FAVORITE PICTURES OF THE YEAR--
Macro photography (say extreme close-up) is a delightful, compositional tool. It often succeeds just because it presents an uncommon sight to the viewer; in this case drops of early morning dew on a weedy leaf. Note the extremely shallow depth of sharp focus. Barely 1/2 inch is clear between the fuzzy foreground and background.
Sue (right) and Savannah, Georgia friends--plus one passing seagull--enjoy a sunrise on the beach at nearby Tybee Island. Part of the success of this photo comes from its strong, rectangular shape. You can achieve the same thing often by simply loping off wasteful or distracting parts of your photos with a pair of scissors. There is no rule that insists they remain the same shape the photo machine provides.
Ashland's balloon glow affords a marvelously colorful subject--especially if you turn your flash off. It does you no good at this distance anyhow. If it will not shut off, cover it with something. If you have a simple camera try the night scene setting and hold your camera perfectly still. I had mine propped on top of a fence post for these shots. If you have manual settings on your camera try a couple of test shots first. My exposure for this photo was 1/20th of a second at f/4 and ISO 400.
This night photo is the Ferris wheel at the Bellville Street Fair. It appears a bit unusual because I used a fairly long exposure to create the trails of light as the wheel was spinning. The exposure was for 2 seconds at f/22 and ISO 400. Had I made the exposure a bit longer the dark wedges would have disappeared. The camera was held steady by mashing it against a steel light pole.
I liked the spontaneity of this muscular sclerosis patient enjoying the beat of the music as members of my Johnny Appleseed square dancing club provided the entertainment at their annual picnic. Sometimes photographers can be a nuisance but getting close to the event can be a key to good composition. I did not use a flash because it would have rendered the background quite dark and destroyed the overall sense of joy during their participation in the dance we take for granted.
Often interesting compositions can be found is less than ideal weather. The patterns reflected on the wet bicycle trail and the color fading to a misty gray background made this picture of March-of-Dimes participants more interesting than if it had been taken in nice weather. No flash is advised here either. That would produce little blobs of fuzzy white reflections on the raindrops close to the camera--and likely destroyed the photo; about like flashing your high beam headlights in a nighttime snowstorm.
I liked the soft presence of the foreground plant and my lady Sue, both being dwarfed by this rocky massif at Hemlock Falls. It is hard to imagine the geologic powers that created these monstrous stones then tumbled them into this pleasing formation over periods of time that defy human comprehension.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!