I’d like to thank each and every one of our readers for taking the time to visit our photography blog during the past 12 months. We certainly had a busy year together! Looking forward towards 2019 there are a number of projects in the hopper that we hope will be of interest to you.
To serve as visual breaks, we have featured a selection of 20 photographs from our most recent trip to New Zealand. None of these images has previously appeared on this website.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Before we get into our future plans, let’s take a quick look at what happened with us in 2018. During the calendar year, 128 new postings covering a range of topics, were added to this photography blog. This website now features 569 articles and many thousands of original photographs.
To augment the two eBooks we published in late 2017 (Nova Scotia Photography Tour and The Little Camera That Could) we published four additional eBooks in 2018. These included Images of Greece, Desert & Mountain Memories, Balancing Eggs and New Zealand Tip-to-Tip. We are thrilled that readers in over 30 countries around the world have purchased our eBooks thus far!
While not all of our plans for 2019 have been finalized, there are some initiatives we can share with you.
We have two eBooks currently under active development. The first one is an eBook on hand-held bird photography. This should be launched early in the new year. In the back half of the year we should have another eBook completed. This one will be on flower and garden photography.
A few other potential eBooks are also under consideration for 2019. The exact timing has not been determined quite yet as we need to assess reader interest and our work load schedule.
Some of the proposed eBooks include a travel photography eBook on Ireland, an eBook on landscape photography, as well as an eBook that deals with photographic composition.
As we move forward in 2019 some changes with the video portion of our work will be implemented. Our industrial client video service will certainly be continuing, along with our emphasis on producing safety related videos for our clients.
Our main consumer video platform has been YouTube. Many of our videos were monetized with advertising. This monetization began quite a few years ago when we first set up our YouTube channel. At the time this was a very common practice.
I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with the notion of being paid for clicks by advertisers whether that happened on my photography blog or on my YouTube channel. Compensation of this sort creates the potential temptation for a blogger to produce ‘click bait’ material for the sole purpose of maximizing advertising click revenues. Being involved with ‘click bait’ content is of absolutely no interest to me.
We had a good, hard look at YouTube and our presence on that platform. After evaluating various factors, we decided to dramatically change our approach with our video work that is targeted at the consumer market. In a nutshell we will be moving all future consumer-oriented video productions to a different platform, and away from YouTube.
The vast majority of videos that we had on YouTube are in the process of being deleted, and any links embedded in articles are being removed. We do plan on putting a limited number of new videos on YouTube. None of those future YouTube videos will be monetized with advertising, and none of those videos will have links from this website in articles. Some readers may have already noticed that the YouTube tab in our navigation bar has been removed from this website.
I’m sure most bloggers think we’re crazy for not running advertising on our photography website, and for purposely walking away from YouTube advertising click revenue in the future. For the vast majority of websites, focusing on per click advertising revenues is a cornerstone of their business model. In my mind the underlying motivation of that approach is to chase after readers on an indiscriminate basis, simply to build website traffic volume and make money from advertising clicks.
There are two issues that are far more important to us than advertising click revenue. The first is to develop and maintain positive relationships with our individual readers, regardless of the ultimate size of our audience. The second is being able to completely control the companies and organizations with which we are associated. Carrying outside advertising on YouTube makes this impossible. As the old saying goes, “You are defined by the actions you take and the company you keep.”
To me this means responding to as many reader comments and personal emails as possible. It means creating and maintaining a respectful environment for our readers, free of aggressive and attacking behaviours that are, sadly, far too common on the internet. It means being totally independent so I can write articles as my spirit moves me without feeling obligated to cover new product introductions. It has also meant turning away offers from companies that wanted to ‘pay for content’ on my website. To us, building and maintaining trust with a supportive audience is critical.
As mentioned earlier, all of our new video work for consumer viewing will be moving to a completely different platform, and away from YouTube. Our future presence on YouTube will be focused on promoting this photography blog, our eBooks, our business posters, and the videos that we plan to have on a platform outside of YouTube. As you can imagine, these changes to the video portion of our work are quite massive and likely will not be fully completed until late 2019.
Our 2019 plan will also include more time being allocated for presentations to camera clubs, garden clubs and community groups. Our presentations will cover photography and travel related topics. Geographically this part of our plan will be focused on the Southern Ontario region. We will be adding a ‘Presentations’ tab to the navigation bar on this website in the future.
Recently we re-examined our existing marketing associations. This past week we decided to end our longstanding Affiliate relationship with B&H. The company has been a very good marketing partner over the years, and I will certainly continue to be a customer of B&H on a personal basis.
From day one, the intent of this website has been to encourage readers to get the most out of the camera gear that they already own. We have never encouraged readers to slavishly buy the ‘latest and greatest’ camera equipment. Nor have we made it a practice to do reviews on camera gear that we did not own and use, or at the very least, have an interest in.
Our blog has never been focused on promoting and writing about camera gear. Getting a small commission when readers bought new camera equipment through our Affiliate link at B&H was really never a very good fit for us philosophically. So, we are moving forward into 2019 without it. We are currently removing our B&H Affiliate link from past articles, and have already removed the ‘Deals’ tab from the navigation bar of this website. A decision on our association with Amplis Canada will be made in the coming weeks.
This time of year is one that all of us use to evaluate the past and look forward to the future. We are very much looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with each of you in the years to come. We’d love to hear from you with your comments and suggestions!
If you enjoyed the images in this article and are interested in viewing more New Zealand information and photographs, you may enjoy our eBook, New Zealand Tip-to-Tip. It is available for purchase and download at a cost of $12.99 Canadian.
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles or any of the images contained in them on another website is a Copyright infringement.
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal, both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org through PayPal.
As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.
Article and all images are Copyright 2018 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!