Monday, December 27, 2010

Goodbye 2010

As the old adage goes, "time flies when you're having fun".  As we get older we must have more fun because time goes by even faster!  With the year winding down I thought it would be an interesting exercise to take a look back through the photography adventure and share a few of the milestones we've hit along the way.  Ready? Let's go!

January 2010

With a year of shooting under my belt and the encouragement of my beautiful, supporting wife was born.  It's one thing to stand behind the camera and capture photos you enjoy, but in the end it doesn't mean much if you can't share the experience with others.

February 2010
Living in Wisconsin, we're deep into the cold spell now.  Most of my free time was going toward developing the blog that I'd unveil in about a month, but my trusty camera was still at my side wherever I went.  I was on my way to work one morning when I spotted two hawks in a tree as I turned onto the highway.  My wife and photography buddy is big into bird photography so I wanted to capture these two for her collection.  Little did I know that this was the first of many birding photographs to come.  Like my wife, I was hooked. :-)

March 2010
Putting the finishing touches on the blog now.  The Wisconsin weather is offering up the occasional day of sunshine where it's warm enough to go outside.  With the melting of the snow comes more unique photo opportunities.  Another morning trip into the office when I turn onto the on ramp and see those same two hawks because now I have an eye to the sky... a sure sign you're hooked on bird photography.  On this morning, love was in the air and it lead to what had to be my most "interesting" shot of the year.

March is full of fun events at the Schram home.  My wife and I have our wedding anniversary in March and she presents me with a Wacom table as a gift.  More toys!  She also celebrates her birthday in March and when she receives a new lens for her birding hobby, the photo outings start to really pick up in frequency.  Wooo hooo!  One other thing happens in March... the blog goes live and I now have an even more powerful vehicle with which to share my photography journey.

April 2010

It's getting warmer every day now.  The snow is pretty much gone but one can't really call it "landscape photo season" yet as everything is still brown and dead looking.  No matter. The birds are arriving back from their winter migration so we find plenty of opportunities to get out with our cameras (and play with our new Wacom tablet :-). 

I'm also able to resume my lunch time photo walks during the week and am happy to discover a pair of osprey nesting right along my walking path.  What an incredible experience it was to watch them at every opportunity.  My wife and I even made trips into town on the weekends to sit and enjoy their company.

April is also the month we made our first visit to the marsh near our home and was able to capture my first "print worthy" shot of the year with "Sunday Afternoon".  Do you see a "bird theme" here? :-)

May 2010 
The grass is green again, the trees are in bloom and Mother Nature decides its time to have one last laugh at our expense. 

It's a pretty busy spring around here with the yard projects, etc., but we still find time to take the cameras for walks every now and then.

June 2010
It's June already!?  The year's reached the midway point and the "spring projects" are ongoing (at the camera's expense).  Still finding time to blog and share the experience, but the photos are limited to lunch time walks for the most part.  My osprey friends are still around and my goal of capturing a "fishing session" continues to elude me.  Seems I always arrive late for lunch...

It's a busy time on the river though.  If you can't capture the osprey in the act, there's always the great blue herons (did I mention this is out the back door of my office building :-)...

July 2010
Vacation!!!!!!! Dust off the tripod because it's FINALLY time to get some landscapes.

There's nothing quite like the magic of Door County for me.  With no other demands on our time and the freedom to plan our actions around the sun, the possibilities seem endless.  This particular trip to Cana Island was a new experience for me as it was the first time I decided to head out into the lake and shoot back toward the lighthouse.  What an experience it was!  You can read more about it in the post "Perspective.  Sometimes You Get Dirty. Sometimes You Get Wet".  You have to love it when a plan comes together :).

Two days later we tried to repeat the experience at sunset, but we didn't have the light for which we had hoped.  What to do? Turn around and drive about 6 miles to the other side of the peninsula where the sun peaks out from under the cloud cover to give you something like this...

This is the shot that pushed me into the world of HDR and put another very valuable tool into the photography toolbox.

And what do you do when the sun is high in the sky?  Shoot the wildlife of course!

August 2010
August was another busy month, but I managed to snap a few clicks here and there and experiment more with HDR. 

After some success with "A Trip to the Eye Doctor", I dug through the archives for an image that was waiting for this day to come.  The result was another "print worthy" addition to my portfolio with "Waiting For the Troll".

... and what month would be complete without a shot or two of our avian friends?

September 2010
Unbelievable, but autumn is in the air.  Where did the summer go?  Not sure about you, but I think another vacation is in order.  Yep, back to Door County.  This time we found some new locations....

...made a new friend...

...and of course, took a few bird photos :)

October 2010
Summer is officially gone.  The leaves are turning and the nights are getting downright cold.  The summer camping season has reached its end, but the good news is that there's one more trip to the Door County Peninsula in order to winterize the camper.

The colors are there, but where are the birds?
Right.  Like you thought you were going to escape a month without a bird image ;)

November 2010
Wasn't it just March a few days ago?  Well, the leaves are gone and the birds have migrated south leaving us here with our cameras and cold weather.  Now what?  One nice "Indian Summer" afternoon the temp breaks into the 50s and we thought we might catch a few procrastinators in the avian community resting at the local marsh.  No luck on the bird front, but I did capture these cattails in the setting sun.  A little post processing desaturation and I have one more "wall worthy" shot in the collection.

December 2010
Indian Summer?  That now seems like decades ago.  The temp has been flirting with the 0 degree mark for far too many days in a row.  The holiday season is bearing down on us and hustle and bustle takes its place in the front of the line.  The camera is still close at hand, but it's just too cold to want to head outside... except, there's always that car ride to work.

Was it cold?  Hell yes it was cold... -20 degrees Fahrenheit in fact!  But you know how it is.  Photography is like a virus.  Once it gets you and you start really seeing the world around you, you can't stop seeing it and you certainly can't stop sharing it!

It's been one heck of a year.  The launch of a web site, over 9500 shutter clicks, more than 150 blog posts, and a whole online community of new friends were just a few of the highlights.  Words cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunities this past year has presented and how thankful I am that you've been willing to share them with me. 

As 2010 crests the hill and 2011 peaks around the corner, I'm going to take these last days to reflect and enjoy time with family, maybe even take the camera for a walk or two.  I'd encourage you to do the same.  Thank you again for all of your time and support and I'll see you again in the New Year.

Happy Holidays


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