Category Archives: Top Images

My Best Photos of 2016

Here are my top 9 images from 2016. It is my fifth year doing this kind of post showing my favorite images of the year.  I do try to show something different each year.  This year I tried some infrared photography along with photographing the Milky Way.  Although bridges and diminishing points always catch my eye, it is the first time I photographed the Zakim bridge and the Hells Gate Bridge.

The pink snow is real.  Just after a brisk snowfall, the sky turned pink lighting trees and the sky with an interesting color cast.

I do like windows… don’t know why but they made a nice subject.  I also included a sad photo of a sunflower.  Just a reminder that not everything will wait for you, you need to be ready and be there for the subject.  “Seize the day and don’t delay”.

Lastly is a still life.  Still trying to develop skills in this area.  It is a subject where your imagination must be in gear to make something interesting.

I hope you enjoy this year’s collection.

You can see higher resolution images here: https://robde.smugmug.com/Projects/Bestof2016/

2016 Gallery

Pink Snow at Sanford Mill Pond

Wonderful light along the Charles in Franklin MA

Wonderful light along the Charles in Franklin MA

Under the Hells Gate Bridge

Originally the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge or The East River Arch Bridge, is a 1,017-foot (310 m) steel through arch railroad bridge in New York City. The bridge crosses the Hell Gate, a strait of the East River, between Astoria in Queens and Randalls and Wards Islands in Manhattan.

Originally the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge or The East River Arch Bridge, is a 1,017-foot (310 m) steel through arch railroad bridge in New York City. The bridge crosses the Hell Gate, a strait of the East River, between Astoria in Queens and Randalls and Wards Islands in Manhattan.

Path under the Zakim

Under the Zakim bridge are a series of bridge and paths to allow pedestrians to walk from Boston to Charlestown. This was form a night stroll during an April evening.

Under the Zakim bridge are a series of bridge and paths to allow pedestrians to walk from Boston to Charlestown. This was form a night stroll during an April evening.

Just a Window

Window at the Lippitt House in Providence, RI. The building was built in 1865 by Henry Lippitt of textile fame.

Window at the Lippitt House in Providence, RI. The building was built in 1865 by Henry Lippitt of textile fame.

Shanghai Window

Amazing view from my seat at a restaurant in Shanghai. Looking at the skyline, you can see the Oriental Pearl Tower. A TV Tower 1,148 feet tall and something you cannot miss from the Bund.

Amazing view from my seat at a restaurant in Shanghai. Looking at the skyline, you can see the Oriental Pearl Tower. A TV Tower 1,148 feet tall and something you cannot miss from the Bund.

Too Late

Heat and drought took its toll on these flowers at Buttonwood farm this summer. Just a reminder is to seize the day and don’t delay! Four days earlier, these flowers were beautiful..

Heat and drought took its toll on these flowers at Buttonwood farm this summer. Just a reminder is to seize the day and don’t delay! Four days earlier, these flowers were beautiful..

Ice House Pond, Hopkington MA

Contrary to the name, this gazebo was photographed on a beautiful spring day. Using an infrared lens, I achieved this unique look.

Contrary to the name, this gazebo was photographed on a beautiful spring day. Using an infrared lens, I achieved this unique look.

The Milky Way

Standing outside the Stage Harbor Lighthouse and looking up at the stars and the milky way. Build in 1880, this lighthouse is Cape Cod's youngest lighthouse. Decommissioned in 1933. In the distance is Nantucket Island.

Standing outside the Stage Harbor Lighthouse and looking up at the stars and the milky way. Build in 1880, this lighthouse is Cape Cod’s youngest lighthouse. Decommissioned in 1933. In the distance is Nantucket Island.

Parts of Time

Still Life. High Key. Some watch parts I found at the flee market that made an interesting subject.

Still Life. High Key. Some watch parts I found at the flee market that made an interesting subject.

Top Photos of 2015

I am afraid to say that 2015 was not my most productive photographic year.  I found that I was not taking my camera out as often as I have in previous years.  There were various personal reasons for this, but trust me, I have not lost my love of photography.

Here are my 10 ten images for 2015.  I hope you enjoy them.  In 2016, I resolve to get back in the saddle again!

The Top three images are my favorite work.  Motif #1, Old 7470 and Big Ben.

Bad Cows just keep making me laugh when ever I see it.

The street performer and fire dancer Ember Flynne (love that name) was a great subject for night photography.

The next three images are plant life in different stages, Summer, Fall and Winter.

I just captured the ice and the lamp-post image last weekend.

The last is a runner-up for the Big Ben image.

I hope you enjoy these works.

 

You can see higher resolution images here: https://robde.smugmug.com/Projects/Best-of-2015/

Trying to deliver a different view to the most photographed location in New England.  This is Motif #1 in Rockport MA.  Originally build in the 1840’s, the original was destroyed in the blizzard of 1978.  This replacement went into service the same year.

Trying to deliver a different view to the most photographed location in New England. This is Motif #1 in Rockport MA. Originally build around 1885’s, the original was destroyed in the blizzard of 1978. This replacement went into service the same year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steam in the Snow.  Conway Scenic Railroad. This is old 7470 at Sawyer Rock, ME.  This was the last run of the locomotive before having a federally-mandated overall.  Expected to run again in 2017, this Locomotive has been in use since 1921.

Steam in the Snow. Conway Scenic Railroad. This is old 7470 at Sawyer Rock, ME. This was the last run of the locomotive before having a federally-mandated overall. Expected to run again in 2017, this Locomotive has been in use since 1921.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image is of Elisabeth’s Tower, Part of the Palace of Westminster and home to “Big Ben”.  Big Ben is the name of the great bell inside of the clock not the structure which is what everyone assumes.  The tower took 16 years to build completed in 1858.

This image is of Elisabeth’s Tower, Part of the Palace of Westminster and home to “Big Ben”. Big Ben is the name of the great bell inside of the clock not the structure which is what everyone assumes. The tower took 16 years to build completed in 1858.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While photographing sunflowers at Buttonwood Farm, I came across these two gals.  They were waiting for the gates to open to gain access to the sunflowers for some lunch.

While photographing sunflowers at Buttonwood Farm, I came across these two gals. They were waiting for the gates to open to gain access to the sunflowers for some lunch.

Street performer at Water Fire Providence, RI

Street performer at Water Fire Providence, RI

Fall in New England.  Loving the juxtaposition of the tree and the lamppost.

Fall in New England. Loving the juxtaposition of the tree and the lamppost.

You find beauty everywhere.  These flowers were in a flower pot outside a Longhorn restaurant in Pennsylvania.  Killing time while waiting for our table, I captured these flowers.  I am glad I always have my camera ready.

You find beauty everywhere. These flowers were in a flower pot outside a Longhorn restaurant in Pennsylvania. Killing time while waiting for our table, I captured these flowers. I am glad I always have my camera ready.

Found along the road in Bath PA.  I was driving through PA on my way to visit family after a visit to South Carolina.

Found along the road in Bath PA. I was driving through PA on my way to visit family after a visit to South Carolina.

Winter view at the Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Winter view at the Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Another view of Parliament.  The government seat for the United Kingdom

Another view of Parliament. The government seat for the United Kingdom

Top Images of 2014

I’ve got it down to my top 24 images of 2014.  It is brutal to delete some images that deserve honorable mention.  I wanted to avoid overloading this blog posting and 24 is already too many, but there you go.  Images are an extension of the ego of the photographer after all and these images we create are our babies.  (Of course our real children are more important but I hope you understand the analogy.)

Many of the images you see below are experiments in new technique.  Many HDR, but some high-speed and some slow speed panning.  I shook my camera on purpose, build sets in my basement and went to new locations to shoot.  I also listened to Joe McNally speak (portraits) and attended a macro seminar.  All in all, I think this added variety to my work.  Of course there are a couple of stables, my image of the Boston Marathon and Buttonwood farm are also part of the collection.

I did more portraits this year.  Created a set up in my basement and photographed friends and family.  None of these images made it to the top of my list as I consider these images differently than what I consider “Fine Art”.

I also gave away some images to my caregivers while I was sick earlier this year.  Two now hang at the Dana Farber facility in Milford, MA near the radiation treatment center.  One at Beth Israel hangs in the Brain Center.  Another is hanging on the wall at Elizabeth’s bagels in Franklin MA and one more image is part of an installation for a new building in Boston (location still secret).

So on this Jan 1 2015 post, I wish everyone a wonderful year and may you set out to meet all your goals in life.

Rob

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My top image of 2014,

St. Anne woman’s collegiate church, Munich, Germany.

This is definitely my favorite image of the year.  It is one of those moments that just all came together for me.
Window and the Bike | St. Anna women's collegiate church is a chapel in Munich, Germany.  It was commissioned in the 18th century by Elector Charles Albert (later the Emperor Charles VII)) and the cornerstone was laid in 1733.  The architect was Johann Baptist Gunetzrhainer, while the Asam brothers were responsible for the interior.

Runners up

Playing with Fire… don’t tell your childrenIgnition | Playing with Fire 2014.

High Speed Photography: Elphabab: The floating Green Martini

Elphaba: The Floating Green Martini | High speed photography of a floating glass being filled with a funky beverage.  Elphaba is the wicked witch of the West.

Strawberry Drop – Strawberry and Cream
Strawberry Drop | High speed photography of a strawberry dropping into a bowl of cream... Yum.

Winter impression

Winter impressionist Portrait | Impressionist photography of an apple tree in my mother-in-law’s backyard.

Man in motion

Man in motion | Boston Marathon 2014,  Slowing down the shutter as these racers move through Ashland, MA.

 Whitehall Reservoir

Whitehall Reservoir | Found this ramp near the shore of the Whitehall Reservoir.  The ramp was secured for the winter on safe ground.  Waiting for warmer days as the sunsets.

Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Framed Tulip | Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Lamp at Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Tower Hill Lamp | At the Tower Hill Botanical Garden there is more to see than just flowers.  One evening in June 2014 the sky turned orange and blue which complemented this lamp.

Selfie at Wings Neck Light House.

Selfie | At the Wings Neck Light.

Cinderella’s Castle – Magic Kingdom

I always wanted to create this image.  Had the hardest time removing the display glow from all the cell phones (and iPads) being used as cameras.

Light Show at the Magic Kingdom | Cinderella Castle transforms into a piece of living art at this nighttime show honoring the art of Disney storytelling.

Grand Atrium, At the Disney Fantasy.

The Grand Atrium | Early morning at the Grand Atrium.  Can you find the peacock?

Castaway Cay

Colors at the beach | Found at serenity bay, castaway cay, Bahamas.  Disney’s private get-away.

Buttonwood Farm 2014

Buttonwood Farm 2014 | My annual portrait captured at Buttonwood Farm.  This sunflower was near the barn giving a colorful backdrop.

Franklin Dean College Station

Franklin Dean Station | The train pulling into Dean Station at Franklin MA.  Long exposure as the train rolled in.

Friendly Fenway Park

The Front Office | Front door to Fenway Park.  Love how the curves look like a baseball.

Friendly Fenway Park | Had a chance to photograph Fenway Park during player warmups.  This is a wide angle view of Fenway from third base.  They had already lost the season but opened their doors to thank their adoring fans.

Lining up for the start of the game | Sunset at Fenway Park

Old man in the tree.

The old man in the tree. | Rare tree found in Franklin MA

Stained Glass at Mount Auburn – Story Chapel

Stained Glass at Mount Auburn | Image captured at the Story Chapel / Mount Auburn Cemetary
Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel Shed | Remains of a shed at Bethlehem Steel

Ruins at Bethlehem Steel |

Shack at the Stack Bethlehem Steel | This image shows scale.  Notice the comparison of size of the stacks to the doors and ladders.b
Christmas at St. Mary’s Church: Franklin MA
ST. Mary's Church | Christmas in Franklin MA

 

I will be at the Franklin Harvest Festival, Oct 5th.

I’m excited to announce that I will be showing and selling my images at the Franklin Harvest Festival sponsored by the Franklin Downtown Partnership.

The event is Oct 5th from 11 till 4.  I will be in booth 30 on main street.

Hopefully I will see you there!

Here are the images that I will be showing.

You can learn more about the event through this link.

Harvest Still Life Image

A Fall Time still life. Captured from a collection of gourds purchased at Tangerini’s Spring Street Farm in MA

 

Top Images of 2013

This year I traveled a bit more often than I have in the past several years.  I took advantage of these trips by adding on some time for photography.  For example, on a trip coming home from Hong Kong, I was “stuck” in San Francisco because a blizzard was pounding the East Coast.  So it took me 48 hours to get home but I had 12 hours to photograph San Francisco…

On another date, I added an additional day to a business trip to drive down the Pacific Coast highway from San Jose to Long Beach.  I photographed as much as I could along the way. On another date I extended a trip to Minnesota to photograph northern Minnesota and North Dakota.  I took a vacation down to Virginia Beach and while driving home detoured the family through Philadelphia to photograph the Eastern State Penitentiary.  (I have to say that the girls did not appreciate this detour…).

Drove up to Maine with my friend and Master Photographer Tony Mistretta, and made a few evening outings during a business trip in Nuremberg Germany.  I would have never done this in the past but am glad I did this year.

I also tried different techniques this year.  Still life, abstracts, pets and street photography.  No military / airshow photography because of the budgetary cutbacks which was a disappointment.  HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography continues to be my style of choice.

I tried to bring by list down to my top 10 but with no luck.  I have 27 grouped down to 12 sets. It is the best I could do.  It is always so hard to reduce down images you have a personal connection to.

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Set 1: These are my favorites of the year. I would call them my grunge set.  Heavy HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography of architectural artifacts.

Mondry Grain Elevator

Mondry Grain Company | Abandoned Mondry Grain Company Elevator. The Mondry Grain elevator is located in the ghost town of Ardoch, North Dakota.  Founded in 1881, Ardoch was a small town servicing the agricultural needs in the region.  This high dynamic range photograph depicts the elevator in late winter at sunset.

Eastern State Penitentiary 1: Barber Chair

Shave and a Hair Cut 1 | Captured at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA this barber's chair was left at the Penitentiary after closing in the 1970's.  In earlier days barber's also performed dentistry... oh what this chair may have seen.

Eastern State Penitentiary 2: Cell Block 7

Cell Block 7 | Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA

Quabbin Reservoir Lookout Tower Roof, Ware, MA

Quabbin Reservoir Lookout Tower Roof | Located in Ware, Massachusetts there is a lookout that overlooks the Quabbin Reservoir that feeds water to Boston.  The top of the struture is a dome that I photographed here.

Set 2: “Natural HDR” Structures

Quabbin Reservoir Outlook Tower

Quabbin Reservoir Outlook Tower | Located in Ware, Massachusetts This is the lookout that overlooks the Quabbin Reservoir that feeds water to Boston.

Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate |

Set 3: Sun Rise and Sun Sets

A rare sunrise (for me). I love the couple watching the sunrise (although I think one might be texting).

Sunrise at Virginia Beach | I woke up to this sunrise.

As the snow thaws the sun sets.

Snowy Sunset | Comstock, MN

In no where North Dakota the sun sets.

At the Larmore Dam | Larmore, ND

Set 4: Places of Worship

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, a large Polish community is located in this town in North Dakota

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church | Pulaski, ND

Door at St. Lorenz, Nuremberg Germany

Door at St. Lorenz | This is the side entrance to St. Lorenz Cathedral in Nuremberg Germany.  Built in the 1400’s and rebuild after the second world war, St. Lorenz services the Evangelical Lutheran church.

St. Laurenz Rose Window

St. Laurenz Rose Window |

Okay this is not really a place of worship, but we do worship the Red Sox baseball team in a way.

Coca Cola at Fenway | Ahh summer.  This image was created while watching the Red Sox play baseball against the Texas Rangers in June 2013. It is always an enjoyable evening and nothing says summer better than Fenway Park, Coca Cola and Baseball. After the sun had set a golden / orange glow came across the sky. The Soxs were off their game this night and would eventually loose this game.I captured this image using Pesky’s pole to frame the image and help identify the location. The bleachers above the Green Monster, shows a very intense crowd watching the game. The sky is the icing on the cake.  My goal was to show the excitement of the evening and found the audience more interesting than the players.  In framing, I needed to keep the camera man in frame.  I also wanted the audience to not be recognizable as individuals but as a crowd.  Looking closely however, you can see many stories.This image was captured using HDR techniques, 5 images at f 8. It was a hand held shot at 200mm. The HDR image was created using NIK tools.

And I simply love the sign on this door: Open Sundays after Church.

Open After Church |

Set 5: Proving Pythagoras was right.

There are two sets of fireworks here. The foreground are at Onset Beach, MA, the background are at Jamestown Beach, RI some 40 miles away. The Jamestown fireworks appear shorter because of the curvature of the earth. If the earth was flat, they would be the same height. Doing the math one would calculate that 40 miles is just on the edge of the visible horizon. Scientific proof and photographic evidence that Pythagoras was right!

Onset MA Fireworks | 2013 Firework, Onset MA.  In this image you see fireworks in the lower corner. I think they are from Jamestown RI, the only other I can find in the area. That would be 40 miles away. Low in the sky because of the curvature of the earth... proof the earth is round...

Set 6: Buttonwood Farm 2013.

Looking Up | Buttonwood Farm 2013.  The colors provide a wonderful contrast between the blue, green, yellow and white giving the image dimension. I also love the pose of this sunflower that appears to be looking up.I think there are several interesting elements to the composition.  First there is the color.  Blue and yellow are on opposite sides of the color wheel.  Because of this nature, it helps create a three-dimensional effect.  Also the color blue appears to be moving backwards while the yellow is moving forward, this creates a great contrast and adds to the three dimensional effect. Focus is soft at the part of the flower close to the viewer but tack sharp on the right end.  This also gives helps add to the dimensionality of the image.

Set 7: To the beach

Slowing down time at Huntington Beach Pier in California

Under the Pier 4 | Slowing down time under the Huntington Beach Pier.

First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach

First Landing | This image was created at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.  I was trying to capture the elusive sunset during my week long visit. I was never able to photograph the typical sunset over the Chesapeake Bay. There were always low lying clouds as you can see in this image every day. Well, no matter, there is always an image waiting to be made.

Set 8: Still Life

Hot Shot.  I think the shadow that looks like a pepper really makes this one.

Hot Shot | This image is the first of series of still life images focused on poking fun of sayings.  Here we have “Hot Shots”.  Created March 2013, this image was created with a light box and three off camera flashes.  I focused on creating interesting shadows.  This shadow looks like one large pepper created out of four small peppers.

Set 9: Light Houses: West and East 3000 miles apart

West: Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point Lighthouse | Captured as the fog was burning off, this lighthouse along the Pacific Coast is the allest lighthouse on the west coast of the US.

East: Portland Light

Portland Light with Moon | The Portland Head Light is located at Cape Elizabeth in Portland Maine.  As I drove to the lighthouse, I noticed the moon was also setting.  I made sure to take position such that the moon setting would be in frame.

Set 10: Abstract

Fall Colors

Fall Abstract | Another way to capture Fall colors.

Train Station

Rails 2 Abstract | Along the Amtrak Rail.  Shooting through dirty windows, no problem, slow down time and shoot abstracts.

Set 11: Street Life

Friends

Friends on the Pier | Huntington Beach. CA

Waiting

Waiting | Street Photography in Hong Kong

Set 12: Family

Studio Shoot of a visiting canine: Lobo

Lobo | A first try photographing a pet in a studio.

My Family.  Sharing my favorite photographic location with my family.  People I love, location I love, Hobby I love.

Family in Boston | This image is the most important photo of the year because for the first time my family saw my favorite photo location:  Piers Park in East Boston.