It’s that time of year again…..
Every year I do a recap of the year in images. We started 2012 with a winter vacation to Banff National Park. Not actually very far from home, the mountains are an area I don’t photograph often considering my close proximity (I can be in the mountains in about 30 minutes).
In the Spring we took a trip down to San Diego. We rented a little condo right on the beach and loved watching the surfers. This image really defines the traditional pictorialist style for me.
Anyone who used to follow me on Instagram will likely know that I often try to duplicate my regular photographs with the iPhone, to prove a point – that the camera is less important than the artist’s/photographer’s vision. Chemical Waste came about because a client wanted a billboard sized image of one of my iPhone creations. This was the first time I reversed the process and tried to create a DSLR photo based on an iPhone photo.[SinglePic not found]
This Spring marked a really big changed in our lifestyle when our daughter announced she was expecting. Shortly afterward we went away for a weekend prairie tour where I captured this photograph of the goose landing in the tall reeds. In many ways it’s quite unremarkable – geese are everywhere. But it is the representational aspect of the image which made it one of my favourites of the year.[SinglePic not found]
The destination for that Spring family bonding trip was chosen because I wanted to photograph the swan migration, but our weather had been questionable and the swans weren’t in their usual locations in the high numbers I was expecting. I had thought the whole trip was going to be a bust as far as the swans were concerned, so I switched my focus to landscape shots. We’d called it quit for the evening and were heading back to our hotel as the sun was setting, when we came over a ridge and saw this small lake in a farmers field with a group of six swans. This one image made up for the lack of swans.
2012 saw me continuing to play with abstract/impressionist images. I think 2013 will see me putting a bigger emphasis on this aspect of my photography. The process I use for creating these images involves long exposures and camera motion. It’s always a bit of a gamble whether a given image will be usable or not. Viral Dreams is one where I was very pleased with the results. I captures the mystical feeling of the mountain forests well.[SinglePic not found]
Still feeling disappointed about the swan migration trip, I decided to head north for a few days on my own for the Snow Goose migration. That ended up being a total bust. I never did figure out what happened with the geese – whether I was too late or too early, or (as I really suspect) the birds were forced to take a different route due to bad weather. What I did see during that trip were thousands of Sandhill Cranes – but they were all flying on the thermals up out of camera reach. So that trip ended up being a bust as well as far as photographing birds.
I got home, and about a week or two later was woken up in the early morning by the sound of cranes. I snuck outside in my housecoat, wearing rubber boats and a coat, camera in hand and was witness to one of the most amazing moments I’ve ever had.[SinglePic not found]
Our annual R&R vacation took us to San Diego. This was the first time either of us had been to California. We both enjoyed the downtime relaxing on the beach listening to the sound of the surf, people watching, and just kicking back. But the real highlight of the trip was the San Diego Zoo, and Wildlife Park. The Flamingo’s are easy to capture so there’s nothing spectacular about that, but I choose this as a favourite anyhow.
We stayed pretty close to home all summer and managed to catch a local pow-wow where I was able to capture this image. This represents the pictorialist quality I’m always striving for, and is extra special for the First Nations subject matter which is of particular interest to me.[SinglePic not found]
I’ve been a weather watcher for over 20 years, and have always tried to photograph storms, but have been largely unsuccessful capturing lightning. This year I finally started doing some research into how to photograph lightning and invested in a remote trigger, which helped a great deal, as I could keep myself safe while operating the camera. Unfortunately it was late in the season and we really only had 1 good storm. 2013 will mark my 25th year as a weather watcher. You can bet I’ll be marking the occasion by being out there capturing the storms!
The biggest event in 2013 was our daughter’s pregnancy and becoming grandparents. I had already started the year with some goals which shifted my focus away from photography slightly, but this surprise really made me re-examine my priorities. I started spending way less time online and trying to market my work. I think that trend will continue. I’m looking to streamline my online presence and may drop out of a couple sites I currently use. I haven’t been blogging much, and I probably won’t in 2013 either.[SinglePic not found]
Finally, I can’t end without including at least one painting. I started 2012 with a goal of relearning how to paint, and I pretty much made painting the focus of my year. I produced a lot of bad work, but slowly things started turning around as my hands became familiar with the actions of painting again. I will be continuing this work in 2013. I have goals for where I want to go with painting, which will see a gradual shift of focus. Photography will be taking a back seat to painting, and I’ll be moving away from exhibiting photography and selling prints to sending the majority off to agents and print on demand for a more automated process.
I hope to take several workshops next year, as well as do more plein air work. I especially want to do a prairie plein air painting and photography tour. I look forward to watching my grandchild grow and learn too. I can’t wait to teach him to draw and paint, and find the beauty in our world.
I hope 2013 holds many happy surprises.