Classic GMC Truck

11 from 2011

Yes, I’m aware that I’m a little behind with my 2011 review compared to others but the end of 2011 got quite hectic (I won’t say bad) but that is neither here nor there. What is here is my compilation of my favorite photos from 2011, each with it’s own special meaning to me.

Fountains at World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial Fountain

In May I traveled to Washington, D.C. for several events that I was photographing. What started as an assignment turned into a very personal trip (for many reasons). I spent a lot of time at the various war memorials thinking of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. At this memorial though I thought of my grandfather who served in the Navy during World War II and was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. I remembered the things he had written in his journal and how it opened my eyes to a side of my grandfather I wish I had known while he was still alive.

Kawasaki ZX-6R

Her last photo with me

This was the last photo I captured of my ZX-6R before letting her go. It was a bitter sweet good bye. She is better off with someone who can ride her rather than sitting neglected in the garage like she has done here for too long. I don’t like not having a motorcycle any more but recognize there are things my health is forcing me to let go of. Sport bikes is one of those things.

Buddy the dalmatian

Buddy - RIP 2011

Buddy left us in May and we haven’t had a pet since then. It had been a lonely time for Buddy since Franklin’s passing. When Buddy passed we knew it wouldn’t be fair to an animal if we were to get another pet. Living without a pet is hard to do when there pretty much hasn’t been a time in your life when you haven’t had one but our lives just can’t accommodate one right now. Besides, it really makes me look forward to those opportunities to pet sit.

The Bench

A place to reflect and ponder

The above bench is located on a short nature trail outside the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. We closed the museum the day we were there and spent what daylight remained enjoying the trail. I found this spot particularly relaxing and couldn’t help but dream of having such a spot within walking distance of home. Even though the highway is a stones throw away there was something about the peaceful nature of the bench and surrounding forest that made this the perfect spot.

Underground at the Metro

Underground at the Metro

This is another image from my trip to Washington, D.C. What makes it special to me is that I dumped my Blackberry in the spring and moved to an Android phone. Without that having taken place I wouldn’t have been able to capture this image. While I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the camera in my HTC EVO the entire experience is so much better than the Blackberry that even when I’m in the throws of hating the quality of image files produced by it I am still very happy to have it for all it’s other uses. The other reason this photo is significant to me is that I absolutely loved riding the Metro while I was in D.C. I sure wish I had access to this kind of reliable, available, and useful public mass transit at home.

Classic GMC Truck

Eyeing a classic

January marked the last Cruisin’ on Main St. we attended as a family. As happens all too often, the few spoiled it for the many, and Cruisin’ on Main St. came to an end in the spring of 2011. It was very unfortunate because we had enjoyed it so much and it had been such a fun family event. We not only enjoyed meeting new people and all the great cars but walking Main St. and finding a new place to eat always added to the fun. Sadly, the demise of Cruisin’ on Main St. was just the beginning of the end of many things intended to draw people into downtown Mesa. It’s funny how so much has been said about bringing people into downtown Mesa yet so little is actually done about it. Cruisin’ on Main St. brought a lot of people into downtown Mesa yet there were very few businesses that seemed to support the event. It is too bad, downtown Mesa is a great place and has a lot of potential. Since the demise of Cruisin’ on Main St. our trips to downtown Mesa went from approximately fifteen or so in 2010 to just three in 2011. Feeding a family of four isn’t cheap but I’ll let the city’s tax and license division figure out how much revenue the city lost from my family due to a lack of interesting things to draw us into downtown.

US Army Higher Ground Brass Band Drummer

Intensity - U.S. Army Higher Ground Brass Band

I love the intensity on his face. Talk about focus. The family again enjoyed the Chandler Jazz Festival although I still remember wondering why the city hadn’t bothered to turn off the sprinkler system as the grass seating area for the main stage was muddy and we hadn’t had any storms in a long time.

Oil Painted Aspen Grove

Fall Foliage

I love the colors of fall, especially the golden Aspen as it prepares itself for the coming winter. My great Aunt had such a painting in her living room that I recall spending hours staring into. There’s just something serene about that transition through autumn and preparing for the cold, sometimes bitter, winter.

Eddy & Sydney

Young love

Until this past year I hadn’t had any interest in portrait photography and only photographed people in the context of attending an event. Even then I never really thought about the people. Oh sure, they were in the image, but in my mind they were no different than any other object in the image. I tried to capture them as candidly as possible to best represent the event, but that was the extent to which I cared to photograph people. I can’t pinpoint when that changed but sometime during 2011 I became very interested in photographing people in a more posed and controlled setting. I was honored to have the opportunity to photograph Eddy and Sydney’s engagement and love this photo because it was a candid capture in between poses that I believe captures the essence of their love. I suppose part of it is having a personal connection to them to begin with, either way, these were magical moments for me as a photographer. I will be spending much time learning posing and lighting in 2012.

Lincoln Memorial

When leaders were men and men were leaders

Obviously another one from Washington, D.C. What can I say, it was an interesting experience being in our nations’ capitol. I’m a bit of a history buff and am fascinated by the lengths the generations that came before us went through to secure freedom from tyranny and the great leaders who have existed throughout most of history. That is wherein my sadness lies. The volume of great leaders seems to be diminishing over time. There was a time when a man was expected to be a leader and when a leader was expected to be a man, neah, a gentleman. I’ll stay off my soap box but suffice to say my stay in D.C. was a sobering one.

Fluffy keeping an eye on me

Keeping watch

Here Fluffy is keeping an eye on me as I worked on photos at the computer. She was just a guest for a short time but our whole family sure did fall in love with her while she was here.

Wow, it was tough picking eleven photos from 2011, especially since so many of my favorites have been delivered to clients but I’ve agreed not to use them publicly. Anyway, another great year has come to a close and a new one has just begun. Here’s to looking forward to a fantastic 2012!


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