2016: Year in photos (And a big announcement)

So one of the things I discovered in 2016 is that working in marketing for a camera company, while an awesome and fun experience, actually leaves much less time for photography than I thought.

The other thing I found out was that it is incredibly hard to maintain multiple social media identities – something I always advised my students against doing, but seemed to be doing myself anyway.

So as not to bury the lede, as journalists say, I’ll get the big announcement out of the way – if you’ve known me as Journographica on Instagram and Twitter, you won’t anymore. I’ve switched all those accounts to the existing PicGuide account that I also own. So you’ll see a new name on Instagram and Twitter, but the same familiar person behind those tweets and pictures.

PicGuide. As in www.picture.guide, i.e. this site. Bookmark it please?

Anyway, back to the pictures.

So while I got a few shots here and there, sadly I realized there were entire months of the year where I really didn’t get any photos I was proud of (unless you count photos of my son, of which I could fill up this whole post with and then some, but I’ll spare you). I hope to change that this year, and so while this won’t be a month-to-month chronicling of my photos, here are some I liked from this year.

January started off with a trip to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, where I used my camera’s double exposure feature to create a unique spin on the usual Bellagio photo that everyone gets:

The iconic ceiling at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

I’ve found it hard to really use the double exposure feature properly, so I’m pleased that I was able to put it to use here. I actually tried this a bunch of times until I found just the right “B” sign outside the hotel parking lot, so I loaded up my camera with that and then walked inside to add the layer of glass sculptures from the lobby ceiling.

Moving along, a family trip to Trinidad in March yielded this photo from Chaguaramas at Sunset:

Chaguaramas in Trinidad.

And another trip to Vegas for the NAB show yielded these two photos I particularly liked:

A Mazda 3 in the Valley of Fire.
Spinning steel wool at the Elephant Rock.

Mazda USA liked the first one too, since they featured it on their Instagram feed. It’s a little disappointing that companies don’t see the need to pay anyone for these photos anymore – and if one says no to them on social media they’ll just go to the next person anyway because someone will say yes.

The second photo is a steel wool spin with some friends out at the Elephant Rock in the Valley of Fire near Las Vegas. Guide on that to come soon.

In May, my son and his friend Declan were playing on a slide at Raynor Beach County Park when I snapped this photo of them. This photo actually made it into Newsday as well!

My son and his friend at Raynor Beach County Park.

I wasn’t initially a fan of the photo. I botched the exposure, but made it work after a lot of toning to recover the shadow and highlight detail.

While I promised I wouldn’t turn this entirely into a reel of photos of my son, I have to share my favorite monthly photo of his ever, our baby version of Thor, taken in June:

My son turned 23 months old!

Yes, there was a lot of Photoshop involved here. Guide on that also to come.

I won another contest at Canon this year, though since I left before they announced the winners, I didn’t get to officially claim the win. Here it is though, for the July “Vintage” photo contest:

An Oliver Tractor sits in a field in Ronkonkoma, NY.

It’s an Oliver ’88 that I drove past on the way to work most days right near my house.

In September, I shot the Tribute in Light from New Jersey with my friend Serg. While I liked the photos of the lights themselves, in some ways, I love the cityscape at sunset a little better:

The Tribute in Light 2016 and the moments of sunset right before it.

I think the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower in one shot is what does it for me, as well as the pink hues from the sunset reflected off the buildings.

I hadn’t shot sports in a while, but a few gigs from Hofstra and one from the University of Richmond in September made it feel like riding a bike – you don’t really forget it. In fact, modern cameras make it even easier than I remember with their sophisticated autofocus systems. Here’s a shot from the Richmond vs. Stony Brook game – very weird to be on what was once my home field shooting for the away team:

University of Richmond Spiders vs. Stony Brook Seawolves.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing for Trans-ams, especially after my youth spent watching Knight Rider. I found these two examples at the side of the road somewhere in Pennsylvania. I wasn’t too happy with the light that day, but I vowed to come back and take another photo the next time I passed through:

Trans-ams sit in their final resting place somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Sadly, I didn’t get the chance. Looks like someone bought up the cars, as they were gone the next time around. Maybe I should have been the one to make an offer?

I have worked every election as a journalist in some capacity since 2004, and I didn’t want to let this historic election pass me by, so I shot photos at the local Republican watch party. There were many photos I got that night, but for some reason, I liked this one of a quieter moment featuring the candidates’ children waiting for something – anything – to happen that night:

The children of Onondaga County elected officials pass time during the Republican watch party at the Syracuse University Sheraton on election night.

And then when the results came in, this sort of thing happened at college campuses across the country:

The Syracuse University community protests the election of Donald Trump.

This particular photo ended up splashed across the front page of the Daily Orange.

In November, I shot the engagement of my brother and his fiancée, who had the cool idea to get this custom-made jerseys that spelled out the date of their wedding:

Fahim and Carmen’s engagement at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Incidentally, this was the most-liked photo on my Instagram feed.

And finally, in December. Snow.

Crouse Hall at Syracuse University.

I hope the new year brings more opportunities to photograph, and personally I’m going to push harder to make at least one photo a month that I’m proud of.

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