Thursday, December 31, 2015

FAVORITE PHOTOS: 2015

As usual, I am finishing the year with a post of some of my favorite photos from 2015.

Early in the year we had a day of unseasonably warm weather that coincided with a free admission day at the zoo, my only visit to the zoo during the year.  My favorites from that visit were the baboons, who seemed to be in the mood to look directly at my camera.  Here is one of those shots.


I paid a number of visits to one of my favorite architectural venues, the Basilica of St. Josaphat.  But, to be honest, most of my efforts were a revisit of prior shots.  But I was happy with the following shot from beneath one of the basilica's prominent crucifixes.


Fairly early in the year I splurged on a new camera, a full-frame sensor Nikon and wanted to revisit some of my favorites sites, knowing that I could now command wider angle shots, including this one from directly beneath the dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol.


During that visit I was also fortunate to capture a group of Hutterite girls posing for a photograph.  Their arms and similar headwear made the shot, I think.


Another familiar venue is a century-old office building in downtown Milwaukee that has been converted to a boutique hotel.  This is a shot of the central staircase in the building's atrium that I liked for the depth that the supporting pillar provided.


Another architectural venue that I visited a number of times was the Milwaukee Art Museum, particularly the Calatrava addition.  Here is a shot that I took at dusk on a summer evening.  This was one of those shots that was very time-dependent.  It needed to be late enough but not before they turn out the lights.  It also helped that it was a clear night.  This was a 4 second exposure (with tripod, of course).


Another venue I revisited was the St. Joseph Chapel on the School Sisters of St. Francis campus.  I had shot this chapel in 2014 and was anxious to return with my new camera with its ability to take wider angled shots.  It didn't disappoint, as indicated by these two photos, one of the apse ceiling and the other of the transept at the rear of the nave.



In July I tried a little night photography, including a shot of a stand-alone building and the general scene on the Milwaukee River.



These were longer exposures (15 and 13 seconds, respectively), and that really helped "calm" the water in the river in the second shot, smoothing out the reflections in the river.

In years past I have done more macro than I did in 2015.  I think part of the issue is that I have gotten more demanding in what I take and keep.  Here are a few of the keepers.




This last was of the backside of a backlit sunflower.

I also did a little landscape photography and plan to do more, as weather permits.  The first was in the spring when I caught a set of trees in full bloom.  There was some fog and I softened the shot a bit in post processing to enhance the effect.


And I wound up taking (and keeping) two different shots of the same bench and tree in Virmond Park, located on the bluff above Lake Michigan.  One featured  couple on the bench and I converted the image to a black & white to focus attention on the couple.


I took the other on a very cold predawn morning.  I kept this as a color shot to employ the dawn sky as an important element of the shot.


In the spring we visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and I took this shot of a powerful sculpture outside the main entrance to the museum.


In September we spent nearly two weeks in Italy.  Here are a few highlights from that trip.  First, the iconic duomo in Florence.  The duomo is a difficult photographic subject because it is surrounded by urban Florence and there are no clear long range shots.


We also visited the Santa Croce church and I caught this shot of an exterior colonnade that was being bathed in direct sunlight, creating a great series of shadows.


I really liked the composition in this entryway in Assisi, even though the shot's focus was a bit "soft."


I felt lucky to get the following landscape shot in the Umbrian countryside that featured some iconic cypress trees.  I thought the vertical cypresses complemented nicely the horizontal farm fields and vineyards.


On our visit to St. Peter's Basilica I wasn't sure how to try to capture the statuary atop the colonnades surrounding the great courtyard before the basilica and finally settled on a silhouetted black & white treatment.


In November we visited our daughter in Washington, D.C., and I took the following shot of a spiral staircase in the U.S. Supreme Court building.


Finally, is a shot of a steel silo on an abandoned farm a few miles from our home.  This is the sort of shot that I find myself looking for--what I refer to as a quasi-abstract.


Now it's on to the new year.

John

2 comments:

  1. What a great assortment of your pictures

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  2. So while it's true that the people make an event (and the people definitely made any event!) this space definitely adds a different dimension to it. Went to Chicago event venues for evening event and I was really impressed.

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