15th Anniversary

May 28, 2014 ·

Michael Reichmann

The Luminous Landscape Celebrates Fifteen Years Online

May 28, 2014

Fifteen years ago, on May 28, 1999 we posted our first What’s New page. The site had been in operation for a couple of months prior, but the idea (and the need) for having a What’s New page started on that day.

Just about every page published since then, – at least 4,000, and maybe more – are still on-line. But, the Home Page is dynamic, and changes every few days, so these are no longer accessible. Fortunately though, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine has been crawling the site regularly since our site’s inception and so we have snapshots of what our Home Page looked like on many occasions over the past five and a half thousand days of our existence on-line.

You can also visit our What’s New Archive, which lists every entry for the past 15 years. Be aware though that some pages may look a bit strange, have missing components, and likely external links that don’t always work.

Below are screen grabs, with links to a Home Page from each of the preceding 15 years. Enjoy.




















The Future?

We’re pleased that The Luminous Landscape has had the longevity that it has enjoyed, along with more than a million readers world-wide each month from every country on the globe. We also believe that we are just getting going! There are many exciting changes underway.

Kevin Raber is now our Publisher, and brings new energy and perspective to the site, while Michael continues to contribute regular articles.

We now have an affiliated company, Rockhopper Workshops, which is responsible for our travel workshops. And Michael is in the process of launching a totally new venture, The Luminous Endowment for Photographers, a not-for-profit venture to provide needed financial grants to photographers around the world. Stay tuned in late June for more on this.

As for the future – we are excited about our plans for further development of the site and expansion of its content and coverage. We were the first web site to provide comprehensive coverage of just about every aspect of photography, and we continue to have that as our goal. We have never published press releases, and never will.

We are independent and we are focused on hands-on product reviews, analysis of the latest developments in digital technology, printing, colour management, travel and techniques. And we also have our video publications which offer a unique learning tool for many.

Stay tuned for the future, at The Luminous Landscape.

Michael, Kevin and Chris



From The Publisher

Fifteen years ago I had just started my career with Phase One.  It was a dawn of a new age.  For the most part, photographers were still shooting film and digital photography was something that scared many.  Things moved fast, very fast.  Never before has the adoption rate from an analog to digital medium happened so quickly.   During my first few months with Phase One I discovered this web site called Luminous-Landscape.  I was fascinated and of course took a big interest in the site as it was just about the only one out there offering up new and useful information on the Digital Imaging Transformation.  I became a regular reader and was amazed by the content being offered.  LuLa was a website way ahead of its time. It was my morning coffee go to site.

A few years later it was quite obvious that Michael was a highly recognized and respected individual.  He had just finished reviewing the Phase One H25 and his quote from the article was  . . .

“If I were a studio photographer I’d hock my car to get an H25. It’s that good. But, since I work exclusively on location, and often in pretty remote and rugged locales, this isn’t a digital back that I could call my own. Having to work with a tethered computer is too awkward by far. But, if and when Phase One brings out a version that fits the Contax 645, and that is able to function in a self-contained manner — who knows? I may even think about hocking my car. The Phase One H25 that good!”  The original page can be found HERE.

The last two sentences of the quote above got my attention – especially knowing what Phase One was working on.  So, the day Phase One introduced its first non-tethered digital back, I decided it was time to meet this Michael Reichmann fellow and see if I could get his car keys.  I was damn nervous calling Michael up.  It was harder than asking out a first date.  Kind of like calling god.

Michael was very gracious and invited me up to Toronto to show him the new digital back.  He picked me up at the airport and we headed out for a few days of shooting in Algonquin Park.

We made our first stop at a place called Bunny Hollow.  And, it was at that moment that a new friendship was born.  Read the article and you’ll understand how photography can bring people together. 

Over the coming days, we had a wonderful time and I gave Michael plenty of opportunity to shoot with the new Phase One P25. On the last day, we visited Michael’s cottage. It was time to download the images we had taken.  We each sat at opposite ends of his large dining room table.  I was busy working on my images and all of a sudden Michael mumbles “Fxxx You Raber”, and a set of car keys came sliding across the table.  That was the day I sold Michael the first of his many Phase One cameras and also the day I solidified our friendship. That friendship has continued to grow to this day.

The original P25 review can be found HERE

Never would I have thought that day, that I would become the CEO and Publisher of Luminous-Landscape.  Over the years, Michael and I shared our passion of photography and in the course of taking pictures, we traveled to some of the farthest reaches of the planet – together and with friends.  We learned a mutual respect for each other and also shared a lot of glasses of wine.  I had always expressed my interest in working with LuLa and and asked Michael to let me know if things ever changed. 

Well, as it turns out last February 2013 things did change and Michael and I had a serious talk and I decided that after 13 great years with Phase One it was time to change things up a bit and come work with LuLa.   As a VP of Phase One, it was not as if I could give 2 week notice and just depart.  So, I worked with Henrik Håkonsson – the CEO of Phase One – and devised an exit strategy.  As of January 1st this year I was officially full time with LuLa. 

Michael and I put together a 24 month plan and we started to work on it right away.  We have some very ambitious projects underway.  You’ll see a number of new features and other surprises coming your way over the coming months.  Launching LuLa workshops again was a top priority and we have just launched Rockhopperworkshops.com to handle the workshop segment of our business.

Having the ability to go back 15 years and see what the site’s older pages looked like has been a real eye opener. As I was going over the old links that we have above, looking at the old pages, I was reminded of Luminous-Landscape’s roots and what Michael’s original objectives for LuLa were. 

More than anything else MIchael wanted to share with his audience information about photography and specifically Landscape Photography.  Below are some of the elements from the Home Page that we will once again re-incorporate into our home page as of today.

lu-mi-nous (lue’muh nuhs) adj. 
    1. radiating or reflecting light; shining; bright.
    2. clear; readily intelligible
Welcome to The Luminous Landscape, the web’s most comprehensive site devoted to the art and technique of landscape photography.  You will find on these pages a gallery of outstanding images as well as instructive feature articles, travel and technical discussions, product reviews and a Discussion Forum. There is also a strong emphasis on digital image processing.

While some things change – some things don’t.  Today we still follow the same objectives and will do so into the future.  At the same time we will improve the look of the site and add new features.

There are many sites on the internet today dedicated to photography.  Many of these are very popular and provide new content based on industry news as well as photo-related stories on the web.   These sites are great and I must admit that I look at them on a weekly basis just to see what is going on out there.  There are also sites that do excellent product reviews and which are solely dedicated to that endeavor. Luminous-Landscape is not one of these.  We don’t do press releases or test every piece of equipment to hit the market. We are about content that will benefit our readers.

What originally attracted me to Luminous-Landscape was the fact that it always stayed true to its course.  Every few days there are new articles by either the LuLa team or contributors.   The reviews that are done on LuLa are reviews of products in everyday use – the way you would use them.  We have never spared strong opinions when it comes to these.  We have over a million plus visitors a month. The amount of articles we post are more than you’ll find in any monthly publication.  And, you can always count on us to tell it like it is. And, when you have a question or want to express an opinion you can jump over the Luminous-Landscape forum.  

We have a large number of excellent articles from some very good contributors in our queue to be published.  Michael and I are also working on a number of articles.  We are keeping Chris busy with a number of new videos that are underway as well as some new and different tutorials.   All of this does not happen overnight.  We’ll be making announcements throughout the year as we implement new pages and products.  Keep your eye on the Home Page and the What’s New page.

I want to thank Michael for his 15 years of producing the best website for the photographic enthusiast in the world.  I look forward to being a part of the team for the next 15 years.

In the meantime you might have fun visiting a few of these links. . . .

Take a look at what Michaels’s cutting computer system consisted of 15 years ago.  Wow, that was a lot of RAM

Cutting Edge Digital Cameras for 1999

Film and Formats

Oldies But Goodies

Understanding RAW Files

Understanding Histograms

Understanding ProPhoto RGB

Optimizing Exposures

Published May 28th, 2015





Michael Reichmann

Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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