A Productive Year

Considering that I started out the year planning to take it easy on picture taking in order to get something done other than add to my ever-increasing backlog of image processing, I still managed to burn almost 10,000 images this year! For people who spend a lot more time pressing the button than I do that’s a busy week, but for me that’s a BUNCH!

For the last couple of years I have been keeping a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish. My goals for 2008 set a pretty high bar for someone who does this part-time and for fun while trying to have a somewhat normal life and pay sufficient attention to my lovely companion, assistant and steadying influence (that would be Kathy). Despite all the distractions of Real Life I managed to get some things done:

(1) I created and distributed to potential clients a list of my existing stock inventory.
(2) I started and regularly updated my photo blog,
(3) I totally revamped my website and kept it updated with my best and most recent work. MAJOR BIGGIE and thanks Neon Sky!
(4) I finally put together a group of my Greenway images for a public show. Yeah, it was just a show at a local art-in-the-park show but it was a START.
(5) I prepared and presented a talk on Digital Workflow with Lightroom to our local CNPA chapter.
(6) I had two images published in one new publication (Blue Ridge Country)

The two unfinished biggies from 2008 that I had just moved to the top of the list for 2009 were (1) to finally get around to sending some of my images into a local stock agency and to (2) develop a process for registering my copyrights. Welllll, just this weekend and just under the wire, I started working on that stock agency project. I now have on my desk a stack of 10 DVDs, containing about 2600 of my images from 2004 to today. They’ll go to the agency on Monday, and that will cross one more thing off my list for 2008. I now have a process in place using Smart Collections in Lightroom to automatically put new images into a folder for future submissions.

According to my calculations I’ve processed about 1000 of those 10000 images and have another 1500 or so “picks” to process or toss, so I still have my work cut out for me. But there’s still a lot of winter to go!

Merry Christmas!

It’s nice to have a few days away from the office from my Day Job, although I am technically Working From Home on Friday and do need to get some work done while I am here. The commute is certainly better than usual!

One of a number of door images taken on our walk around Old San Juan (Puerto Rico) on our recent cruise. I thought the wreath on this door made it appropriate for a Christmas Day post.

I hope to do some more posting over the weekend, depending on what other responsibilities crop up.

Vacation Photos!

I just posted a gallery of images from our recent cruise aboard Celebrity Solstice. Click on this link for the gallery, and enjoy. It’s not a comprehensive travelogue, and will disappoint anyone looking for complete coverage of the ship or the islands, but I was On Vacation and trying to act like it! I do think I came back with a number of nice shots.

Angles and Clouds

We just returned from our annual cruise, this year aboard the almost-brand-new Celebrity Solstice. What a beautiful ship and what a wonderful vacation! It’s Kathy’s reward for following me around the mountains in October and November chasing fall color.

One afternoon while lounging by the pool I happened to notice these glass panels that serve as a wind break between sections of the deck. From certain angles they reflected the clouds, but I just liked the way the shapes interacted with the clouds, without reflection. I didn’t even have to get out of my chair for this shot – proof that if you look around you’ll be amazed at what you can find.

I’ll be posting some more of these artsy shots as well as some vacation snaps soon!

Snow Job!

Our latest magazine assignment was to shoot photos for an article about Banner Elk, NC for the January/February issue of WNC magazine. Since the article is to feature activities in the winter months, and since Banner Elk is known for being a ski destination, we kinda needed to get some snow to make it look like someplace you’d actually go and ski, right?

I was sweating this one, because I needed to have the photos turned in around the beginning of December, I really wanted to get some snow shots, and most importantly, it doesn’t usually snow very much there in November, and when it does it doesn’t always stick around very long. I also don’t have any more unscheduled vacation days from my day job, so it would be really convenient for me if it would snow on, say, a Friday so I could go there on a Saturday.

Needless to say, luck was a-shinin’ on me, because this past Thursday night and Friday morning Banner Elk got about 6 inches of the beautious white stuff. Add that up with a really helpful marketing director at Sugar Mountain Resort and Kathy & I copped a trip on the chair lift to the top of 5300′ Sugar Mountain! Lots of ski and snowboard shots, and everything just looked so nice and winterly with a good coat of snow.

This view is from the top of Sugar Mountain looking down over Banner Elk and the Elk River Valley. Those tracks in the foreground? The ones that look like they lead off a cliff? They lead to an actual ski trail called Boulder Dash, which is a not-for-sissies black diamond trail. I didn’t think I would try to look over the edge!

2009 Calendar Available!

My primary goal for this weekend was to complete my 2009 calendar, which I offer for sale to friends and co-workers each year. The price is a mere $20, which essentially covers my cost to print them. If I order enough I do get a quantity discount, but it doesn’t even cover the cost of the few that I give away as gifts and promotional items.

This year’s theme is “A Year of Color” and consists of 12 images from 2008. A complete sample of the images can be found at my website. Click on the “2009 Calendar” link. Contact me by 11/30/08 at the link on my website to order a copy.

Snow Geese!

I am now hopelessly behind. I made the mistake last night of adding up the number of images I have taken since and including our trip to the coast in September. With the exception of a few images I have processed and those done and turned in for magazine assignments I now have approximately 5000 images to edit and process. Yikes and thank goodness for Lightroom!

A number of people have asked about the Snow Geese we shot at Chincoteague this past weekend. What an amazing trip and a wonderful place to photograph! More to come on that.

This was a quick one to answer some questions I had gotten about what Snow Geese look like. Here are a bunch of them!

Even More Fall

Starting to wade back through the images from the last several weeks. This was one of those “stop-the-car-I’ve-got-to-shoot-this” moments. Found along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, just south of Fancy Gap.

For anyone interested the tractor is a McCormick-Deering Farmall F-14, probably 1939-ish.

Small Scenes and Abstracts

Kathy and I spent what will officially be our last fall weekend of the year in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is just about our favorite place in the world. One of my favorite spots for fall color in the Smokies is the Tremont area, on the Tennessee side but away from the mayhem of Cades Cove and Gatlinburg. Tremont is an out of the way gem with plenty of places for exploring, from literally steps to miles from the road.

I love capturing small scenes that give the impression of huge color, especially reflections of sunlit trees in shaded water. This particular rock was in an area of stream that was simultaneously reflecting yellow leaves and deep blue sky. I juiced the colors just a little for contrast but this is really what it looked like.

More to come as I get caught up on processing!

More Fall

I came across this gem from last week’s trip to Brevard and had to share. This was shot from Cherry Cove Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. See the previous post for the story about how this stop turned out to be the three hour shooting extravaganza of the weekend. This is one of my favorites and I am dying for time to see how it looks when printed!

Photographs and stuff!