Friday, December 31, 2010

My Photography Highlights of 2010

Squirrel DSC_8022
Squirrel DSC_8022
by Mully410 * Images

2010 was a big year for my photography. The above image has the most favorites on my Flickr page and is now considered "most interesting" with Flickrs mysterious interestingness calculations.

After about 3 years with a Sony digital point-and-shoot, I finally bought a Nikon D5000 with the 70-300mm AF-S VRII lens, 18-55mm kit lens and the 35mm f1.8. I reached the limit of the Sony's capabilities and knew exactly what I needed to take my photography to the next level. This gear gave me a quicker response time, quicker focus, more frames per second and more range with the interchangeable lenses. I tried to deny it and held off as long as possible but eventually got tired of the limitations of MS Live Photo Gallery. I needed something more powerful to "develop" my photos so I went with Nikon's Capture NX2.

Although the gear and software were integral to improving my photography, the biggest influence on me came from the Twin Cities Photography Group. I've met tons of great people of all skill levels. I've learned from those with more knowledge and shared what I've learned with others. TCPG has (almost) forced me to move outside my comfort zone to shoot things I wouldn't have shot. I've learned to see differently and found shots I never would have seen without this group.

My first event with the TCPG was a photo scavenger hunt. It was great fun and at the same time grueling and exhausting. More than the fun and exhaustion, I received some validation. This photo won for best example of "Signs of Spring":

Orange Awesome
Orange Awesome
by Mully410 * Images

For those of you who know a thing or two about photography, Orange Awesome was shot as a jpg at 3200 ISO. Glad I went with Nikon!

TCPG encouraged me to show my works so I participated in three gallery exhibitions that they sponsored. I sold my first image at the first show:

Black-capped Chickadee
Sinister Chickadee
by Mully410 * Images

I took this shot of a wild chickadee at the Minnesota Zoo in the late afternoon. The print that sold was a professionally printed, matted and framed 8x10.

At our second show, I sold my second work:

Momma and the Kids DSC_8008
Ducklings in Spruce
by Mully410 * Images

I saw this mallard family waddling between the ponds at work so I decided to bring my camera one day. I gently followed them around during my lunch hour until they headed for the spruce trees. This shot was the result of me correctly predicting where they would come out and me not being afraid to practically lay down in the parking lot.

Since the TCPG shows, I've sold a few more stand alone prints.

Amur Leopard
Demure Amur
by Mully410 * Images

TCPG members encouraged me to enter the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts competition. Demure Amur did not get accepted for the fair exhibit but it did win People's Choice at the Salon 300 State Fair Overflow Show in Hopkins. Read the whole story of how this shot won.
(also shot in jpg and at 1600 ISO)

Minnesota Public Radio recognized and published an image I made at Hawk Ridge on their Minnesota Scenes website as the photo of the day:

MPR News - Minnesota Scenes

Click on the image for the full story. Click here for the full image.

A print of the image below won best-in-show at the Gallery 96 "Photographs of my Park" exhibition at the Shoreview Community Center this fall.

Evening Bridge DSC_1034
Evening Bridge DSC_1034
by Mully410 * Images

Finally, if you've made it this far reading here is a link to a slide-show of my personal favorites of 2010:

Go here to see my photos from my trip to Yellowstone National Park and here for my trip to Crex Meadows. If you are really ambitious, feel free to search my blog for all my photo posts.

My plans for 2011 include another photo expedition to...somewhere. I also plan to attend more workshops and read more books.

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