2014 was a good year, photographically. I took a landscape photography workshop and learned a lot, I had a few things published here and there, I experimented more than usual and I made an effort to really get to know my camera and its capabilities. I take a lot of photos, and my first cut tends to be about forty images, but nobody wants to view forty images. By the time I cut that down by about half, sometimes interesting patterns start to appear. This year, out of the final 24 shots, half of them feature water, including the one above, taken at Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. A tripod was used in six of the photos, by far the most yet. And this year features my first GoPro shot in my Best Of list. So, I hope you enjoy this glimpse at my year. I had a lot of fun living and photographing it.
The shot below was taken very near the last one, later that same morning.
I continue to try to experiment and improve with low light photography. I captured a lot of deer at dawn, this photo was taken through the windshield in my driveway.
I’ve been going to the Preakness for about twenty years, so it was a fun experience to have press credentials for this year’s event. It was hard to choose a favorite shot of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, but I keep going back to this one. Taken after the race, surrounded by throngs of fans and photographers, this horse just seemed to bask in the attention. My story and photographs about the Preakness just came out in the December/January issue of Virginia Sportsman magazine.
Monkey doesn’t like stones in the water. They all need to be removed, one at a time.
Regular readers of this blog know that Monarch butterflies were a very special part of my summer. I watched and photographed as this Monarch emerged from its chrysalis, only noticing later when I was editing the images that I had also captured a tiny spider whose web all of a sudden contained an unexpected guest.
I took hundreds of shots of seeds floating in the air for a blog post about noticing nature’s little things. Almost all of them were no good, but I only needed one!
We get a lot of different turtles around our property. I spent some time with this cool fellow.
Hiking near Calvert Cliffs, MD, my wife walked into an inchworm hanging from a branch above the path. Her delicate returning of the worm to safety on a nearby leaf became one of my favorites of the year.
Turkeys gather on the path ahead, C&O Canal Towpath, Maryland.
Photographing sporting events is pretty far outside my comfort zone, but I had a blast shooting this championship game for my friends, whose boys play on the victorious team.
I include this image because I was astonished by my camera’s low light capability. This is a hand held shot with a lot less light than it looks like here. Potomac River, looking from Virginia across to Maryland.
My favorite image from the landscape photography workshop in the Canaan Valley, WV area. I had a great time, made some new talented friends like Risha, and learned a lot from Martin, Randall and Todd.
Shortly after the landscape workshop I tried my new knowledge at Shenandoah National Park. This is the Upper Rose River in Madison County, VA.
I brought my good camera along on quite a few kayak floats this summer. On this day I hoped to get a good sunrise shot. That sunrise didn’t produce anything interesting, but after the sun came up, this scene unfolded in front of me.
This is the same Monarch pictured earlier eclosing from her chrysalis, drying her wings in the sun.
Sunset, Potomac River, Harpers Ferry, WV.
I visited Solomon’s Island, MD twice this year and thoroughly enjoyed this quaint, beautiful and fun town.
Team Orange at Rose River Farm on a beautiful summer day.
I was out early one morning hoping to photograph a big buck I had seen the previous morning while jogging on the C&O Towpath. I got stuck waiting for a train and spotted this scene, I had to get out and photograph it.
Early in the year this Sharp Shinned Hawk paused on our bird feeder while hunting our regular feeder visitors. Hawks gotta eat, too.
And finally, one of my very favorites of the year, a GoPro shot of Winnie in the front of the kayak as we float down the Potomac River near our house. This photo was published in an article I wrote about kayak fishing for Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.
I have been looking forward to spending some time in the highlands of West Virginia, a place I know and love from a long time ago. Photographers Martin Radigan and Randall Sangar gave a landscape photography workshop there, and it was the perfect place to learn how to better capture some of the incredibly beautiful scenery in the area. I had a great time, learned much and made some new friends in the process. I can’t wait to practice what I learned, trying out new techniques on some special places close to home. But, late nights and early sunrise shoots have made for both a rewarding and exhausting weekend. So forgive the lack of commentary, I am hoping for the most part the photos speak for themselves. My shutter snapped over a thousand times between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. The image above is my favorite of the weekend, and is in the running for my all time favorite. Thank you Martin, Randall and Todd Williams who was there helping out and offering his expertise as well.
From Friday night, Lindy Point. Cool, foggy sky, but the fog built until sunset was obscured. Great spot, though.
The next set of images are all from a sunrise shoot at the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in the Monongahela National Forest. I have visited this place before, decades ago, in foul weather and in the middle of the day. As is the case with most experiences of my youth, it was underappreciated at the time.
While we were shooting at Elakala Falls, pictured in the first image, a young couple waded over to pose in front of the falls. I snapped a few shots, hurrying to change from the long exposures I was just shooting to try to get a decent shot. I rarely include people in my photos, but this image of Frank and Olivia is among my very favorite people photos. Although it might be impossible to take a bad photo of Elakala Falls or Olivia, so math was on my side here.
Another shot of these beautiful falls from farther downstream. What an amazing place.
I don’t recall the name of these falls. But shooting waterfalls is a lot of fun!
This is Blackwater Falls, over sixty feet high and quite a sight to behold!
Our night photo session was interrupted by some heavy fog, but it was a blast experimenting as a group with different shots. I’m fond of this one, the twilight sky reflecting in a patch of lake before the fog rolled in.
My new friend Risha carries her camera and tripod through the fog.
I hope you enjoyed the photos from this great weekend workshop. I have a LOT to practice and work on, but I’m as enthused and excited about my photography as I’ve been in a long time, so stay tuned!