About Me?!?

It’s all About Me?

So, who the hell is this John P. Hoke person anyway?

Black and White Photo of John P. Hoke

Its all about me! No? Damn it! Sure kick a guy in the … er … ego why dontcha?

I am an amateur photographer, who happens to have a full-time job that gets in the way of me enjoying my photography addiction hobby more. I’m also an Information Security professional, coffee addict, curmudgeon, model aircraft (aka Drone or UAV) hobbyist, craft beer and whiskey connoisseur and an extremely sarcastic wise-ass (not necessarily in that order). While I may be fluent in “typo”, I cannot speak stupid. Add to this, I am also a 20+ year cancer survivor, which as I was initially diagnosed as a teenager. This has given me a different perspective on life, the universe and everything, as well as a serious case of gallows humor. If you cannot handle these contradictions, I bet you are one of those people who like to “think outside the box”, missing the point that the box itself is your limitation.

Nothing and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I photograph, post, opine on, make fun of, like, dislike or mention directly, indirectly, or discuss (get my point?) are to be misconstrued as the opinions of my employer, family, dogs, or even the voices in my head. Hell, an hour later they may not be my opinions any longer. People tend to take life way too seriously  – lighten up! If you cannot handle views that bother you, maybe the Internet isn’t the place for you… perhaps I could suggest a jacket with wrap around sleeves, this way you will always have a hug.

My Policies


All photos posted, unless otherwise attributed, are © John P. Hoke 2000-2020.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material, text, images or other media posted on this blog, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner (i.e.: me) is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links to content may be used, with the exception downloading and reposting of images, provided that full and clear credit is given to John P. Hoke and linked to the original photo page on this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. No rights are granted for other reuse, repurposing, modifications, etc.

If you are interested in using any of the images found on this site, please contact me to discuss. While I am a complete and utter amateur photographer, and am not looking to make money of my hobby (although I won’t turn it down either), I do want to retain control on where my images are used, how they are represented, by whom and under what circumstances. I’ve been known to license images for no cost, it’s less about making a profit and more about making sure I retain creative and distribution control of my work. You can also purchase some works at SmugMug.

Comments a.k.a. The echo chamber from hell

tripple facepalm

While I want, expect and respect criticisms and a lively debate, I do not want flamewars to erupt. I reserve the right to delete or edit any post that is, in my eyes, uncivil – we can disagree, argue, debate, but we should always be able to have a beer afterwards! If you want to have a pissing contest, I am sure there are other places on the interwebs you can find where it is acceptable this is not that place.

Screw it… for now comments are disabled…

I have reverted to the WordPress comment engine. I haven’t locked down comments yet, please don’t be a dick.

Privacy Policy a.k.a. Big Brother’s Always Watching

privacy keyboard

Yes, it’s the dreaded privacy policy. I’ll keep it simple, this website uses cookies to provide session state, and user experience enhancement – but I do not do anything nefarious with the data – I’m a simple photographer & blogger. As for personal data, email is used for login, and if you wish notifications, but again, I’m just a blogger who isn’t using this info for anything other than to provide this site. I am running analytics from Google but that is life on the big interwebs – this is so I can better understand who is visiting, what they liked, etc.

Aa bunch of plugins help me to manage authentication, and other bits that may have their own use/privacy policies. I cannot say that they won’t do bad things such as log you into my website and set cookies … this is the interwebs – if you don’t want to share information about you or your session/computer/favorite colors/that you like long walks on the beach/personal insanities/etc., use tools that prevent it from happening. Yeah, it is that whole personal responsibility thing – people should really try it more often.

If you have no idea what I am talking about – just relax, take a deep breath and surf away – I really am not watching you right now through your device’s built in camera … (although you may want to fear your microwave hahahahaha)

Simpler privacy statement – You are on the Internet, and should have NO expectation of privacy without taking appropriate measures to ensure such. That is it in a nutshell … 

My Inspirations

Coffee, quadruple shot lattes from my DeLonghi Nespresso machine, yes please! Ok, that and anything that catches my eye. When that fails, I’ve been known to enjoy a Balvenie single malt, Teeling Irish Whiskey or two … (or three… yes please!).

I’ve also recently been inspired to push my photography by Matt Kloskowsky (or simply MattK), Hudson HenryTrey Ratcliff  and others who have pushed the way I see and think about photography from different angles, and I hope that it is starting to ‘sink in’. My brain works ‘oddly’ and photography to me is both a science and an art.. I need to understand the ‘how’ of something so I can get to the ‘why’.

My Gear

Packed and Ready

My current gear is based on a Sony A7Rii body and a mix of glass from Sony, Tamron, Laowa and Lensbaby. Most of the architecture shots are taken with a Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero Distortion lens or one of my ‘walk around’ lenses like a Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f/4 or a newer Tamron 28-70 f/2.8. For moon shots and wildlife I picked up the new Sony GMaster 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 cannon. I’ve a bunch of other lenses that I use for specific cases, like my obsession with the Sony 85mm f/1.8 for portraits, etc… Going forward, as I post images I’ll include the EXIF data, and more information about the gear. I have gotten a ton of questions about it, so I’ll try to be a bit better on the front end 🙂

Update 27 March 2018: about two weeks ago, I added a Sony A7Riv body to the stable. This was right before all of the COVID-19 lockdowns, so may not get a chance to put it through its paces for a bit … but from the tests I’ve done OMG I LOVE it!

Most of the photographs posted prior to switching over to Sony were on my Nikon D610 with Nikon 70-300mm 4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR50mm 1.4G and 24-85mm 3.5-4.5G ED VR lenses, I’ve added a Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 as a walkabout lens, as well as a Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens and Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 for architectural and ultra-wide angle shots.

I’ve gone through a bit of an evolution in post processing tools. I was originally using Aperture and Lightroom, but first Apple killed Aperture, then I got tired of renting the Adobe tools, so went and switched over to On1 Photo RAW for the majority of my RAW file processing and editing. For HDR processing I have recently switched from using Lightroom to using Aurora HDR Pro  primarily after seeing what Trey Ratcliff is doing with it…

In the ever evolving insanity that is my workflow, I have now (August 2018) migrated my catalog and digital management from Lightroom to On1 Photo Raw fully. The only thing I have kept LR around for is printing, as it does an amazing job. If / when On1’s print system catches up with Lightroom the entire Adobe suite will go the way of /dev/null. All printing is now (November 2019) done in On1 and Adobe has been thrown to the curb!

My Code

Wordpress logo superimposed over code

I maintain this site using WordPress and the Athena theme from SmartCat, as well as the Envira Pro Gallery to manage my images and displays. As far as other plugins go, I use Akismet to fight spam, Flexible Map to provide the Google Maps of the photo locations. The map markers are from the Map Icons Collection.  I also use Add to Any Share Buttons for sharing and follow social media icons/links.

In May 2017 I started using ShortPixel and W3 Total Cache (Community Edition) . The file size savings I’ve been getting from ShortPixel is simply insane, and W3 Total Cache’s optimization of the rest of the bits and pieces such as scripts, css, etc.  has definitely sped things up here, moving from a Google Page Speed rank of about 55 to 90 on the landing page of the blog.

If you have any questions about this site, how I manage it, what I use, or what the color of orange sounds like as it passes the sound barrier in a vacuum using American Sign Language to describe the smell, drop me a line over on my Contact page.

Affiliate Links

street sign with $ and Money

My website may contain affiliate/marketing links, which means I may get paid commission on sales of those products or services I choose to include in a post – if I am getting paid I will always say so in the post. The reviews or editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. Disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Long Story Short – Running the site costs money, and I may try to make a couple bucks to offset those costs, but this is not the primary purpose of the site. I use Amazon Affiliate Codes to make a commission if you buy anything through the blog and Google AdSense for example . If you do purchase something via these affiliate links, I thank you … you are helping to support my photography habit … er … hobby.

Alternatively, I accept cold hard (digital) cash donations. If anything here tickled your fancy and you’d like to drop me a couple bucks as a thank you – use the PayPal donate button below

Also, I am generally a cantankerous son-of-a-bitch. The fact I may post a link to something does not mean I endorse it, nor has it any weight in my opinions of it. Unless of course I expressly say so 🙂


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