2015 Through the Months

My Year in Review Post

I will admit that I have been wanting to work on this post for quite a few days now.  Taking a vacation the week of Christmas did throw some havoc into the end of the year but oh was it worth it.  Finishing up the year at work so I can enjoy a nice long weekend gave me plenty of reasons to keep putting this post on the back burner.  As I sat down at the computer around 4:30pm to start reviewing my images I already had it in the back of my head that this will probably be posted on January 1st but truly thinking it over it might not be a bad way to start the new year…  with a look back at the past one.

I read last year’s post and realized I never did follow through on my resolutions.  I believe I did continue to create better quality images but the quantity has settled down from the volumes I was capturing at the start of my photographic journey.  The easy excuse would be to blame a hectic life or being busy at work.  I think those reasons do play into the why, but the real reason when I am being truthful with myself is I think I do not have any inspiration left around here.  I hear myself claim, “You’ve taken that one before,” “You’ve been there too many times already.”  I let those thoughts keep my arse on the couch.

After feeling the joy of visiting the same few places while I was in Florida, I know there are images all around me.  I’m just not seeing them any more.  This will need to be my number one resolution for 2016…  get out and see!

I did have a few more important events happen in 2015.  The first was a total change to my camera setup.  In June I went a step further in my commitment to the Micro Four Thirds platform when I purchased the Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera and a 25mm f/1.8 lens.  This camera would be the next step up from the Pen E-P3 I purchased last year.  I was using this camera a lot more and by October when I went to Disney I used it for 75% of my pictures.

I knew when I came back I would be going full on with the Olympus cameras and by the end of October I sold all my Nikon gear and invested in the OM-D E-M1 camera along with a few more lenses.  It was the right decision for me and I am enjoying taking pictures with this new system.  Smaller, lighter and less to carry (everything fits in a small messenger bag), I am taking this camera everywhere.

The other big event for me just happened a few weeks ago.  I purchased my own domain name for my portfolio (mlcreationsphotography.com).  I was also able to change this wordpress site to blog.mlcreationsphotography.com and changed over my tumblr site as well.  I spent a good week redesigning all my sites to have a more consistent look and feel.  I have to admit, the IT/computer geek in me definitely had a good time setting all that up!  🙂

Well, if you haven’t quit reading yet I suppose I should get on to the pictures…

January – The first month of the year was very quiet for my photography.  There are only 68 pictures in the directory.  I tried starting a few different projects but nothing progressed beyond the first image or two.  There were only a few good days where I was out exploring around the house.  I really liked this image of the grass through the snow.  The light was great and the shadows add the depth sometimes missing from winter images.

Frozen Field

Frozen Field
Nikon D5100, Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 1/320s, 35mm, f/5.6, ISO 200

 

February – Last year this was a month of exploring still life inside.  With both kids back home I lost my photography studio (oldest’s bedroom).  I started exploring the shop I work in during my lunch hour and that provided quite a few interesting images for me.  My favorite image though was another winter scene captured around the house.  I also realized, as you will see, I have become very fond of monochrome images.

Standing Alone

Standing Alone
Nikon D7100, Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 1/500s, 85mm, f/8, ISO 200

 

March – This is my favorite image from my In the Shop series.  At times I would pick a topic, i.e., circles, instruments, etc., and venture out on the hunt.  This image found me.  I was on my way back to my office and spied these tools on a bench.  The operator uses the pliers to hold the metal stamp.  He hits the stamp against the part to indicate a heat treatment has been completed.  I just loved how the tools were laying on the table.  I used a slight split tone effect to enhance the industrial look of the image.

Letter 'A'

Letter ‘A’
Nikon D7100, Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 1/50s, 68mm, f/4.5, ISO 800

 

April – I started the month with a trip to Springfield, MA for a training class.  You can view a few of my posts from the trip here.  The remainder of the month was spent exploring the parks around me as the snow melted and I waited for the first blossoms of Spring.  At the end of the month I was at Delta Lake State Park (my usual stomping grounds) and captured this cloudy, reflective sunset.  Views like this should prove to me there are always images to capture, even at a place I visit so often.

Cloudy Sunset

Cloudy Sunset
Nikon D7100, Tokia 12-28mm f/4, 1/8s, 15mm, f/16, ISO 100

 

May – Spring finally arrived.  Luckily for me my neighbor always has a plethora of flowers.  Usually after dinner I sneak over and grab as many images as I can as the sun is setting.  This was another tough month to choose an image.  I do love me some floral images.  I also started a new trend I hope to continue and that is including myself in my images.  Here you can see my first self portrait.

Neighbor's Flowers

Neighbor’s Flowers
Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/160s, 17mm, f/8, ISO 400

 

June – This was the start of more trips to the state parks.  I didn’t go to many in 2014 and vowed to myself to do it this year.  It was a success as I visited some old favorites, tried out a few others and gathered some great images.  Next year I will need to venture beyond the parks I have already been to and see more of New York.  This image is from Buttermilk Falls State Park.  Again, I have been rockin’ the monochrome images.

The Narrows

The Narrows
Nikon D7100, Tokina 12-28mm f/4, 0.5s, 25mm, f/20, ISO 100

 

July – Another month of state park explorations and generally a very big month for images.  If you go to the calendar for July you will see a very full month of posts and that made it very difficult to select an image.  This image represents a change I have been trying to do for a few years.  Images of opportunity.  I always say I should stop and get that image but I always hesitate, continue on and wish I had stopped.  On this morning after an adventure along the barge canal I turned around and went back for this image rather than continue on home.  After this I started to stop more often…

Shrouded Sunrise

Shrouded Sunrise
Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/25s, 46mm, f/20, ISO 100

 

August – Another big month for images but more importantly a photo challenge recommended by my friend Karma.  Although I fell flat after a pretty good start on the month long challenge it did give me my favorite self portrait.  The daily challenge was relax, which I did on the beach at Delta Lake during a beautiful sunset.

iheartchallenge-relax

iheartchallenge-relax
Nikon D7100, Tokina 12-28mm f/4, {1/13, 1/25 & 1/50s bracket}, 15mm, f/16, ISO 100

 

September – The last of my state park visiting months brought lots of other great exploring as well.  This was my biggest month all year for images (other than Disney pics).  I thought I would be choosing one of the waterfall images but I kept coming back to this image of the area leading up to Inspiration Point at Letchworth State Park.  When I was just starting my photography this is an image I would not have captured.  I would have rushed to the grand scenic view of the gorge with Middle and Upper falls in the distance.  Now I explore more.  I see more image opportunities.  I think this view rivals the images I captured of the falls.

The Approach

The Approach
Nikon D7100, Tokina 12-28mm f/4, 1/6s, 12mm, f/16, ISO 100

 

October – The month of the first big change.  I had a Disney trip this month and by the end of the month I had a new camera system. This image was captured with my OM-D E-M10.  The color image was nice but the colors detracted from the composition.  I love the rope leading into the image.  The reflections and the amount of detail make this one my favorite.

Erie Barge

Erie Barge
Olympus OM-D E-M10, M. Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R, 1/80s, 14mm, f/7.1, ISO 200

 

November – Another image of opportunity.  I knew this morning was going to produce a beautiful sunrise.  My plan was to head to Hinckley Reservoir for the early morning show but on the way there I passed this view.  A quick three point turn, a short walk into a pasture and bam! a beautiful sunrise view.  I still continued to the reservoir…  🙂

Isolation

Isolation
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1.3s, 40mm, f/16, ISO 200

 

December – Everyone might be tired of my Christmas vacation images but that trip produced a lot of great images.  This full moon on Christmas Eve is my favorite of the bunch.  It is a great image with which to end the year.

MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Full Risen

Full Risen
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 25s, 12mm, f/13, ISO 400

 

As I have with all my previous Year in Review posts I’ll end with my favorite Disney image.  This image is more about persistence than anything else.  When I found these rocking chairs on Tom Sawyer Island earlier in the year I tried to capture this image that I had in my head.  I couldn’t get it in May and it was at least two attempts in October before I was successful.  It might not be the greatest composition or technically great image but it represents another change in my approach to photography…  don’t settle on an image, pursue the image you want to create.  Keep trying until you are successful…

Rocking Big Thunder

Rocking Big Thunder Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/2000s, 17mm, f/8, ISO 400

 

I would like to thank everyone who has stayed with me on my photographic journey and welcome any new visitors.  This creative outlet I discovered has been a great addition to my life and there have been some great friends discovered here online along the way.  I look forward to what the next twelve months will bring…

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for an amazing 2016!

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9 responses to “2015 Through the Months

  1. Loved all of this. Last night I started reading about how to use manual settings. And I watched a short video about how to change ISO…appeture…shutter speed. So I was studying each of these photos settings to see your choices. In 2016 I want to try to learn and do more manually as I’m feeling limited using the preset choices. Thank you for doing this post. I’ll keep it as a study guide. Plus it’s just plain beautiful.

    • Thanks Dawn! THe biggest help for me when I switched over to using more manual controls was/is Bryan Peterson’s ‘Understanding Exposure’ book. Very well written with great examples. Let me know if you have any questions… 🙂

  2. Beautiful images, Mike. I chuckled when I looked at Cloudy Sunset and saw, in the lower part just left of center, a partial face – an illusion, but somehow it added something for me.

  3. A beautiful collection of images for the year! I’m quite envious of all you have learned, created and accomplished with your photography. Every year I tell myself this will be the year that I’ll do it too, and somehow I fall short. Thanks for continuing to share your pictures. Though my own blogging habits have waned, I always catch up with your blog whenever I have the chance.

    • Thanks Karma! I feel like I am continually learning with tons more to go. After this past vacation I came away with more thoughts on the direction I want to go with my images. I know that right now I am enjoying the journey, wherever it will take me. If the photography thing is what you want to pursue it will come when you are truly ready…

  4. Pingback: Best Photos of 2015 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers - JMG-Galleries - Landscape, Nature & Travel Photography

  5. Pingback: Best Photos of 2015 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers | Portrait and Wedding Manila Philippines

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