A quick look back at the seasons of 2012 and on to 2013!
As 2012 has come and gone, I wanted to look back at one photo from each season of 2012. It was a tough choice as I took a TON of photos last year (thousands) but I think these represent all different kinds of shooting styles and genres for me, and they are images I really enjoy looking at when I think about the continuing evolution of my photography. Enjoy!
Fog on Lake Washington, Sunrise. January 27th, 2012
I remember this day because it was mighty frosty outside, especially under the eves of the deck of my house where I shot this.
As a photographer it is an amazing privilege to wake up every morning facing east, where hopefully you get a beautiful show of
natural light. The eerie qualities of this shot really appealed to me, as did the two-tone color. This shot also signifies my entry
into full-frame digital photography, as it was the first true landscape I took on my 5D Mk II digital camera. I haven’t looked back!
EOS 5D Mk II + EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM
f/6.3, 1/160, ISO 50 @ 200mm
Clearing Storm, Artists At Work. March 30, 2012
This was one of the most frustrating and rewarding photographs that I’d taken in quite a while. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom
on campus, and I had discovered the “secret” room in the art building where you could get a full top-down view of the Quad. So of course
I had to get a picture for myself! Unfortunately, the whole afternoon was one tantalizing sun-break after another; just when it looked
promising the clouds and rain would move in again. Finally – two hours and a missed happy hour later – blue skies showed and the light
was absolutely beautiful. It was just at this time when a young art student came in to work on her own rendition of the scene below. I
quickly framed up the picture with the sunstar in the upper right, but as I was about to snap, she turned to me and asked:
“Am I in your way?”
I smiled and replied back, “You’re my subject.”
EOS 5D Mk II + EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM II
f/6.3, 1/160, ISO 50, -2/3 exp comp @ 16mm
On The Move, Sudden Rainstorm. July 21, 2012
I had the most trouble picking my summer image of 2012, mainly because this last summer was one of the most epic in recent memories,
both for myself personally and for my photography. There were tons of images from the one-month study abroad program I co-led all
throughout the kansai region in Japan – but the crowning images came from my road trip through north-central Japan with my best
buddy Mike. The crux of the trip was simply to enjoy time hanging out and taking pictures. There are only a handful of people I can really
shoot seriously with, so it was a pleasure to not have to worry about anything other than shooting some awesome pictures. After we had
made it up to Kamikōchi in Nagano Prefecture, we were finally overtaken by the rain that had followed us for the previous 48 hours.
Just as we were about to put our cameras away a troop of Japanese Macaques scampered by! With my 100mm lens on I was able to get
intimate with this parent-child pair. A bit of luck and fearless exploring led to one of my favorite pictures of the year.
EOS 5D Mk II + EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM
f/2.8, 1/320, ISO 500
Clearing Of Mystery, Late Afternoon. December 6, 2012
I took this shot in December, but in Japan, fall comes and stays pretty late! With the advent of global warming, the dates seem to be
getting pushed back further and further. After a lunch in Nyu in Taki (Mie Prefecture) with Kazuyo, we took a stroll around the area,
enjoying the crisp fall/winter air. Although I’d lived in Taki for four years, and been to Nyu more times than I can remember, I had never
once climbed the small hill across from Nyu Taishi Shrine. It was one of those places you seem to just walk by, un-aware of the secret
beauty waiting to be discovered. There was something about the afternoon sun filtering through the trees, the old staircase and stone
statues, and the carpet of fallen leaves that took me back to “ancient” times, if you will. It was a no brainer for my Fall image of the year!
EOS 5D Mk II + EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM II
f/11, 1/30, ISO 100 @ 16mm
Take Off! New Years Celebration At The Space Needle. January 1, 2013
This year, for New Years, I decided to brave Kerry Park in Seattle, one of the most famous – but most crowded – spots in the city. Because
you can get an amazing view of the city, the Space Needle, AND Mt. Rainier on clear days, there’s a good chance that the pictures, postcards
calendars and posters you’ll see of Seattle were taken at Kerry Park. After arriving at 9:30 bundled for the cold, I spent the next few hours
setting up my gear and chatting with the other people who arrived in droves. Finally, by 11:30 every square inch of the park was full, and a
line of cars had lined up on the street, all doubled-parked! Young kids were sitting on car roofs and a few party busses had also come by. The
lights came on, the crowd chanted the count-down, and the show was on! For…eight minutes. Time for two exposure changes and one orientation
change – and then it was over, as swiftly as it began. Used to the 30 minute or hour-long shows in Japan this was definitely a change, but it was
incredible to see the amount of pyrotechnics exploding from the very heart of Seattle.
EOS 5D Mk II + 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM II
f/4.5, 1.3 secs, ISO 250 @ 200mm
If anything else, this year was the year of the 5D Mk II for me (only 4 years late to the party!). With the new 5D Mk III having been released, along with the slew of new pro bodies and lenses, it looks like I’ll be here to stay with full frame digital gear, but it’s always nice to take my 7D or my 35mm film EOS 1N body out for a spin for a change of pace. Heck, I shoot almost daily with my compact Powershot S100! And if I had an iPhone I’d probably be shooting with that too. I look forward to another year of creative and awesome photography, and hope that you’ll share it with me on this blog. As always, thanks so much for reading and I wish all of you the best for 2013!! – Brian