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The Year in Review

How do you evaluate your photography for the year?  I think it’s important to review the year, but there are a number of perspectives.  I took about 30,000 images in 2014 – pretty typical for me, but a lot of images considering I did not have a major bird or wildlife photography trip.  Here are some images that were among my personal favorites.

Rocky Mountains National ParkStaton Rose GardenLeConte Lodge

Through the year I share a lot of images on Facebook and other social media sites.  For the most part, I only share images I really like – images of a quality level I would print them and hang them on my wall.  The images are all edited and sized for the web.  It’s a single folder that is synched to my iPad, iPhone, and maintained for a quick reference to my better images.  I maintain one folder per year.  This year there were about 250 images in that folder – with several bunches related to events or trips.

Golf - PGA Tour ChampionshipGolf - PGA Tour Championship

For me, the year in review starts with a calendar for family members and close friends.  The calendar is made of my favorite images, but selected in a way that tells the story of the year and maintains a seasonal perspective.  The use of a calendar limits me to twelve images – out of 30,000.  My calendar for this year has 12×12 photos, so crop size and orientation does play a part.  In creating the calendar, I start with the images in my social media folder for the year and pick the images that are the best candidates, then narrow them to the final twelve.  Here are some examples from the top 30 images.

Arizona    Monument ValleyMonument Valley

Jekyll Island - Driftwood Beach SunriseJekyll IslandJekyll Island - Historic Landing SunsetJekyll Island - Driftwood Beach Fog

Rocky Mountains National ParkRocky Mountains National ParkRocky Mountains National ParkRocky Mountains National Park

I made it a point to explore creative views and subjects during the year.  Here are a few examples of non-traditional images.

Chattahoochee Nature CenterStaton Rose GardenJekyll Island - Driftwood Beach Patterns

One of my favorite activities is photographing fox hunting.  In reality, it’s really chasing coyotes and their scent, and the coyotes are rarely caught.  But it’s a beautiful, rugged sport filled with tradition.

Belle Meade Opening Hunt 2014Belle Meade Opening Hunt 2014Belle Meade Opening Hunt 2014

Another view of the year is based on technical information based on EXIF data.  Lots of data is retained in image files.  I use a free program called WEGA2 to create charts covering focal length, ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds.  For example, I created a chart of the data for my images in the 2014 folder of web sized JPEG files mentioned above.  It was interesting to see that I have a lot more long exposure images than high ISO images.  It’s also obvious I like wide landscapes using my 16-35 and 24-70 lenses.  I can also see a group of images with my 105mm macro.  There is a wide range of images from my 70-200 lens, and a good number with my 600mm lens.  Surprisingly, I don’t have that many images in the 300-500mm range – but it’s because I did not spend much time with a heavy wildlife emphasis.  Clearly, landscape and macro dominates my images.

2014 webpost image data

I don’t try to pick a best image – although I may have several that move to the top.  That’s not the point. I don’t take 30,000 photos for a single image, but rather a portfolio of work that represents my interests, style, and preferences.  And the review does cause me to look at the variety of image types and to expand certain areas.  For example, I really liked a number of my black and white images – a high proportion compared to the total number.  In the coming year I’ll probably have a lot more bird photos, more wildlife – particularly zoo images, and increased diversity across different lighting conditions.

How was your year?


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