This was a radically diverse year for me in photography; I artistically explored everything from barren landscapes to the world of flamenco dance. I learned so many technical skills in the area of lighting and post production that it took all I had not to just try to update old photos but rather try something completely new.
So of everything I have shot this year what were my top ten favorite photos? Well here you go:
#10 "Super Bowl XLI - 2"
A project conceived in the mind of body painter Kyle Vest before the Superbowl just a few days before the event. This photoshoot came together in a living room on the south side of Orlando in 7 hours; the majority of that time was for Kyle to paint our model Jennifer to look like a Jersey wearing Colts fan . We flipped a coin to decide what teams Jersey to paint; we picked the wrong team but Jennifer made this shot a winner.
# 9 "I will shelter you from any storm"
A trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom offered up a rare shot as a mother brought her baby out into plain view for only a moment; this was all about being in the right place at the right time.
Likely one of the most unusual maternity photo shoots out there, Kyle vest brings a mother to be into the alien realm with a life force reminiscent of "2001 - a space odyssey" growing inside a translucent belly. Only one half of the model was painted and the photo shoot was actually fairly tense as the mom to be was being photographed on her slated delivery day. Little Mollie came two days after this shoot.
#7 "The Green Veil"
A talented Yugoslavian Dancer is captured at the perfect moment by an array of 6 mono-lights and precision timing. After this shot hit the viewfinder I knew it was the best in its series.
#6 Shadows of Splendid China 01
A tiny two foot temple takes us back to the ancient Chinese East. A fragment of the once spectacular "Splendid China" Florida Amusement Park found in an industrial suburb. I shot this photo and the rest of the series as an experiment in Macro Photography.
#5 "Starry Starry Night"
Lost in the back roads of Arches National Park around midnight; three photographers aimlessly seek out "Turret Arch" but are unable to find it in the darkness. We hit a dead end and were pretty frustrated until I noticed the Milky Way shining down on us. I could have stayed there staring at this all night.
# 4 "Puerto Rico Pier"
A visit to Puerto Rico yields a ton of amazing photographs as my now girlfriend and I dared to explore its vast Rain Forest . As we returned from a wonderful native dinner we walked hand and hand down this pier at sunset; the dog raced by me and started trotting along near the end. There is very little post in this shot, it was truly a cinematic shot waiting to happen.
I had never photographed a flamenco dancer before doing this series and when I asked what reference they may have to achieve the look they were after I was given a number of old painting's of dancers as reference. I spent a considerable amount of timing researching impressionistic lighting to get the art like look the dancers wanted. This shot gave me goose bumps when I saw it for the first time on the monitor; Tamara just radiates elegance.
#2 "The embrace that is the divine"
A descending rainstorm is trapped in the sunset during a trip to Arches National Park. The contrast rain trails were very faint at first but were fully exploited in this 3 shot HDR image with the help of bleach bypass contrast effects.
#1 "The View From Dead Horse Point"
Honestly I traveled to Utah dreaming I could create this shot after many failed attempts in my youth. The canyon lands have a very special place in my heart and I wanted to capture my own version of the canyons untouched yet colossus vastness. I used a motor drive to snap six sequential HDR sets to bring together this one image. I have this framed above my art desk now, inspiring not only in how it looks but how I felt as I stood there many times in my life gazing on something so much grander than anything man could build.
Well that is the list, feel free to click on the images to see the larger versions and read more detail on some of them. What adventures await me in 2011? I have no idea but I will for sure have a camera in hand.
Thanks for reading!