The Runner-Ups | My Top 10 Photographs of 2010

Pixels and Pics: My Top 10 Photographs of 2010. The post on my blogger blog, Pixels and Pics, put together on New Year’s Eve. But there’s more. Eight additional images that I sitting in my “top images of 2010 file.” I was thinking that New Year’s Day 2011 – and calmphotos.com – would be the appropriate time and medium for showcasing these “runner-ups” –

January Morning in Zion National Park

Sky at Sunset @ Rockbridge State Nature Preserve, Hocking Hills, Ohio

Sunset on the Spring Equinox @ Broad Creek, South Carolina

May Morning @ Ash Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio

Message in the Sky

Flags in Window @ Clifton, Ohio

Winter Afternoon @ Zion National Park, Utah

Wild Geranium @ Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve, Ohio

2010 was an interesting year for me personally. Inspiring moments, beautiful light, accomplishments, fulfilling experiences presenting workshops and challenges, first and foremost being a health scare – as in a heart attack – over Halloween weekend. Quite the wake-up call to make the most of each day and a slap-upside-the-head reminder that when it comes right down to it, all we really have is each other.

After I posted my entry on New Year’s Eve I realized that although all of those images speak of my creative spirit and the beauty of those places and subjects, there is one image that is truly my #1 of the year. It wasn’t painstakingly composed using tripod and high-end Canon EOS gear, waiting for perfect light over a beautiful landscape, and then finely tuned in Aperture and Photoshop. Nope, this image was snapped using the Fuji version of the old Polaroid – something fun just to have around the house. I “captured” this image on one of the last evenings of 2010 – December 29th. The location was Archer’s Tavern, just down the street from home in Centerville, Ohio –

I may never accomplish all that I want with my photography. I’ll probably never gain a public showing that attracts crowds of admiring fans (or just about any kind of public showing as far as my hometown is concerned – long story, but Dayton peeps know what I’m referring to). Publication of my images might just be limited to occasional covers of regional magazines. I might never travel to any of those exotic photo op travel locations that are my list of places to visit; hopes of obtaining the attention of a major publisher for that killer coffee table book contract may never materialize and National Geographic won’t come calling.

That’s fine by me because as long as I have hugs and smiles from the two girls pictured above I will have everything that truly matters. The excitement of composing and capturing that once-in-a-lifetime photograph is thrilling. The magic of breathtaking light filling the landscape. The thrill when the frame is occupied by a Bald Eagle in flight. The sense of satisfaction of presenting a photography workshop that inspires a student or two to pursue his or her creative vision through the art and craft of image-making. All great. It’s what I do, and I’m blessed and thankful for the opportunity to use my talents to help and inspire others. But more and more I’ve come to realize it is those moments away from camera, computer and classroom – when I’m with my daughters – that in the long run will have the most lasting impact and make the biggest, and hopefully positive, difference.

2010 indeed was quite a year. Lots of challenges and opportunities to constantly keep moving forward, to never quit, never go back, with both my profession and what lies ahead for me personally. I have a good feeling that all that happened in 2010 was merely setting the stage for some big accomplishments – and bigger challenges – for 2011. We only have a limited number of days of “good light,” and only so many opportunities to laugh, love and make a positive difference in each other’s life.

And I’m off to a good start with 2011. On Monday evening, January 3rd I will be presenting as the guest speaker to the monthly meeting of the Professional Photographers of Southwest Ohio – http://www.ppso.org/?p=662. Also, two workshops scheduled for January. The program set for January 15 at Cox Arboretum is full. Openings still available for the Winter Light Workshop on the weekend of January 28th @ Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills.

My best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2011.

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