Monday, December 31, 2012

FAVORITE PHOTOS: 2012

To finish off the year I thought I would post some of my favorite photos from 2012.  So I put together 20 photos that I took during the calendar year.

Macro

When I put together the set of photos, I did not pay attention to how many of each category of photos that I was including.  I do a lot of macro photography and enjoy it a lot.  But when I looked over my list, only three macro shots were included.  Here they are.


I took this first shot at the Mitchell Domes in February.  I especially liked it because of the blossoms' soft, pastel colors and almost dreamlike quality.  It didn't bother me that only portions of the flowers were in focus.

The second shot was of a bromeliad that I . . . ahem . . . had gotten Geri for Mother's Day, but perhaps subconsciously thought might make an interesting photographic subject.


This shot was actually of just a portion of the central stalk of the plant that was being backlit by sunlight.

The third shot, which i converted to a B&W, is of a weed in an open field at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.


Again, the leaf was being nicely backlit by the sun.  The key was that the leaf was nearly flat, i.e., lying in a single plane, enabling me to keep the entire leaf in good focus.  It also helped that there was virtually no wind to deal with.

Architecture

Architecture is another area that I am becoming more interested in.  The first is an interior shot of Milwaukee's City Hall.  I discovered that although one is allowed to take photos inside the building, it is only after one has answered a number of questions posed by Milwaukee's finest.


The building's interior is a joy to photograph and I know I will be returning in 2013.

The shot below is from my second visit to St. Josephat's Basilica, which has a so-so exterior but an absolutely stunning interior.


In late September, I took advantage of an event known as Doors Open Milwaukee that permitted public access to Milwaukee venues not otherwise generally available.  One of these is the Mackie Building's Grain Exchange, an absolutely magnificent interior.  Here is one of a number of shots that I took there.


Another venue available for the Doors Open event was an older office building at 735 North Water Street that had recently been extensively renovated.  Perhaps the interior is not spectacular, but the following shot I got was technically very good, particularly for hand-held.


Although most of the architectural shots I picked were interior ones, I also very much liked the following exterior shot of the Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.


This building has been [photographed a million times but this shot worked because of the evening light.

Landscape

This is a fairly diverse category.  The first of these was a shot of an abandoned farmhouse near our home that I found myself going back to on a number of occasions, despite the presence of abundant no trespassing signs.  The house made a nice subject because I could capture it without any other manmade structures to complicate the composition.


I took the landscape (actually cityscape) shot below when we were visiting New York City in late January.  It was Sunday morning and there was essentially no traffic, so I could stand in the middle of the street without getting run over by a taxi.  I only wanted to capture the sunlight striking the buildings, but then noticed the family that was most likely leaving a hotel with their luggage in tow.


We spent March in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I discovered some very flat farm fields with extremely straight furrows.  My post of these shots has become far and away the most viewed post on my blog, primarily because a couple of photos from the post somehow got picked up by Google in a collection of shots of farm fields.


As I have explained in other posts, the following was a serendipitous shot that I took from my son's car while we were traveling in central Utah to do some hiking.


At first I thought the shot was a bust, but came to like it because of its impressionistic quality.

And here is a shot from one of our hikes, this one of Little Wild Horse Canyon, a really fun, and not difficult, slot canyon.


The photo's probably not as good as my memory of the hike.

The following shot was also serendipitous in a way, as I had stopped my car to get some shots of some fruit trees in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine and then noticed the fence when I had given up on the trees.  Again, I was fortunate to get some good images despite the lack of a tripod--which I failed to retrieve from my car out of sheer laziness.


The following landscape shot was more intentional, as I was looking to get some good photos of the National Mall in the morning light before a light fog was totally burned off.


I have another wider-angle shot that includes the entire Washington Monument, but I have come to like this one a bit better.  I think that the small tree in front of the monument adds a lot to the overall composition, as do the few pedestrians.

This and That

The remaining photos rounding out this collection are harder to classify.  This first is of a storage tank located in an extensive petroleum depot on the northwest side of Milwaukee.  I was taken with the shadows being created on the side of the white tank by the spiral staircase.



This was another instance where I was kicked off the premises.

The following is of a small, simple, but beautiful adobe mission located in Old Town Scottsdale.  Again, the abundant sunlight helped to make this shot.


I got lucky again during a class I was taking in night photography when I pointed my camera at what I thought were simple reflections in the Milwaukee River and discovered that the shot I got was a lot more complex than I had anticipated.


Here is another shot of "my" abandoned farmhouse that I took later in the year.  I realized that I was quickly losing my available light and took this shot just as the sun was touching the horizon.


I liked that the house was thrown into a dark, bluish shadow.

And, finally, there is the frog from Schlitz Audubon.  I actually took a number of photos of frogs, some of which were technically better than this one.  But I liked this one because it seems obvious that the frog was looking right at me.


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