2017 Has Come and Gone

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


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; The Turn

The Turn


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


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; The Ferry and Bemus Point

The Ferry and Bemus Point


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


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; 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


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; 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


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; I Stand Alone

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


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; 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


MLCreations Photography: Chittenango Falls &emdash; Born of the Rains

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


MLCreations Photography: Floral &emdash; Daisy's Last

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


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; PixleyFallsWatercolor

Pixley Falls Watercolor


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


MLCreations Photography: Squared &emdash; 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


MLCreations Photography: Florida &emdash; Juno Beach Pier

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


MLCreations Photography: Oil Can Project &emdash; Empire



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.


MLCreations Photography: Around WDW &emdash; Generation Gap Bridge

Generation Gap Bridge


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.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Lady Carlotta

Lady Carlotta



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.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; it's a small world

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!

2016 – One Month at a Time

My Year in Review

Wow! Another year has been put to bed. I cannot believe how fast the days slip past. I remember as a kid thinking how long it was until my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Each day of school seemed to last forever and those big events never arrived quick enough. I never seem to have enough time in a day to get all the work done. Now, I find myself wishing everything would slow down so I can enjoy it better.

This past year has been another year of great exploration and travel. I was fortunate enough to make quite a few trips to Florida and those trips allowed me to explore a good chuck of the east coast. There is a lot still to see and you can bet I have more trips planned. Florida has become more than Walt Disney World for me. It has become the place I enjoy photographing and exploring.

I also made a few trips (although not as many as I would have liked) to the state parks near me. I definitely want to increase my trips to see more of what my home state has to offer. I know I have made this promise to myself in years past, hopefully this coming year will be the one in which I keep the promise. All I know is that every park I visit has unique vistas for me to explore and finding the images I want to capture brings me joy.

I’m not sure if I have grown as a photographer this year. I do know I have captured fewer images but the ones I do bring home have more meaning to me. I have moved beyond the spray and pray methodology, and have put more thought into the process. It doesn’t always work out for me, maybe I over think it some times, but it does create a better experience for me overall.

Well, I don’t think everyone is up to too much soul searching in this post so I should move on to the images. As I have been fond of doing in the past, I selected my favorite image from each month.  Some months that was way more difficult than in others.


January – Once again the first month of the year started out very sparse photographically. The majority of my images were from a trip to the Rosemond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. Every year the zoo has a photo contest which allows free entry into the zoo with a camera.  Although I managed to find a lot more images in 2016, my favorite image was not from that trip.  This image was captured on January 2nd. I was out for a walk on a beautiful morning and spotted this deer path through the field. I really like how the path leads the eye to the tree and colorful sunrise sky.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Lonely Path

Lonely Path
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/160s, 27mm, f/16, ISO 200


February – Last winter was very mild (I’ll bet we have almost had more snow this winter then all of last year) and I was able to venture out with the camera more than usual. This image was captured at the Utica train station at the start of a very busy Saturday. Reading the post associated with this image I am amazed how I was able to accomplish so much yet still make a couple of trips out for pictures. This image is classic leading line material. No subtlety involved here. But hey, it works!


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Waiting on the Arrival

Waiting on the Arrival
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1s, 12mm, f/16, ISO 200


March – The first month involving one of those numerous trips to Florida I mentioned. This trip was to drive my Mom and Grandpa down to my Mom’s place in Lake Alfred. I spent a few days with Mom helping get her place opened up and then ventured over to the East Coast to visit my Mother-in-law. It was during this stay that I captured this beautiful sunset with the Melbourne Beach Pier. It was a cloudy day and most people had given up on the sunset but I waited until the end and was rewarded with this view.


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Melbourne Beach Pier Sunset

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


April – I return to my Grass Poker days for my favorite image this month. I refer to my early photography when I was participating in the various photo themes on Google Plus. I started exploring around the house more, looking for those unique images which can be found all around us. Of course, long time readers also know I have a thing for the dandelions as well. The processing on this image was a departure for me but the results created an image I have hanging on my wall.


MLCreations Photography: Grass &emdash; Dandie

Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/320s, f/2.8, ISO 200


May – The start of the state park trips! I had promised myself I would explore more of the NY State parks this past year (alas, I did not fulfill that promise very well). I started with a Spring trip to Chittenango Falls. I have learned quite a lot about photography and post-processing since my first visit and I used all my knowledge to capture another portrait view of this wonderful waterfall. When the water flow is right the cascades create a very classic waterfall look.


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1s, 30mm, f/16, ISO 200


June – Part of my continual issue with myself is dragging my butt out of the house. I let myself be very lazy. On the day I captured this image though I planned the night before to get out to Hinckley Reservoir for the sunrise. Luck played an important part in that the clouds were moving fairly fast across the sky. This allowed me to use my neutral density filters to utilize a longer exposure and capture the movement in an otherwise static image. I played with various compositions until I settled on some natural framing with the grass.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Hinckley on the Move

Hinckley on the Move
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 60s, 12mm, f/13, ISO 200


July – Another image as a result of wandering around the yard looking for the over-looked details. I used this day as an opportunity to focus on the tiny and intimate. I fitted the camera with my macro lens and poked it into every little space I could find. This little flower was nestled within one of the lilac bushes that ring the property. I was fascinated with the contrast between the detailed stamen and the soft petals. I didn’t complain about the nice contrasting colors either… 🙂


MLCreations Photography: Floral &emdash; Tangled

Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/200s, f/2.8, ISO 200


August – There was much internal debate over my favorite this month. The other image contending for the title (Sunset Ring) was unique due to how I happened upon it but in the end the colors of this image won out.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Lock 20 Rising

Lock 20 Rising
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 6s, 25mm, f/16, ISO 200


September – I have an app on my phone called The Photographer’s Ephemeris which allows me to see the location of the sun & moon rising and setting. I can pick a location and date to plan where I want to be to capture that perfect image. For this image I consulted the app to find the moon would rise inline with the barge canal during the full phase. The best location close to me was Bellamy Harbor Park in Rome. The full moon is difficult to capture with surrounding landscape due to the overpowering brightness but your best bet is when it is closest to the horizon.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; MoonRise

Moon Rise
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 3.2s, 108mm, f/16, ISO 400


October – When I started a new job in April I discovered the Old Erie Canal Park a few minutes away. It has become my escape during those hectic days at work. I leave a pair of hiking boots and the tripod in the car so I will be ready when the mood strikes me. I have capture various images at the aqueduct over Butternut Creek but this one is my favorite so far. I love that I was able to capture the swirl of the water. The processing was also a departure for me and I am happy I strayed outside of my comfort zone.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Round 'n Round

Round ‘n Round
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 5s, 12mm, f/16, ISO 200


November – Ah, the super moon. That is all everyone was talking about in November. I got caught up in the excitement as well. Turning to my app again I realized the day of the great rising that I could catch the moon over the B-52 memorial on the old airbase in Rome. It was definitely more difficult than I anticipated. I tried to get multiple exposures so I would have more detail in the moon but this low on the horizon it is moving surprisingly fast through the sky. After struggling to combine two images I settled on this one with the great detail in the plane.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; B-52 Rising

B-52 Rising
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 4s, 92mm, f/8, ISO 200


December – This year’s Christmas trip to Florida once again produced a great many images from which to choose a favorite. The heron watching the sunrise won due to being “out of my normal” type of image. Viewing this image brings me back to that morning and how impressed I was at being able to get as close as I did for this view. I find I am liking more of my images that have another element beside the landscape, be that people or animals. Something to look forward to in 2017.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Enjoying the Sunrise too

Enjoying the Sunrise too
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 8s, 40mm, f/16, ISO 200


Disney – It wouldn’t be a year in review post if I didn’t include a Disney image. I did not have my usual two Disney trips this year but I did manage to visit almost every time I made it to Florida. I feel like a local, popping in for a quick visit, see a few shows, ride a few attractions and grab my images. It works for me!

I could not settle on one image this year. There were two that stand out for me. Both are from my trip in October. The first is a night image of Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. A few years ago I was able to stay in the park after sundown and I have been waiting for another opportunity. It didn’t disappoint. The second is a happy coincident as extra magic hours in the morning at the Magic Kingdom were about an hour before sunrise. Fog and limited access spoiled the image I had planned but the Cinderella Castle image with a hazy sky is no consolation prize. It is definitely my favorite castle image so far.


MLCreations Photography: Animal Kingdom &emdash; Everest of Light

Everest of Light
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 20s, 23mm, f/5.6, ISO 400


MLCreations Photography: Magic Kingdom &emdash; Pre-Dawn Cindy

Pre-Dawn Cindy
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 6s, 12mm, f/8, ISO 200


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 2017!