A look back at 2010

2010 has come and gone and it was a pretty good year, both personally and professionally (both the day job and the photography business.)   Here are some of the highlights:

  • My folder for 2010 weighs in at 235 GB.  That includes all the raw files I've chosen to keep plus all the photoshop versions.  That number is up from 195 GB in 2009, 145 GB in 2008, and 120 GB in 2007.   There's a trend here...I'm being a little more selective about when I press the shutter and throwing away more bad photos, but the files are getting larger.   Luckily I revamped my photo editing workstation with a two-way RAID stripe for speed and got a better backup solution, so I'm able to deal with the surge of data pretty well.
  • I did some aerial photography this year, including some formation flying and shooting from a helicopter in Hawaii with no doors.   I love flying and I love photography so combining the two is great.
  • I did a nice location shoot and some product stills for Osocalis Distillery.  They're based out of a cozy little barn in the Santa Cruz mountains and they make small batches of brandy.  It was a real challenge to try to find angles to accentuate the atmosphere of the small space and make it really look like the craft distillery that it is.   Their website is still under construction but you can friend them on Facebook to keep up to date on them.
  • I had fun shooting the Maverick's surf contest.   I was almost not going to go to this, due to the lack of information and having never been out there before.  I finally decided (at 5:00 am) to go for it and it turned out to be a good decision.   It's hard to stand in one place for 8 hours straight but in the end there were some great performances by some talented surfers and some monumentally bad planning on shore by some people who apparently know very little about how the ocean works.There are three ways to shoot an offshore surfing contest:  from land, from a boat near the surfers, and from a helicopter.   I think I did pretty well for shooting from land, (which means shooting through about a half mile of haze and sea spray) but there's nothing that's going to blow up to poster size art.  Next time I'll try a boat or a helicopter.
  • I moved my blog to Wordpress.  I finally gave up on maintaining the home-built blog solution I was working on and switched to Wordpress.  I'm pretty happy so far and I've migrated more than half of the old posts to the new system.The main challenge I have now is to get a good gallery system working so I can show some more photos here.   I've had a couple plugins recommended to me but I haven't had a chance to play with them yet.  (NextGen Gallery and Lightbox2)
  • I had a couple trips to Florida to shoot some private parties and one convention.  At the convention I was really the digital tech and "second shooter" instead of being the primary photographer.   This was a good trip for me and it let me concentrate on the workflow and keeping the main shooter working at a fast pace, while dealing with a huge volume of incoming images, making prints, etc.  Situations like this remind me that photography can be a team effort and when the team works well the results can be great.I did manage to get some photography in, notably of some rescued animals from Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.   I also worked on my travel skills and accumulated a bunch more mileage on United.
  • No football games in 2010.  :-(  I missed the whole season and Cal Poly had another "rebuilding" year.  I'll be shooting the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl next weekend though, so that'll be fun.
  • No good lava shots from our trip to Hawaii this year.  :-(  The volcano was relatively active during our visit this year but there was no active ocean entry which makes for a great photos, and I couldn't quite make my schedule line up with a guy who was going to go out on the lava with me for a night time lava shoot.   We'll be back to Hawaii though, so there's still hope.
  • On a personal note, my daughter was born this year.   I couldn't be more thrilled about being a parent and I look forward to everything the next couple decades will bring on this front.   Being a parent will probably make it harder to jet off around the world for photography but I'm betting it'll be a net-win overall...  ;-)

2011 is off to a great start so far and there are a lot of possibilities:

  • There's the aforementioned football game next weekend.
  • I'm thinking about a big trip to Dubai in March to Gulf Photo Plus, but we'll see if that pans out.  It's a part of the world I've never been to and it would be a huge cultural win to go see.  It's a lot of time away from the new baby though, and not the cheapest place to visit.
  • I'd like to do second editions of some or all of the three books I've done.  As time goes on my eye gets better, I accumulate more images, and technology gets better.   I think Blurb is still printing with the Indigo 5000's, but I haven't had a chance to try their PDF submissions yet, which should yield much sharper text than I got before.

That's all that comes to mind right now.