Wow, where did the time go? It’s almost 2012?

Wow, where did the time go? It’s almost 2012? 

Personal Rant and Update…(for those who have been following it)

You know, I woke up this morning and ate some raisin bran while I checked my e-mail and sat at my long desk that is covered in SD cards, cameras, empty diet coke bottles and of course my computer and printer. As I sat there, milk dribbling down my chin, reading the 100th email asking me what camera is the best one to buy I said to myself...”I have nothing to post today”! Over the past few months I have made it a point to try to update this blog at least once a day, sometimes more. Since doing so my traffic has tripled if not quadrupled. Hell, I am even making a little more money in ad revenue and affiliate sales (thank you all)!

So here I am right now sitting here in my Pajamas at 10am. My son is out in the living room playing Xbox 360 after amazingly getting his schoolwork done at 6am this morning. My 13 year old dog Scrubby is sleeping because his arthritic legs do not like walking too much anymore and my wonderful girlfriend who lives 1866 miles away is at work in Chicago where the cold winter will soon be rolling in (which means more AZ visits for her).

If I were writing this say 15 months ago I would have been saying something like “Im trying to head out to get some photos but my dog is begging me for food while I eat, my wife is yelling about something and my son is late for school”. But since my divorce over a year ago things have calmed down and things are good. Better than I could have ever dreamed and while at the time it was a VERY dark time, when I reflect back on it all I realize things would be not how they are today if that did not happen. I won’t get into details, but yes, my divorce was a good thing.

2011 was a wonderful year for me…

The Seal Tours

Let’s see…this year I went on a couple of tours with Seal, made some great new friends all over the world and shot some amazing photographs. I met up with several readers of this website while abroad, met a great friend and photographer Helene Pambrun who showed me around Paris, and thanks to Seal I was able to see Europe in style. The Leica shop in Austria, Street shooting in Lithuania, The huge 26,000 crowd in Belgium…My time in Europe with Seal was amazing, a time I will never forget. I was a bit stressed at the time but looking back now…not sure why that was.

Seven of my photos made it to his new album “Soul 2” – cover, back cover, and inside booklet, all mine! I reached one of my lifetime goals of having an album cover and when I found out that was the case, I was crazy excited. I still am as the CD comes out SOON. CD…that sounds funny now as 95% of all purchased music today is downloaded. Soon there will be no CD’s, only downloads and good old fashioned Vinyl (which is making a comeback). So be sure to check out his new CD at his web site HERE.

2011 also brought two successful workshops! The one in Seattle was GREAT thanks to Ashwin Rao and Roger Paperno and the one in Chicago was super cool thanks to Bradley Graupner who helped me tremendously to get it going. In 2012 I plan on another NYC, San Fran, and at leads two others. Announcements soon, and each one will get bigger and better! Anyone up for a 2012 European Photo Cruise? Hmmmm.

Single life at 41 in 2011…


Rediscovering Dating…

2011 was also a year in which I was single for the first time in 15 years. After a 15 year marriage went to hell I took some time to myself, then dated here and there and soon realized that dating in your 40’s is much different than dating in your 20’s. It took me some time and some trial and error, but 15 months later I finally found a perfect match for me in every way. I am glad I said from the get go when I started to date that I would  “NEVER SETTLE”. Everyone I dated was great but if you are single and 41 it is best to keep searching until you find the perfect one for you, someone  you can be 100% into, a perfect match. If you settle then it only spells trouble down the road. When I say to never settle I do not mean to find a supermodel, I mean find someone you are totally and completely compatible with. Someone who gets you and someone that you get. Someone that you can laugh with, share common interests with. Someone that you are attracted to inside and out. The whole package.

It’s funny because the one I found that was my perfect match ended up being a girl I went to grade school with for 8 years.

See our kindergarten picture below: 

…and here we are today 35 years later. This was just before a halloween party so my eyes are freaky:

Funny how love works huh? From our 1st dinner meet we both knew. I knew. She knew. The best part is she is the kindest, sweetest, funnest and most amazing woman I have ever met.  Yes, things are perfect and I could not have asked for anyone better. I am good. I am happy. I am 100%. For the 1st time in a long time. So add another check box to the success square in 2011!

[ad#Adsense Blog Sq Embed Image]

Time flies, so make the most of it…

Another thing that has happened in 2011 is that my son is another year older. Next year he will be driving, he will be about an inch taller than me, and his life as a young man will be starting. I’ll be there every step of the way for him to help him with whatever he needs. Advice, money, anything. So life is good. I remember when he was learning to crawl, then to walk, then to talk, and now he is 15 going on 16. WOW, time DOES indeed fly by!

I wake up every day and hop onto my computer to check my e-mails, check my Facebook, check my google +, and to sit down and write something for all of you to read about. What I write may not always be perfect, or be viewed  favorably by everyone but what I write comes from the heart and thats about the best I can do. I LOVE this blog, and I am thrilled that you guys come here daily to read it. It is a true labour of love and 2011 has even tripled my traffic. Im hoping  to do the same in 2012! So stick with me as I promise the best is yet to come!

If anyone out there would like to submit a guest article just send me an email to with your idea or article. Doing so can generate some serious traffic for you and your blog or flickr or Facebook! Check out this chart below with INSANE statsfrom a guy who posted an image from his flickr into a comment section of a popular post:

Now I am not saying writing a guest post will send you this kind of traffic but it can generate some hits for you, so if interested send me an email!

So to sum it all up, 2011 was fantastic for me personally. I could not have asked for better.

2011 was GREAT for camera gear…2012 may be better!

We all know how great 2011 was for cameras. The Fuji X100. The Olympus E-P3. The Ricoh GXR. The Sony NEX-5n and the NEX-7. The new Olympus lenses like the 12mm, 45 1.8 and the new Panasonic 25 1.4 are all fantastic (Pana/Leica review soon).

Leica was absent for the most part in 2011 with any new gear but from what I have been hearing, 2012 will be a good year for Leica. A new interchangeable lens camera, a new M, and maybe a third camera. It should be interesting. Then there is the new rumored Fuji interchangeable lens camera much like the X100 but with a supposed new sensor that is “even better or equal to full frame”. Fuji has the possibility to REALLY explode in the digital market if they create an X100 type of camera that is slicker, faster, has changeable lenses and RELEASE nice fast primes, AND has a larger sensor that performs even better than the one in the X100 itself. Now that would be a camera to end all camera lust for many of us. X200? X1000? Hmmmm.

Sony will be releasing a new Zeiss lens in 2012 as well for their E mount NEX system and from what I gathered it may be something like an 85 1.4 portrait lens. Something like that would be great on a NEX-5n or 7. 2012 should also bring us more new stuff from Olympus – possibly the PEN PRO. Id buy a PEN PRO in a heartbeat as I am still in love with the E-P3, which I feel is the best Micro 4/3 body to date even with its lack of a built in EVF. The rumored Panasonic PRO X or whatever may surface this year still but for some reason I think it will fall short of expectations, but you never know.

So I am looking forward to 2012. Some killer cameras to review, more travel, a renewed love life, and also some new workshops planned that will be KILLER!

Thank you all for your support in 2011! I hope to see you all back in 2012 with your guest articles, daily inspirations, comments and e-mails! This site is run out of love and passion and I have more of that than ever so 2012 will be amazing! I started writing this to kick start my brain into coming up with something for the day and it ended up being another one of my personal reflections that I sometimes post. I feel being personal and allowing others into your life can be a good thing. Makes everything a bit more real and helps you guys to know who I am. Hope you enjoyed it.

Stay tuned…



  1. As a photographer, you need light. As a man, you need light too and it seems that you have found a new source of this light.

    Wish you all the best, Steve.

    Cristiano, Italy.

  2. Great piece Steve, thanks for all your hard work and great to see your life going great 🙂

    My pic is just a few views away from the 3,000,000 view mark! Unbelievable!!!!


  3. steve, i feel like i am hanging with an old friend when i come to your site everyday to read “what’s up,” and today’s post re-inforces that. you have had a good year and you deserve it. i also am divorced this year after 16 years of marriage. good for you that you met someone who makes you very happy. i can relate. life is good. thanks for all your hard work with your site. take ‘er easy.

  4. Ooh I hope the timing works out for the SF workshop. Would love to attend. Your site is easily in my top three photo sites list. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!

  5. Maybe one of the BEST camera blog posts, I have ever read. Thank you for your incite and honesty. If this isn’t an example of what make the Internet and new media so incredible I don’t know what is.

    What camera should I buy? Really? From the perspective of our life as a whole, just shut your eyes and pick one.

    -In this article you’ve shown us some of the things that we should really be focused on in our 1 lap around the track we call life.

    Its no wonder this blog is so popular. Thanks Steve.

  6. Steve, this post echoes how this site started for you. You sit there twiddling your thumbs wondering what you’re gonna do, and then you pour your heart and emotion out through the keyboard/photos and you come up w/ something completely inspiring and magical! Its posts like these that make your site so much more worthwhile visiting than many others when we have a few free moments in our day.
    Congrats on all the personal and professional success this year has brought you and much luck to you on all the possible endeavors you will be taking on in 2012. I would love to be a part of your SF workshop/photo tour if and when you decide to plan it!!

  7. Wow man! I feel that this is the most honest blog I’ve ever read. Very inspiring coz i’m in kinda a dark time too … it can only get better eh?? thanks Steve

  8. Great you are doing so well Steve, I’m sure you deserve everything good!. I really enyoy you site with the daily inspirations, your reviews and other comments. Thanks a lot.

  9. Great writing Steve, the reality is we don’t just come here for camera talk, we come here for you and your perspective on things. Thanks for all you work and all you do. Hope your 2012 is even better than your 2011!

  10. Hi Steve,
    thanks a lot; I’m reading your blog nearly every day….and the result is: a Leica D-Lux5 and a Leica M9-P purchase 🙂

  11. Hi Steve,

    You know, I might like your personal posts even more than your reviews! 😉

    It just shows us all that you’re the right person to follow here and your website the best one to visit every day. That’s why it’s my homepage, too.

    Thanks for everything and I am really looking forward to spending more of my time here.

    All the best!


  12. I’m really happy to see that you made it,I’m following your blog since you reviewed the Leica M8 and I saw a great review,clear, practical and full of nice pictures,then the M9,the new blog and a glimpse of your personal life,now you have a new girlfriend,a teenager a cover and back cover of an album and tones of new friends,so now you have to think about a world tour..”Steve’s world tour 2012″..My house is in Barcelona (Europe) big enough for you, your girlfriend and son, so it’s up to you,you only have to pay the airplane ticket…

  13. Happy that you’re happy Steve! I keep coming back to this blog because of your honesty and genuine good spirits. Recently bought the 5n… was waiting for the 7, but since I am getting it mostly for video decided to try out the 5n, since I love good low-light performance 🙂

  14. Steve,

    Congratulations on your success and happiness. Your website is simply fantastic. Your personal story only adds to the rich experience and depth which makes this website so compelling. Enjoy what you have and never dwell upon the things intent upon bringing you down, a policy you seem to have mastered and we all can benefit from!

    Thanks for a great job in 2011 and I look forward to what you have in store for us in 2012.


  15. Hi Steve,

    Just wanted to point out although most of the music now is purchase online, when purchased from a proper channel like iTunes, the album cover comes with the package and is displayed as the wall paper of the iPod Touch/ iPhone it is being played on so your pics will still get a lot of viewing =)

  16. Steve, gotta say that you feel like a real friend even if we have never met in person. One of the things that make your blog so popular is because of little posts like this that remind us that there is a real person sitting behind the computer making daily posts and reviews….hope to meet you in person one of these days….cheers!!

  17. Congrats on all your success Steve. Enjoy your site. Your look ahead to 2012 brings up a couple questions for me. As someone on a wait list for chrome M9-P, still possibly months out, and Leica lenses in short supply, I wonder if it might be wise to just wait and see what next M is like. But considering how slow Leica is in production, anybody really imagine a delivery of a new M in 2012?
    Anybody else waiting for M9-P but wondering if they should hold off for next M this late in the M9’s life?

    • Yes, but the real question is: what can the new M bring that you really need? I mean, there are talks about 30+MP censor and the likes of that. As a regular shooter, like myself, do I really need that? For me the answer is NO.
      For me it all about the feel of the M, and the black M9 is all I need for as long as I can foresee 🙂

  18. Thanks for checking in, Steve. It’s been a great year of growth for you, on many fronts, and I am proud of you! So much to do and review, so little time, right? LOL….anyways, here’s to looking forward to more great reviews, more fun articles, a few more workshops, and continued growth of the site!

    Hope to catch up with you soon!


  19. Hey Steve,

    You’ve got your personal priorities straight. It took me two marriages, plus a lot of affairs in between, to get it right. I married my present wife when I was 39. We’e been married for 31 years and she is and always will be the love of my life. Like you said, never just SETTLE. Life is indeed short and you want to spend it with the RIGHT person.

    Congratulations to you, your new SO, and your son.

    And thanks sooo much for the work you do on this site.

  20. Steve,

    Great to hear you are doing so well. Our paths are almost identical. I’m with a childhood friend and we are happily married. I remember the dark days and thought the life I have now was impossible. I also enjoy watching my boys grow. They gave me a purpose during the worst of it. my love for photography has been reborn with the help from your site. Dad got me into photography as a kid and I left it behind as a memory. I lost dad suddenly with my mom in a tragic accident when I was 19. I pushed photography away as something associated with my dad and sadness. Believe it or not your site has helped me get through that barrier. So now I am happy clicking away, watching the boys grow and loving my new wife of two years. Dads Rollie is on a tripod in the corner. It’s a part of dad looking over us and the photos he took with it were so awesome from such a quiet man.

    A big thanks for the inspiration Steve!

  21. this is the most inspirational, beautiful post i’ve ever read on your website. everything you wrote about women and dating, could and should be applied toward cameras, as well. congratulations on your success and your happiness, and may they continue to flower in 2012.


  22. Awesome article once again, very personal. It’s like we know you not just as a blog writer but a person. A person who shares there passion for photography. You inspire us to shoot, at least to me. Great year thus far, hope for the best in 2012. Thanks for being a mentor, that for keeping photography real and pure.

  23. It is funny how the past often becomes the present. I love the picture of you and your girlfriend from your kindergarten class. My partner dated my daughter’s boyfriend’s father 30 years ago. Oh yes, I renovated her brothers place 25 years ago. The world is small, perhaps a good reason not to leave messes behind.
    Keep up the great site, my daily destination during morning coffee.

    • The demand for Leica M glass is already way greater than what Leica can produce. People, including me, are waiting up to a year to get their lens. If more camera’s would have an M mount this situation will only get worse.

    • M mount or Fuji’s own – either way, it would be good if there was a true rival to Leica’s rangefinder. Having this market sector to themselves has seen Leica rely on ‘exclusivity’ i.e high prices, rather than availability, in order to generate maximum profit.

      OK, so Leica has always been expensive …. but current pricing is astronomical. They need to get back to the 1980’s, or at worst, the 90’s – when their pricing bore some resemblance to (average user) incomes.

      Competition from a direct rival could spur Leica to a more market orientated production schedule and pricing strategy – a good thing for all of us!

  24. Hey Steve,

    I can confirm the increased traffic that your website will generate and a full inbox to boot. Its happening as I write this response. I’m having trouble finishing my dinner here in London as I’m sitting in my hotel room with my laptop and my “You Got Mail” ding keeps ringing.

    BTW, my oldest boy is 15 too and I still don’t know where that time has gone.

    Stay focused on what you’re doing cuz I’m enjoying seeing you succeed and look forward to what the new year will bring.

    I could definitely dig a European anything!


  25. Happy for you Steve! 🙂 It’s weird to see that although I’ve never met you (almost), you seem like someone I have become acquainted to through last year, simply by reading your blog. My personal life echoed yours in terms of love, by the way, which made reading about that part of your life all the more powerful. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.