Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Best of 52 Photowalks... My favorites

My 52 photowalks was a huge project for me this past year.  I've enjoyed taking pictures for a while now and I thought I was good at it.  Some of my shots turned out good but in hindsight it was more about luck I think.  Over the past few years I've been learning more and more about photography.  There are some nights that I can't get it out of my mind, and some where I just can't think about it!  It's a hobby for me, I'm not trying to make money or get clients but I am trying to enjoy my hobby and get better at it.  For 2010 I decided I would do a 52 photowalks project.  I got the idea from a blog that I've been following for a while now, iffles.com.

Dmize - View my '52 Photowalks for 2010' set on Flickriver

I figured I would keep my rules fairly loose and I would blog about each walk and pick a photo of the week (POTW).  My only real rule was that I had to leave my house, and all of the photos needed to be taken in 2010.  I struggled with both of these goals at times.  I'm not always the easiest person to get out away from my computer and house.  In a lot of ways I'm a bit of  a home body, but I do enjoy getting out some and taking pictures of anything that catches my eye.  Some of my photowalks took every bit of energy that I had to complete.  It normally got a lot easier once I got out there.  Some times it was brutally cold or terribly hot and humid.  Some weeks I was too busy to get out so I would end up behind, sometimes it took me a while to post-process the files and get them online and blogged.  Early on I decided that I wouldn't give up on this project but I wasn't going to stress myself over it either.  I mean, it's supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not stress inducing.  If I wanted my photography to be stressful I would work for the news or something.  I wanted my photowalks to make me get out and explore areas that I had never been before, or even see the places I was familiar with in a different light.  I think this project managed that goal quite well.  There were some places that I would visit over and over (Killen's Pond and Cape Henlopen?)  but I enjoyed myself each time so who cares.  There were a lot of places that I went specifically for a photowalk (Maryland Ren Fest, Primehook NWR).  I even started going on google maps to find areas that I may be able to explore.  My other goal was to improve my photography.  I think that I accomplished this in many ways.  Do I know everything now, not even close!  I still have tons more to learn and share.  However, I did learn a lot and I think it shows in my photography.  That's not to say that I don't still create some bad images, that 's okay with me though.  I have learned a lot about my camera (Olympus e-620) this year, some of it's limitations and some of it's features.  Overall I am very happy with my camera.  I decided not to do another 52 photowalks this year as it takes up a good chunk of time.  I will continue to work on other projects and continue to post on here and flickr about them.  Below are the photos from my 52 photowalks that I would say are my favorites.  Click on any of them to make them larger and if you have a favorite from yours or mine feel free to share it in the comments.  I hope to work on some post regarding post-processing this year.  My program of choice it gimp, I'm a bit of an open-source guy.  I run linux so all of my software needs to be able to run under linux or wine, because I won't run a virtual machine just for a photo app.

I recently picked up Gimp 2.6 for Photographers, I haven't had a chance to read it yet but I will post my review and thoughts when I do.  I am in the middle of reading another book right now and this one shipped earlier than I expected.

An early shot in the year utilizing the golden sun to highlight the nature center.
POTW - Photowalk 2 of 52

Once again using the golden sun, who new I would be burying my grandfather in this cemetery later this year.
Photowalk 4 of 52

Early Morning

I'm sure I could do better, I've learned some since this shot was taken but I had fun and was with my family when I took this.  You can see my step-son in the background gaming.
Fun and games - Photowalk 10 of 52

This was cool because I took it from the floor above.  This is a large chess set the pieces stand about 2' tall.
From the top - Photowalk 10 of 52

I like this shot, I wish I would have noticed that the lines in the brick weren't straight.  I try to watch the details more now, but I don't always catch everything.
POTW - Photowalk 10 of 52

POTW - Photowalk 11.1 - Dupont Nature Center -- Peaceful

Photowalk 11.2 - Cape Henlopen -- Heart

POTW - Photowalk 11.2 - Cape Henlopen -- Enjoying the sun

I really like the processing that I did here, the tones came out really nice.
POTW - Photowalk 12 of 52 - Get launched

Me and my wife enjoying a stroll on the beach, which is tough to do when you are trying to get a shot without having it look like you are in the shadow.
Shady figures - Photowalk 14 of 52 (Cape Henlopen)

POTW - Photowalk 14 of 52 (Cape Henlopen)

So much color...
Brilliant Color - Photowalk 17 of 52 (On the farm)

I enjoyed a short conversation with these guys about their baseball game.  It's nice to get out and meet people during these photowalks.
Photowalk 22 of 52 (Killen's Pond - Black and White)

My cameras articulated LCD worked really well here.  I stood on the pier and held my camera out, making sure to wrap the strap around my arm just in case.
POTW - Photowalk 24 of 52 - White Lake, NC

The colors being reflected were pretty cool, but I gave it a bit of a boost using my pop art filter on my Olympus e-620.
Photowalk 25 of 52 Cape Henlopen - Pop colors sunset

I'd like to work on more shots like this.  I've been researching some locations that could be short weekend trips to get more shots like this, maybe even some panoramas!
Photowalk 25 of 52 Cape Henlopen - Reflections

Photowalk 26 of 52 - Disney's Electical Parade

I always loved Pete's Dragon as a kid.  I wish Pete were lit a bit better but what can you do.
Photowalk 26 of 52 - Pete's Dragon

These were the only fireworks I saw this year, I didn't have a tripod and there were tons of people moving about and getting in the way.  I thought they came out pretty good considering.
Photowalk 26 of 52 - Disney Fireworks

The crab was dead when I got there so it made it rather easy to compose this shot.
Photowalk 27 of 52 - 4th of July at Cape Henlopen

Sadly, this crab must have been close to dying as he wasn't moving at the speed these normally do.  I shot this using a Canon a620 point and shoot camera.  Not bad huh?  It looks pretty nice blown up to 8x10 as well.
POTW - Photowalk 27 of 52 - 4th of July at Cape Henlopen

I enjoy a good silhouette from time to time.
Photowalk 28 of 52 - Cool overtakes the warmth

Trying to be artistic with my flower shots.  I like the dof on this one.
Photowalk 29 of 52 - Flowers of work - POTW

I did a fair amount of gimping on this shot but I think it turned out really well considering.  There was a lot of junk in the foreground that I couldn't shoot around so I cleaned it up.
Photowalk 30 of 52 - WWPD - Lewes, DE

Photowalk 30 of 52 - WWPD - Lewes, DE

POTW - Photowalk 30 of 52 - WWPD - Lewes, DE

I really love the simplicity here.
Photowalk 32 of 52 - Milford Riverwalk - POTW

Photowalk 33 of 52 - Brecknock Park

I enjoyed quite a bit of time in a 50' square area shooting these and I think they turned out nice.
Photowalk 33 of 52 - Brecknock Park

Can't go wrong with butterflies right?  I think I'm going to have some of my butterfly shots printed up soon.
Photowalk 34 of 52 - Backyard walk

Photowalk 34 of 52 - Backyard walk

Photowalk 34 of 52 - Backyard walk

Photowalk 34 of 52 - Backyard walk

I always enjoy shooting little mushrooms, I can't stand to eat them but they are very cool to photograph.
Photowalk 35 of 52 - Browns Branch County Park

My beautiful pregnant wife, she popped shortly after that.
Photowalk 35 of 52 - Browns Branch County Park - POTW

I really like the texture in this image.
Photowalk 36 of 52 - Silver Lake - POTW

Just playing around with light and gimp.
Photowalk 37 of 52 - Killen's Pond - Manual / Flash and Umbrella

Having fun with the kids!
P9126031-editPhotowalk 37 of 52 - Killen's Pond - Manual / Flash and Umbrella

I was very impressed with the simplicity in this image, I will be printing this soon to hang somewhere in my house.
Photowalk 38 of 52 - Lavender Fields

Photowalk 38 of 52 - Lavender Fields

I'm not big into portraits but this was a favor for a friend.  Now that I've seen how well I can do I will be playing more with shooting portraits.
Photowalk 40 of 52 - Senior Portraits at Killen's Pond

Photowalk 40 of 52 - Senior Portraits at Killen's Pond

The Ren fest was a lot of fun for me and my daughter, I will be heading back sometime this year with the whole family.  Lots of photo ops here.
Photowalk 42 of 52 - Maryland Renaissance Festival

Photowalk 42 of 52 - Maryland Renaissance Festival

Sometimes you just stumble upon things to shoot.
Photowalk 44 of 52 - Historic Dover

These shots were taken while meeting up with a fellow flickr buddy.  We had a fun day and plan to meet up again soon.
Photowalk 45 of 52 - White Clay Creek - POTW

Photowalk 45 of 52 - White Clay Creek

The lighting here was so perfect.  This is called mirror lake for obvious reasons.
Photowalk 46 of 52 (Fall at Mirror Lake) - POTW

A little post-processing fun, this was for my daughter.  Her mother (my ex) wanted to get some pictures of them, I volunteered to do them and we all had fun.
Photowalk 46 of 52 (Fall at Mirror Lake)

Playing with some more HDR.  This can be very time consuming, but I've gotten better at it.
Photowalk 46 of 52 - Browns Branch County Park - POTW

Simple shots like this always get me.
Photowalk 46 of 52 - Browns Branch County Park

The same cemetery where I buried my grandfather earlier in the year.  What a windy day!
Photowalk 47 of 52 - Mt. Olive Cemetery - POTW

I was trying to get reflections of the street lights in the rain soaked roads, it worked pretty well.
Photowalk 48 of 52 - Rainy night in Harrington

Photowalk 51 of 52 - St. Jones Greenway Pt. 1

Photowalk 51 of 52 - St. Jones Greenway Pt. 1 - POTW

I didn't do many panos this year, of course I never do.  I wold like to work on the and get a bit better at it.
Photowalk 51 of 52 - St. Jones Greenway Pt. 1

Photowalk 51 of 52 - St. Jones Greenway Pt. 1

Photowalk 52 of 52 - St. Jones Greenway Pt. 2 - POTW

I'm always open to constructive criticism and comments.

DM|ZE Check out my flickr

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