Tag Archives: photos

15 Images from 2011

I’m thankful to have had a chance to really stretch myself as a photographer in 2011.  Now – that doesn’t mean I nailed every shot I pointed my camera at (in fact – I missed quite a few images) – and it doesn’t mean that I shot everything on my “2011 list” – but it was a great year for learning – from having the chance to fly half around the world to deciphering some studio lighting.  In between – I had opportunities to shoot more rodeo and hot air balloons – and to teach an informal travel photography class and write an article for PhotographyBB (both were great learning curves!).

As I’ve done the last few years, I’m posting images from the year that I think sum up what could be considered some of my best work.  For folks new to this blog – I simply think this process of handpicking and culling photos from a year – the process of drawing a line in the sand – is a great exercise to really sharpen the proverbial pencil.  There’s no need to post your images on a blog or on Flickr  or Facebook – but I highly recommend trying this exercise.

In year’s past – I’ve posted 10 images – and then I quickly followed up with “ten more”.  Well – this year – I decided to simply post 15 images without a follow up.  Maybe next year – I can actually get myself to only 10.  🙂

It’s probably not surprising – but this year’s list is heavily weighted with images from Uganda (6 photos).

Also – maybe not surprising – buts something that struck me after I compiled this list – many of the images – at least in my opinion – had a lighting element that could be considered striking or extraordinary.

Are these my “15 best”?  Maybe some of these would make that list – it’s hard to say exactly.  Regardless – I hope they represent a range of some of my better images from the year.

So – here you go – in no particular order – 15 images from 2011.  And – if you have any feedback – please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.

Fishermen on Lake Victoria.

2011 top images-4

Playing with sparklers (+ long exposure).

2011 top images-8 Traffic on Highway 99.

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I was taking some photos inside this classroom between classes – and this girl was just drawing on the board.

2011 top images-15

At the Northwest Art & Air Festival.

2011 top images-1

Boda-boda drivers outside of Kampala, Uganda.

2011 top images-6

Steer wrestling at the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo.

2011 top images-12

Rough stock riders prepare at the Benton County Rodeo.

2011 top images-3

Green heron fledgling.

2011 top images-9

Hot air balloons at sunrise.

2011 top images-17Rain at Rally for Life in Salem, Oregon.

2011 top images-14

Sunrise.  Uganda.

2011 top images-5

Carver at the carousel in Salem, Oregon.

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Boy playing at a school in Kampala.

2011 top images-7

From the back of a boda-boda outside of Kampala.2011 top images-16

7 Resources for Tips on Photowalks

parking meter 1a - low res This post is for all of the folks who every now and then find themselves walking around with a camera.

So – in no particular order – here are some resources to help you with your next strolling gig:

Corvallis Photo Walk and Photographing at the Farmers’ Market

photowalk300x250Well – on 1 October – in less than two weeks – it’ll be Worldwide Photo Walk day.  If you’re looking for more details on a walk near you – look here – and if you want to know more about the Corvallis walk – check here for more details.

At the time of this post – there were over 1,000 locations worldwide – and almost 20,000 registered photo walkers.

Again – the cool part about this walk is that regardless of your skill level – you’re welcome! Snap photos with your cell phone?  Find a walk!  Compose images and regularly hang your stuff in galleries? Come on out!  You only take photos of your kids running around with your point & shoot – and occasionally on holidays?  Seriously – what are you doing on 1 October?

This year – the Corvallis walk will include some of the early hours of the farmers’ market.  And so, even if you’re not in Corvallis – hopefully you’ll dig this article I recently read from ePhotoZine on shooting at the market.

And just for a bit of inspiration / brainstorming / thinking through what you might find at a market – here are a few galleries for you to flip through.  Enjoy!

Valeri Lopez & Andrea Hamilton

I had the opportunity to shoot a combined gig the other night with Valeri and Andrea at Bombs Away Cafe here in Corvallis.  Bombs (as the locals refer to it) is a great little restaurant / bar in its own right, featuring Mexican themed food with a good NW tap selection.

As for Valeri and Andrea – they are two twenty-something Christian singer / songwriters with stunning voices.  Had briefly met Valeri at a Passover celebration held annually by some mutual friends – but hadn’t the opportunity to chat with her – and Andrea I hadn’t met before.  Another mutual friend connected us for the shoot (thanks, Michelle!).  As for the night’s images, well, it was dark in there – and the available light was funky.  The “focused” light on stage came from two clamp lights from the local neighborhood big-box home improvement store with gels on them (blue on one & red on the other) along with rope lighting wrapped over branches hanging from the ceiling (can’t make stuff like this up).  There was some other lighting in the place – but it wasn’t really where I could use it.  And for the color shots – it actually created two zones for white balance.  Weird.

Typical of my light gear list – I only brought the 24mm f/2.8 on the 20D.  I kind of wished I’d thrown in the 50mm f/1.8 (even with its broken auto / manual focus switch) – probably could have used a different perspective.  Typically for gigs – I go with available light (didn’t even bring the flash) – as musicians in small venues don’t really like flash – and it’s pretty distracting for the audience.  I was shooting ISO 800 or 1600 – and that was often at f/2.8 with a shutter speed of 1/20 or 1/25 (handheld).  Yeah, pretty slow – but just trying to get as many photons on that sensor as possible.  I battled noise and pulled out the trusty Noise Ninja.  Lost some dynamic range shooting at the high ISO settings.  Also – these are nice gals – and delivering gritty B&W or super color-saturated images just doesn’t seem right for some reason.  Morally wrong?  Well, no – but it just feels funny.  We’ll have to wait and see what they think.

So, in self defense (against grim, funky lighting), I flipped on “photojournalism” – but to be honest – it’s not quite what I pictured going into this shoot.

They say (you know, those “they”) it’s not about the gear, it’s about the photographer.  And in many cases, “they” are right.  But – there are times when you simply must sink cash into the gear to get the compelling shot.  After reviewing these images – I have to say that I can see the case for something like a Nikon D3 (don’t tell my Nikon friends that I just typed that) – I can hope that something like the 50D delivers with that ISO 12800.

To that – I think there might be a couple of reasonable shots – but I have to say – I was hoping for a bit more.  Maybe they’ll let me try again?  Here’s a few – let me know what you think.  -Jones