My biggest fear as a photographer is being stuck in a rut. That is photographing the same things over and over again. Each year I do have a set of specific places I photograph. There is the airshow at the Rhode Island National Guard and the Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT. The challenge for me is first to perfect my photographic technique and second to look at the event differently.
This year, I added a few new techniques to my abilities. I created star trails one evening from my front door and I started practicing portrait photography by setting up a rudimentary basement studio to photograph family and friends.
I also practices a lot more with off camera flash; lighting subjects in my back yard to bring out textures and colors.
Equipment wise, I added the Canon 5D Mark III to my tools. I simply love this camera. Moving to a full frame DSLR was also a learning experience with significant changes in how the lens perform at wider angles. These larger image files are becoming difficult to process on my five-year old computer that was purchased without the thought of any kind of image processing. So I see a high-end computer in my future.
This year I also exhibited for the first time in an Art Gallery and even sold a print. I also set up camp at a “Harvest Festival” in my home town to see if any of my images would sell. A few did but the rain all day limited the number of people attending the event.
With all that said, here are what I consider my top images of 2012…
Inspired by Rodney Pike, I set off the create some manipulated portraits. To to this however I needed to learn how to create portraits which sent me down the path of creating a rudimentary studio in my basement. It was great learning how to set up the lights to create the portraits. Syl Arena’s book: Speedliter’ s Handbook is an excellent reference to learn how to use flash from set up to capture.
Reggie - Mom’s Evil Cat
This image won Image of the Year at the Stony Brook Camera Club. There were plenty of excellent images in this competition. This image won on the cuteness factor.I think it brings out the true personality of mom’s cat.
Circles of Light
Creating this image took learning a new technique, capturing star trails. Lance Keimig’s night photography inspired me in a session he taught at the New England Camera Club Council Conference. Pages 204 to 217 in his book “Night Photography: Finding your way in the dark” tells you all you need to know.
Boston in the Morning
I love to photograph Boston. For several years I have been photographing from the same location in East Boston. This year I choose a new location and planned to photograph through the night staying at the Hyatt Hotel on this location. (I was catching a plane out of Logan Airport in the morning). Well mother nature was not good to me and that evening the wind was so strong, it kept vibrating my tripod and I was left with a series of “soft” images and two very cold hands…
The next morning, I had enough time to capture this single image of the city as the sun was just rising behind me.
Butterfly with an Attitude
My daughter and I went to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in Deerfield, MA this year. It was great making images with my daughter. Afterwards, it was great seeing the images she created. As I saw butterflies and flowers, she saw turtles, lizards and birds. I realized afterwards I had missed so much and have a lot to learn about observation from my daughter.
(Looks like this butterfly has a nose ring…)
This year the Boston Marathon was one of the hottest temperature-wise. Temp was 79 at the start of the race and topped out in the high 80′s. My son ran this race. It was his first marathon and he ran “unofficially”. He made it to completion with a decent time. I am very impressed with his determination to complete the marathon.
These Bleeding Heart flowers, grow in my backyard. This was the last flower of the year. I captured this macro image in a basement setup. This image is 24 images stacked using a technique to bring out a very deep depth of field. The images were combined using a program called Helicon Focus.
The RI Airshow.
These are two different images than what I have created in the past. The truck was simply luck. I was tracking the truck as it raced across the runway when there was a Boom! The pyrotechnics were spectacular. Timing was great just as the parachute deployed.
The capture of the Mustang was something I have been trying to get a clean capture for years. You need a slow shutter speed to give the feel of spinning propellers but be steady enough to bring the rest of the image in sharp. I still see flaws and need more work perfecting this technique.
You can read more in a previous blog post.
Lek Yuen Bridge
This is a foot bridge found in the new territories of Hong Kong that crosses the Shing Mun river. This bridge provides a majestic view of the downtown area of the “New Territories”. Captured using both night photography and HDR techniques.
Buttonwood Farm 2012
Every year the Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT grows 10 acres of sunflowers. People come from all around to visit and photograph this field. Donations are collected for the Make –A-Wish foundation.I needed to stand in the middle of the field to capture this image with the barn in the background.
Adirondack Balloon Festival.
In what may become a new tradition, the Adirondack Balloon Festival is a great place to go in September to capture some great images.There are some risks however in that mother nature can limit the flights and the first launch was cancelled on account of winds. The following three images provides a feel of what images can be captured.
In my Beautiful, my Beautiful Balloon. Captured in the early morning, this balloon was part of an early morning balloon launch of 100 balloons.
Fireworks over Lake George.
Morning Glow as this balloon master fills the balloon.
Still life in my back yard. After the rain one morning I set out to photograph the turning leaves. This image was captured with the leaves still on the tree using off camera flash to light the subject.
Paths to Nowhere.
The next two images is a new idea that I am developing. They are simply paths to nowhere. The first image is a roadway in Minnesota in a low population part of the region. The second image, is my last image of 2012 a walk along the Upper Charles Trail in Milford, MA.
I think I do need a subject in these images a payoff at the end of the trail. Still working on this concept.
Martha Mary Church
Martha Mary Church at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn and Grist Mill – Sudbury, MA. Couldn’t find the Grist Mill but found this beautiful church.
Our Lady of Victory
Located in Tannersville, PA, this is my brother’s church. A Roman Catholic Church with a very vibrant community. Captured just after Christmas celebration. The light reflected through the clerestory windows provides dramatic light across the crucifix. I saw this light and immediately saw the symbolism of the resurrection of Jesus. Just after this capture, the clouds hid the sun and the light show was over.