2015 is a wrap. Here are some of my favorite shots from the past year, ranging from travel pictures to my mundane daily commute.
I began 2015 with a trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, to find some quiet, drink good beer, and eat plenty of great food. It was very cold, but when a warmer front finally came in, the result was a beautiful foggy evening.
In February, I received my Samyang 14 mm lens as well as my first (of three, due to product defects) Vello Shutterboss. After work, I strolled down to the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin to take some shots. This moody number is my favorite from the month. Were I to revisit it in processing, I would probably lighten it a bit and make the tree shadows on the left side of the frame pop a bit. I processed this in Aperture (and likely NIK Silver Efex Pro). Had I known of Lightroom’s versatility, I would have moved away from Aperture earlier.
I am a big Washington Wizards fan, but rarely bring my camera to games. This time, I decided to do so and managed to capture John Wall on a breakaway dunk against the Pacers. The coloring strikes me as off, but then I watch a game on TV and remember that this is stadium lighting – not fantastic. Still, the red seems a big magenta-ish to me. One thing I really like about this photo is that it is reminiscent of a Where’s Waldo drawing. Another thing I like is that while there is a lot to look at – individuals in the crowd, teammates waiting in anticipation, et cetera, one’s eyes are instinctively drawn to Wall as he elevates toward the rim.
Travel ended up being the name of the game in April and May. In April, I visited New York City (and Grand Central Terminal) and camped with wild ponies on Assateague Island. While the weather turned a bit too dreary for enjoyable camping, Assateague is always beautiful. You’re not supposed to touch the ponies because they can be surly and because they carry a lot of ticks. That didn’t stop this girl from bonding with her favorite pony. The range of responses this shot elicits is great: some find it gross; some find it cute; and some find it funny.
I took a lot of photos in May. I traveled to Pittsburgh for fun and to Troy, Hudson, and Brooklyn to play music. During the rest of the month, I took a lot of pictures on Metro (DC’s subway system) and at events like the WWII Flyover (commemorating the 70th anniversary of VE Day).
video magic (Dave Vosh at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center)
This photo was taken using my Samyang 14mm lens. I’ve always enjoyed the DC Metro’s brutalist architecture. The lighting is rather yellow (perhaps sodium bulbs?) so making the photo monochrome is both easier and frequently more aesthetically pleasing. This photo is chock full of leading lines and symmetry, as well as a fair amount of variance in grey tones.
I caught this seal snagging chum from fishing boats arriving at the Chatham Fish Pier. The gull was doing the same and this seal knew it.
I finally picked up a National Parks Pass on my trip with friends to Shenandoah. One of my goals on this trip was to photograph the Milky Way. Big Meadows, in Shenandoah National Park, is a great spot to watch the stars. I, however, being nearly alone in a National Park for the first time, was scared of bears, so I didn’t have a lot of patience. It didn’t help that I forgot my tripod. Orion is my favorite constellation, though, and catching it rising over this grove of trees made the late night excursion worthwhile.
Orion (Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia)
My friend and fellow photographer Cody Williams frequently asks me to join him on walks around town taking photos. I rarely agree to do so. The last time we went out, I took this photo, which is one of my all time favorites. I really like the color, the ghostly stairs, and how monolithic the brick building appears.
I walked around taking a lot of photos in October, but most of my time was spent making music. This anonymous and vaguely unsettling bus, though, really caught my eye as it barreled down 9th Street near the Washington Convention Center. Also vaguely unsettling – I had a nice ride on a completely dark Metro car a few days before Halloween. I don’t think WMATA was trying to heighten the Halloween vibe intentionally, but it was pretty cool to have the car illuminated solely by tunnel lights.
“Turkey for Turkey Day!” I shouted as I booked my flight on Turkish Airlines in August for a Thanksgiving trip. I took over 5,000 photos in Turkey over 11 days. Go to Turkey. It’s beautiful. The food is delicious. The people are incredibly hospitable.
I ended the year where I began it – in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This is a long exposure (20 seconds) lighted by the boardwalk behind me. I really love the colors of the inversion and the receding water. I also really like the detail of the shells and the contrast between the shells and skeleton and the sand.
2015 was a great year for me in terms of learning – I learned a ton regarding processing (in Lightroom, specifically) and how to improve my composition. I hope 2016 is equally as educational… we’ll see!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!