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January 10, 2006
Well. what I think are the best of 2005 anyway...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography

Looks like I took almost 7,000 photos in 2005. Well, that's how many I downloaded from the cameras anyway.

You can ask pretty much anyone that knows me - especially anyone to whom I must make regular deliverables of some kind - and they will tell you that in the last couple of weeks I have spent an inordinate amount of time going through, selecting. culling, and processing photos to make my 'Best of 2005' gallery. It's completely true.

This was a very challenging process for me. I culled a large number of shots that I really loved because they were just redundant. As well, I included many photos - not because they are artistic - but because they have some other kind of value - like how the Japanese people celebrate cherry blossoms like Americans do a football game. I included some that are nearly the same as each other - for the most part because I think they'll make good diptychs or triptychs. I think I've ended up with about 220 images. I have color corrected all of them by hand using Photoshop. In some cases, I have performed additional processing or effects to get what I feel is the essence of the image or to coax out what I really felt was in there but couldn't achieve without some work. In some cases I removed obstructing parts of the original shot to make them better. I did a little glamour work because I've been studying techniques for that recently.

The gallery is in the order that the photographs were taken. There are pictures from Las Vegas (Bellagio, Caesar's, Wynn), and from Japan of course - cherry blossom season, the fish market, Hama Riku Park, Oeno Park, Kyoto (quite a few from Koka-dera), Inokashira Park, and other Japan locations.

There are a few from Ocean Shores Washington, a couple taken from the air flying from Seattle down to California, some downtown Seattle sights, a few backyard flower shots with the macro lens, some Seattle nightscape shots, along with pictures of a night scuba expedition that I happened upon (and I'm still quite fond of the resulting pictures even if they are a bit strange).

There are some from Nevada's Valley of Fire state park in all their fiery glory, a few shots from West Seattle's Fauntleroy ferry launch including a couple of shots of a friendly armed Coast Guard escort boat. There's a large series from Mount Ranier in Washington state - both the Sunrise and Paradise side (with an interesting shot from the West at night as well with the moon and a star in prominence), along with some from the Grove of the Patriarchs, and the Nisqually nature trail area.

There's a series from Juanita State Park (Washington) with several macros that are some of my favorites. There's a series from the National parks on the Washington peninsula - including Hurricane Ridge (with a couple of beautiful fawns), Lake Crescent, the Hoh Rainforest (in which I used soft focus techniques several times - to get the light!), Ruby Beach, Kalaloch Beach, and the Lake Quinault area (including an old homestead and associated rain forest).

There's a small series from Zion Canyon Utah - one of my favorite places in the world (look for the climbers on the face of Angel's Landing in number 118 - they're pretty tiny!).

I included a few from the wedding that I shot in September (I took about 1,200 photos in all for the rehearsal functions, ceremony, and reception) - a few candids, a couple from the ceremony - some fun shots that I do so people can loosen up, and a few portraits from the wedding and reception. B & C are beautiful people and great kids and I wish them all the best! (Incidentally, the first portrait of them together - number 131 - is a heavily processed 'glamour' effort that I did just to try out a series of techniques. I think it turned out pretty well, but the folks that I've shown it to have had a pretty visceral reaction one way or the other - which means that I have a lot to learn in terms of implementing the techniques). For the most part the other wedding photos are just color corrected.

Oh, yes. There's a series from Koishikawa park in Tokyo and then a long series of Kyoto photos - Golden Temple, Kiyomizu-dera, and Koka-dera. Koka-dera remains my favorite photo 'session' of the year. There are a few good keepers here - along with one or two discoveries that I made while processing.

After that Japan series is a series from the University of Washington arboretum - fall colors. I made the decision to use soft focus techniques for several of these shots. A couple in particular that I've always felt had some potential, but couldn't quite get them to 'speak' without making them a bit dreamy. You'll have to tell me what you think.

There are a few more from my last trip to Japan for the year - including one that really sparkled up in color processing - number 212. It may be my favorite of the whole bunch. If you haven't seen them before, check out the photos of the mandarin duck in this series as well.

The final picture is of the first snow fall of the winter here in Washington.

So, the gallery is here. There are some controls at the bottom to run it as a slide show. You might have to wait on it a little bit - there's a trance music piece that will load up when you first navigate over there to accompany you on my 2005 journeys. (in those controls at the bottom right there is an icon to turn the music off as well - if the music stops and you want to restart it, just click the little music icon twice and it will start back up).

Please let me know what you think. This has been a significant labor of love for me and I've learned a lot in the process. I'd like to hear from you about your favorites and if the extra processing that I did on some of the photos was an enhancement or not. If you are a regular visitor to the site, you will recognize many of these - hopefully the color correction has made them crisper and more enjoyable to view.

If you want to order archival prints from this gallery, suitable for framing, you can do so here.

Cheers!



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Best of 2005! Awesome! [Read More]

TrackPulled on Jan 10, 2006 11:29:06 AM

People Pulling

Oh MC - that is Awesome!!!! Thank you for taking the time to put that together; must have been really intensive! It's beautiful... my virtual vacation *sigh*.

EMCEE: Thanks Shell! It's been raining here for 23 straight days or something like that so this is the only way I'm getting 'out' right now too! If I brought you a single moment of joy with these it makes me very happy! Oh, thanks for the link!

Posted by: Pie Shell at Jan 10, 2006 10:17:29 AM

It's just gorgeous MC. Thanks so much. You are wonderfully talented and so generous as well.

EMCEE: Aww shucks Mrs. Hapke. Thanks for the kind words - and the link. I'm so thankful for friends like you!

Posted by: gail at Jan 10, 2006 11:25:56 AM

How do you turn the music off? I can't handle that stuff.

EMCEE: What do you mean? You don't like "Judge Alito, how would you OOM-CHUCKA-OOOM-CHUCKA, DIT-DIT DA DOO..."? What's up with that?

Posted by: Scott P at Jan 10, 2006 11:37:32 AM

Outstanding, MC! Unique, beautiful, thoughtful. After that one picture of the kids with the ropes, I thought you should have more photos of people,and finally they did come along, very excellent.

Since I'm also from WA State, behind the cascade curtain, I recognized many of those shots, but you had interesting perspectives. Was that the cedar grove near Ranier? Luckily you had a clear day(s) there at Ranier... not that frequent even in summer. I'm not a huge fan of bird photos, but, especially towards the end, WOW, those were fantasic. The arboretum at U-Dub is a favorite place of mine, you captured it well. Oh, I loved that one photo of the Needle reflected in the building, cool. Thanks for putting this together, I enjoyed it.

EMCEE: Hi GL! Thanks for stopping by. Yep, that's Grove of the Patriarchs between the Sunrise and Paradise pictures - down there at the southeast corner of the Park. I usually go to Ranier several times in August every year - almost a guarantee of some sun on August days. I'm glad you enjoyed these. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun putting this together. Oh, BTW - that Needle is the Kyoto tower reflected in the train station in Kyoto, Japan. You can read more about it here.

Posted by: green libertarian at Jan 10, 2006 11:46:45 AM

Wow. What a great way to start the new year. Incredible. Thank you very much.

EMCEE: Hey PB! Happy New Year to you as well. I'm glad you liked it. Cheers!

Posted by: prairie biker at Jan 10, 2006 3:52:00 PM

Right, Grove of the Patriarchs, have spent much time around there. HA! I thought that was the Space Needle, couldn't figure out your angle, no wonder. I used to drive frequently from Yakima to Olympia, so quite familiar with areas in between.

Posted by: green libertarian at Jan 10, 2006 8:31:13 PM

Superman rulezzzzzzz

Posted by: Nabeel at Jan 10, 2006 10:18:46 PM

The photo's are terrific, MC. #23-#27 are screaming for captions. I think my favourites are the "human" and macro studies. They're very intimate.

Posted by: Diana at Jan 11, 2006 10:52:11 AM

Boy did you outdo yourself!
Favorites:
#4, the tree frames the boat perfectly
#17/18 nice; rainbows are so hard to capture well
#19 WOW
#23 immediately made me laugh out loud
#36 all the the night skylines ones are good, but this is my favorite, I love the blurred ferry and the composition
#56 makes me want to be there right now
#72 awww…..
#78 beautiful
#83 I love herons!
#87/88 can’t choose between them, you know I love macro shots!
#90 awww….
#93 WOW I just cannot get over the color of that water!
#98 good eye, those patterns on the water are great
#108 I love old trucks…
#116 I know I’ve commented on this one before, but it’s still amazing
#119 great perspective
#122 absolutely fantastic color!
#141 lush enough to bathe in
#150 I said ‘wow’ when I saw this one; you did a fantastic job on it! Also on 157, 158, 163, 180 and 182.
#187 love the color, and the detail of the lichen on the stems
#190 another wow color job
#201 my favorite angle/shot of the arboretum
#221/222 such a gorgeous bird, the color and clarity of these is great
#225 perfect concluding shot.

Now I feel lazy that I haven't done the same thing!
Jan

Posted by: jan at Jan 11, 2006 7:12:56 PM

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