I’ve decided to try to participate in the Weekly Photo Challenges. It seems like it will be fun to have mini-assignments, and they might inspire me to try new things. This one is pretty self-explanatory, and I have helpfully written somewhat lengthy comments below each image . Instead of taking a “best-of” approach, I chose images that either had a more personal meaning, or were indicative of larger trends in my work this year.
Strangely, this resulted in absolutely no images of my favorite subject, a nearby abandoned mill, and also no shots of waterfalls! This last one is particularly shocking, since this was essentially my Year of the Waterfall. I may have to make a separate end of year waterfall gallery to compensate for this glaring oversight. The gallery as-is seems pretty eclectic, and I recommend clicking on the first image and viewing it as a slideshow.
January, on Tug Hill. I went out with a friend on a very cold day in search of an adventure. It was a good way to begin the year.
February, Centralia. After wanting to visit for years, I finally had an opportunity to explore Centralia, PA. It’s a fascinating place that was abandoned due to a coal fire underneath the town. That fire is the source of the smoke in this image.
March, along the Black River. This river floods excessively every spring, creating lakes where there were once fields. I’ve always wanted to get some shots documenting this annual flood, so I was happy to finally get a few. This was also the first time I managed to get out and shoot after totaling my car earlier in March, so it provided some much-needed stress relief.
April, along Crystal Creek. Crystal Creek runs next to my house,. It’s wonderfully mossy, and has dug itself an impressive little ravine in places. However, I’ve never had much luck photographing it due to an excess of fallen trees, poor light, and other obstacles. This is one of my few successful shots of my creek, so it brings me no small amount of happiness. No, it’s not a particularly impressive shot, but it’s my creek!
March. I got bored, and set dandelions on fire. I wish that this were more symbolic or thoughtful, but it really isn’t. However, it was tons of fun, and I got a great workout by walking around in a crouch for several hours. I want to do a post documenting this process next spring; it’s fairly humorous.
June. I usually spend my entire summer wandering around in search of macros, but this summer I focused more on exploration, so I have very few macro shots. This is one of my favorites, and was also a bit of a departure for me. I used to have a strict policy of non-intervention (shoot ’em where ya find ’em, all natural light, etc). However, this little guy looked much better here than on a boring leaf! This shot is indicative of a general trend for me this year. I’m trying to make shots instad of finding or waiting for them,.
July, at the Valley Brook Drive-In. July was a great month. I’ve been feeling trapped here against my will (mostly because I’m effectively trapped here against my will) but one of my best friends visited me to prevent me from going insane. Dragging her around reminded me of how exciting is to explore, and showed me how many things I still haven’t discovered. It makes being trapped much more exciting.
August, in an abandoned apartment. August was another month that brought visitors and excitement, as well as a plethora of successful shots. However, this abandoned apartment might be my studio once the weather becomes more agreeable. This shot represents the first time I saw the space, so it’s fairly significant.
September, my studio. Okay, you caught me. By “studio” I mean “my living room.” September was an overwhelming (in a good way) month. One of my best friends got married, and I hosted many of my college friends who were visiting for the wedding. And, importantly, I finally completed my lighting kit, and got to play around with my speedlite setup!
October, my road. I took this shot a few days before I had surgery (due complications from my car accident in March). I have “better” shots from the same day, but this one captures the discomfort that I felt at the time, even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time.
November, Memorial Park. This shot is a collaboration with one of my photography students. Yes, students. Another important development this year is that some madman decided I was competent enough to teach photography. I’ve been having a wonderful time doing so!
December, along tracks in Carthage. Part of my (very lately realized) goal this year has been to try to take a more documentary and interesting approach in my work. i want to actually tell stories! This is from a series I created when I spent the day with a friend who happens to be a conductor. It was a great experience, and the resulting series is one of my favorite things I’ve created.