UPAA Blog 2020-21 #26 - 5/30/21 (by Matt Cashore, UPAA Blog editor, above graph is Google Analytics of UPAA blog, 9/1/20-5/29/21) 

This is the 110th blog article I've published since taking over as blog editor in 2017. An alert reader recently asked about an index for UPAA blog articles. Unfortunately there isn't one, nor is there a search box specific to the blog. This year I began numbering the articles and will continue that, but the question motivated me to write a "digest" article of highlights for this year.

So here goes. The first part is obvious from the graph above: What did people click the most? 

According to Google Analytics, the top 10 most-clicked blog articles with one month left in the blog year (September-June, concurrent with the MIC) are:

1. MIC Q&A December - My Twitter audience loves Dome photos. 

2. MIC Q&A November - Steven Bridges shows how he's always hustling for an extraordinary photo. 

3. Pandemic Impacts UPAA Members - When COVID stopped intercollegiate sports, Dean Hare knew he'd be let go. He gives a raw, honest front-row seat to his layoff.

4. Shuttersnitch:The Mobile Editing App You Didn't Know Was Awesome - If you've ever wished for a "Photo Mechanic for iPad," Scott Galvin has the closest thing.

5. The State of Storage - The most boring yet important blog article all year. Several members detail various options and strategies behind what to store and how.

6. Reaching a Turning Point - There are a lot of economic and technological pressures challenging photography as an industry and a profession. Patrick Murphy-Racey says, "Surrender? No way!"

7. Seeing Sports in a Different Way - In an age of 'can't miss' autofocus and 30fps, sharp peak action is...meh. Doug Levere shares a fun and different vision on sports photography.

8. MIC Q&A January 2021 - Amanda Pitts details the team effort it took to nail the shot...no pun intended!

9. Thingamajig Thursday: Camera Stand - I wrote about a pole on wheels. How it ended up in the top 10 is anyone's guess. My mom must have clicked it a lot.

10. Westide 365 - Charles Smith won the Libris Grant and invested it in an outstanding documentary project on his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. We should all be doing something this good in our own communities.

Here are some articles that you may have missed that are worth your attention:

UPAA Mentoring Tree: Bill Bitzinger - Retirement is great. But you don't want to just retire, you want to leave a legacy. Bill Bitzinger is one of several UPAA retirees who have done just that. Bill has been a UPAA board member and Symposium host, but most importantly other UPAA members showed Bill the ropes and  he 'paid it forward' by mentoring student workers who have gone on to become university photographers elsewhere and hopefully will continue the cycle.

Retirement looks pretty nice, (top) but Bill wouldn't have been a university photographer without Bruce Fox (bottom left) and Matt Yeoman (bottom right) wouldn't be a university photographer without Bill.


The "Mirrorless Month" series - The 4 major manufacturers all recently released new/updated top-of-the-line models and UPAA members put 'em to the day-to-day test. Can the R5 keep up with the fast and erratic movement of hockey players? Can the Sony a1 really sync above 1/250 on arena strobes?? Find out. Start with this article and work your way back.

The major players in mirrorless in 2021 are, clockwise from upper left: Nikon, Fuji, Sony and Canon. All had major releases in 2020-21.


AirSense = Common Sense - Be safer and more aware when flying drones. Airplanes and helicopters sometimes fly where you don't expect. New tech lets you see them virtually before you can see them visually.

AirSense can spot unexpected and unpredictable traffic like news helicopters, crop dusters or air ambulances.


COVID Visual Timeline - This was an extraordinary and historic academic year. We are the visual historians of higher education. As much as we all want to move forward to normality it's important to look back and see what the past year looked like.

Life happened on campus, even during the worst of the pandemic shutdowns. UPAA members were there.


How to stay engaged with UPAA if you don't want to be on Facebook - The easiest and most cost-effective way for UPAA to stay connected day-to-day is, unfortunately, Facebook. Many are keeping social media at an arm's length these days and Amanda Pitts has some good tips on strategies and settings you can customize to stay connected to this professionally supportive and positive group and tune out all the noise.

This is what Facebook can often feel like, but not the UPAA Facebook group!


So thanks to everyone who read and a bigger thanks to everyone who contributed to the blog this year. Takeaways? 

•Send stories or story ideas! The more diversity of subject matter, authors and geography the better!

•The MIC Q&A appears to be enjoyed. If there is anything you'd like to be included in the usual questions, your humble editor is all ears: mcashore@nd.edu.

•Share the blog articles! The only reason the #1 article has 589 clicks is because I shared it on my own social media channels. 


"Anyone can start a blog but the real test is getting readers." - Jon Morrow | Email mcashore@nd.edu with stories, ideas and feedback good or bad (especially bad!) Follow UPAA on Instagram!