Photographically, 2011 has been a pretty good year for me. I've had the opportunity to shoot a wide variety of subjects, in some pretty amazing places, with some incredibly talented photographers, and with some pretty fantastic equipment. I have spent time with old friends and had the opportunity to make some new friends. I am truly grateful for the things that I have learned from each of you. I only hope that I have been able to reciprocate.
My blog has been pretty busy this year as well. I finished the year with 227 posts, up from 185 last year. This will be post #1 for 2012. September had the most posts with 28, followed by August and April, each with 27. I've had 18,763 visitors with 32,200 page views. I've had visitors from all 50 States and 135 countries.
Well, since everyone else is doing it, I figured I should put together a top ten list for 2011. After working on it over the last few days, I can tell you that it hasn't been an easy task. I have managed to come up with my ten favorite images, though I'm not sure I can rank them. So, here they are, in chronological order with the post that they showed up in.
This image was created back in February. My daughter and I had been working on a couple of projects out of an old film photography book called "25 Projects to Improve Your Photography". It's a pretty fantastic book with some good projects that are still relevant to digital photography. They are designed to help you master some basic techniques. Anyways, this particular project required you to use a light and a piece of paper. Pretty simple, really. The simple subject matter pushes the image to be about form and texture. I'm especially pleased with this image as it took Best Of Show in the Black & White division at the State Fair this year. You can see the rest of the blog post here.
As I was looking back at my images, I realized that there weren't nearly as many images created during wanders around big cities. This would be a direct result of the fact that my responsibilities have changed at work and I no longer travel as much. I love images like these, so I guess I need to do a better job of looking for them around home. This image was shot in Dallas, TX. I was out on an early morning wander one day before I had to be to work. I had taken several shots of this building when a security guard came out and asked what I was doing. I explained to him that I was interested in the patterns on the building. His response: "What patterns?". You can see the rest of the blog post here.
You know those times when you just get the itch to make a photograph so you grab your camera and head out the back door to see what you can find? Well, this was one of those times.
Back in June, I had the opportunity to head to Washington DC for work. My wife was able to spend a couple of days with me before heading to Virginia to see her sister. In the evenings, we wandered the monuments and memorials. It is a pretty amazing and emotional place. While I enjoyed all of the memorials, the Vietnam Memorial was one of my favorites. You can see the rest of the blog post here.
Back in the summer, I had the opportunity to spend the 4th of July weekend shooting a rodeo. In exchange for a few of my images, I was given almost unlimited access to the event. The only restriction I had was that I had to stay out of the arena. No problem. Rodeos can be challenging to shoot. The action is non-stop, and the lighting can be difficult at best. That being said, they are also a lot of fun. I came away from the event with a pretty good collection of images, but there were a couple that stood out to me. You can see the other one here.
Earlier this year, I was introduced to the fascinating world of light painting. I had played around with light painting in the past with varying degrees of success. Mostly, on occasion I got lucky with a decent image. Well, throughout the course of the year, I had multiple opportunities to work on this technique. As time has gone on, we've gotten better and more directed in what we do. It has been a whole pile of fun. While I've got several painted images that I'd consider favorites, this one has always been towards the top of the list. You can see the rest of the images from this excursion here.
A few years ago, I had the good fortune to become friends with Dale Hardin. Dale is an incredibly talented photographer and I have learned a great deal from him. With my work travels, I have had the opportunity to meet up with him and spend some time shooting in his neck of the woods. Well, we finally managed to get Dale out my way for a couple of days of shooting back in September. We had a pretty fantastic time. One of the opportunities I was able to arrange was a behind the scenes tour of the Tabernacle Organ on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It was an amazingly unique experience. You can see the rest of the images from the tour here.
I belong to an online photo club. It is a small group, currently only 20 members. We are spread out all over North America. Over the past few years, we have become a pretty close group. Over the years, on several occasions, we've discussed getting together to meet in person and shoot. Well, earlier this year, I decided it was time to do something about it so I worked with my friend, Dale and we scheduled a trip to Las Vegas. Not all were able to make it, but a good group of us, including several former members, made the trip. We spent 4 day exploring and shooting in and around Las Vegas. It was remarkable experience. I came away with a good collection of images, and an even stronger collection of friends. One of the places we shot was at the Neon Sign Boneyard. The noon-day light was pretty harsh, but there were still a lot of good images to be made. This was one of my favorites. You can see the rest of the images from the boneyard here.
Once every three or so years, we get a total lunar eclipse. This year happened to be one of those years. So, I rounded up a few friends and we headed out to Stansbury Island to watch the show. We went out early and did some light painting, but the eclipse was the definite highlight of the evening.
This last image was created just the other day. My son, Peter, and I spent the day wandering with our cameras. Our original goal was to be at the Golden Spike Monument where they were doing several demonstrations with the 119 steam engine. The train was pretty fantastic and we came away with some good images. While we were out in the area, we decided to do some wandering. One of the places we stopped was the Spiral Jetty. The water level was such that there wasn't much to see of the Jetty, so we wandered around the old oil derricks. The mostly overcast sky made for some decent lighting conditions. And, the bit of haze made the distant shoreline all but disappear. This is one of my favorite images of the day. You can see the rest of the images here.
Well, there you have it, what I consider to be my top 10 for 2011. What do you think? Do you agree with my choices? If not, what would you have chosen differently? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks again to all of you that have contributed to my work this year. And especially to those of you that have taken the time visit my blog. I appreciate it.
Now, what's 2012 going to look like?