Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Look Back at 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, I often look back through my blog photos and choose my ten favorite images of the year.  I've chosen some because of the experience I had capturing the image.   I've chosen others because I liked how the image turned out.  Here are my top ten photos of 2014 and the reasons why I chose them for this blog post. 

Having Gracie join my household shortly after Christmas of 2013 was the highlight of my 2014 year.  I chose this picture because it shows the connection she and Oakley have had from the beginning.

Fall is always a beautiful season in the North Country.  This vista from Braman Hill shows that fall 2014 lived up to that expectation.

This year I began developing my skills as an action photographer.  Watching and photographing surfers navigate the huge waves at Van's Beach was great fun and only whetted my appetite for more opportunities for sports, wildlife, and bird photography.

Deer inhabit my safe haven throughout the year.  I especially enjoy it when the does bring their new fawns for a visit, sampling the deer chow, and allowing me to photograph these beautiful young deer.

 This young Red-Tailed Hawk gave a friend and me the opportunity to photograph it from a very close distance.  It was such a beauty!

Photographing this deer jumping the fence into my back yard was very exciting.  I knew the deer had been helping themselves to the seed in my bird feeders, but I had to be especially vigilant to get this one caught in the act!

 Photographing two Sandhill Cranes at Cross Farms last September was another peak photographic experience.  Such beautiful birds!

This sunset photo of North Manitou was taken from a hilltop off Jelinek Road.  What I like about the image is the subtle colors of this sunset, making it seem more like a painting than a photograph.

This image of frozen Omena Bay also reminds me of a painting.  The deep snow in the foreground is a stark contrast to the empty swing.

While I chose this photo as my favorite of 2014, that choice really could have been any of the last four images.  I chose this particular one for two reasons.  The first is that it is an example of a vibrant Lake Michigan sunset from Christmas Cove.  What is even more unusual is that this photo was shot on May 3, when there were still ice floes on Lake Michigan.  What a testament to the winter of 2014 this image is!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Another "Snowy" Christmas

No, I'm not referring to the weather, although the forecast has changed significantly and it appears we'll be having a white Christmas after all.  I'm referring to the second Christmas in three years when I've been fortunate enough to see and photograph a snowy owl.  The conditions for capturing these images were less than ideal today, with the owl nearly blending in to a very gray sky, making for pictures with little contrast.  Still, it is exciting to see this magnificent bird under any conditions. 

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, or whatever words you use to celebrate this holiday season.  I feel very blessed from the support you've given my photography blog this past year and a half.  Karen

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Practice with Gracie

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I'd purchased a new camera body.  It's made especially for action photography, such as bird, wildlife, and sports photography.  It can shoot 10 frames per second at very high ISO settings, which makes it perfect for stopping the action.  I'm getting daily practice with the new camera using Gracie as my subject.  Every afternoon we head to the backyard and I throw her toss toys and she retrieves them.  She loves this time outdoors and I get to practice shooting fast moving objects.  Her favorite toy is the orange  dumbbell, but she really enjoys all her toys.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Leelanau Morning

I was only out about two hours, but the light was influx the whole time.  Skyscapes changed from blue with just a few clouds to times when the cloud cover was heavy and stormy-looking.  And there was ice.  Both Mougeys and Kehl Lakes were iced over and there were even two fishermen on Kehl.  It was another beautiful Leelanau morning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sticking Snow

I cannot believe how variable the weather has been.  The images I've posted here are from the snow we had on Thanksgiving Day, even though much of that snow has now disappeared just five days later.  The snow from that day was "sticking snow."  It was wet and heavy, weighing down the tree boughs and sticking to the sides and crevices of trees.  It was perfect for packing snowballs, making snow people, and sculpting snow forts.