2015 Year in Review

As we get older doesn't it just seem like the years pass by faster and faster? Even though they are going by quickly it seems each year is filled full of amazing memories.

Well this past year started off with a bang.  As a dream of mine came true, I found out a few of my images would be in Canadian Geographic. On top of all that I ended up getting the back cover of the magazine for Best of Birds with my Northern Gannet image seen below

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The above image also graced the cover of Wildlife Photographic Magazine as well, along with my article on low perspective called How Low Can You Go?

What a start to the year and of course it was all down hill from here lol..just joking but really what could top all this?

As winter set in things began to slow down. Here on the island during the winter months I often find myself stuck to only a few locations for photography, one of which is Quidi Vidi lake. On a cold morning in mid Jan I spent a short time with a small group of Bohemian Waxwing. Each winter I cross my fingers in hopes of running into these flocks as they pass through. Even though the session was short I came away with my best ever image of a Waxwing(And it has become one of my best sellers)

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As the rest of winter slowly went by uneventful my focus began to shift a little. A goal I set for myself this year was to focus on improving my landscape photography skills. Any area I had stayed far away from but felt it was time to take on this adventure. 

One of the many beauties of Newfoundland is that we are very fortunate to have Icebergs that pass along our shores which brings people from around the world to see them. Now some years are better then others in terms of the Iceberg numbers seen and how close they are to shore. There is a site called Iceberg Finder that can aid in locating the icebergs (not the most reliable site but it does help). Checking the site I noticed that one iceberg had made its way to the small cove in Torbay. 

For one full week in May I spent each morning leaving my house at 4am before work to head to Torbay. See the iceberg had lodged itself against some rocks keeping it just out of sight from the beach. Finally as I was about to give up hope some strong North winds blew the iceberg out into the open waters and I came away with one of my fav Landscape images of the year

Normally in May I make a special trip out to Terrenceville, NL to spend sometime with a small herd of Caribou but May seemed to slip by quickly and I found myself heading into the June with out a visit. So in the first week of June we made our trip out and my goal was to try and photograph the herd at sunset. With the open barren landscape surrounding Terrenceville its the perfect location for warm beautiful light falling on your subject. Only mins down the road I located three individuals and as the sun began to set I found myself only yards from this individual. It was one of my best encounters with the herd to date.

Of course no year is complete without a trip out to Elliston to see the Puffins. Normally I make my annual trip at the end of July but I found myself heading out there at the end of June because of a busy summer schedule. Being so early in the breeding season proved to be not a great idea and my photo ops were limited with the Puffins though I did manage a few nice keepers including this one.

It was during this trip that I gained a whole new respect for landscape photographers and also grew a new love for my province. It was at this time that I finally realized what it was that I wanted to photograph from this beautiful island...its rugged coastline...See whenever I had thought about doing landscape photography I always drew a blank on what it was that I wanted to capture...with the lack of high peaking mountains, stunning lush green rainforest with breath taking waterfalls and many of the other subjects you see in other photographs from around the world, I could never pull myself to do landscape photography. It was my ignorance and jealousy of other peoples photos that overshadowed the beauty hidden within this province...but this tiny location called Lancaster found only mins from Bonavista opened my eyes and my heart..and the fire inside was lit

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June month continued to provide more photo ops with my first ever encounter with a Great Horned Owl. Not only did I get a chance to see one but I got to spend time with the whole family and see the young fledge from the nest. On one very rainy day before heading to work I capture this fledgling hanging out on a fallen tree waiting of  mom to return with breakfast.

Another annual trip  I make each year is out to see the Gannets. Actually I normally make a few trips out since it is only 2 hours away. I never get tired of seeing them and each trip presents itself with new challenges or at least challenges me to try and see things in a different way. Probably one of the most challenging aspects of capturing images of wildlife is to show emotion. But sometimes we are given unique opportunities like this couple that appeared to embrace on the edge of the cliff while their young tucked in safely between them

Heading into the latter part of the summer my focus shifted to moose. Even though we have a abundance of them on the island I have very few images of Moose. For a large creature they are very elusive in our thick forests.  I did manage to come across this young Moose that reminded me how fragile life can be...it appeared that its mother had been struck trying to cross a road and this little guy spent weeks in one field grazing and awaiting her return. As sad as this story may sound it appears that this little guy is still doing well as it was spotted only a week ago and is looking health.

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Heading into October I got word that my local printing company was providing a service for doing Calendars. I was super excited as for a few years now I have wanted to put one together but could never find a company I was happy with. Its always nerve racking to know if something you produce will sell but I have to say I was very pleased at how it all turned out and will certainly plan to do them again next year.

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Sprinkles of snow began to blanket the landscape and the air was feeling cool and crisp as I reached Cape Spear. This iconic location have been photographed to death but I wanted to try and challenge myself to capture one of its lighthouses in a perspective that you may not have seen. Of course this is certainly no mind blowing composition but it was one I really liked. I had hopes of capturing an image from this location before winter set in but this sprinkle of snow certainly added to the image and I was pleasantly surprised.

With 2015 coming to an end its time to look forward to another great year and make some plans for the future. It is always a good idea to set goals for yourself in photography(and in life) and push yourself to grow. So below are a list of my thoughts/goals for the coming year:

- Revamp my website to better suit e-commerce. I have plans to redo my who site so it is linked with the printer company I deal with which will in turn help my clients make orders directly thru my site.

- Continue to improve on my Landscape skills. I have a bunch of ideas for the year and look forward to the adventure.

- Work even harder to capture Moose images

- Try incorporating some wildlife in my landscape shots

- Finally get an image of an American Bittern since I had no success last year though I did see one

- Now that my daughter is old enough to take on the trails with me its time to bring my family along with me on more of my outings.

- Revisit the Great Horned Owls in hopes to learn more about their behaviors

-  Revisit the waterfalls in Terrenceville now  that I have more knowledge about landscape photography

Of course there are many other goals and ideas I have but those are just a few. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I look forward to sharing more of my adventures with you in the New Year.