Here it is, almost the end of January and I'm finally getting around to posting my 2013 favorites. The images I chose are not necessarily my best of the year, they're the ones I like the best for one reason or another. My favorites are the ones that ended up satisfying the vision in my mind and spark a memory of the experience and moment, mostly from my personal (rather than commercial) work. I tried to create challenges for myself photographically incorporating some new techniques and ideas. Sometimes they worked, sometimes not so much. January
A foggy morning. The river. Quiet. Aside from the location that is peaceful, unspoiled and representative of my head clearing escapes, this panorama is six frames, that I was able to merge them all successfully is why it's a favorite. Panoramas are a specialty of mine born out of a desire for super wide large format not available for me with equipment alone...Click image to view large.
Another panorama, two frames.I couldn't choose just one from that morning...Click image to view large.
Nesting Eagles. In the wild, in the woods. Doing what eagles do. It's not Alaska, we don't have a lot of eagles, 20 or so residents, maybe a couple hundred during migration season over a 20+ square miles lake...It's a rare opportunity that I have to be close to the nests and observe. December through April is nesting/breeding season and it's necessary to maintain a non-intrusive distance so a decent shot is always a favorite...
I was doing a commercial job out of town commuting a couple hours each day for the week. I took advantage of the drive and planned a few alternate routes on the secondary roads for exploration to stop along the way if I wanted. I saw this farm one day and stopped on my way home. Picture perfect rural farmland. Yeah, another panorama, 3 frames. Click image to view large.
And one of my first successful (imo) forays into texture layering.
Everything in one shot. Sunrise, fog, spring, my favorite place on the lake, I can't remember if this is 3 or 4 frames that make up the panorama. It wasn't a favorite at first. I printed it four feet wide for a show and fell in love with the image as it came off the printer. Click image to view large.
I'm lucky enough to have access to a couple bald eagle's nests. This is one of the parents, the chick was in the nest nearby. I have a lot of favorites from this nest, the parent eagles were very vocal and boisterous and made (somewhat) easy work of capturing them. I don't have a ton of super telephoto lenses so when I can get a decent shot of an eagle in the wild it's always a favorite. They take my breath away and leave me in awe of nature. Always.
I'm a little obsessed with bald eagles. On a whim, I drove to Waynesboro, Virginia for the river festival and the 5th hatchday celebration for Buddy, the ambassador eagle for the Wildlife Center of Virginia..This is my favorite portrait of him. Read more about Buddy.
A rainy day, my cat as subject. Gotta have a shot of my cat. <3
I knew there would be fog. A 3 frame panorama. Perfect morning. Mind clearing quiet before settling into the days work. Click image to view large.
I did a shoot at one of the oldest antebellum plantations still around the area. This is one of my favorites from the main house interior. It represents everything about the rich history of the plantation for me. Read more about the plantation & more from my shoot
I started a long term project. I had a vision for portraits I wanted to begin exploring. Sort of a glamour in the environment kind of thing, people out of their environment dropped into nature. Using textures to further enhance the images...Some have worked, some haven't. These are a few of my favorites from those first of the series shoots.
This one wasn't planned, I had walked up the hill to check out the location, on my way back called out and snapped this one. Turned out to be one of my most favorite.
Another model who was totally willing to satisfy my whims. The ascension
Another portrait shoot. I love this for a lot of reasons. The model completely went along with my every whim, was willing to try anything and the resulting images were exactly what I was trying to achieve...
A great shot technically? Not at all. My birthday was supposed to be a leisurely quest for bald eagles and nature with a friend and fellow photographer. It turned into a rescue of a great blue heron caught up in fishing line on the river. That my friend was willing to wade in to the river to free the bird and it was safely returned to the wild was the best present ever. More about this rescue over on my Facebook.
Raptors, rehabilitation and release. I have a ton of respect for the folks who rescue and rehab wildlife. There's nothing like watching these amazing creatures go back to the wild.
An annual street arts festival. I'm always in awe of dancers. Joy in their movement.
Fog on the lake at sunrise and an egret...I like the mood of this but it represents more for me - a fun morning shoot with a new found photographer friend. A documentary photographer, somewhat unaccustomed to the woods, he was breaking out of his comfort zone hiking through unfamiliar dark woods at dawn...a good time sharing my favorite spot.
Another that represents time with friends and exploring with fellow photographers. A 2 frame panorama, it's also an image that was successful experimentally, layering with textures. Click image to view large.
One from an ongoing project. A promotional series for a jazz vocalist that includes some live performance work. This was an exceptional performance, she has an amazing soulful, sultry voice and I just love this image of her.
I worked on a collaboration with six other photographers shooting the fair. This was more about the collaboration and getting to work with some great artists than the shot itself. It was a departure from my norm and forced me outside my comfort zone. I chose this shot because I like the motion and it also makes me feel the chaotic atmosphere of the fair. Read more about the fair shoot
Another not so technically great shot or anything special for that matter. I picked it because it represents a day out on the lake with my sister, hiking, experimenting and just enjoying hanging out with her and the last of the fall colors.
Early in the month I did a more formal shoot for the Jazz singer. My favorite of her, moody like the songs she performs, rich like the texture of her voice, thoughtful, calm like her personality.
Shooting early Christmas morning has become sort of a ritual for me over the years, dawn, before the rest of the house is awake I sneak out, coffee in one hand, camera in the other in search of whatever is over the next hill. This year I headed out in the cold and found an old abandoned farm. This was one of my favorites as soon as I clicked the shutter. I think it's the unknown story that lies behind that door.
So, there you have it. I have a lot more favs from the year but had to limit it somehow! Hope you enjoyed!