Best Images of 2016

10 January 2017

Once again, I’ve taken the time to review my photos from the past year to choose what I feel are my 10 best. I collected 205 candidates over a couple days and winnowed it down to 10 in about 30 minutes. (With that sort of momentum, I’m lucky I had any photos left to show!)

It’s been a year of photographing people. While toys, macros, and nature may have gone into the process, those images didn’t compete with the all the interesting people. My photographic lighting style also continue to show up in more images than not.

Curiouser and Curiouser

curiouser and curiouser

The model shoots and events were good this year. This is Masha Modelle at an event at Omni Lens Studio.

So Easily Swept Away

so easily swept away

This image of Tara Doratt was shot upside down at the Lancaster Camera Club Model Shoot at Binns Park in Lancaster.

Erica’s Reflection

ericas reflection

Sally invited me to participate in a shoot among friends who met at last year’s Promoting Passion Conference, so here I met Erica Jay, and she came up with these lovely poses and I came up with the lighting. The pond is at Frog Hollow Studios.

Follow Me Down

follow me down

Here’s another with Erica Jay. She flopped herself down in that contorted position, and I just framed it up with the lines. My speedlights were taking a little break, so this is open, natural light.

Becca Glow

becca glow

This collaboration came about with Becca H and DJ Diesel while we were doing some promo shots. I always like to toss a strobe out in the front lawn to get those crazy beams through the blinds.

The Way Back

way back

Tourist Inn in Hellam hosted a Braptizm party and I fortunately found some hoopers. With lots of shooting, I managed this tight little frame with so much motion. I find it interesting to find one of these frames that work so well in black and white. The star is a little bonus.

Fireball

fireball

Aaron Brown provided me this other black and white shot spinning LED poi at a Merr Bass at The Depot in York, PA.

Industrial Transport

industrial transport

DJ Kiltboy takes the helm at Shadowland Lancaster. As is often the case, my little pop of flash freezes Eric Carter in a swirling sea of lights provided by DJ Diesel at Lizard Lounge, Lancaster, PA.

Spill Not a Drop

spill not a drop

Cheers is a whirlwind of a party thrown monthly at JB Lovedraft by the Skullfunkaz in Harrisburg. There’s little room to get out of the fray, which is OK, since I seldom stray far from the dance floor, especially when they’re spinning Drum n Bass all night.

Rosie the Riveter

rosie the riveter

Marie had a great Halloween costume, and it deserved to be captured in one of my favorite images of the year.


E-Mount to Nikon Adapter

31 December 2016

Switch to Sony

When I bought my first Sony a6000 body in September 2014, I needed an adapter to get started and to mount my Nikon AI-S and G lenses on the new camera body, since I had no intention to buy new lenses. I knew to use one of these manual adapters I’d need to turn the lens open, focus, and then stop back down to shoot.

Metabones Adapter

The adapter was an important part of kit that was going to make the whole switch possible, so I had settled on spending the extra money and getting the Metabones Adapter.

  • Cost: about $140 at the time.

  • Physically sets the aperture on my Nikon G lenses.

  • Long-throwing aperture ring for fine control, about 50 degrees from wide-open to fully stopped down.

  • Marked for 8 stops (F to 7).

  • Moves smoothly with no clicking at individual stops. This is apparently a feature for shooting video.

  • Convenient tripod mount which is nice for balance and larger tripod plates.

  • Made completely of metal.

  • Solid connection to camera and lens.

  • Only required a little screw-tightening on the Nikon side in 2 years of service.

The Metabones adapter has served me well over the past couple of years, but when talking to people about my switch, I got curious how this adapter compared to less expensive adapters.

K&F Concepts Adapter

In July 2016, I purchased the K&F Concepts Adapter to compare to the Metabones that I definitely liked. I used it for a couple months almost exclusively and found it to feel solid and to work fine with only a bit of adjustment in my expectations of the distance to turn the ring.

  • Cost: about $20.

  • Physically sets the aperture on my Nikon G lenses.

  • Aperture ring throws a very short distance, about 20 degrees from wide-open to fully stopped down.

  • No marks for the stops.

  • Clicking at each stop, so it’s basically impossible to set part stops. (This is OK, though, since I like to think in full stops anyway.)

  • No tripod mount, but my larger lenses have their own tripod collars. (For a short lens, sometimes I like to switch back to the Metabones for its tripod mount.)

  • Made completely of metal.

  • Solid connection to camera and lens.

  • No service or modifications needed yet.

In the end, The K&F adapter surprised me with its build quality, and it feels good to use in the hand. I was surprised to find the short throw wasn’t an issue for my shooting, but I do miss the tripod mount on occasion. It’s always good to have some backup gear, and switching between these 2 was easy.

For the money, I’d have no trouble recommending the K&F or something similar to purchase first, and upgrade to the Metabones only if you find that you need the extra features.


Best Images of 2014

18 January 2016

For comparison, I went back to pick my best images from 2014 over the past couple days. This was slightly harder than the exercise for 2015 for some reason.

briana multiply
cold
aleesha
elsewhere
fire
cosmic
funkbot
joy
bench
aikido


Best Images of 2015

16 January 2016

I’ve taken a few hard moments and collected my favorite 10 images from all of 2015. My first pass yielded 101 images, and I pared it down from there over a couple hours.

Ten is a hard number when looking at a year of images. It leaves me with the feeling that I left out some aspects of my photography, but that’s part of the exercise — Which aspects are excelling? I exposed a sensor over 50k times, shared over 1800 shots on Facebook, and showed nearly 250 on Flickr. [1]

The Orb at Ardmore

orb

The Orb, the legendary ambient musicians, put on an amazing show near Philadelphia this year. I had my one speedlight as usual, and I happened to have tucked it into a stack of chairs behind a curtain on stage right. Right before The Orb took the stage, a publicist or someone came and asked that I limit my photographs to the first couple songs. I thought, "No problem." I knew I already had a light perfectly placed and ready to go, since I had freely shot the opening act.

DJ Uranko at Tellus 360

uranko

I was out to Tellus to see friends and they had a guest DJ, so I had some fun shooting as always. I like how excited and surprised people are to see images after an event like this. I spiced up the image a little by providing the crowd view on the projector screen to fill some space in the image. They really should project the crowd up there.

The Roar

roar

My friends at Shadowland keep the dance floor intense, and they always seem to appreciate seeing photos from the nights.

Playing with Fire in God’s Basement

fire

This year, I got brave and ventured out again to longer nights, like Big Dub out in the woods and God’s Basement Reunion outside Philadelphia. It was the first party in a newly reclaimed warehouse now called The Arts Garage: Waterfront.

Neon Kaleidscope

nk5

The Neon Kaleidoscope (previously Pure) crew celebrated 5 years in 2015. I had just seen an exhibition of Richard Avadon’s "Family Affair" series, so I knew I wanted to do a similar stitching to make a wide image to capture everyone at one of Neon Kaleidoscope’s biggest nights.

DJ Diesel

diesel

Jay and I have been splashing light around the Lizard Lounge for quite some time now.

Knobs and Switches

knobs

I’ve started working to photograph the gear and other environmental stuff from raves. I love the gesture in this image.

Nell at Lizard Lounge

nell

I shot many of my favorite images at Lizard Lounge this year. This image resulted from a quick collaboration with Nell Doll on a Neon Kaleidoscope night. This is when I started really carrying more gear into clubs.

Inside and Out

duplicity

I had the great opportunity to shoot with Marsha Denill in the same house with Brooke Shaden! The inspiration was strong this day, since I knew others would be making amazing images.

Fiesta

fiesta

I love photographing toys, and my bright green Ford Fiesta is my favorite car I’ve had, so it only makes sense for me to have a tiny replica of the car. I had wanted to shoot this image for a couple years.


1. Counting images for the year was fun: a shell script to rip through exif data for 2 cameras to find the image numbers for each raw image, rough counting of pages on Facebook, and clicking "Select All" on every day of images in 2015 on Flickr’s Camera Roll.


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