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

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

I am a 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 & Technology 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 do not speak stupid. Add to this, I am also a 25+ year cancer survivor, which I was initially diagnosed with 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 that 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 2000-2023.

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, rude, and uncool. 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 may be an 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

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.

Privacy Policy: a.k.a. Big Brother is Always Watching

Yes, it’s the dreaded “privacy policy”. I’ll keep it simple, this website uses cookies from this domain and third parties 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 all about 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 … if you are uncomfortable with all this crap, use appropriate cookie blocking tools, ad blockers, or whatever else makes you happy.

If you really have issues with these functions, cookies and etc., perhaps the Interwebs are not for you.

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

Ok, this section is now cleaned up and updated as of 15 June 2020. I shoot with two bodies, a Sony A7Rii and A7Riv. Lens wise, I use a mix of Sony, Lensbaby, Laowa and Tamron glass depending on what I am out photographing. Whenever I post a photo on the blog, I try to include the EXIF data to provide the lens, camera, settings, etc. Hopefully this helps others understand how the photo was captured, and the equipment choices. Looking at other photographer’s settings and EXIF data was always a huge help when I was learning and hopefully this helps someone else down the road … even if it is what not to do. Currently the lenses I have to select from are:

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. Unfortunately that camera all but died while on a business trip to Australia and New Zealand – which is where I picked up the Sony A7Rii at a great price 👍🏻.

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 was doing with it…

In the ever-evolving insanity that is my workflow, in August 2018 I migrated my catalog and DAM (digital asset management) from Lightroom to On1 Photo completely. It took a lot of work to get there and even more to get printing to my Canon Pixma Pro-100 working properly. The upside is that I no longer have to ‘rent’ my software from Adobe, and have perpetual licensing for my workflow solutions.

My Code / A.K.A. Syntax Errors

(Last Update: 15-March-2023): The Ides of March Update! I maintain this site using WordPress and VisionArt Pro theme from Catch Themes, as well as the Envira Pro Gallery to manage my images and various displays. As far as other plugins go, I use Akismet to fight spam, Ultimate Maps to provide the Open Street Maps of the photo locations. 

To integrate my Facebook and Instagram pages, I use plugins from SmashBalloon (Facebook Plugin, Instagram Plugin) paid versions. It is rare that I pay for premium plugins, usually community editions typically do what I need, but these two are amazing and the extra functionality was well worth the cost!

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 45 to 80+ on the landing page of the blog. In 2020 I have moved on from W3 Total Cache and purchased WP-Rocket for caching. I had some issues with W3TC and Rocket fit my needs, and hitting 95+ on Google PageSpeed rankings!

Some other cool plugins I’ve started using are the Social Feeds plugins from SmashBalloon for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Its a ‘freemium’ plugin, and the upgrade to the Premium is so worth it. It has made integrating these social sites content seamless and way too easy to manage. I also upgraded Wordfence Security to the paid premium subscription. As a security professional, I needed something that would help me manage the metric crap-ton of bad/malicious traffic I was finding in my logs, and WordFence has greatly reduced my aggravation level – the primary success criteria. All of the SEO for the site is managed through Yoast SEO Premium and that is pretty self-explanatory.

I know that I am omitting something plugin wise, but the ones mentioned above are the core of this site’s functionality at the moment – and always subject to change when my ADHD kicks in and I go on a three day code bender.

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

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 🙂


(did you see that?)

John P. Hoke

John P. Hoke headshot

Cyber Security Professional, Photographer, Coffee Junkie, Mac Addict, Craft Beer & Whiskey connoisseur, all around curmudgeon and generally sarcastic SOB – Not necessarily in that order.

The opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone and not those of my employer, family, pets, the voices in my head, or anyone else for that matter … hell in an hour they may not be mine either 🙂

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