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My Favorite Photos from 2013

Happy Holidays!  I hope that all of you, your families, and your friends have a joyful and happy holiday season!

The end of the year is a good time to review results and contemplate how to improve any endeavor, and photography is no exception.  I’ve put together these “Favorite photos of the year” posts since 2009.  This is a hard process for any photographer.  For me, it’s difficult to separate my opinion about a photograph from emotional connections that I might have with the subject, scene, or situation.  But making this effort is important and part of the learning process.  I don’t claim to be objective –  these are simply the photos that I like best.  Feel free to disagree, but I hope you’ll enjoy looking at the ones I’ve picked.

You can click on each of these to go to Flickr and see a larger version.  Or you can click on this link to view the complete set on Flickr.

My number 1 favorite photo of 2013:
A dream, gone

 A dream is gone, in the harbor, at dawn; Cocoa, Florida; October.  

I have a thing for sunken boats and when I briefly glimpsed this one while out with a group, I had to go back later and make a photo.  See this post for more info.

My number 2 favorite photo of 2013:

Cloud Gate (AKA "the bean")

 Cloud Gate (AKA “the bean”); Chicago’s Millennium Park; Chicago, Illinois; September.  

I made many photos that I like during my first visit to Chicago last September.  This one is my favorite from that trip.  See this post for more info.

My number 3 favorite photo of 2013:
Partial eclipse of the sun

 Partial eclipse of the sun; Cocoa Beach Pier, Florida; November.

I almost didn’t get to make this photo since I was late finding out about the eclipse.  It’s a bit different from most sunrise photos I make because I used a long telephoto lens to emphasize the sun instead of a wide-angle lens.  The three people watching with me from the end of the pier were a bonus.  See this post for more info.

My number 4 favorite photo of 2013:
You otter not interupt me

You otter not interrupt me; Viera Wetlands, Florida; November.  

This river otter was having a morning dust bath on the dirt road through Viera Wetlands.  It stopped and watched me for a bit when I got out of my car to make this photo, but then ignored me and finished before sliding back into the water.

My number 5 favorite photo of 2013:

Brewing storm

 Storm clouds over the Everglades; Everglades National Park, Florida; April.

We had a wonderful expedition to the Keys, Everglades, and Dry Tortugas in April.  This photo of a pine tree and grass reflecting from the inches deep water in the Everglades “river of grass” is my favorite landscape from that trip. See this post for more info.

My number 6 favorite photo of 2013:
Reading

Reading; St. Augustine, Florida; August.

St. Augustine is full of photo ops.  I really liked the symmetry of the columns in this scene and how they led my eye towards the man reading on the bench.  See this post for more info.

My number 7 favorite photo of 2013:
Sea oats

Sea oats; Howard Park, Tarpon Springs, Florida; August

I noticed this scene while wandering around not expecting to find anything to photograph.  Another lesson in “keep your eyes open”.

My number 8 favorite photo of 2013:
Resting behind mom

 Resting behind mom; Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, Florida; March.

We spent time in “Primate World” watching the family of Orangutans.  The young one (I think this is RanDee, born in August 2008) was full of energy, swinging all around on the platforms and ropes.  The adults watched her with very human-like  ”where does she get the energy” looks.  Finally, RanDee rested for a bit behind her mom (DeeDee) and I was able to make this photo.  See this post for more info.

My number 9 favorite photo of 2013:
The Chapel on the Rock (Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel)

The Chapel on the Rock (Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel); Allenspark, Colorado; July.

This is south along Route 7 out of Estes Park on the grounds of the Saint Malo Retreat.  We had no idea it was there, but when we drove by and saw the scene, I had to stop and photograph it.  It’s a multi-photo, hand-held panorama processed in Photoshop and Lightroom.  See this post for more info.

My number 10 favorite photo of 2013:
Not sleeping

Not sleeping; Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary, Tampa, Florida; August.

To me, this photo symbolizes what we learned about the plight of captive large cats and primates while visiting two rescue organizations near Tampa.  See this post for more info.

If you’d like to see my favorite photos from earlier years, click on these links: 200920102011, and 2012.

I hope you’ve had a great photo 2013 too. If you send me a link or leave one in the comments, I’ll be sure to take a look at your favorites.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now – go make some more favorites of your own!
©2011 – 2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Review and Reprocess

Sometimes after a photo shoot, I’ll skip over images if I’m short on time or something looks too hard to deal with.  Other times, I may play with a photo for a while and then set it aside when I just can’t seem to get it right.  When I learn a new technique or get a new software package or upgrade I try to go through my image library and pick out existing photos that could benefit from the new capability.  And yes, I also notice images that no longer look as good to me as they did at first.  Something I did a few years ago may have seemed great then – but tastes change.

I use Lightroom to catalog my photos and I have a keyword called “Process” with three sub-keywords “Color”, “pano”, and “other”.  Using these, I mark photos I want to revisit and I’ve built up a collection of them for future processing.  I had a little time this week to go through and pick three to work on:

Reflections at Kelly Park
Kelly Park Reflections:  Merritt Island, Florida, February 19, 2013. The water was amazingly calm that morning and I like the reflections as well as the detail / lights on the horizon.  I  bypassed this image at first because of trouble with the white balance.  This time through the result is much closer to the look I wanted.

Main Sanctuary of the Cathedral Basilica
The Main Sanctuary of the Cathedral Basilica, Saint Augustine, Florida, February 28, 2013.  Black and white infrared.  I don’t remember why I didn’t finish this photo back in February.  I like the light, detail, and tonality.

Three more cypress trees
Three more cypress trees:  Blue Cypress Lake, near Fellsmere, Florida, June 2, 2012. False color infrared.  Since IR doesn’t capture color as your eye sees it, color conversions are very subjective.  As I gain experience, my tastes are changing.  This version is very different from how I processed other IR photos at the time.

So, some recommendations:

  • If you’re struggling with an image, don’t delete it.  Mark it and move on.  Come back and revisit it later.
  • Organize, document, and keyword your images so you can find hidden gems to re-process.
  • Review your photo library occasionally.  Your photography skills and tools aren’t static.  So your portfolio shouldn’t be static either.  Revise older images and make them better.  You might be surprised what comes out of your archives.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go revise some photos!

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

A few photos from St. Augustine

I visited St. Augustine, Florida last week with fellow Photography Interest Group member Tom M. It’s a high density photo-op  environment and if you haven’t ever been there you really should go.  We only spent a few hours, but we saw interesting things to photograph almost everywhere we looked.  Here are a few examples:

Three trees, their  shadows, and the  Castillo de San Marco
Three trees, their shadows, and the Castillo de San Marcos

Bottoms up
Bottoms up – The St. Augustine Lighthouse staircase

Alcove in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
Alcove in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

Whistling waters
Whistling waters

I’ve written about this town several times before. You can browse through those posts by selecting the category from the pull down on the right (or click this link). And you can visit this set on Flickr to see other images from St. Augustine.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

There’s more than birds in St. Augustine

I have many entries in this blog about the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and it is a great place for bird photography.

But you shouldn’t visit St. Augustine just to watch the birds – it has many other photogenic settings.  In this post, I’ll show you a few that you should consider seeing.  Make sure you click the links that I’ve inserted into the captions below for more information.  You can also visit my St. Augustine set on Flickr to see these and other photos I’ve made there.

Interior of the Lightner Museum, St. Augustine, Florida

Mission of Nombre De Dios:  This cross marks the spot of the first mass offered in the new world’s first settlement.

Chapel and candles

Chapel and candles:  The interior of the Our Lady of La Leche Shrine, at the Mission of Nombre De Dios

Three boatsQuiet bay near the Mission de Nombre de Dios

A view of the Fort Matanzas southern rampartA view of the Fort Matanzas southern rampart.  Also, see my previous post for a view of the Castillo de San Marcos.

©2010, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.