The year in photos, Happy New Years!
Happy New Years every one! I thought that I’d take this occasion to look back at the last year as seen in my photos. Of course I’ll start with January 2015, in the middle of one of our coldest winters on record.
We had a January thaw, although short-lived…
…as the waves breaking against the lighthouse soon froze so that it looked like this.
Moving on to February, the cold and snow continued. I spent a day at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo shooting photos of the warbirds there.
Mostly because it was too cold and snowy to spend a lot of time outdoors that month.
I did venture to Muskegon on occasion, since there were several snowy owls there.
March saw a little improvement in our weather.
Spring tried to break through in April.
But, spring didn’t really get here until May.
June was mild, some would call it cool, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The cool trend continued through July.
We didn’t have a heat wave until late in August.
The heat lasted through September.
October brought the first signs of fall.
It seems like November was just yesterday.
Now then, here’s the boring stuff. The weather here took a dramatic turn for the worse the day after Christmas, it’s much more like a normal winter with near constant cloud cover now. I returned to Muskegon on the Sunday after Christmas, and I haven’t decided if I’ll post any photos from that trip, due to the bad lighting that day. Also, since a new year is about to begin, I’m thinking of deleting most, if not all of the photos that I still have leftover from last year that I had saved to blog at a later date.
It’s not that the photos are terrible, some of them are actually good, but they aren’t of anything that I won’t be shooting more photos of this year as the year progresses. I’m still mulling over whether I should do the out with the old, in with the new thing to begin the new year. While some of the photos that I have saved are okay, I’m sure that I’ll do better this coming year.
I do know that I’m going to revive the My Photo Life List series of posts, where I’ll do a post on one species of bird at a time as I attempt to get a photo of every species of bird regularly seen in Michigan, with the photos good enough that the species of bird is recognizable in my photos. I began that project in January of 2013, now, it’s three years later, and I’m well over 200 species of birds photographed. However, I’m still well below 200 posts in the series, since I was doing other posts all summer and fall of this year. Instead of posting crappy photos taken in the poor light of winter here, I’ll do some catching up in that series. Not that the photos that I have saved to use in that series are all great, they’re not, but that’s the way it goes when I’m chasing some of the rarer species that I don’t see very often.
However, as I’ve been saying recently, the average quality of my images continues to improve. Look at the snowy owl photos above, and then compare them to these that I shot on Christmas day, less than a year apart.
And, I throw in one more of the landscape photos from Christmas day to round out this year which also highlights the improvement in my photos.
By the way, I failed to mention in my last post that all the landscapes images, including the moonrise, were shot with the 7D Mk II, not the 60D that I normally use. I really don’t see very much difference between those two cameras for that purpose, so I see no reason to take the time to change all the settings on the 7D to use it for landscapes.
You know, I’m certainly an odd duck, as much as my photos have improved, it only drives me to try harder to continue improving them even more, and I can still see plenty of room for improvement.
So, then the question is as it always is, do I wait until I get an excellent photo to post, post just the better ones that I get, or continue on as I have, which has included some really crappy shots at times. The photo of the raccoon in this post is a good example of that. It’s a cute photo, of the raccoon taking over a nesting box to stay dry on a day when there was a light misty rain falling. In a recent post, I added photos of mallards flying in the fog, and while fog may make many landscape photos more interesting, it doesn’t work well when shooting birds in flight.
There’s my quandary, one of these days, the birds may not be mallards but something special, and I have to be ready that chance if it comes. Shooting those types of images require as much or more practice and learning than do photos taken in good light. The question remains, do I continue to post a few of my practice shots, or, do I take advantage of good lighting such as what there was on Christmas day, and post just those photos?
That question becomes harder to answer, as a couple of commenters here also have a Canon 7D Mk II, and have noted that they appreciate my passing along what I learn about it. I was talking to a fellow birder/photographer on Sunday, who asked me what camera I was using. When I told him the 7D, he replied that he was thinking of purchasing one himself. So, I explained a few of the things that I like most about it, including having the two rear buttons give me completely different settings instantly, and let him play with it for a while as we chatted. I think that Canon will be selling another 7D very soon. 😉
Even if some one isn’t using the same camera that I am, I hope that I’m able to pass on what I learn as I learn it.
Okay, who am I trying to kid? It dawned on me today while I was out for my walk that I’m not going to change, not very much any way. When I envisioned this post, it was going to be of my very best images of the past year, but as soon as I began selecting the actual photos that I’ve used, I often reverted back to using my favorites, even if they weren’t the best technically. I may as well come to grips with that and stop worrying about it, because as soon as I see a bird eating something that I’ve never seen them eat before, I’m going to shoot photos of that. Then, I’m probably going to use that photo here…
…even if the photo isn’t very good technically. That’s because what drives my photography is my interest in nature in the first place. It’s my love of nature that’s behind my desire to improve my images, to learn what I can through photographing birds and other critters, capturing moments like that which show me what and how a particular species of bird eats what it does. Then, there’s my desire to share what I learn with others, both in what I learn about nature, and the technical side of photography.
Now that I think of it, there’s a lot to be learned from that photo. One, to get close to birds, learn what they eat, and hang out where you find the foods that they prefer, and photograph them while they are preoccupied as they are filling their stomachs. That’s the nature side of it. The photography side is to learn Photoshop, so that you could change the dull, grey, overcast sky to a more pleasing blue sky, and also to remove the out of focus branches behind the bird. 😉
With all that said, there’s nothing else to say other than Happy New Years every one, and may 2016 be the best year ever for all of you!
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!