Year in Review, Favorite Photo Each Month…Part 2
As promised in yesterday’s post, I am finishing my 2016 review of my favorite image of each month. Today’s post will focus on the last six months of the year and my favorite image of the year. I hope you have enjoyed the images and the stories behind them as much as I have enjoyed creating them this past year!
One Sunday morning I was out in and about shooting around downtown. It was middle of the hot dog days of summer and my artistic desires were far from flowing. I was exploring a few ideas to try and break through, but it didn’t seem like it was going to happen that day. While shooting on the pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland river, I started shooting some abstractions of the scenes below. As I worked back and forth on the bridge, two guys in a small fishing boat were going up and down the river chasing bites. I decided that the next time they passed under the bridge I would shoot them from above. I didn’t have to wait too long for them to reverse their direction and start down the river again. I was able to get positioned directly above and capture the image you see below. This image was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Nashville Scene Photo Contest and is the cover photo on my 2017 Calendar.
The first week of August found me and my camera in Florida with the who family. We were spending a week on the Gulf Coast and I was determined to explore shooting some long exposures. I had purchased some neutral density filters to extend the exposure times even in the brightest of days. One morning I went out early with my daughter to shoot under and near the Panama City Beach pier. There was rain nearby and the clouds were really nice. The images I captured that morning helped grow my desire to try some more early morning shots on the beach. A couple days later, I awoke before sunrise and made my way to the Seaside Resort nearby. The rain was coming down but the radar showed a break arriving soon. I found a covered area at the head of a path leading to the beach. The sun wasn’t up yet and there was lighting in the distance as readied my gear and chose the composition. I took a couple exposures, each 30 seconds in duration. While I waited for the rain to stop, I reviewed the initial captures and realized my 2nd shot was definitely a winner with the beautiful early light and a lighting strike in the background.
I was scheduled to participate in a photo workshop through SxSE Photo Workshops in Mobile, Alabama, and was really looking forward to it. I had taken the days off and reserved an AirBnB only to hear it had been cancelled. Well, not one to let the opportunity go to waste, I decided to make the trip anyway and do some shooting. I wrote about it in an earlier post, Making Lemonade from Lemons. On my first day, I drove to Dauphin Island to shoot as the sun was setting. I found a nice spot and was capturing images as the sun was setting. The mosquitoes were eating me alive, but I waited for the sun to reach the horizon in my composition. Remembering something a photography friend use to always say, I turned around to view the scene behind me. Wow, there was the image the whole time. The light was amazing as the moon rose above the beach homes on the island. I was immediately reminded of the famous Ansel Adams image, Moonrise, Hernando. Here is my version, Moonrise Over Dauphin Island.
As the days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to fall, the trees changing colors start to arrive. One early morning in October, I went to Radnor Lake State Park nearby and found the colors had definitely arrived. There were 3 high school kids also there taking pictures for their photography class, so between taking shots, I was able to assist them with settings. A layer of fog was streaming across the lakes surface adding to the scene before me. I tried different exposures to try and capture the sense of motion.
Earlier this year, I reconnected with a friend of mine who I used to photograph with a lot in the past. He had moved to Knoxville a few years back and we had lost touch. We had been trying to find a good time to get together for a shoot and we did in November. The plan was to shoot in the Smokies Saturday morning, so I drove over Friday to visit my son at college. On my way over that morning, the fog was really heavy and hanging over the Caney Fork river. I exited the interstate and looked for a good place to shoot, eventually settled in at a boat launch area just under the dam. The fog was heavy and I was loving the views. I shot up and down the river trying different compositions. One image stood out from the others and I was surprised to find a heron looking for breakfast among the fallen trees when I processed the image.
My daughter is always on me to go hiking with her and one chilly Saturday afternoon we went to the Bells Bend Greenway. I am sure no surprise to you, I brought my camera with us. I have been working on shooting more of people, both portraits and including them in my compositions. We would stop and shoot as we made our way around the trails of the greenway. One spot we stopped, I tried shooting her a few different ways. Earlier in hike, she had picked up a very large leaf and I thought it would make a nice prop for a portrait. After getting home and processing the image, I realized my thoughts were right!
My Favorite Image of 2016:
In October, we went to New Orleans to celebrate my mother’s birthday. We had a hotel in the French Quarter and took advantage of the location one early morning. I hit the streets before the sun rise and wandered around the Quarter capturing images. People were either arriving for work, preparing for the day ahead, or calling it a night as they make their way home. I came around a corner to find a scene that made me stop in my tracks. A high end gallery was a lit up, high priced artwork carefully placed throughout the space. Just outside the main window, asleep on the sidewalk, was a man with all his belongings. A few pieces of a cardboard provided the slightest amount of cushion against the hard slate and realities of his situation in life. I titled the image, “Luxuries”.