I’m just a guy in his mid-60s, living in central New Jersey, still working full-time, who, when he can make time, is a serious, predominantly closeup nature photographer, shooting/writing under my trademark monikers LensAfield/Len’s Afield. I “do photography” primarily just for me. I like the aspect of learning to be proficient with the gear and how technical decisions coupled with constant learning about the art of “seeing” produce a final image—a photographic image.
I used to maintain a large WordPress site that showcased my categorized photography and some photo studies, but found the constant maintenance an unrewarding constant battle and a drain on my limited time. I publish infrequently, but when I do, I tend toward somewhat moderately long-read photo stories about the natural world around us that we usually don’t “see” or appreciate. (See my Len’s Afield substack or here).
I have a large portfolio, the vast majority of which no one else will ever see. I also have a small number of selected photos showcased for sale here. I haven’t updated that in a long time. I intended to do so, but as you will read in what follows, something happened along the way.
I have always been someone easily interested in new things and can quickly become deeply immersed in them. That means I can become easily sidetracked and meander from an intended track to exploration far from where I started. It’s a terrible flaw—a curse, really— that I’ve had all my life. It has been beneficial in some respects but has been a detriment in others.
This was true twenty years ago after an out-of-the-blue announcement was made about a totally unexpected event of interest to a particular limited-interest stakeholder community. The complex situation was ongoing. It included existential organizational changes and economic ramifications for its future. I was up-to-speed on the legal issues, but no one knew anything of how the unusual financial machinations would work.
I was asked to produce a long-read article to explain the major players, what had occurred, what was in the offing, and how it was intended to work—to pull it all together and present it so we could all understand. I agreed but I had to undertake tremendous amounts of research in a short period of time.
My flaw became an asset.
That project inspired me to start an independent research business early in 2007, and I could see the possibility of quitting my job and going into business full-time. I was right on track with my plan…right up until the economy was tanked in 2008, and clients responded by eliminating research budgets. Business dried up, so I put mine on hold, resurrected only briefly on rare occasions but always keeping it administratively active as far as the state and the IRS were concerned.
I would love to quit my job. I can’t overstate that enough. As I write this in early April of 2023, I have just recently passed the 65 plus 1 year and four months age extension mandated by Social Security as my new eligibility age for retirement with full benefits. The latest wave of institutional economic irresponsibility has wreaked havoc, once again, with my finances (like 2008 but worse timing), preventing me from doing so. If I can establish a separate, moderate-income stream, I could afford to retire from my job but put off collecting and let benefits increase and accrue. That’s my goal.
To that end, I intended to rework, revamp and revitalize my existing photography ventures beginning in the fall of 2022 and over the winter, hoping they would produce a revenue stream sufficient to retire in the spring.
The process was moving along in early December of 2022 until I read a couple of posts on a couple different platforms that altered my plans and are the reason you are reading this and the other content here. That story should be your next stop, and it begins here.