This weeks weekly photo challenge theme is “My 2012 In Pictures.”
Well as luck would have it I had already done a post of my favorites from the past year HERE. Let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy task narrowing it down to 20 for that post!
Never one to pass up a challenge, here are another dozen, give or take, images from the past year that I’m rather pleased with.
Don’t forget, there’s still time to vote for your favorite image that I’ve shared this year!
Details and rules (Please read them carefully) are HERE.
What a year!
2012 has been an unbelievable year. I’ve created more commissioned work for others, and more of my work is finding its way onto people’s walls. I also feel I’m continuing to learn and grow as a photographer. I’d like to share with you my favorite 12 images from the past year.
(For this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge theme: Surprise. The “surprise?” I can’t count, my favorite 12 of 2012 is actually 20! Enjoy!)
Didn’t see your favorite Jeff Sinon Photography image? Well then click HERE and cast your vote and you could you see it in the upcoming “Fan Favorites Of 2012,” AND you’re vote automatically enters you in a chance to win an 8″ x 12″ copy for your very own. Contest details and rules here
You won’t find a much more delicate creature roaming the forest floor than the juvenile Eastern Newt, commonly known as the red eft. This little guy (gal?) was only about 2 in. (5cm) and very hard to miss, with such bright orange skin, as I was strolling along the trail. The adults are much less showy in color, and can reach a length of 5 in. (12.7 cm) and can live between 12 – 15 years in the wild.
Photographed on the same day as the Red Eft above, this Rose Pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides), a wild orchid found typically in fens and bogs. Also known as the snake mouthed orchid, this beautiful specimen was beautifully crowned with dew when I photographed it.
The clock is ticking…
Don’t forget to cast your vote for your favorite Jeff Sinon Photography image from 2012! Details and rules HERE.
What have I got to be thankful for? Where do I start?
My wonderful wife, who supports me in every way, and is extremely supportive of my efforts to further my photography. Who never, okay, mostly never, complains when I disappear for days on end in pursuit of my next photograph. She truly is my better half.
My beautiful, unbelievably intelligent daughter (above). Nothing gives me greater pleasure than the sparkle in her eyes, and there is no better sound in the world than the sound of her laughter. She is the light of my life.
My camera. My camera has brought me to amazing places, and introduced to some amazing and talented people. It has enabled me to see the natural world around me as never before.
And finally, you, my fans and followers. You all keep me inspired to create new, and better images, to become a better photographer. For all your support I thank you.
My first thoughts are of Spring, and new growth. But with Winter rapidly approaching, and the snow that will hopefully come with it, the vibrancy of Spring green is a long way off.
However, several of the images below were captured in the dead of winter.
For those of you thinking “I’d like to create amazing photographs but I don’t have a big fancy DSLR.” Take a close look at the image of my friend Melissa sprawled out on the ice. That’s a Canon G11 in her outstretched hands. Now take a look at the images she makes with it, here. I often envy her ability to put all her gear in her pocket when we get together to shoot.
Canon EOS 1D Mk IIN
Canon 16-35 f2.8L
16mm, iso 100, 0.6 seconds @ f11
Renewal = Spring .
Though it’s hard to imagine, with winters icy grip, and its cold white coating of snow, just around the corner, for me when I think of renewal, I think of Spring. Spring is the time of renewal. Soon after the snow melts the wildflowers will begin to emerge and the young animals and birds will soon begin to be born. A new generation is about to commence.
…to the Spring-time forest near you.
Pink Lady among the birches.
Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid.
The Next Generation.
And soon there will be four.
Canada goose eggs sitting safely in their down lined nest.
A pair of black bear cubs and their sleeping mother.
Angle, Line, Architecture.
My first thoughts for this weeks theme, buildings, bridges, and other man-made structures. Not the usual focus of my photography, but from time to time I will include the man-made.
Enjoy this gallery of my take on geometry.
North American Moose (Alces alces).
They can stand almost 7 feet (2.1 meters) at the shoulder, and an adult bull can weigh anywhere between 840 and 1,500 lbs (380-700kg).
So yes, BIG!
For anyone wondering, yes this is a 100% wild moose, and yes I was very close. In fact, since I had to step out of his way as he went to cross the road. Moments after the last shot in my previous post was taken, he passed by close enough that I could have reached out and touched his antler.
If you have any questions about my encounter with this wonderful guy, or any other photography related questions, please feel free to ask.
Hiking to the summit of a small mountain for the first time, in the dark, and watching this view unfold as the sun comes up. Makes me forget just how early 3:30 a.m. is.
To top it off, I ran into a group of young men at the summit who happened to be from my hometown in Connecticut. What are the odds?
Driving down from the above mountain, and seeing this view. If this doesn’t say “Autumn in New England,” nothing does.
Since it was quite dark, and I was paying more attention to the directions to the mountain, I never noticed this church, which the road went right by. So this was a very pleasant surprise on my return trip.
Successfully, I think, using subject motion, reflections, and camera motion during exposure, to create abstract images showing the fall color in a less conventional way.
The one image that made the entire day for me.
This fine gentleman caused quite a stir along Rt 302 in Crawford Notch. Traffic came to a stand still as crowds gathered to get a photo. Seemingly unfazed by all the fuss, this bull moose started walking directly towards me to cross the road. Obviously, I was standing in the best spot for a moose to cross the road, and he had every intention of using it. I graciously stepped aside as he passed by close enough for me to touch.
Grand mountain vistas, spectacular Autumn color, and a beautiful mountain top sunset,
are what I wanted for my trip to the White Mountains to capture fall foliage images this past Sunday, but what I got was rain. Not a heavy rain, but on and off, mostly on, showers all day long. And when it wasn’t raining, there was always a steady drizzle. Not that I minded much, the color in norther New Hampshire was spectacular! And the overcast conditions really made the colors all the more vibrant and saturated. The colors were popping in the Whites, that’s for sure!
Silver Cascade, Crawford Notch, NH.
(Arguably the most spectacular falls in the White Mountains that you can see from your car).
Stay home where it’s dry?
Not likely. With a tight schedule, and a short window of opportunity for the best fall color in White Mountains, I wasn’t about to let a little rain put a damper on my plans. I packed a few towels, several plastic bags of various sizes, and I headed north.
As soon as it became clear that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate, one word popped into my head, “Waterfalls!” New Hampshire’s White Mountains are loaded with waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. I haven’t photographed many of them, and none of them in Autumn, so if I couldn’t capture the mountain top sunset I had hoped for, then a few nice waterfalls surrounded by some spectacular Autumn color would have to do.
Lower Falls on the Swift River, Albany, NH.
(Not quite peak color yet. In the summer, Lower Falls is a very popular swimming hole, and the rocks and water would be covered in people)
Ripley Falls, Hart’s Location, NH.
(This was my first visit to Ripley Falls, but unfortunately it was a short one. Since the rain was getting a little heavier, I took off my sweatshirt and grabbed my rain jacket. All day long I was constantly using a micro-fiber cloth to wipe rain drops off the front of my lens. I kept the cloth in the front pocket on my sweatshirt, guess where it stayed after the wardrobe change. I was only able to make three exposures before I lost the battle with rain drops on my lens. This was the only “keeper.” In an effort to keep the rain at bay, I held my hat over the lens, so of the three exposures I made, one had my fingers in it, and another had the bill of my hat, both deleted)
“No Swimming.” Rocky Gorge, Swift River, Albany, NH.
(My favorite image from a wet day in the mountains, and my favorite so far of Rocky Gorge).
Tips for shooting in the rain.
Keep it dry, as much as possible anyway. Unless you have a weather sealed camera body and lenses, try to keep as much moisture from them as possible. While there are many commercially available rain covers on the market, I went the DIY route with large clear plastic bags to help keep the elements at bay. Though if it was only a light drizzle, I just kept a had towel with me to periodically wipe the camera down. I also took the camera out of whatever bag or “rain cover” it had been in and set it on a towel on the car seat while driving between locations, giving the camera a chance to dry out a bit.
Keep a micro-fiber cloth handy, and use it. Constantly check the front element of your lens for water droplets. There isn’t much worse than having to delete that “winner” shot because you didn’t notice the water drop on the lens.
Use a circular polarizer when shooting on rainy, foggy days. It will help remove the glare from wet foliage, and really make the colors pop.
Finally, if it isn’t already, get your gear insured. Adding it to your homeowners or renters insurance is pretty cheap, and takes some of the stress out of shooting in potentially camera killing conditions, knowing that should anything go wrong your gear is covered.
Focus on the intimate.
With even the lowest peaks in the White Mountains with their heads in the clouds, grand scenic images were all but impossible. A good idea is to focus on small portraits of the beautiful color before your eyes.
Be careful, use your head, but most of all, don’t let a little rain keep you from that fall color. It’s only here for a very short time, enjoy it while you can.
This is also part of Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Challenge, the theme is Foliage. You can see more entries here.
1) taken, passed, or performed without companions.
2) occurring singly and not as part of a group or cluster.
Often, but not always, my best work is created while I’m alone. While I enjoy the company of others, I find that solitude is much more beneficial to my creative process. I’m not saying these images represent my best work, but to me they do represent “solitary.”
Amidst the clouds, a solitary photographer near the summit of Mt. Washington, NH.
A mute swan rests, solitary as it seemingly admires its reflection, Durham, NH.
Solitary in the sand dunes, a snowy owl enjoys the early sunlight at Hampton Beach State Park, NH.
My Every Day Life.
Part of my every day life, the most important part, my daughter Nicole.
I’ve made several photographs of the Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse in York, Maine.( Along with every other person who has ever set foot in the state of Maine ). I’ll never make a better one than this. Nicole and her iPhone, shooting the waves. She is my every day life.
Straight out of “Landscape Photography 101.”
Now here’s a theme I can sink my teeth into. A strong foreground element starts your visual journey into the photograph, with the main subject in the distance, the destination.
(from my favorite water-lily hot spot)
Winters Cold Embrace.
(I was particularly drawn to the apparent reflection, rendered in ice and snow, of the distant mountain)
A soon as I read the theme for this week I knew which photo I was going to use. This red tail hawk was a most wonderful and patient subject. He / she posed for me for almost an hour, then as if we could read each others minds, as I was finishing up with my last photos, it took flight.
As Urban As I Get.
This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Urban.” Since I had already made plans to head into Portsmouth, NH today (Saturday) anyway, I was in luck. Also, since I would rather have a root canal than step foot into a “real” city, Portsmouth would have to do.
The weather wasn’t completely cooperative this morning, and fog prevented me from getting several of the photos I was hoping for. All in all, still worth the effort.
Portsmouth is an “artsy” town, even the graffiti is top-notch.
Okay, maybe not ALL the graffiti is top-notch.
Nothing says New England…
…like a towering white steeple above downtown. Unfortunately the fog made for less than inspiring skies as a backdrop.
Not a bad way to get around town.
I hope these images were “Urban” enough for you.
Where The Sand Merges With The Sea.
The Merge Of Man And Nature.
The Merge Of Exposures
I’ve been playing around with Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2, and for this image a preset called “Sinister” seemed appropriate.
A Note Of Full Disclosure.
I wish to mention here, that as a member of the Nik Software affiliate team, every time a reader clicks a Nik Software link in a post, or the Nik Software banner on the sidebar, I get credit for it. Should you make a purchase I receive a small commission. I need to make clear that I will never be mentioning, or recommending any product on this blog if I don’t use it myself and believe strongly that the product is of potential value to my readers.
With the Nik software, I felt it was such a great product that I wanted to be able to offer my readers a way to save on its purchase. Therefore, you will save 15% off of all Nik products by entering the code: JSINON when making a purchase.
From the debris littered forest floor, each spring brings new growth to one of my favorite wildflower spots.
Since it’s my favorite color, of course I have photos that include it.
A Purple Fender
Purple In The Sky
Wading In A Sea Of Pink, White, And Green.
This post is also serving double duty as my entry this week in the Weekly Photo Challenge. This weeks theme is “Inside.” The image below shows the outside of a soon to bloom fragrant water-lily. The image following that one shows the “Inside.” See, pretty sneaky huh?.
To Get Close…
To get close to one of my favorite floral photo subjects almost always requires getting wet. It might be only ankle-deep, but to get to that “perfect” flower, I’ve been known to go over my waist in the wet stuff. “Why not use a canoe or a kayak?” you might ask. One word, waves. In a kayak, no matter how still you think you’re sitting the boat will move creating camera movement along with ripples on the water, ripples that in turn cause subject movement. Add the two together and it gets pretty tough to get a sharp photograph.
…You Need To Get Wet.
So in the water, tripod in hand, I go. Once I’m set up and the image composed in the viewfinder, I simply stand still, it takes but a few seconds for the water to settle down enough to get your shot. The lily pads also help as a natural buffer to the water’s movement.
If you’re a little leery of the muck and any creepy crawlies lurking in the water you can wear waders, but I prefer to wade wet. Usually a pair of shorts and my Vibram Five Fingers is all my water-lily shooting wardrobe consists of.
Special Note: While looking through the viewfinder at the bright yellow stamen, you can actually see them unfolding as the flower opens. Pretty cool.
Surprisingly, one of the hardest things I have to deal with when photographing these beauties isn’t getting to them at all. What makes getting good images of them is the light. These flowers are particularly sun-loving and don’t open up until the sun is well above the horizon and the light is starting to get harsh. A nice overcast day is your friend, but when the sun hits the flower just right they almost seem to glow from within. Wind is another enemy of making a good photograph, as it acts on the flower itself, as well as on the water, which in turn acts on the flower. If there is more than the occasional slight breeze, I go home to return another time.
One last piece of advice for anyone who wants to get wet for their water lilies. Make sure you empty your pockets of any and all valuables that don’t play well with water. Your wallet and cell phone will thank you.
Lastly, be careful, you never know who might be watching your every move.
Dreaming? This is going to be tough.
Images that make me think “Dreaming?” This is going to take some thought. Along with an in-depth search of my Lightroom Library.
Here goes nothing…
A misty morning on my home lake.
My little girl fresh out of the water with a dreamy look on her face.
(I wish I knew where the RAW file for this image is. I have no idea what I did to get the image you see here)
I think this shot through the window of my favorite north country barn has a dreamy quality to it. Maybe not a good dream, but a dream none the less.
(To me, it’s the reflection in the window of the leafless winter trees that lends a creepy feeling to the photo)
A dreamy walk along the pier towards the setting sun.
Sure I might be reaching a bit, taking a little creative license so to speak, but that’s how I like to play.
Movement: The Camera.
In both of these images the camera was moved during exposure. One was completely accidental, the other was created completely on purpose.
Can you tell which was created on purpose, and which was the “accidental art”?
Movement: The Subject, part 1
Generally, when I think of movement in one of my photographs I think water. I am a fan of the soft and silky look that a long exposure gives moving water.
Here are a few examples.
Movement: The Subject, part 2
Next I think of wildlife. It would be nice if they just sat still and posed for the camera, but they don’t always cooperate.
there’s one in every group portrait that won’t sit still
this beaver thought searching for dinner was more important than having its picture taken.