My Year in Review
We’ve reached the end, or maybe it is the start of a new beginning. I suppose your interpretation for this time of year depends on if you are a the glass is half empty, or half full type of person. I try to be a half full person but it isn’t always easy. As I sit here at my desk, composing this post for the start of a new year, it is definitely half full.
How could it not be half full? Sure, there have been a few ups and downs throughout the year, but if the ride wasn’t a little like a roller coaster would it even be worth riding? I think not! I’m healthy. My job is interesting and keeps me challenged. I travel, for work, and personally. I’m having fun with my photography. And basically, I’m enjoying everything!
Although I’m tempted to make some bold statements about what the coming year will be like I have learned they do me no good. Every time I read my previous year’s post, I am reminded of the things I stated I was going to do and then feel bad about how I did not accomplish them all. I might do things differently, I might try to explore more, read more, photograph more, but right now all I will commit to is I will live more in the moment. I will enjoy each experience as it happens.
Let’s see what I liked about each month in 2017…
January – This was a month of exploring winter. The weather was very cooperative allowing me to get outside often and walk the trails. After I purchased some snowshoes my opportunities for seeing new areas expanded. There are numerous x-country skiing trails near me which allow snowshoe hiking as long as you preserve the ski trails. I’ll be looking forward to more hiking this year. My favorite image though is from the beginning of the month. I captured this pre-dawn image along Oriskany Creek where it empties into the Mohawk River. Original Post: Morning Rivers
February – This month was one of those roller coaster rides for me. My favorite image was born during a lose, but it was not a sad time, it was a celebration of life. Original Post: The Ferry
March – A couple trips for work and melting snow gave me a few good opportunities for images. At home I spent most days at Delta Lake State Park. During a work trip to a supplier North of Detroit I had a chance to visit Port Huron. Before dinner I photographed the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse but after dinner I searched out the US Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock. It was a bit of a balancing act on the rocks near the water but I was able to get the image and include the Blue Water bridge to Canada in the background. Original Post: Hollyhock
April – The snow melt hit its peak in April providing great rushing water in the local creeks. This allowed me to get my long exposure/flowing water itch scratched. I love water in my images. I especially enjoy finding those little sections in the turbulence where my long exposures create a moving, abstract snap shot. Best I can come up with to describe it… Original Post: Steady
May – April showers bring May flowers. At least that is what I remember from childhood. Not a bad reference to what I mostly photographed in May… flowers. Of course, that is not the image I chose for this month. This image is about seizing an opportunity. Or more appropriately, finally, after a year, seizing the opportunity. I had been driving past this scene on my way to work for a year. On this particular morning I stopped (along the Thruway) to grab this view. Not the absolute best image, but the memory and reason for it make it my favorite in May. Original post: I Stand Alone
June – This was another month equal parts flowers and water. If I wasn’t grabbing an image of a flower it was an image somewhere in the canal system. After one of those canal excursions I passed this scene on my way home. I immediately turned around, found a place to park and setup the camera. I loved the reflection. I loved the industrial feel. Of course, me being me, it had to be in B&W… Original Post: AMS & S
July – State Park month! I visited many of New York’s state parks. My goal was to visit more but some things don’t always work out as they should. It was also a month of a first for me but you can read more about that one further done in this post. State Parks. I made a trek down to Ithaca, NY to walk the trails of a couple of my favorite parks, Taughannock Falls and Buttermilk Falls. As always, I came away with great images. On my way home I stopped at Chittenango Falls and the heavy rains created a rare opportunity, the alcove area downstream from the falls had water! Original Post: Born of the Rains
August – Daisy what a hold you have over me. My favorite this month is special for a few of reasons. One, it is an image of daisies, which have to be my favorite floral subject. Two, I took the processing to a different level. Something I would not normally try, and it really worked for me. Three, people seem to like this one. I have made about half a dozen pictures with this image, some I have given to friends, some to charities and a few that people asked to buy (Daisies). Original Post: Daisy’s Last
September – Another month of me trying something different. One of the photographers I follow posted a video of how she converts her images to look like watercolor paintings. I was mesmerized. The effort seemed too easy (it is not!). The results are beautiful. If you are interested you can read more about it at Pat Saizan Photography. Original Post: Pixley Falls
October – Not a lot of photography local to my house this month. Between trips for work and my fall pilgrimage to Walt Disney World I only managed a handful of excursions. I spent time at Delta Lake exploring sunsets (there were a lot of beauties). I also chose a more abstract image in the square format as my favorite. I had not worked with the square format that much this year and the minimalist style was also one I ignored. I played with both this month. Original Post: Setting
November – Another trip to Florida, this time to drive my Mom back North. Of course, I didn’t let this opportunity escape me. I spent a few days down on the coast near Juno Beach and a few days at Disney. Even though the weather was not cooperating during my time on the coast I managed to come home with a few great images of the Juno Beach Pier. I checked out some additional locations from the dry inside of the car so when I make it back down to Florida I’ll have more places to explore. Original Post: Juno Beach Pier
December – As the thought of winter approached I decided I needed an indoor project for my photography. The seeds were planted in October but they really started to bloom in December. My original, and still on the list, plan was to expand my Game Pieces Project. While exploring a few of the consignment shops around me for old games, I was handed an idea for a different project… Oil Cans. It has exploded for me. I think half the fun is searching the shops for unique cans to photograph. I am starting to run out of space on my book shelf but I suppose that is a good thing. This image is the latest in my series as I believe it represents the best I have created so far. Original Post: Oil Can Project
Walt Disney World
I know I’m spoiled. Especially when Disney is involved. I go quite often. This year was no exception with a trip in the Spring for the International Flower & Garden Festival and another in the Fall for the International Food & Wine Festival. I see a pattern… LOL. I even managed a couple of days in November while the parks were decorated for Christmas. Once again I could not settle on one image.
The first image is a composite of the Generation Gap bridge between the Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts. This image was an accident. I had spent the morning photographing the Cars area of the Art of Animation resort. On my way back to my room at Pop Century I stopped to grab an image of the sunrise over the bridge. As I balanced my camera against the fence to capture the left image I realized I had an opportunity for a symmetric image on the right side of the bridge. I managed to capture two fairly consistent views and after a little Photoshop work I was able to create the image in my head.
The second image is from my trip in the Fall. I had debated about attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom but in the end I had to go one more time. I still think it is a little over-priced and the crowds seem to be greater every year, but it did allow me to finally capture an image I had been attempting to capture for a few years. During the party there are numerous opportunities for unique images. The one I wanted was of the characters in front of the Haunted Mansion. As I exited the attraction I noticed the crowds in the viewing area were very low. I made my way in and worked my way to the front. It was totally worth the effort. Not only did I get the image I wanted, the show the cast member put on is fantastic. Part scripted, part improv and totally enjoyable.
At the end of May I was in California for work, Los Angeles actually, and I did not let this opportunity slip away. One night after work I went to Disneyland. It was my first trip, it was the worst possible night to go (Grad Night!) but it was awesome! I didn’t get a chance to ride any attractions but I explored the park for five hours. I was able to capture quite a few images and it ended up stoking that fire for a true vacation trip to the original! My favorite take-away of the night is this view of it’s a small world.
The ending of my 2016 post could not sum it up any better so who better to plagiarize from than myself…
I would like to thank everyone for their continued support. Your comments and encouragement are always welcomed and appreciated. I also value the friendships I have developed with a lot of my regulars. Although we have not met in person, your presence in my life has meant a lot to me. Thanks!
Happy New Year and best wishes for a fun and entertaining 2018!