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Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Top Ten Images From 2013!

Picking my favorite images each year is always a tough thing to do. It would be nice to say that it is hard to decide because I shoot so many wonderful images but the subjective nature of the process is what really makes it difficult. It is much like judging a photo contest with several other judges. You like an image but the other two judges don't. Then you and judge #2 like an image but #3 says "this doesn't do much for me". Such is the nature of the beast! I did get some feedback from several friends and family before finalizing the choices. Several opinions were given but nothing strong enough to make me change things much. 
Another thing that helped make the choices difficult is that most of these have several very similar versions that are also on my web site. Horizontal or Vertical? This angle or that angle? Most of the time they all work well...but which is the best? I welcome your comments. If you like a different version of one of these ten then feel free to say so in the comments. You might also see one on my web site that I took this year that you feel I overlooked. One thing you might also notice is this...I am becoming quite the night stalker. Almost all of these were taken well after sunset.

Looking to the Stars

I have put these images in the order that they were created during the year.  I will also give you a little information about each. The image above was taken at the Very Large Array about 40 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico.When I finished shooting on this cold February night the temp gauge on the car said 10 degrees.

 Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

While I was in Kansas City for a show in  May I had several evenings to shoot the downtown area. I didn't really have a plan the first night but as soon as I saw the Kauffman Center it was like "where do I park the car". The building is really a photographer's dream. I spent the entire evening shooting it from different angles.

 Fulton Beach Fishing Pier #2

 I was in town for the Rockport Art Festival which is held over Fourth of July weekend. Somehow during previous visits I had missed the green LED lights of the pier on nearby Fulton Beach. Not this time.

 Devon Energy Tower and Sculpture

 I had photographed the Devon Tower the previous year and felt the area was worth exploring some more when I was back in town Labor Day weekend. I couldn't resist combining this interesting sculpture with Oklahoma City's tallest building in the background.

 Pensacola Pier

Last year I bough several neutral density filters in order to take long exposures lasting several minutes. I really had not used them very much but from seeing other photographer's work they were usually most effective when you have moving clouds or water that will blur heavily during a long exposure. Spending a November evening on Pensacola Beach was a good opportunity to see what they could do. I was pleased with this 3 1/2 minute exposure.

 A Nice Place to Swing

One of my favorite places to fish and photograph is Caddo Lake on the Texas-Louisiana border. I was blessed with a clear and calm night to shoot this dock that was built around one of the many Bald Cypress trees that grows in the lake. The light was coming from a nearby boathouse.

McDonald Observatory and the Milky Way

The drive to my last art show of the year provided me with several of my top images. I had planned to take several days to get to El Paso, Texas and do some photography on the way. The first day I detoured off the interstate about 40 miles in order to shoot the McDonald Observatory after dark. Most of the drive from Dallas had been cloudy but the skies cleared around sunset and I had some great conditions for picking up the Milky Way above the telescope domes. Be sure and check out the similar images on the web site. There were numerous winners from this nights shoot.

Guadalupe Reflections #2

The following day I drove to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I was a little late for fall color but recent rains had a salt flat flooded that was just west of the park. The winds were dead calm at sunset and the reflections of El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak could not have been better.


 The Light From Within

After sunset I drove a few miles down the road to some abandoned buildings and did some light painting. I shot numerous versions with different colored gels on my flash, but this version definitely worked the best.

Futuro Home With Green Light

I have driven by this abandoned Futuro Home for years on my way to the lake. A clear December night with a full moon was just the time to make the 45 minute drive to photograph this structure which looks much like a spaceship that has landed. Unlike the previous photo, I used an LED light with a colored gel to provide the light for the inside. The light coming down the steps was made with a green flashlight.
I hope you have enjoyed these and have a very Happy New Year!