2012 a Retrospective

Wow! 2012 was a year of change for me as it relates to photography. Many ups and even a few downs as well. Interspersed within the events were several great photographic moments. Let's take a look back at what 2012 was for me.

January:
In January I gave sports photography a shot for the first time, and I also got my feet wet with Micro Fourthirds. I decided to really give the PEN system a shot. This photo was taken at one of my son's basketball games and was shot w/ the PEN E-PM1

The opposition watches. Shot w/ the PEN E-PM1

The opposition watches. Shot w/ the PEN E-PM1

February:
February was the month I found "my barn". This barn was such an important place for my photography over the course of the year and proved to be as much inspiration as any I could have imagined. The image below was captured one morning on my way home from getting an oil change. The skies were heavy and low the way only cold February skies can be. I saw the sun starting to break through the clouds and illuminate this barn. I raced (well above the speed limit) to a location where I could capture this scene as it unfolded. This shot shaped my vision of what black and white landscape photography could be.

Shot w/ the Olympus E-3 and ZD50-200mm

Shot w/ the Olympus E-3 and ZD50-200mm

March:

March saw the continuation of my love affair with black and white landscapes and also the solidification of my relationship with micro fourthirds. The ability to have a powerful camera in my pocket everywhere I went made me even more aware of the scenes unfolding around me every day. Scenes like the one below. It was only for a moment that it lasted. But having a camera with me right then meant I was able to capture it.

Shot w/ the  PEN E-PM1 & 8mm fisheye.

Shot w/ the  PEN E-PM1 & 8mm fisheye.

April:

Vacation time, and a time for goodbyes. My family and I headed to Florida for some much needed R&R and to visit my grandmother and uncle.
My grandmother, who was one of the most important people in my life had been admitted into a care facility for people suffering dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
For more about this visit head here: http://sl33stak.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/it-all-happens-so-fast/
I also had an incredible time with my wonderful family at Disney and I even make an appearance in one of the pictures. :)

PEN E-PM1 + mZuiko 45mm f/1.8

PEN E-PM1 + mZuiko 45mm f/1.8

My family and I enjoying down time. Olympus E-3 + ZD 12-60SWD

My family and I enjoying down time.
Olympus E-3 + ZD 12-60SWD

May:

May begins storm season here in Michigan. And although I never got a chance to shoot a tornado, I did get the chance to chase down a few decent storms. And this first storm chase of the season led to another shot later that will have helped me gain a little publicity. The shot below is what started me wanting to shoot some storms and led me to another genre of photography I am now in love with.

Like an alien attack. Shot with the PEN E-PM1 + 8mm fisheye.

Like an alien attack. Shot with the PEN E-PM1 + 8mm fisheye.

June:

June brought the arrival of my Olympus OM-D E-M5. And I honestly don't know what to say other than ever since this camera has touched my life...It has been nothing but great things one after another with my photography. This camera heralds a massive change in the world of photography. You no longer need to lug a huge dSLR and heavy lenses everywhere to get STUNNING images. And once again we find "my barn" being a key player in my inspiration...Along with my youngest son.

Olympus OM-D + 8mm Fisheye.

Olympus OM-D + 8mm Fisheye.

July:

What can I say? July...Wow. One July day I get an email asking if I would be willing to take a conference call with some people from Olympus. I had already been working with them over the past couple years getting product loans and sharing what I do with them and the rest of the world through various media outlets. The phone call was to ask me if I wanted to become an Olympus Visionary...Speechless. I still am in awe of my position and so gracious for everything Olympus has done for me. I love you guys.
Oh, and earlier I mentioned "my barn" and a particular shot that made the rounds online? Well the shot below has done a few things.
First it hit the front page of Flickr's Explore. What does this mean? It means that out of the roughly 1.42 MILLION images uploaded EACH DAY (average) that MINE was chosen to be on the front page of their Explore section..... Still gives me goose bumps.
Then my image was chosen by the staff of http://www.500px.com to be featured on their blog as part of a Wizard of Oz themed blog post. Very honored by this!
In the fall at the Photo Plus Expo in New York my image was hung on the Olympus show booth!!!
And the coup de grâce? This very image is now hanging at the headquarters of Amazon.com in Seattle. It is in their camera division and is there to represent Olympus cameras....I still sit here waiting to wake up from this dream.

OM-D + 8mm Fisheye

OM-D + 8mm Fisheye

August:

Once August arrived I was starting to really get my stride with the OM-D. After spending some time in northern Michigan camping I was to a point where my dSLRs were really gathering dust. Does anyone want to buy a complete dSLR system for cheap? I'm selling one!

OM-D + mZuiko 9-18mm

OM-D + mZuiko 9-18mm

September:

I spent time in September just doing some experimenting. I had never really tried my hand at night photography, or star trails, or really any other long exposure shooting. So here I decided to show a self portrait (I AM in photos sometimes;) that was also a long exposure shot.

OM-D + mZuiko 9-18mm

OM-D + mZuiko 9-18mm

October:

I learned a valuable lesson in October. When it comes to photography you need to be willing to wait for a shot. If it doesn't happen when you want it to...WAIT...And wait some more...Keep waiting until it happens. I was in northern Michigan again in October for the fall colors and it was AWFUL weather. Rain,clouds,even some snow and sleet....I slept in my car for hours before sunrise to capture the sun rising over the wine country, bathing the colorful landscape in warm light. Yeah...That never happened. Instead I slept in a car, freezing as it went from rain, to sleet, to snow, and back to rain again. But I waited it out. I never gave up. And in the end I was able to get some great shots. Not the ones I first envisioned, but ones that made me try new things, the see shots that I wasn't prepared to see.
Shots like this one.

OM-D + mZuiko 9-18mm

OM-D + mZuiko 9-18mm

November:

The cold weather really starts to roll into Michigan in November and when that happens my photography outdoors slows to a crawl. Well...It used to. This November I developed a fascination with photographing birds. Small birds. Fast birds. Birds that would rather be flitting about than sitting still for someone like me to photograph them. But the OM-D and its insanely fast autofocus made this a breeze.

OM-D + mZuiko 75-300mm

OM-D + mZuiko 75-300mm

December:

The final month of a wild year. This month I slowed things down, spent time reflecting on my photography and starting goals for the upcomming year. I can only hope that the new year brings as many surprises and milestones as 2012 did. So the last day of the year I went out and gave another technique a shot. I even made a Youtube tutorial for it.  So as the  old year went out..I hope the new year begins..Full fireworks!!

OM-D + mZuiko 12mm f/2

OM-D + mZuiko 12mm f/2