My Favourite Photography Blog

24th August 2011 General Articles


For years I have been reading The Online Photographer - aka TOP, written by long time author Mike Johnston. This is, by far, my favourite blog on photography – indeed the only one I have consistently read for several years.

I was reading it when it was just a column on another famous photography site (who don’t need my help marketing them!). However, it’s rare I find anyone at all in this country that knows this blog.

TOP is generally very well written, full of interesting articles on all subjects, timely, and expresses an interest in equipment that fortunately doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the content – the emphasis is always on photography as as an art, as a craft, and as a form of expression. There’s an emphasis on reactive (i.e. documentary/travel etc.) rather than creative (i.e. studio) photography, which is the area I am most interested in myself these days. I also particularly like the Random Excellence posts, Historical Photographers, and the Visual Culture section.

I don’t always love it – it’s too American focussed at times, and Ctein, who covers a lot of the digital stuff, while an acknowledged master of traditional dye transfer printing – gives some pretty feeble advice in the digital area, you can tell he’s really just at the beginning of the learning curve for digital work when compared to the real masters in the digital arena. Also some of the (marked) Off Topic articles are at times not very relevant (for example reading about Ctein digitising his music collection is more amusing than useful advice in this area, given this topic has been done to death and he’s again only scratching the surface – excuse the pun)…..But overall the quality of the writing is very high and it’s easy to skip the small amounts of less interesting stuff that is posted.

I suggest you add it to your list of readings.