own and use. The blog will have video-related content and also cover ‘photo art’ which is one of my other interests. Any software discussions will be limited to the programs that I use on a daily basis, likely with a focus on OpticsPro, and perhaps a bit on Topaz and the Nik Suite.
While in Greece my wife gently reminded me that I haven’t created even one new poster for over a year. Heck, some posters have been on our web site with an “Under Development” note on them simply because I haven’t made the time to create the images needed to complete them. I don’t even remember when I last updated the ‘Gallery Print’ section of our web site. I have three book manuscripts in various states of disarray that need to be completed. Time needs to be made to respond to requests from various camera clubs and other organizations to do seminars and talks, as well as produce products that I can market at those events. The expansion of my one-on-one photo coaching is also a priority.
So, there’s lots for me to do – as well as staying an active team member here at Photography Life. Nasim is one of the most generous and collaborative people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. His dedication to this site and its readers is an inspiration to all of us on the team, and its one the reasons that we choose to stay involved, even though each of us has outside interests and businesses. The future is still to be written, but there is no doubt in my mind that Nasim and I will find innovative ways to continue our collaboration.
In closing, to all of the readers of Photography Life, please accept my deep, heartfelt thanks. I cannot put into words how much your feedback, insights and questions have meant to me over the past year. I have become a much better photographer this year because of you.
Article and all images Copyright 2014, Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, reproduction or duplication including electronic is allowed without written consent.