The founder of Luminous-Landscape, one of the early photography-focused web sites, Michael Reichmann has passed away from cancer.
Michael originally showed up on my radar because he started Luminous Landscape around the same time I started Photofocus. We had similar goals. His early efforts were far more advanced than mine and I learned from his approach.
Those of us who knew Michael were aware that nobody cared more about photography. I will refer our readers to the LL site which has a post about his passing…
I don’t have much to add to that but I do want to share a few personal thoughts.
Michael and I were not friends. I wasn’t that lucky. I worked with him half a dozen times and consider myself lucky to have been one of his business acquaintances. But nonetheless, my favorite memory of him follows…
Years and years ago I was invited by Michael to share my approach to Photoshop at one of his field workshops. It so happens the workshop was at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. This was back in the good old days when there were hundreds of thousands of birds in the area. It was a great time and while I am very familiar with Bosque, Michael taught me to see it as a great place for landscape – not just bird photography.
Michael was a guy who enjoyed life and a good practical joke. What Michael failed to mention to me when he invited me to talk about Photoshop with the group was the fact that none other than Thomas Knoll was a participant in the workshop. Yeah THAT Thomas Knoll. Take a second and fire up your copy of Photoshop. Mr. Knoll’s name is the first name you will see on the long list of authors given credit for that great, game-changing piece of software.
So no pressure. I had written a book called “88 Secrets to Photoshop for Photographers.” I knew the program pretty well back then. But to have to talk about it in a room where the guy who invented it was sitting well – let’s say that Michael had a sparkle in his eye when he watched me discover that piece of news.
It was still a great trip. I eventually stopped talking about Photoshop during that workshop and went on about my business enjoying pizza with the group.
I remember getting some of my best shots from Bosque on that trip and I even remember meeting Art Wolfe for the first time. He was also there that week working with a group of students.
When it was all over and I had gone home, Michael called me and told me about this idea he had for doing a video series. Long before blogs, or social media, or YouTube, Michael Reichmann was innovating when it came to new ways to teach people about and share photography.
I left that event being very impressed with Luminous Landscape and had casual contact with Michael after that surrounding other potential ideas where we came close to working together but nothing much came from it.
I am sad to say that we hadn’t talked in many years and I found myself extremely sad when I heard of his death. I was saddened that I had gone on about my day unaware of his passing.
We all live busy lives. We’re all focused on that next camera or building out our portfolio or going on that next trip. But it is probably a good idea to take 15 minutes once in a while and check in on our contemporaries. Saying hello to others in the industry and inquiring as to their welfare isn’t something we need to do for them. It’s something we need to do for ourselves so we stay grounded in the things that really matter.
Because at the end of the day – it’s the people we meet and photograph and share who matter.
I am glad to see that Michael’s work will outlive him. And as someone who’s on the wrong side of 60 I am keenly aware that my time is also coming and probably much sooner than I’d like for it to. I hope that I can a fraction of the impact that Michael had. He will be missed.
Latest posts by Scott Bourne (see all)
- It’s the picture that matters — not the process - September 29, 2018
- Traveling abroad? Things U.S. photographers need to know - August 17, 2018
- Being in the Zone — Photographically - July 2, 2018