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Happy New Year – 2015

by Kevin Raber

Wow, What a year!  I now have one full year under my belt as Publisher of Luminous-Landscape.  I have a deeper appreciation for all the work Michael has had to do over the last 15 years and the passion he has poured into this site.  It’s been one of the most fun years of my career.  Like yourselves, I was a reader of LuLa from day one and over the years became a close friend of Michael’s.  He and I share the same passion not only for photography but also for sharing that passion with others.  For both of us in the end, it is the image that matters, and the fun and enjoyment of creating that image.

When Michael and I started discussing the possibilities of me joining LuLa, the timing couldn’t have been better.  The site was getting very large.  To take the site further and to continue to be relevant, LuLa needed to grow and adapt. Thus, I joined Michael and his partner Chris Sanderson on the adventure. 

There are over 5,000 pages on the site created with a number of different programs over the past 15 years.  That’s a great deal of content, and it’s all on photography.  Many a photographer has seen their way into the digital realm by reading and learning from these articles.  We hope that many more will benefit and continue their journey with what we have planned for the coming years. 

This site has always been about original content.  LuLa doesn't do press releases or go out and skim news articles on photography and republish them.  There are plenty of sites that already do that. LuLa doesn’t do formal product reviews.  We don’t have test benches and devices to quantitatively measure and evaluate cameras and lenses. Instead we use our eyes and photographic experience... some 100 years combined between Michael, Kevin and Chris.

We don’t link to AdSense, Google Ads or other annoying and invasive advertising.  What we offer is what we have always done, simply first-class content.

Stepping up to the plate to handle the everyday business has allowed Michael Reichmann, this site’s founder, some much-needed breathing room.  Michael this past year has not only published his 400 page Retrospective Book, but has also launched The Luminous-Endowment, a charitable foundation created to fund photographic projects world-wide.  He now also has time to pursue some special photographic projects, and do what he does best – creative photography.  He has and will be contributing articles as only Michael can.   

The Road Upward. Hawaii, December 2014
by Michael Reichmann 

When I took the reins earlier this year, Michael and I spoke a lot about Luminous Landscape, its history and what we both saw for its future.  We were not out to fix something or change something, because it wasn’t broken. We did however agree that it needed to adapt and keep pace with the evolution of photography and that of our readers.  We sat down and put together a three-year plan, and it has served as a road map for where we are headed.

There are a million plus readers of The Luminous Landscape every month. At any one time of the day, there are 3-6 people per second signing onto the site and thousands of page views per hour.  It’s all pretty staggering especially when you look at the live analytic feed.  This shows that LuLa is a community.  It’s a community that we hope grows in the future, and we plan to do our part to not only keep the community strong but also see it grow and benefit more photographers. 

We are now looking forward to 2015 and not backward.  This year will be one of the best years for LuLa and especially for you as readers of this site.  Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing a number of exciting announcements about changes that you can expect.

You can look forward to a complete new look for LuLa.  We have called the project LuLa V2, and it will be coming soon.  We love what we see in the prototype LuLa V2, and much of it has been what has been asked for over the years.  It’s clean and easy to navigate and will allow us to offer some new services and to publish more often.  More on this new site design very soon. 

Our video offerings will be new too.  A whole new system will be integrated into our new site for easier access and downloading for subscribers and single purchases.  This will allow us to also expand our video offerings – not only from us but other contributors.  And speaking of videos, we will be launching a number of new ones.  We will do more camera tutorials.  Expect to see tutorials on the Olympus and Sony A series cameras first, with more to follow. We also have a new series on Shooting With The Masters, and we will be doing more interviews with noted experts in our industry.  Plus, we will incorporate videos into more of our articles.  

We will be adding the LuLa store where you will be able to purchase books and other specialty photographic products. We’ll fill you in more on the store details prior to its launch.  We also will have a number of regular contributors much like Alain Briot, who will share their knowledge on a regular basis.  We are excited about those that are joining us and we will share more on this soon. 

Our site will also expand its social media presence.  This past year our Facebook likes on the Luminous-Landscape page have grown to 13,000 followers and all without doing much promotion.  Starting with the launch of the new site, we will expand out to all the major social networks. Each article when published will also be published to these networks. In addition, we will be adding book reviews on a regular basis.

We are launching a YouTube channel that can be subscribed to, and we have some real fun ideas for that.  That will take place second quarter, and we are very excited about what we have planned there.

We will be announcing a number of great workshops for the next two years.  Dates are in place, and we are adding more.  In a few weeks, we leave for two back-to-back trips to Antarctica.   We have 55 plus attendees on each trip with one of the best line-ups of instructors anywhere.  In 2016, we will do an extended Antarctica trip that will include S. Georgia Island as well as the Antarctic Continent.  In 2015, you can expect to see workshops in Iceland (sold out) The Kimberley (sold out), Svalbard, Scotland, and New Zealand. Plus we are working on a few other very special workshops that we hope to add soon.  In 2016, you can also expect Iceland, Patagonia, Altiplano, Isle Of Skye - Scotland, Hawaii and more.  

The Luminous–Landscape forum will continue on as is, with a few new topic categories that we will explain once the new site is launched.   

All-in-all what we are doing is taking Michael’s dream and making it a reality.  Our content will increase and be more varied.  We will still have advertisers on our site, but these are advertisers that we want to work with us, and are not ads that show up because you visited Amazon or Google.  Plus, they must offer a benefit to our readers. We will continue our affiliation with B&H, but we are not a site that lives and breathes by donations and affiliate click-throughs.  LuLa is a business and like a lot of businesses it started as a hobby and grew from there. We continually remind ourselves that we must remember where our roots are and to stay true to the course and elevate our offering for our readers based on what our readers have come to expect over the years. 

LuLa wouldn’t be what it is without the vision, passion and the heart that Michael has put into it.  His business partner for so many years – Chris Sanderson – has stood by him and helped that dream reach the point where it is today.  Chris, Michael and I are now a team and a good one.  Both Michael & Chris have shared and helped me understand the history and workings of Luminous-Landscape and my goal with their help is to make Luminous-Landscape the best web site for photographers looking for original, educational and informative content.  And, just as with our photography, we'll have great fun doing it along the way.

Thank you for being a part of Luminous-Landscape. Without you this site would not exist.

Happy New Year!  This is going to be a great year!

Published January 1, 2015

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Concepts: The Best Years of Our Lives, Website, The Best Years

Entities: LuLa, Google, YouTube, B&H, Facebook, Olympus, Sony, Amazon, Antarctica, Scotland, Iceland, New Zealand, Luminous Landscape, web site, social media, social networks, Isle Of Skye, S. Georgia Island, partner, Publisher, founder, Kevin Raber, LuLa, Michael Reichmann, Chris Sanderson, Alain Briot, Kevin, 15 years, three-year, 100 years, two years, Hawaii

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