Let the 2014 countdown begin

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“Free Flow”
Arca Swiss rm3Di with Phase One IQ180 back, Rodenstock 70mm HR lens, ¼ sec at f/11, iso 35

They say time seems to move faster as you get older, and through personal experience I would agree … I can’t believe 2015 is already here. As fate would have it the end of 2014 was very similar to the beginning, nursing a very sick wife back to health.  Fortunately the end of year issues were far less serious and recovery seems to be progressing very well.  But this leaves me with an inordinate amount of time sitting around at home, no  excuse not to start on the annual review.

I have some nice things from this year, but if I were to compare to previous years I will admit some disappointment.  2013 seemed to be a really good year for me with many possible images, and some I think are my best ever.  I found it harder to get out and shoot in 2014 for various reasons and if I were to grade the two years I would feel 2013 as definitely an “A” type year, where as 2014 was more in the “B- to C+” range.

Of course that is the main purpose of this annual exercise, to force myself to really look at where I am and hopefully help find direction for the coming year. If you are interested in the details of the process and my philosophy, take a look at my first post in last years top ten. To summarize the process, I go through every image I took last year and those  I feel deserve consideration are added to a Lightroom Collection.  I then narrow that down to 10 images which are then grouped into three categories (good, better, best), and finally I determine a numerical order from my number 10 to my number 1 image. This really isn’t about what is popular with others but more about personal evaluation and introspection.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you may be aware I’m not a typical “digital” photographer.  I expose fewer frames per year than many do each time they shoot.  My goal is to create images which I feel are amazing and emotional, and do so with enough quality that I can make large and beautiful prints worthy of display anywhere. Recently I was able to make the hike into one of the more iconic locations in Utah, the Subway in Zions National Park. I only exposed 43 images during the hike, but even that’s a little misleading, as those were from only about 8 compositions.

Part of the problem was not getting my pass from the Park Service the day before so I wasn’t able to start early enough.  Add to that my excitement to get into the slot canyon itself showed my lack of knowledge of how the light would play out, because opportunities which were before the canyon need to be taken on the way in, and the later you can shoot in the Subway itself the better the light.  So on the way out I couldn’t shoot a couple of the locations I saw on the way in because the light wasn’t any good.

Anyway to begin the year, this images lands in my number 10 spot.  I will admit the location offers much more promise that my image delivers … I should have been here an hour earlier than I was.  But it is still an amazing place and I love the layer upon layers of rocks with the water meandering everywhere.  I’m looking forward to another hike into this amazing place.

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