The Year in Review

I guess I’m cutting it really close with this year in review post. It definitely has been a busy few weeks and this morning is my first chance to sit down and put some thoughts together about my photography. What a great year! There, done.

Well I suppose a few more words are in order. It has been a fantastic year with my camera. I have had so much fun exploring, learning, experimenting, and just getting out of the house that trying to summarize the whole year in a few words will be difficult. I thought I would return to the style I used for last year’s round-up, one image for each month. I knew this would be difficult but evaluating your images is a big part of learning so here it goes. (Please click on each individual image to view it full size.)

January – I started the first of the year with a bang. We had a fairly interesting start to winter and I was able to venture out with the camera more than usual. There was even a trip down state to Pace University for my daughter which allowed me to explore the Rockefeller Preserve and the town of Sleepy Hollow. But this image is my favorite for a different reason, it was the start of me thinking more about my images. I noticed this scene earlier in the day when driving through town and went back at night to get this one.

Solitude Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 30s, 28mm, f/20, ISO 100

Solitude
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 30s, 28mm, f/20, ISO 100

February – This image won just because I felt I was channeling my inner Ansel Adams. I had just finished a few books of his photographs and when I went to my go to spot at Delta Lake, this is what I saw walking to the beach. I should have just went home after capturing this one because the rest of the day’s images didn’t compare.

Sunset Light Nikon D5100, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6, 1/500s, 55mm, f/8, ISO 200

Sunset Light
Nikon D5100, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6, 1/500s, 55mm, f/8, ISO 200

March – Delta Lake seems to be a favorite location. I guess being 10 minutes from the house gives it an advantage. This image is a favorite because of the amount of thought I put into the creation. I kept moving until I had the curve of the water’s edge just right, backing up until the reflection was what I wanted and waiting until the sun and clouds reached the best position. I finally learned to slow down while capturing images.

Sunset at the Beach Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/160s, 42mm, f/11, ISO 200

Sunset at the Beach
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/160s, 42mm, f/11, ISO 200

April – This image represents a start of me creating an image for a vision in my head versus taking a picture. I went for a walk along the barge canal and stopped at a small dam to capture the flow. The sun was low and the evening blue hour was beginning but I pushed the white balance on this image to accentuate the color. It is also an image where I focused more on smaller details rather than take a bigger, landscape style image.

Blue Nikon D5100, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6, 1s, 98mm, f/20, ISO 100

Blue
Nikon D5100, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6, 1s, 98mm, f/20, ISO 100

May – This image was the result of me reading a book. I thoroughly enjoyed Andrew Gibson’s ebook ‘Slow’. One of the concepts he talked about in the book was intentional camera movement. Exploring another of my favorite spots along the Oriskany Creek one morning the light was absolutely incredible. I decided to play with this ICM technique and this is what I created.

Digital Impressionism Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/5s, 38mm, f/20, ISO 100

Digital Impressionism
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/5s, 38mm, f/20, ISO 100

June – You can’t beat great light! This image was taken at my Dad’s house just before the storm rolled through. I love the way the copper wind chime straddles the color split, the strong green grass and the dark blue sky.

Copper Reflected Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/125s, 38mm, f/16, ISO 200

Copper Reflected
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/125s, 38mm, f/16, ISO 200

July – This was a tough month! It was the start of my summer exploration. I made it a point this year to explore the plethora of state parks in New York. Rather than focus on all the great landscape images I collected I really like this image of my clothesline hooks. This was another result of my reading an Andrew Gibson ebook, ‘Square’.

Hooked on You Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/320s, 70mm, f/5.6, ISO 400

Hooked on You
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/320s, 70mm, f/5.6, ISO 400

August – Another month of state park exploration but this image is from one of my firsts and favorites, Chittenango Falls. This image is a favorite because I stopped at the park on my way home from Syracuse and the camera store. I had just purchased a variable ND filter and wanted to play it. Rather than go for the water fall I went up stream and found this area of the river.

Smooth Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 4s, 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

Smooth
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 4s, 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

September – Yes, another state park month and this image is from Watkins Glen. I captured all of the classic views within the park but this detail image of a small section of the creek is definitely my favorite. From the composition to the monochrome processing.

Water Carving Watkins Glen State Park Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 13s, 38mm, f/18, ISO 100

Water Carving
Watkins Glen State Park
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 13s, 38mm, f/18, ISO 100

October – Autumn! I was determined to capture the autumn colors this year. I didn’t succeed as well as I had hoped. My trip up Bald Mountain was a bust due to fog but this opportunity image at a rest stop along Route 81 is my favorite. I always carry my camera with me and as I was traveling to Binghamton to visit my daughter at college I was able to find the autumn image I wanted.

Autumn Rest Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/100s, 24mm, f/5.6, ISO 100

Autumn Rest
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/100s, 24mm, f/5.6, ISO 100

November – During my trip to Disney in October I met some wonderful fellow Disney photographers. With one couple in particular, we just seemed to click. Our time exploring Disney was not as long as we would have liked but we have kept close via the internet and are working on a 52 week photography theme project together. This image is a result of one of the weekly themes, graffiti.

Peeking Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/400s, 24mm, f/4, ISO 400

Peeking
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/400s, 24mm, f/4, ISO 400

December – Another image I had to work for. Looking for churches, a friend at work suggested this rural church north of Utica. The adventure of finding the church and then getting the image I wanted in spite of construction makes this a favorite.

Russia Union Church Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, {2.5, 6, 15s bracket}, 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

Russia Union Church
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, {2.5, 6, 15s bracket}, 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

I couldn’t end the year without an image from my favorite destination, Walt Disney World. This image is one of my all time favorites (so far) mostly because of the thought I put into it and the execution of the processing. I think it shows off how much I have improved in 2013.

...as the World Spins Out of Control Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1.6s, 17mm, f/6.3, ISO 200

…as the World Spins Out of Control
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1.6s, 17mm, f/6.3, ISO 200

2014 should be another year of growth and learning. As much as I love photography and enjoy capturing images, a large part of the fun is learning and pushing myself. I wish all my online friends a happy new year!

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8 responses to “The Year in Review

  1. Great year in photos, Mike! I think I just started following you this year, and it looks like it was a great year for you photographically. You’ve got some really cool techniques in evidence here. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with in 2014. Happy New Year!
    P.S. – you are ahead of me as far as doing your “year in review” post. Mine is still formulating in my brain; hoping to publish it before the end of 2013! 😉

    • Thanks Karma! I knew if I didn’t get up and post this review it would not get done before the end of the year. Not that it is a requirement… 🙂 Looking forward to your year-in-review!

  2. Looks like you had a GREAT year exploring and learning many new techniques. Kudos to you, your enthusiasm is contagious!! I think your images have improved exponentially!! Heres to an even better year …2014!!

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