2013—Day 365—Drawing To A Close

This is the last day of the third year of my blog, In Focus Daily. 2013 is drawing to a close and it has been one of the most interesting and exciting years in recent memory for me. Although I missed quite a few daily posts this year, I feel that in 2013, I came into my own as a photographer.

The opening (and sadly the all-too-soon closing) of Famous Mo’s Coffeehouse & Theater brought me out of retirement, dominated my life, and briefly made me a small businesswoman, an entrepreneur, and a house photographer. Band photography became my pastime most weekends for much of the year. As a result of those experiences, I learned a little about lighting and ISO in challenging circumstances. I even managed to capture a few decent shots of musicians on our stage.

2013 introduced me to landscape photography in a big way. Two separate week long adventures, one in February and one in October, with world renowned landscape and wildlife photographer Moose Peterson, brought me to the Grand Canyon for the first time and returned me to the Grand Tetons after a 46 year hiatus. Moose made me appreciate wide angle lenses, although I still want to zoom in on things; he made me realize that knowing the subject of the photograph, when you take the photograph, is critical; and he showed me that photography is not only all about the light (well, it’s almost all about the light) but it’s about patience, too. I learned to wait and to watch for the changes in the light but also to recognize that those changes are fleeting and I’d better be ready to do something as soon as I see it.

I photographed my first wedding under less than ideal conditions. I discovered that it is necessary to have a Plan B and maybe even a Plan C when a wedding is scheduled for outdoors and sudden and unexpected weather changes require a change in plans. In addition, the wedding experience made me realize that even though I am a digital photographer and no film is involved, I still need to develop my photographs. As a result, I am making an effort to improve my Photoshop and Lightroom editing skills and I think I have made incredible strides in that direction. Not bad for someone who only recently realized that my straight out of the camera photos were lacking.

During the past year, I had a couple of family portrait sessions and I even photographed my veterinarian’s office and tech staff for use on their website. I continue as the photographer for the California Foundation for Birds of Prey and, as a result, I have opportunities to photograph raptors in situations that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Of course, photographing birds in the wild remains a passion; my backyard hummingbirds provide endless hours of photographic opportunity and I seek out encounters with raptors and other birds when I am out and about.

I plan to continue my blog in 2014, but I have modified it a bit to give me more flexibility. It now reads: “One new photograph, almost every day of the year.” However, I still plan to carry a camera with me everywhere. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t.

Today’s photo is not a band, not a landscape, not a portrait, not a bird. I took it to represent something drawing to a close, which is a recent topic in my daily challenge group. It is the seed pods of the chive plant that has been featured on more than one occasion in this blog. And, like me, it will be back next year!

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