Little Tree in The South Window, Arches National Park, Utah
Tag Archives: New Year
My last post described my New Year’s Eve experience in London. This post shows you the results. The fireworks display lasted around 11 minutes. I used my Canon 1DX and 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, set the ISO to 5000, shutter to 1/50 of a second, aperture was f/4 and I just left it at that for these photos. I had to use some noiseware (Imagenomic) reduction software during the editing phase.
Some of these images bring to mind an abstract painting. All of these images bring to mind an incredible event.
I can’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous post or not (without going back and re-reading my posts), but the main reason I took a December vacation to London was because I saw a photo, earlier in the year, of the 2015 fireworks over the London Eye. I was so taken with that image that, as a photographer, I knew I had to be right there for the 2016 fireworks.
In case you aren’t aware, they now ticket this event (£10), and if you don’t have a ticket to present at the event, you don’t get in. After I’d purchased and received my ticket to the Embankment (blue) section, it turns out the hotel at which I stayed bestowed to its guests wrist bands to the same section, lol. I definitely was assured entrance to the event.
I spent about 45 minutes waiting my turn to go through security at the first checkpoint, and then went through a couple more checkpoints before being lucky enough to squeeze in between a Chinese tourist on one side and a family from the Midlands on the other. I then waited 4 hrs 15 minutes in that same spot (no, I never once felt like I had to pee, thank goodness). I could feel the press of the crowd behind me. I had a nice visit (should I say “chat” instead?) with the young lady behind me and the father of the family beside me.
During the long, chilly wait, a kaleidoscope of colors kept splashing against the London Eye and the buildings beside that iconic landmark.
At one point, to keep the crowd from getting too restless (remember, it was a 4-hour wait), the speaker challenged us all to turn on our smartphones and show the bright screen to the sky and the BBC helicopter. To the right of the London Eye in the image above is a line of bright smartphones all along Westminster Bridge.
And then, the countdown …
The show was INCREDIBLE! And I was right there in front, taking it all in. I can’t describe what a cool feeling that was – all I can say is that every time I stare into space and think about the fireworks, my smile gets wider and wider. When I do this at work, people wonder what the hell is going on with me (grin).
Oh, and that white semi-circle you see in the mid-left portion of the photos: that’s the waning gibbous moon.
I’d capture a series of photos with my Canon 1DX and 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, then take the camera away and drink the experience in with my eyes, then take some more photos. I did this for the next 10-11 minutes as the fireworks and music and cheers and ooohs and ahhs carried on around me. At one point, I remember looking down at the young son of the family next to me standing a little bit in front of me, who in turned looked up at me to see me with wide eyes and a silly grin on my face as I watched this spectacular pyrotechnic display.
These photos are just the start. I captured a gazillion different fireworks images that I’ll publish in the next blog post (ok, maybe not all gazillion of them, but a few).
Happy New Year, London and Everybody!
Recently, I’ve noticed a number of “Year In Review” blog posts and articles on other sites popping up, so I figured it must be about time for me to publish my own photographic review of the year.
2014 has, indeed, been quite a year for me photographically. I traveled to and photographed 4 different national parks, 2 airshows, an engagement photo session, 3 weddings, a chamber choir, performers at the Texas Renaissance Festival, the annual migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds into my part of southeast Texas, my Christmas tree with its decorations and bright lights, and I wrote 12 new articles for the National Parks Traveler. It was all great fun, even though I managed to completely destroy two of my favorite Canon lenses, so now I must rent until I can purchase replacements. Following are examples of my 2014 photography experiences.
The view along Lost Mine Trail during a late-April visit to Big Bend National Park, Texas
A strawberry pitaya cactus bloom alongside the Mule Ears Viewpoint trail, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Kyle and Adrienne – the first of 3 weddings
Kevin and Amber – the second of 3 weddings
John (Avery) and Jennifer – the third of the 3 weddings
Bringing in FiFi, the worlds only B29 “superfortress” still flying (CAF Air Power History Tour, Dallas, Texas)
Becky, Bill, and the Stearman Bill piloted: my acrobatic ride in this plane was the bomb! (CAF Air Power History Tour, Dallas, Texas)
The SB2C Helldiver at the Wings Over Houston Airshow
The Shockwave Jet Truck at the Wings Over Houston Airshow
The Blue Angels at the Wings Over Houston Airshow
Upside Down and Side-By-Side, the Blue Angels at the Wings Over Houston Airshow
The rising sun during the sunrise photoshoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow
The Texas Raiders B17 during the sunrise photo shoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow
Taking a break in front of a Stearman during the sunrise photo shoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow
A strip of sunlight during a Chugach Mountains morning in Alaska, near Anchorage
Sunrise and moonset over Nugget Pond and Mt. McKinley (aka Denali), Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Watching me in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Yellow-headed beach babe in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Kilauea’s glow at 3:30 AM, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Looking down the trail to Kilauea Iki, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Juvenile ruby-throated hummingbird
The cast, crew and staff of the King’s Feast at the Texas Renaissance Festival
The Pride O Bedlam Pirates onstage at the Sea Devil Tavern, Texas Renaissance Festival
The Cannibal Tudors onstage at the Sea Devil Tavern, Texas Renaissance Festival
Opening toast at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival
Haley Welsh Wine pouring the red at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival
Mixing business with pleasure at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival
Bringing in the meat at the King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival
Handing out the mugs at the King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival
Chicken on a “stick”, King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival
Katia in purple, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival
Twirling Alla, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival
Kira in blue, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival
Zara’s balancing act, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival
Tsura and her violin, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival
Red, gold and blue fairies at the Texas Renaissance Festival
Christmas Becky playing with the lights, decorations, her Canon 1DX and the 85mm f1.2 lens
A small, cozy home with a beautiful Christmas tree
2015 is shaping up for what I hope will be an interesting year. I won’t be traveling to any national parks, probably, due to a 2-week trip to Paris and Normandy (plane ticket purchased, friends in Paris notified, and maps and guidebooks to Normandy open for research), some planned elective surgery recuperation time, and saving that remaining week of vacation for any emergencies that may occur during the year. If I make it to December with that extra week still intact, then I definitely plan on traveling *somewhere* for Christmas – staying home in Texas for the holidays is not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. Of *course* you will read about my Paris/Normandy trip; part of that involves retracing my WW II paratrooper father’s route when he jumped over Normandy on D-Day (In June, I’ll post the story he wrote about his D-Day experiences). As for the rest of 2015, well, that’s still a work in progress.
So, how did *your* 2014 turn out? Got any plans for 2015?
Happy New Year to all of you and to WordPress, too!
So, yesterday’s short blog was a “Happy New Year” post. Today’s post is a “what I wish for you (and for me) in 2014” short blog.
I posted this image of me at the Sotol Vista overlook of Big Bend National Park, Texas, because it represents all of the expansiveness of photography that I wish for you as well as myself.
I hope that 2014 brings many photographic possibilities your way. And I hope that your camera gear is all fresh, ready and repaired (I just received a bill from the Canon Service Center for work on my 1-DX…..a bit of a surprise but I should have expected a pricey repair for a pricey camera – ahem).
I hope you get to travel more, see more exciting lands / people / vistas, capture more weddings / portraits / portfolios / events, or whatever it is that you enjoy photographing the most.
I hope to hear from you out there as to what your photographic aspirations are for this 2014. Got any trips planned? Wedding sessions reserved? Contests to enter? Other photographic resolutions?
To all of you from me: Happy 2014!
2012 ended for me on a high note: I spent a wonderful White Christmas with my sister, brother-in-law, and all of their assorted kids and grandkids. While I was there, I photographed a beautiful wedding of two awesome people. I’ve been published, both photographically and in written form (a dream come true for me). I’ve traveled to some neat places like Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Arches National Park. I’m still employed. I have neat camera gear. I have some great friends. And, I have a family who I love very much, and who loves me. Of course there have been low points, but that’s a given for everybody. The high points outweighed any low points, that’s for sure.
So here’s to a New Year that I hope will be every bit as great as this year has been. I have a trip already planned and paid for in February, another trip in the works, a possible new venture about which I am keeping my fingers crossed, and more columns to publish in the National Parks Traveler website.
I wish all of you the very best for 2013, and I hope that your dreams come to fruition and you have a year filled with love, contentment, happiness, and success.
From me to you:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Nothing says “Celebration” better than great food. Nothing says “Holiday” better than a traditional meal. So naturally, I had some photographic fun with our New Year’s Day lunch.
Every New Year’s Day, the traditional meal in my family consists of black-eye peas cooked in ham juice with chunks of ham (The peas represent money in the form of loose change),
boiled cabbage cooked in a little ham juice and liberally sprinkled with little pepper flakes (The cabbage represents money in the form of paper dollars),
and cornbread (the non-sweet kind over which we spoon the peas and ham).
Homemade pickled beets were a side dish accompanying this year’s meal
and I fixed French vanilla cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting.
Nothing beats a boxed cake mix (I’m serious!). There are even a series of cook books out there (I have most of them) by The Cake Mix Doctor that uses the basic boxed cake mixes and embellishes upon them. Cakes from a box mix always come out moist and tender (IMO).
Everything else is icing on the cake (pun intended).
Happy New Year, Everybody!!