Thursday, December 26, 2013

Taking a Break for 2013 Favorites

I've decided to take two, maybe three, Fridays off from my normal "assignment" posts to instead take a look back at what I've shot in 2013.  On no particular schedule, my plan is highlight my ten favorite shots of the year.  There's a good chance that I'll have already posted most of these - or plan to in the future - but for this exercise, perhaps I'll talk a little about them (something I've purposely avoided in the "assignment" posts).

As usual, this is mostly for me - it's encouraging to think that I might be getting better (whatever that means).

Perhaps a good way to start is to look at a few of what I considered favorites at the end of 2012.  I still like these - but I hope I like my 2013 favorites more.

I noticed these backlit leaves while walking my son to the bus stop one morning and came back with my camera and tripod after the bus came and went.  I liked the way the light enhanced the otherwise drab color of the leaves, especially in contrast with the pure black.

This is one of those pictures that nobody likes but me.  I get that it's really kind of gloomy with the gray sky and all and I find it more interesting than captivating, I suppose.  My favorite aspect is probably the double motion blur - the rotary blur on the wheels versus the horizontal blur of the background.  It was also instructional to me to notice that the deep background is much more blurred than that big bush - that taught me to consider the distance to the background when looking for opportunities to try for cool panning shots.  The horizontal lines add something too, I think.

While I was first gaining enthusiasm for this photography thing, I read somewhere that "great subjects make for great pictures" or something like that.  I don't know that I have very frequent access to great subjects but it has stuck with me that I should try to take advantage of times when I'm seeing something you don't see every day.  Like five mountain goats, including a baby, lined up facing me on a diagonal with a gradient blue sky in the background.  It looks like an album cover from the 1980's.  Great picture?  No.  But still one of my 2012 favorites.  This was taken on Mount Evans in Colorado.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Converging Lines

Assignment #30:  Use converging lines to create depth or tell a story in a photo.

This one is a close cousin to leading lines.  I suppose radiating lines really "go" in the opposite direction but I think maybe they take the eye on a similar journey.  Also, I don't know that the point of convergence always needs to end up in the frame.

Y Warehouse
Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky

Batesville, Indiana

Friday, December 13, 2013


Assignment #29: Create a panorama shot of a wide view.

I used to use a pretty impressive piece of software to stitch together panoramic shots.  Then I got a new phone and the software became obsolete.  Now I just need to get somewhere with some big views.

Before the Drubbing
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

Friday, December 6, 2013


Assignment #28:  Photograph a texture or contrasting textures.

I want to say something like "it's not that hard". I crack myself up.

Yellow Brick Wall
Akron, Indiana

Pacific Cacti
Torrey Pines State Reserve, La Jolla, California

Columnar Shadows
Balboa Park, San Diego, California