We’ve come a long way, and I’m not going back

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Me in 1960, when a mirrorless camera was a rangefinder

In 2018 with some trepidation I bought my first mirrorless camera, a Nikon Z7. It wasn’t because I thought it was better than the DSLR I had been using but because my old muscles were spasming with the weight of the camera I was using and I hoped that a package a pound lighter would help me keep on working.

Then slowly I began to learn what I had bought — a camera with major advances over any camera I had ever owned, film or digital. I hadn’t expected that. …


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John Simmons, ASC — opening night at the Perfect Exposure Gallery

When this thing is over there will still be gas stations and liquor stores, and places to eat fast food. Doctors and grocers will survive, and a host of others, but I’m afraid a lot of the galleries will be gone.


The roads and towns of Central Kansas, and the people who live there

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The road that leads up to the Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie

When I first told my friends I was going to Kansas, most of them said: “Why would you ever go there?” and to tell you the truth, I didn’t have much of an answer. The simple answer was to shoot some vintage motorcycles, but that didn’t explain taking five additional days to drive around central Kansas looking for pictures and stories. The more complete answer was because I didn’t know what I would find. I like being in new places, ones where I don’t know what’s around the corner. …


My ten top stories, the ones that keep finding new readers

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You guys surprise me, you readers. Looking at the stats for my stories what I see is that the stories you like are all over the map. You visit stories about crappy movies I worked on, tales of fast cars and bikes, childhood memories, thoughts about photography, a mixed bag for sure. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I’m the one who remembered them, asked them what they were about, wrote them down. But now, seeing them all together in a list I wonder why out of everything they are the ones that call you over time.

I don’t have a ready answer to the question though, so let’s leave it for another day. Instead, here’s the list so you can ponder it for yourselves. Here are my top ten stories in terms of reader response, your favorites over time. If you haven’t read these stories already give them a try. …


We’ve come to the end of a tough year — still standing and ready for what (I hope) comes next. Congratulations to us all on getting through this time.

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So many roads, so many ways to go

Me, I’ve been thinking about the road and how much I miss it. I’m looking forward to getting back out there this summer, and I know I’m not alone. In the meantime though, I’ve been thinking about how cameras have changed during my lifetime and how much I like the mirrorless camera I shoot with now. I took a dive into how mirrorless cameras are different from the ones that came before and how they help me make better pictures, then wrote about it here; Why Mirrorless Wins. BTW, even if you shoot with a phone you’re a mirrorless shooter too. …


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Looking East, Highway 108 near the Sonora Pass

What pleasure there is in being out in the world. I just came back from a week in the High Sierras, staying (carefully) with friends in their cabin and making pictures of mountains and desert towns and the roads that connect them. I was careful and stayed distanced but still had the exquisite pleasure of seeing new faces and talking with strangers, a fresh stimulation of all the human senses.


Sharing lies and misinformation even by accident is a good way to kill someone now

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A friend sent me a well-made video recently about breathing warm air to kill viruses in the sinus. It seemed plausible and the video didn’t look like the work of a crackpot, but oops! Once I checked out the guy (who claimed he was a doctor) it became clear he was not a doctor of medicine but rather a “Futurologist”! Want to trust your life to a self-proclaimed futurologist? Not me, and no medical professionals either. My friend who passed this information on meant well but reliance on it could hurt people or worse. I did what I do nowadays. I wrote him privately, told him he had been burned by bullshit, cited the correct information and asked him to take it down right away. He did. If he hadn’t, I’d have commented on his post and called the BS for what it was. …


fear is further away when you are walking in the landscape, and for a little while, we didn’t want to live in fear.

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Joshua Tree

Life has inertia. It rolls on even when we tell it to stop. I make pictures and tell stories, and that keeps me busy and gives me a sense of purpose in the world. But now, that world has gone away. We told it to come to an end a couple of weeks ago, and it did. That makes sense, of course, it just doesn’t “make sense” to the me that is always doing things. …


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These days, the skies are the hues of Technicolor Hollywood

These days the skies of Los Angeles are always blue, amazing blue, the blue of Renaissance painting or travel magazine illustrations. The virus that keeps us out of our cars has reduced traffic by so much that our smog-free sky is revealed. This is the Los Angeles we remember, the one that brought us here to live by the millions, the traffic easy, the skies impossible shades of blue.


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It’s been busy this morning lying on the chaise; warm breezes stirred my skin, spring brought life to plants around me.

I’ve been watching a squirrel make her way along the powerline before jumping to the Elm tree at the back of the yard.

On the Elm tree, she darts forward, unconcerned by its height, unbaffled by its maze. She comes closer to the Sycamore, pauses. Leaping into space, she lands on its branch, saunters to a place high over my head, peers down to see if I am comfortable.

Watching her, I understand I am the only creature in the garden with a voice inside that says, “why haven’t you done anything today.” Why me? …

About

Andy Romanoff

One part of me knows it doesn’t matter if you read these stories or not, the other part thinks it might be the reason I’m here. Thanks for reading.

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