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I don’t typically post a yearly wrap-up but, Scott Thomas’ latest photo assignment, “Best Photos of 2011” had me looking back today. Hmmmm, was a pretty lean year for posting… I must do better in 2012! ūüôā

To make it easier, I approached this task with the desire to select the best photo for each month starting with November 2010 through October 2011. Three months proved more difficult and I allowed myself to select more than one image.

Here we go! ūüėÄ

Back in November 2010, fresh from a trip to Disney, I had posted a series of photos from Hollywood Studios. The giant scrabble board complete with green army man was my favorite:

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Oversized Scrabble Board with Green Army Man, Pixar Place, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 34mm, F/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 200, ‘Poster Edges’ CS3 Photo Filter

In late December, we were hit with the first of many Nor’easters. Even so, the abundance of¬†heavy, wet snow couldn’t put a¬†damper on our holiday spirit!

Frosty

“Frosty” (Snow-covered Holiday Wreath) Nikon D300, 82mm, F/5, 1/60s, +0.7EV, IS0 200

I couldn’t pick a favorite from January. Both images hail from our October Disney trip since by then,¬†I simply had HAD it with winter! (Molten Mickey post is here).

“Coquettish” (Lesser Flamingo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/7.1, 1/200s, -0.3EV, ISO 400, Nik Color Efex Pro Bi-color Filter

“Molten Mickey” (Turn-style Gates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 52mm, F/7.1, 1/200s, ISO 250, Nik Color Efex Pro Detail Stylizer & Bi-Color Filters

February brought some fun with my 105mm macro lens and 3-ring extension tube set. I wanted to see just how ‘up close and personal’ I could really get!

“Missing You” (Dianthus Stamen & Petals) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro w/3-ring Extension Tube Set, F/11, 1/30s, -1.0EV, ISO 640

The macro fun continued well into March

“C is for Carousel” (Stargazer Lily Stamens, Lilium Oriental Stargazer) Nikon D30, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/8s, ISO 1000

After a visit to the doctor in February got me back into a fitness routine, I was in serious need of¬†motivation to ‘stick with it’. I found exactly that in April! ūüôā

“Motivation” (Marc Jacobs Swimsuit) Nikon D300, 36mm, F/4.2, 1/20s, ISO 640

Critters are often featured in my photos and this adorable little chipmunk stole my heart in May:

“Home is Where you Make it” (Eastern Chipmunk in Birdhouse) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 640, Built-in Front Curtain i-TTL Fill Flash, -1.0 EV

June turned out to be all about flowers. I couldn’t decide between these three beauties:

“Yamaboushi” (White Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 320, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, +1.0 EV

“Love” (Dicentra spectabilis, Pink Bleeding Heart) Nikon D300, 260mm, F/5, 1/640s, -1.0EV, ISO 200

“Hope” (Pink Herbaceous Peony) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/320s, -0.3EV, Built-in Front Curtain i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

As a die-hard foodie, I love to cook and sometimes, I actually remember to take a photograph of my creations! We chomped on these delights all throughout July:

“Summer Cubed” (Watermelon, Mozzerella & Procuitto Bites) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/30s, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

Feeling very proud of myself for not only sticking to my fitness committment but also exceeding my expectations despite breaking my left foot, I decided to show off the results of my hard work in August!

“Good Form’ (Female Fitness Portrait) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Silhouette II’ Filter

Another entry for August… when I wasn’t sweating on the elliptical, I¬†made sure¬†to enjoy the summer sunshine and was rewarded with a unique photo of a bee in flight:

“Flight of the Bee” (Carpenter Bee in Flight) Nikon D300, 280mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 640

I got all ‘artsy’ in September¬†with a series of¬†cucumber tendrills…

“Undulation” (Abstract Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

…and finally was able to say a proper Au voir to summer in October.

“And the Sun Sets on Summer” (Rudbeckia ‘Gloriosa’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/7.1, 1/125s, ISO 400, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Photo Stylizer’ Filter

So, that’s it folks…a small photographic slice of 2010.

Yes, it was a VERY good year! ūüėÄ

The Seas with Nemo & Friends is one of my favorite¬†EpCoT attractions. Little did I know then¬†that I would walk away with photos perfect for Karen’s October Photo Hunt, which is all about idioms.

We begin with two shots taken outside the pavilion:
 
“Birds of a Feather Flock Together”

“Birds of a Feather” (Animatronic Seagulls, The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion, EpCoT) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 16.3mm, F/4, 1/1000s, -1.7EV, ISO 400, Built-in Rear Curtain Flash

 
and:
 
“Swimming with Sharks”

“Swimming with Sharks” (The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion, EpCoT) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 6mm, F/2.8, 1/80s, ISO 400, Nik Silver Effex Pro ‘Strong IR HC’ Filter

 
For the third entry we head on into the ride itself. When I find myself on certain dark and rather slow-moving attractions,¬†I like to play with slow-shutter speeds allowing colors and forms to bleed into interesting compositions. So, from inside my ‘clamobile’, I clicked the shutter release and held the camera as steady as I could:
 

“Blur the Lines”

“Blur the Lines” (The Seas with Nemo & Friends Ride, EpCoT) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 6mm, F/2.8, 2s, ISO 1600

Visions of coral reefs, sunken vessels and sea life are instantly transformed into¬†a land of pink and apricot clouds¬†along with a lime green sun (or, is it¬†an alien ship??) ūüėȬ†

 
For the bonus Halloween shot, we head on¬†over to the Magic Kingdom. I simply¬†couldn’t resist this little guy dangling from one of¬†the¬†scarecrows that decorate¬†the¬†common at the very start of Main Street, USA:¬†

 
“Hung Out to Dry”¬†

“Hung Out to Dry” (Pumpkin Mickey Doll, Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA) Canon Powershot SX40 HS, 20.3mm, F/4.5, 1/800s, ISO 100

So, there you have it… THREE days early¬†and complete with¬†idiom bonus! ūüôā

For years, I’ve been fascinated¬†by the squiggles the cucumber vine tendrils form in my garden.¬†Simply put, I just think they are fun¬†and once I began to focus my lens on all the different shapes, I¬†then found them to¬†be quite beautiful.

Now, I rarely do collages. However, in this instance, grouping of the various shapes came about as a natural progression. On their own, each squiggle appeared static, but as I began to put them together, the photos suddenly eruptedwith a sense of movement. 

“Bounce” (Abstract Collage/Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, ISO 400, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.7EV, Color Efex Pro Bi-color Filter

In the first collage I see chaos, like the pent-up energy of a Wham-O Super Ball released inside a room. Your mind wonders if the boxes will be able to contain them or are they destined to explode outward and onward.

Then, as if in complete contradiction, the second collage emotes a sense of calm, like the gentle ebb & flow of the sea or, perhaps, a wisp of smoke as released from a cigar and illuminated by the flame of nearby smouldering fire.

What do yousee?

“Undulation” (Abstract Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

If interested, all¬†were shot in color, then converted to B&W with a bi-color filter added to accentuate the natural twists and turns. Enjoy! ūüôā

"Killer Moth" (Moth on Screen) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/320s, +0.7EV, ISO 2500, Built-in Front Curtain i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong Puffer, -1.0EV, Color Negative Processing

I really can’t explain why I shoot what I shoot.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as: I see it, I think it’s neat (for¬†whatever bizarre reason), so I shoot.

Earlier today, I came upon a moth on our screen slider. A fairly common occurrence and before now, I never felt the least bit compelled to take a photograph. Today, I did. Why? No idea. 

My gut said, That looks interesting, shoot it.’ (I find it¬†most prudent to listen to¬†what my gut says).

Looking at the result¬†on my monitor, I didn’t hate the image¬†but I didn’t love it either. Until, that is, I¬†processed it as a color negative. Cool!

Does my gut have x-ray vision?? ūüôā

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