Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 - A Year In Review

Another year down and another year filled with photography lays ahead. It is hard to believe that 2012 is in the books and over. Wow, where has the time gone, seriously? Over on Google+ some of the themes currently running that many are participating in is #mybest2012  #top2012  #bestof2012 #best2012  #topphotos2012 where people essentially post their top 12 photos of the year. I figured I would participate but instead of posting all of my photos on there, I would post them on my photoblog instead. I also am doing a few more than simply 12. This is just some highlights, I have a lot more I could add in here but I will save this for future photoblog entries. It also reminds me that I am very backlogged in processing and have a great deal to do yet.

I learned a lot this year, a whole lot. Not only about photography itself either but certain aspects that go along with it. Much of it sadly is negative but as I found these things out, I made changes to switch things up and turn that negative into a positive. Sometimes it is good to rearrange things to where you have the option to do this. As the saying goes; 'When God closes a door, he opens a window" and many windows were opened for me this year.

So kick back and enjoy. This won't be in any particular order. If you are interested in seeing larger sized images, please click the photo which will take you directly to my website itself. As always, every single one of these photos is available for purchase as fine art prints and products.

"A September Remembrance - Regardless of what a lot of photographers say, there is a great deal of “luck” involved with getting a photo. I am not really sure if there is any greater luck than the weather itself. I only have control over my camera, things like fstop, exposure, shutter speeds, lenses, filters, deciding when to click the shutter. Often times I am presented with skies which are completely cloudless when I wanted clouds for instance and every once in awhile mother nature gives me something to where I am literally screaming at the sky in excitement.Fog in Colorado is a very uncommon thing and for this, I just happened to pick the right place to have as a meeting point for the first day of our annual “Fall In Colorado Photo Meetup” on the shores of Lake Estes in Estes Park. We were presented with a scene that was almost unworldly at times with the rising sun backlighting the fog and creating an almost surreal glow about it. I just wish we had weather like this a great deal more often! The title of the piece…it’s breast cancer awareness month and the colors seemed to fit that quite well.
"Ghost Light" - Last year , myself along with one of my shooting buddies headed out to the eastern plains of Colorado to do some hunting for some good old “rural decay” as I call it. We wouldn't come away empty handed. We found this old abandoned farm and decided to double back to photograph it at sunset. I was thinking that this place may be really lit up against the setting sun and I bet right (for once) The light was completely crazy lighting up the barn that you see here and illuminating the sky behind it, turning it this glowing iridescent indigo blue.
"Klaus" - This is an incredibly personal photo for me. Photographed in May 2012, it would be the last really good photo which I ever took of my dear boy before he passed in late June. As I write this, I get teary eyed as I miss him so much. he was my protector and my best friend and always there for me through thick and thin. he knew my inner most fears and my inner most secrets. He went through so much with me. He now lays at rest where I photographed this very photo at his favorite place-Chatfield State Park in a an area I call "Klaus' spot"Every time I am here, I stop and say hi and spend a few minutes with my best friend. 
"The Serenade Of Orange" - Again, another very personal image of mine. We were photographing the Sunflower fields out on the Colorado plains in the middle of no where watching a great sunset when all of the sudden a little dog approached us who seemed all but forgotten about, very hungry and very thirsty. Ironically it was almost a month to the exact day in which Klaus passed away. Needless to say I now have a wonderful short haired Border Collie laying here at my feet as I type this who has come into my life and stolen my heart who we have nicknamed "Sunny" affectionately after the fields which we found him in.
"Puppy Face" - And here he is! My new best friend, "Sunny". I simply love this photograph of him and how it  shows his playful, loving and  the very affectionate disposition he has. I processed this one in B&W intentionally and I like it how it came out with the softness a great deal. 
"Mister Big Mouth" - each and every year during Autumn I look forward to being able to photograph the annual Elk rut in Rocky Mountain National park, Colorado. This guy was something else, displaying his battle scars with a cut lower lip . I had to be patient to get the shot I wanted; something that really brought out the detail in the face and in the eyes. One of my favorite photographs from 2012, no questions asked!
"A Fall Stillness" -  One of the things I love to do is "compression landscapes" as I call them. Basically it's using a very long lens (in this case a Tamron 200-400mm lens) to get in close to details of the landscape that the human eye would likely not see. Panning around and studying the detail and composition, it has lead to some great images which I otherwise would have likely missed. Photographed at Chatfield State Park in Colorado, I was all over the reflection and how the foothills in the background has this texture which seemed to flow downward in a pattern. I just ordered a 30x40 metallic print of this shot and I have to say, it is absolutely stunning!
"Drops Of Gold" - i have really come to love and enjoy the macro setting on my Tamron 200-4000mm lens. Not a true macro, as it only does 1:2 magnification but it has allowed me to get some shots which I otherwise would have missed entirely and this is one of them. Photographed this Autumn in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
"A Wash Of Color" - Photographed on the day in which the Mayan's said the world would end. A Doomsday sunrise if you will. I stood here freezing my keester off at Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado but was rewarded with an incredibly sky which bathed Pikes Peak and the frozen lake in a complete wash of colors. It was as if someone painted the sky and dumped the bucket over the landscape. 
"Skies Of Autumn" - This Fall, my meetup group was treated to a spectacular morning along the shores of Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colorado. As the sun started to rise, the clouds broke giving away to fresh snow covered peaks as they reflected the color. You add in the sounds of the Elk bugling and fog lifting and you have something which I think a lot of photographers would call “perfection” as far as conditions go. The famous Stanley Hotel (made famous by Stephen King’s “The Shining”) stands tall in the background. 
"Heavens Gates" -  I love fall in Colorado, it is my favorite and it is the time of the year yours truly looks forward to being able to do what I do best; photography. This was photographed at one of my favorite locations, Knights Of Pythias cemetery outside of Central City. This place is the real deal, containing the graves and headstones of those who first settled the town during it's gold rush heyday in the 1800s. Walking around in here you get a real sense of not only being alone but calm as well. It is kind of spooky but also very tranquil too.  For this shot I really wanted to get the glow that was happening as the sunlight was soaking up and reflecting against the colorful Aspen trees. I really liked how the gate played into the scene with the pathway, as if calling to visitors to come in. Stunning stuff and I can't wait to get back up here this coming Fall!

"Relaxing In the Morning Light Of Autumn" -  On a cold and frosty Fall morning I was able to photograph this bull who was starting to just stir to start his day. Awakening on the frosty grass with the dawn sunlight illuminating the area, he made for a very worthy subject. It’s safe to say that this big boy is one of my favorite Elk photographs from this past Autumn.
"Hall Of The Mountain King" -  Located outside of Estes Park, St. Malo's Cathedral (some call it St. Katherine's) has always given me wonderful images. Heck I have several in my gallery here already. However this Fall was different in that there was fog! We don't get a lot of fog here in Colorado and I raced over here to get the shot. So thick I could barely see the chapel. I love this place, it looks like something out of Lord Of The Rings or a Gothic novel.
"As If" - Sometimes you just have to laugh at the expressions of wildlife. This was one of those and I was literally cracking up while photographing this Mourning Dove. What a display of attitude as if to say "No, you won't photograph me today! Nope!"

While storm chasing on the eastern plains of Colorado this past spring, we happened upon this scene. I imagine that these Horses are quite used to this sort of weather out here where the afternoons showcase some of the most violent weather on earth. It was pretty amazing really to see them all standing out here in ranch land backed up by a severe thunderstorm that was heading towards them. It certainly made for quite the dramatic scene and one needless to say I had to photograph it.