My Best of 2012
2012 was a rather odd year, but a good one, altogether. I think I am making more images that I consider to be good and I am growing, photography-wise. Here-in are some of the highlights of 2012 for me.
My Favorite Image of 2012 – The Lake Louise image above wins by a nose for me. It will go into the gallery in 2013.
Most Views on Flickr – I don’t even try to figure out what gets viewed on Flickr any more. The best images have few views and odd stuff gets tons of views. It is sort of whether you tap into a special interest of some kind. The second most views are of an old mediocre image of a wild horse. Horse images get a lot of views. I have no idea who looks at Maasai tribesmen herding cattle, but somebody out there looks at them a lot.
Most Views on PhotoDeck – My own stock photography site is equally enigmatic. This image above gets the most views for a single image, but as for the most viewed subject, it would be two photos of blue lights in trees approaching the London Eye in London.
Best Selling Image of 2012 - The sundial wins in terms of stock photography sales. A tree frog wins for amount of profit from gallery sales.
Best New Software - Photoshop CS6 upgrade. I really don’t know how anyone can live without it. I upgraded Lightroom as well, but to be honest, if Bridge was faster and sharper I’d leave Lightroom in a second. It’s inefficiencies astound me, mostly because everything it does poorly is done better in Bridge, which is free with Photoshop. It’s hard to believe the same company makes both. They obviously don’t talk to each other.
Most Used Lens/Favorite Lens – This year it is the same lens for both, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR I. Usually the 600 mm is the most used lens, but this year I couldn’t afford to go to Africa or Yellowstone so shot more landscapes. Still haven’t upgraded to the VR II version because I like the one I have. Back in 2000 my trusty Nikon 80-200 lens was stolen and I replaced it with the latest version and hated the new lens. I learned my lesson about replacing a great lens just because there is a newer version out there.
Biggest Surprise - I had my first two gallery openings in 2012. And actually sold a few prints. Equally surprising was that the Oregon State football team, which was 3-9 last season, beat Wisconsin in our opener and went on to finish 9-3 this year.
Best Trip of 2012 – I have to say the Redwoods trip in May because I got two great gallery prints from that trip despite the sunny weather (you need fog and clouds for good forest photographs). I had more fun on the trip to Banff last fall. If it’s snowing, I must be on vacation.
Best Popular Book – The Hunger Games. It was a long year of starting books and setting them down out of boredom. And even though the first Hunger Games book was a page turner, the second book was unimpressive and the third book is sitting around half finished and haven’t picked it up in a week now so it obviously hasn’t gripped me. I only started it because the second book ended rather abruptly and I wanted to at least finish what should have been finished in the second book. Seems like there are no editors out there encouraging authors to cut the boring bits out these days (as in the entire first 300 pages of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
Best Photography Book – I read quite a few photography books and wasn’t wow’ed by any of them. Art & Fear was the best of the lot, though it is about art in general, not photography. The Will of the Land wasn’t a photography book, but was written by a photographer and had the best photographs of any of them.
Biggest Blunder of 2012 – Again, so much to choose from this year. In Banff I spent the first couple of days realizing why you shouldn’t not pick up a camera for a long spell. I made every beginner mistake there was to be made. But, the biggest blunder was getting giardia somewhere in Olympic National Park in Washington in July. I didn’t drink out of any rivers or creeks so I think the filter system in a back country lodge must have been inadequate. It made for an interesting couple of months afterward before I finally relented and saw my doctor who nailed the diagnosis right away. Of course, it is self-limiting – about two months for it to run its course. Go figure.
Stuff I Really, Really NEED in 2013 - My needs are small. A pittance, really. 1.) A second tripod so I don’t have to constantly switch from ball head to Wimberley head. I have a little Giotto ball head on a bracket that I can put on the Wimberley head, but it is not ideal. 2.) Wacom Intuos 5 tablet. I have an Intuos 3 tablet and use it all of the time, but it doesn’t have the pen pressure sensitivity of the newer tablet. 3.) Nikon D600. I still need to sell my D300 and I have a D3 for a backup camera body to my D4, but for a lighter travel camera body I might need a D600 if I can swing a trip to Europe this year.
Warmest Memory of 2012 – When this bull elk suddenly quit grazing and ran across the road I thought something had scared it. I carried my tripod through a ribbon of trees and on the other side was a meadow and this loony bull frolicking about like a calf. What a goofball! He was throwing his head around and changing directions just like a calf playing. I had no idea bulls did that, too. That’s my story, but an alternative less optimistic, explanation is that maybe he got a bot fly up his nose, because I’ve seen a caribou do this when he got a bot fly up his nose.