Going out on a limb here. It seems like everyone makes a list of the "best of..." or that every year gets concluded with a "hits of....(whatever year)". Well, I thought I'd give it a try, picking what I think of as photographs I've made over the past year that are worthy of being seen, along with a brief description of the picture's context.
A few ground rules: I have chosen photographs made by me that fit outside the context of portfolios or series already made. This means no "Dunes" pictures, no "Martha's Vineyard Aerials", no "Rivolta, Italy", and no "Wheat", among others. In a sense, those are already published, printed and some will even be in exhibitions soon. I am posting here pictures that are "incidental" in that they fit outside the normal scheme of things for me. As photographers, and I think we all do this, we make photographs that we think are good but don't fit into existing categories, series, or bodies of work. That's what "Hits 2012" is for. I used to do this much more, mount a show that exhibited single pictures next to single pictures, simply chosen to be printed, matted and framed because they were good enough to stand on their own. Since I've become the "Series King" , as Jason Landry, owner of Panopticon Gallery calls me, I do this far too rarely. In an effort to rectify this, here goes:
This is St. Lucia in the Caribbean. I have always liked pictures of the dense jungle. I was there for ten days in January. (Nikon D3x, 24-70mm f2.8 Nikkor, tripod)
A friend gave me the best retirement gift possible. A trip to NYC to see Keith Jarrett in a solo piano concert at Carnegie Hall in January. Heaven. (Canon S95, HH. 1/8 of a second, f4.9)
I spent much of the winter in Yuma, Arizona. I made several series while there, including the one on the site called Salton Sea. This was made the same day a little farther along the eastern edge of the lake. (Nikon D3X. 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor, HH)
This is a freight train heading east near Yuma , Arizona made from a plane in February. (Nikon D3X, 70-200 mm f2.8 Nikkor, HH with gyro stabilizer)
This is from the Cabela's store Hamburg, PA. Even though I finished the Cabela's series of pictures several years ago I can't pass up a store if I'm on the road. Nikon D800E, 70-300mm f4.5 Nikkor, tripod)
I have always liked "top of the world" photographs and "drive-up mountains". This was along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina in June. (Nikon D880E, 70-200mm f2.8 Nikkor, HH)
I've been photographing this barn and old rail road tanker car for several years now as it is near Pullman, WA where I make the wheat field pictures. (Nikon D800E, 14-24 f2.8 Nikkor, HH)
I don't know if this is cheating or not as it does have wheat in it but it also has trees and, as such, isn't in the main series of Wheat on the site. This was last August on the main road up to Spokane from Pullman, WA. Nikon D800E, 14-24mm f 2.8 Nikkor, tripod)
Many of you know the Peddock's Island photographs I made in 2005. This from last summer is from there as I have been going back to the island most summers since. Part of the plan for Peddock's is to open it up and extend its use as a camping destination for summer visitors. The island is part of the Boston Harbor Islands. Each summer crews have been going in to clear out decades worth of undergrowth. In 2011 they tore down many of the buildings I photographed in 2005. Each time I go back I discover areas I've never seen before.(Nikon D800E, 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor, HH)
This is from Hadley, MA right next to a golf driving range. This picture epitomizes what seems like a lifetime of driving aimlessly, looking for things to photograph. l didn't have a plan or a strategy. I wasn't there to make a specific group of photographs at all. I just wandered in, looking around, saw these trees from the driving range entrance, parked, got out, made one picture, put the camera and tripod back in the car and drove away. Done. (NikonD800E, 70-200mm f2.8 Nikkor, tripod)
I was in Italy for a couple of weeks in September. The last day there a group of us took a hike up a mountain near Voldatavo, where we were staying. In typical Italian style drama, the sky opened up and the sunlight came streaming down. (Nikon D800E, 70-300 mm f4.5 Nikkor, HH)
This was taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina in June, while on a field trip with students as I was teaching a workshop at Penland School of Crafts nearby. (Nikon D800E, 70-200mm f2.8 Nikkor HH)
Many of you know me as a "Vineyarder" meaning I go to Martha's Vineyard a lot. My family's summer house is on the Vineyard. But this past fall I had a chance to be on Nantucket for ten days in late October just before Hurricane Sandy hit. The island that time of year is awash in fall colors: dark maroon, rust, red and mustard (both Dijon and French's). I had a remarkable time. My friends Lauri and David live on the island and they took me around to see places I would not have otherwise seen, fed me local scallops and seduced me into loving an island we Vineyarders don't even like to acknowledge exists, let alone think of as being beautiful. Well, it is, Very. (Nikon D800E. 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor, tripod)
These last two are also from Nantucket, taken in late October, and address the dilemma of what to do with a wide lens and the sun behind you either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Seems like a no brainer to me, although occasionally I will leave the shadow in (check out the camera shadow in Sconset). Nantucket has several interior regions that are wonderfully preserved. This is an old cranberry bog that is no longer used.(Nikon D800e, 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor, HH)
So there you have it, fifteen "Hits" for 2012. On another day might I have chosen different pictures? Absolutely. Are these all Oscar worthy? Absolutely not. Did I have a good time picking them and putting this post together? Sure did. I bet you would too. Give it a try. Love photography.
HH... means hand held.
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