Welcome to the final Photo Friday of 2016! I hope as you are preparing for the new year, you have found much in 2016 to be thankful for. I know that while the last half of this year has been incredibly difficult for me, it wasn’t all that bad. In taking the long view, I’m able to see how good 2016 actually was. I am reminded that without the challenges, we cannot quite truly appreciate our blessings. I hope that you have found the same in your reflections.
For this final Photo Friday, I thought it would be apt to reflect on my photography this year and begin thinking about where I want to go in 2017. With that in mind, be ready for a photo heavy post as I choose my favorites from each month of this year.
I absolutely love this photo. I loved it when I first printed it, but I let doubt set in. A friend told me that the photo had a “creepy” feel to it, and for a long time, I felt like it was necessary to apologize for the image. I hid it in the back of my print portfolio. The problem was that I kept coming back to it. I got brave and gave it as a gift to several different people, and they loved it, too. That validation means that I’m comfortable loving this image again. Interestingly, winter apparently means fog here on the Coast, and I’ll be heading out again soon for more captures in the mist.
I include this photo in my best of this year as well. It was taken as a pat of the Dogwood Photography 52 Challenge. I didn’t finish the challenge for several reasons, the primary one being an issue of time. I also got a bit disillusioned at the mid-point when it was revealed that there was going to be some sort of television show related to the Challenge and all of our images posted in the Facebook group would become property of Dogwood Photography. There is a new challenge for 2017, and I’m considering doing it for my own purposes.
I like this selfie, though, because I’m normally not a get-in-front-of-the-camera kinda of woman. This was taken the first week back at work after the break and I was tired. Very tired. This image felt like it captured that emotion. It doesn’t hurt that none of the things that bother me about myself are on prominent display in this image.
February’s image comes from our trip to the home of American Mardi Gras – Mobile, Alabama. Mardi Gras parades are kind of a big deal in this part of the country, and we enjoy them. I felt like this image really captured what Mardi Gras is like. It’s a marathon. People work all day to prep for the couple of hours they spend on a float. This particular gentlemen has probably had a few cocktails in that water bottle near his hand, and at this point in the parade, he’s feeling it…which is probably why there wasn’t a lot of throws at the Mobile parade.
Oh my sweet kitteh! I miss her. She came home with me when she was a tiny, very sick kitten. She survived that first year with terrible health and lots of antibiotics. Blackberry was always an odd girl, but she was mine for 14 years. I wasn’t prepared to lose her, and in fact, I still haven’t gotten rid of her tub of food. This photo really represents her. When she was out with the family, she was usually sitting on the arm of the chair or the back of it so she could play in my hair. The only thing missing is a glimpse of her bad eye and her fangs.
Any time there is wisteria around, I can guarantee that I’ll be taking photos of it. It’s one of my very favorite flowers here in the South. I love it so much that I have it tattooed on my body, and this year, I was super pleased with the images of it that I captured. In this one in particular, I love the depth of field here with the super sharp focus in the foreground and the blurred out background.
And then there is my very sweet girl Cobbler. While Cobbie is still here and still as sweet as ever, this trip in April was our last big road trip. It’s hard for me to admit that in just a few short weeks, my faithful companion will be 10. While she still is up for a game and always wants to go, it is taxing on her. Her recovery from this trip took almost a week. This series of photos reminded me that I need to work on my pet photography. Both of my babies are getting older, and I want some sweet photos of them to hang on to when they are gone from me.
April also saw more wisteria. I had to do quite a bit of searching to find white wisteria, but I finally did. I thought the home where I found it was abandoned, but I have since discovered that it is not. Oopsie. Again, I love the depth of field in this one.
In anticipation of my trip to Hawaii, I bought a new super wide angle lens. My first attempts with it were plagued by difficulties. Discovering that I had set the lens to manual focus made a huge difference. I’m still in love with this lens. It is the one that I keep on my camera most of the time. It’s my favorite.
Of all the photos I took in 2016, this is one of my absolute favorites. There is something about it. Maybe it’s the play of light or perhaps its the vibrancy of the clouds. It was a frustrating morning of shooting, but catching this made the early hour and the other lackluster images worth it.
This sunrise from Virginia City is much the same as above. I made the choice to go to VC a sunrise shoot, but I probably should have gone to Tahoe. It was cold. My tripod didn’t want to cooperate. The sun wasn’t cooperating. When I got home to see how many images I didn’t get, I was amazed to see this one appear.
This photo from the hike my Hawaiian Princess friend and I took to the top of Diamondhead has turned into one of my favorites. Again, I didn’t really truly appreciate it until I saw it printed. Once that happened, I was like, oh…this is nice. I love the lighthouse tucked against the cliff and the water.
And then there was this photo of the Sner and me at the Tantalus look-out, with Diamondhead and Honolulu in the background. Part of the appeal of this photo is the drama of the background, but really, I include it because I’m in the picture. While I am comfortable with myself and the way I look, I’m not too fond of how I look in pictures. Particularly with this trip, I wanted there to be a record of the fact that I was actually there.
There were a lot of gorgeous photos from Hawaii, but I think this one is my most favorite because it is so very Hawaiian. It’s got the rainbow (Capturing one was one of my hopes for the trip) and the catamaran. What more could you ask for in a Hawaiian photo?
Of course we can’t leave Hawaii without some palm trees. Getting good shots of them was harder than I expected.
This photo from Shangri La might be my favorite of the entire trip to Hawaii. It’s interesting to me that when I took it, I knew it was the One. I knew that this was going to be a photo that I printed and put on my own wall as well as using it as a gift for others. If I knew what I was doing, I might remove the guy sunbathing on the rocks while he takes a break from his fishing. That might be a skill I work on learning in the coming year.
In the later part of the year, I got fairly serious about being consistent in getting out and shooting on a regular basis. I started stopping and taking photos in the morning before heading off to work, and when it fit my schedule, I attended group shoots for the local photography club. This photo was taken at a group shoot, and I used my tripod to capture it, which is another thing I’ve been working on. Interestingly, using a ball head tripod is harder than it looks. Or at least it was for me.
It was hard to choose just a couple of photos for November. In the winter, the sun moves further out over the water, which makes our winter sunsets incredible. In taking these photos, I was really working with longer exposure photography, and I love the way they turned out.
This was another longer exposure photograph. I just love the play of light and the way the bridge is lit up. My mother-in-law likes to say that the bridge lights are like a string of pearls stretching across the bay. I’m beginning to feel like I know how to properly use my tripod and I’m working on nailing down the settings for getting great sunset and blue hour images.
Man there were really some great photos in December, weren’t there? From the lighthouse sunsets to the lighted boat parades (both of them!), I really lucked out with photos in December. I’m hoping that 2017 will bring more incredible opportunities because in December, I had fun with my photography.
Did you do a photographic review of 2016? I found it satisfying to go back through and look at where I was versus where I am. I’m excited to see where 2017 is going to take me.
Speaking of 2017, if you are looking for a few resources to help you get started on the right foot, I can highly recommend Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2017 and Do What You Love’s New Year Revolution. I’ll be working through both of them as well as a few other things in the coming days to prepare for what I hope to have happen in 2017. I hope you’ve got some good plans underway as well! Let me know about them in the comments!
Photo Friday Link-Up
Welcome to the last link-up of the year! I’m so excited to see what you have for us! We had a few issues last week due to the updating of WordPress (hopefully we won’t have an issue this week) so there technically wasn’t a link-up last week. A few of you joined us anyway, and I would encourage them to submit to this week’s link-up. I would also encourage you to take a look at what they offered last week.
Thank you all for joining us again for another year. I believe in February we will be celebrating 2 years of the Photo Friday link-up! Remember that the community is what makes the link-up awesome. The support that you give your fellow photographer bloggers is the heart and soul of this. Please take the time to visit a few others and leave some comments or share their work. We all appreciate it!
Enjoy your end to 2016 and may 2017 be blessed for you!